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5E Homebrewed Warlord - take 4!!

Undrave

Hero
Here I am again, after a long hiatus, with a new take on a 5e Warlord!

Link to the Homebrewery: The Homebrewery - NaturalCrit

Do note that the Homebrewery is designed for Chrome and it usually works for Firefox, but you may encounter issues with the layout on other browsers.

I think those of you who have followed the development of this class (take 1, take 2, take 3) will be quite surprised by this new overhaul! A lot of the design notes from the previous version can still apply, but I'll comment on some of the changes I made.

Frankly I felt I had let the fiddliness get away from me and I tried to reign it back in. I kept the concept of generating your ressource as the fight goes on, but I made away with the idea of shuffling dice around on enemies and stuff. I drastically cut down on the signals, but threw in a saving throw in there to make them more in line with other mechanics (even if the formula is a bit odd) and you no longer have to choose from a large list. The list of signal was fun, but felt like trying to shove a caster into a game without casters. It was too much for a single class. One of the advantage of trading 'coded signals' for 'expose weaknesses' is that now the Warlord can take advantage of their own Insight without having to rely on allies. You can use a Bonus Action to set up an effect and then attack yourself to trigger it. I think it helps the class stand on its own a little better.

Obviously, the biggest departure, is that Battlefield Insight now uses your reaction. I decided that aspect felt the most straight forward, and it also gave you the most tactical choice since you only have 1 reaction. It also gave me opportunity to improve that aspect later on, by granting 1 free use per round and, as an epic capstone, essentially a free reaction each turn. Upgrading a 'button' you already have rather than adding a new one always feel easier to design in my mind.

On the subclass front...

I had to rework the Ardent Soul so it had more ways to produce Temp HP by itself.

The Ballistarius has their Legendary Archer feature rework to play in the frame of the Battlefield Insight. A level 20 Ballistarius with a couple of ranged buddies can be pretty frigtening I bet. But its epic level so I don't care if it breaks something :p

For the Borderland Marshal, it mostly remained the same. I added a new Frontier Gear Specialist option, mostly because I wanted to push the next header to the next column. Their Relentless Tracker feature was reworded since you no longer apply Insight Dice, but the concept remains. They also had a feature integrated into the Battlefield Insight framework.

The Chosen One had the least ammount of change, since its abilities already worked independently. I mostly allowed just now allow them to use Battlefield Insight at a greater range.

The Rabble Rouser was a concept I had in the previous thread but I wasn't super keen on the version I presented. I think this new one fits the idea of a 'Rogue multiclass' type of subclass mixed with a 'Fight against overwhelming odds' concept much better. I'm rezlly fond of the new Presence I created. Especially since you can now customize your shouts and make one of them really REALLY potent if you want to. I hope the balance feels okay. The Underdog Tricks letting you use shouts silently is a nice touch I think for stealth missions. I shamelessly stole Expertise from the Rogue for the level 9 feature because I couldn't think of anything better. It's straightforward but it works. Rousing Speech is pretty much un changed, except maybe some wording, from its original version. I like the concept of the level 17 feature but I don't know how well it would translate into play. I considered making a new use of Battlefield Insight but it started to feel redundant at this point. I might still change it in the future if you guys think its way too strong... though, again, it's a level 17 ability.

The Silverblade Captain can not pick up Investigation instead of Arcana if they wish, especially useful if they already have Arcana from another source. The only real difference otherwise is that you can recharge your Silverblade Riposte by removing 6d6 from your Insight Pool in addition to the short rest requirement.

The Steel Protector is also roughly unchanged until Protector's Revenge being folded into Battlefield Insight, gaining a cost in Insight Dice.

The White Raven Tactician had some wording changes more than anything, and a new Shout (Search Formation) added to their repertoire to take the place of a signal I had. I'm considering adding the ability to let Support Formation grant the Use an Object action as well as the Help Action. Potent Analysis was, on the whole, made a little better and now improves your starting Insight Pool when you roll initiative.

I'm also pondering a more social-savy/noble Warlord under the tentative moniker of 'Vermillion Sparrow Herald' that can use Battlefield Insight in social situations, but I haven't quite worked out the details. I was thinking they would also be ready for 1 on 1 duels with Rapier proficiency and Charisma bonus to AC while not wearing armor.

Thank you all for your opinion and I hope you enjoy my work!

Going to tag the usual suspects now: @Cap'n Kobold @Garthanos @doctorbadwolf and, why not, @FrogReaver
 

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Krachek

Adventurer
Feel just too much, just at level 1 he get
2 insight options
3 shout options
4 weakness options
while the paladin have to wait level 2 to have spell slot, and the battle master wait level 3 to have manœuvres.
it will be good for hyper active players who want to interact continually with the battle field.
but compare to other half caster he feel to have too many versatile options.
 
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Undrave

Hero
Feel just too much, just at level 1 he get
2 insight options
3 shout options
4 weakness options
while the paladin have to wait level 2 to have spell slot, and the battle master wait level 3 to have manœuvres.
The 4 weakness options are at level 2.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
The 4 weakness options are at level 2.
Even at level 2....
I intuitively compare it to other half caster who get roughly half level number of spell prepared or know. Your guy is prepared for everything right from level 2, and I don’t even check out sub classes.
 

Undrave

Hero
Even at level 2....
I intuitively compare it to other half caster who get roughly half level number of spell prepared or know. Your guy is prepared for everything right from level 2, and I don’t even check out sub classes.
'Prepared for everything' seems a bit exagerated. You'll run into issues of action economy and Insight Pool management. None of these abilities have the impact of a level 1 spell though, they're more Cantrip-like. I could always rework Expose Weaknesses so that you pick two out of the four, or cut it down to three options? I'm not taking it out entirely since I want the class to have some reasons to spend their Insight Pool on something other than damage and a base class use for bonus actions.

What makes you think the two insight options are too much?

I want a Warlord who can do Warlordy stuff every turn, so I don't want limited ressources that needs rest. The Insight Pool was my way to skirt that. It's borrowing DPS from the future to add effects in the present.
 



Undrave

Hero
Feel just too much, just at level 1 he get
2 insight options
3 shout options
Now, the thing with the Insight Options is if I just cut it down to just the damage buff, that basically means there's no reason to consider any other use for your Reaction. You'll position yourelf a certain way and just spam that every turn...

I want to have a meaningful second option so that using you reaction isn't just simple 'Press X' thing you know? Same reason I don't limit to one shout known either.

Do you feel the options are too strong on their own or that having two of them to begin with is too much? I want versatility, and options, but if I make the options too niche they might as well not exist to begin with. It's a tough line to balance on.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
It’s too much complex to evaluate power without running it.
it remind me 4ed, using every Kind of action and reaction availble continually, for this even if it’s not more powerful, it’s a kind of off beat. But for homebrew material it is very cool.
 

Undrave

Hero
It’s too much complex to evaluate power without running it.
it remind me 4ed, using every Kind of action and reaction availble continually, for this even if it’s not more powerful, it’s a kind of off beat. But for homebrew material it is very cool.
Fair enough yeah. Of course, with the way the Insight Pool works, if you use your Bonus action on one turn you'll probably no use it again for at least a turn or two.

I wish I had the chance to test it out...

Still, if I wanted to cut out one Weakness, which of the four would yousay has to go? And have you given the subclasses a look?
 

Krachek

Adventurer
Unbalanced weakness may help those already heavy bonus on prone grapple combo,
it´s enough annoying without adding more.
 

Undrave

Hero
Unbalanced weakness may help those already heavy bonus on prone grapple combo,
it´s enough annoying without adding more.
Huh... never considered that. I never see anyone use grapples. What about the 'treat as 1 size smaller' thing?
 

Krachek

Adventurer
Huh... never considered that. I never see anyone use grapples. What about the 'treat as 1 size smaller' thing?
Grapple can be use to control battlefield à la 4ed Defender, Not as much effectively but with some success.
The one size reduction can produce silly thing, huge creature are very big in DnD, and not so strong especially when you add expertise, inspiration and now your new mechanic. At least all your abilities Require a save. Speaking of silly thing, your ability that pin down flying creature can have a size restriction, otherwise a single man can pin down a dragon of the size of a jumbo jet.
 

Undrave

Hero
Grapple can be use to control battlefield à la 4ed Defender, Not as much effectively but with some success.
The one size reduction can produce silly thing, huge creature are very big in DnD, and not so strong especially when you add expertise, inspiration and now your new mechanic. At least all your abilities Require a save. Speaking of silly thing, your ability that pin down flying creature can have a size restriction, otherwise a single man can pin down a dragon of the size of a jumbo jet.
Well the idea was that you strike them on the foot or the ankle or something at a moment where they are in an unstable positon, say mid-stride, and then they tumble back or fall from their own weight being off-center, rather than physically pushing them with all your might.

As for the flying creature thing, the idea is that you strike them on the wing, or whatever flight organ they have, and make it unsuable for a short while. It's why they get a save to land on their feet. The importance is that they don't get to run away from the melee guys that turn.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well the idea was that you strike them on the foot or the ankle or something at a moment where they are in an unstable position, say mid-stride, and then they tumble back or fall from their own weight being off-center, rather than physically pushing them with all your might.

As for the flying creature thing, the idea is that you strike them on the wing, or whatever flight organ they have, and make it unusable for a short while. It's why they get a save to land on their feet. The importance is that they don't get to run away from the melee guys that turn.
People seem to envision stuff as raw brute force instead of skill and martial artistry. HEMA studies have confirmed that the European Knights were often as much about learning esoteric techniques as eastern martial types AND they also often used poetic weird maneuver names. "Boar Rushing Down Stream" or is more authentic than a "Lunge". Or at least that is true of those who recorded their arts.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I want a Warlord who can do Warlordy stuff every turn, so I don't want limited resources that needs rest.
That is indeed vital for a full Warlord.

In a game with 3 round fights every round needs to be expressive or your characters fighting style ie the story of how they fight... even more than ones that are 6 to 8 rounds
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Are you ready for grammar comments? (like every change not every changes). I like the trade an attack to do a shout it actually brings a shout into being something estimably similar balance wise to the battlemaster maneuvers. Note my comments may just be on something you have had for a while that I am now starting to understand more.
 

Undrave

Hero
Are you ready for grammar comments? (like every change not every changes). I like the trade an attack to do a shout it actually brings a shout into being something estimably similar balance wise to the battlemaster maneuvers. Note my comments may just be on something you have had for a while that I am now starting to understand more.
Oh yes it was always a trade of an attack for a shout. But I glad you like it.

I hope you like the new Rabble Rouser subclass too, I think I came up with something fun, but still somewhat vague enough to be molded into anything by an inspired player.
 



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