D&D 5E Warlords of Krynn and the 4e class name in it...

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I completely agree, there will always be corner cases, but as clearly pointed out by the 5e design, the system is not there to deal with corner cases, it's the DM's job (otherwise the system becomes either unmanageably complex or too restrictive) and second hit points and healing are flexible enough in their concept to make corner cases rare.

For me, the problem with the 4e warlord is that it made suspension-of-disbelief-breaking "corner cases" the standard because you did not have multiple healers in your party, which meant that most of your healing was of that "suspension-of-disbelief-breaking" kind.

Which was all the more annoying since I liked the concept of the class, and it could have been solved by more buffing rather than through actual healing, which was for me lazy design.

Moreover, I enjoyed the class as long as I enjoyed the formality of combat in 4e, which did not last that long, and when I got tired of my powers just pushing miniatures around on a grid, I also got tired of that version of the warlord.

Now, the best warlord in our current campaigns are my Paladin in Odyssey of the Dragonlords because she is a natural commander although not relying on class powers, and a warlock in my Avernus campaign because she built on her pact with Mephistopheles to start commanding infernal and other troops and using her cunning, charisma and guile to keep them in check and make them do what she wants, both on the battlefield and in negotiations. These are real warlords, until I resuscitate the Wheel of Time RPG and get real commanders again.
The problem was, they decided each party needed a Leader. Leaders buff allies (in various ways) and healed. If the Warlord was a Leader that couldn't heal, they wouldn't be able to be slotted in in lieu of a Cleric, Bard, Ardent, or what have you. So the Warlord had to heal, and given that hit points have never been fully meat, they decided it wasn't so much healing as the Warlord's leadership spurring you onto greater heights.

What would have fit the narrative better would be a mechanic like the 3e Bard's Inspire Greatness, that actually temporarily gives you more Hit Dice and lets you function (more or less) as if you magically had 2 levels of Warrior bolted onto your character.

But, in a shocking move for 4e design, they went for the simpler, less complicated solution.
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
The problem was, they decided each party needed a Leader.

And that was the first problem, which by the way 5e solved.

Leaders buff allies (in various ways) and healed.

And they could have had a leader that buffed more and did not heal. But because 4e decided that artificial technical balance was mandatory, they had to create classes that were copycats without imagination just to guarantee balance. And that was the second mistake because,as proven by 5e, artificial technical balance is not only not mandatory for a game to work well, it's also detrimental to the openness of the system.

If the Warlord was a Leader that couldn't heal, they wouldn't be able to be slotted in in lieu of a Cleric, Bard, Ardent, or what have you. So the Warlord had to heal, and given that hit points have never been fully meat, they decided it wasn't so much healing as the Warlord's leadership spurring you onto greater heights.

And that was the third mistake, not understanding that hit points are ALSO meat, and that although the non-meat part varied from edition to edition, and also from character to character, there was always some meat in the end.

What would have fit the narrative better would be a mechanic like the 3e Bard's Inspire Greatness, that actually temporarily gives you more Hit Dice and lets you function (more or less) as if you magically had 2 levels of Warrior bolted onto your character.

Exactly, and I'm all for that.

But, in a shocking move for 4e design, they went for the simpler, less complicated solution.

Not so shocking considering all the artificial rules that they self-imposed on the 4e design, actually.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Say, what about the Banneret?
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
Say, what about the Banneret?

I don't like it either, fortunately it's not one of the core classes of the game, it's just a archetype that you are absolutely free to ignore, which I do. :p

That being said, it's not that bad, because it does not work on unconscious creatures, so they sort of took care that it did not really heal "wounds" or "meat hit points", the lack of which sent you into unconsciousness. So the description is actually not that hurtful to my delicate senses... ;)
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I don't like it either, fortunately it's not one of the core classes of the game, it's just a archetype that you are absolutely free to ignore, which I do. :p

That being said, it's not that bad, because it does not work on unconscious creatures, so they sort of took care that it did not really heal "wounds" or "meat hit points", the lack of which sent you into unconsciousness. So the description is actually not that hurtful to my delicate senses... ;)
I didn't consider that you might not be able to hear something while dying. Not sure if that's right, but there's no rules for it either way, so perhaps that's a good limitation for Warlord healing, the target has to be able to see or hear you.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I didn't consider that you might not be able to hear something while dying. Not sure if that's right, but there's no rules for it either way, so perhaps that's a good limitation for Warlord healing, the target has to be able to see or hear you.

"An unconscious creature is incapacitated, can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings."
 

Remathilis

Legend
My issue isn't that a warlord can theoretically heal or its name, but what is it doing that justifies a 20 level class?

4e warlords mostly tossed around minor bonuses, forced movement, and extra attacks. And a little healing. In 5e, minor bonuses have been replaced by advantage, and that's a one time deal. And it's trivially easy to get advantage in most cases. I guess you could grant a 1d4 (bless, guidance) or 1d6 it higher (bardic inspiration, superiority dice) out of a reserve, but that's hardly groundbreaking.

While forced movement is more of a thing, it's again a one trick pony option and really isn't as useful in TotM as it is in grid play. You might be able to get a good subclass idea out of this, but a base class?

Healing on a warlord was the weakest of all 4e leaders, and in 5e would be trounced by any caster of equal level. Even if you create an ability that mirrors cure wounds and healing word (and the mass versions) a warlord wouldn't have a way to replicate lesser and greater restoration, revivify/raise dead, remove curse, or other status ailments. In general, a warlord would lack a lot of the utility a spellcaster would, but that's a different topic.

So we are really left with extra attacks, which has to be carefully monitored due to the sheer amount of riders other classes bring in synergy. A warlord sacrificing his attack to give an ally an attack sounds fair in practice, until that ally uses smite (paladin or warlock) sneak attack (rogue), stunning fist (monk) or other burst attacks. Maybe as a limited resource, you could grant extra attacks, but not the lazylord "at will" ability.

So limited buffs, forced movement, limited healing of HP, and limited extra attacks. This isn't the making of a 20 level base class. This is a subclass, which is what 5e has tried a few times with various degrees of success. Maybe 5.5e will fix the battlemaster to be closer to the warlord, but there isn't enough room in 5e's rules and math to replicate the warlord as a 20 leveler, let alone support diverse subclasses.
 

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