Pick only one: What should the next class be?

What is the next class that needs to be released?

  • Warlord

    Votes: 19 15.8%
  • Psion

    Votes: 60 50.0%
  • Shaman

    Votes: 6 5.0%
  • Warden

    Votes: 7 5.8%
  • Rune priest

    Votes: 2 1.7%
  • Dedicated summoner

    Votes: 6 5.0%
  • other

    Votes: 20 16.7%

  • Total voters
    120
Though the general archetype of "Shaman" can be covered using the PHB options very easily, it strikes me that a Magic: the Gathering style Shaman would be the perfect fodder for a 3/4 caster Class, and get some new concept space going design wise. Subclasses could be a more nature-y Shaman, a more necromantic Shaman, a punchier Shaman, a more healy Shaman, etc...
I feel like that could fall into "Summoner", just make the Shaman the nature based Summoner.

jesus i'm posting in this a lot, and in a row.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
First we have to stop and ask "What is a class, in 5e?" Because it's not as simple as just porting forward your favorite class from a previous edition.

To begin with, a 5e class is a mix of baseline abilities that are universal to the class and open spaces that the subclasses fill. The corollary to which is that a class needs to be able to support multiple subclasses or else be demoted to a subclass itself. In other words, if you can't name at least three or four potential subclasses for the class, it's dead on arrival.

Another guiding principle for 5e is that less is more. Instead of making a new class that fills an existing niche with a different flavor they make the existing classes more flavor neutral and print class options like new subclasses or Invocations to bridge the gap. If you can't explain how the proposed class is mechanically distinct from all existing classes, then it's another no-go.

IMO most of the classes named on the poll fail one or both of those tests. They're either too specialized or can be accomplished already with the right build and some non-mechanical flavor tweaks. "Like X but with a different power source" no longer cuts it as a basis for an entire class.

But, since I didn't want to deny the basis of the question, I threw my vote at Summoner. The recent change to make classes provide a stat block for companions rather then sending you hunting through the MM makes a Summoner class possible. You can clear the subclass threshold by making it a summoner, not of hordes of weak minions, but one with a single powerful companion. Then each subclass can offer a different type of companion and ways to mechanically interact with it. It's not a shoe-in, but of the offered choices I thought it was the best.
 

Ashrym

Hero
So, what is the difference between a Fighter and a "Warlord"?

I've never played or even seen the class, so I am honestly curious...
The main difference is in supporting others more. One of the reasons given, iirc, is that warlord style abilities were being covered by the battle master and / or valor bard. The sticking point was warlords had abilities that were non-magical and that's why some people loved them and other people hated them.

Another issue is that 5e deliberately cut down on action economy and that affected a lot of 4e leader abilities, including the warlord.

The battle master does have warlord-like qualities but it's clearly focused on the fighter / martial side of things instead of that leader role. Honestly, if the maneuvers included using the help action without costing an action, and allowing spending a hit die for healing (instead of needing a short rest) the battle master would be a lot closer in that representation because it does already have maneuvers to grant attacks or movement. It's just never going to be 4e because of other changes to the basic system.

Bards are better at covering the concepts but that's because the concept was really a support role trying to hide behind the leader name. That still gets back to the nonmagical warlord so if a person really wants that support role to not be magical then the bard doesn't cut it. Plus the inherent fluff can be different but fluff is easy to change.

The warlord was them finally admitting "we never should have had the bard, we should have just started with the warlord because everyone was playing the bard like how a warlord is described anyway: ;)
And then it turned out people preferred the bards? Look were we are now. People got carried away slamming both classes. ;)

A fighter-bard would be the skald, the hybrid class by Pathfinder.
Nope, just go with a valor (or swords for the more DEX oriented fighters) bard. The fili, skald, and jongleur were the main influences going into the bard in the first place. That is why it's a spell caster that has some weapon and armor proficiencies, and better hit points than traditional arcane spell casters.

There was never an edition that didn't have some of that martial influence. It's just that the martial aspects of a bard fall short compared to full martial classes, as they should.

I'm here because I prefer D&D to Pathfinder. Just sayin'. ;)
 

Bacon Bits

Adventurer
So, what is the difference between a Fighter and a "Warlord"?

I've never played or even seen the class, so I am honestly curious...
The class as a concept first appeared in the 3.5e Miniatures Handbook as the Marshall. Somewhat ironic because the revamped miniatures combat game is what became 4e. Anyways, this was the same book that Favored Soul, Healer, and War Mage appeared in. In many ways the class looks like a prototype of the Warlock that would appear in the next year's Complete Arcane. The class had medium attack bonus (Cleric/Rogue/Bard), Cleric saving throws, d8 Hit Die (Cleric/Monk), 4 skill points per level (Ranger/Bard), all martial weapons, and essentially all armor. The class's important ability scores were supposed to be Cha, then Con, then Int, but in reality it was almost exclusively Cha with Str or Dex if you actually wanted to attack yourself. The primary abilities of the class were:
  1. As an action, grant a move action to another character 1-5 times per day.
  2. As a bonus (swift) action, project 1 minor aura (add Cha mod to all checks for all allies in narrow categories like specific skills, one type of saving throw, etc.). You could learn up to 8 minor auras. The auras last until the Warlord ends them as a free action or activates a different minor aura.
  3. As a bonus (swift) action, project 1 major aura (add +1 to +4 to all die rolls for all allies broad or significant categories like all melee/ranged attack rolls, all damage rolls, all saving throws, all AC, all DR, extra squares of movement, etc.). You could learn up to 5 major auras.
The auras last essentially indefinitely and extend out large enough to cover basically the entire battlefield unless something strange is going on.

The class was interesting, but not particularly good which is why it's not always remembered. The medium attack bonus, focus on Cha, and requiring lots of allies to really pop off meant in regular play it felt like you needed 4 or 5 good stats to do well. You felt like a bad Paladin in a lot of ways. Also, it wasn't a spellcaster, and in 3.xe that meant you struggled to keep up above level 6-8.

In 4e, they appear as the Warlord in the PHB1. This class is still mostly cleric-like. Essentially, medium armor, martial weapons, medium HP gains. The class was focused primarily on Str with secondary focus (i.e., rider effects for powers) on Int (tactics) and Cha (inspiration). The class features were, basically:
  1. A version of the Cleric ability that became healing word in 5e.
  2. Give everyone a small initiative bonus.
  3. Get a bunch of powers that focus on tactical movement, granting bonus attacks, and sometimes healing or gaining temp HP.
  4. One of the at-will powers was, literally, "An ally of your choice makes a single melee attack against one target in your melee range. Add your Int mod to their damage." So you could take a spear (10 foot range), stand behind the highest damage attacker, and cause them to make extra attacks every round, dealing pretty high damage. This was the so-called "lazylord" because you never actually roll attack dice. You could have a very low Str and you'd do just fine, making it the only class in 4e that could ignore it's own prime requisite.
The 4e class wasn't amazing, but one thing it was really good at was rewarding system mastery. Even more so than the average 4e class. If you knew what you were doing, you could really do some gross things with this class. In the case of the Lazylord, often without ever rolling a single d20! On top of that, the class was much more fun to play (IMO and IMX) than the Cleric even though it didn't heal quite as well (though it could come very close). Like with most of the martial classes in 4e, the game did a good job of making you feel like Dolemite and The Avengers.

Our most memorable 4e Warlord was a gruff dwarf lazylord that acted like a stereotypical high school football coach. "Come on, walk it off, walk it off." "Just rub some dirt on it. You'll be fine." "You've got to get in there and keep fighting!" "A little blood never hurt anybody." "Come on, lads, what have we been training for?" "Come on! There's no second place on the field of battle!" "There's no crying in combat!"
 

Ashrym

Hero
4 skill points per level (Ranger/Bard)
Minor correction: 3.5 rangers and bards received 6 skill points per level. 3.0 rangers and bards received 4 skill points per level. 3.5 druids and barbarians received 4 skill points per level to fall more in line with a combat / support comparison. ;)

So, a THANKS!! shout-out to all the posters who took the time to explain the warlord concept to me. Much appreciated! :)
Yeah, warlords had a lot of tactical movement powers so when 5e drastically cut back on bonuses to movement or actions that kind of killed a lot of the powers.

Commander's strike was an at-will power that granted an ally a basic melee attack and added the warlord's INT bonus to the attack as one of the examples given above. That did make it from 4e into 5e as a battle master maneuver, and that's what it looks like in 5e terms after modifying it to better fit 5e action economy. The 4e version was a lot more prominent. The 5e version costs one attack and the bonus action so it so it's a lot more situational, but the fighter still gets other attacks at higher levels.

This is from page 144 of the 4e PHB:

1574924396901.png


The battle master inherited the tactical part of the 4e warlord. Warlord style battle master maneuvers: commander's strike, distracting strike, maneuvering attack, rally. Spend feats on healer and/or inspiring leader and that's the 5e tactical style warlord as presented. Nowhere near 4e but part of that is the 5e cut back in handing out bonus movement and actions so that was it.

The valor bard covers much of the 4e warlord by having the inspirational part. Bardic inspiration and combat inspiration cover that and are dedicated to other party members (warlords give out benefits to others). The valor bard with medium armor and shield, d8 hit points, and the inspiration abilities lines up very well with the 4e warlord. Bards have the benefit of healing in their spells to cover that aspect. But they are spell casters instead of a pure martial class. ;)

People who want a warlord with tactical and inspirational powers multiclass. Or homebrew it.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
I think the biggest problem with the Battlemaster's Commander Strike is that in 5e your basic melee attacks don't scale as well as they did in 4e (and in 4e you had one reaction PER TURN instead of PER ROUND). Your Fighter's Attack scales with iterative attack, but in 4e you'd not get extra attacks, but instead extra damage in the same way cantrips do in 5e (with damage expressed in 'W', for Weapon Dice).

So granting an attack to anyone BUT the Rogue is usually not that much better than you getting to attack yourself unless you go for really poor STR. If you go dual wield it also eats up your bonus action.

Also, your maneuvers don't really scale well and until the UA we hadn't gotten new maneuvers at all.

People who want a warlord with tactical and inspirational powers multiclass. Or homebrew it.
If I wanted a Warlord-y character I'd need to start at level 6. Battlemaster 3/Mastermind 3. I'd probably try to go all in on the Lazylord thing and get Commander's Striker, Rally, and the new skill based maneuvers... maybe with Archery Style so I don't need THAT good of a DEX score if I ever want to attack? And the Healer Fear (or Inspirational Leader with enough CHA but I think INT would be better here).

Of course, that means I'd only have 1 attack to spend for Commander's Strike until I took two more levels of Fighters...
 
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Ashrym

Hero
Or use the Noble n_n
:D

The thing is, I can understand how people feel about a class they like that gets either omitted or changed to become a part of another class. I wasn't happy when bards were not in 4e's PHB.

There were also barbarian, druid, and sorcerer fans unhappy about their favorite class not making the cut. It happens. The difference is the PHB2 came out (the following year IIRC) to include all 4 of those classes fairly early in the system, reversing the omission from the PHB.

5e didn't do that with classes people may have wanted and it looks like the warlord might have gone the way of the assassin and cavalier. It might only ever be represented in the battle master. If a person is a big fan of the class as a cleric alternative that sucks.
 

Ashrym

Hero
I think the biggest problem with the Battlemaster's Commander Strike is that in 5e your basic melee attacks don't scale as well as they did in 4e (and in 4e you had one reaction PER TURN instead of PER ROUND). Your Fighter's Attack scales with iterative attack, but in 4e you'd not get extra attacks, but instead extra damage in the same way cantrips do in 5e (with damage expressed in 'W', for Weapon Dice).

So granting an attack to anyone BUT the Rogue is usually not that much better than you getting to attack yourself unless you go for really poor STR. If you go dual wield it also eats up your bonus action.

Also, your maneuvers don't really scale well and until the UA we hadn't gotten new maneuvers at all.



If I wanted a Warlord-y character I'd need to start at level 6. Battlemaster 3/Mastermind 3. I'd probably try to go all in on the Lazylord thing and get Commander's Striker, Rally, and the new skill based maneuvers... maybe with Archery Style so I don't need THAT good of a DEX score if I ever want to attack? And the Healer Fear (or Inspirational Leader with enough CHA but I think INT would be better here).
I think if a person want the same ability as a past edition there are other classes that would need to start at a higher level. That's because of how 4e was implemented and how 5e is implemented.

It's hard to make a build focused on granting abilities to others in a system that deliberately removed strong granting of abilities to others. 5e doesn't actually support the playstyle that made warlords good, as I see it anyway, in respect to lazylords.

And commander's strike is very situational. It's good for handing out attacks to rogues or recklessly attacking GWM barbarians, or possibly a smite hungry paladin. It also benefits from granting a melee attack that would be from range for the fighter who might not be moving that far for whatever reason. I agree, it's not a replacement for the lazylord style. At all. But it does fit within 5e's approach.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Both of which are much better as subclasses than the original class. The 3rd edition spellcasting assassin was a particular abomination.
I knew a lot of people who really liked the first edition assassin, however. There is also the viewpoint that warlords with good system mastery were OP and considered CoDzilla-like, and the viewpoint that warlords were clerics casting spells but pretending they weren't casting spells because martial.

There were people who considered warlords a bad thing too. Is your opinion the only one that WotC should listen to? ;)
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I mean, AD&D had a Skald too, it's been around.
I know I am an ancient old fart. Had had many cases of Jim Beam, Mad Dog 20/20 and lots of bad beer. But you are going have to give me a book and page number for the Skald.
 

Ashrym

Hero
I know I am an ancient old fart. Had had many cases of Jim Beam, Mad Dog 20/20 and lots of bad beer. But you are going have to give me a book and page number for the Skald.
It was a Kit in the Complete Bard.
I don't think the kit was actually necessary. The original and 1e bard didn't need anything to play as a skald. The 2e kit offered a slight improvement in armor and inspiration iirc.
 

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