5E Homebrew Marshal Class (+Thread)

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
INSTRUCTIONS- PLEASE READ.

This is a "+" thread. That means that this thread is only for positive contributions about the Warlord. The purpose of this thread is to crowdsource a Warlord. I will make edits to the OP, and for now I will also moderate consensus, but I will lean on heavy contributors for that, as well.

Please remember that this is supposed to be fun and collaborative, and do not participate unless you are intending to help create a homebrew Warlord using the name “Marshal” for 5e. Thanks!

Anything in ORANGE remains open for editing and discussion. Anything in BLACK has been finalized.

Marshal

The Marshal
LevelProficiency BonusGambit
Die
MettleMartial
Presence
Features
1st+21d4--Marshal's Gambit
2nd+21d42+15 ft.Mettle, Martial Presence
3rd+21d43+15 ft.Martial Archetype, Warning Shout
4th+21d44+15 ft.Ability Score Improvement, Always Ready
5th+31d65+15 ft.Extra Attack, Hamstring Strike
6th+31d66+20 ft.Team-Empowered Presence, Archetype feature
7th+31d67+20 ft.Watchful Eye, Inspired Focus
8th+31d68+20 ft.Ability Score Improvement
9th+41d69+20 ft.Greater Presence
10th+41d610+25 ft.Purity of Body
11th+41d811+25 ft.Archetype feature
12th+41d812+25 ft.Ability Score Improvement
13th+51d813+25 ft.Tongue of the Sun and Moon
14th+51d814+30 ft.Legendary Teamwork
15th+51d815+30 ft.Timeless Body
16th+51d816+30 ft.Ability Score Improvement
17th+61d1017+30 ft.Archetype feature
18th+61d1018+35 ft.Empty Body
19th+61d1019+35 ft.Ability Score Improvement
20th+61d1020+35 ft.Perfect Self
Class Features









As a marshal, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice
: 1d8 per marshal level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per marshal level after 1st

Proficiencies
Armor:
Light armor, medium armor. shields
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Intelligence
Skills: Choose three from Athletics, History, Insight, Animal Handling, Medicine, Perception, Deception, Persuasion, and Intimidation.

Equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
  • (a) a spear or (b) a longsword (if proficient)
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a diplomat's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
  • (a) scale mail, (b) leather armor, or (c) chain mail (if proficient)
  • a shield

Marshal Gambits
At 1st level, you gain the ability to lead the attack, focusing allied attacks for greater efficacy. When you use the attack action to make an attack with a weapon with which you are proficient, or to use an ability that costs mettle, you can grant an ally who can see and hear you a bonus to their next damage roll or saving throw, before the start of your next turn. This bonus is equal to your Gambit Die, as shown in the Gambit Die section of the Marshal table, and you must choose which benefit the ally gains when you use the ability. You learn additional Gambits, and gain Mettle to fuel more powerful Gambits, at level 2, and at later levels from your Archetype.

Marshal’s Expertise
At level 1, you choose one of the two following Traits. When an ally takes the Training Downtime Activity, you can help them by becoming their tutor, cutting the time and cost in half, as long as you are proficient in the tool, language, weapon, or armor, in which they are training.

Warleader
You gain proficiency in Heavy Armor and all weapons.

Inspirational Mind
Your insight is always welcome, especially in those areas where you have studied significantly. You learn your choice of 4 proficiencies, chosen from any language or tool.

Expertise

You gain proficiency in 1 additional skill of your choice, and choose 2 skills or tools with which you are proficient, adding your proficiency modifier twice to checks with those skills or tools.

Martial Presence
Starting at 2nd level, you gain the ability to project your presence around you to a radius of 15 feet, centered on you. This distance increases as you level, as shown in the Martial Presence section of the Marshal Table. A creature within the Presence must be able to see or hear you in order to be affected by it, and your Presence is only active while you are not incapacitated. You, and creatures up to your Intelligence Modifier of your choice within your Presence, gain your choice of a bonus or penalty to Initiative equal to your Gambit Die.

Mettle
Starting at 2nd level, your training allows you to harness yo your inner strength, fortitude, intelligence, and tactical ability know as mettle. Your access to this training and skill is represented by a number of mettle points. Your marshal level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Mettle Points column of the Marshal table.
You can spend these points to fuel Gambits. You learn more Gambits as you gain levels in this class.
When you spend a mettle point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended mettle back into yourself.

Some of your mettle features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Mettle save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Basic Gambits. In addition to the Marshal's Gambit, every Marshal learns these basic gambits. When a gambit effects other creatures, they must be able to see and hear you to be affected.

Guiding Strike

When you take the Attack Action on your turn, you can spend 1 Mettle to make a special attack, which deals damage on a hit equal to your Gambit Die plus your Strength or Dexterity Modifier, and you allow an ally to make an attack as a reaction. Either the attacking ally, or the target, must be within your Presence.

Greater Marshal’s Gambit
When you use your Marshal’s Gambit, you can spend 1 ki to target 2 allies, rather than 1.

Brace
You can spend 1 mettle as a bonus action, to call upon your allies to brace for incoming attacks. All allies in your Presence gain temporary HP equal to your Gambit Die plus your Intelligence modifier, and a +1 bonus



Call Formation
As a bonus action, spend 1 Mettle. Enemies within your presence have disadvantage on atttacks of opportunity until the start of your next turn, and allies within your Presence gain a number of feet of extra movement on their turn equal to the radius of your Presence.

Hold The Line
Spend 1 mettle as a bonus action, to grant all allies within your Presence advantage on saves against forced movement, until the start of your next turn. Also once before the start of your next turn, when an enemy makes an attack, you or an ally of yours can make an opportunity attack against them, if they are otherwise able. The enemy and the ally must be within your Presence.

Intrigue Thingy
gambit die to a skill check would be too bardic, but maybe “X allies who can see or hear you can add their proficiency bonus on a check that you are proficient in, once within the next hour.”?

Tactical Insight
Spend 1 mettle after hitting with an attack, to force the target of your attack to make a Wisdom Saving Throw. If they fail, you learn any damage vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities the target has, and grant the next attack against the target advantage.


Light The Torch
As a bonus action on your turn, choose an ally. The next time they deal damage with a spell to a creature within your presence, you and one ally in your Presence deal the same type of damage with weapon attacks as the spell until the end of your next turn. The ally can spend an extra spell slot, even if the spell was a cantrip. If they do, the affected ally can add a number of bonus damage dice to a single weapon attack equal to the level of the extra spell slot spent. The bonus damage dice are your Gambit Die.

Martial Archetype
When you reach 3rd level, you commit yourself to a Martial Archetype: the Vanguard, Tactitian, Outlaw, or Sage, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your archetype grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 11th, and 17th level.


Warning Shout
Starting at level 3, you can warn an ally within your presence of an incoming attack. As a reaction when an ally within your Presence is hit with an attack, but before damage is rolled, you can grant them an AC bonus equal to your Gambit Die. If the attack fails, you can spend 1 Mettle as part of the same reaction to allow an ally within your presence to make a counter-attack using their reaction.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Always Ready
Beginning at 4th level, you can use your reaction when an ally fails an Athletics, Stealth, or Acrobatics, check, to grant a bonus to their check equal to your Gambit Die plus your Intelligence Modifier.

Extra Attack
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.


Advanced Gambits
Starting at 5th level, you learn gain access to new Gambits.

Hamstring Strike
When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can spend 1 mettle to impose disadvantage on saving throws the target makes, and reduce it's speed by half, until the end of your next turn. The target must succeed on a Constitution Saving Throw to avoid this effect.


Teamwork Empowered Stuff
Starting at 6th level, your ability to aid your allies extends to longer and more complex challenges. When you join an ally in a Downtime Activity, they can add your Gambit Die to one roll related to that activity. In addition, when you help with an activity wherein the time or cost is reduced for each participant in the activity, such as crafting, you count as two helpers.

Watchful Eye
At 7th level, your trained reflexes help you and your allies stay safe against a variety of dangers. You add your Inteligence Modifier to Passive Perception, and you and your allies within your Presence add your Gambit Die to saving throws against traps. When you take a long rest, you can grant a bonus to Wisdom (Perception) checks made as part of keeping watch, equal to your Intelligence Modifier.

Inspired Focus
Starting at 7th level, you can use your action to grant a saving throw against an effect that is causing them to be charmed or frightened, with a bonus equal to your Gambit Die on up to a number of allies equal to your Intelligence Modifier, within your presence, or end such an effect on a single ally that can see and hear you.

Greater Presence
At 9th level, your presence gets more powerful, in a way that helps interaction

Purity of Body
At 10th level, your mastery of the ki flowing through you makes you immune to disease and poison.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon
Starting at 13th level, perhaps something to do with teaching languages and tool proficiencies at dramatically less cost and time, and learning languages even faster?

Legendary Teamwork
At 14th level, you mastery of facilitating teamwork reaches unheard of heights. As an action, you can spend 4 ki to grant an ally who can see and hear you an action, which they must take immediately.

Timeless Body
At 15th level, your ki sustains you so that you can do something really wild.

Empty Body
Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to spend 4 ki points to become invisible for 1 minute. During that time, you also have resistance to all damage but force damage. Additionally, you can spend 8 ki points to cast the astral projection spell, without needing material components. When you do so, you can’t take any other creatures with you.
[this stuff is awesome, let's match it! Big group defense buff? ]


Absolute Vigilance
At 20th level, when you roll for initiative and have no mettle points remaining, you regain 4 mettle points.

Marshal Archetypes
Three traditions of monastic pursuit are common in the monasteries scattered across the multiverse. Most monasteries practice one tradition exclusively, but a few honor the three traditions and instruct each monk according to his or her aptitude and interest. All three traditions rely on the same basic techniques, diverging as the student grows more adept. Thus, a monk need choose a tradition only upon reaching 3rd level.

The Vanguard
Goals: Tougher than other Marshals. Deals more personal damage, and focuses support on damage buffs and temp HP granting. Scary to enemies. Maybe when they use Guided Strike the target must save or be frightened?

Monks of the Way of the Open Hand are the ultimate masters of martial arts combat, whether armed or unarmed. They learn techniques to push and trip their opponents, manipulate ki to heal damage to their bodies, and practice advanced meditation that can protect them from harm.

Open Hand Technique
Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can manipulate your enemy's ki when you harness your own. Whenever you hit a creature with one of the attacks granted by your Flurry of Blows, you can impose one of the following effects on that target:


  • It must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • It must make a Strength saving throw. If it fails, you can push it up to 15 feet away from you.
  • It can’t take reactions until the end of your next turn.
Wholeness of Body
At 6th level, you gain the ability to heal yourself. As an action, you can regain hit points equal to three times your monk level. You must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.

Tranquility
Beginning at 11th level, you can enter a special meditation that surrounds you with an aura of peace. At the end of a long rest, you gain the effect of a sanctuary spell that lasts until the start of your next long rest (the spell can end early as normal). The saving throw DC for the spell equals 8 + your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Quivering Palm
At 17th level, you gain the ability to set up lethal vibrations in someone’s body. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you can spend 3 ki points to start these imperceptible vibrations, which last for a number of days equal to your monk level. The vibrations are harmless unless you use your action to end them. To do so, you and the target must be on the same plane of existence. When you use this action, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw. If it fails, it is reduced to 0 hit points. If it succeeds, it takes 10d10 necrotic damage.
You can have only one creature under the effect of this feature at a time. You can choose to end the vibrations harmlessly without using an action.
 
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So, keeping it entirely positive, what is the point of re-naming it? That is, what are the positives about the name "Marshal?" (Obviously, you mention Warlord right away in this thread because it's positives include continuity with the original Warlord class.)

It seems to me for the Marhasl they're:

Continuity with the original Marshal class from the D&D-3e-adjacent Miniature's Handbook.
Evoking martial images of a high-ranking officer. (For me it evokes Napoleonic to late-19th century imagery, not sure why.)
Heroism of old-west lawmen, real or fictional (I immediately think of Matt Dillon) - and it's worth noting that D&D came from a time when westerns had been HUGE for decades, and was clearly, with it's "goldrush economy" and characters like Murlynd, influenced by the genre - so bringing order to a lawless frontier, which might also evoke the classic-D&D idea of PCs clearing territory and establishing strongholds.

Am I missing anything?
 
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We had a vote on it and that's what won? Not a fan of it myself but le shrug
We also had a vote on what class to use as a Template, and Bard won.

Oh, and I did think of another + for the Marshal name:

The familiar use as a verb: as in "marshal your forces" and to "marshal troops" is to bring them together and direct them. That suggests classic fantasy/action tropes like arming & training villagers to defend themselves from the impending attacks of the bad guys. Maybe the class could benefit from a 'troops' feature, like a pet class, but with a swarm-mechanic twist to keep it simple to resolve?
 
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Certainly seems a potential or subtype doesn't it.
It's occurred to me in the past, of course, though less in the context of the Warlord, more in the context of hypothetical martial controllers.
As 5e design is concept-first, and the concept of a Marshal clearly includes commanding troops (even a Marshal in the old west could marshal(pi) a posse comitatus), it seems like a natural.
Formations were another idea in that same context: you could have the Marshal's troops as a unit in formation (again, like a swarm), and properly-armed PCs using compatible tactics could 'join' the formation (share it's space) and receive benefits.
 
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TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Tough to make any comments until it's been marked black or orange. I don't wish to spend time critiquing or overanalyzing any decision that's been finalized.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, keeping it entirely positive, what is the point of re-naming it? That is, what are the positives about the name "Marshal?" (Obviously, you mention Warlord right away in this thread because it's positives include continuity with the original Warlord class.)

It seems to me for the Marhasl they're:

Continuity with the original Marshal class from the 3e Miniature's Handbook.
Evoking martial images of a high-ranking officer. (For me it evokes Napoleonic to late-19th century imagery, not sure why.)
Heroism of old-west lawmen, real or fictional (I immediately think of Matt Dillon) - and it's worth noting that D&D came from a time when westerns had been HUGE for decades, and was clearly, with it's "goldrush economy" and characters like Murlynd, influenced by the genre - so bringing order to a lawless frontier, which might also evoke the classic-D&D idea of PCs clearing territory and establishing strongholds.

Am I missing anything?
No. This argument is not taking place in this thread. Stop it, or leave.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Tough to make any comments until it's been marked black or orange. I don't wish to spend time critiquing or overanalyzing any decision that's been finalized.
well, assume anything can be changed, even if it is finalised. We can always review something after a consensus, because the consensus can changed based on new decisions.

That said, I will be putting things that haven't been touched in orange, or that are just placeholders, right now.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
We had a vote on it and that's what won? Not a fan of it myself but le shrug
My favorites all ranked fairly low, with the highest being Captain, which was in like 4th place, IIRC.

So, I could be selfish and just pick the one that is highest ranked of those I actually like, or I could just use Marshal because I don't care that much as long as it isn't an actively bad name, and move on.

As for the chassis, since that also came up, others are obviously welcome to use the bard or any other class. I am not going to work out a fitting replacement for spellcasting on a very heavy spellcasting class. The chassis poll is interesting, but ultimately the people making the thing (originally me, @Fenris-77 and @lowkey13 for the most part) need to like the basic structure of the chassis class for the homebrew class. We liked the structure of the monk, and the ability to either focus on a very small set of limited use abilities to supplement a mostly at-will class, or focus harder on those limited use abilities and expand the list of options, all on a class that gets a healthy mix of damage, defense, control, exploration, and interaction, benefits. The marshal will probably have more interaction where the monk has more exploration, but the model is a very easy fit.

And that is the last I will say on it, in this thread.
 
One thought I had, from a balance tool perspective, is that we have in two of the Monk subclasses, a direct Ki to spell level conversion. We can use that as a gauge to help us balance both spell like effects and other abilities. From the Paladin class we have a spell level to damage die conversion tool in Divine Smite. Between those two tools we can do a lot of work to balance out some of the ideas we've had.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
well, assume anything can be changed, even if it is finalised. We can always review something after a consensus, because the consensus can changed based on new decisions.

That said, I will be putting things that haven't been touched in orange, or that are just placeholders, right now.
Ok, so it looks like the low-level action economy functions like this:

1) Action: Attack with weapon, OR spend 1 Mettle to grant ally attack, OR possibly subclass feature.
2) No action: When attack or mettle use as an action, grant one ally 1 GD to damage on next attack.
3) Bonus action: 1 mettle to do something (right now that looks like monk leftovers).

I would encourage the following to fill out Tier 1.

1) If the subclasses are going to be at level 1, this is the point to make sure the outline of the subclasses are fleshed out and given some low-level abilities. There's gaps in the action economy that look custom-made to be filled with subclass features.
2) I would say a utility bonus action that costs 0 Mettle should come online by level 3, otherwise there's a stronger incentive for the class to fill the gap with Polearm master. We don't need any more classes that synergize with Polearm Master. Ability differentiated by subclass would fit in well here, maybe a level 3 ability?
3) I would say at least one subclass should be able to fill in the lazylord niche by gaining a 0 Mettle attack grant. I got outvoted on the methodology of the attack grant, which is totally OK, but I still feel strongly that even a crowdsourced Marshal should be able to do a lazylord (lazy-shal?)
 
I think that attacks and attack given up is where granted attacks belong if you follow me. The BA slot sounds like a good place for some of the more defensive or utility options. So I wouldn't design an granted attack coming from the Marshal's bonus action. Not at low levels anyway. I'd rather buff an existing attack grant at higher levels by shifting it over to the BA slot.

A less martial subclass with a 0 mettle attack grant shouldn't be a huge issue, especially if that precludes doing some of the other stuff the class is capable of using that action for. I don't mind it being a choice, but I'd prefer it to be a choice with consequences.

Are we saving reaction based abilities for higher than Tier 1 levels (or least levels 1-3)? I'm ok with that.
 
This is a "+" thread. That means that this thread is only for positive contributions about the Warlord. The purpose of this thread is to crowdsource a Warlord.
Taking you at your word in the OP:

Positives about using the Warlord as the name for the Warlord class:

Obviously, a big one is continuity with the original class and concept, as illustrated by the choice to use "Warlord" in the OP quoted above, twice. Warlord clearly communicates the concept and puts it immediately in the context of D&D, where it was a core class appearing in a PH1.

Warlord, like "adventurer," implies absence and/or defiance of authority, and the use of force (and other less polite means) to accomplish goals under difficult circumstances where civilized solutions are not always available. Warlords don't require a military hierarchy, officer's training school or the backing of a society with armed forces, they spring up, much like other adventurers, though, in their case, more defined by their allies than anything else.

The word is suggestive of the genre, both in the mere look & sound of the primitive-feeling portmanteau of War + Lord, and in it's usage therein.

Evokes specific fantasy and related-genre heroic characters, like John Carter, Xena, and DC's Warlord.

Similarly, another interesting one is imagery. Do a google image search for Warlord:
1579643616099.png

Pretty fantasy/D&D-appropriate
 

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Undrave

Hero
I can totally see the Monk chassis working well.

Have we discussed proficiencies and stuff like that? 'Cause I volunteer the set up I did for my homebrew if you guys want:

Hit Points
  • Hit Dice: 1d10 per warlord level
  • Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
  • Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per warlord level after 1st
Proficiencies
  • Armor: Light armor, Medium armor, Shields
  • Weapons: Simple weapons, halberd, longsword, pike, shortsword, warhammer
  • Tools: Choose one from Calligrapher's supplies, Cartographer's tools, Herbalism kit, Navigator's tools or one musical instrument
  • Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
  • Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidate, Medecine, Nature and Persuasion
Equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a longword and a shield, (b) two simple weapons, or (c)a pike
  • (a) five javelins or (b) a shortbow and a quiver of 20 arrows
  • (a) a diplomat's pack, (b) a dungeoneer's pack, or (c) an explorer's pack
  • (a) scale armor or (b) leather armor and a shield
  • One tool or instrument you are proficient with
We could easily go down to D8 HP if you think it would be better. I still think a class that wants good mental stats would end up with less HP than other D10 classes and would balance out. Especially without Evasion and easy disengage.

I would say at least one subclass should be able to fill in the lazylord niche by gaining a 0 Mettle attack grant. I got outvoted on the methodology of the attack grant, which is totally OK, but I still feel strongly that even a crowdsourced Marshal should be able to do a lazylord (lazy-shal?)
Not to hijack the thread of anything, but have you taken a look at my own aforementioned home-brew?
 
@Tony Vargas - The name's a dead issue dude, let it go. If we think of something cooler we can use it, but there's no profit I can see in cluttering up the thread with it at this point.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
I think that attacks and attack given up is where granted attacks belong if you follow me. The BA slot sounds like a good place for some of the more defensive or utility options. So I wouldn't design an granted attack coming from the Marshal's bonus action. Not at low levels anyway. I'd rather buff an existing attack grant at higher levels by shifting it over to the BA slot.

A less martial subclass with a 0 mettle attack grant shouldn't be a huge issue, especially if that precludes doing some of the other stuff the class is capable of using that action for. I don't mind it being a choice, but I'd prefer it to be a choice with consequences.

Are we saving reaction based abilities for higher than Tier 1 levels (or least levels 1-3)? I'm ok with that.
Agreed. I would vote against any attack granted as a bonus action, until at least Tier 2 with a Mettle cost or a Tier 3 upgrade. Especially since attacks granted at those levels are a lot more likely to have riders attached. (Divine Smite, Divine Strike, GWM or SS, etc.)

Ideally, I'd like to see at least one subclass where the attack grant is their primary at-will. If there isn't one in the finalized version, I can always homebrew a subclass for the homebrew. :)

I would definitely vote for reaction-based abilities at Tier 2. This might be a good place for reaction-based damage prevention (as a form of preventive healing).
 
Yeah, I like the reaction stuff as defense and maybe healing, at least to start. Attack based stuff as a reaction should be farther up the food chain.
 

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