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The Evolution of the Fighter in D&D

This is a by-the-number comparison of your average first level Fighter found in the various versions of D&D. The ground rules followed for this comparison were: Human Fighter with the average stats that would be expected from using the standard stat generation method for a given edition. Stats were arranged in the same order for each fighter with Strength the highest stat and descending to Charisma with the lowest. Equipment would be long sword, shield, and the best armor (all AC's are stated as ascending AC's to make comparisons between editions easier) that average starting money would allow. After generating the fighters for each edition, they would then be paired up against an unending stream of Goblins (also from that edition), one at a time, to see how effective they were. The tests were run 1000 times each in a javascript program.

First up, the fighter from the little brown books-

OD&D Fighter
Stats - rolled 3d6 with highest roll in Str and then descending in this order: Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha.

AC- 18 (platemail and shield)
HP- 1d6+1
Damage- 1d6

OD&D Goblin
AC- 14
HP- 1d6
Damage- 1d6

FIGHT!
It will take the Goblins an average of 7 rounds to kill this Fighter.
The fighter will take down an average of 2.8 Goblins with him.

Notes: The only bonus the OD&D Fighter gets from his stats is a 5% xp bonus from his Strength. All weapons in OD&D do 1d6 damage.


The fighter from the Moldvay Basic set-

BD&D Fighter
Stats - rolled 3d6 with highest roll in Str and then descending in this order: Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha.

AC- 17 (platemail and shield)
HP- 1d8
Damage- 1d8

BD&D Goblin
AC- 13
HP- 1d8-1
Damage- 1d6

FIGHT!
It will take the Goblins an average of 11 rounds to kill this Fighter.
The fighter will take down an average of 4.1 Goblins with him.

Notes: The BD&D Fighter is more successful than the OD&D Fighter due to his higher hitpoints, increased damage from variable weapon damage, and much more frequent stat bonuses.


The fighter from AD&D 1st edition-

AD&D1 Fighter
Stats - rolled 4d6 (drop lowest) with highest roll in Str and then descending in this order: Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha.

AC- 17 (scalemail and shield)
HP- 1d10
Damage- 1d8

AD&D1 Goblin
AC- 14
HP- 1d8-1
Damage- 1d6

FIGHT!
It will take the Goblins an average of 14.3 rounds to kill this Fighter.
The fighter will take down an average of 4.3 Goblins with him.

Notes: The AD&D1 Fighter gets a little better than the BD&D Fighter due to his better stats from rolling 4d6 and from having the d10 hit die.


The fighter from AD&D 2nd edition-

AD&D2 Fighter
Stats - rolled 4d6 (drop lowest) with highest roll in Str and then descending in this order: Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha.

AC- 17 (scalemail and shield)
HP- 1d10
Damage- 1d8

AD&D2 Goblin
AC- 14
HP- 1d8-1
Damage- 1d6

FIGHT!
It will take the Goblins an average of 14.4 rounds to kill this Fighter.
The fighter will take down an average of 7.3 Goblins with him.

Notes: The AD&D2 Fighter improves over the AD&D1 Fighter due to weapon specialization which gives him +1 to hit and +2 to damage and 3 attacks every 2 rounds.


The fighter from D&D 3rd edition-

D&D 3e Fighter
Stats - 25 point buy with these scores:
Str- 16, Dex- 14, Con- 14, Int- 9, Wis- 10, Cha- 8
Feats - Weapon Focus(longsword), Toughness, Dodge

AC- 19 (scalemail and heavy wooden shield, Dodge feat)
HP- 15
Damage- 1d8+3

D&D 3e Goblin
AC- 15
HP- 1d8+1
Damage- 1d6

FIGHT!
It will take the Goblins an average of 22.2 rounds to kill this Fighter.
The fighter will take down an average of 10.1 Goblins with him.

Notes: Increases in ability scores, hit points, and improved to-hit chance has again made the Fighter tougher than in previous editions. Critical hits were taken into account for this Fighter due to them finally being made a standard rule in 3e.


The fighter from D&D 4th edition-

D&D 4e Fighter
Stats - 22 point buy with these scores:
Str- 18, Dex- 14, Con- 13, Int- 11, Wis- 12, Cha- 10
Feats - Weapon Focus, Toughness

Powers-
Tide of Iron (standard; at-will): +8 vs AC; 1d8+5 damage, push target 1 square, you can shift into that square.
Cleave (standard; at-will): +8 vs AC; 1d8+5 damage, 4 damage to adj enemy other than target.
Sure Strike (standard; at-will): +10 vs AC; 1d8+1 damage.
Covering Attack (standard; encounter): +8 vs AC; 2d8+5 damage, an ally adjacent to target may shift 2 squares.
Villain's Menace (standard; daily): +8 vs AC; 2d8+5 damage, you gain +2 attack, +4 damage bonus against target till end of encounter.
Miss: bonuses are +1 attack, +2 damage.

AC- 19 (scalemail and heavy shield)
HP- 40 (28 + 5(toughness) + 7(healing surge))
Damage- 1d8+5

D&D 4e Goblin Minion
AC- 16
HP- 1
Damage- 4

FIGHT!
It will take the Goblins an average of 31.2 rounds to kill this Fighter.
The fighter will take down an average of 23.4 Goblins with him.

Notes: The 4e Fighter is assumed to use his Sure Strike power every round. He uses an action point to use his Healing Surge.


Summary

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