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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

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which precludes any relevance of a “XYZ would like a word” reply.
Also, like "fixed that for you" and " called, they want their back," not nearly as clever as they seem to think.

Might as well do a Russian Reversal: "In America, the Captain has authority. In Soviet Russia, authorities captain YOU!"

I thought that "Captain" at least had the benefit of being more ambiguous towards the relative social position of the person vs. alternatives like "Commander" and "Warlord", and does at least sometimes apply to someone who is leading only nominally and by consent. But it does seem firmly entrenched in some people's minds as a ship's captain, and I can hardly complain about this when my own issue with "Marshal" is that it immediately makes me think of a military rank above general (well, that and an old west lawman).
Any military rank is going to imply legitimate authority, superior social position, and the role of literally leading the party & giving other PCs (and players) commands they 'must' follow. None of which is desirable. Non-military uses of Captain, like a ship's captain, carry most of the same issues, and even the very tenuous metaphorical "Captain of Industry" implies superior social position and top-level accomplishment in the field.

Warlord, though, all it actually implies is pulling an armed band together and, generally, seizing territory. There's no implication of legitimate authority - quite the opposite, there's a clear assumption that such authority is absent or that the warlord defies it - no requirement of social or heirarchical position, nor even superior accomplishment. Why allies rally around the warlord is not part of the definition. He could be a bully, he could be a hereditary tribal leader, he could be paying mercenaries, he could be charismatic, he could be convenient a figurehead for a spontaneous uprising he was caught up in, and still fit most of the definitions out there.

And that is, of course, on the assumption that definition matters to the name of a D&D class something Sorcerer* stands as a stark counter-example to.

Perhaps "Banneret"
Already in use as a non-Cormyrian PDK.

Tactician?
Was already a build (sub-class) of the original Warlord. Would be too narrow.

How about Accomplice?
Strategist?
Accomplice is amusing... Get the Accomplice together with the Mastermind and the Thief....
...is there a Thug yet...?

...plus, you could be an Accomplice with the Criminal Background. That's kinda ask'n for it. ;)
...not that "I'm a Criminal Mastermind" isn't already pretty cute.










* pet peeve of mine: the actual definitions of sorcerer that are more specific than mere synonyms for mage or wizard or witch specifically denote gaining magical power from (evil) spirits. The whole innate power from a bloodline thing being a sorcerer is an accident of the class's development in D&D. (And my annoyance extends to the use of the suffix -mancy which denotes 'divination by' not conjuration and/or control of.)

sorcery
1 : the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining

-mancy
:
divination
History and Etymology for -mancy Middle French -mancie, from Latin -mantia, from Greek -manteia, from manteia, from mantis diviner, prophet
 
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Hriston

Adventurer
How is “leader” a valid concept for a class? Why is this thread about finding a name for a “leader” class that doesn’t imply authority, legitimate or otherwise. It seems like a flawed premise.

I think the only type of “leader” that fits with the concept of this class is yell-leader or cheer-leader, but I realize that’s treading on bard territory the same way drum major would.

I think the best name/concept to go forward with this class is standard bearer. I realize this is similar to banneret, but I feel that name is too narrow with its specific implications of heraldry, social class, etc.
 
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Hurin88

Explorer
The Standard Bearer generally didn't fight -- because he had to hold the standard. This is for example what Joan of Arc did. So the term might fit the Lazylord, but it doesn't fit the Bravura Lord. Also, the standard bearer was subordinate to the actual leader, who ultimtely called the shots. The only officer whose role was specifically to deploy the troops, issue them marching orders, and generally direct the army was the Marshal. That's why we still use the word Marshall in this sense today: he 'marshalled' his troops.
 
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Hriston

Adventurer
The Standar Bearer generally didn't fight -- because he had to hold the standard. So the term might fit the Lazylord, but it doesn't fit the Bravura Lord. Also, the standard bearer was subordinate to the actual leader, who ultimtely called the shots. The only officer whose role was specifically to deploy the troops, issue them marching orders, and generally direct the army was the Marshal. That's why we still use the word Marshall in this sense today: he 'marshalled' his troops.
Umm, okay, but a D&D party typically deploys and directs themselves and doesn’t take “marching orders” from anyone. I think this is a really flawed premise for a class. It shouldn’t be one member of the party’s job to give orders to the other members. It’s definitely not a class I would want to play with in my party.
 

Hurin88

Explorer
@Hriston: yes, i understand what you are saying, and the class may not be for everyone's group. I personally find though that other players are far less likely to dislike the leader shouting out 'orders' when those 'orders' consist of things like taking extra saves, movement, and attacks. And of course you can always disobey those 'orders' if you like.
 

Hriston

Adventurer
@Hriston: yes, i understand what you are saying, and the class may not be for everyone's group. I personally find though that other players are far less likely to dislike the leader shouting out 'orders' when those 'orders' consist of things like taking extra saves, movement, and attacks. And of course you can always disobey those 'orders' if you like.
Well, at that point the mechanics are reinforcing the idea that this character is the leader, so I assume that’s something to which the group has bought in.

Personally, if one member of the party is going to be seen as the leader, that’s something that should arise organically through play and shouldn’t be tied to any particular class.

I seldom come into a thread and tell someone they have a bad idea. To each their own and everything, but “leader” class? That’s a terrible idea.
 

Hriston

Adventurer
Maybe I just don’t understand the concept of what this class is supposed to represent. What is it supposed to do? If I was going to design this class, I’d just get rid of the “leader” part and make a class based on the rest of it. At this point, though, I’m really not sure what that’s supposed to be because the OP says nothing to explain it.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The Standard Bearer generally didn't fight -- because he had to hold the standard. This is for example what Joan of Arc did. So the term might fit the Lazylord, but it doesn't fit the Bravura Lord. Also, the standard bearer was subordinate to the actual leader, who ultimtely called the shots. The only officer whose role was specifically to deploy the troops, issue them marching orders, and generally direct the army was the Marshal. That's why we still use the word Marshall in this sense today: he 'marshalled' his troops.
To marshal as arrange or select for effectiveness and direct solicitously ... Marshal as a verb fits very well.
 


How is “leader” a valid concept for a class? Why is this thread about finding a name for a “leader” class that doesn’t imply authority, legitimate or otherwise. It seems like a flawed premise.
We addressed all this on the first page, and expanded upon it, rather than ask you to read the whole thread or retype all that, here:
For that matter "Leader" isn't the best term for Support classes, in general, just better than the prior "Healer" "Cleric" and "Band-Aid"
Leader is problematic as a way of saying "Support oriented class," because it implies (no matter how clearly you may state otherwise up-front) 'leading' the other PCs, and, by extension, their players.

(Like anyone would willingly take up cat-herding that way.)
There's always someone waiting for a nasty argument on the internet, sure. And, it was kinda obvious: 'Healer' (not to mention Cleric, Band-Aid, and heal-bot) was not cutting it as the D&Dism for support contributions, so they tried to come up with something... the Fighter had, in the prior edition, been raptly described as 'anchoring' the party and the 'natural party leader' - with absolutely no mechanical support, of course, not even so much as a ribbon, and that had caused no controversy (not that the fighter lacked for controversy about how bad it "SUX" back then). So, they went with Leader, but, anticipated whingeing over the conflation with 'party leader,' and immediately, right in the role description, pointed out that it didn't mean party leader. It's just a little broader and less lame than healer.

So, no one should be saying "Leader," if you describe Cleric, Druid, and/or Bard as 'support' that seems to go over OK, maybe use that? It's not like the formal role is coming back, nor like the Warlord should be limited to it, even if it were
 

Hriston

Adventurer
We addressed all this on the first page, and expanded upon it, rather than ask you to read the whole thread or retype all that, here:
So leader is just a euphemism for support class? If so, I think torchbearer works on a lot of levels including being the literal leader, as in the one who goes first.
 

So leader is just a euphemism for support class?
It was the jargon label for the formal support Role in 4e, along-side Striker, Defender, and Controller.

"Euphemism" is fair, though, since the whole band-aid-cleric and healbot stereotypes had gotten pretty negative in the preceding decades....
....in the way of things, maybe the euphemism needs a euphemism to avoid the negativity.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Modern terminology combat coordinator ... well that describes some of them. Not all nor does it describe how the icon/lazylord does it.
 

Hriston

Adventurer
It was the jargon label for the formal Role in 4e, along-side Striker, Defender, and Controller.

"Euphemism" is fair, though, since the whole band-aid-cleric and healbot stereotypes had gotten pretty negative in the preceding decades....
....in the way of things, maybe the euphemism needs a euphemism to avoid the negativity.
Well, it’s good to know the 4E usage doesn’t necessarily imply “the guy in charge”, but rather perhaps someone who exhibits leadership: a leader, rather than the leader.

Nevertheless its use here seems to have created the impression, at least in some posters’ minds, that we are talking about someone in a position to issue orders to other party members, e.g. @Hurin88 ’s statement that standard-bearer is a bad fit because subordinate to the actual leader.
 

Hurin88

Explorer
Nevertheless its use here seems to have created the impression, at least in some posters’ minds, that we are talking about someone in a position to issue orders to other party members, e.g. @Hurin88 ’s statement that standard-bearer is a bad fit because subordinate to the actual leader.
I did note that 'leader' is a bad term for the archetype's role, because the core of the role was healing (all leaders got healing; but not all leaders issued orders like the Warlord did). That is why, to me, the term 'leader' never really fit the archetype (whereas Controller, Striker, and Defender all worked reasonably well). 'Healer' would have been better, but as Tony Vargas notes, there were other reasons why the developers wanted to get away from that term.

The Warlord class, though, to me, implies the ability to command others. That's why I prefer the terms Warlord, Marshall, and Captain for the class.

In short:
--The archetype is Healer/Support, and does not imply command
--The specific class is Warlord/Marshall/Captain, and does imply leadership/command (even if just in the informal sense in which Captain America is often the tactician of the Avengers, when he devises the plan and is the one other members often look to for tactical guidance).

That's just my perspective of course.
 
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