5E The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?

Which Class does the "Warrior Hero" Archetype best?

  • Battlemaster Fighter

    Votes: 11 11.7%
  • Paladin

    Votes: 51 54.3%
  • Valor Bard

    Votes: 19 20.2%
  • Other - Note in the Thread

    Votes: 13 13.8%

  • Total voters
    94

Stalker0

Adventurer
If we do go back and consider that the archetype doesn't typically use a lot of his own magic, though, the Paladin's victory isn't complete
You could flavor a paladin smites as just “big attacks”, and never cast a spell. It’s not perfect but it gets you closer.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
2) Charisma as a mechanical asset. Its easy to say "get persuasion + charisma = win", but we are looking at what classes actually incorporate charisma into the class, as opposed to just window dressing.
[...]
So which class does it best? Which is the best representation of the archetypical "warrior hero"?
These requirements are almost mutually exclusive. The warrior hero archetype doesn't rely on magic to do their dirty work. Battle Master wins by default.
 
Agree with the basic premise, but I voted valor bard. The charismatic leader is rarely the best straight-up fighter in the group. He usually wins by either having great will/resolve (which favors the paladin), by being creative and cunning (which favors the bard), or by being able to inspire his companions to be better than they thought they could be (which also favors the bard).
If we change requirement 1) in the OP to "capable second-tier combatant" or words to that effect, the Paladin hits two out of three, the Bard three out of three, and the Fighter 0 - though, you could always downplay the Pally or Fighter's combat ability by under-investing in STR/DEX/CON and eschewing combat-related feats.
 

Psyzhran2357

Villager
These requirements are almost mutually exclusive. The warrior hero archetype doesn't rely on magic to do their dirty work. Battle Master wins by default.
Except that the OP was specifically looking for charismatic heroes, and unless somebody rolled 14-18 for all 6 stats, Charisma is probably not going to be a priority to invest in, so that Battlemaster Fighter doesn't come out as the most charismatic of fellows. They're going to place their highest number in one of Strength or Dexterity so their attacks can land more often and deal more damage, then in Constitution so they don't die, and then probably in Wisdom so they're less likely to get caught with their pants down.

And I don't see a build centering around Commander's Strike and Rally being particularly useful. The action economy works against you for the former and the HP scaling on the latter isn't great. Most Battlemasters would be better off aiding their allies by inconveniencing their enemies through Disarming Attack, Menacing Attack, Trip Attack, etc.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
Except that the OP was specifically looking for charismatic heroes, and unless somebody rolled 14-18 for all 6 stats, Charisma is probably not going to be a priority to invest in, so that Battlemaster Fighter doesn't come out as the most charismatic of fellows. They're going to place their highest number in one of Strength or Dexterity so their attacks can land more often and deal more damage, then in Constitution so they don't die, and then probably in Wisdom so they're less likely to get caught with their pants down.
Yes, if you're trying to fulfill a literary trope, then you need to give your characters some literary consideration. That is to say, as the designated protagonist, they should be rolling 1d6+12 for each stat. Low stats are for chumps.

If you're rolling randomly, then the warrior hero is the fighter who happened to roll well in Charisma. If you aren't rolling randomly, then the closest you can come is a Battle Master with the Rally maneuver, which is not an optimal build (though it is still quite playable, of course).
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Charismatic heroes are lame. I'll take the socially awkward hero please. The one who wins over his friends with honesty and decency rather than bravado and guile.

As far as the Trope goes Paladin's are too pretentious and limited by their oaths, Valor Bards fill too much of a support role to be the main hero in a party, and Battlemaster doesn't have any of it's features enhanced by Charisma so the obvious choice is... Berserker.
 

Psyzhran2357

Villager
Charismatic heroes are lame. I'll take the socially awkward hero please. The one who wins over his friends with honesty and decency rather than bravado and guile.

As far as the Trope goes Paladin's are too pretentious and limited by their oaths, Valor Bards fill too much of a support role to be the main hero in a party, and Battlemaster doesn't have any of it's features enhanced by Charisma so the obvious choice is... Berserker.
Ancients Paladin. Be the life of the party.
Conquest Paladin. Drop the preachy :):):):):):):):) and smite some fools.
Redemption Paladin. Be the person who gelieves in those who don't believe in themselves.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Ancients Paladin. Be the life of the party.
Conquest Paladin. Drop the preachy :):):):):):):):) and smite some fools.
Redemption Paladin. Be the person who gelieves in those who don't believe in themselves.
Life of the Party character's are rarely main heroes. They tend tend to be supporting characters.

Conquest has some Dark and Brooding stuff going for it, but it's not all that heroic by nature. Great Anti-hero though.

Redemption is back to being support again.

Edit: Conquest and Redemption are also from splat books which makes them outside the OP's parameters.
 
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Life of the Party character's are rarely main heroes. They tend tend to be supporting characters.
Redemption is back to being support again.
Support is a /requirement/ for this archetype as envisioned by the OP:

3) Ability to inspire and improve a party. Again, we want to show some mechanics as to why a group follow this person. How does this leader "lead" using the mechanics of the game?
 

Kurotowa

Explorer
Sounds like we're talking about a Dragon Quest issue Hero of Light type here. Someone who fights well, leads from the front, is the nucleus for the formation of a team with their idealism inspiring others to join the cause, and optionally has a smattering of divine blessings to cement their Chosen One status. That sure sounds like a Paladin to me.

Valor Bards are too focused on enabling others and casting spells. Battlemaster Fighters can be made to work, but more naturally fit the "accomplished warrior" role than the "inspiring leader" one. For those who suggest Hexblade, while I love the class the flavor just runs at a cross grain to what the OP describes. If you want a blessed champion who rallies others to their banner, Paladin has got to be the first choice.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Support is a /requirement/ for this archetype as envisioned by the OP:
I don't mean some who supports the party though mechanics, but one who is more likely to take a supporting role in the narrative.

I can't really think of any heroic fiction main character that would suit the redemption paladin.

My tongue was firmly in cheek on the Berserker. While it is the only PHB non-spellcaster to get a feature that keys of charisma (that I know of) it certainly doesn't inspire.

If I want to make a Captain America character in 5e and the various 3rd party Warlords are off the table I'd go Battlemaster fighter with good Charisma and the inspiring leader feat even over the various flavors of Paladin.
 
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I don't mean some who supports the party though mechanics, but one who is more likely to take a supporting role in the narrative.
I can't really think of any heroic fiction main character that would suit the redemption paladin.
Lancelot and Galahad/Percival were the archetypes that inspired it (the original LG Paladin).

My tongue was firmly in cheek on the Berserker. While it is the only PHB non-spellcaster to get a feature that keys of charisma (that I know of) it certainly doesn't inspire.
Stalker0 chose Rally because it does key of CHA. It's dwarfed by Inspiring Leader, which anyone can take, and is off the table in this instance, but it's a mechanical use of CHA, however trivial.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Lancelot and Galahad/Percival were the archetypes that inspired it (the original LG Paladin).
Are they main character's though or supporting character's in Arthur's story? I mean overall I know Lancelot in particualr is a main character of the Vulgate Cycle, though de-emphasized in the post-vulgate.

Arthur though we see from young Wart, progressing through pulling the sword in the stone. He is the one the Knights of the round table rally around and the story of Camelot. We just don't get the childhood details of Lancy or Gally and while Noble Knights I think Lancelot and Galahad both do more personal questing than inspiring others around them. But it's been a while since I read Le Morte d'Arthur or Once and Future King.

Though the point is pretty moot as Mike gave Arthur both Warlord and Paladin levels. And I can't say I disagree with him. http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?642472-Mythological-Figures-King-Arthur-(5E)

Stalker0 chose Rally because it does key of CHA. It's dwarfed by Inspiring Leader, which anyone can take, and is off the table in this instance, but it's a mechanical use of CHA.
Thanks. I knew I was forgetting one.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Agree with the basic premise, but I voted valor bard. The charismatic leader is rarely the best straight-up fighter in the group. He usually wins by either having great will/resolve (which favors the paladin), by being creative and cunning (which favors the bard), or by being able to inspire his companions to be better than they thought they could be (which also favors the bard).

Either answer could work, but I prefer playing bards.
I agree with you sentiments. At the same time, the Bard feels like a full spellcaster to me, and of course is one.

I love the fact that there is such thing as a "clean-cut, shining, Charismatic mage hero".
 
Are they main character's though or supporting character's in Arthur's story? I mean overall I know Lancelot in particualr is a main character of the Vulgate Cycle, though de-emphasized in the post-vulgate.
In the narrative sense, they're main characters in the grail quest (and in some of their own stories), while Arthur is waiting in the background. So, yeah.

Thanks. I knew I was forgetting one.
Yeah, I had to look it up to make sure. ;)
 

Mercule

Adventurer
I agree with you sentiments. At the same time, the Bard feels like a full spellcaster to me, and of course is one.

I love the fact that there is such thing as a "clean-cut, shining, Charismatic mage hero".
True enough. Flavor-wise, the bard has always seemed more like "what I do is magical" and less like a full caster, regardless of mechanics. That's entirely and admittedly my skew to it, though.
 

Voadam

Adventurer
If I want to make a Captain America character in 5e and the various 3rd party Warlords are off the table I'd go Battlemaster fighter with good Charisma and the inspiring leader feat even over the various flavors of Paladin.
If I am making Captain America from Avengers I might go Valor Bard. His fighting is decent like everyone else's but second tier to the big guns of the party.

Hulk = Barbarian
Thor = Paladin smiting
Iron Man = Tricked out Wizard

Black Widow = Rogue
Hawkeye = Ranger
Captain America = Bard.

Valor bards are decent second string combatants and he inspires everyone all the time. Plus valor can give him blue chain mail and shield proficiency. :) All his bard buff spells can be somatic component patriotic or noble pose, verbal component stirring speech.
 

S'mon

Legend
Well I think it's a choice between Battlemaster and Paladin, since the trope guy is a warrior first, so Bard does not fit. Bards are more a support type character in most fiction with groups, not the leader.

The Paladin save bonus aura fits, but the spell powers only fit a few characters like Jedi knights and possibly King Arthur types.

Overall for most games a Fighter with good Cha seems to fit best. In my Thule games there are 2 pcs like this - an Eldritch knight and a fighter/wizard, both have the Atlantean Noble narrative which gives a warlord type power to grant allies free attacks. It also helps I do best 3 of 5d6 in order for stats so no dump stats.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
2) Charisma as a mechanical asset. Its easy to say "get persuasion + charisma = win", but we are looking at what classes actually incorporate charisma into the class, as opposed to just window dressing.
What's easy is to dismiss how far an ability gets you.

Since D&D is a combat game first and second (and third) just having a great Charisma score gets you a very long way in out-of-combat challenges.

Also: being personally charismatic can easily have a much larger impact on being personally capable in combat. That is, while the difference between a minmaxed and an average character is large when viewed as a group game; in terms of story power the difference is negligible. Being able to rally thousands is rather better than being able to kill monsters 6 seconds faster, after all.

These two things mean that while a topic like "which class brings the most mechanical impact for using Charisma in combat" where the Fighter doesn't come close to the top, for the purposes of enabling "the charismatic Hero" the fighter is entirely adequate.

Give him Folk Hero or Noble background, have him donate a few coppers for bread to the poor, and you're all set.

The only reason Charisma isn't totally overpowered compared to the other abilities is because the group is focused on the player characters, more or less neutering its main ability: to get others to fight and sacrifice themselves for you.
 

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