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5E Warlord Healing

Do warlords need in-combat healing abilities?

  • Warlords must have true in-combat healing.

    Votes: 23 17.8%
  • Warlords must have some form of damage mitigation, but not necessarily true healing.

    Votes: 43 33.3%
  • Warlords don't need damage mitigation abilities.

    Votes: 12 9.3%
  • I have no interest in a 5E warlord class.

    Votes: 51 39.5%

  • Total voters
    129

Dausuul

Legend
I hate adding to the number of 5E warlord threads, but I wanted to see what the community felt about the hot-button issue with warlords, which is in-combat healing. For a 5E warlord class to be acceptable, does it need to have "true" in-combat healing (restoring hit points, capable of reviving unconscious PCs)? Is it okay if it doesn't have that, but does have some other way to reduce damage suffered by the party (temp hit points, granting damage resistance, etc.)? Or does it not need any such thing?
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
It's all resource management at a macro level, and therefore the end result between actually healing HP or preventing HP loss is pretty much the same in the long run--at the end of the battle you end up with the same HP left. It fits my verisimilitude better to have things like temp HP to reflect inspiring adrenaline because those are much more analogous to real life (mundane) examples rather than relying on a supernatural ability. I do not want a martial character to have supernatural abilities that replicate the magical effects of spells. YMMV of course.
 

Mephista

First Post
"True healing" for a warlord just doesn't make sense to me. The whole point of restoring regular hit points instead of granting temporary ones is for the sole purpose of having someone at 0 HP be restored. I don't remember other editions off the top of my head, but in 5e, if you hit zero? You are explicitly either unconcious, or dead.

How is an inspiration-based non-magical healing going to wake you up if you can't hear the warlord? That's the impossible hurdle that I run into whenever the topic of warlord healing comes up.
 

Paraxis

Explorer
Give them healing.

In combat non-magic healing is already possible in at least two ways. Fighter second wind ability works once and is recovered with a short rest, and the Healer feat also once per short rest.

If the game allows for someone to move 30' (possibly more depending on race), reach out and apply whatever salves are needed from a healer's kit to someone wearing armor, while in the middle of a fight with multiple enemies, all within a turn, I don't see how immersion breaking a warlord inspiring people to suck it up with a few words can be.

It also seems like a few people allow the rogue thief subclass to use it's cunning action to administer a use of a healer's kit for the purpose of stabilization and the healer feat. If that is the case, then the example would be fire a short bow (action), move 30', apply salves to fighter in plate mail or monk spinning around (bonus action).

It is all about how you view hit points, and if you alter the narrative to suit the rules or if you alter the rules to suit the narrative.

When I was going over the use of the healer's kit and feat interaction, I noticed no where does it say that the creature being healed or stabilized has to be adjacent. I know common sense and all, but this is one of odd things that should be stated but isn't.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
I picked #2. I could have gone with "not interested", but I kinda am, in a very minor way. I think it would be extremely difficult to do without giving the Warlord magic, risking suspension of disbelief, or just falling flat.

That aside, I'd probably focus on ways for the Warlord to allow others to use Hit Dice during combat, boost the effectiveness of Hit Dice between combats, restore Hit Dice during short rests or gain more during long rests, etc. It might not be specifically Hit Dice, but I'd see it generally having that sort feel to it. You could even give them a pool of "Command Points" that can be used for healing(ish) and other things.

The balance to walk, though, is between the Fighter (Battle Master) and the Bard (Valor). If you let the Warlord spend the points and attack, they end up effectively a Battle Master with a few other Maneuvers. If you don't, then they're either weaker than the Fighter or you increase and fluff out the Commands. Without the attack in there, and with more potent abilities, you're left asking when they can be used and on whom. Saying "must be able to hear" or "must be able to see" the Warlord is just reskinning verbal (issue a Command) and somatic (point to where the subject should move/attack) components. At that point, just use the Bard. If the specific selection of abilities for the Bard is displeasing, the casting Warlord could be done as by changing the spell list for the Eldritch Knight.

Again, I'm not saying that I'm opposed to building a 5E Warlord. I just think that it's a pretty narrow path with minimal return other than checking a box for 4E fans.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
I opted for #1.

While not everyone wants a healing warlord, any proper conversion of the warlord to 5e should have a healing option in the class for those who want it.
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
How is an inspiration-based non-magical healing going to wake you up if you can't hear the warlord? That's the impossible hurdle that I run into whenever the topic of warlord healing comes up.
Where are you getting the idea that unconscious characters can't hear? They aren't consciously processing what they hear, but they are still hearing and the subconscious is incorporating it. Even some coma patients are known to have heard things.

Unless they are Deafened (the condition), they most certainly can hear...
 



Having seen a warlord played in 4E, and a warlord-esque battlemaster in 5E, by the same player, I've come to the conclusion that there's just no room for a warlord class in 5E. Not without overshadowing the battlemaster.

Now, some additional battlemaster options--a few more "ally-moving" maneuvers and maybe even a maneuver that lets an ally spend a hit die or otherwise heal a bit--would be doable, and should make the battlemaster a better fit for those who want a warlord. But it really is 85% of the way there already.
 


Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
In order for hit points to work for me as a model of what's actually happening, they need to mostly represent physical exhaustion, muscle breakdown, and will to fight. That's why I consider martial hit point recovery to be so important. Otherwise, sleep restoring hit points among other things results in fiction that seems absurd to me. It's important to me that characters are largely flesh and blood humans.

As part of a martial healing warlord, I'd like to see options for mapping defeat (at 9 hp) to fictional events other than death.

To a certain extent most discussion of hp that I see feels somewhat like the tail wagging the dog. We've become so attached to the tokens and symbols that relate to what's happening in the fiction layer that we mistake it for the fiction.
 
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Ashrym

Hero
I think the poll should have included "I think the battlemaster can cover the warlord style" as one of the options. I think a battlemaster fighter with healer and inspiring leader makes a suitable warlord style after adjusting for the mechanical paradigm shift to 5e from 4e.

Aside from that, true healing is possible via the healer feat so a similar class ability seems entirely reasonable.
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
Having seen a warlord played in 4E, and a warlord-esque battlemaster in 5E, by the same player, I've come to the conclusion that there's just no room for a warlord class in 5E. Not without overshadowing the battlemaster.

Now, some additional battlemaster options--a few more "ally-moving" maneuvers and maybe even a maneuver that lets an ally spend a hit die or otherwise heal a bit--would be doable, and should make the battlemaster a better fit for those who want a warlord. But it really is 85% of the way there already.
Believe it or not, I actually agree with all of this. However, there are Warlord fans that will only be satisfied by a dedicated class - or at least that's how they feel right now - so that's what we are currently exploring.

The Warlord we're working on in the Warlording the Fighter thread is going to also explore an expanded Battlemaster archetype (utilizing the ideas generated by the dedicated class), and even explore the idea of making some of those abilities into Feats that any class could take - effectively Warlording any Class.

Once done, people will be able to do a side-by-side comparison.
 

Mephista

First Post
Where are you getting the idea that unconscious characters can't hear? They aren't consciously processing what they hear, but they are still hearing and the subconscious is incorporating it. Even some coma patients are known to have heard things.

Unless they are Deafened (the condition), they most certainly can hear...
And yet, I somehow still find the idea that non-magical shouting that can somehow not only break someone out of a deathly unconcious state, but magically stabilize them to be a large stretch. Its too magical. From a thematic point of view, its just doesn't work for me, and, if this survey is any indication, I'm not alone.

You can try to justify it, but its falling on deaf ears.
 

Mephista

First Post
In order for hit points to work for me as a model of what's actually happening, they need to mostly represent physical exhaustion, muscle breakdown, and will to fight. That's why I consider martial hit point recovery to be so important. Otherwise, sleep restoring hit points among other things results in fiction that seems absurd to me. It's important to me that characters are largely flesh and blood humans.
On the other hand, hit points also represent at least some physical punishment and damage. That's the whole justification for making CON the basis of Concentration checks - to keep focusing through the pain. Yes, there's luck and everything, but there's also physical pain.
 

nomotog

Explorer
My issue with shout healing isn't that your healing someone by a shout. (Ya it's silly, but I'll buy it.) It's more that if you use healing, then you have to limit it to a number of times per day. That is a harder for me to buy that you can only shout encouragement so many times a day. I don't like that. It kind of brakes my narrative understanding that martial powers can be used as much as you want.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
My issue with shout healing isn't that your healing someone by a shout. (Ya it's silly, but I'll buy it.) It's more that if you use healing, then you have to limit it to a number of times per day. That is a harder for me to buy that you can only shout encouragement so many times a day. I don't like that. It kind of brakes my narrative understanding that martial powers can be used as much as you want.
If you've ever been part of a sports team in a big game or at a rally of some sort, it actually makes total sense. There's only so much that one person can do to rouse people. At a certain point, you really do get numb to it. Sometimes, you can have a different coach step in and top things off, but one person runs out of words and vocal gymnastics.

In D&D, the mechanic works great for a single party, where the Warlord is trying to inspire the same "team" the whole time. If the character was running around a battlefield, working with different groups, it might be a bit more of a stretch. You could still chalk it up to the Warlord running out of steam and losing the ability the pump himself up as much.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
And yet, I somehow still find the idea that non-magical shouting that can somehow not only break someone out of a deathly unconcious state, but magically stabilize them to be a large stretch. Its too magical. From a thematic point of view, its just doesn't work for me, and, if this survey is any indication, I'm not alone.

You can try to justify it, but its falling on deaf ears.
I totally agree with this. It's why my earlier post focused around boosting/using/adding Hit Dice. Those require the healee (?) to be awake, generally speaking.

I could totally see a Warlord who was right on top of his fallen comrade spending his action to slap her awake enough to cheer her on and strengthen her will to live enough to revive her. Not necessarily totally realistic, but it falls within cinematic bounds. From across the battlefield? Not so much.
 

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