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5E Best Name For A “Leader” Class?

Best name?

  • Herald

    Votes: 7 7.1%
  • Banneret

    Votes: 3 3.0%
  • Captain

    Votes: 17 17.2%
  • Warlord

    Votes: 25 25.3%
  • Marshal

    Votes: 37 37.4%
  • Mark

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other - let us know!

    Votes: 12 12.1%
  • Commander

    Votes: 18 18.2%
  • Warden

    Votes: 8 8.1%
  • Sentinel

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    99
Those Google images are hardly a fair comparison. Warlord has already (and relatively recently) been used as a D&D class name where none of the others have, 1e level titles notwithstanding, thus it's far more likely you're going to find fantasy-based images for Warlord than any of the rest.
Commander was a class name in 13th Age, Captain was used in several Warlord Paragon Paths in 4e, Marshal was a class in the 3e Miniature's handbook.

They just all have much more prevalent modern/RL meanings. Plus, Marshal is a name. ;)

Had the 4e class been called Marshal, say, or Captain, then it'd be that name that pulled the fantasy images while Warlord would pull images of various historical dictators and despots.
Try again.
Happily. Google lets you exclude results, so, here you go, less pages that mention any of the common variations on "Dungeons & Dragons":

1579645011383.png


Ooh, one picture of a 'mech.
 

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Oh, and for reference of just how little D&D dominated google, sometimes. "Ranger" (it's been a class in every edition!!!)

1579645563129.png

I mean, just, wow. You think yer mainstreaming...
...OK, -Ford and whatever a Polaris is...
1579645775411.png

yep, army rangers and park rangers.

But, no, "it was a D&D class" doesn't exactly propel fantasy images to the top of search results.

Fighter, for another instance - no shock, here, all boxers:
1579646262026.png


OTOH, Warlock, boom, fantasy;
1579646404662.png


It's more that common RL associations trump fantasy/RPG associations. It's not that you don't or can't have fantasy fighters, rangers, commanders, and the like, it's that the commonplace uses of the words overwhelm them. While, Warlock, Warlord, &c, not so commonplace.
 

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Hurin88

Explorer
Had the 4e class been called Marshal, say, or Captain, then it'd be that name that pulled the fantasy images while Warlord would pull images of various historical dictators and despots.
While I understand your point, what you are making is what's called a counterfactual: a statement about what might have been had conditions been different. The problem with a counterfactual is that it is logically impossible to prove. It is speculation, because we can never know for sure.

Also, the 3.5 edition class that the 4e class was based was indeed called the Marshal. But that didn't change ordinary people's impressions of the word Marshal very much, as the images for Marshal that Tony posted above make clear.

Finally, I would note that of the images of Warlords Tony posted above, few (maybe none?) of them are of the 4e Warlord. I see several from the videogame For Honor, which might perhaps have been influenced by 4e; but videogames were using the word Warlord since 1980's Warlords for the Atari. Another of the Warlord images above is from Magic the Gathering, while still others are from completely different games, or unique works by artists, and several are inspired by Asian cultures, which of course have their own traditions of 'warlords' which long, long predate the 4e version.

So I would say 4e used the word Warlord because it was already associated with those sorts of images/characters -- namely, the armored combatant who leads from the front.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
While I understand your point, what you are making is what's called a counterfactual: a statement about what might have been had conditions been different. The problem with a counterfactual is that it is logically impossible to prove. It is speculation, because we can never know for sure.
Of course it's speculation! That doesn't mean it can't be said.

Also, the 3.5 edition class that the 4e class was based was indeed called the Marshal. But that didn't change ordinary people's impressions of the word Marshal very much, as the images for Marshal that Tony posted above make clear.
Was that a core class in 3.5? I don't remember it, but that's not saying much - beyond the very core my 3.5-fu isn't strong at all.

Finally, I would note that of the images of Warlords Tony posted above, few (maybe none?) of them are of the 4e Warlord. ...

So I would say 4e used the word Warlord because it was already associated with those sorts of images/characters -- namely, the armored combatant who leads from the front.
In D&D class terms, the "armoured combatant who leads from the front" should be a Paladin, Knight, or Cavalier...or maybe even a War Cleric.
 

Was that a core class in 3.5? I don't remember it, but that's not saying much - beyond the very core my 3.5-fu isn't strong at all.
Not at all, the Marshal was WotC-official, but 3e-adjacent, in the Miniatures handbook.

If you search for images with something like "Fantasy Marshal" you'll get some fantasy-looking images.
But, that's also true of "Fantasy Cook" or "Fantasy Accountant."
 


Finally, I would note that of the images of Warlords Tony posted above, few (maybe none?) of them are of the 4e Warlord.
I did repeat the search with D&D images excluded... one of them changed, IIRC. Ironically, I think it was from a "5e Warlord" article of some sort.

I see several from the videogame For Honor, which might perhaps have been influenced by 4e; but videogames were using the word Warlord since 1980's Warlords for the Atari. Another of the Warlord images above is from Magic the Gathering, while still others are from completely different games, or unique works by artists, and several are inspired by Asian cultures...
The 'modern warlord era' in China is one of the negative images the name gets criticized for associating with. Fortunately there's Wikipedia, so you can dig up stuff like that.

So I would say 4e used the word Warlord because it was already associated with those sorts of images/characters -- namely, the armored combatant who leads from the front.
The term is not uncommon in fantasy across media - novels, movies, TV, video games. Yeah, it's often the villain, though not nearly as often as the Sorcerer in classic S&S was the villain, and sometimes, it was the Hero.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I did repeat the search with D&D images excluded... one of them changed, IIRC. Ironically, I think it was from a "5e Warlord" article of some sort.

The 'modern warlord era' in China is one of the negative images the name gets criticized for associating with. Fortunately there's Wikipedia, so you can dig up stuff like that.

The term is not uncommon in fantasy across media - novels, movies, TV, video games. Yeah, it's often the villain, though not nearly as often as the Sorcerer in classic S&S was the villain, and sometimes, it was the Hero.
John Carter Warlord of Mars.
The Warlord a DC comics hero.
Xena Warrior Princess (Males of the same archetype in story Warlords) herself
for just a few
 

Hurin88

Explorer
I would also point out that warlord is a term that would certainly apply to many of the feudal magnates of the Middle Ages.

The English term warlord appears to date from the mid-19th century, but 'lord' is especially associated with medieval feudalism ('lord and lady') to indicate the holder of a fief. Many of these people were very much warlords in the modern sense of the term: they took and kept power violently, and ruled from fortified castles over a subject peasantry. The Norman dynasties of southern Italy, for example, began as mercenaries and then forcefully seized power for themselves by a distinctive mixture of boldness, bravado, extortion, and outright theft. The entire 'feudal revolution' is often characterized as the violent usurpation of public rights of kings by a more militarized aristocracy of mounted warriors. There are accounts of them kidnapping merchants and literally torturing peasants to death for money.

All of which is just to say, if the word warlord has a bit of an edge to it, that's fine with me, because medieval lords did too.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So what you’re saying is... the class should be called the Edgelord?

Sounds about right.
This is the single worst thread I’ve ever started, tbh, with the other related poll thread a close second, but he jokes are pretty good.

I think there might be a joke about going to hell in there somewhere....might use it in a game session soon...
 




I would also point out that warlord is a term that would certainly apply to many of the feudal magnates of the Middle Ages.
The English term warlord appears to date from the mid-19th century, but 'lord' is especially associated with medieval feudalism ('lord and lady') to indicate the holder of a fief. ...The entire 'feudal revolution' is often characterized as the violent usurpation of public rights of kings by a more militarized aristocracy of mounted warriors.
All of which is just to say, if the word warlord has a bit of an edge to it, that's fine with me, because medieval lords did too.
If you go all the way back to the coining of the word (as "war-lord"), it was in contrast to the idea of landed gentry in the 19th century having immemorial legal rights to their land - when, in essence, they're ancestors had mostly just seized it by violence at some point. Which, ironically, is much like an old-school D&D character reaching name level, building his keep & attracting followers.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If you go all the way back to the coining of the word (as "war-lord"), it was in contrast to the idea of landed gentry in the 19th century having immemorial legal rights to their land - when, in essence, they're ancestors had mostly just seized it by violence at some point. Which, ironically, is much like an old-school D&D character reaching name level, building his keep & attracting followers.
So you're saying Warlord should just be the level title for name level in some classes, then?

I've always thought the term was something invented to refer to the leader of a group of mercenaries or warriors not affiliated with any realm or country.
 

I've always thought the term was something invented to refer to the leader of a group of mercenaries or warriors not affiliated with any realm or country.
Not the purpose for which it was coined, but certainly how it's used - and adventuring parties neatly dovetail with that definition.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Not the purpose for which it was coined, but certainly how it's used - and adventuring parties neatly dovetail with that definition.
Yep - which runs headfirst into the problem of whether a PC should be in position of telling other PCs what to do and expecting them to do it; because that's exactly what a leader-of-warriors Warlord does: it gives orders that are to be followed.

This is the crux of the issue with ANY leader-type class: regardless of its name its base function is to tell other PCs what to do. Nobody tells my PC what to do, and trying to do so too many times is likely to get you a sword in the eye (or in the back, depending what I'm playing). :)

Which is why I hope we don't again see a Warlord, or anything remotely similar, ever.
 

Hurin88

Explorer
Yep - which runs headfirst into the problem of whether a PC should be in position of telling other PCs what to do and expecting them to do it; because that's exactly what a leader-of-warriors Warlord does: it gives orders that are to be followed.

This is the crux of the issue with ANY leader-type class: regardless of its name its base function is to tell other PCs what to do. Nobody tells my PC what to do, and trying to do so too many times is likely to get you a sword in the eye (or in the back, depending what I'm playing). :)

Which is why I hope we don't again see a Warlord, or anything remotely similar, ever.
If so, why are you in this thread?
 


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