4E The Non Combatant (Princess) or How to Abuse a Warlord

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Actually ... the idea is to explore ways to create fully contributing non-combatants

Princess Verdicia, level 1
Half-Elf, Warlord
Commanding Presence: Inspiring Presence
Noble Scion Benefit: Religion
Background: Noble Scion (Noble Scion Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 8, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 18.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 11, Dex 8, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 16.


AC: 16 Fort: 12 Reflex: 13 Will: 15
HP: 25 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +10, History +8, Diplomacy +11, Heal +6

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics -2, Arcana +3, Bluff +4, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance, Insight +3, Intimidate +4, Nature +1, Perception +1, Stealth -2, Streetwise +4, Thievery -2, Athletics -1

FEATS
Level 1: Inspiring Aid

POWERS
Dilettante: Cutting Words
Warlord at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Warlord at-will 1: Direct the Strike
Warlord encounter 1: Provocative Order
Warlord daily 1: Lead by Example

Her at wills and encounter powers should be skinned variously....

Running to hide behind her ally (steps back out afterward) and thereby leading the enemy in to her allies blade
Screaming in Fright or Getting horrified look on her face which warns an ally of an attacker who then gets an unexpected opening out of turn.

Her cutting words are boosted by magical force as much because she was raised by fey as anything else.
picture a close up of her mouth as she harranges somebody if the attack is defeats the enemy they feint. or flee in horror depending on ones sense of humor.

Her inspiring aid is her talking about something completelly different than the subject at hand and that reminding the target of something very significant.

The lead by example is actually better if it misses and ;-p since its strength based in some ways it becomes quickly less possible to be non-combatant (low strength and effective without taking a very narrow path). My next shot is going to be a hybrid Warlord Bard ... I probably put irrational levels of charisma in this one anyway ;-) .

I think the Warlords at-wills skin so nicely that I am thinking to use hybrid warlords for all demi or virtually non combatant characters ;-p

Your magic user from yester year who used to hide behind the paladin because it was stupid to do otherwise can now do it again... but contribute in the process of doing so ;p
 
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eriktheguy

Visitor
I'm surprised you chose warlord for non-combatant support. Many of their powers rely on hitting to deal damage. I would have gone for a cleric or bard myself. Bard's can be 'flavored' as non-combat especially well. Their attacks deal damage through hurtful words and demoralization.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'm surprised you chose warlord for non-combatant support. Many of their powers rely on hitting to deal damage. I would have gone for a cleric or bard myself. Bard's can be 'flavored' as non-combat especially well. Their attacks deal damage through hurtful words and demoralization.
I invite a details on your concept my second idea is coming

Bardic Demoralization is sort of the Voiciferous Harpy Princess... or is it Fiona Blowing up a Bird... ;p and it is definitely on the list... actually I am finding all leaders worthwhile... the Warlord is my first take and I notice not as useful at higher levels though its utils and some of its feats are still very sweet.

The Two at wills ... for the Warlord work very nearly perfectly... with nothing in the Bard Repertoire or Cleric Repertoire, to match them. Hell I would be happy if we had a cross class version of those ;-)

Lets see how this hybrid here works.

Princess Aviona, level 6
Half-Elf, Warlord|Bard
Warlord Leadership: Combat Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Fortitude
Hybrid Bard: Hybrid Bard Will
Hybrid Talent: Commanding Presence (Hybrid)
Commanding Presence (Hybrid): Inspiring Presence (Hybrid)
Noble Scion Benefit: Religion
Background: Noble Scion (Noble Scion Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 8, Int 17, Wis 13, Cha 19.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 11, Dex 8, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 16.


AC: 19 Fort: 15 Reflex: 16 Will: 18
HP: 50 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 12

TRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +14, Insight +11, Perception +9, Arcana +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +2, Bluff +8, Dungeoneering +5, Endurance +4, Heal +5, History +7, Intimidate +8, Nature +5, Religion +9, Stealth +2, Streetwise +8, Thievery +2, Athletics +3

FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Inspiring Aid
Level 4: Arkhosian high Style
Level 6: Emboldening Presence

POWERS
Dilettante: Astral Seal
Hybrid at-will 1: Cutting Words
Hybrid at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Provocative Order
Hybrid daily 1: Echoes of the Guardian
Hybrid utility 2: Hasty Alert
Hybrid encounter 3: Fast Friends
Hybrid daily 5: A Rock and a Hard Place
Hybrid utility 6: Haggle

Her astral seal looks like her crying in distress and pointing at the subject.
But most of the time she is dodging behind an ally or balling the enemy out with cutting words.
Fast friends is a harmless little old me stance ..you wouldnt hit a girl would you.
 
A hybrid warlord|shaman can actually get close to never making an attack roll. (It's referred to as the "lazy warlord".)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
A hybrid warlord|shaman can actually get close to never making an attack roll. (It's referred to as the "lazy warlord".)
Post if if you got it... I am wanting to compile Archetypes along with actual builds ...

The Wonder Child (with race as hafling or gnome certainly... and some magical/clerical as the second).

The golden One pacificist healer (isnt that one too easy)... anyone have a favorite build ;p?

When I built Frodo I made him a demi-combatant by hybriding warlord and rogue... I picked things like underhanded tactics to nerf his roguish damage boost, didnt want him feeling that nasty.
 

keterys

Visitor
There are several warlord daily powers that have Effects that matter more than the hit, or that are actually just as good (or better) on a Miss (like they give allies attacks, allies who might have bonuses)

Could do a hybrid cleric/warlord, also.
 
It's not in any way optimal, but:

Warlord|Shaman/Everflame Guardian/[Epic Destiny], Level 30

Relevant Feats

  • Divine Secretkeeper (Invoker Multiclass)
  • Novice Power
  • Adept Power
  • Reserve Maneuver (Swap out the PP's encounter attack 11 for a lower-level power from the next list.)
Powers

  • At-Will: Claws of the Eagle (Shaman)
  • At-Will: Commander's Strike (Warlord) OR Direct the Strike (Warlord)
  • Encounter 1: Powerful Warning (Warlord) or Provocative Order (Warlord)
  • Daily 1: Great Watcher Spirit (Shaman)
  • Encounter 3: Sly Fox Spirit (Shaman)
  • Daily 5: A Rock and a Hard Place (Warlord) OR Scent of Victory (Warlord)
  • Encounter 7: Written in Fire (Invoker, via Novice Power)
  • Daily 9: Awakened Wrath (Warlord) OR Warlord's Recovery (Warlord)
  • Encounter 13: Spirit of the Killing Shot (Shaman) OR Befuddling Cry (Warlord) OR Bolstering Insight (Warlord) OR Pincer Maneuver (Warlord)
  • Daily 15: Wall of Blades (Invoker, via Adept Power)
  • Encounter 17: We Will Not Fail (Warlord, technically lets you make a basic attack as well, but best we can do here)
  • Daily 19: Exhorted Counterattack (Warlord)
  • Encounter 23: Spirit of the Ram (Shaman)
  • Daily 25: Precision Stance (Warlord) OR Warlord's Resurgence (Warlord)
  • Encounter 27: Offering of Peace (Invoker)
  • Daily 29: Heart of Bedlam (Shaman) OR Deific Rallying (Warlord) OR Perfect Front (Warlord)
You can dump Strength entirely. Depending on your hybrid talent you may have any or all of Int, Wis, or Cha riders.
 

eriktheguy

Visitor
Oops, I meant most warlord powers require a hit to cause their effects. In any case I haven't played enough of the other leaders to know for sure.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think presentation can have a huge impact... my current favorite dmpc is a pure wizard who's powers are almost entirely flavored as his faerrie servants... doing things for him.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Wolf Boy... was raised by wolves his charisma is very bad... but he was never that aggressivel ... but has a life long companion to pick up the slack... He dodges behind the warrior types or lets his wolf friend do the fighting... his perception is off the charts and by watching him everyone is at an advantage. I think I might have him use a sling later on... and let him get good at that retraining maybe?

Human Warlord/Ranger(Beastmaster)


Wolf Boiy, level 6
Human, Ranger|Warlord
Hybrid Ranger: Hybrid Ranger Fortitude
Warlord Leadership: Combat Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Will
Hybrid Talent: Ranger Fighting Style
Ranger Fighting Style: Beast Mastery (Hybrid)
Beast Companion Type: Wolf

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 16, Int 13, Wis 19, Cha 8.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 15, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 8.


AC: 16 Fort: 16 Reflex: 17 Will: 19
HP: 50 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 12

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +8, Endurance +9, Perception +12, Nature +12, Stealth +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +6, Arcana +4, Bluff +2, Diplomacy +2, Dungeoneering +7, Heal +7, History +4, Insight +7, Intimidate +2, Religion +4, Streetwise +2, Thievery +6

FEATS
Human: Hybrid Talent
Level 1: Beast Guidance
Level 2: Hunting Wolf Style
Level 4: Don't Count Me Out
Level 6: Savage Wolf

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Direct the Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Predator Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Feral Ambush
Hybrid daily 1: Partnered Savaging
Hybrid utility 2: Flash of Insight
Hybrid encounter 3: Powerful Warning
Hybrid daily 5: Scent of Victory
Hybrid utility 6: Weave Through the Fray
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The princess at level six still relies on her body guards in a fight
but her smiles now seem to really take the bite out any fatigue
her companions may be feeling now... and they even
find themselves striking harder when the strike is for her.

Princess Verdicia, level 6
Half-Elf, Warlord
Build: Inspiring Warlord
Warlord: Battlefront Leader
Commanding Presence: Inspiring Presence
Noble Scion Benefit: Religion
Background: Noble Scion (Noble Scion Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 8, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 19.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 11, Dex 8, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 16.


AC: 21 Fort: 16 Reflex: 17 Will: 19
HP: 50 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 12

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +13, History +11, Diplomacy +14, Heal +10

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana +6, Bluff +7, Dungeoneering +5, Endurance +3, Insight +7, Intimidate +7, Nature +5, Perception +5, Stealth +1, Streetwise +7, Thievery +1, Athletics +2

FEATS
Level 1: Inspiring Aid
Level 2: Emboldening Presence
Level 4: Improved Inspiring Word
Level 6: Lend Strength

POWERS
Dilettante: Cutting Words
Warlord at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Warlord at-will 1: Direct the Strike
Warlord encounter 1: Provocative Order
Warlord daily 1: Lead by Example
Warlord utility 2: Hasty Alert
Warlord encounter 3: Inspire Resilience
Warlord daily 5: Scent of Victory
Warlord utility 6: Rousing Words
 
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Somebloke

Visitor
May I make a suggestion?

I have been in a very similar situation in my campaign, with the heroes escorting a princess across a continent on a pilgrimage, so I may have some insight into the matter. After six levels of effectively sitting back and doing very little (with grumbles from the party that she could be a bit more helpful) I statted up a character sheet- designing her as a 'monster' with encounter powers only and limited 'per encounter' healing surges.

My first question is :Who will be running said princess? Either way presents problems-

- The DM runs the princess- this of course leads to the problems associated with any DM run character. I really avoided this path, since the players were still a little touchy about a her vs. them moment (roleplaying only) earlier and I really didn't want to tempt fate (I also now tend to have her 'decide' things and 'give orders' based on a party vote made beforehand).

- The player(s) run the character. I've tried this, deliberately slimming down the character abilities to present her as a playable 'monster'. Despite the stripped down abilities the character either presented a headache for whoever had control over her (oh great, so I have yet another set of abilities to figure out?) or used a little too effectively by the party synergizer/powergamer.

I decided to take a third option. I statted out some warlord/cleric/bard powers (one 'level step' below the player's highest level encounter power) and printed them out onto cards (total of ten, for four players). I would then hand them out to the characters to use as free actions during the turn- simulating her contributions to the battle over the encounter. It freed me up, it freed the players up and it gave an impression that she was actually doing something (I treated a 'free' encounter power each as an extra player's worth of xp for the xp budget).

Anyway- I just wanted to share, since my experiments with a non-player-character in the party led at first to tension and/or dissatisfied players. Feel free to ignore all of the above. I will repeat though- if you do want to include her, use the templates given in the DMG for monsters rather than as a fully-bulked out player. It will be so much easier.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
You have some intriging ideas in there. .I do see what you mean about higher abstraction working fine for NPCs of the noncombatant variety...

There is heroic fiction that comingles very combatant and very nearly non-combatant characters...or even demi-combatant characters (see Mowgli above... or frodo I did in another thread). Still Non-combatants in these story lines may still be very central to the story (do they need to be npcs?) still contributing to the battle scenes by how there luck brings to bear and how they inspire the heros. After all everyone wants "a girl worth fighting for".

There is another possibiity that I like ... and its a classic... sometimes the non-combatant "Wonder Child" who has been relying on the other heros and dodging behind there swords ... under goes a climactic rebuild making them in to a full on combatant... though you may be able to shift a character quite a ways via retraining

I have very few Players (usually 2 sometimes 3) and they Tend to need rather healthy support from any NPC I contribute to the mix. I know I find my Master of Faerries for whome his combat actions are amost entirely not really him doing it very fun... And after all a PC might want to play a librarian or political debutante type ;-).
Combine that with the potential for comedy relief in the battle?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
More Flavor Text

Not sure why this entered my head and is forcing itself out. But somehow flavor text for the thread is still missing.

The reason why some noncombatant characters stay as close to the forefront of the fight as they tend to? Sometimes storywise they are the focus of the fight the enemies target and they cling to a bodyguard as a necessity but not always.. it can be they are brave to fault, curious and concerned for those who they travel with and even if they dont/wont kill anything they want to help (but arent sure how). A sudden scream which distracts an enemy and gives an ally an opening from a distance is handy but the characters arent planning for that... just exploiting it when it happens. It might be something else like a poorly tossed rock which distracts the enemy hey look how bad the attack was hehehe oops forgot the other guy. Princess Michelle is a rousing 8 dex so she can do all kinds of accidental things ;-).

Some of the hybrid warlords are demi combatants and only consider themselves ranged so making sure they stay close to a melee competant ally and intensionaly provoking that enemy in to the blade of there ally rather than providing the enemy nice attacks against them works great or

Even cooler a Wizard might skin it as Arcane (kind of like using cantrips in a fight but even just for flavor) using there powers to distract an enemy or befuddle them cause them to forget the ally they were targetting is there or even physically push them at the right time for them to be skewered on your allies nearby weapon.

4e character creation on the interweb is often mis-characterized as being not versatile... In the here and now with a little imagination this seems just so wrong.
 
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Not sure why this entered my head and is forcing itself out. But somehow flavor text for the thread is still missing.

The reason why some noncombatant characters stay as close to the forefront of the fight as they tend to? Sometimes storywise they are the focus of the fight the enemies target and they cling to a bodyguard as a necessity but not always.. it can be they are brave to fault, curious and concerned for those who they travel with and even if they dont/wont kill anything they want to help (but arent sure how). A sudden scream which distracts an enemy and gives an ally an opening from a distance is handy but the characters arent planning for that... just exploiting it when it happens. It might be something else like a poorly tossed rock which distracts the enemy hey look how bad the attack was hehehe oops forgot the other guy. Princess Michelle is a rousing 8 dex so she can do all kinds of accidental things ;-).

Some of the hybrid warlords are demi combatants and only consider themselves ranged so making sure they stay close to a melee competant ally and intensionaly provoking that enemy in to the blade of there ally rather than providing the enemy nice attacks against them works great or

Even cooler a Wizard might skin it as Arcane (kind of like using cantrips in a fight but even just for flavor) using there powers to distract an enemy or befuddle them cause them to forget the ally they were targetting is there or even physically push them at the right time for them to be skewered on your allies nearby weapon.

4e character creation on the interweb is often mis-characterized as being not versatile... In the here and now with a little imagination this seems just so wrong.
Well, 4e character creation is QUITE versatile, it is just designed to fill a somewhat more narrow niche than in previous editions of D&D. The devs never intended 4e character classes to represent NPCs at all under any circumstances.

As for this particular meme I think the princess could easily justify some attack powers now and then, slapping an enemy in the face "Oh, how DARE you!", picking up a loose weapon and amusingly taking a (surprisingly effective) awkward swing at something, etc.

Still, overall I wouldn't really consider using PC classes for this sort of character except as a mental exercise. Work it up using the CC rules in DMG2 and you can get EXACTLY what you want without all the sweat of trying to twist adventuring classes into something they were never meant to be.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Well, 4e character creation is QUITE versatile, it is just designed to fill a somewhat more narrow niche than in previous editions of D&D.
That sounds like a contradiction of terms

The devs never intended 4e character classes to represent NPCs at all under any circumstances.
I do love the mental and imagination exercise aspect of character design... but some of the character types really arent far removed from central and heroic characters in fictional sources... and I dont think those need to be NPC's even though obviously the DM can do what he wants power of CC makes building them easy.

As for this particular meme I think the princess could easily justify some attack powers now and then, slapping an enemy in the face "Oh, how DARE you!", picking up a loose weapon and amusingly taking a (surprisingly effective) awkward swing at something, etc.
Sure perceptually a miss that hits a suprisingly fragile environmental feature which collapses on top of a bunch of enemies delivering uber damage over a large area ;p.. these things are good for daily/encounter powers... and when you use CC you dont have to worry about... what attribute governs a bulding collapse.... heheh.


When I designed Frodo I explicitly mixed in Warlord in part to diffuse the assassin feeling potency of that a standard rogue seems to embody... and it connects with the nobility and inspiring ideas in the character

The Wolf Boy example has the warlords uber perceptive aspect that used to be in the ranger thematically.

The wizard warlord Librarian can feel more of the non-melee combatant than the straight wizard and even have it make tactical sense.

I think strong heroic luck skinning frees up character design and might do so
...even better if to hit was less tightly bound to the attribute system.

Hmmm maybe the strong makes the other heros shine theme makes this optimal for a DMs NPC character....
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
OK AbdulAlhazred

There is your challenge build a princess or a golden boy with CC and post it, I like that "Oh, How dare you!" by the way.
 

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