Pie in the Sky 6E


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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Warlord was a heavy tactics class with emphasis on positioning and sacrificing your actions to either buff/heal allies or to give allies actions.

For example, my favorite at-will was Wolfpack Tactics. It let me move an ally while I make an attack, positioning both of us into flanking positions, or getting them out of harm's way. And that was just one of my two at-wills.

In terms of combat things, is Paladin the closest in 5e?
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
In terms of combat things, is Paladin the closest in 5e?
In the same way Mars is the closest thing to Earth, honestly. Maybe Paladin has some spells that can do warlord stuff, but them being spells and thus a sad, limited resource makes it not.

Thank you for not thinking the Battlemaster can even hold a sad, once or twice and encounter candle to Warlord though.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
In the same way Mars is the closest thing to Earth, honestly. Maybe Paladin has some spells that can do warlord stuff, but them being spells and thus a sad, limited resource makes it not.

Thank you for not thinking the Battlemaster can even hold a sad, once or twice and encounter candle to Warlord though.

I've been in a game or two where the paladin has regularly stepped up and taken blows for people or used actions to deflect damage. I don't think I've been in one where anyone played a battlemaster...
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
As a person who only very lightly played 4e, what is the intense draw of the Warlord?
2 parts.
  1. The ability to use the mental parts of combat
  2. The ability to invoke the support side of combat
Inspiration, Tactics, Bravery, Resourcefulness, Team Play, Insight

Basically the abilty to use Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma in battle without needed it converting it into magic much how people do it in real life.
 

In the same way Mars is the closest thing to Earth, honestly. Maybe Paladin has some spells that can do warlord stuff, but them being spells and thus a sad, limited resource makes it not.

Thank you for not thinking the Battlemaster can even hold a sad, once or twice and encounter candle to Warlord though.
What about Bard? Like a "college of war" wherein bardic inspiration can be used for the things you describe?
 

James Gasik

Legend
What about Bard? Like a "college of war" wherein bardic inspiration can be used for the things you describe?
That might be a cool idea, but the Marshal/Warlord was a non-magical class that acted as a sort of force multiplier for their party. In addition to giving allies free attacks and buffing attacks, they could do things like give the whole team free movement with Reorient the Axis, or even get your party to stop dying with Stand the Fallen.

I never really grokked why they weren't liked more, since I know there are people who want low/no magic games. Sure, there were gripes about Warlord healing, but given the explanation of hit points has only ever partially been "physical injury", it's not really forcing the game to contort into unusual shapes.

Plus there are documented instances in the real world of military men rousing their subordinates from comas, shock, fatigue, and galvanizing them merely by barking orders authoritatively.
 



Raith5

Adventurer
I just want a 6e that is based on 5e and has a) more interesting monsters, b) more customization/design choices for PCs, c) something for my PC to spend gold on (masterwork items, magic items - I dont care if they are + or something more complex), and d) actually works well above 12th level.
 

Plus there are documented instances in the real world of military men rousing their subordinates from comas, shock, fatigue, and galvanizing them merely by barking orders authoritatively.
Yeah I was thinking of armies that used music and banners for inspiration and organization. The moon druid uses spell slots for something other than spells, so perhaps other classes could do that too.
 

James Gasik

Legend
I just want a 6e that is based on 5e and has a) more interesting monsters, b) more customization/design choices for PCs, c) something for my PC to spend gold on (masterwork items, magic items - I dont care if they are + or something more complex), and d) actually works well above 12th level.
These are all changes 5e could still make. But yeah, why fix the game when we can sell you all new core rulebooks?
 

Crimson Terrain

Explorer
Publisher
You know what might be awesome for Sorcerers? Raw Powers.

Rather than having specific spells, they pick damage types and ways to wield. And as they grow in power they get to unlock increasing steps of power, like more damage or bigger AoEs or different kinds of AoEs and then also give them utility functions that they can get and build up in different ways...

Like how Level Up does Eldritch Blast, but do a whole -class- built around that. Not casting spells like a Wizard, but straight WIELDING MAGIC itself.

Also make them Constitution Casters.
Con casters really don't work well for what should be obvious reasons, but I'm on board for the rest.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
... given the choice I'll take a mana pool.

Your core class ability shouldn't make you suck at existing for using it in a D&D style game.

3e introduced "Players roll all dice" so instead of an attack roll coming at you, you'd roll with your armor bonus to beat their Attack DC.

I think that's mostly good enough to make it work? Maybe have different "Ways" to defend yourself. Whether it's big heavy armor + Con bonus to be durable, Light armor + Dex + Weapon Mod for parry, or Intelligence+Proficiency to use a mystical barrier.
In the game I’m building, you defend with a skill, just like you attack with a skill. Which skill is largely up to the player, with GM able to veto absurd choices. It’s fun!
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
What about Bard? Like a "college of war" wherein bardic inspiration can be used for the things you describe?
So the real big thing that keeps this from happening is... the mechanics don't exist in 5e.

So going back to my example, we have Wolf Pack Tactics. That was an at-will deal. I could do that every round, whenever I wanted. You don't get to do cool things whenever you want in 5e if you're not a caster. It has to be based on points or dice or some other rest-resetting ability. The game wants to push you into spending at least half of each combat using a basic, barebones attack with the excuse being making a choice every round is too hard and too time-consuming.

But that's not all.

My other favorite was Commander's Strike. It just straight up let me spend my normal attack allowing an ally to make an attack with a bonus equal to my INT mod. Basically, I gave my buddy an extra attack with a bonus rather than trying myself. It's an ability to manipulate the action economy in a fairly complex way. They get this attack out of turn, meaning that they get to, for example, attack early should they have rolled poorly on initiative, or when it would be better for them to act instead of me.

Again, a mechanic that's not in this edition. There's no replacement for that.

I can't remember the name, but I then had an encounter power that let me switch places with an ally within a certain distance. I could do this in every encounter, and since it didn't draw AOO, it let me put myself in harm's way for an ally, set up flanking between two allies, or put enemies in harm's way by placing the casters in a strategic position. Again, screwing with positioning and action economy with an on-tap resource I'm not going to be missing from a battle.

Further on, there were paragon path abilities that used action points.

Action Points were like inspiration, but awesome. They gave you an additional action when popped and at the second tier (level 10+) you got a paragon path that let you get other bennies when you popped them. So I could do things like Wolf Pack Tactics to make an attack nd move an ally into position, then pop my action point, using Commander's Strike to let them attack. Then my inspiring action(I think that was the name) let another ally try to break out of an effect they were under or get temp HP.

That's a non-spellcaster just absolutely changing the momentum of a fight in one turn and it was so much fun and that's... not a thing anymore and likely never will be. And that's a shame.
 

As a person who only very lightly played 4e, what is the intense draw of the Warlord?
Others have covered some of it, so this may seem a bit repetitious now, but it was all of the following:
  • Re-introducing the "leader of men" archetype. AIUI, before 2e, Fighters became legit landed nobility, with retainers, servants, and the responsibilities and rewards of being "lord/lady of the manor." 2e and 3e let that archetype lapse (until very late 3.5e with the Marshal.) Giving that archetype its own defined space was a popular move.
  • Offering a "cerebral" martial character. This means both letting players play martial characters who valued mental stats as much as (if not more than) physical stats, but also giving players martial characters which emphasized tactical choices, deep and meaningful gameplay, and a party-wide perspective as opposed to a personal-focused perspective (which was an overall goal of 4e; the Warlord was just the most prominent demonstration of that goal.)
  • Making a support character exciting, even daring. Support-focused characters are generally not very entertaining, but there are a lot of players out there who genuinely enjoy supporting other people, rather than being the ones doing the direct actions. The Warlord was the best example in 4e of a support-focused character that was genuinely a lot of fun to play. Part of this stems from the Warlord being a very active support, whereas D&D has traditionally focused on passive and reactive support. Another part comes from 4e actually leveraging the Standard vs Minor action distinction to enable Leaders, like Warlords, to simultaneously do something impressive (usually Standard actions) and do something to help out or patch up an ally (usually Minor actions.)
  • Diversifying the martial class-space. Have you ever noticed how we have three or four different variations on "arcane full-caster"? Each with half a dozen or more subtle variations? Yet we have basically one "guy who fights with weapons." Warlord created diversity by emphasizing different aspects of the martial class-space: instead of Fighter having to be all things to all people when it comes to martial classes, it could be some things for all people, and Warlord (along with other classes) could fill other needs.
  • It was "new" in the way Dragonborn were "new." That is, technically, something like it had existed in late-3e, the Marshal class. But having it front-and-center, PHB1? That was different, and it caught attention. This also meant that, because it had been around from the beginning, it got a lot of pretty good support, and became very diverse toward the end of 4e's run (e.g. the "lazylord" became one possible build path, though I personally favored Bravura, the "high-risk, high-reward" leadership style, kinda-sorta the "subclass" in 5e terms.)
Due to the combination of these effects, Warlords are iconic for 4e. They were quite popular while 4e was running, and their exclusion from 5e was a very noticeable...choice, to use a more neutral term than I normally would.

In that light, how can you be a "Warlord" at 1st level...

Seems like something that should be a 3E Prestige class. 🤷‍♂️
How can you be a "Paladin" at 1st level? How can you be a "Warlock"? How can you be a Wizard, someone who has to have completed years of education and training before they could attain such a lofty rank! How can a mere novitiate call upon the great miracles of the gods?!

The argument is specious. We allow for varying levels of "background training" or the like before a character actively appears in the narrative. And where we choose not to do that, we write our own explanation of what the class is--potentially even making an outright break with the implied flavor of the name. "Warlord," "Marshal," "Captain," they're labels, just as "Barbarian" is a label which does not literally mean "a person who does not speak Greek, so they just babble 'bar bar bar.'"

Plus, just try proposing the addition of a PrC. Any PrC. Doesn't matter how you spin it. You'll get shouted down by folks who hated the 3e version (for good reason, 3e PrCs were bad design) and thus respond equally negatively to any proposed new ones. I would know. I tried. Even as just a trial balloon, even as literally just "if the issues could be fixed, would you consider this?", folks were near-unanimous, on multiple forums, that PrCs are bad bad bad and should never ever EVER be allowed to exist in 5e.

In terms of combat things, is Paladin the closest in 5e?
Not really. The fact it uses spells is a huge issue, same with Bard (the other primary "well isn't it just an X?" option.)

The community term for the brute mechanical function of the Warlord, or any other similar sort of thing, is "full Cleric replacement." That is, the Warlord could do everything the baseline Cleric could do through its class actions: it could heal (though not as well as a Cleric could), it could grant saves (ditto), it could buff (generally better than a Cleric would, especially for offense), and it could grant attacks (one of the best at doing so.) Notably, raise dead was a ritual in 4e, which meant anyone could learn it; Clerics could get it inherently, to having Ritual Caster as a bonus feat, but a Warlord could easily pick up Ritual Caster and would spend exactly the same money a Cleric would in order to learn it. (Incidentally, this meant a Wizard could actually be even better at resurrecting the dead than a Cleric, as they got some rituals for free, unlike most other classes that get the Ritual Caster feat as a starting feature.)

The Warlord was an entirely non-spellcasting character. She might be doing things that in our world would be outright supernatural, but in D&D are pretty much par for the course (even in 5e, consider Fighter self-healing). She didn't "shout wounds closed"--but she could help her allies survive shock long enough to actually recover, so long as they still had some gas left in the proverbial tank. (Which, believe it or not, is actually more similar to real-life healing than D&D usually is. Many deaths from injuries would have been preventable if the shock those injuries caused had been addressed fast enough. That's one part of why CPR and AEDs are so important; they can keep a person alive through the period of shock, allowing medical treatment to restore homeostasis, and thus saving a life.)
 
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What about Bard? Like a "college of war" wherein bardic inspiration can be used for the things you describe?
As noted above, (a) still a spellcaster, and (b) getting to do something cool at most 5 times per short rest is...a little iffy, given the utility of 4e At-Will and Encounter powers. It might, barely, work for the early levels, given the whole "you have 1 encounter and 1 daily" sort of thing, but the comparison will really start to show its faults around roughly 5th-6th level (if we take the "1 5e level = 1.5 4e levels" convention, that would be roughly level 8-9 in 4e), where characters now have multiple encounter and daily powers, and Bardic inspiration is still stuck at 5/short rest if you took +2 Cha at level 4.

Edit: And if you rebuild a Bard that doesn't use spellcasting, replacing it with some other mechanic, and which has unique and powerful Bardic Inspiration uses...why even keep calling it a "Bard"? You've just totally rewritten the class, you may as well just call it Warlord (or Captain or Marshal or whatever) and be done with it.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
A non-caster bard that used the inspirational power of music (remember when bards played music?) would be awesome, actually.

Ongoing effects that are altered or supplemented by chord changes, breakdowns, choruses, crescendos, etc...
 


James Gasik

Legend
A sacred cow I'd like to slay would be how Hit Dice are assigned to classes. Hit points are, in part, the ability of a character to avoid serious injury due to skill, finesse, luck, danger sense, etc..

It strikes me, then, that melee classes that typically don't wear much armor should have higher Hit Dice to reflect the fact that they will take more damage due to being hit more often (due to lower AC). Perhaps the Monk should have d12 Hit Die, and the Rogue have d10?

I'd argue for lowering Barbarians to d10 and Fighters and Paladins to d8 based on this paradigm as well.
 

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