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OSR Commander (Warlord) for the OSR?

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
While a recent class itself, who says the commander/warlord/marshall couldn't fit in an OSR or AD&D compatible game? Any glaring issues here?

Note: For reference, warrior classes get a bonus +1 to hit per level, and use a base d10 for hit points.

Note 2: Most AD&D fighters (and many classes) do not gain many special abilities, so on the surface, this may seem overpowered. Keep in mind it's being compared to the OSR Chromatic Dungeons game, where fighters do gain things like weapon specialization and mastery, additional attacks, and other abilities such as sacrificing HP for increased attack power that the commander does not, so pure damage output would still be very much in the favor of the fighter.

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The GLOG has the Tactician in the original edition... but this is not your question - I will get back to you later today I hope :)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
It's impossible to compare without seeing it side-by-side to your comparator.

It's obviously overpowered compared to a standard OSR or AD&D fighter, so it would really depend on the specific rules in your game for:

1. How many of the Fighter/Warrior's abilities does the subclass get automatically; and

2. How strong is the base Warrior, and how strong are the comparator Warrior subclasses?
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
It's impossible to compare without seeing it side-by-side to your comparator.

It's obviously overpowered compared to a standard OSR or AD&D fighter, so it would really depend on the specific rules in your game for:

1. How many of the Fighter/Warrior's abilities does the subclass get automatically; and

2. How strong is the base Warrior, and how strong are the comparator Warrior subclasses?
Well if you're gonna go ask all reasonable questions...

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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Nothing jumps out as being obviously problematic.

Does damage generally scale per attack on a level basis in your game? Commander's Strike might be too weak at low levels and too strong at high levels if it does not.

Does Tactical Master replace both Dex and Str for attacks, or do you have to pick one of the two. The wording struck me as ambiguous. Is it:

a) Replace Int for Str for hit rolls on melee attacks AND Replace Int for Dex on hit rolls on ranged attacks.
b) Replace Int for Str for hit rolls on melee attacks OR Replace Int for Dex on hit rolls on ranged attacks. (pick one)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So let's compare the Fighter to the proposed Commander.

1. Both get all of the Warrior's abilities. Mostly the to hit bonus. TIE.
2. Both get all armor and weapon. TIE.
3. Bonus to combat abilities is better for fighter, BUT commander gets passive tactical master- which is a must have. TIE.
4. Class features- nothing great, and nothing as good as what the Fighter gets. ADV: FIGHTER (except commands, which are separate).
5. Commands- this is where it gets tricky. I'd be careful with the passive commands. So I'm going to list the passives, starting with the must-have-

Tactical Master (use Int for 'to hit' bonuses)
Ambush (+1 damage for each odd level for you and every ally when you have surprise)
Defending Command (you and all allies get +1 AC)
Drill Sergeant (you and all allies get +5lbs per level carrying capacity)
Push On (+5 movement + use an action to get more)
Tactical retreat (allies within 10' do not need to disengage to avoid opportunity attacks)
We Are Legion (increasing damage resistance for all allies within 10')

I wouldn't say any of these are too overpowered. There are no obvious synergies that would make the class rock too hard. I'd be a little worried about stacking too many passives, but they seem reasonably balanced at first glace.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Nothing jumps out as being obviously problematic.

Does damage generally scale per attack on a level basis in your game? Commander's Strike might be too weak at low levels and too strong at high levels if it does not.
It generally does not, unless it's a fighter or other class that gets additional damage buffs as they level up. The +1 damage at low level might not seem like much, but at low levels, the +4 to hit is much more impactful than at higher levels, so if I were to graph it out, the to hit bonus is more impactful at low levels, and the damage bonus is more impactful at higher levels.
Does Tactical Master replace both Dex and Str for attacks, or do you have to pick one of the two. The wording struck me as ambiguous. Is it:

a) Replace Int for Str for hit rolls on melee attacks AND Replace Int for Dex on hit rolls on ranged attacks.
b) Replace Int for Str for hit rolls on melee attacks OR Replace Int for Dex on hit rolls on ranged attacks. (pick one)
Good Catch! This is why always have someone else look at what you wrote. It is A.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
So let's compare the Fighter to the proposed Commander.

1. Both get all of the Warrior's abilities. Mostly the to hit bonus. TIE.
2. Both get all armor and weapon. TIE.
3. Bonus to combat abilities is better for fighter, BUT commander gets passive tactical master- which is a must have. TIE.
4. Class features- nothing great, and nothing as good as what the Fighter gets. ADV: FIGHTER (except commands, which are separate).
5. Commands- this is where it gets tricky. I'd be careful with the passive commands. So I'm going to list the passives, starting with the must-have-

Tactical Master (use Int for 'to hit' bonuses)
Ambush (+1 damage for each odd level for you and every ally when you have surprise)
Defending Command (you and all allies get +1 AC)
Drill Sergeant (you and all allies get +5lbs per level carrying capacity)
Push On (+5 movement + use an action to get more)
Tactical retreat (allies within 10' do not need to disengage to avoid opportunity attacks)
We Are Legion (increasing damage resistance for all allies within 10')

I wouldn't say any of these are too overpowered. There are no obvious synergies that would make the class rock too hard. I'd be a little worried about stacking too many passives, but they seem reasonably balanced at first glace.
Welp, I just deleted two paragraphs because you said basically what I was going to say. :)

Agreed, fighter seems more robust as a damage dealer, warlord offers solid passive support. I might like to see some commands that replace attacks instead of entire actions to support a less "lazylord" playstyle, but overall, balance seems very solid.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
So let's compare the Fighter to the proposed Commander.

1. Both get all of the Warrior's abilities. Mostly the to hit bonus. TIE.
2. Both get all armor and weapon. TIE.
3. Bonus to combat abilities is better for fighter, BUT commander gets passive tactical master- which is a must have. TIE.
4. Class features- nothing great, and nothing as good as what the Fighter gets. ADV: FIGHTER (except commands, which are separate).
5. Commands- this is where it gets tricky. I'd be careful with the passive commands. So I'm going to list the passives, starting with the must-have-

Tactical Master (use Int for 'to hit' bonuses)
Ambush (+1 damage for each odd level for you and every ally when you have surprise)
Defending Command (you and all allies get +1 AC)
Drill Sergeant (you and all allies get +5lbs per level carrying capacity)
Push On (+5 movement + use an action to get more)
Tactical retreat (allies within 10' do not need to disengage to avoid opportunity attacks)
We Are Legion (increasing damage resistance for all allies within 10')

I wouldn't say any of these are too overpowered. There are no obvious synergies that would make the class rock too hard. I'd be a little worried about stacking too many passives, but they seem reasonably balanced at first glace.
The danger in stacking too many passives is that you wouldn't have hardy any actual commands to use. so you're giving up flexibility by selecting passives as your choices.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Welp, I just deleted two paragraphs because you said basically what I was going to say. :)

Agreed, fighter seems more robust as a damage dealer, warlord offers solid passive support. I might like to see some commands that replace attacks instead of entire actions to support a less "lazylord" playstyle, but overall, balance seems very solid.
The challenge is that this is a quasi-clone of AD&D 1e/2e/B/X, so keeping it simple is a requirement. It was very easy to start going off into all kinds of options and complexities, but that would start running counter to the design goals.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
The challenge is that this is a quasi-clone of AD&D 1e/2e/B/X, so keeping it simple is a requirement. It was very easy to start going off into all kinds of options and complexities, but that would start running counter to the design goals.
Fair. Plus all the commands are still limited to X uses per day, so it's not like the ability to use them every round in combat will exist until the teen levels. Even then, some commands have non-combat uses, so some uses will be spent there at well. Falling back on their attacks will be necessary.

It isn't stated, but does Commander get a 3rd attack at 12 like the other non-Fighter Warriors?
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Fair. Plus all the commands are still limited to X uses per day, so it's not like the ability to use them every round in combat will exist until the teen levels. Even then, some commands have non-combat uses, so some uses will be spent there at well. Falling back on their attacks will be necessary.

It isn't stated, but does Commander get a 3rd attack at 12 like the other non-Fighter Warriors?
nope. The number of commands and how many you can use per day at those higher levels is meant to balance that out
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I agree, but it pays to concentrate on "always on" powers because that's where you tend to find most really bad balance issues. IME.
That is true. Since active Commands compete for X/day uses, it would make a lot of sense to grab all the passive Commands you can and then one good active one. You could make a pretty good tank by focusing on AC and grabbing Parry, for example. Or at least a very survivable buff bot. :)

It's an issue with any form of buff power, really. It's why Bo9S maneuvers used Stances for most passive bonuses, and why so many 5e spells use Concentration.

I'm not saying it's inherently unworkable, but something to be aware of.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
That is true. Since active Commands compete for X/day uses, it would make a lot of sense to grab all the passive Commands you can and then one good active one. You could make a pretty good tank by focusing on AC and grabbing Parry, for example. Or at least a very survivable buff bot. :)

It's an issue with any form of buff power, really. It's why Bo9S maneuvers used Stances for most passive bonuses, and why so many 5e spells use Concentration.

I'm not saying it's inherently unworkable, but something to be aware of.
So break them out into commands and move all passives into stances, where you get X amount of commands and Y amount of stances, to avoid the passive stacking?

*Also, I'm thinking about instead of giving up an entire action for a command, you're giving up just one attack and if you're level 6 or higher, you get your extra attack to use as well. But I'm on the fence, because some commands are much more impactful than the one attack they would be replacing would be...hmmm...
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
So break them out into commands and move all passives into stances, where you get X amount of commands and Y amount of stances, to avoid the passive stacking?
Makes sense. I'd say roughly a command every 3 levels or so, and a stance every 4 to 5? 4 Commands and 3 stances at 10 seems about right, if I'm eyeballing it.
 

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