Lighthouse for the Blind
“Any wastelander can pick up a bone and call it a club,
but try pitting fifty of those against one dozen trained
soldiers, and maybe you’ll have an even match.”
― Nikolos, human fighter
From the small forts in sandy wastes of Athas to the
guards of the merchant houses in the city‐states, fighters
are Athas’ most common sight. Whether it is as
mercenaries for the sorcerer‐kings or as hired guards
protecting the wealth of the nobility, fighters can be found
everywhere in the Tablelands. Athas’ fighters are trained
to fight in small groups or huge units. Those that have
proven themselves become the commanders in the citystates’
armies, commanding hundreds or even thousands
of men into war.
Making a Fighter
Fighters receive the best allotment of fighting skills
and abilities. They learn the use of most weapons, the best
armors and shields, as well as gaining special abilities to
use with these weapons and armor.
Some fighters specialize in using a single weapon, and
become masters at its use and deadliness. Other fighters
will prefer more rounded skills, learning to shoot from far
with bows and arrows, or nets or spears. Regardless, the
fighter is to be feared.
Races: All of Athas’ races can become fighters.
Humans are usually the most numerous, though, since
they are the most numerous of the races of the Tablelands.
Dwarves make good fighters, even though they are
smaller than most races; their inborn toughness and great
strength more than makes up for their smaller stature.
The half‐giants are also seen very often as fighters, since
their great strength and size are perfect for the job. Muls,
with the inherited traits of both humans and dwarves, are
also great fighters. Elves, with their long legs and frail
constitution, are not often seen as fighters. Athas’
intelligent insects, the Thri‐kreen, make excellent
warriors, with their four arms and the fact they do not
need to sleep. Many of the savage races of the Tablelands
are fighters, although most become rangers in order to
Alignment: Fighters come from all walks of life, and
can be of any alignment. Good fighters are usually seen as
the protectors of small villagers or are part of renegade
slave tribes, helping their tribe to survive in the harsh
desert. Or they can be found as a dwarf perhaps, whose
focus it is to guard his fellows. Evil fighters are often part
of mercenary bands or under the control of a sorcererking;
these beings often fight for power and money. Evil
fighters can also be found as the rulers of small forts,
guarding their oasis and exacting a hefty toll for its use.
Class Skills: Knowledge (warcraft) is a class skill for
Athasian fighters. Swim is a cross‐class skill for Athasian
Playing a Fighter
Playing an Athasian fighter is not much different than
playing one in other settings, the only difference is that
the extreme heat makes most armor less than desirable on
As a fighter, you undertake adventures according to
the dictates of your cause, your faith, or your own selfish
needs. You might find yourself on the hot, sandy field of
battle, charging shoulder to shoulder with peasants and
soldiers, raising pitchforks and shields against the defilers
of the enemy army.
There are no gods on Athas, but many fighters
worship the sorcerer‐king of their respective cities as
gods. Some fighters pay homage to the elemental forces of
the Tablelands, asking their favored element for luck
before entering the battlefield.
Fighters get along with most other classes. The rangers
of the Tablelands often receive the highest of the respect
for their ability to survive the wastes. Gladiators and
fighters are often at each other’s throats, since both share
great combat abilities but differ in their methodology;
they often try to show how each is better than the other is.
Elemental clerics are welcome for their healing abilities as
well as the help they can provide in battle.
Fighters are uneasy around wizards; like the rest of
the population they distrust magic. Templars are also
distrusted, for the same reasons everyone else distrusts
templars. Rogues are usually scorned by fighters; they
prefer open battle to the rogue’s sneaky ways.
Your specific tactics in battle depend on your role in
the party and your weapon of choice. However, certain
tactics are common to all fighters.
You are generally at the forefront of any battle.
Fighting on the front line allows you maximize your
combat feats. Furthermore, if opponents focus on you,
they cannot injure your allies. As a fighter, you’re at your
best when you can take on the monster or opponent that
deals the most damage.
When looking at feats to select as you gain levels, you
have two basic paths. You can focus on your fighting
skills, or you can attempt to expand your capabilities to
serve as the party’s leader. The former option is best when
you are the group’s primary combat specialist. If the party
includes another fighter or suitable melee character, you
can afford to dabble in Charisma‐based skills. Although
Diplomacy is not a class skill for you, the Field Office feat
combined with a few cross‐class ranks makes you a
When it comes to combat feats, look to ones that
improve your ability to deal damage. Feats such as Power
Attack, Weapon Focus, and so forth are excellent options
to boost your offense. Concentrated Fire*, Rotate Lines*,
Shield Wall*, and Spear Wall* are excellent feats for army
Improved Initiative is a critically important feat, since
it allows you to act first, move forward and defend or
guide your allies. The sooner you find a place in the front
line, the longer you can hold back the enemy.
Fighters on Athas
“Yeah, he was alright with a sword, but he would wet
himself every time we walked out onto the sand of the
arena. I think it was the crowd… or the goat-headed giant
they paired us against. Poor little weed, he never saw that
―Grek the Grand, talking about his onetime matched
pair contest with Slavek Thydor
Fighters bring clashing weapons, stirring speeches,
and mass combat to the campaign. On Athas, the fighter
is a trained warrior, a soldier skilled in mass warfare.
Every society on Athas maintains an army of fighters to
protect itself from attack or to wage wars of plunder and
annihilation against its neighbors. Fighters are both the
commanders and soldiers in these armies, and at higher
levels are experts in both individual and formation
combat, leadership, and morale.
A fighter adventures to prove his superior skill at
arms, to advance the cause of whatever master he might
serve, and to further his own aims.
Once he has reached a respectable level of
accomplishment, a fighter might take the Leadership feat
and start building his own army. As word spreads, less
experienced warriors who are eager to fight for the same
causes seek him out as the desperate peoples of Athas
constantly look for great commanders, warriors who will
Fighters can notoriety for their deeds, whether
triumphs in combat, selfless acts of great honor, or great
tyranny. Many an adventurer grew up on stories such as
that of the Crimson Legion, and how it managed to defeat
Urik’s previously undefeated army.
Another legend tells of about the rise and fall of
General Zanthiros, the leader of the Balican army who
managed to save the city from an onslaught of beastheaded
giants more than once, and after losing the
elections, left the city with hundreds of soldiers loyal to
him and formed a raiding tribe.
Fighters often band together into small armies or as
mercenary groups working for trade houses. These
organizations typically have different credos and values,
but they allow their members to focus their time on their
Individuals react to fighters based on their previous
interactions with other members of the class. A brave
fighter meets cold silence and contempt around the
Barrier Wastes where evil fighters oppress the populace.
Gladiators usually talk down on fighters, saying that
gladiators are the true masters of combat. Fighters usually
reply that gladiators are nothing without a crowd looking.
Because of that, their initial reaction is one step towards
unfriendly than normal.
A fighter who has lived long enough to retire from
adventuring typically acquires some position of authority,
with commensurate political power, whether as a caravan
leader, army general, or ruler of a raiding or slave tribe.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (warcraft) can
research fighters to learn more about them. When a
character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the
following, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 10: Fighters may not be as flashy as gladiators in
combat, but they surely are more effective in mass
DC 15: Fighters are combat‐oriented characters adept
at hand‐on‐hand combat just as well as commanding
DC 20: A fighter’s mere presence in the battlefield can
be enough to inspire his soldiers and weaken the resolve
of his enemies.