Some ideas for fixing the “linear fighter vs. quadratic wizard (caster)” problem:
- Adopt the feat suggestions from Elephant in the Room‘s feat tax post (condenses various feats, removes some “feat taxes”)
- Give them a Good Will save. Why shouldn’t fighters be tough mentally as well? +1 for Bravery isn’t cutting it…
- Give them a small amount of Spell Resistance starting at Level 8 or so. The intent is to make them less vulnerable to low-level spells and low-level casters. They have enough trouble closing distance on enemies in their heavy armor, so they might as well be able to shrug off some minor spell effects while doing so.
- Give them 4+Int skill points per level. They need it.
- Improve shields:
- Why? Sword-and-board isn’t a very popular build. Why? Because the armor bonus ceases to matter if you can kill enemies before they kill you.
- What? Maybe feats can be taken to improve reflex save, or add shield bonus to reflex save. In later levels, deflecting or reflecting direct-attack spells such as Lightning Bolt would make some sense – don’t we see that in movies and lore? And what about a feat to jump in front of others, as an immediate action, to shield them from harm?
Similar to Unchained, but adding even more:
- Weapon Finesse, PLUS Dodge and Mobility at Level 1.
- Remove distance limit on sneak attack damage, but possibly add additional penalties to range. Everyone wants to be a sniper, right?
- Use Unchained Skill Unlocks.
- Allow Hide in Plain Sight at around L8-10
- Allow the first surprise-round sneak attack to do d6/level damage – while this may seem overpowered, that’s basically what arcane spellcasters get on their shocking grasp, lightning bolt, etc. I don’t see why Rogues shouldn’t be able to equal their Nova damage. This change would also help “sniper” builds be feasible.
- Add a feat to allow +10 feet to sneak attack range. Feat can be taken up to 3 times?
… I haven’t tested these yet.