I recently joined an ongoing campaign with a level 8 fighter character and due to the amount of feats, weapon training, equipment, and especially buffs coming from the party bard... my character tends to have a stupidly high attack modifier that is stumping the DM because of their almost guarantee to hit. Hardly any other in my party (Druid/Bard/Rogue) come close to the attack rolls I manage to dish out. Which has been making me as a player feel kind of bad for just waltzing in with this seemingly powerhouse of a character, causing an imbalance difficult to deal with. He sucks in just about everything else skill and social wise.

Are there any good ways to combat a high attack mod?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Important question: What level are the player characters? If you're in the 3-6 range, then this is when the fighter is (relative to the other classes) strongest, and "outshining" the other players is to be expected. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5 '20 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon We are all currently level 8 and recently took down a "boss" enemy so quickly that it seemed to worry our DM a lot going forward. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chekkit
    Aug 5 '20 at 15:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Follow-up questions, how new is your DM to Pathfinder? Is this one of his first games that he's running, or is he experienced? Can you give me more detail about this "boss" that he had you fight? What kind of enemy was it? If it was a bulky armor tank, he would have slight cause to be worried, but if it was something more like a squishy wizard that you just happened to be able to get close and personal with... well, not so much. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5 '20 at 15:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ The attack modifier is likely to be only one (minor) aspect of the problem. It's normal for a weapon specialist to be able to hit enemies. Other relevant factors to consider might be: high damage per hit, allies who need more combat power, not enough enemies, enemy boss with too few hit points, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – user56480
    Aug 6 '20 at 8:36
  1. Concealment. Blur, displacement, blindness, darkness. There are a lot of low level spells that will make you miss more than you would if your opponents had a +10 to their AC. No matter how high your attack modifier, if you have a 50% miss chance, you're missing most of the time.

  2. Mirror image; same as (2) above.

  3. Some of your attack bonus is due to buffs; he can debuff you with dispel magic or silencing your bard.

  4. Mobile ranged opponents. If you have heavy armor on, you're likely slower than whoever you're fighting. Skirmishers who can hit you but keep you away from hitting them will vex you something fierce. This includes flying opponents.

  5. Critter with DR. You'll hit them as often, but it will be much more difficult to whittle away their hit points, while your rogue--who may only hit once around--will be less affected because after the DR, his precision damage will still hurt the baddie, and spellcasters may be able to rely on energy attacks that won't be impeded by it.

All that being said-- you're the fighter. You should be hitting things +75% of the time. If he's a veteran DM, he's used to it. The bard is doing his job buffing you and you're doing your job hitting things. If you feel that bad about it, diversify your feat tree. Some of the things above may become real challenges for you down the line. Feats like blindfighting aren't always useful, but they keep you effective when the DM gets tricky. Power attack more often; it lowers your attack bonus to do so. Same with using combat expertise if you have the Int for it.

Hope this helps.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's really worth noting that the vast majority of a fighters class features are geared towards A) hitting things more often, and B) making those hits deal more damage. Which is pretty sad, because if they aren't hitting things, then they basically have no way to participate. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5 '20 at 15:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ I might add that many (most?) Fighters will negate your #1 and 2 points by taking Blind-fight to minimize their misses to concealment... really savvy Fighters will willingly close their eyes and use their other senses when spellcasters attempt to befuddle them with obvious illusions. Nonetheless, a good list of standard defensive spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Aug 5 '20 at 18:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso No, they really can't. They're just too starved for actual class features. They have zero ability to function outside of combat. All of their class features, are specifically designed to make them better at combat. They get nothing for outside of hitting things better, or making themselves harder to hit. They get only 2 skill points/level, meaning they only get a maximum of two skills to be good at. They have no features that give them bonuses to social or trap encounters, and anything that isn't "hit man with stick" is outside their area of usefulness.They're tier 5 for a reason. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5 '20 at 18:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ They don't need anything to be played like more than a sword with a lever attached is all I'm saying. I usually have at least 14 Int on a Fighter for 4 good skills or 8 mediocre; some of the more recent options have expanded this with Advanced Weapon/Armor Training options to give additional skills. They have an unprecedented amount of Feats, meaning they can choose some of the more fluffy non-combat ones on their odd levels. Not all groups live and die by the Tiers; sometimes how you do something matters outside of having the spell for it. Not disputing their Tier 5 status. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Aug 5 '20 at 19:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso I didn't say you can't roleplay with them, I said that they aren't useful outside of rolling attacks. You can speak all the sweet nothings you want to that cute half-orc at the bar, or you can bluster and strut in front of that stubborn Baron for hours, but when the DM asks you to roll your persuasion, or intimidation, or whatever, if it's not an attack roll, you're gonna come up short more often than not. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 6 '20 at 13:38


Fly - it's okay being able to hit things easily on the ground, but what if they're not on the ground.

Invisibility/Greater - can't hit what you can't see.

Burning Disarm - get rid of that pesky weapon by making them drop it.

Combat Manouvers

Grappling - sure you can hit really good, but is that the case when your hands are tied?

Disarm - optimisation is good, but it isn't when you don't have the right weapon.

Sunder - when taking away a weapon isn't simply enough, turn it into tiny pieces instead.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 20 '20 at 9:00

You should probably play another class

Pathfinder classes are unbalanced

One of the biggest design problems of Pathfinder is the wide power disparity between different classes. It's best summarized and conceptualized as Pathfinder class tiers. Basically, some classes (Wizard, Cleric, Druid) can do practically everything, at later levels they can do it all day long, and no problem takes them more than 24 hours to solve.

Other classes (Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger) can do only one thing well, and fail when their niche skill doesn't work.

Classes that are considered the most balanced (usually called "Tier 3" classes), such as Inquisitor, Warpriest, or Skald, usually do one thing very well and are at least moderately useful in other situations. They will be discussed below in detail.

It's a bad idea to nerf a Fighter's ability to hit things

The class you are playing, the Fighter, only excels at hitting things with a large stick and slicing things into halves, and those halves into quarters. Literally all of your class features are dedicated to being a better melee warrior. Take this ability away, and your class is useless: you won't have any class features to work with, at all. Thus, it is a very bad idea to just make enemies unhittable.

On the other hand, hitting things is what the Fighter does really well, sometimes too well.

You can choose another class without affecting your character too much

Pathfinder features a lot of classes that are nice blends of melee and spellcasting in one form or another. They can be called “gish”, “half-casters”, and many other terms. Those are usually listed as tier 3 classes, and most of them get 6th level spells at level 20.

Such classes encompass very different concepts. Take the Magus: that's your “generic combat mage”. With the ability to cast arcane spells, many of which come from the Wizard’s list, he can also swing his one-handed weapon rather well.

The Alchemist or the Investigator, on the other hand, don’t cast any spells: instead, each day they brew special potions that only they can drink.

The Skald is your standard viking with an ability to improve melee capabilities of his friends.

Whatever concept you have, there is most likely a class in Pathfinder that does this for you. If there isn’t a class, there is an archetype.

I am not going to list all existing classes, but there is a guide that does that.

If you really don't want to use any kind of magic, there is another solution, too

If you are open to including third-party content into your game, you can try Path of War. It's an alternative rule system in which certain classes get extra abilities that are quite close to, for the lack of a better comparison, World of Warcraft classes*. They get special moves called maneuvers that are quite distinct from spells, but bring martial characters to the power level similar to Paizo tier 3 characters.

*I have only played WoW Classic and am only familiar with what Rogues and Warriors do there. I know nothing about later expansions.


As you could have noticed, my answer is totally focused on choosing another class instead of a Fighter. However, if it doesn't sound fun to you, or if you try it and it doesn't work well... there is no such a thing as a "wrong" kind of gaming as long as you all have fun.

So I wish that you do have fun, whatever class you play.


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