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Fighter Combat Focus, Part 1

Some years back, I started a Patreon and while I made some cool stuff for it, it's been long-neglected and even has some stuff locked behind the paywall that is membership. Besides my failed attempt at doing Dungeon23, I also wrote an expansion/alternate features for the fighter that hasn't seen the light of day in several years. I figured it's about time I set it free for the public to use. I'm going to be presenting it as it was originally written (balance warts and OGL-connectedness included), but I might see about cleaning it up sometime in the future. Enjoy!

A warrior wielding two swords stands atop rubble in the middle of a ruined city.
© grandfailure / Adobe Stock

Most classes in Pathfinder 2E have some kind of “subclass” or “class path” that they select early in their careers and expand upon as they grow in power. Barbarians have instincts, rangers have hunter’s edge, rogues have rackets, and so on. Currently, fighters are lacking an equivalent mechanic, so I’ve provided them with one! This set of class features will give fighters a little more power in the form of flexibility in combat, primarily through extra options of power equal to class feats. In the end, fighters who make use of these new features won’t have generally more powerful attacks or damage, but will be able to make use of additional abilities along with their core assortment of class feats.

Implementing Combat Focus

Fighters specialize in specific techniques that push them to greater heights in combat. These techniques vary from offensive techniques, defensive techniques, or utilitarian techniques. These techniques are represented by the combat focus class feature, a new feature that all fighters gain at 1st level. Adding the combat focus feature to your games requires a few changes to the current array of fighter class feats. Specifically, fighters no longer gain the bravery, combat flexibility, and improved flexibility features at 3rd level, 9th level, and 15th level respectively.

Combat Focus

In addition to your standard combat training and experience, you’ve specialized in a particular fighting style known as a combat focus. Your combat focus grants you additional benefits depending on your specific specialization. Choose a combat focus:

Adaptation: You’ve trained to be ready for most any situation you encounter on the battlefield. You only need 1 day of downtime to retrain your 1st-level fighter class feat.

Protection: You’re able to ready your shield at a moment’s notice. You gain Reactive Shield as a bonus feat.

Retaliation: Your reprisals are particularly powerful. You deal an additional 2 damage with your Strikes made through Attacks of Opportunity.

Shifting: You’re constantly on the move in combat. You can Step as a free action triggered by you beginning your turn.

Improved Focus 3rd

Your experience allows you to center yourself, keeping the mental strain and rigor of combat at bay. Your proficiency rank for Will saves increases to expert. You also gain an additional benefit depending on your combat focus.

Adaptation: You’re able to adjust to most situations in a short time. You only need 1 day of downtime to retrain any fighter class feat.

Protection: You can move through combat in a defensive manner. You gain Shielded Stride as a bonus feat.

Retaliation: You’re able to close in on enemies and disrupt them. Creatures within 5 feet of your reach also trigger your Attacks of Opportunity. If the foe that triggered your Attack of Opportunity is within 5 feet of your reach but not in your reach, as part of your reaction you can Step to put the foe in your reach before making a melee Strike.

Shifting: You’re able to leap into action the moment a fight breaks out. You can Stride up to half your speed as a free action triggered by you rolling initiative.

And that's it, for now! Let me know what you think about this "subclass" so far. I'm hoping to have a total of four parts, but might tweak that or the abilities based on thoughts here.

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