D&D 5E The Warrior

Quickleaf

Legend
I'll be presenting my updated Warrior class (a revision of the Fighter), which I'd begun but lost during the database crash. My biggest challenge is keeping the page count down – because it was easily as lengthy as the latest Mystic Unearthed Arcana (~ 30 pages).

Here are my design goals:

The Warrior is as Simple or Complex as the Player Likes. Players can recreate fighters from any previous edition that feel very similar to OD&D, AD&D, Basic, 3e, or 4e fighters based on their choices during character creation between passive talents, active talents, stances and martial archetypes. You can create a warrior whose abilities you micro-manage at the table or a warrior who just swings his axe all day, and not be penalized for your choice.

The Warrior Feels Visceral, Believable, Dynamic, and Powerful in Battle. The warrior offers differentiation of various fighting styles according to weapon type, using Western Martial Arts for inspiration. In particular, active fighting talents echo “weapon mastery” originally found in Basic D&D and merge it with a version of 4e powers free from the artificial At-Will/Encounter/Daily structure.

The Warrior Keeps His/Her Guard Up. I removed the innate healing of Second Wind, instead relying on Parry (and for some archetypes temporary hit points) as a practiced “guard” to keep the warrior from falling. This provides increased survivability without potential dissonance of non-magical healing, and creates a simple mechanic which can be referenced in other areas.

The Warrior Does More than Just Fight. The warrior gets camp talents (siloed apart from fighting talents) which give exploration benefits to the party. While the ranger seeks the horizon, the warrior protects the hearth.

The Warrior’s Life is Full of Glory. The Prestige feature and various warrior archetype features offer ways to emphasize the trope of the warrior gaining fame, fortune, and respect above other characters.

The Warrior of Many Tales. The 8 martial archetypes presented herein — Borderlands Guard, Cavalier, Destined Hero, Monster Slayer, Swashbuckler, Veteran, Warlord, and Weapons Master — have more evocative stories than the PHB martial archetypes, helping to determine the warrior’s place within the campaign. One of the regrets I have about the PHB is how many subclass choices Clerics and Wizards get, and how comparatively few Fighters and Rogues get (I would do the same for rogues, but I only have so much energy/time!).

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Questions/Assumptions
We had a vigorous poll/discussion about the merits of how the fighter class was designed for 5e as well as previous editions. I'd like to pick that back up. "The Fighter" is an ongoing debate online, so it would be great if we bring our best selves to the discussion, keep open minds, and maintain a civil conversation. B-)

There were 3 questions raised about the 5e fighter (and this has been discussed in other editions as well):

(1) Regardless of any theory, is it fun in actual play?
I think it's fun, and IIRC from the previous poll/discussion a lot of people agreed with that. I also think it could be "more fun."

(2) Is it "balanced" compared to other fighting-type classes? Is it "balanced" compared to spellcaster classes?
When discussing "balance" let's try to be clear about what sense we're using it in. For example, a lot of people say "balance" when they mean "DPR under rather specific assumptions" or "can't do as much defined cool non-combat stuff compared to a wizard."

(3) Does it have a distinct enough identity?
Mike Mearls mentioned on a TomeShow interview that he regretted the fighter subclasses lacking the identity that the subclasses of other classes have.

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Design Philosophy

I think there is a fundamental "philosophical" difference when it comes to the Fighter class.

As near as I can pin it down (and I'm sure there are individual permutations), there is one school of thought — Traditionalist Fighter — rooted in the oldest wargaming tradition that echoes through D&D. It goes like this:

[SECTION]The Fighter has traditionally been the most generic class serving as a container for the most diverse martial character concepts in D&D. Moreover, this is how it should be. Because to do otherwise would insert flavor into the Fighter that would limit the number of concepts it can handle. Thus, the mandate of the Fighter's design should be limited to fighting.[/SECTION]

Opposing this school of thought is another — Multiple Fighting Classes — that was embodied in Mike Mearls' Iron Heroes and Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved. It goes something like this:

[SECTION]The Fighter has been a generic container for far too many martial character concepts. By contrast, magic-users in D&D have been differentiated into Warlock, Sorcerer, and Wizard, while the Fighter remains stuck trying to accommodate too many concepts. This leads to a diluted generic design by necessity. Instead, we should have multiple martial classes instead of or in addition to the Fighter, focusing on more specific character concepts.[/SECTION]

Finally, there's a school of thought that I've been advocating — The Warrior — which can be viewed as lying somewhere between these two views and also on a completely different chart from them. It goes like this:

[SECTION]The Fighter feels generic and lacking a distinct identity to some players because it doesn't say anything meaningful about the character's place in the world or society. "Warrior" is a better name (and design imperative) because it implies a different design approach focusing on the totality of warfare (not just combat) and the context of the character within a culture that recognizes a separate warrior class or caste. This conception helps design to accommodate the breadth of martial character concepts without falling into the trap of being too generic or pigeonholing the class to a too narrow definition.[/SECTION]
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
Here's the level advancement of the warrior compared to the fighter, and both compared to "milestones" of 5e class design as explained in the Loot the Body blog.

Bold indicates where the fighter is likely missing a class feature at 2nd level.
Blue indicates class features that are identical for fighter & warrior.
Red indicates one warrior feature that adds on to the total # of fighter features (rather than just swapping out).

My analysis assumes that a Fighting Talent ≈ 1/3 of a feat or Ability Score Improvement. I'll be keeping an eye on my design of talents; if it feels like their power is inflating beyond that, I'll need to revise the level advancement chart.

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Quickleaf

Legend
Class Features

Fighting Talents
You gain fighting talents which allow you to accomplish amazing deeds in combat. At 1st level choose one fighting talent from any of the following categories. You learn an additional fighting talent at 3rd, 6th, 9th, 13th, 15th, and 18th level. Most talents can only be selected once, but a few can be taken multiple times as noted below.
Active talents may be used once per short rest, reflecting the need to hone your blade, practice, catch your breath, and rub the lactic acid from your muscles. However, you may recharge a talent faster by fulfilling its recharge condition, allowing you to use it again without needing a rest.
Saving throws against your talents are made against a DC = 8 + your proficiency modifier + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice).

[SECTION]Talent Group--------Requirement
General available to all warriors regardless of weapon wielded
Armor requires wearing armor with the listed components
Archery require wielding a bow or crossbow
Dual Weapon require wielding two weapons
Great Weapon require wielding a heavy weapon
Improvised situational
Mount require being mounted
Polearms require wielding a reach weapon
Shield require wielding a shield
Swordplay require wielding a sword in one hand and having the other free
Thrown Weapon require wielding a thrown weapon
Unarmed require one or more free hands[/SECTION]

Parry
At 1st level, when you are hit with a melee attack, but before damage is rolled, you can attempt to parry the blow using your reaction so long as you are wielding a weapon or shield. In order to parry, make an attack roll. If your roll equals or exceeds the attacker’s roll, reduce the damage of the attack by an amount equal to 1d10 + your warrior level. Should you take damage from an attack you only partially managed to parry, your guard is broken and you cannot use Parry again until spending an action to catch your breath and reestablish your guard.

[SECTION]Rules Option: Damaged Weapons & Shields
Instead of having your guard be broken, if you are using an unbroken weapon or shield, you may opt to have it become broken instead, allowing you to retain your guard. Attacks with a broken weapon deal half damage (rounded down), while a broken shield only provides +1 AC.[/SECTION]

Camp Talents
Starting at 2nd level, you gain camp talents which allow you to bolster yourself or your allies and facilitate your exploration of the world. At 2nd level choose one camp talent from those below. You learn an additional camp talent at 5th, 11th, and 17th level.
You use camp talents in between fights, during a short or long rest. Generally, during a short rest you can only make use of one camp talent, while a long rest affords you time to use as many as you desire.

Warrior's Gift
At 2nd level, choose one of the following options: Action Surge, Against the Horde, or Stalwart Defender.

Action Surge (PHB). Starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action.
Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again. Starting at 17th level, you can use it twice before a rest, but only once on the same turn.

Against the Horde. Starting at 2nd level, you can sacrifice one of your attacks on your turn to make a number of additional attacks equal to your proficiency bonus against only CR 1/2 or less creatures (e.g. hobgoblins). Each of these attacks must be made against a different opponent. You may only sacrifice one attack to use Against the Horde on your turn.
Starting at 17th level, you can use Against the Horde versus creatures of CR 2 or less (e.g. ogres).

Stalwart Defender. Starting at 2nd level, your opportunity attacks don't require a reaction, though you can only make one opportunity attack against a given creature in a round. The maximum number of opportunity attacks you can make in a round is equal to your proficiency bonus. Additionally, while you are not incapacitated, you can make an opportunity attack against a creature that moves more than 5 feet while within your reach.
Starting at 17th level you have advantage on your opportunity attacks.

[SBLOCK=Maths Comparing Warrior's Gift Options]
Maths for designing 2nd-level Warrior’s Gift
Equating Action Surge + Against the Horde + Stalwart Defender

I suspected that the fighter’s Action Surge feature could be equated to both the OD&D/BD&D/AD&D “multiple attacks against weaker foes” and to 4th edition’s “super reactive defender”, based on how many bonus attacks the features grant per encounter.

# Bonus Attacks Granted per Encounter
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Assumption A: 6 encounter adventuring day on average, with each encounter lasting 3 rounds on average.
Assumption B: Against the Horde should grant a slightly higher value of bonus attacks per encounter because it is more conditional upon the adventure the DM presents.

Action Surge (the baseline for comparison)
I assumed Action Surge is used on average 3 / day, due to the DMG assumptions of 2 short rests/adventuring day consisting of roughly 6 encounters. Technically, the DMG says 6-8 encounters, but I low-balled it for easier maths and because it seemed safer to err on the lower end.

At 2nd-level, Action Surge grants 1 attacks. Used thrice/day, that's +3 attacks/day. OR +0.5 attacks/encounter.
At 5th-level, Action Surge grants 2 attacks. Used thrice/day, that's +6 attacks/day. OR +1 attack/encounter.
At 11th-level, Action Surge grants 3 attacks. Used thrice/day, that's +9 attacks/day. OR +1.5 attacks/encounter.
At 17th-level, Action Surge grants 3 attacks. Used six times/day (thanks to the feature improving), that's +18 attacks/day. OR +3 attacks/encounter.
And at 20th-level, Action Surge grants 4 attacks. Used six times/day, that +24 attacks/day. OR +4 attacks/encounter.

Next, I thought about my rough target for Against the Horde. Because it's circumstantial according to the challenge faced (only working against CR 1/2 or less creatures, at 17th+ level CR 2 or less creatures), it should be a bit more potent than Action Surge...maybe granting something like 1.75x or 2x the number of attacks/encounter. That's just my ballpark value eye-balling it. However, CR 1/2 monsters are common at lower level. Therefore Against the Horde shouldn't be too far ahead of Action Surge at lower levels.

CR 1/2 monsters, even CR 2 monsters, may becoming increasingly rare at higher levels. Therefore Against the Horde should significantly increase in power compared to Action Surge at higher levels.

Against the Horde
For Against the Horde, I assumed that in a 6 encounter adventuring day about half the encounters offer use of Against the Horde. I further assumed that AtH could be used fully in the first round of an applicable encounter, and used half as effectively in the second round…due to monster attrition. The decreasing appearance of lower-level monsters at higher-level is very roughly offset by the 17th-level increase in CR that Against the Horde can target. I also assumed that despite increasing monster group size, the fighter's increased # of attacks and the party's ability to handle large mobs increases in step with the number of monsters.

So, for 2nd level, here's the calculations I made for Against the Horde

There are 18 combat rounds in 1 adventuring day
normally 18 attacks at 2nd-level
but 3 of those rounds
have +1 attack thanks to AtH (i.e. sacrifice 1 attack to gain 2 attacks vs. weaker monsters)
and another 3 of the rounds
have +0.5 attacks thanks to AtH
= for a total of +4.5 attacks / day

So the values for Against the Horde (AtH) look like...

At 2nd-level, AtH grants +4.5 attacks/day. OR 0.75 attacks/encounter.
At 5th-level, AtH grants +9 attacks/day. OR 1.5 attacks/encounter.
At 11th-level, AtH grants +13.5 attacks/day. OR 2.25 attacks/encounter.
At 17th-level, AtH grants +22.5 attacks/day. OR 3.75 attacks/encounter.
And at 20th-level, AtH grants +22.5 attacks/day. OR 3.75 attacks/encounter.

This "feels" about right to me, even if I'm making some small mistakes with my assumptions (e.g. maybe I should have assumed two full rounds use of Against the Horde at 17th-level due to targeting CR 2 or less and the generally larger numbers of low-CR monsters required to challenge high-level parties). But overall, until the very highest levels, it puts Against the Horde just ahead of Action Surge...the price being that Against the Horde's usefulness hinges on just how frequently weaker monsters appear in a given adventure.

Stalwart Defender
What this does is gives the fighter more battlefield control but requires that the player strategize the best place to position his or her character, and encourages teamwork. Trying to move past the fighter becomes a losing proposition. This preserves the coolness of the Sentinel feat, which more closely models the 4e fighter's "attack my buddy? well I'll attack you!” But how to even begin balancing this?

How often are opportunity attacks coming up in an "average session"? Well, with the PHB rules at most 1/round, because each creature gets 1 Reaction per round. So the question is how often will the warrior get to go above this 1/round in an adventuring day? And roughly how many additional attacks do they get to make?

Same assumptions as above: Adventuring day with 6 encounters, each encounter lasts 3 rounds.

Maybe half of those encounters the warrior is facing fights with enough monsters and enough movement to get use out of Stalwart Defender? So in those 3 encounters where Stalwart Defender comes up, it's probably reasonable to say the 2nd-level warrior gets at least 1 extra attack somewhere in each encounter. I estimated lower than Stalwart Defender's full potential because at lower levels it's really hard/rare to face large numbers of monsters. That gives me a starting point at least.

At 5th-level, I'm assuming the warrior gets at least 2 extra attacks somewhere in each of those encounters. Not the full 3 because that starts to make the battlefield cramped, and scenarios where you have a huge team of monsters rushing past the fighter within his reach seem kind of rare. Again, super tough call to make. These are egregious assumptions, but some kind of balance is better than none.

That's the assumed pattern I'm using then, that Stalwart Defender allows PROF BONUS -1 extra attacks at least one time during the encounter (or possibly in aggregate, it depends on the encounter). So at 11th-level that becomes 3 attacks, and at 17th-level and 20th-level that becomes 5 attacks. (*)

Accounting for the 17th-level advantage to opp. attacks (*) is a bit tricky, but basically advantage is measured as being worth +25% chance of success on average (yes, it varies by target number). That's the value the core books give it, so I'm following suit. The way I can interpret that is to give the number of extra attacks/day (or attacks/encounter) granted at 17th-level and 20th-level a x1.25 modifier, representing more of those attacks landing.

So the values for Stalwart Defender (SD) look like...

At 2nd-level, SD grants +3 attacks/day. OR 0.5 attacks/encounter.
At 5th-level, SD grants +6 attacks/day. OR 1 attack/encounter.
At 11th-level, SD grants +9 attacks/day. OR 1.5 attacks/encounter.
*At 17th-level, SD grants +18.75 attacks/day. OR 3.125 attacks/encounter.
*And at 20th-level, SD grants +18.75 attacks/day. OR 3.125 attacks/encounter.

With those assumptions, it looks like Stalwart Defender is very comparable to Action Surge, perhaps falling slightly behind at extremely high levels toward the end of a PC's adventuring career. Which seems about right, because Stalwart Defender is something with a trigger that the player can orchestrate meeting (unlike Against the Horde) but it does require some strategic thinking and good positioning (unlike Action Surge, which itself is limited by short rests).

It is possible, however, with a different set of assumptions, that Stalwart Defender could seem less or more powerful on paper. I suspect this is one that would need to be playtested to really get a definitive answer.[/SBLOCK]

Martial Archetype
At 3rd level, you choose an archetype that you strive to emulate in your approach to warfare and conflict:
  • Borderlands Guard
  • Cavalier
  • Destined Hero
  • Monster Slayer
  • Swashbuckler
  • Veteran
  • Warlord
  • Weapons Master

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Prestige
At 9th level you gain a mark of prestige such as a medal, letter of recommendation, parcel of land, stronghold, special favors or special rights, or title. These marks of prestige are described in the DMG pages 228-231. Warrior followers may be selected as a mark of prestige at the DM’s discretion and are described at the end of this document.
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
Camp Talents

Camp Guard (camp)
During a long rest you can keep watch without sleep, and if you are attacked you automatically awaken your allies even if you are surprised. You suffer no disadvantage from lack of sleep for a number of nights up to your Constituion modifier (minimum 1). Thereafter, you accrue exhaustion as normal.
When used during a short rest, it doubles the range at which you would spot creatures (i.e. doubling starting encounter distance).

Forced March (camp)
After a short or long rest during which you tend to journey preparations, your, your companions, and pack animals following your lead can add your proficiency bonus to their Constitution checks during overland travel (e.g. to stave off exhaustion). Additionally, you and your companions suffer no detriment from the first level of exhaustion incurred by travel conditions.

Light-Bearer (camp)
After a short or long rest during which you wrap a torch or fill a lantern with oil, while you hold the light source it burns for twice as long, has advantage to resist being snuffed out, and the radius of its light is doubled (e.g. a torch would illuminate 40 feet radius bright light, and 40 feet radius dim light beyond that).

Mentoring (camp)
During a short or long rest, you can introduce the basics of handling a specific martial weapon (e.g. longsword), a specific suit of medium or heavy armor (e.g. chain mail), or shields to one companion. That companion gains proficiency in the corresponding weapon, armor, or shields until their next short or long rest.

Mount Care (camp)
During a short rest, you can care for up to 8 mounts, allowing the mounts to spend hit dice to heal during a short rest. They regain extra hit points equal to your proficiency modifier for every hit die spent.
When used during a long rest you can procure mounts for yourself and up to 7 companions.

Under Duress (camp)
During a short or long rest, you can offer good cheer, fortifying ale, or galows humor to allow yourself and your companions to benefit from the rest even when performing more strenuous actions like overland travel at a slow pace, watching the ramparts, or casting rituals. Each character benefitting from a rest under duress loses any temporary hit points at the end of the rest as well as taking 1d6 psychic damage.

Warrior’s Guidance (camp)
During a short or long rest, you can spar and share defensive tips with your companions, granting any of your companions heeding your guidance a number of temporary hit points equal to your proficiency modifier. This represents them keeping up their guard better after your guidance.

Whet the Blade (camp)
During a short or long rest, you can use a whetstone and water to hone the edge on a number of bladed weapons equal to your proficiency modifier. A blade whetted by you grants the following:
If the blade was in good repair, it gains a +1 damage bonus on its next successful hit.
If the blade was damaged or rusty, remove the “broken” condition from the blade.

Wound Binding (camp)
During a short rest, you can expend one use of a healer’s kit to expertly bind your wounds or the wounds of a willing creature. You or that creature gains advantage on any hit dice spent to heal at the end of the short rest.
When used during a long rest, it allows you or the creature whose wounds you bind to regain 1 extra hit die (normally a long rest restores half your hit dice).
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
Fighting Talents

General Talents
The following talents have no requirements.

Accuracy (passive)
Gain a +1 bonus to hit with weapon attacks.

Fortitude (passive)
Gain +5 hit points. You may take this talent multiple times.

Iron Resolve (active)
As a reaction, you can add your proficiency bonus to a saving throw against a threat that you are aware of. If you are already proficient in a save, this gives you a total of double your proficiency bonus to that save.

Might (passive)
Gain a +1 bonus to damage with weapon attacks. You may take this talent multiple times.

Readiness (passive)
Gain a +5 bonus to initiative checks.

Unarmored Defense (passive)
While wearing no armor, you may add your Intelligence modifier to your AC, in addition to your Dexterity modifier. You can still wield shields and benefit from Unarmored Defense.

Armor Talents
You must wear armor with the listed components as part of the suit to use these talents.

Armored Defense (passive)
Gain a +1 bonus to AC while wearing armor. It takes you half the required time to don or doff armor.

Gauntlet Expertise (passive)
While wearing gauntlets, you cannot be disarmed.

Helmet Expertise (passive)
While wearing a helmet and not surprised, any time you are struck by a critical hit, roll a d20. On a result of 10+ the blow is deflected by your helmet, and you take normal damage instead.

Archery Talents
You must be wielding a bow or crossbow in order to use archery talents.

Aimed Shot (active)
When you use the Attack action to attack a target, you can take an aimed shot to ignore half-cover and reduce three-quarters cover to being only as effective as half-cover for purposes of your aimed shot. If the target has no cover you instead gain a +2 bonus to hit. You can only take one aimed shot per round.
Recharge: You must spend one round observing a target and making no attacks.
Improved Aimed Shot: In place of two attacks, you make a shot ignoring half and three-quarters cover entirely (or gain a +3 bonus to hit), and your attack deals an extra weapon die of damage on a hit.
Master Aimed Shot: In place of three attacks, you make a shot ignoring half and three-quarters cover (or gain a +5 bonus to hit), as well as any disadvantage on your attack roll, and your attack deals two extra weapon dice of damage on a hit.

Archer’s Escape (passive)
When you use the Attack action to make a ranged attack against a target, you may Disengage as a bonus action and move 5 feet for free before or after the shot.

Hail of Arrows (active)
As an action, you fire a barrage of arrows into a 15 foot diameter circular area. Choose a number of creatures within the area equal to your proficiency modifier; those creatures must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failure they suffer damage as if struck by one of your arrows, while on a success they suffer half as much damage. You may not benefit from Extra Attack during a round in which you use Hail of Arrows.
Recharge: If handling ammunition cinematically, you must refill your quiver. If tracking ammunition, this expends a number of arrows or bolts equal to twice your proficiency modifier.

Full Draw (active)
As a bonus action you draw your bowstring to full extension. The next attack you make on your turn with the bow gains advantage to hit if firing within short range, or suffers no disadvantage when firing at long range.
Recharge: Rest your arm for a full round.

Overwatch (stance)
As an action you can enter an Overwatch stance requiring concentration. You choose whether you are watching over a specific creature or a fixed 15 foot diameter area you can see. Changing the subject of your Overwatch requires an action.
While concentrating on a specific creature, you can use your reaction if the creature moves or takes hostile action to make a number of ranged attacks against it equal to the number of attacks granted by your Extra Attack feature (minimum 1). Alternately, you can use your reaction to make a ranged attack against an enemy you can see attacking that creature.
While concentrating on an area, you may use your reaction if a creature in the area makes an attack against you or an ally, or if a creature attempts to leave the area. You make a number of ranged attacks against the creature(s) equal to the number of attacks granted by your Extra Attack feature (minimum 1).

Pinning Shot (active)
When you use the Attack action to attack a target, you pin its arm or leg with an arrow. The target must make a Constitution saving throw, and on a failure it reduces its speed to zero. At the end of its turns, the target can make a Constitution saving throw to restore its speed to normal. Alternately, the arrow or bolt can be ripped out as an action, restoring the target’s speed.
Recharge: Gain unobstructed line of sight to the target.
Improved Pinning Shot: In place of two attacks, you make a shot that deals an extra weapon die of damage on a hit. If the target succeeds its saving throw, it regains only half its speed; to regain the rest of its speed it must succeed another save. Ripping the arrow or bolt out causes the target to suffer 1d4 bleeding damage at the end of each of its turns until its wounds are bound or it regains hit points.
Master Pinning Shot: In place of three attacks, you make a shot that deals two extra weapon dice of damage on a hit. If the target fails its save it is restrained until it makes a successful save, whereupon it only suffers from halved speed; to regain the rest of its speed it must succeed another save. Ripping the arrow or bolt out causes the target to suffer 1d6 bleeding damage at the end of each of its turns until its wounds are bound or it regains hit points.

Dual Weapon Talents

Great Weapon Talents

Improvised Talents

Mount Talents

Polearm Talents

Shield Talents

Swordplay Talents

Thrown Weapon Talents

Unarmed Talents
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
Martial Archetyes

Martial Archetypes

Borderlands Guard
Standing strong against all monsters or tyrants, these heroes do not balk at facing impossibles odds. In fact, they relish it. Often they are heroes of fate, propelled from humble beginnings by war and death into events that will shake the foundation of the world. Whether or not destiny is truly on the hero’s side, they are willing to delve into the bloody breach, hold the mountain pass, and make the sacrifices that others are not. Most, though not all, are of good alignment. They favor fighting with weapon and shield, or a weapon and a free hand.

Bonus Camp Talent
At 3rd level, gain a bonus camp talent of your choice.

Overwatch
At 3rd level, you can carry twice the normal load for your Strength without becoming encumbered, your Constitution saving throws to resist exhaustion (e.g. forced marching) are advantaged, you can go without sleep for 3 days without risking exhaustion, and you never suffer any penalty from sleeping in armor.

Campaigning
At 7th level, you can appraise military units, encampments, and fortifications. This requires anywhere from 1 minute to 1 hour of observation or interaction, as determined by your DM. You can determine at least one of these details of your choice:
  • Name of the unit and its history.
  • Name of the commanding officer and his or her reputation.
  • Number of soldiers and siege equipment.
  • Morale of the unit or camp.
  • Overall weather and terrain readiness.
  • Presence of elite fighting forces.
  • Status of any supply lines/caravans.

Combat#
At 10th level,

Legendary Endurance
At 15th level, you can expend hit points to remove exhaustion from yourself as a bonus action. Each 1d6 hit points expended removes one level of exhaustion.

Combat#
At 18th level,

[SECTION]The Borderlands Guard is a heavily exploration focused take on the warrior. It's inspired by the Dúnedain of LotR and other non-magical ranger types like those found in The Black Company. Still heavily designing this one.[/SECTION]

Cavalier
Servants of monarchs, noble houses, or knightly orders, cavaliers uphold the ideals of chivalry. Mounted warriors par excellence, they are the knights-in-shining-armor of legend. Most, though not all, cavaliers are of good alignment and belong to the aristocracy. They favor swords, lances, and horsemen’s weapons like flails, maces, and picks.

Bonded Mount
At 3rd level, you acquire a warhorse or other mount of CR 1/2 or less if you don’t have one already. This mount becomes your “bonded mount.” Your bounded mount cannot be killed outright while you are alive; it can only be knocked unconscious and rendered dying. Additionally:
  • If it dies or you wish to change bonded mounts, a week of training is required with a new animal to make it your bonded mount.
  • You apply your proficiency bonus to all checks involving your bonded mount.
  • You have advantage on your saving throws to avoid being knocked off your bonded mount.
  • Your bonded mount’s speed increases by +10.
  • It gains a bonus hit die at every even level.
  • Mounting or dismounting your bonded mount only costs you 5 feet of speed.

Heraldic Renown
At 3rd level, while you adhere to the code of chivalry and present your personal coat of arms, your renown in a faction of choice is treated as being 5 points higher, and your Charisma checks to convince others of your honesty and word of honor are advantaged. In addition, noble and royal houses that are not enemies of your faction will provide you with free lodging and stabling.

Issue Challenge
At 7th level, as a bonus action you can issue a challenge to an enemy within 60 feet that can hear you (though you need not speak the same language) to engage you in melee combat. The enemy must make a Wisdom saving throw against a Difficulty equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. If the enemy fails, then if it must move its full speed toward you or make an attack against you (and only you) on its next turn.
You may only challenge one enemy at a time, and while you remain engaged in melee combat with that enemy you may re-roll all 1’s on your attack and damage rolls against it. However, your attacks against other targets are disadvantaged while maintaining the challenge.
Your challenge ends if you or your enemy is reduced to 0 hit points or surrenders, if you move out of melee range of your enemy, or you end a round without attacking your challenged enemy.

Aura of Courage
At 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.
At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Mounted Prestige
At 15th level, you gain an additional mark of prestige of your choice. In addition, you may choose a new and improved mount like a griffon, pegasus, or any mount of CR 2 or less. Other special mounts may be available in your DM’s campaign world.

[SECTION]Cavalier is inspired by the AD&D class of the same name from Gary's original Unearthed Arcana.[/SECTION]

Last Stand
At 18th level, you cannot die from damage while your challenged enemy remains undefeated. This includes dying from taking massive damage, but not effects that kill without dealing damage, such as the Power Word Kill spell. If your challenged enemy dies or falls unconscious, or you end a round without having attacked your challenged enemy, this effect ends and you begin to die as normal.

Destined Hero
Whether peasant hero or noble knight, some warriors follow a calling that transcends all cultures: The strong should protect the weak. Standing strong against all monsters or tyrants, these heroes do not balk at facing impossibles odds. In fact, they relish it. Often they are heroes of fate, propelled from humble beginnings by war and death into events that will shake the foundation of the world. Whether or not destiny is truly on the hero’s side, they are willing to delve into the bloody breach, hold the mountain pass, and make the sacrifices that others are not. Most, though not all, are of good alignment. They favor fighting with weapon and shield, or a weapon and a free hand.

Guardian’s Mark
At 3rd level, anytime you attack an enemy (hit or miss) you mark them until the end of your next turn. Your opportunity attacks against marked enemies have advantage and do not expend your reaction. Marked enemies within 5 feet of you have disadvantage to attack your allies.

Destined
At 3rd level, divinations reveal you are destined to leave a lasting mark on the world, though the exact nature of your future is always unclear. Among those who know of your destiny, your Charisma checks to convince them you are the hero they’ve been hoping for are advantaged. Choose one of the following destinies, or create your own with your DM:
  • Chosen One:
  • King Slayer:
  • Once and Future Sovereign:
  • Tragic Hero:
  • The Seeker:

Hold the Line
At 7th level, when you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, its speed is immediately reduced to 0 until the start of its next turn. In addition, any spaces within 5 feet of you become difficult terrain for your enemies while you are not incapacitated.

Uphold the Meek
At 10th level, when an enemy within 5 feet of you attacks one of your allies (without attacking you), you may make an opportunity attack against them, adding your proficiency bonus as extra damage if you hit.

Unbreakable
At 15th level, you are immune to forced movement and being knocked prone. In addition, you can never be charmed or magically coerced into acting directly against your allies, harming those you’re committed to defending, or otherwise violating your bonds of loyalty.

The Sacrifice
At 18th level, you can switch places with an ally within 5 feet as a reaction to something befalling them, becoming the target of whatever threat you’ve spared them from. This includes changing position in combat, changing marching order to help an ally avoid a trap, convincing a hag to target you with her bestow curse instead, or any number of situations.

[SECTION] The Destined Hero archetype is inspired by young adult literature and is designed to be both simpler and more responsive to player creativity than the other archetypes. It’s a good fit for kids! It also draws on aspects of the 4e fighter as a defender.[/SECTION]

Monster Slayer
Some fighters are driven by a thirst for revenge, some by a desire for gold and glory, and some by ambitions to prove themselves greater than the most dangerous of beasts. These slayers take to the inhospitable regions of the world armed only with their wits, their will, and a trusty blade to hunt down monsters that plague the land. Single-minded in their bloody pursuit, slayers are given a wide berth by common folk who are both eager to take their gold and hear their tales, yet remain concerned the slayer may be cursed or bring a dragon’s wrath down upon their village. Most slayers lean toward neutral or chaotic alignments. They favor heavy weapons.

Bonded Weapon
At 3rd level, you form a bond with a weapon you possess. You always know where to find your bonded weapon. Soaked in the blood of your foes, this weapon absorbs some of their magic, acting as a +1 magic weapon which advances as you gain levels. You may roll on the tables on DMG pages 142-143 to give it character. At 11th level it gains a +2 bonus, and at 17th level a +3 bonus.
If your weapon is destroyed or lost, you may spend a week forming a bond with a new weapon, which you must use as your primary weapon in any combats during that week and train with when you make camp.

Favored Foe
At 3rd level, you choose a favored foe from this list: aberrations, beasts, celestials, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, giants, humanoids (select 2 specific races like orcs and goblins), monstrosities, oozes, plants, and undead. If your favored foe has a particular language associated with it, you learn that language. Against your favored foe you have advantage on your damage rolls, Intelligence checks to recall lore about them, and Intelligence (Investigation) and Wisdom (Perception) checks to find them. You also know any vulnerabilities of your favored foe as well as their ecology and preferred lairs. If you slay a legendary monster of your favored foe type, you may spend downtime to select a new type of favored foe with your DM’s permission.

Evaluate Combatant
At 7th level, you can gauge how much of a threat an enemy poses to you. After observing or interacting with a creature for 1 minute, you can determine its Challenge (CR) and whether it is a legendary monster. In addition, you also learn one of the following details of your choice:
  • Any tags that the creature has.
  • The creature’s current hit points.
  • The creature’s lowest ability score.
  • Which saving throw one of its attacks that you’re aware of targets.
  • Any vulnerabilities the creature has.

Imbued Weapon
At 10th level, your weapon gains the property of any rare or very rare magic weapon in the DMG of your choice, though its enchantment bonus follows the guidelines under Bonded Weapon.
At your DM’s discretion, your weapon may gain additional properties while adventuring if you perform special quests or slay legendary monsters.

[SECTION]Dancing Sword (very rare)
Defender (very rare)
Dragon Slayer (rare)
Flame Tongue (rare)
Frost Brand (very rare)
Giant Slayer (rare)
Mace of Disruption (rare)
Mace of Smiting (rare)
Mace of Terror (rare)
Nine Lives Stealer (very rare)
Oathbow (very rare)
Scimitar of Speed (very rare)
Sunblade (rare)
Sword of Sharpness (very rare)
Sword of Wounding (rare)
Vicious Weapon (rare)[/SECTION]

Trophy
At 15th level, when you take and keep a trophy from a foe, you can make Charisma (Intimidation) checks against creatures of a similar type to frighten them. For example, a white dragon’s head could be used to intimidate a green dragon, provided their Challenge (CR) wasn’t drastically different. Any creature against whom your check succeeds becomes frightened. In combat this lasts until the end of your next turn. Out of combat, it lasts 1 minute (or as long as your DM determines).
You may only carry one trophy at a time, though you may keep as many as you like back in your stronghold or base of operations.

Inspire Dread
At 18th level, you can cause despair and fear in opponents with above animal intelligence when any of the following conditions occur:
  • You score a critical hit.
  • You avoid taking any damage in one round.
  • You kill any enemy who the DM deems was a serious threat.
  • Situations the DM deems inspire despair.

Inspire Dread affects a number of hit dice worth of creatures equal to your fighter level. These creatures are compelled to make a morale check (see DMG), and if they fail they either try to flee or surrender. Inspire Dread only can take effect once per short rest.

[SECTION]The Monster Slayer derives from a lot of video game archetypes ranging from Castlevania to Witcher. It also is inspired from modern fantasy roots of "man and his magic sword" stories like Elric of Melniboné, using an adaptation of legacy magic items (maybe that was 3e? can't remember edition).[/SECTION]

Swashbuckler
##

Veteran
Veterans run the gamut of professional soldiers: grim embittered mercenaries, colorful condottieres, tough as nails expeditionaries, survivors drowning sorrow or guilt with ale, and accomplished men- or ladies-at-arms. These fighters know what it takes to lay siege to a castle or keep an army supplied, how to repel an orcish army with pikemen, and they know that nothing kills morale like a forced march in winter. When it comes to common sense and on-the-ground experience, there’s no fighter that compares with a veteran. They are often, though not always, of neutral or lawful alignments. Rather than focus on one particular weapon or fighting style, veterans tend to use multiple weapons as the situation necessitates.

Veteran Defense
Starting at 3rd level, when a creature able to make multiple attacks hits you, any subsequent attacks it makes against you until the start of its next turn have disadvantage.

Bonus General Talent
At 7th level, gain a bonus general fighting talent.

Fearless
At 10th level, you can’t be frightened. If your group uses the morale rules in the DMG, then anyone under your command gains advantage on morale saves. If you don’t use morale rules, then you have advantage to saving throws against all fear-based magic and effects (e.g. phantasmal killer, weird).

Bonus General Talent
At 15th level, gain a bonus general fighting talent.

Intimidating Presence
At 18th level, you can sacrifice one of your attacks on your turn to terrify opponents of CR 2 or less within 30 feet of you. Each opponent of CR 2 or less must make a Wisdom saving throw against a Difficulty equal to you warrior level. On a failed check, they are frightened of you for 1 minute and, at the DM’s discretion, may flee or surrender if they are able.

[SECTION]The veteran is an adaptation of the original fighting-man found in Chainmail and the “little brown books” of OD&D. Inspired by early fantasy wargaming, its efficacy can be seen equally pitted against hordes or against a lone dragon.[/SECTION]

Warlord
Warlords see the battle from above, the long tide of strategic moves and countermoves playing out before them. Masters of military tactics, leaders of men, and frontline commanders, these fighters leave their mark on the political landscape of the world. Almost inevitably, they find themselves at the head of armies and in the company of kings and queens. Many warlords, though not all, are of lawful alignment. They favor no weapons in particular, viewing their companions as the greatest weapons in their arsenal.

Commanding Aura
At 3rd level, when you or an ally within 10 feet of you spends Inspiration, they add your Charisma modifier to their attack roll, saving throw, or ability check.
At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

War Horn
At 3rd level, you gain a mighty horn which you can blow to emit a sound audible to all within a mile. Your war horn has a distinctive sound and appearance which marks it as belonging to you. Blowing it grants advantage to the morale checks of allies and disadvantage to the morale checks of enemies. While you possess your war horn, your Charisma checks to command and inspire others have advantage.

Rallying Word
At 7th level, you can take an action to issue a rallying word to an ally who can hear you within your aura. That ally rises from prone, can make a saving throw against any ongoing effects they’re suffering from, and gains temporary hit points equal to 1d10 + your Charisma modifier. You may use Rallying Word once per each companion in your party. Once you have used Rallying Word on a given companion you must take a long rest before you can use it on them again.
At 15th level your Rallying Word grants temporary hit points equal to 2d10 + your Charisma modifier.

Warlord Followers
At 10th level, you gain followers and - if you wish - a stronghold. Use the Fighter Follower tables to generate your followers, rolling once for the leader, an elite unit, and your troops. If you select Fighter Followers as an option again, you gain additional forces. In addition, choose or roll for a banner standard that grants your followers a special benefit, and roll for a unit of special bannermen.

Banner Standard (1d6)
#

Bannermen (1d100)
#

Warlord’s Surge
At 15th level, when you use Action Surge, you may choose to sacrifice any number of your attacks in order to bolster your allies. For each attack you sacrifice, you confer one of the following benefits of your choice on all allies within your aura:
  • Allies can Dash or Disengage for free.
  • Allies can take the Dodge action for free.
  • Allies gain advantage on their next single attack against one target you designate (as if you used the Help action).

Eve of Battle
At 18th level, #

[SECTION]The Warlord combines aspects of the 4e Warlord and 3e Marshal with the OD&D/AD&D followers and strongholds style of play, offering a more holistic adaptation of the concept.[/SECTION]

Weapons Master
Sword saints, blade dancers, itinerant knights, renowned duelists, and royal fencing-masters all fit the weapons master archetype. Displaying an intuitive bond with their weapon, thanks to uncommon training beyond other warriors, the weapons master is equally at home confronting a rival one-on-one and he or she is displaying fighting techniques at court with bravado and bluster.

Bonus Feat
At 3rd level, gain a bonus feat.

Weapon Bond
At 3rd level, choose a weapon type with which you have formed a close connection with (e.g. longsword or battle axe). This determines which benefits you gain at 7th and 15th levels. It also enables you to apply your proficiency bonus to any ability checks made with your weapon, such as hewing a door with an axe, performing a scimitar dance, or spear-hunting fish.

Weapon Expertise
At 7th level #

Bonus Feat
At 10th level, gain a bonus feat.

Weapon Mastery
At 15th level #

Bonus Feat
At 18th level, gain a bonus feat.

Grit#
At 15th level, you gain the ability to shake off conditions temporarily. When you are affected by a condition, you may use True Grit as a reaction to delay yourself from suffering the effects of that condition for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1). After the time has elapsed, you suffer from the condition as normal. You must take a short or a long rest before using True Grit again.

Survivor#
At 18th level, you attain the pinnacle of resilience in battle. At the start of each of your turns, you regain hit points equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier if you have no more than half of your hit points left. You don’t gain this benefit if you have 0 hit points.

[SECTION]The Weaponmaster merges the 3e feat-based customizable fighter with an adaptation of the old Weapon Specialization rules from AD&D/BD&D. Still figuring the design of this one out.[/SECTION]
 
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This is fantastic work. I love how you managed to get so much flavor into this class. I especially love the camp talents and the parrying rules. I like the idea that the warrior is someone who is great at standing guard without needing too much sleep, making long travels over land, and keeping his party motivated. I imagine the warrior may often be an ex-soldier, someone who has served in an army before, and is used to the hardships of long travels. Your ideas for this class echo that perfectly.

I'm especially looking forward to seeing what you have for the Swashbuckler. Maybe you can even take some inspiration from 3.5's Dervish Prestige class? You could have a variety of combat styles, from very acrobatic, to dancing, to fencing.
 
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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Is lvl 14 really a dead level? It seems the class do not gain anything at level 14. I look foward to this class, on of my player want a champion fighter for simplicity sake, but I feel she'll be bored of it in 3 sessions due to the lack of cool things. Does any of your archetype allows the the player to fight unarmored? She really want to have her tiefling spartan-like.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
This is fantastic work. I love how you managed to get so much flavor into this class. I especially love the camp talents and the parrying rules. I like the idea that the warrior is someone who is great at standing guard without needing too much sleep, making long travels over land, and keeping his party motivated. I imagine the warrior may often be an ex-soldier, someone who has served in an army before, and is used to the hardships of long travels. Your ideas for this class echo that perfectly.

I'm especially looking forward to seeing what you have for the Swashbuckler. Maybe you can even take some inspiration from 3.5's Dervish Prestige class? You could have a variety of combat styles, from very acrobatic, to dancing, to fencing.

Thanks very much. :) It's definitely not for everyone, but I think I'm honing in on a design that could potentially have broad appeal & avoid usual pitfalls that lead to dissatisfaction with the fighter. Flavor/identity was at the forefront of my mind.

I'm about to post the martial archetypes. Definitely could use feedback (well, to the entire class – since none of this is playtested – but especially in regards to the archetypes).

Is lvl 14 really a dead level? It seems the class do not gain anything at level 14. I look foward to this class, on of my player want a champion fighter for simplicity sake, but I feel she'll be bored of it in 3 sessions due to the lack of cool things. Does any of your archetype allows the the player to fight unarmored? She really want to have her tiefling spartan-like.

Yeah, level 14 is dead right now. It's not ideal. What happened is there is a logic/pattern behind when certain features are granted (see my post #2). For example, camp talents are granted roughly at the beginning of each new tier (e.g. 2nd level, 5th level, 11th level, 17th level). Another example, new fighting talents aren't granted on two consecutive levels to allow the player time to really get used to the new ability.

I wouldn't be opposed to adding something at 14th level. In my original version, I think that level was another Prestige benefit (like at 9th level).

However, I'm still on the fence about whether I should bake Prestige into the class or not. I've heard the argument that there are some players who just want to play fighter types who don't go the whole strongholds/followers/prestige route. One change I'm contemplating is turning Prestige into a camp talent and increasing the number of camp talents to 5...which would allow me to include a camp talent at 14th level.

EDIT: This is my 3rd take on the class, so there's been a lot of prior discussion about making sure the power level doesn't outpace the fighter or its other subclasses. Trying not to add too many features, just do the design differently.

Re: An unarmored warrior...none of the archetypes are focused on that...HOWEVER, one of the general fighting talents that you possibly missed is...

Unarmored Defense (passive)
While wearing no armor, you may add your Intelligence modifier to your AC, in addition to your Dexterity modifier. You can still wield shields and benefit from Unarmored Defense.
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
I'm especially looking forward to seeing what you have for the Swashbuckler. Maybe you can even take some inspiration from 3.5's Dervish Prestige class? You could have a variety of combat styles, from very acrobatic, to dancing, to fencing.

Actually, now that I've copied them over, it looks like I didn't have a backup of my Swashbuckler. I'll take a peek at the Dervish again. I tend to be very thorough in researching subclasses and their inspirations. So I'll be reviewing the version in SCAG and the latest Unearthed Arcana. As well as any AD&D "Swashbuckler-y" kits. And any 3e Swashbucklers. I don't remember the concept appearing in 4e, at least not by name...
 

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