Monday, November 13, 2017

Think A Fighter's Bravery is Useless? Well, Think Again...

Fighters are a simple class, relatively speaking. They're where we tend to suggest new players start, and we tend to think of them as pretty basic. They get good armor, good proficiencies, a butt-load of feats, and they can hit hard pretty much without fail.

Approacheth me, brother!
The class feature we all tend to ignore is Bravery, which gives a fighter a small bonus on saves against fear as they increase in level. Sure, Will saves are the bane of a fighter's existence, but most of the time we're all too happy to trade out Bravery for other features. However, Da_Penguins made quite an argument for just how you can make Bravery a valuable class feature for your fighter over on the Pathfinder subreddit.

While I highly recommend checking out the entire thing, some of my favorite suggestions were...

A Little Something For That Will Save

As I said just a bit ago, Will saves are the bane of a fighter's existence. Sure you can bump it up with feats, and with racial bonuses, but there's only so much you can do about your weakest save. One option that may have slipped past, though, is to take the advanced weapon training option Armed Bravery at 9th level. This allows you to take the bonus from your Bravery feature, and apply it to all Will saves. Given that 9th level is when you start facing more enemies with heavy-hitting magic, it's not a bad option to go with. It also makes you harder to Intimidate, adding a bonus to the DC equal to double your Bravery bonus.

The Cure For What Ails You

The major problem for relying on Bravery, even if you can make it an all-purpose Will save patch, is that it's a small bonus. But if you're a worshiper of Cayden Cailean, and you're willing to do a little day drinking, you can boost it up. The feat Courage in a Bottle from Inner Sea Gods increases your Bravery bonus by +2 while you're intoxicated. If this would give you more than a +6 bonus against fear, then you're considered immune to it. That bonus applies to everything, as well, if you have something like Armed Bravery on your sheet.

You can take this feat as soon as you have Bravery as a class feature, and it can give your wine-swilling swordsman, or drunken mauler, a bit of an advantage when they step on the field. And it's a handy boost if you're dual-classing with the Drunken Brute barbarian archetype, too.

When You're So Brave, You're Scary

Intimidation is one of those things fighters and barbarians tend to rely on when they need someone to comply with their wishes, but they aren't quite ready to beat them soundly about the head and shoulders just yet. Undaunted Bravery allows you to add your Bravery bonus both to the DC to Intimidate you, and as a bonus on any Intimidate checks you make. If, of course, you're a worshiper of Cayden Cailean. If you've got some brew in your system, and you couple that with Courage in a Bottle, you might be looking at a significant weapon on the field. Especially if you use feats like Dazzling Display, or if you've got Cornugon Smash on your sheet. If you combine it with Intimidating Prowess, then you've got a pretty nasty snowball on your hands.

Pumping Up Your Bravery

If you're going to use Bravery for more than just getting out of being spooked, then there are some items you should have to get the best bonuses you can. The Band of The Stalwart Warrior is pricey, at 14k gold, but it gives you some good protections, and increases your fighter level by 4 for the purposes of determining Bravery. The Amulet of Courage, cheaper at only 6k, will cast remove fear on you once per day, and increase your Bravery bonus by 1. That will add up, and these items can be combined for the best results.

These are all the thoughts I had for this week's Crunch installment. Hopefully it helped get your mind spinning on what you might do with Bravery the next time you put a fighter together. For more content by yours truly, check out my Gamers archive, or head over to Dungeon Keeper Radio to see what sorts of shenanigans we're working on now. If you want to keep up to date on all my latest releases, then follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Lastly, if you'd like to help support Improved Initiative, consider heading over to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a patron. Because every little bit helps!


  1. Sash of the War Champion vounts Bravery as four lvls higher and is a bit cheaper

  2. Some Ultimate Intrigue is missing here. Improved bravery and social bravery can be early entry/alternate options if you have traded out armour training. What is more, Inspiring bravery can give these bonuses out to the whole team! So go ahead and knock back a few for Cailean, your psychic buddy is buying.