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5E Working on a Warlord Full Class

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
One has to be super careful with that.

A bonus or effect should be of at least a modest size to ve worth bothering, and then multiplying it by the party size makes it huge.
Nods big but bounded is one thought for instance "On your toes everyone" allows any party member to share initiative equal to the warlords roll (or similar). One of the 4e Warlord features was being able to get everyone to go first sometimes with too much certainty ... this is actualy weaker and bounded by the warlords roll.

The first form of everybody charge was an at-will people didnt get an extra attack just a buff if they charged the target of your focus (might alow allies able to use a bonus attack to attack if they use a dash and gain bonus damage of a CS die).

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But when you get higher level ... it does mean basically your
allies each get an extra attack.. call it a level 14 or 15 in 5e

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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
@NotAYakk
I think you might notice this one is comparable in potency to an attack and a shove
The knockdown too is only useful to those who do not mind getting in close AND while it provides
advantage the following provides a boost to damage. A level 5 fighter can use one of his
attacks to shove and the other to attack A level 5 Warlord being able to attack and
boosting ALL ally melee attacks is similar. (no need for a resource that expends)

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NotAYakk

Legend
Sure, but that is really close to a fiddly bonus.

At low levels, that is +2 or +3 damage per attacker.

4e isn't as bad as 3e, but fiddly small bonus tracking is one of the ways you can break a game of 4e and make fights really really boring and long.

I mean, bless in 5e is both OP and annoying to track at the same time; more of that is meh.
 


NotAYakk

Legend
Yep, except now it is communication between two players and tactical requirements to get that bonus.

The Warlord I wrote above, it is the Warlord who says "roll an extra d6" (or whatever) and says the DC (that is why I use the Warlord's DC, not the target PCs; less communication), and it happens after the player does what they do, and it doesn't generally require that the Warlord boss the Player around to get the max yield from it.

At 1 die at level 1 up to 3 dice at level 9, you are going to have plenty of chances to use the dice; and at level 5+, you can reasonably efficiently burn 2 dice on your turn (giving 2 other people an attack) if you didn't find better things to do on your off-turn.

I mean, I played a lot of 4e. Powers that granted small, conditional, wide bonuses where often mechanically sound, but they where a pain to deal with. I started talking about the differences between "damage per second" and "damage per turn"; small, stacking, conditional, fiddly bonuses and multiple attacks generated more damage per turn, but did not generate more damage per second.

So they led to combat being both easier and more boring.

---

I mean, I guess we could have

"Focus Fire": hit a creature, burn a die. Everyone other than you who hits the creature gets to roll the die and deal extra damage (per player? per attack?)

That has the nice property that it encourages tactically optimal play on the part of your teammates.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I mean, I guess we could have

"Focus Fire": hit a creature, burn a die. Everyone other than you who hits the creature gets to roll the die and deal extra damage (per player? per attack?)

That has the nice property that it encourages tactically optimal play on the part of your teammates.
Nod the concept doesn't have to require the movement AND yes focus fire is the concept making it slightly more generalized you might say makes it easier to use.

Regardless arranging for the need for MELEE allies to get to the target of focus is also the Warlords schtick.

This is also reason I want some charge enablers (and even at some point disengage like movement with an attack as a bonus action). Charge has been a part of D&D since before it was D&D and it really sucks 5e requires house ruled to actually have it.

The more flush variants are as I said really just martial fireballs... the Wizard needs no allies for his of course.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Also, unlike 4e, "ally count" is less controlled than in 5e.

Summoners can have 20 allies all deployed and attacking. If we have an ability that states "any ally who charges deals +X extra damage", that ability will be weak in a typical party and crazy OP in a summoner party.

Which leads to us stating "the first X allies who".

---

The "every round you have dice" is an attempt to make the Warlords primary contribution to combat be those dice, and the Warlord always Warlords.

They aren't Fighters who also Warlords. (That is the BM).

Extra Attack takes up a lot of power space. And the "give up your Extra Attack to give someone else an attack" always feels like you are actively sucking so others don't.

---

So, a less abusable "focus on this":

Take it Down (1 command point): As a bonus action, expend a supremancy die and you pick a target you have hit this turn and isn't hidden from you to focus fire on. They take your supremacy die in psychic damage, your turn ends, and any of your supremacy dice damage done to the target by anyone else are doubled until the end of your next turn.

(Wording improvement needed)

We could require charge, but I don't think Warlords should depend on an optional 5e rule.

This remains bounded by your damage dice pool, and encourages the party to swarm the target.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Extra Attack takes up a lot of power space. And the "give up your Extra Attack to give someone else an attack" always feels like you are actively sucking so others don't.
The Battlemaster maneuver costing the ally a reaction I find problematic to be honest...
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Also, unlike 4e, "ally count" is less controlled than in 5e.
If large numbers were treated as Swarms they count as one ally and gain a bonus as a single one :p So my 4e Warlord can be allied with a group of NPC soldiers and his boosts still affect them but not as well as heroic companions.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
We could require charge, but I don't think Warlords should depend on an optional 5e rule.
Require 10 feet of movement towards the target if you thought it was necessary 5e has bloody complex descriptions because of lacking standard key words for things like no "bloodied", lacking charge as a default rule is basically the same to me (a tool for making interesting elements in the system easier instead of requiring convoluted extra ability descriptions wherever you use the concept)
 
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Subclass thoughts:

School of Hard Knocks: A "Fighter" subclass of Warlord. Strength-based subclass. Gains +1 HP per Warlord level, heavy armor at level 3. You and allies can reroll HD used to regain HP during a short rest. Extra Attack at level 7 or 10 (maybe 10, to allow for a utility power at 7).
Aspiring Ruler: You want to be queen; this may or may not be "legitimate", it doesn't matter. Charisma-based subclass.
Academic Tactician: Chessmaster. Intelligence-based subclass.
Experienced Officer: Traditional "military leader" experience. Wisdom-based subclass.
Cryptic Shadow: A "Rogue" subclass of Warlord. Dex-based subclass.

I quoted this post, because the other one was too long.
Instead of changing fighter maneuvers to you or an ally, you probably should just give the warlord a level one feature that says:
if a power says you, you can also allow an ally to do it as a bonus action. If a power grants an attack to your ally, you can do an attack as a bonus action.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I quoted this post, because the other one was too long.
Instead of changing fighter maneuvers to you or an ally, you probably should just give the warlord a level one feature that says:
if a power says you, you can also allow an ally to do it as a bonus action. If a power grants an attack to your ally, you can do an attack as a bonus action.
That could ease writing to a degree but if you want to do other bits - like to my thinking a warlord should not be costing people their reaction to do his schtick (for instance granted things were free actions for a reason.. they were using the Warlords resource and action economy - only rarely the beneficiary).
 
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the Jester

Legend
Yeah, that's definitely a concern- when I get to refining my version of the warlord, I'm going to pay very close attention to action economy, especially vis a vis costing reactions of both the warlord himself and his actions.

I have done a bit more work on my take on the warlord, but it's on my usb in my car right now, and I'm getting ready for the game I play in, so I'll post it sometime in the next few days.
 

I dont really see the need for a Warlord class.

V(uman) Battlemaster Fighter 4 - Feats Inspiring leader, Tandem tactician. Fighting Style (Martial versatility). Manoeuvres: Commanders strike, Distracting strike, Manoeuvring attack, Rally.

Tandem Tactician
Your presence in a scrap tends to elevate your comrades. You gain the following benefits:
  • You can use the Help action as a bonus action.
  • When you use the Help action to aid an ally in attacking a creature, increase the range of the Help action by 10 feet. Additionally, you can help two allies targeting the same creature within range when you use the Help action this way.

  • You can use the Help action as a bonus action, helping up to two allies, within 10'
  • You can grant your allies Temp HP every single short rest
  • You can manoeuvre allies into position with manoeuvring attack
  • You can grant them extra Temp HP in combat with rally
  • You can grant them reaction attacks with Commanders strike
  • You can grant them advantage to attacks with Distracting strike
From there another level of Fighter (for extra attack) and then take 6 Levels of Dirgesinger Bard (bardic inspiration, song of rest, commanding voice, expertise in Persuasion and History?) and the rest in Crown Paladin.
 

the Jester

Legend
I dont really see the need for a Warlord class.

Okay. Maybe it's not for you. And that's fine. But there is no way in 5e to build the type of true warlord I want- one that supports the archetype of the lazylord, the character who leads from the back and doesn't focus on his or her own attacks at all. The build you suggest fails outright at that, especially during the first couple of levels (before getting battlemaster maneuvers). It relies far too much on the character attacking to trigger many of his or her abilities; also, it pushes hard into spells.

Which isn't to say that 5e doesn't support some warlord styles. It just doesn't support all of them. The warlord was perhaps the best player-side element of 4e; the lack of it in 5e is a huge disappointment to me and to some others.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Okay. Maybe it's not for you. And that's fine. But there is no way in 5e to build the type of true warlord I want- one that supports the archetype of the lazylord, the character who leads from the back and doesn't focus on his or her own attacks at all. The build you suggest fails outright at that, especially during the first couple of levels (before getting battlemaster maneuvers). It relies far too much on the character attacking to trigger many of his or her abilities; also, it pushes hard into spells.

Which isn't to say that 5e doesn't support some warlord styles. It just doesn't support all of them. The warlord was perhaps the best player-side element of 4e; the lack of it in 5e is a huge disappointment to me and to some others.
And not even just about "all" it isn't even significantly many. No way to build one where taking risks is exploited to advantage and no way to play where position has higher significance nor character intelligence with any real meaning in battle and no way to play an initiative boosting one and no way to play one that isn't massively dependent on the game being feat driven (and accepting of UA feats)... also note the class he was adding is also third party with magic reflavored. It definitely picked some sweet elements from various places but we know 5e has Warlord elements. It lacks a Warlord package AND many of the elements it could have which are still not there.
 
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the Jester

Legend
Okay, here are a few more bits of what I have been working on. There are a few minor revisions to other things I've posted already, but I'm not going to repost the whole thing until I'm further along toward a finalized first draft.

First, for all warlords:

RENEWING LEADERSHIP: Starting at 14th level, your leadership dice pool can refresh under specific circumstances determined by your commanding presence. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Intelligence or Charisma bonus, whichever is higher, and then must complete a long rest before using it again. You can’t use this ability more than once per round.

  • Bravura Presence: You can choose to regain one expended leadership die when an enemy makes an opportunity attack against you.
  • Insightful Presence: You can choose to regain one expended leadership die when you or an ally you can see within 30’ detects or discerns something unseen, such as a secret door, a trap, or a hidden enemy, or when surprise ends for you.
  • Inspiring Presence: You can choose to regain one expended leadership die when an ally you can see hits with a weapon attack made with disadvantage.
  • Resourceful Presence: You can choose to regain one expended leadership die when you or an ally you can see within 30’ fails a saving throw.
  • Tactical Presence: You can choose to regain one expended leadership die when you or an ally you can see within 30’ scores a critical hit with a weapon attack.
These are all tentative, and I'm not sure that they all balance well against each other yet.

Then I have filled in the rest of the subclass abilities for the back rank leader:

GROUP INSPIRATION: Once you reach 10th level, you can choose to target multiple creatures when you use your inspiring word. You can affect a number of targets equal to your Intelligence or Charisma bonus instead of only one. Doing so depletes your leadership dice pool by two dice instead of one.

PROTECT ME!: Starting at 15th level, when a creature makes a melee attack against you, you can use your reaction to call a willing ally that can hear or see you within 10’ to defend you. That ally and you switch places, and the triggering attack instead targets that ally. Using this ability depletes your leadership dice pool by one die.

RALLY AND REGROUP: At 20th level, you can use your action to rally and regroup your allies. Each ally within 60’ that can see or hear you can spend up to 3 Hit Dice to heal and make a save against one condition or effect of your choice that a saving throw can end (whether made automatically on the creature's turn, as an action on its turn, or under certain conditions) or an effect that will end automatically during the next turn of the target or creator of the effect. In addition, when you use this ability, you can designate a point you can see within 60’, and each affected creature can use its reaction to move up to its speed without provoking opportunity attacks, provided that it ends that movement closer to the designated point than it started. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Finally, here are two of the possible subclass features for the 'wolf pack leader' subclass:

MUTUAL DEFENSE: Starting at 15th level, when a creature hits an ally you can see with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to direct another ally to strike back at that creature, provided that ally can see or hear you. The attacking ally can make a single melee weapon attack at the triggering creature.

FINISHING BLOW: At 20th level, when you hit a creature that is bloodied with a melee weapon attack, you can exert your leadership skills to allow each of your allies within 5’ of that creature to also make a single melee weapon attack against it, provided each ally can see or hear you. If that creature drops to 0 hit points after these attacks, you and each affected ally can also move up to half your speed toward the enemy nearest to you as part of your attack action. Using this feature depletes your leadership dice pool by one die.
 


OK. I'm going to stick this here in the hopes that some of it might be useful. Its the (very) rough draft of the Warlord based on the Battlemaster maneuver system I made years back. Apologies for the unfinished nature: It seems that I no longer have the actual finished version.

Feel free to comment or scavenge anything useful for your own games.

Warlord

D8 Hit Dice
Martial and Simple weapons. Light and Medium armour. Shields.
Skills: Choose 2 from Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Perception, Persuasion

Level
1 Warlord mindset - Superiority dice and pool. Maneuvers
2 Tactical Aid
3 Warlord Archetype
4 Additional Maneuver, ASI
5 Mindset feature
6 Archetype feature
7 Lasting Impression. Additional Maneuver
8 ASI
9 Additional Maneuver.
10 Archetype feature
11 Mindset feature. Additional Maneuver.
12 ASI
13 Inspire Heroism.
14 Additional Maneuver. Archetype feature
15 Mindset feature

Maneuvers: You start off knowing 5 Warlord maneuvers that you meet the prerequisites of.

Warlord Mindset: You choose either the Opportunist mindset or the Architect mindset. This will determine how your Superiority dice behave and renew.

Tactical Aid: The warlord may use the Help action in combat at a range of 30 ft. The Warlord may also substitute the Help action in place of an attack when taking the Attack action.

Warlord Archetype: Choose either the cunning Tactician, the inspiring Leader, or the brutal Vanguard subclass. This will determine which abilities and maneuvers that you excell in. (Although you may still freely select and use any.)

Additional Maneuver: The Warlord may select a new maneuver that they meet the prerequisites for. They may also swap a maneuver that they currently know for a different maneuver that they meet the prerequisites for.

Lasting impression: When granting temporary HP to an ally with a Warlord maneuver, you may apply them as healing rather than temporary HP, up to the amount required to bring the ally to half of their HP maximum.

Inspire Heroism. You may focus your concentration and exhortations upon a single comrade to inspire them to incredible feats.
As an action, nominate an ally. You may spend any number of your superiority dice to grant multiple maneuvers to them that they are eligible for. The effect persists as per concentration until you have no superiority dice, or when you choose to cease. While under Inspire Heroism, you may not take reactions, but may use maneuvers targetting the nominated ally that would normally require a reaction freely, and as your action may continue to grant multiple maneuvers as a single action.You regain the use of this ability after a long rest.


Mindsets:
Opportunist Mindset
You excell in taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. You might not start a battle with a set of memorised contingencies, but you can always improvise on the spot to find a way to make a difference.

Your superiority dice (SD) begins as a d4. You start with a maximum of 1 SD.
Your superiority dice refresh when you roll initiative at the beginning of a combat, and at the end of your turn. You may also spend an action at any time to refresh your SD dice.
You are not considered to have a superiority dice pool.

Level. SD
1 d4 Split-second aid.
5 d6 Max SD increases to 2
11 d6 Max SD increases to 3 Spur of the moment.
15 d8 Max SD increases to 4

Split-second aid: As a reaction, you may grant an ally within 30ft advantage on one attack, ability check, or saving throw. Alternatively, you may grant disadvantage to one attack roll targetting them. You regain the use of this ability after a Short or Long rest.

Spur of the moment: You may make use of a maneuver that you do not know, but do meet the prerequisites for selecting. You regain the use of this ability after a short or long rest.


Architect mindset:
You are methodical, taking note of your allies' capabilities and planning for many contingencies.
Your superiority dice is a d8. You have a pool of superiority dice equal to your proficiency bonus.
Your Superiority dice refresh on a short rest.

Level
1 d8
5 d10 Reliable plan 1
11 d10 Lend aid, Reliable plan 2
15 d12 Reliable plan 3

Reliable plan: When you roll any of your Superiority dice, you may treat any roll of a 1 as if you had rolled a 2. At level 11, you may treat rolls of 1 or 2 as if you had rolled a 3. At level 15, you may treat rolls of 1, 2 or 4 as if you had rolled a 4.

Lend Aid: You may grant an ally a maneuver that you know, and any number of your superiority dice. They may then spend those SD to use that maneuver as if they were a warlord of the same class level as yourself. These granted SD and the maneuver are lost when your ally completes a short o long rest, and you cannot recover the granted SD until your ally loses them.

Archetypes:

Tactician
Your mind is always active, evaluating both friends and foes. Your speciality is spotting openings that your allies can exploit and shouting warnings.

Your superiority dice pool is increased by your Intelligence modifier.

Level
3 Considered evaluation
6 Cunning maneuvers
9 Contingencies in place
13 Well-oiled machine

Considered evaluation: you gain proficiency in Insight and Perception. If you already have proficiency, you may choose proficiency in another skill from the Warlord class list. You may spend a superiority dice when making checks based upon these skills and add the roll to your total check.If you already have proficiency in Insight and/or Perception, choose alternatives from the class skills list.

Cunning maneuvers: When you roll superiority dice that grant a bonus to AC, attack, or an ability check, you may add your Intelligence modifier to the total.

Contingencies in place: When you grant a maneuver in the first round of combat to an ally or allies that have not taken their turn yet, they may roll a die equal to your superiority dice and add that to their initiative. This cannot bring their initiative above yours.



Leader
You inspire others to efforts greater than even they thought possible. You excell at keeping your comrades in the fight, weathering the blows and spells of your foes to emerge triumphant in the end.

Your superiority dice pool is increased by your Charisma modifier.

Level
3 Hearts and Souls
6 Inspiring Maneuvers
9
13 Improved Lasting impression

Hearts and Souls: you gain proficiency in Persuasion and Intimidation. If you already have proficiency, you may choose proficiency in another skill from the Warlord class list. You may spend a superiority dice when making checks based upon these skills and add the roll to your total check. If you already have proficiency in Persuasion and/or intimidation, choose alternatives from the class skills list.

Inspiring Maneuvers: When you roll superiority dice that grants temporary HP or a bonus to a saving throw or ability check, you may add your Charisma modifier to the total.

Improved Lasting impression: The limit of your ally's maximum hit points to which you can apply temporary HP as actual healing is increased to 2/3rds.


Vanguard
Not for you is standing on the sidelines, calling for others to do your dirty work. Your place is in the thick of combat, causing havoc with your opponents' battle line and creating opportunities for those fighting beside you.
Your superiority dice pool is increased by an amount equal to your Constitution modifier.

Level
3 Heavy Armour proficiency. Dangerous combatant.
6 Combined assault
9 Extra attack.
13 Demonstration


You gain Proficiency in Heavy Armour.
Dangerous combatant: When you roll superiority dice to deal damage to an opponent, you may add your proficiency bonus to the total of all the dice rolled.

Combined assault: When taking the Attack action and successfully hitting a foe, you may use a maneuver that would normally require an action to use as a bonus action. The maneuver used must either target the foe you struck, or an ally within it's reach.

Extra Attack: When taking the attack action, you may make two attacks.

Demonstration: When you use a maneuver that targets an enemy, an ally adjacent to either you, or the foe targetted by the maneuver may use the same maneuver on their turn. They use their own ability score and proficiency bonus for the maneuver and resolve it as if using one of your superiority dice.
 

Advanced Rules Miscellany

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