D&D 5E 5E Survivor - Subclasses (Part VI: Fighters)


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Yeah, it was some other feat, now that I checked... damned if I remember which, I just remember the phrase catching my eye.

Anyway, Warlord cannot get its own class (because it's not a Warrior, skill Expert or Caster), so this was just an extended 'stop suggesting Battlemaster' public service rant. :p
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
It would seem like Warlord could be its own class, but I have no idea what the subclasses would be! Or having it a subclass of Fighter. 🤷‍♂️
Lazylord - focuses on ordering others to attack.

Tactician - buffs and movement.

Inspiring Leader - damage buffs and heals on hits.

Indominable - Temp HP Tank that blocks for their allies.

Obligatory Caster Subclass Because 5e - Has a weird, non-thematic spell list and no guidance on how its supposed to be played.

Base warlord gets access to maneuvers from all of these types but the caster, but subclasses focus them or give new gimmicks
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Basic structure for powers in 4e was make an attack + deal damage + special effect (not all of them, but most). So everything I listed can be a part of their attack action, depending on what attack power they used. Plus, they could've spent their minor action on Inspiring Word to heal someone by shouting at them.

And the last part is what really grinds certain people's 4e-hating gears, despite insisting in other threads that hitpoints aren't physical wounds.
The problem is that it works on PCs who are unconscious and dying from clearly physical wounds. I absolutely can't stand the warlord as a class and if WotC ever makes it, it will not see the light of day in my game. That said, a whole lot of people loved the warlord and I think that the class should be in the game for them. I'm not a hater like the anti-psionics folk and want to see other people get things that they really love.
 

I guess I don't understand what a Warlord is. (I'm not being snarky, I've never played one and it's not in any of the books I own.) From what I've gathered from the forums here, it has a lot in common with the psion: it's not a "magic user" in the traditional sense but it has magic-adjacent abilities, nobody can agree on what it is supposed to look like, and Wizards of the Coast hasn't gotten it right yet in 5th Edition.
For me, at least, the Warlord emphatically is not magical.

It is, without a doubt, at least a little fantastical--because everything in D&D is fantastical. We have Fighters who can--once, until they take an hour nap--decide to attack twice as many times or shrug off injuries. That's clearly not completely mundane, but Action Surge and Second Wind aren't supposed to be magical.

The Warlord is several things. From a Doylist perspective, it is a "full Cleric replacement" (able to cover all the important functions a Cleric could cover in 4e: healing, granting attacks, permitting saves against save-ends effects, buffing allies, debuffing enemies, etc.), a decently-armored and usually melee combatant, and a Martial character and support that's supposed to be exciting to play as support. From a Watsonian perspective, it can inspire or coordinate allies to do their best, to draw on the resources they might not be able to draw on normally; it's a force-multiplier, whether by taking great risks, deploying clever plans, or carefully using resources; and it's a tactician and analyst.

Part of the reason I think you've seen such disagreement is because there are two very vocal camps. You have one camp, which I'm in, which wants a 5e Warlord to be as close as it can be to what the 4e Warlord was, just translated into 5e mechanics. On the opposite side, you have a camp that wants the 5e Warlord to be very little, if anything, like what the 4e Warlord was, and instead trying to fill the concept with totally new mechanics unrelated to the old ones, seeing this as a workable compromise between the "we want our Warlord back" camp and the "there should never, ever be a Warlord in 5e, period" camp (which isn't directly relevant to questions about what the Warlord should be, since they don't want one in the first place.)

As you can probably tell, I find the second "let's make a 5e Warlord that doesn't actually do the kinds of things 4e Warlords could do" camp extremely frustrating. One of their common requests, for example, is that any Warlord should not provide ANY healing whatsoever, and should exclusively work in THP. This is a pretty major sticking point for anyone wanting a reasonably-close 5e translation of 4e mechanics, because it's not a Warlord if it can't actually heal.
 

My preference, in terms of Warlord subclass stuff, is to re-purpose the Warlock "split subclass" model.

Primary component: "Leadership Style." Options: Bravura (Cha-based, high-risk/high-reward), Tactical (Int-based, formations-and-movement), Resourceful (Wis-based, "heads I win, tails you lose.")
Secondary component (unlocking specific bonuses): Medic (healing-focused), Skirmisher (high-mobility hit-and-run), Vanguard ("classic" Warlord, heavy on offense, weak on healing/cleansing), Knight-Enchanter (EK equivalent--debuffing enemy saves etc.), Sapper (terrain control), etc.
Tactics (replacing Invocations): Hammer and Anvil, Pincer Maneuver, Bait and Switch, Fastball Special, Sword and Spell, etc.

It would have Strategems replace the Warlock spellcasting--you only have a limited amount of time to deploy Strategems, hence the rest-based limit. These have to be practiced with your allies to get their effects. My hope was that there would be some kind of resource ("Grit" or "Gambit" or the like) which is developed/acquired via features, which then fuels your Strategems, with some advanced Strategems requiring Gambit before you can use them.

The only sticking point (which I have left aside as I focus on other things) is finding a replacement for the Warlock's Mystic Arcana feature. People have given suggestions but none of them have really felt "right," as nebulous as that feeling is.

The advantage of exploiting the Warlock "split subclass" model is that it lets you support the wide variety of options that were valid in 4e. In 4e, a Warlord could specialize in any of the three mental stats, and (with opt-in features) could choose to be focused on ranged attacks rather than melee attacks. (General agreement seems to be that melee was actually better, but ranged wasn't horrible.) The so-called "lazylord" build was a late-edition development, as the Warlord eventually gathered enough powers that allowed a character that never personally made attacks to work. It's a fun option if it can be fit into the design space, but hardly mandatory (despite what many--of either of the camps I mentioned before--might tell you.)

Fundamentally, the Warlord is nowhere near as powerful a combatant as the Fighter. For example, Extra Attack might only be found on some Warlord subclasses but not all--much as Bard gets it on both Valor and Swords. It gets decent (in 5e, Medium) armor and shields, decent (d8) HP, and is focused on being a strong, aggressive support character that actually enriches and enlivens the play-experience of supporting others.
 


A thing that generally does not exist in D&D.
Or, at least, there are no rules defining the actual injuries sustained, and thus no representation of "wounds" within the rules. Particularly since, as I'm sure many will note, all these allegedly-lethal "wounds" completely disappear after a good night's sleep--and even absent that, a good power nap can fix them, especially if you're a Fighter (2x Second Wind + some HD = full health, even if you're starting from 1.)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
A thing that generally does not exist in D&D.
Except that by 5e RAW it does and has in every single edition that I have played. In 5e this is RAW.

"When you r current hit point total is half or more of your hit point maximum, you typically show no signs of injury. When you drop below half your hit point maximum, you show signs of wear, such as cuts and bruises. An attack that reduces you to 0 hit points strikes you directly, leaving a bleeding injury or other trauma, or it simply knocks you unconscious."

When does being reduced to 0 simply knock you unconscious? RAW tells us.

"Sometimes an attacker wants to incapacitate a foe, rather than deal a killing blow. When an attacker reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, the attacker can knock the creature out. The attacker can make this choice the instant the damage is dealt. The creature falls unconscious and is stable."

So once you are put down, if the attacker did not deliberately just knock you out, you are down and dying due to a bleeding injury or other trauma.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Or, at least, there are no rules defining the actual injuries sustained, and thus no representation of "wounds" within the rules. Particularly since, as I'm sure many will note, all these allegedly-lethal "wounds" completely disappear after a good night's sleep--and even absent that, a good power nap can fix them, especially if you're a Fighter (2x Second Wind + some HD = full health, even if you're starting from 1.)
Nothing defines the specific injuries, but RAW dictates that they are happening.
 






Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
~gets hit by a giant's club critting, goes to zero~

~uses Second Wind to get back to fighting form and beats the giant's toned, elemental buttocks~
You are at 0 and are unconscious. How are you using Second Wind? You aren't.
~naps to become hale and whole~

~this is fine because no one talked to me, rekindling my fighting spirit, to make it happen~
It's not fine for a lot of us for the same reason talking someone back to health while they are unconscious and bleeding to death isn't fine.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Like we've never seen a character in media crying over someone who is straight dead as far as the audience is concerned and their pleas, demands or threats brings them back/wakes them up. It's an arbitrary limit that gleefully and willfully ignores the fact that we're playing a fantasy game of shared narrative rather than a simulation.

RW be damned, the answer is that it turns out they weren't dead and weren't that knocked out because HP is a construct to count down until you are out of the fight and literally nothing more.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Like we've never seen a character in media crying over someone who is straight dead as far as the audience is concerned and their pleas, demands or threats brings them back/wakes them up. It's an arbitrary limit that gleefully and willfully ignores the fact that we're playing a fantasy game of shared narrative rather than a simulation.

RW be damned, the answer is that it turns out they weren't dead and weren't that knocked out because HP is a construct to count down until you are out of the fight and literally nothing more.
If that's how you like to play, that's great(not being snarky here). We all like different things.

I prefer to play the game in a more realistic fashion where if you are cut down and dying, you can't be cheered back to health or heal with one night's rest, so in my game those things don't happen.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
If that's how you like to play, that's great(not being snarky here). We all like different things.

I prefer to play the game in a more realistic fashion where if you are cut down and dying, you can't be cheered back to health or heal with one night's rest, so in my game those things don't happen.
So just to be clear, we're no longer pretending RAW is a thing that matters then, yes?
 

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