Something’s always bothered me. In Pathfinder, you can fight defensively and you can take the total defence action. Both options are jolly useful to the tactically astute player, but why can’t I fight recklessly?
Of course, any combatant can charge into battle. Doing so, bestows a +2 on an attack, but a -2 to AC until the start of the combatant’s next turn. That’s cool, if I’ve got enough room to actually charge, but often there isn’t (or melee is already ongoing).
The barbarian has a mechanic that could be viewed as fighting recklessly—rage. However—obviously—that’s a class specific ability. It seems, no one else can fight recklessly! That seems odd and I wonder why such an option wasn’t included in the core rules. It wouldn’t take up a lot of space—fighting defensively is covered in 50 words or so.
I can only assume one of four reasons is responsible for the lack of a fight recklessly mechanic:
- The designers didn’t think of it.
- The designers didn’t think anyone would use it.
- For some reason the option was seen as unbalanced. Perhaps they were worried players would use it too much.
- The designers didn’t want to encroach on the barbarian’s rage class ability.
My Proposed Rule
Here’s my proposed rule. As you can see, it’s quick and simple:
You can choose to fight recklessly, when attacking. If you do so, you take a -4 penalty to your AC, but gain a +2 bonus on all attacks, until the start of your next turn.
What Do You Think?
Does Pathfinder need this option? Got a theory for why it wasn’t included in the rules? Let me know, in the comments below.