Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour: The Warlord
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    Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour: The Warlord

    For those of you who do not know:

    Mike Mearls hosts a stream where he designs subclasses, this week he took a stab at the highly demanded (Fighter)Warlord.

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/235935943

    Edit: Oh wait, I should mention this is unofficial and not even UA playtest material, before everyone gets here.
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    He just doesn't get it.
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    And he stops halfway through! Darnit. XD

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    First ones free.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Gneech View Post
    And he stops halfway through! Darnit. XD

    -The Gneech
    Well, he did say near the beginning that this one was more complicated or complex or something and he would be taking two weeks to flesh it out. So we have to wait til next week to get the second part.

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    Is there a 5e third party warlord that folks are generally happy about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by darjr View Post
    Is there a 5e third party warlord that folks are generally happy about?
    People can't be "generally" happy with third party solutions, since lots of groups play with WotC official material only, or play in the Adventurer's League.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valetudo View Post
    He just doesn't get it.
    Please elaborate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post
    For those of you who do not know:

    Mike Mearls hosts a stream where he designs subclasses, this week he took a stab at the highly demanded (Fighter)Warlord.

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/235935943

    Edit: Oh wait, I should mention this is unofficial and not even UA playtest material, before everyone gets here.
    I haven't seen the stream but he really ought to begin by stating what he thinks a Warlord should be able to do. If this list doesn't include the buzzwords "non-magical" "healing" "buffing" and "making others take action", then he might just as well not bother.

    Making the Warlord a Fighter subclass is a restriction that should have been discussed and questioned before decided upon. Can you really fit all of what a true Warlord needs to be able to do into the Fighter chassi without making it too good?

    At least tell me the actions it can make allies take are "real" actions - if there are silly restrictions disabling caster allies from casting non-cantrip spells or disabling martial allies from using "riders" (GWM, smiting, sneak damage, etc) let me just go siiiiigh

    Since the character that is the Warlord could have been casting a Fireball or a Heal or making two Smite attacks or making five attacks with Precision and GWM... it really is wrong to think it's too powerful for it to enable its allies strong actions.

    The only restriction needs to be on its ability to be all those classes (Sorcerer, Cleric, Paladin, Fighter), i.e. the Flexibility. And really, the only restriction needs to be that it is weakish on its own.

    The warlord is supposed to be an excellent fifth wheel, having fun by glory through its allies. I really don't think its ability to command others need any meaningful restrictions. Especially if it eats their reactions, then it absolutely needs no other restrictions (and in fact, the class might turn out needing to be strong in itself, since no min-maxer will be happy to have somebody else use up their reaction)

    I really think the Warlord would be best off if built as a standalone class modeled on the Cleric chassi. Not a Cleric subclass; a standalone class with the Cleric's armor proficiencies; a good selection of Cleric-level or at the very least Bard-level healing and buffing (though - and this is crucial - non-magical). That makes it a strong enough stand-alone character. Then add the ability to sacrifice an attack to make an ally do an attack (the class getting two attacks no later than level 6); and the ability to sacrifice its action to make an ally use up its reaction to do an action.

    Done.
    Last edited by CapnZapp; Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 at 09:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp
    I haven't seen the stream but he really ought to begin by stating what he thinks a Warlord should be able to do. If this list doesn't include the buzzwords "non-magical" "healing" "buffing" and "making others take action", then he might just as well not bother.
    • Non-magical: Yes. Explicitly so.
    • Healing: He did mention it, but I'm not sure if he's intending to actually use that. There were a lot of comparisons to other things going on.
    • Buffing: No. In fact, he's treating it as an anti-pattern. Basically, if it trends too much towards buffing, it's getting too close to being a bard.
    • Making others take action: Yes. He threw out a few ideas on how to make it happen, but no actual details were had in this week's episode. It was just brainstorming the framework.


    Making the Warlord a Fighter subclass is a restriction that should have been discussed and questioned before decided upon. Can you really fit all of what a true Warlord needs to be able to do into the Fighter chassi without making it too good?
    The restriction went in the other direction: Can Warlord support 10 years of expansion and new subclass development, as a main class? Initial feeling was "no". (Note: It doesn't mean it's not possible, just that he doesn't feel like it could.) Thus, he went the subclass route instead.

    At least tell me the actions it can make allies take are "real" actions - if there are silly restrictions disabling caster allies from casting non-cantrip spells or disabling martial allies from using "riders" (GWM, smiting, sneak damage, etc) let me just go siiiiigh
    Such detail isn't available. As I said, this was just a framework episode. He considered things like giving extra attack actions to others, or moving others (analogous to castling in chess), and maybe messing with the initiative order in order to create combo actions. There were also a few other suggestions thrown out in the chat sidebar, such as removing the warlord from the standard initiative order, and taking actions more like legendary actions.

    Since the character that is the Warlord could have been casting a Fireball or a Heal or making two Smite attacks or making five attacks with Precision and GWM... it really is wrong to think it's too powerful for it to enable its allies strong actions.
    He specifically addressed this in terms of actions other allies might take. Namely, he explained that they don't balance with respect to the strongest use case (eg: allowing a thief to get an extra attack, which might allow an additional sneak attack, vs just another normal attack from a multi-attacking fighter), but focus on the 'normal' use case something two or three steps removed from the strongest. Allowing people to use their stronger combinations with it just means that they get to do their super amazing stunts and have fun with it, rather than implicitly forcing everyone other than "the best" to be "below average".

    The warlord is supposed to be an excellent fifth wheel, having fun by glory through its allies. I really don't think its ability to command others need any meaningful restrictions. Especially if it eats their reactions, then it absolutely needs no other restrictions (and in fact, the class might turn out needing to be strong in itself, since no min-maxer will be happy to have somebody else use up their reaction)
    Again, part of why it was based on the Fighter class was so that it has a strong chassis to start with. The basic Fighter with no subclass can still perform quite well. He explicitly noted the idea of weakening a character to "balance out" the power they can give others, and said they avoid doing that because that's a poor design path.


    Another notable aspect is having Concentration effects. Namely, that Concentration effects are self-limiting (you can't have more than one active at a time), the details are maintained by the player (don't add extra burden to the DM), and they open up freedom to add more complexity to what can be done than what you can do with simpler one-shot effects.

    There was an explicit desire to aim for "unique" abilities, so that the Warden can stand out in its own niche. However even with that, there was the idea floated that a new Fighting Style might be added to the list, for anyone to take, if something interesting can be found to fit there.
    Last edited by Kinematics; Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 at 07:37 PM.
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