Fantasy Archetypes for M&M: Part two, The Fighter

Last time we looked at how to build a Rogue Archetype for Mutants & Masterminds. This time, it’s the turn of the Fighter. Or, more accurately, The Dwarven Fighter. After all, what’s more archetypally D&D than the short beardy guy with an axe?  Also, we’ll take a look at a few possible customization options and look at how, with a little points juggling, we can turn the archetypal Dwarf-with-axe into an Elf-with-Longbow, Halfling-with-cudgel, or any other race-and-weapon combo that takes your fancy.

Again, I’m going to work with a more old-school/Third Edition view of what the Classes represent rather than 4e’s slightly shifted perspective, but just to mix things up I’ll use my Racial Templates converted from 4e, just because in Mutants & Masterminds, I can. That’s a part of the fun of using an Open Design system like M&M – you can shape the rules around your world-view, rather than have the Game Designers force their world-view onto you.

To my mind, the Fighter is defined by the very name of his class; he fights, and that’s what he does. Whather he’s a shortsword-wielding Gladiator, a spear-chucking cannibal or axe hefting Norse warrior, the Fighter’s job is to hurt the other guy as much as possible. Unlike in 4th Edition D&D, a Fighter is just as much a Fighter whether he’s wielding a sword or drawing a Longbow – it’s Fighter, not Melee’er fer gawsakes!- and the Archetype should be as adept with ranged weapons as he is with close combat. As before, adjust and customize to taste.

DAZ Studio, no postwork. Click to enlarge

Dwarven Fighter Archetype, PL4, 60pp

STR 15, DEX 14, CON 15, INT 10, WIS 16, CHA 12
Tough +2/+5, Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +4
Attack +3, Grapple +5/+6, Defense +3, Init +2

Climb +6, Craft:Structural +4, Handle Animal +5, Intimidate +5, KS:Dungeoneering +4, Notice +7, Survival +7
All-Out Attack, Benefit 1 (Member of Fighter’s Guild), Distract (Intimidate), Improved Block 1, Power Attack, Teamwork 1, Ultimate Effort 1 (Resist Knockback), Equipment 3
Super-Strength 1, Dwarven Weapon Proficiency (+2 Attack w/Throwing Hammer & Warhammer)

Standard Adventurer’s Kit, Chainmail Armour (Tough +3)
Battleaxe (+3, DC 20)
Crossbow & 20 quarrels (40′, +3, 19-20, DC 20)

Here we’ve got a Dwarven Fighter who’s job is clearly to do a lot of damage with each swing. DC 20 is right at the allowable edge of the Power Level limits meaning if he connects, it’s going to hurt. Rather than specialize in just one weapon, this is a Fighter who is comfortable with any, and the combination of All-Out Attack and Power Attack means he can juggle between attack, defense and damage dealt as the situation requires. Add in Distract (Intimidate) to cause a foe to lose an action, and Teamwork to assist his allies, and this is a good, solid combatant with plenty of tactical choices. Much like 4e, but without the shoe-horning, in other words. Unlike your average Third Edition Fighter this is a Dwarf who retains his usefulness with contacts in the Fighter’s Guild, and serious Survival, Dungeoneering and perception skills. There. I’ve insulted both Editions of D&D. Happy now? :D

Customization: As with any Archetype, this is purely a boilerplate that’s ready to play as-is, or open for customization. Perhaps this is a dour, surly Dwarf who smokes pipeweed or an outgoing ale-swilling story-teller. Or something else entirely – the choice is yours. Here’s a few customization suggestions:

  • Want a Fighter but not a Dwarf? Take out the Dwarven traits (listed here) and you get 10 points back to spend on other things. Find another 2 points (drop Benefit and Teamwork, for example) and you’ve enough points to be a Dragonborn Fighter; just add those traits, and you’re done.
  • Drop All-Out Attack too and you’ve the 13 points needed to be a halfling. Swap the equipment for something more suitable (a fishing rod and a cudgel, perhaps) and juggle the skill points to suit
  • Alternatively, be a Human and spend those 10 points saved to make your character something special. Swap the equipment out for a Rapier and Leather Armour, boost CHA and add Perform and Knowledge:History skills and you’ve got a Troubadour.
  • Want a Dwarven Monk? Trade out all of the equipment, drop STR by 2 and take 4 points from each of Intimidate, KS:Dungeoneering and Handle Animal and you’ve got enough for the Kung Fu Fighting Style. And let’s face it – who wouldn’t want to play a Kung Fu Dwarf?
  • Or anything else you want, and the GM permits………

As ever, the Archetype is just the beginning. It’s where you take it that counts.

Next: The (Elven) Wizard

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