Fighter without weapon focus?

Hi, just wondering, is it possible / viable to make a fighter without taking weapon focus / weapon specialisation (apart from getting the prereqs for Shatter Defenses) and rely entirely on the class features that add bonuses to weapon groups?

Can you effectively build a fighter that can easily switch between a variety of weapons?

Yes, in general it’s better to use best available (or appropriate in some cases) weapon unless your class forces you to Focus and classes with Martial Proficiency have better weapons available. Fighter is a semi-focused class with weapon training but there you get to use weapon groups instead of specific weapons. Don’t waste that flexibility.

Likewise one of the major benefits of the Combat Style classes (Ranger/Slayer) is the ability to get to Shatter Defenses without having to get Weapon Focus by using Menacing Combat Style.

The ultimate version of this flexibility is the Imitator Slayer archetype which lets you design a team with six companions then Imitate (and use the gear of) whichever one you swap out for various quests or challenges.

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I would argue that a fighter without weapon focus and consequently the three weapon specialization feats, and pentrating strike is probably not worth it compared to a ranger/slayer with a fitting combat style.

The weapon training, and especially the advanced weapon training is nice, but I wouldn’t think it beats out no requirement for certain feats, an animal companion (or sneak attack die), spell casting, favored enemy/terrain and better reflex saves (which arguable the fighter can mitigate a bit with advanced weapon training).

So @admiralzeech, I would suggest you go for a ranger or slayer instead and have a more versatile weapon choice within your chosen fighting style.

I’d say on the contrary: Penetrating strike is definitely worth it, in a setting where almost every enemy has some sort of DR. Taking one initial feat at level 1-9, getting into the featline is ok, if my damage is 5-10 points higher with each hit.

You can surely get by without, when you get buffed by a competent cleric or mage. But if you think of a stand-alone fighter who wants to overcome 30+ DR, that’s even with high powerattackbouns a real “feat” to get decent damage on a standard hit.


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This isn’t PnP. Specialization and Penetrating are both a drop in the bucket in Wrath.

What? You get a Relic that gives all your weapons Cold Iron/Good and by midgame everything is +5 with MW, Greater bypassing everything else. You’re getting a big chunk of your damage from Force and Holy in any case and/or doing 50-100 per hit.

DR is rarely an issue and when it is it’s minor.

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I think maybe I worded it a bit wrong.

I also think penetrating strike is worth it, but you need weapon focus to get it (and weapon specialization and the other stuff). That’s why I think it is not worth it to go fighter without taking weapon focus.

I beg to differ, specialization is +9 (+2, +2 and +mythic/2) to each strike. Especially on crit fishing, twf or archer builds that’s huge. Penetrating strike also gets a ton more value with more attacks.

Yeah I’m saying 9 damage is nothing, Especially at that price. Penetrating does literally nothing. I think it might even be bugged and it doesn’t even come up enough to notice.

Seriously. Play the game before giving advice.

9 damage per hit is a lot. Probably the only 2 builds where its not worth it is a straight 2h build, or vital strike. But then again ranger + 2h combat style is better in that case.
Whenever you get additional attacks per round either trough twf, ranged feats, cleave feat line, combat reflexes, outflank or seize the moment the 9 damage snowball heavily. Especially on a fighter that should hit pretty much all of their attacks most of the time. You create nice damage floor and heighten the damage ceiling even further.

So maybe you tone down your assholery or maybe for once try another playstyle than bum rushing with a 2h cleave build (where you apparently just leave at a lot of free guaranteed damage).

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hmm. right. I really dislike those “better than feat” items as a whole. And especially dislike that +x weapons auto bypass any DR. Really should have thought on those.
I won’t let MW, greater give you DR bypass, just permanent enhancements on weapons. (as I read the rules)
By Level 12 this is for sure not an issue anymore, given the items they dump on your party.
In most adventures, I played you had a hard time getting a +3 Weapon at Level 15, let alone 2 or special effect weapons. As you mentioned it’s the one cool gimmick a fighter can have: weapon versatility.
I admit: It’s almost useless to have two feats who are weaker than most standard items by the time you can have them. Even if they do a nice job in PnP having a 1-H finess or double-weapon fighter.


In Fact: weapons that do energy damage are out of whack broken (yes I know there is brilliant energy), holy damage is also subject to DR/epic IIRC, and having a 50-70 (more likely without crit or 30+ Str) damage reduced by 30 points would halve your damage. 20 points DR is 1/3rd. just pointing out the math.
pen. strike is less awesome than clustered shot, because you have to take three feats instead of two, but it’s argueably better at making aoo strikes.


Thanks. How would a Slayer/Ranger that skips weapon focus get enough +hit to hit things?

In the same vein, if a fighter doesn’t use weapon focus and just used weapon training, what else does he need to do to get enough +hit?

Are you saying that a Slayer can be viable without focusing on a single weapon? Without weapon training etc, how does it get enough +hit ?

+hit of weapon focus is not much why weapon focus alone is just kind of an average feat. On fighter you take those because you have 5 extra feats compared to slayer/ranger and you can get up to +4 hit with the mythic feat.

As a slayer you get studied target (move action until level 7 then swift action) which gives a +1 to hit and damage (and +1 extra at levels 5, 10, 15 and 20), which is the same bonus as weapon training, but more versatile, as long as you have a swift action.
But on a more general sense there is tons of +hit you can get:

  • outflank (+4 instead of +2 on flanking, and additional attacks for all others with the feat if you crit) is really good, especially on a slayer where you are flanking all the time for sneak attack
  • Heroism or greater heroism on your heavy hitters and often hitters is also nice
  • Having a community cleric helps if you really need ab with the 1/day lvl 8 power that gives the clerics wis to everyones hit.
  • Shatter defense is easy to take for you with the combat style feats, just have one high cha person intimidate.
  • You can have a bard or the alchemist archetype for moral bonuses
  • magic weapons or the appropriate spells to bring the weapons up to standard
  • greater invis against enemies without see invis / true seeing
  • Embers evil eye is an effective +2 / +4 to hit.
  • Seelah gets mark of justice, which is a +cha stat to hit for everyone.
  • one person with crit fishing build and blinding crit helps or otherwise blinding them
  • plenty of spells ripping enemies dex bonus
  • enforce vigor also gives +2 hit if your into controlled self damage

There is surely tons of other stuff I haven’t listed here, but for a full bab class you don’t need that much.

Thanks. Is there any way to improve crit chance that’s not tied to a specific weapon? Are the Trickster feats tied to weapons?

One reason I want to make a build that can use many different weapons is the extra abilities, but so many of them are on-crit… Especially weapons that only crit on 20 -_-;

All of the crit feats are tied to weapons, also the trickster feats as they are just further versions of the first improved crit basically.

I’ll post some shots later. My son is sick right now. You’ll be hitting +40 AB by midgame so the +1 from Weapon Focus won’t be missed.

The Crit Feats are bad. Once you’re critting you’re already winning. Improved Crit is one you might want to pick up but many of the good weapons already come with keen.

People really like to stick to what they’re used to and previous D&D games really pretty much required you to pick a weapon. In PF if you like that you can pick a class that requires it/rewards it but the rest reward flexibility and make Martial Proficiency matter

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If you’re taking the Trickster crit feats you’re chasing memes and pretty pictures and missing the whole point of the class.

Again your are just assuming I’m using a big hitting 2h like you do. If I have a twf kukri build that crits on 15-20 and attacks 8 times, a blinding crit on the first or 2nd strike literally ensures that all other 7 or 6 attacks hit as well (besides the occasional 1). Not everyone wants to play a 2h glaive swinging fighter. Or combat maneuver shenanigans or whatever you are actually playing.

Improved crit is a must if you want to play a crit fishing build. Just hoping to get a good weapon with keen on it is funnily exactly the opposite of your “take any weapon” approach.

Firstly, I don’t play as a trickster, I answered OP, but once again you don’t read or don’t comprehend. Secondly, the trickster crit feats are a menchanic as any other mythic mechanic, if someone wants to see high numbers they sure can. Maybe stop patronizing everyone that they play wrong while you know literally just one playstyle.

Fighter is one of those classes. Especially in this game where a lot of other great fighter feats are not in the game. Disruptive for example is in the game and a good feat. But without spellbreaker (attack of opportunity when spell fails) it is not outstanding. That’s why in-game weapon specialization is so great, a +2 to dmg is kind of meh, but it is the benchmark you have to beat as a feat.
Combat reflex in combination with seize the moment / outflank for example beats that benchmark easily. Hammer the gap on the other hand does not meet it. Power attack can meet it on a 2h build, but wont meet it for a twf build.

So go ahead tell me how I play wrong without giving any thought to my arguements as you do always in this forum. Just like with the trickster comment, you don’t even say what annoys you about them you just state them as “meme” and bring nothing to the discussion.