5E What the warlord needs in 5e and how to make it happen.

Lanliss

Explorer
Ah, got it.

Yes, some people do seem opposed to some of the mechanics.

However, my opposition is specifically because of the fluff. I'm ok with "you are healed because...well, it's magic". What I'm not ok with is "you are healed because your character find's somebody else's character to be inspiring". The latter is telling me what my character thinks.

So mechanics that I'm willing to accept from an Avatar or a Cleric or a Bard are not necessarily mechanics I'm willing to accept from a character whose fluff is "other people look up to your natural leadership and general all-around awesomeness".

A common response to that is, "It's just fluff...ignore it." But then when I say, "Well, the Cleric and the Bard also have fluff...why can't you ignore that?" all of the sudden the fluff becomes really important. I'm not saying my position conclusively demonstrates that the Warlord shouldn't exist, just that the validity of my position is equal to the validity of the pro-Warlord position.

And the Dispel Magic argument is just a distraction. Sure, that's a real mechanical effect, but it's an edge case. Almost all of the abilities I see proposed, and the ones most argued about, wouldn't be subject to Dispel Magic anyway. (And if there were an exception, and immunity to Dispel Magic really made that much of a difference, I would posit that that only demonstrates the need to make sure it's somehow dispellable.)
I can certainly agree that I don't want my character being told "You are inspired" without some possibility of magic (like the bard) being involved. However, I also don't see my own opinion as a reason to not let others have what they want. If a warlord comes up, and is loaded to the brim with mechanical effects that tell me how I feel, I will just ignore it. If someone decided to play it in the same game as me, my reaction would depend on my character. It would probably be in one of three broad categories.

1) My character is a nice person, and does not want the Warlord to feel bad, and so forces themselves to act "inspired", thus pushing themselves beyond previous limits (mechanically, they gain some health through force of their own need to keep people happy).

2) They get stronger through spite. classic "I'm doing it, but NOT because YOU told me to. Just because I FEEL like it!".

3) My character actually has a reason to feel inspired by the Warlord character (probably a rare occurrence, where I specifically build my character to look up to someone elses.)
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I can certainly agree that I don't want my character being told "You are inspired" without some possibility of magic (like the bard) being involved. However, I also don't see my own opinion as a reason to not let others have what they want. If a warlord comes up, and is loaded to the brim with mechanical effects that tell me how I feel, I will just ignore it. If someone decided to play it in the same game as me, my reaction would depend on my character. It would probably be in one of three broad categories.

1) My character is a nice person, and does not want the Warlord to feel bad, and so forces themselves to act "inspired", thus pushing themselves beyond previous limits (mechanically, they gain some health through force of their own need to keep people happy).

2) They get stronger through spite. classic "I'm doing it, but NOT because YOU told me to. Just because I FEEL like it!".

3) My character actually has a reason to feel inspired by the Warlord character (probably a rare occurrence, where I specifically build my character to look up to someone elses.)
Sure, fine.

But it doesn't answer the question: if it's ok for me to just re-fluff a Warlord, why isn't it satisfactory for the guy who wants to play a Warlord to just re-fluff a magical/supernatural class?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Sure, fine.

But it doesn't answer the question: if it's ok for me to just re-fluff a Warlord
It is fluff consistant with the internals of the archetype and your characters response to it not actually not a refluff between magical and mundane...

Or you can fluff that Warlord as having the blood of kings (supernatural bloodline like Aragorn/Arthur and others )<-- see the difference, that is telling you to flavor text it cross domain?
 
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Hussar

Legend
Are you sure? I suspect D&D players tend towards being mythology buffs enough for at least a substantial minority of them to be at least peripherally aware that the Myrmidons have something to do with Achilles and ants.

Also, I'm already using the word for a homebrewed race of, well, antlike warriors, so hard pass from me personally on those grounds.

And how is "paladin" a comparably poor name? True, the Peers of Charlemagne didn't do much supernatural healing or thunderous smiting, but other than the difference in magic level the connotation of "chivalrous, loyal, and pure knight" seems to fit like a glove.
Well, considering chivalrous, loyal and pure knight does not describe a 5e paladin (or at least 2/3rds of the subclasses), it's hardly a good fit anymore. It gets the pass mostly because of the history of the game, rather than any actual relation to what the class is anymore. And, let's not forget, one of the arguments against warlord is that you cannot be a novice warlord. There's no such thing as a novice paladin either. These were the elite of the elite. Not some schmuck just out of school.

Ah, got it.

Yes, some people do seem opposed to some of the mechanics.

However, my opposition is specifically because of the fluff. I'm ok with "you are healed because...well, it's magic". What I'm not ok with is "you are healed because your character find's somebody else's character to be inspiring". The latter is telling me what my character thinks.

So mechanics that I'm willing to accept from an Avatar or a Cleric or a Bard are not necessarily mechanics I'm willing to accept from a character whose fluff is "other people look up to your natural leadership and general all-around awesomeness".

A common response to that is, "It's just fluff...ignore it." But then when I say, "Well, the Cleric and the Bard also have fluff...why can't you ignore that?" all of the sudden the fluff becomes really important. I'm not saying my position conclusively demonstrates that the Warlord shouldn't exist, just that the validity of my position is equal to the validity of the pro-Warlord position.

And the Dispel Magic argument is just a distraction. Sure, that's a real mechanical effect, but it's an edge case. Almost all of the abilities I see proposed, and the ones most argued about, wouldn't be subject to Dispel Magic anyway. (And if there were an exception, and immunity to Dispel Magic really made that much of a difference, I would posit that that only demonstrates the need to make sure it's somehow dispellable.)
But, the problem is, you already lost this argument. Sorry, but, in 5e, you simply are wrong. There's a non-magical healing with the bard and you have the Inspired Leader feat. Never minding the Battlemaster and the Mastermind, both of whom can do these things without any magical support whatsoever. There's no nice way of putting this. That ship has sailed. These mechanics are now part of the game. You might not like them, but, that doesn't put the genie back in the bottle.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
Well, considering chivalrous, loyal and pure knight does not describe a 5e paladin (or at least 2/3rds of the subclasses), it's hardly a good fit anymore.
Different codes, same loyalty.

It gets the pass mostly because of the history of the game, rather than any actual relation to what the class is anymore.
I'd say the biggest offender on this front is the druid.

And, let's not forget, one of the arguments against warlord is that you cannot be a novice warlord. There's no such thing as a novice paladin either. These were the elite of the elite. Not some schmuck just out of school.
That's never been one of my arguments against "warlord". It's hardly the only name to connote a certain elitism -- "ranger" is traditionally an elite title, too. A class title may represent something a character aspires to as much as something they are. And a 1st-level character is in certain respects elite already even if they're not yet slaying elder dragons. When a ranger stalks into the local tavern heavily armed and draped in furs, the patrons certainly aren't going to think of him as normal whatever his level. And for the record, there are lots of stories of young Roland and his early days in the service of the Emperor, so I don't think "novice paladin" is an oxymoron anyway.

There's a non-magical healing with the bard...
There is?
 

Hussar

Legend
Sure. Bardic inspiration and bardic song of rest are not magical. Or at least, they are not called out as magical. They might be. It's one of those fuzzy things that isn't detailed in the books.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
Sure. Bardic inspiration and bardic song of rest are not magical. Or at least, they are not called out as magical. They might be. It's one of those fuzzy things that isn't detailed in the books.
I always interpreted Song of Rest as an enhancement to what the HD are already doing. I get where you're coming from, but it seems strange to call it nonmagical healing in its own right -- the bard isn't exactly creating the effect. And is there some way Bardic Inspiration can heal that I don't know about?
 

Lanliss

Explorer
Sure, fine.

But it doesn't answer the question: if it's ok for me to just re-fluff a Warlord, why isn't it satisfactory for the guy who wants to play a Warlord to just re-fluff a magical/supernatural class?
To clarify, because I would not want to mistake your stance, are you talking about me changing my characters' reaction to the Warlord? Because that is just on my end, and has no effect on their character at all. I am not reskinning them, or their character, and am not taking anything away from it, only judging what my own character would do that may reflect those mechanics. If you are not referring to those examples, could you explain which part of the long conversation in this thread you are referring to?

As for an answer to your question, that horse has been a pile of mush for a long time, and always leads back to the same thing. One day, someone will have an anti-magic field. Easy to ignore, I know, but apparently a deal-breaker. I will not go more into this, as I am at risk of trying to represent an argument I know nothing about, which is rarely a good idea. I will leave that answer for someone who actually knows what they are talking about, lest I give false ideas about what the actual issue is.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
I always interpreted Song of Rest as an enhancement to what the HD are already doing. I get where you're coming from, but it seems strange to call it nonmagical healing in its own right -- the bard isn't exactly creating the effect. And is there some way Bardic Inspiration can heal that I don't know about?
No, but both being bardic dice powers put them in the same boat of "maybe magical, maybe not". Also, there is the Second-wind ability on Fighter, and spell-less ranger has poultices (though that is a UA, so take that as you may). I actually recommended a spell-less Bard for Warlord, where all of the spell-casting can be replaced with support abilities. The response was that it already basically exists in AiME, IIRC.
 

mellored

Explorer
Sure, fine.

But it doesn't answer the question: if it's ok for me to just re-fluff a Warlord, why isn't it satisfactory for the guy who wants to play a Warlord to just re-fluff a magical/supernatural class?
Power points and spells are daily resources. It's hard to refluff it as martial. I mean, you do this cool maneuver, and then... what? Sprain a muscle and need to rest to do it again?

It's better at higher level, when you have enough to do the cool maneuver all day. At least then if you run out of PP you can more reasonably chalk it up to fatigue. (Or reduce your max HP to keep going, that fits).

Now if you did something like having a max of 5 PP, but regained 2 PP a turn, then it would fit a martial character much better. Or just at-will.
 

Hussar

Legend
I always interpreted Song of Rest as an enhancement to what the HD are already doing. I get where you're coming from, but it seems strange to call it nonmagical healing in its own right -- the bard isn't exactly creating the effect. And is there some way Bardic Inspiration can heal that I don't know about?
I was just pointing out effects that bards have that are not specifically magical. Bardic Inspiration obviously can't heal. :D But, "enhancement to what HD are already doing" is a healing effect. We're adding hp to the character without actually having to cast any magic.

I wouldn't mind, personally for our putative warlord to tie his healing to HD in the party. This would not bother me in the least.

Power points and spells are daily resources. It's hard to refluff it as martial. I mean, you do this cool maneuver, and then... what? Sprain a muscle and need to rest to do it again?

It's better at higher level, when you have enough to do the cool maneuver all day. At least then if you run out of PP you can more reasonably chalk it up to fatigue. (Or reduce your max HP to keep going, that fits).

Now if you did something like having a max of 5 PP, but regained 2 PP a turn, then it would fit a martial character much better. Or just at-will.
To be fair though, this ship has sailed as well. Superiority Dice are a rest resource. I can easily blow all my SD's in a single round, and then have to fight for 19 more rounds before a short rest. Since we already accept that, it's not too much of a stretch for maneuvers to be limited to times/rest.
 

Hussar

Legend
Something that both sides of this discussion need to keep in mind is that we have already resolved some of these issues. We cannot insist that martial maneuvers be "at will" and "all day long". That ship has sailed. In the same way, we cannot insist that mechanics cannot be based on inspiring an ally. That's another sailed ship. Both of these already exist in the game and we cannot ignore that fact.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
Power points and spells are daily resources. It's hard to refluff it as martial. I mean, you do this cool maneuver, and then... what? Sprain a muscle and need to rest to do it again?

It's better at higher level, when you have enough to do the cool maneuver all day. At least then if you run out of PP you can more reasonably chalk it up to fatigue. (Or reduce your max HP to keep going, that fits).

Now if you did something like having a max of 5 PP, but regained 2 PP a turn, then it would fit a martial character much better. Or just at-will.
It could be skinned as the tactical opportunity not presenting itself again, and at higher levels you are simply better at catching the little tics that give the opportunity for a particular maneuver.
 

mellored

Explorer
Something that both sides of this discussion need to keep in mind is that we have already resolved some of these issues. We cannot insist that martial maneuvers be "at will" and "all day long". That ship has sailed. In the same way, we cannot insist that mechanics cannot be based on inspiring an ally. That's another sailed ship. Both of these already exist in the game and we cannot ignore that fact.
Adding to the game is different than removing from the game. Just because there are short rest maneuvers, does not mean there can't be at-will maneuvers.
Also, rogue gets everything at-will things. It's cunning action, and uncanny dodge every round. Not just a few times per rest.

And yes, I find the nature of superiority dice to be disharmonious with the narritive. Though at least it's short rest, not quite as bad as long rest.

Also, a class that got extra hit points per level, but has to burn them to do things could be fun. Not for warlord, but just in general. Possibly as some kind barbarian.
 

mellored

Explorer
It could be skinned as the tactical opportunity not presenting itself again, and at higher levels you are simply better at catching the little tics that give the opportunity for a particular maneuver.
That sounds like it would happen randomly, such as on a die roll.

i.e. when an enemy rolls a 1, you take advantage of his fumble. At level 5, you see them roll a 1 or 2. At level 11 it's 1-3, and at level 17 it's 1-4.

Which seems like it would be fun.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
That sounds like it would happen randomly, such as on a die roll.

i.e. when an enemy rolls a 1, you take advantage of his fumble. At level 5, you see them roll a 1 or 2. At level 11 it's 1-3, and at level 17 it's 1-4.

Which seems like it would be fun.
It does not take a lot to say that they had a particular swing they liked using that left them open, and once you showed that opening(by having your buddy stab them in it) they closed it up. Further on, your trained tactical eye is able to pick out smaller openings, making your party look capable of glorious feats of tactic, shredding the most powerful defenses with multiple exploitations of minuscule mistakes on the part of your enemies.

That actually sounds like a much better description than "You always, no matter what, can find an opening", which would be the description of an at-will, which might make a nice cap-stone, or at least the final feature in a subclass.

Taking advantage of fumbles sounds like a fun mechanic, but also relies a lot on your DM rolling poorly, which feels like it might breed some poor spirits. "Oh, you rolled poorly for the seventh time of the night? Guess what I get to do again!"
 
Ah, got it.

Yes, some people do seem opposed to some of the mechanics.
Yet there are existing mechanics that do the kinds of things the warlord could, and should, and might reasonably be expanded to do, and they don't draw the same opposition, so it's not the mechanics that are problematic.

There are also "fluff" options available that hint at the some of concepts the warlord could cover, and they don't draw the same opposition, so they're not problematic, either.

All that remains to bring back the Warlord for 5e is to put together enough similar mechanics to support that complete set of concepts in a self-consistent way, above and beyond the Role & Balance constrained way that 4e used. The objection to that can't be the mechanics, can't be the fluff, so it has to be, what? The combination of the two?

I think so, because that combination definitional to the Warlord.

And the Dispel Magic argument is just a distraction. Sure, that's a real mechanical effect, but it's an edge case.
It's just an example a very clear one, that illustrates that D&D in general, and 5e in particular treats different fluff differently, with different mechanics and different interactions. So, while it's not hard to think of ways of re-skinning one thing as another, it does not play well with the rest of the game, it's even at odds with it's design philosophy. There /are/ games that assume re-skinning, they're lovely games, but they're not D&D, and they're most definitely not 5e. Re-skinning can work when the underlying concept isn't that different. Re-skinning a Rogue as a duelist or a battlemaster as a sneaky opportunist isn't much at odds, for instance. Re-skinning a Sorcerer as receiving his power from a curse instead of a bloodline, or a Warlock as having a magical 'talent' rather than a pact, doesn't change the nature of their powers in a way that has implications that inform the mechanics. Re-skinning a Bard as a Paladin or a Wizard as a rogue would be pushing it pretty hard.

However, my opposition is specifically because of the fluff. I'm ok with "you are healed because...well, it's magic". What I'm not ok with is "you are healed because your character find's somebody else's character to be inspiring". The latter is telling me what my character thinks.
Hypothetical Warlord inspirational healing, the Inspiring Leader feat, and quite a lot of other things, really, could end up dictating to you how your character feels about someone providing the inspiration. That is, if the mechanic left you no 'out' to feel differently, say by declining the effect. It happens that the 4e Warlord's 300+ powers were generally* phrased such that the player of the character receiving the benefit had to accept it - choose to spend a surge or an action, even if only a free action, for instance, or even just continue to count yourself an 'ally.' So it didn't actually remove that, though it was certainly to your benefit to accept it if you could see your way clear to. Of course, there's no guarantee that 5e, with it's natural language and loser class designs would always make it explicit and clear that you retained control over your character's emotional responses - you have to depend on the DM to rule in your favor, in that as in all things.

So, actually, I can see your point, and see it as a reason to personally approach the class with some caution. If someone's going to play a warlord, you should make sure they understand how you feel about the implications, and work out how your characters should relate - if nothing else, so he understand why you're declining buffs and the like. There's a lot of potential tensions like that in any RPG. You're particularly sensitive to this one, apparently, but it's not unique. I've seen people exercised about paladins, clerics, warlocks, thieves, races like kinder (to go pick up some low-hanging fruit), and on and on. Sometimes the game element that gets someone's goat is perfectly understandable, sometimes it's a real head-scratcher. If it makes you feel any better, I find your concern way over on the understandable side. It's just no reason for 5e to exclude a class from a past edition PH 1 that opened up new campaign and play styles, and party compositions that weren't practical before. It /is/ a reason for players to treat eachother with some respect at the table, and in both directions.

So mechanics that I'm willing to accept from an Avatar or a Cleric or a Bard are not necessarily mechanics I'm willing to accept from a character whose fluff is "other people look up to your natural leadership and general all-around awesomeness".
I think it's worth separating them in that context. The mechanics aren't the problem for you, the fluff is where you have an issue. It's OK for someone to completely screw over your character and wreck his concept and how you picture him, as long as they use supernatural means. It's only someone pulling one over on you using a skill or natural ability (however extraordinary, however poorly your character may be defined as being able to cope with such things) that's unacceptable. Someone fooling your -1 WIS, untrained Insight character when you think he shouldn't believe them. Unacceptable. Someone slipping you a Helm of Opposite Alignment and turning your do-gooding Paladin into an inhuman fiend, no problem.

It's not a new or unfamiliar or unjustified idea. Back in the day (for those who weren't there), that's very much how we did things. There were a few mechanics, like morale, that determined how a character felt or reacted, and they often exempted PCs, explicitly. A PC could stand and fight to the last every time, never checking morale, because they're the heroes, they're made of sturner stuff than the NPCs. Now, for whatever reason, we don't have morale checks, at all. We have magical effects that impose the frightened condition. :shrug:

Personally, I think it blows that classes which are presumably meant to represent fearless heroes of legend lack proficiency in WILL and CHA saves.

A common response to that is, "It's just fluff...ignore it." But then when I say, "Well, the Cleric and the Bard also have fluff...why can't you ignore that?" all of the sudden the fluff becomes really important.
I'm not saying my position conclusively demonstrates that the Warlord shouldn't exist, just that the validity of my position is equal to the validity of the pro-Warlord position.
It's not. "I'd like to be able to play a good 5e version of a class I could play from the PH1 in a past edition, one that enables styles of play that edition did, and this one doesn't do as well, yet" is not unreasonable or invalid at all. It's something anyone who wanted to play /any other class from a past-edition PH1 already has/. Telling everyone who will ever play D&D what classes they can and can't play, ever, by contrast, is not reasonable. Dealing with table issues with global system solutions is not a valid approach.
I'm not saying you're the bad guy here. I'm saying, wanting to play a certain character a certain way is a personal thing. It's not right for the game to say 'no you can't,' especially when you've been able to in the game, before. It's not right for one player choice to mechanically dictate another. An LG Paladin in the group doesn't mechanically mean you can't have a CE Walock, they're powers won't cancel out or anything, but they are going to have to figure out how it's going to work RP-wise. It's something that needs to be worked out at the table level. Which classes does the DM find appropriate to the campaign, which do the players want to play, which set certain players' teeth on edge, which concepts have compatibility issues, how can we work it out so we can all enjoy a game of D&D?

That's not something that can be hashed out here, conclusively (though it can certainly be discussed productively, especially /how/ to deal with such issues, rather than whether they exist), it's not something for WotC to dictate from on high.
It's for DM's and their players.










* a few that weren't early on were later errata'd to do so.
 

mellored

Explorer
That actually sounds like a much better description than "You always, no matter what, can find an opening", which would be the description of an at-will, which might make a nice cap-stone, or at least the final feature in a subclass.
That sounds like automatic damage. Magic Missile will always, no matter what, will find the target.

For weapons and maneuvers, you always can TRY to find an opening, roll a d20 to find out. Grant an attack, and they can still miss.

Taking advantage of fumbles sounds like a fun mechanic, but also relies a lot on your DM rolling poorly, which feels like it might breed some poor spirits. "Oh, you rolled poorly for the seventh time of the night? Guess what I get to do again!"
It's not much different then improved criticals.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
I was just pointing out effects that bards have that are not specifically magical. Bardic Inspiration obviously can't heal. :D But, "enhancement to what HD are already doing" is a healing effect. We're adding hp to the character without actually having to cast any magic.

I wouldn't mind, personally for our putative warlord to tie his healing to HD in the party. This would not bother me in the least.
Me neither. I'm not criticizing what you said; it just surprised me. Inspiration and Song of Rest strike me as fine features for a warlord class. Although at that point it's starting to look like a "nonmagical variant bard" akin to the elusive nonmagical ranger, and I'm sure some of the people clamoring for warlords would take objection to them being passed off as a mere variant.

EDIT: Sorry, [MENTION=6801219]Lanliss[/MENTION], responded to Hussar before reading your post. It seems we're thinking along the same lines.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
That sounds like automatic damage. Magic Missile will always, no matter what, will find the target.

For weapons and maneuvers, you always can TRY to find an opening, roll a d20 to find out. Grant an attack, and they can still miss.


It's not much different then improved criticals.
Yeah, but that is on the player end. It doesn't have that hint of "You got unlucky? This skill makes you EXTRA unlucky" that the fumbles would. Making the player look extra lucky is on the other end of the spectrum, and at most might make the DM unhappy that his player is so lucky, after which I would personally feel a bit like a dick for getting mad just because someone got good luck. It is the difference between mocking and congratulating.
 

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