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Warlording: The Subclass Edition. Because there wasn't enough of these floating around.

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Lo and Behold!

I have descended from the mountaintop of bingeing entirely too much coffee and Warlord threads from previous editions to deliver unto you yet another supercilious Warlord thread that will likely soon be obsoleted by official materials. As you know, Mearls has recently made a draft of a Warlord Subclass that he hopes will appease the warlord fans, considering that the Purple Dragon Knight isn't viewed favorably by most. However, there is pushback on that, saying that the Fighter is too powerful a chassis and that a Warlord could never possibly fit into it. Which lead me to dig deep into the question "What exactly is a Warlord anyway?"

The answer to which is only slightly less ill-defined than the answer to the question "What is a Fighter away?"
Scrapping that line of inquiry, I turned instead to the brute force question: "What can Warlords do?" Which lead me to looking at every class guide I could find in the archives.

Firstly, I have to state that there were entirely too damn many Warlord Powers back in 4e. But then again, there were entirely too damn many powers in 4e so that was to be expected. If your favorite Hammer-Wielding Vampire/Warlord hybrid Pixy racial exploit didn't make the translation cut, I apologize for wasting your time in advance. Secondly, lets talk about the cuts.

Pushing/pulling/shifting powers don't translate well into 5e, if at all. 5e has by far a more naturally loose movement system than previous editions, allowing you to practically dance around your opponent and get your full turns worth of actions. 4e combat wasn't stationary by any means, but it involved a lot of "Exceptional" movement because melee combat was otherwise super-sticky, featuring gobs off-turn movement, slowing down combat to a crawl at times. (For comparison in 3.x, melee was purposely sitting around like a lump so you could get your full Iterative Attack routine, which is just boring).

+x to hit or defense roll powers. 5e follows the principles of bounded accuracy, favoring instead to use the streamlined (dis)advantage mechanics, and it's already pushing up against the wall in terms of handing out bonuses from things like bless or paladin auras, so I am loathe to make anything else that can potentially stack with them.

Likewise some mechanics don't exist anymore, bloodied and the various riders that were attached to some weapon types for example.

This largely leaves us with the iconic warlord abilities: Granting attacks and healing. While throwing in as much movement enabling as feasible.

Now, for this to qualify as a proper Warlord, it has to be able to do Warlordy things from level 1 apparently. Seeing as how I think the Warlord belongs as a Fighter Subclass, this creates a conundrum, because the Fighter Subclasses come online at level 3. However, there is a hack for getting around that: Fighting Style. Granted to the Fighter at level 1, this ability reflects extra training in the way which your Fighter will, well, fight. Given that the Warlord Fights by bossing around and inspiring other players, here are 3 Styles that will not only bolster the subclass, but any other Fighter who wishes to be a little bit of a leader.

Fighting Styles:

Tactician: Your allies within 30' of you have advantage on attack rolls against any target you attack until the beginning of your next turn.

Inspirational: Whenever you hit a creature with an attack, choose one ally within 60' who can see or hear you. That ally gains temporary HP equal to your Proficiency Modifier + your Charisma Modifier (minimum 1)

Bravura: Whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, they may not use their reaction to attack creatures other than you who move out of their reach until the beginning of your next turn.

Yeah the names are a bit bland, and a little off, but you have to invoke the past and improvise sometimes. As to why not “real heal”? It feels more “Warlordy” to do something every turn instead of just once or twice per short rest, and real healing every turn is OP. And Bravura is a bit more like tanking than previously, but it's meant to replicate the shifting mechanic from 4e without slowing down combat and making excessive out of turn movements, so it gets to pull double duty!

With that out of the way, the next comments will inevitably be “What about healing and the Lazylord?!” Here are my solutions to that.

Level 3 abilities:

Inspiring Word: You have pool of Moxie that you can use inspire people to get back into the fight. As a Bonus Action, you can spend one point of Moxie to inspire someone who is within 60' of you to regain an amount of Hp equal to your Fighter Level + your Charisma Modifier (minimum of 1 hp). Your Pool of Moxie is equal to your Proficiency Modifier + 2, and is refreshed whenever you take a long rest.

Made it a daily resource instead of short rest like the PDK. It's also tied to a resource that I plan to mine later, in order to lower the overall power of the subclass while expanding the vercitility

Direct the Strike: When you take the Attack Action, by forgoing an attack for yourself, you can let one of your allies within 60' of yourself make a Weapon Attack in your stead as a Reaction. Their Damage Roll gains a damage bonus equal to your Proficiency Modifier + Intelligence Modifier (minimum 1)

Mearls once said that giving attacks is based on the Fighter (instead of the Barbarian or Rogue), and anything that gives attacks has to feel better than a normal Fighter attack. This should fit that bill nicely. This could have been limited by x/rest uses, but then you wouldn't be able to warlord "all the time", and tethering it to reactions keeps maximum turn length roughly the same as normal. The big breakthrough here is tying it to the fighters extra attacks, which lets the Warlord Scale, while mechanically trading out one of the most lamented reasons as to why the Fighter is a poor Warlord chassis


Now that we have all the basic concepts nailed down, we get to Level 7 abilities where we shore up a deficiency non-magical healers face: Removing Conditions.

Level 7:

Shake it off: As a Bonus Action, you can spend one point of Moxie in order to end a Charmed, Frightened, Paralyzed, Stunned, or Unconscious condition on a creature that is within 60' of you.

This list is different than the Paladin list of stuff they can cure with Lay On Hands, because Paladins and Fighters should be different, even if they are doing the same job.


Eureka Moment: As a reaction, you can let your ally within 60' of you reroll an ability check or saving throw, while granting advantage to them. Once you use this feature twice, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

A take on the mastermind's help power and Bardic Inspiration, I tried to make it a bit more restricted than either of them to make it feel different and because the Warlord already has attacking enablers. It's also useful out of combat, because even Fighters have to talk sometimes.

Level 10

White Raven Tactics: Once per Rest, as an Action, you can inspire one of your allies within 60' of you to move up to their speed and perform an Action by using their Reaction.

The last thing that warlords are known for: Granting Actions and movement. This one is more for the people that have Casters in their party. But it also functionally lets you give your Action Surge to another member of your party.

level 15:

Additional Fighting Style.

Really, I just had nothing left for this level, this class is front-loaded at this point. Maybe some skills bonuses could have been put here, but that's way to long for skills to come online. At least you can do two leadery things at once, which means you are getting better at leading. Or finally get good at using that weapon you have been lugging around. There are options.

Level 18

War Master's Charge: Once per Long Rest, up to 5 allies within 60' of you may move up to their speed and perform an Action during your turn.

This is the most warlordy thing possible, and as such, is a great capstone for the class. Note it doesn't require a Reaction, or a Bonus action, which makes it even more boss. And it is quite possibly the most powerful capstone. But it's a Capstone on a non-caster, so whatever.


So anyway, now is your chance to tear this into pieces.
 
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"What is a Fighter away?"
The poor sucker who stands in the front and dies so your magic-user can reach 2nd level.

Scrapping that line of inquiry, I turned instead to the brute force question: "What can Warlords do?" Which lead me to looking at every class guide I could find in the archives.
Oh. 'guides' can be pretty out there...

Firstly, I have to state that there were entirely too damn many Warlord Powers back in 4e.
Only about 90 in the PH.
But then again, there were entirely too damn many powers in 4e
4e/E the Wizard came out on top with 439...
Pushing/pulling/shifting powers don't translate well into 5e, if at all.
Shifting = disengage. Push worked well enough for Thunderwave, at least.
It's just natural language rather than keyword driven. You don't say "Slide 3" you say "move the character up to 15' in any direction it could normally move, but if you move it into terrain that would damage it or over a cliff or pit or something, give it a DEX save to fall prone instead..." Because 5e's simpler that way.

5e follows the principles of bounded accuracy, favoring instead to use the streamlined (dis)advantage mechanics
But, one-time bonus spells/features have made it in, anyway, usually as Adv/Dis, but occasionally as +die modifiers, as well.

, and it's already pushing up against the wall in terms of handing out bonuses from things like bless or paladin auras, so I am loathe to make anything else that can potentially stack with them.
Meh, it only matters if you have everything that might give out a bonus, all in the same party. More likely you'll only have 1 or 2 from the 'support' list of Cleric, Druid, Bard, Paladin or Warlord.

Likewise some mechanics don't exist anymore, bloodied and the various riders that were attached to some weapon types for example.
Bloodied doesn't exist as a keyword, because natural language, but "1/2 maximum hps" inevitably still exists. Again, just a little wordier.
Not sure what riders you're talking about. 5e actually /added/ damage types to weapons, you might be able to do something with that. Or do you just mean weapon groups like 'light blade' or 'spear?' Again, they're still there, just not as jargon.

Really should find Wrecan's excellent analysis of the Warlord from the WotC boards... [MENTION=82504]Garthanos[/MENTION]: don't you have that saved somewhere?



Now, for this to qualify as a proper Warlord, it has to be able to do Warlordy things from level 1 apparently. Seeing as how I think the Warlord belongs as a Fighter Subclass, this creates a conundrum, because the Fighter Subclasses come online at level 3.
Not the only conundrum. The Fighter in 5e is not much like either the Fighter nor Warlord in 4e. It's more like the Slayer sub-class of Fighter in Essentials, a 'Striker' (traditional 'Tank') that's tough and all about DPR - two thing the Warlord was not much about ('cept the Bravura, a bit).

However, there is a hack for getting around that: Fighting Style.
Yep, Mearls briefly speculated he might do that sometime...

Fighting Styles:

Tactician: Your allies within 30' of you have advantage on attack rolls against any target you attack until the beginning of your next turn.

Inspirational: Whenever you hit a creature with an attack, choose one ally within 60' who can see or hear you. That ally gains temporary HP equal to your Proficiency Modifier + your Charisma Modifier (minimum 1)

Bravura: Whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, they may not use their reaction to attack creatures other than you who move out of their reach.

Yeah the names are a bit bland, and a little off, but you have to invoke the past and improvise sometimes.
Those don't suck at all.

Yes, that's meant as high praise. ;)

As to why not “real heal”? It feels more “Warlordy” to do something every turn instead of just once or twice per short rest, and real healing every turn is OP.
Meh, that's a cop-out. "You really should be able to do this, and you really should be able to do it at-will, so, to be true to that, you can't do it at all."
Wow, thanks.

Of course, the Warlord /should/ heal from 1st level, and healing /should/ be a daily resource, and there's no way that fits in a Fighting Style, so, yeah, building a Fighter sub-class is setting out to fail. But, for a '1/3rd Warlord' the way the EK is 1/3rd Wizard, the way the BM & PDK aren't even 1/10th Warlord, it's not out of the question.

Made it a daily resource instead of short rest like the PDK. It's also tied to a resource that I plan to mine later, in order to lower the overall power of the subclass while expanding the versatility
Sensible. Don't like the name, but the daily resource is appropriate for abstract/arbitrary game-design reasons.

Direct the Strike: When you take the Attack Action, by forgoing an attack for yourself, you can let one of your allies within 60' of yourself make a Weapon Attack in your stead as a Reaction. Their Damage Roll gains a damage bonus equal to your Proficiency Modifier + Intelligence Modifier (minimum 1)
Works, because it's a fighter that gets Extra Attack, and...
Mearls once said that giving attacks is based on the Fighter (instead of the Barbarian or Rogue), and anything that gives attacks has to feel better than a normal Fighter attack. This should fit that bill nicely.
He did, he said that. ;)
This could have been limited by x/rest uses, but then you wouldn't be able to warlord "all the time", and tethering it to reactions keeps maximum turn length roughly the same as normal. The big breakthrough here is tying it to the fighters extra attacks, which lets the Warlord Scale, while mechanically trading out one of the most lamented reasons as to why the Fighter is a poor Warlord chassis
The lazy-lord thing really cries out (sometimes literally) to be able to dump it's own attack capability and just give away its actions. It's a little weird, and it gives you a character who essentially shuns the spotlight while letting everyone else play the hero a bit more, I've played 'em, it can be fun, but it's not for everyone. FWIW.

Shake it off:
Eureka Moment:
White Raven Tactics:
All pretty reasonable, and a fair selection of Warlord stuff for a 1/3rd-Warlord fighter-sub-class.

War Master's Charge: Once per Long Rest, up to 5 allies within 60' of you may move up to their speed and perform an Action during your turn.
This is the most warlordy thing possible, and as such, is a great capstone for the class.
War Master's Assault was 15th, far cry from a capstone. Of course, you've given it a much larger radius... and it's also comparable to Victory by Design, which was 29th...


Overall, not a Warlord (not even trying to be, because of starting on the Fighter chassis, so not a fair complaint, really), not quite a 1/3rd Warlord, but beats the PDK or BM all hollow.
Good effort.
 

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