Race as Class: Fighter
Chimera’s take on the B/X fighter
This is Part 2 of a series to convert Moldvay Basic classes to Chimera. For convenience, you can use the Race as Class tag to view every article in the series. This week’s entry: The B/X fighter, and we’ll use the same ground rules for conversion as before.
Moldvay describes fighters as “humans who train for battle.” (B10) They’re allowed to wear any armour, wield any weapon, and have great combat stamina in terms of hit points.
Before we go too far, let’s acknowledge that anyone can fight, even if it’s only in self defense. However, the fighter class—a human—is unparalleled in fighting ability: Fighters have no level limit, can use any armament, and have the best “to-hit” progression of all classes. 
All that said, the fighter is the catch-all for any character whose focus is exclusively weapons and armour and combat. This covers soldiers, mercenaries, gladiators, knights, men-at-arms, street toughs, and the peasant who grabs a sword with visions of glory.
Given that, the fighter class is a flexible construct. And, as presented in Moldvay (as opposed to later editions of the game, particularly AD&D), the fighter’s “sub-archetype” is a matter for the player to craft via non-mechanical means, such as weapon and armour choices, background, and personality.
For example, if you want to play a barbarian, you give a fighter a battle axe, leather armour, and play him like Conan. If you want to play a knight, you give your fighter a sword and a lance, plate and shield, stick him on a horse, and play him like King Arthur. If you want to play a ranger, you give your fighter a sword and bow, chain mail, and play him like Aragorn (and maybe your DM even lets you do “wilderness things" by rolling 1-2 on a d6).
Fighters are humans trained to fight, usually as freebooting mercenaries, though they can be knights, barbarians, or men-at-arms. As adventurers, they may wear any armour and wield any weapon. All fighters have excellent combat skills, which makes them the muscle in any group.
|Fighter (Ftr)||Advancement Cost|
|Move Rate: 12”±1d6||0|
|Wound Limit: 1d8||3|
|Abilities: Athletics, Fight, Shoot||3|
|Perks: Charge, Stand Ground (see below)||2|
|Special Perks (Sperks)
Depending on where you are in the B/X spectrum, fighters have a few or several combat edges: by the time one gets to Cook Expert, you see the excellent “to-hit” progression; if you migrate to the Mentzer Companion or Rules Cyclopedia, you see Fighting Maneouvres, weapon mastery, and extra attacks per round.
Most of these (“to-hit” improvement, extra attacks per round, weapon mastery) are baked into Chimera, either as advancement options, Perks, or Sperks. But the Fighting Maneouvres aren’t, so I’ll try these:
- Charge: As the Adaptation (CB/21); if the attack is a Critical Success, damage remains at 2 dice, but the target must make a morale check (CB/18)
- Stand Ground: When facing a charge, a target in check (CB/19), may launch a counterstrike; a successful attack inflicts 2 dice of damage (a Critical Success does 2 dice and forces the charger to make a morale check)
As before, I’m interested in how well you think this translates from Moldvay to Chimera. Given its generic cast, there’s a good chance that I’ll use this as a baseline “fighter-type” in the ever-promised (but never delivered) Swords of Telm, and let players customise via the extra Improvement Points gained during chargen. But what do you think?
- Note that I said “classes;” once you graduate to Cook’s Expert, the fighter gains a +1 to hit every 3 levels, which is the best of clerics, magic-users, and thieves. Monsters, who apparently fight all the time, get a +1 every hit die.
- My target AdCost is 8 (2,000XP / 250 = 8).
Moldvay, Tom, ed. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rulebook. Lake Geneva: TSR Hobbies, Inc. 1981.
Smale, Erin. Chimera Basic. Atlantic Highlands: The Welsh Piper. 2011.