The Garden of Forlorn Hope
Fighters are the iconic masters of battle, with access to both a high number of combat feats and a static set of armor- and weapon- oriented class features. Fighters are supposed to be masters of combat specialization (they even have near- exclusive access to the Weapon Specialization feat), but half their class abilities are static bonuses with little customization beyond what set of weapons they apply. At the same time, many cool fighter tropes have been presented as archetypes, allowing fighter characters to specialize to even greater extents at the cost of some of those static bonuses (the bravery class feature is an extremely popular trade- out for fighter archetypes), but never in more than one style of fighting. Flexibility is one of the things the fighter class is supposed to excel at, but the way archetypes work, taking one generally makes a character less flexible.
That makes sense for many eldritch character concepts – if a wizard is a Master of the Secret Flame, it stands to reason that might change what other magic is available to him – but it’s less logical for most fighter archetypes. Like rogues, fighters mostly learn entirely non-magical knacks, and there’s no particular reason why being really good at one should make it impossible to specialize in another. Such double- focused characters would need time to pick up all the required abilities of course, but if they prefer that to being more spread out, why not let them make that effort? Indeed, if any class should have the option to be both a crossbowman and a phalanx soldier, it’s the fighter.
Rather than require all fighters be brave and balance their efforts between armor and weapon bonuses, each fighter can custom- fit the classes abilities to match a player’s specific concept. This greater flexibility allows the fighter to be the default combat- oriented character without limiting it to just one or two styles of fighting. Like a rogue, a fighter character can pick and choose from a range of similarly- powered abilities appropriate for the fighter’s role without making the class overpowered. The talented fighter still fills the same role in the party but can customize his combat style and abilities to fill a much broader range of concepts.
In most cases, each archetype’s concept is just one of “specialized in a fighting style,” which really shouldn’t preclude the fighter from taking other similar abilities. That makes many fighter archetypes conceptually ripe for plucking talents. If a fighter wants to spend all his talents to master one hand fighting and archery, he pays for that level of specialization with fewer slots dedicated to armor bonuses or more universal damage bonuses. Those archetype abilities that are here have been rewritten to work as talents. If you prefer strong niche fighter restricted to one archetype related concept – talents include what archetype they were adapted from.