Level Up (A5E) Classes: Winner and Losers

I do also feel like the range of Commanding Presence lends itself to situations where there's one main target you want to kill, but another that you want to keep away from the party. You can get yourself right in the latter's face, use a maneuver to knock them prone or something, and then direct another character to deliver the damage to the one you care more about hurting. In that case, even directing a fighter to use a basic melee strike or something is more tactically advantageous than using that attack to hit the secondary target. That's the kind of thing I couldn't do in o5e easily and why I'm still happy having it as is (even if I'd also like it to be a bit more flexible).

That said, I am also in the camp that feels that the archetypes are underwhelming. Hopefully we'll get some more interesting ones down the road.
 

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Yeah, if only there was a class feature that let you grant maneuvers from other schools at levels 10 and 15.
Most games won't reach that point. A class should do what it's going to do by 5. When you get Combat Directives should be when you're enabling your allies to use their manuvers. That way you finally get some pay off for giving up your attacks.
 

VicWeave

Villager
Most games won't reach that point. A class should do what it's going to do by 5. When you get Combat Directives should be when you're enabling your allies to use their manuvers. That way you finally get some pay off for giving up your attacks.

Setting aside you merely saying, "They can only use Sanguine Knot" with no qualifier for "before 10th level", it does what it does at level 1. Combat Directives is an upgrade of Combat Presence, not the core focus on the class. The pay off for giving you attacks is tactical versatility and the ability to exploit positioning. Damage type can matter too.

By your reasoning of "Why would I ever give the fighter my attack, I'm just as good at it" being able to grant more maneuvers doesn't change anything, because you could just use it yourself anyway. Of course, as I pointed out above, the primary benefit of giving up your attacks isn't granting maneuvers.
 

Stalker0

Legend
By your reasoning of "Why would I ever give the fighter my attack, I'm just as good at it" being able to grant more maneuvers doesn't change anything, because you could just use it yourself anyway. Of course, as I pointed out above, the primary benefit of giving up your attacks isn't granting maneuvers.
We also have to the think of the innumerable reasons a specific party at a specific time might want to use this ability. Even if we assume for the sake of argument that in this party, the fighter and the marshall do "equal damage" normally, we have these cases:

1) Fighting a wearwolf. Fighter has a silver weapon, marshall doesn't.
2) Rogue put a deadly poison on their blade, and missed with their attack. Marshall would rather see that poison get applied.
3) Fighter has pressed the attack and already has advantage, Marshall does not.
4) Marshall is in melee with someone, but Fighter is in melee with a different monster and the monster is probably 1 attack from death. Marshall would rather not move and take an OA, and so lets fighter finish the job.
5) Marshall is grappled and cannot move to the desired target in question.
6) Fighting a sword/board character. Fighter has a flail (which negates shield bonuses), Marshall does not.

and that was like 2 minutes of thinking about it. The simple truth is, you give players cool abilities, and they will figure out how to use them for optimal benefit. The benefits don't have "always be optimal", as long as there's a good amount of times when the ability will pay of, players will enjoy it.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
One of the greatest disappointments of the system to me. I cannot escape the feeling that if I made a Fighter and flavored them as a Warlord leader type grabbed the few decent Knot manuvers and just made sure to buy Followers and a Stronghold I'd be fine. Take Folk Hero to start out with a bit of fame and work to achieve more. Not like the Marshal exploration knacks are anything to really care about either. It just feels like a disappointing afterthought.
I think this is a common debate point. At what point is an archetype worthy of its own class structure, versus just being an add on to an existing class? There is no single answer.

I think the Paladin is the OG marshall....the high charisma leader that heals and inspires his fellows. That "niche" was already covered, but just as people enjoy spell-less rangers, people like to have that leader type without holy or magical baggage.

Could the fighter have taken on this role?.... honestly, yes I agree they could. Give them a Marshall subclass to handle some of the bigger stuff, and I think the rest of the class could absolutely cover it. Frankly I also think the flavor of that makes more sense than the Marshall class. Having a "general" at 1st level doesn't really make sense....leadership is not something you just have its something you grow into. Having it be a fighter subclass better mirrors the "got some military experience and then took on a leader role".

Should that have been the case? I think tradition is why it didn't happen. A lot of people enjoy the 4e Warlord concept. Just as the ranger and paladin before them....you could do those classes as fighters....but tradition gave those ideas their own class, and once done, its hard to go back. So I think the momentum of the people's desire is what crystallized the Marshall class.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think this is a common debate point. At what point is an archetype worthy of its own class structure, versus just being an add on to an existing class? There is no single answer.

I think the Paladin is the OG marshall....the high charisma leader that heals and inspires his fellows. That "niche" was already covered, but just as people enjoy spell-less rangers, people like to have that leader type without holy or magical baggage.

Could the fighter have taken on this role?.... honestly, yes I agree they could. Give them a Marshall subclass to handle some of the bigger stuff, and I think the rest of the class could absolutely cover it. Frankly I also think the flavor of that makes more sense than the Marshall class. Having a "general" at 1st level doesn't really make sense....leadership is not something you just have its something you grow into. Having it be a fighter subclass better mirrors the "got some military experience and then took on a leader role".

Should that have been the case? I think tradition is why it didn't happen. A lot of people enjoy the 4e Warlord concept. Just as the ranger and paladin before them....you could do those classes as fighters....but tradition gave those ideas their own class, and once done, its hard to go back. So I think the momentum of the people's desire is what crystallized the Marshall class.
It's all a matter of taste.

At one end of the scale you can have two classes -- Fighty and Magicy, and everything is a point between those two things with an archetype. A cleric is a fighty/magicy with a holy archetype. A bard is a fighty/magicy with a music archetype. A rogue is a fighty with a sneaking archetype while a warlock is a magicy with a patron archetype.

At the other end of the scale you can have infinite classes, with every possible concept explored in the glorious detail and nuance that only a full class can.

Most people fall between those two points. I lean more towards the latter, personally, but that's just me. Plenty of people would disagree.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Having a "general" at 1st level doesn't really make sense....leadership is not something you just have its something you grow into. Having it be a fighter subclass better mirrors the "got some military experience and then took on a leader role".
Eh, leaders call themselves all sorts if things, even the incompetent ones. It's just a word describing an activity, not a judgement of capability. I'm sure there were lots of incompetent 1st-level generals throughout history. At least in an RPG they'll grow into a competent 20th general one day!
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
One of my players is quite possibly the most unrepentant munchkin I've seen in the o5e era & would be right at home with those nineteen splatbook builds from 3.5. When he started gushing with excitement over the idea of making a marshal I was scratching my head but didn't want to jinx it. I've been kind of eyeing this thread for a few days because of that & don't think people are giving it a fair shake. Marshal has a lot of good things going for it
  • Commanding presence(ag212) works with dual wielding's extra attack so a 1d8+stat longsword & 1d4+null/1d6+nulll offhand shifts the offhand to the rogue/berserker/etc much larger beatstick. That's nothing to sneeze at, especially before level 5
  • Rallying surge is a pretty sizable heal at 1d8+marshal level per rest & at 3rd/7th it jumps to letting the marshal bump two & three allies respectively
  • The lessons of war are definitely hit & miss if you don't pick ones relevant to the campaign style but team tactics & teamwork can have a pretty sizable impact on out of combat things the party is trying to do as a group.
  • Mark foe... give everyone an expertise die to gank a bad guy of your choice for a bonus action? Sure it costs you the same bonus action as your second attack commanding presence for two more levels, but against crunchy targets this is basically a groupwide one round bless or better.
 

Stalker0

Legend
  • Commanding presence(ag212) works with dual wielding's extra attack so a 1d8+stat longsword & 1d4+null/1d6+nulll offhand shifts the offhand to the rogue/berserker/etc much larger beatstick. That's nothing to sneeze at, especially before level 5
It actually does not. Commanding Prescence works on the attack action, not the bonus action. The attacks from TWF are not the same as attacks from the attack action.
 

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