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D&D 5E My homebrewed Warlord version 7! I'm back at it!

Undrave

Hero
Yes, it's one more time for Undrave's pet project! The Warlord: Warlord V7 - The Homebrewery

This time I made some MAJOR changes to the main class! There was concern on the power level last time, @Stalker0 felt I was too wordy (I hope I managed to fix that a bit this time around) and I was still not happy with the fiddliness level. One of the big thing you'll notice is that I decided to ditch the system where you accrue a ressource as you battle to then spend to improve your allies. While I still love the concept, I felt like I wanted to move in a different direction this go around to reduce on the fiddliness. I might reuse the concept for something else at some point in the future, who knows? I instead decided to focus on the design space of reactions. I kept the Shouts and Presence, as I feel they feel very Warlordy, but made the bulk of what you do reactions. This, hopefully, would have the effect that a Warlord player would pay close attention to what is going on around them, the same way the Warlord in-universe would go about doing it.

I trimmed down the combat related ability of the Warlord at first level to just Shouts and then, since I couldn't think of anything better, I split my old 'Seasoned Instructor' feature into two stages so that it can be used at first level. It's basically a mundane version of the Guidance Cantrip that only works on specific things (hence why it's a d6 instead of a d4).

I added wording to Shouts and Battlefield Reflexes that prevent a pair of Warlord from just stacking effect on top of the same character at the same time. I think it'll help curtail shenanigans.

I've streamlined the things you can do with your Battlefield Reflexes down to 2 per level you get new ones. I hope this will help keep these elements below a certain threshold of complication. I had to sacrifice a lot of ideas I liked to get these. I really wanted to keep the ability to make it easier to knock flying targets down, but that felt like such a specific ability that I had no room for it in a more genric class. Again, maybe I'll make a Feats package that'll include it somehow? Who knows... I'm also hoping Improve Damage remains a decent pick throughout your progression, even if the scaling might be weird.

To keep with my theme of reaction I end up granting 2 additional reacton that can only be used for your class features. While a Fighter would have more attacks and 1 reaction, you get the basic 2 attacks of most weapon users and 3 reaction in total (with still only 1 OA possible).

The new capstone is just a shameless remake of the Rogue's own capstone that, frankly, doesn't fit super well thematically, but I anticipate the Walord to be a more fragile character than say a Fighter (or a Ranger even) so I think a little extra defense at the end of the progression can't hurt. I didn't want to just reuse my old capstone because it no longer felt like it fit with my new concept.

A lot of new capstones I threw in for the various subclass are somewhat lacklustre too, but it's not like people play at that high a level all the time right? :p

Now for some comment on subclasses:

Ardent Soul: I reworked the Ardent Soul and gave them the ability to basically grant allies a cushion of Temp HP as they are attacked, potentially reducing the ammount of healing a party would need. I reduced the temp HP it grants a lot and I don't know if its too weak now or still too strong in the right circumstances? I'Ve considered making the temp HP pretty high but that they would dissapear at the start of your next turn, but that felt like a pain to track you know?

Ballistarius: I just straight up gave them the Archery fighting style last time and I kept it in. I nerfed their Eagle Eye ability. I decided to just make Legendary Archer Accuracy a thing that always happens, because it's always the NEXT attack, not the next attack that lands an 18-19 on that enemy, so it's easy for it to not matter much. You also get to take a shot at using it yourself as if you were a Champion. It didn't felt like a big enough boost to be worth a daily limitation, you know? But maybe it's still too strong as an at-will thing... I'm considering limiting it to ranged attacks only, would that work?

Borderlands Marshall: I'm still in love with Frontier Gear Specialist as a feature. It's basically 'build your own fighting style' for subpar weapons. I came up with the 'Torchbearer' ability that I think opens up a cool dual wielding build and makes it so a torch isn't that bad of a thing to use. Skirmisher Tactics is now linked to Battlefield Reflexes and, since there's no Inisght Dice, Vicious Assault is now a flat 8d6 bonus. It's roughly the same kind of damage a Rogue can inflict with their Sneak Attack at that level, only the Borderlands Mashall only gets it a few times a day. It's not my favorite capstone but it's a simple enough one.

Chosen One: I've decided to simplify Divine Luck by just making it a spell, like I do later in that subclass with Blessed Touch, that you can cast once per day. Since once per day isn't much I gave it a few buffs to make it interesting. I kept the feature with the doubled up result because I think it's funny and unlikely to come up often.

Rabble Rouser: I decided to ditch the Double Warlord Presence thing because it didn't feel all that great as a feature, and I had came up with the absolutely hilarious Dashing Scoundrel one. I just thought it was too good to pass making it an early feature of the subclass. I created a new capstone for this one as well. I don't know how good or bad it is, but it sorta includes the effect of one of those defunct presences from V6 and prior.

Silverblade Captain: Editted the text a little, but overall I didn't do much to it.

Steel Scholar: Another major overhaul for this subclass! First the Steel Protector, then the Steel Vanguard and now I'm leaning harder into the Intellectual Warrior side of things. I didn't change much in terms of ability however, only tightening some language to make it less wordy (I could probably cut more text but I felt this subclass deserved to have it's identity better explained) and doing minor tuning.

White Raven Tactician: I feel like I might be losing the thread on this one a little? I'm not satisfied with White Raven Fighting Style but I'm not sure what other feature would fit...The upside is that it works well with the fact that the White Raven Tactician won't have heavy armor proficiency as a default so moving around is good. Analytical Warrior and White Raven Prowess are both brand new abilities and I'm not sure how well they work. I feel like I could do more with shouts?

Anyway, thank you in advance for taking the time to read it and commenting! I hope folks who enjoyed the previous verson will have something to say about it, their critics helped make this new version possible: @Tinker-TDC , @aco175 , @FrogReaver , @Quartz , and I know @Garthanos and @doctorbadwolf usually enjoys these posts of mine.
 

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aco175

Legend
First look, I can see this work and be fair to the other classes. Still seems that the reaction would be used each round to give +damage if nothing else. I would make the HP d8 instead of d10 and save the d10 for the fighter. This PC has enough other stuff to make up for it. I would also look at having level 5 extra attack be limited to only giving another PC the attack instead of the warlord having two. This may be a bit fiddly and bog down combat some, so I can see either way.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
With just a quick perusal, I really like it. The base class comes together without being too mighty right at level one, and builds on that foundation from there. Subclass seem like they’ll work really well. Overall, I’d bet it’s fun to play!
 

Undrave

Hero
First look, I can see this work and be fair to the other classes. Still seems that the reaction would be used each round to give +damage if nothing else. I would make the HP d8 instead of d10 and save the d10 for the fighter. This PC has enough other stuff to make up for it. I would also look at having level 5 extra attack be limited to only giving another PC the attack instead of the warlord having two. This may be a bit fiddly and bog down combat some, so I can see either way.
I went for the d10 because the Ranger also has d10s and I figured that the Warlord would be more likely to invest in their mental stat before their CON, so I wanted to counter that a little. Even with the same dice I don't expect a Warlord to have the same HP as a Fighter. And they don't get heavy armor as a default.

For Extra Attack I looked at the Ranger as well, plus I want the Warlord to be able to both attack and use a Shout with the same action when they reach higher level. It also makes them a tad more independant if they don't have anybody around to use as a whacking stick.

With just a quick perusal, I really like it. The base class comes together without being too mighty right at level one, and builds on that foundation from there. Subclass seem like they’ll work really well. Overall, I’d bet it’s fun to play!
Thanks! I'm glad my efforts are paying off.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
@Undrave, I think you are correct to focus on reactions. Paying attention to what is going on is what a tactician should be doing. And it savors the lazylord flavor, which makes the martial power source fun.

Regarding a capstone, generally speaking, I feel every class should offer a choice of capstones. To reach the top and be less than thrilled with a capstone is painfully anticlimatic. So let players choose their favorite among several thematic possibilities.
 

Undrave

Hero
@Undrave, I think you are correct to focus on reactions. Paying attention to what is going on is what a tactician should be doing. And it savors the lazylord flavor, which makes the martial power source fun.

Regarding a capstone, generally speaking, I feel every class should offer a choice of capstones. To reach the top and be less than thrilled with a capstone is painfully anticlimatic. So let players choose their favorite among several thematic possibilities.
What about the capstones I got on the main class and the subclass in this situation?
 




Stalker0

Legend
With each iteration I think we are trimming more of the fat and really getting to the core of what your looking for in the class, so bravo. Let me dig in to the details.

Instructor: I think this is needlessly complicated, as you already mentioned guidance can do a lot of this already. I would do something simple like "When using the help action for a skill or tool you are proficient with, the person adds +1d4 to the check". And then at 6th level bump it to a 1d6. Nice and clean.

Shouts: I think the mechanics here look solid, we can just trim the wording a bit. Instead of repeating "choose 1 creature within 30 feet" for each shout, mention that before the choices. Something like "Once per turn, when you take the attack action, you can forego one of your attacks and choose a creature with 30 feet. The target gains one of the following benefits...."

Battlefield Reflexes: I like the tightening of this mechanic from the pool before. I do feel like the language here is still a bit clunky with the distances and positions and such, and I think the two options are trying to pointlessly differentiate themselves with the targeting. Instead of two options, I think they can be written as one mechanic, and we can clean up the language. Something like:

"When an ally within 30 feet makes an attack against a target you can see, you can use your reaction to grant the attack advantage, or a damage bonus equal to twice your proficiency modifier"

Warlord Prescence: I still think the temp hp is just flat out better than every other option here.

Improved Reflexes: The new abilities feel tacked on to me (and feels like a bit of a paladin overlap), and I'm not sure why its needed. You have just DOUBLED the power of your core ability.... literally nothing else is needed here....its great and solid all on its own.

Master's Reflexes: Same as improved reflexes, this is already a solid boost, and I don't think the new abilities are really needed.

Legendary Presence: Cool ability, and it doesn't need a person cap. Its a simple "All enemies that start within 60 feet of you have disadvantage on dexterity (initiative) checks. Its 18th level, so its perfectly fine that it works on a lot of creatures... its simple yet solid and powerful.
 

Undrave

Hero
Instructor: I think this is needlessly complicated, as you already mentioned guidance can do a lot of this already. I would do something simple like "When using the help action for a skill or tool you are proficient with, the person adds +1d4 to the check". And then at 6th level bump it to a 1d6. Nice and clean.
Alright, that sounds like a plan. I thought it would be more flavourful to pick some kind of specialty, the same way a Rogue can pick expertise skills. It says something about your character ya know? But I can totally get behind the benefit of simplifying it that way.
Shouts: I think the mechanics here look solid, we can just trim the wording a bit. Instead of repeating "choose 1 creature within 30 feet" for each shout, mention that before the choices. Something like "Once per turn, when you take the attack action, you can forego one of your attacks and choose a creature with 30 feet. The target gains one of the following benefits...."
I actually considered trimming the wording down, but then I wanted the option of adding shouts that don't work the same way down the line. For exemple, the White Raven Tactician's 'DEFENSIVE FORMATION!' shout targets 2 creatures instead of 1. I decided to repeat myself for the sake of customizability in the future.
Battlefield Reflexes: I like the tightening of this mechanic from the pool before. I do feel like the language here is still a bit clunky with the distances and positions and such, and I think the two options are trying to pointlessly differentiate themselves with the targeting. Instead of two options, I think they can be written as one mechanic, and we can clean up the language. Something like:

"When an ally within 30 feet makes an attack against a target you can see, you can use your reaction to grant the attack advantage, or a damage bonus equal to twice your proficiency modifier"
Again I wanted the option to add uses to this feature so I isolated the uses under their own sub-feature names. And since I'm granting extra reactions to Battlefield Reflexes, I don't need to specify that special reaction abilities can use those extra reactions or not, I can just fold them into Battlefield Reflexes you know? A lot of the wording was designed for future modularity, essentially. In this case though, I think I just end up with only 2 subclasses adding new powers to Battlefield Reflexes.

Do you think the bonus damage is a decent scaling?
Improved Reflexes: The new abilities feel tacked on to me (and feels like a bit of a paladin overlap), and I'm not sure why its needed. You have just DOUBLED the power of your core ability.... literally nothing else is needed here....its great and solid all on its own.

Master's Reflexes: Same as improved reflexes, this is already a solid boost, and I don't think the new abilities are really needed.
Thing is, one of the big issues with martial types is that they lack versatility, and that they don't gain any breadth of ability at later level. I wanted my Warlord to have SOME other things to do beside MOAR Damage, especially as they grew in levels, and I needed it to have some kind of synergy with casters (I can't create a support character that only works properly with like... 5 classes, right?). You can understand why I went with adding new abilities right?
Legendary Presence: Cool ability, and it doesn't need a person cap. Its a simple "All enemies that start within 60 feet of you have disadvantage on dexterity (initiative) checks. Its 18th level, so its perfectly fine that it works on a lot of creatures... its simple yet solid and powerful.
Alright, that's something I can edit in later! Thanks! My biggest issue is that it kinda step on the toes of Analytical Presence.

Warlord Prescence: I still think the temp hp is just flat out better than every other option here.
Yeah, I'm kinda keeping it so the Ardent Soul has a solid source of Temp HP to make use of its ability. And I'm not super in love with Perceptive Presence either. I still like the IDEA that you can commit to one of the three mental abilities before you get your subclass, as a sort of preview... I'm considering scrapping all three and just have the feature be basically Analytical Presence and just give out initiative bonuses, maybe just having you pick which of the three mental stat to base it on. I'd just have to rework the Ardent Soul a little more.
 

Stalker0

Legend
You can understand why I went with adding new abilities right?
Yes but I personally feel that this is where your subclasses can fill in, and why I haven't commented on the subclasses until you get the main class to its best place. It comes down to.... what should EVERY SINGLE warlord posses..... and then every other warlord exemplar can be done through subclass abilities.

I think it gives you space to spread out abilities more. At 7th level you introduce a very solid powerup, I don't think anyone would consider that not enough. Then maybe your subclass adds some more to this at 9th. We also should consider that any abilities introduced before 7th level get some more flexibility. I can use the same ability twice, I can use two different abilities in the same round (some of which may be provided by subclasses), which may create some interesting synergies and combos.

So if you want to more abilities fine, I just think you can spread them out across levels a bit more and consider subclass inclusion. Though I'll stand by my original feedback that the abilities present seem.... odd.
 

Undrave

Hero
Yes but I personally feel that this is where your subclasses can fill in, and why I haven't commented on the subclasses until you get the main class to its best place. It comes down to.... what should EVERY SINGLE warlord posses..... and then every other warlord exemplar can be done through subclass abilities.

I think it gives you space to spread out abilities more. At 7th level you introduce a very solid powerup, I don't think anyone would consider that not enough. Then maybe your subclass adds some more to this at 9th. We also should consider that any abilities introduced before 7th level get some more flexibility. I can use the same ability twice, I can use two different abilities in the same round (some of which may be provided by subclasses), which may create some interesting synergies and combos.

So if you want to more abilities fine, I just think you can spread them out across levels a bit more and consider subclass inclusion. Though I'll stand by my original feedback that the abilities present seem.... odd.
Ah I see what you mean. Yeah that's something I could do... I would need to rework some of my subclasses because some of them don't have any Battlefield Reflexes used at the moment but I don't think it would be that hard.

Do you think the abilities I have right now, spread out to subclasses would feel less odd, as you put it?
 

Stalker0

Legend
Do you think the abilities I have right now, spread out to subclasses would feel less odd, as you put it?
For example I think the concentration one is very strange as a base, but if you had some kind of magic or anti magic themed warlord, then it might make sense….so the flavor of the subclass will help to determine if the ability is appropriate.
 

Undrave

Hero
For example I think the concentration one is very strange as a base, but if you had some kind of magic or anti magic themed warlord, then it might make sense….so the flavor of the subclass will help to determine if the ability is appropriate.
I do have one that could work...
 

Undrave

Hero
For example I think the concentration one is very strange as a base, but if you had some kind of magic or anti magic themed warlord, then it might make sense….so the flavor of the subclass will help to determine if the ability is appropriate.

So I've looked at my subclasses and one issue I have is fitting those new abilities at a reasonable pace.

I'm using the Rogue framework so subclass features come in at 3rd, 9th, 13th and 17th level. The 3rd level one have to do a lot of heavy lifting since they carry the tradition from 3rd to 9th and if the theme I'm going for doesn't have room for a Battlefield Reflexes ability then there is no room until 13th level. 9th level is a non combat ability. As is 6th level if I wanted to sacrifice a main class feature.

So I feel like I should have at least 1 new thing you can do at 7th if your subclass doesn't include ay new uses of Reflexes, and for symetry's sake at 11th as well. I'm thinking of keeping the ones that let you improve someone's saving throw as the generic ones. What do you think?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'm thinking of keeping the ones that let you improve someone's saving throw as the generic ones. What do you think?
I definitely think warlords should be boosting saving throws without being a specialist .. maybe a specialist does it better. For instance being able to induce a save where the ally moves out of an area of effect and has no effect at all on a success.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I went for the d10 because the Ranger also has d10s and I figured that the Warlord would be more likely to invest in their mental stat before their CON, so I wanted to counter that a little. Even with the same dice I don't expect a Warlord to have the same HP as a Fighter. And they don't get heavy armor as a default.
I agree, Con is more valuable for hit points as you advance in 5e AND you cannot rely in strength to help out with defenses like fortitude as you could in 4e (Str saves being relatively rarer). So having class abilities to draw character design away from enhancing con is indeed more significant too.
 

ericstephen

Villager
I think I'm going to homebrew your homebrew into the Tactician (I think it's cool if 'warlord' keeps it's standard meaning) in a campaign I'm starting soon. For my use in a new campaign, I only need to solidify the first few levels as of right now. I wouldn't share broadly of course as it is all from your ideas, but if I come up with something I'm going to use, would you like me to DM you a copy of my version?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Mike Mearls in his Warlord design included this ability which I do not quite think I have seen anyone doing a homebrew emulate. If it was used in combination with flanking rules this is pretty cool. It uses the Warlords movement.

Tactical Maneuvers​

At 15th level, you can provide leadership that allows your allies to move in perfect harmony. In place of moving, you can instead allow up to three allies who can see or hear you to move up to half their speed. The chosen allies must be capable of taking actions in order to move in this manner.
 

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