Warlord As Specialty? Discuss:

What is a warlord? What makes it unique? Stripping the 4E Warlord of all aspects in common with a fighter, rogue, or any other martial class, and you get the voice. With it, a Warlord can encourage his allies, demoralize his foes, and give orders for battlefield positioning. A mute warlord would be impossible unless telepathic (that would be a 4E Ardent, but I digress). From that point of view, ANY class can serve that function. Some are more likely (bard, fighter, & cleric) than others (rogue, sorcerer, & warlock), but it can be done. It says little of your overall fighting style, but mostly it's how you interact with others in the battle that makes a warlord into a warlord.

Would a specialty work for everything Warlords need to do? Sure. Remember, these get 4 feats, minimum (1,3,6,9). 1) Buff allies; 2) Demoralize foes; 3)Ally positioning; 4)some other leadership thing.

The verbal aspect, I think, kills Warlord as a class. If you are for any reason struck mute or ensconced in Silence (for example, by a spell), you are an unnecessarily verbose fighter, and that's it. Plus, deaf characters or noisy settings mean you can't be heard, and are useless again. It doesn't seem right to have a class where EVERYTHING unique about the class can be rendered useless so easily.

Like? Dislike? Kiss my dice? Intelligent thoughts welcome. 
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Slightly less plausible than a ranger ... but both could be done but not necessarily to a satisfying degree in my opnion.

Some warlords inspire by doing so seeing their moves and bravery gets your heart pumping too. Some are litterally gorgeious and will get that done other ways as well.

Most could use signals to guide there allies. (in 4e there was a martial practice for usig a battlefield sign language I think)

Many of there tricks dont actually need to tell there allies anything ie they just make the openings and its obvious to the allies ooh look wow you just kicked his calve at the right moment and the enemy careened in to my sword.

I very much could make a deaf mute Warlord.



  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

My favorite uses the snapping of whips and grabbing of enemies with her whips ... distracting the enemy at the right moment and dragging them in to a new position and one of her whips is always used to say to her allies pay attention to this (it has whirring whistling cuts in it).. When she catches her self actually commanding she gets all embarassed and appologizes after the fight. She is an ex slave mistress of Drow heritage.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I would consider this if there is a cleric option that doesn't worship any god and doesn't use arcane magic.

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Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

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Even if for some reason you are married to the notion that a warlord relies completely on its voice, it's pretty extreme to suggest that something is killed as a class concept because it's merely an eh-ish fighter if it can't talk. There's this one class, "wizard", that's a heck of a lot worse off than that if it's stuck without the abilty to talk, and I don't think many people are suggesting that wizard doesn't make a whole lot of sense as a class because you're just a commoner with a toad for a pet if you're "for any reason struck mute or ensconced in Silence".

(Is this some kind of weird veiled thread that's actually about some wizard issue? If so, my mistake.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
If the warlord is reduced to specialties, I can see no fewer than 3 of them.

One for a Tactlord:
A "Commander Strike" feat
A "extra move" feat

One for the Inspirilord
A "healing" feat
A "Furious Smash" feat

And one for a Bravura or Reslord

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The warlord is more distinct from the fighter than the wizard is from the sorceror. He's also more distinct than the berserker is from the fighter.

The fighter goes out into combat to fight, he's good at fighting.

The warlord frontilines because he's better at it than the rogue or the wizard. He's passable at fighting, his primary function is to organize the party and help them operate at their peak potential, sometimes that means stabbing a few goblins yourself.

In my mind that's the distinction, the fighter is fighting, the warlord is leading or guiding. 
It's been asked before, and it's not going to please the Warlord fans.
A Speciality simply won't be able to do enough, even if married to a fighting style.
However, that is no reason not make a Battlefield Leader specialty and a Team Work fighting style.
Those are great ideas.

The Warlord, for integrity, needs to be able to keep his/her allies up, whether this is Resistance, Temp HP, or HP Recovery is open for debate. 
 
They'll need options for enhancing other's offense, defense, and movement. 
As much as it is contentious, some will desire a focus on out of turn actions.

They can stand the frontline, just as some Clerics can. However, their combat puisance is through the use of others. They strike to draw attention, or make a flashy show, allowing others to capitalize. They take hits not as a course of action, but to cover an escape, or create an opening. Personal combat is at best a means to an end.

Now, if CS dice didn't have 2 of their 3 initial options pre-selected, then that might allow more growth with the idea of a Team-Work style... but the Warlord was front loaded. Hp Recovery, Bonus to Ally action dice usage, Initiative (or start of combat) bonus and whatever their initial powers let them do, in addition to choosing feats is what is being stacked against. The current Fighting Style and Specialty structure is not equal to accomodate it. However that doesn't mean it couldn't be.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
I would make Warlord a fighter Fighting Style. It is too powerful for a specialization (or becomes too weak) and while it could absolutely be combined with other classes such as cleric or wizard it would become too hard to balance if done that way.
(and since the fighter/warlord combo would probably be worse than combining the 'leader' powers of warlord with a class that is a 'leader' in iteslf to create a 'super leader', that will just feed into the ongoing fighter class envy wars... "Why should fighters be worse warlords than class X?!")

Better to just give it to fighter as a solid class option and make it right.

Also, since Specializations are just a prepicked bunch of feats, it will be hard to balance a collection of feats powerful enough to recreate the entire warlord in a way that still makes sense to free-picking of feats. If one or two feats carries the core abilities of the warlord, then many would pick them up before lvl 10.

As for the Silence...  well...  how powerful is a fighter when rooted to the ground, a rogue in bright light an no hiding places or a wizard when silenced or in an antimagic field... 
to be silenced should be a big deal.
A silenced fighter with a warlord fighting style would still be able to fight though.
All right, I'll grant that a Warlord, to be done properly, is a bit much for a specialty. Same for as a Fighting Style.

I just don't feel that it's enough to be its own unique class. Prestige Class, maybe. They say they want Prestige Classes to mean something. All right:

"To be not only an adventurer-quality combatant, but also an adventurer-quality leader, requires more training and focus than most people, even career military, ever have. To be a ______ Marshal, you need to go to __________, and train under the ________ for ________ months. Should you survive, you will be admitted into their ranks as one the premiere warlords in the world."

Just an example of how it could go. To me, it looks like it could work. 
"Our idea of rules modules has a wide range of scope; sometimes, our rules modules might just be small tweaks and variant rules, while other times they could be large-scale changes and entirely new subsystems. We want people to make the game their own, and that means provided a whole array of possibilities based on what you, the players, tell us that you want." -D&DNext Q&A Blog, 8/29/12, Answer #3.
I see a warlord as closer to a bard then a fighter. Inspiring shouts and encuraging words. But that still doesn't quite cut it.

They should be thier own class.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

This is another case of a concept that IMO doesn't justify its own Class.  It does step on the Cleric's role like the Assassin does on the Rogue's.

I agree however that in its current form Specialties don't cover what a lot of people like about the Warlord.  I thik it should be an 'Order' within the Cleric class, and possibly a fighting 'Style' of the Fighters.  Either that or they need to seriously change how Specialties and Backgrounds work, make them more than just skill and feat delivery systems.  Which I would prefer. 
I see a warlord as closer to a bard then a fighter. Inspiring shouts and encuraging words. But that still doesn't quite cut it. They should be thier own class.



Thats could cover a smallish subsection of the concept its why it wouldnt work as a cleric either... though I could take its divine aspect as the Divine Sanction of Kings ie the miracles are an aspect of his blood-line... and make sure to keep with subtle elements.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

But the best warlords are the ones who don't have all that blood of kings crap, guys like Simone the Digger, or Charles Xavier, or Cyclops when he's not being emo, Captain America, Liu Bei, Sokka.

They're usually not the most powerful or dangerous member of their teams individually but possess the trust of their followers and the cunning or will to guide them through their trials. 

Just like any peasant can pick up a stick and eventually figure out how to be a first level fighter or barbarian, anyone can rise up to become a warlord, often to the chagirn and eventual defeat of those who espouse a belief in the blood of kings.
Both please?  I'd like there to be a warlord class, I can easily see the Warlord's gimmick being the primary thrust of a character and warranting the mechanical bredth, depth, and focus that only a class can provide.  On the other hand, I'd also like for there to be a specialty that adds a bit of the 'battlefield commander' role to any class should a player want it.  And why not?

Sure, there might be some conceptual overlap between a fighter with a leadery specialty and a warlord, but so long as they're mechanically distinct that's all the better, imo.  That way players can have a variety of options for how to portray the same character idea in the game, letting them tailor their mechanical abilities to what would best serve the party, or what will give them their desired play experience, without having to sacrifice their character concept, or have their concept dictate those things to them.

I feel the same way about assassins, shadowcasters, necromancers, barbarians, rangers, monks, swordmages, warlocks, sorcerers, and all those other interesting character types through the years that could be done up as minimal thematic filters applied to existing classes, but could also be expanded into their own classes with their own novel and engaging mechanical structures.

These two methods of portraying esoteric character concepts - specialties and full classes - needn't be mutually exclusive (after all, we've got 'fighter' and 'wizard' and 'rogue' classes, but we've also got specialties and backgrounds that are essentially 'fighter', 'wizard', and 'rogue' as well).  Further, we're just coming out of 4e, and while some of us may have like the parity imposed by 4e's universal class structure and power progression, the biggest advantage of moving away from it is that different character concepts can each have their own structure and progression.  Why confound that freedom by arbitrarily restricting the available class list?

And while option glut is always an issue, I'd imagine feat glut (which specialty glut is), which every character has to sift through, would be far less of an annoyance than class glut.  After all, weren't feat glut, spell glut, and prestige class glut more bothersome in 3.5 than class glut or race glut were?  For a race, you're either playing that race or not, and never have to think about it again.  For classes, they're more involved by default, which naturally reduces the number designers can pump out, and for many players classes are like races, you make your decision at level one and never have to be bothered by it after that - you can just skip right past other classes after that.
I've never played Warlord & next 4e game I play I am going to try one out. That being said, what I've read of the class still seems like a militant bard. Showing off or barking orders to inspire/bolster/heal seems like Bardic abilities with a militant twist to the fluff. Now, I'm not saying that Warlord class doesn't deserve a place as I'm all for a Fighter that could be a top notch healer.
i know they are wanting to put Warlord in and I hope it gets to be a quality class. 
But the best warlords are the ones who don't have all that blood of kings crap, guys like Simone the Digger, or Charles Xavier, or Cyclops when he's not being emo, Captain America, Liu Bei, Sokka. .


Which is why I said small subsection.
Generally speaking I prefer to think its a theme or specialization of the Warlord a cool one but not necessary to be awesome.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Ah I must have missed your meaning.
I agree there's room for some for a warlord-ish fighter specialty. And for other classes overlaping.

But warlords are still a class by itself.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I've never played Warlord & next 4e game I play I am going to try one out. That being said, what I've read of the class still seems like a militant bard. Showing off or barking orders to inspire/bolster/heal seems like Bardic abilities with a militant twist to the fluff. class. 



It doesnt feel like one ... in fact the master tactician which I almost always flavor as creating openings and manipulating the battle field and bluffing and intimidating enemies even more than commanding allies doesnt feel bardic at all..

Early on I mentioned I could create a mute Warlord its major drawback would not be presentation of its class abilities. Its tough to play the rest of the character.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I've never played Warlord & next 4e game I play I am going to try one out.


If you like 4e at all, then you won't be disappointed.  The warlord is one of the best things to come out of 4e and really highlights the better points of that system.  Furthermore, it was a popular class and got a lot of love, so there's a lot of options to work with.

That being said, what I've read of the class still seems like a militant bard.


No more than a cleric is a 'pious wizard' or a rogue is a 'nimble fighter'.  To me the bard was always about the music - ongoing sustained effects that propped up the party for as long as the bard continued performing, along with overtly magical abilities like illusions and a general skill set and light, nimble feel that spoke more to the roguish end of things.  The warlord's a party support character like a bard, but then again so is the cleric, and the shaman.  Heck, in 3.5 many of my wizards were built that way as well.

The 4e bard never really worked with me.  It's powers never fealt evocative of the whole 'magical music' thing, and 4e illusions in general just never had quite the feel of the 3e stuff.  While the 4e warlord really highlighted the strengths of the system, the 4e bard, while functional and playable, highlighted the limitations of 4e's shared class structure & power progressions.  Imo, of course.  If anything, the fact that warlords fit the 4e structure so well and bards so poorly helped reinforce in my mind that these were quite distinct concepts.

I also 4e bards lacking, but that was mostly because all the other leader classes were inherently inferior to warlords.

See the warlord was somewhat unique in that it was focused on enabling rather than buffing or healing. The warlord's turn could involve the rest of the party directly granting them movement, attacks, and even the chance to use their own powers, all with a slight edge. In fact I've seen encounters where some players got more actions on the warlord's turns than in their own turns.

This gave the warlord a more proactive feel than most of the other leader classes and allowed me to combine my love of tactical gaming with the simple bloody minded joy of watching the imaginary monsters fall down at my command.
I also 4e bards lacking, but that was mostly because all the leaders classes were inherently inferior to warlords. 



The gimmicks of the warlord were certainly favored by the overall design of 4e, its true.  That, and getting more options than many other classes, did make a well played warlord noticeably more powerful than most other leaders, at least if their party was willing to play along.

It's worth noting though that this difference in power levels had nothing like the magnitude of power gaps between 3.5 characters.  Even the weakest leader (the essentials pet-using druid) was nowhere near as weak compared to the warlord as, say, the 3.5 healer was compared to the 3.5 cleric.

In fact, Leaders, along with Defenders, had overall a very consistant effectiveness level.  The warlord stood slightly above the rest (though, again, it depended more than some of the others on cooperation of the party), but there were no 'bad' leaders the way there were bad strikers or bad controllers.  Again, at least until the essentials books.

The problem I had with the bard wasn't that it was ineffective at its supposed party role, just that it didn't feel very bardlike to me.  Its play experience wasn't evocative of its concept.  The cleric was no stronger than the bard (in fact, it seemed to me to be a bit weaker), but playing one felt like playing a cleric.  The experience was right - the 4e power structure and action types felt right for a cleric in a way that they didn't for the bard, or at least not in the bard they made.


Next doesn't have that same rigid class design that 4e did, at least to begin with, and that allows the designers to take any given concept regardless of how esoteric, and build a unique class structure and ability set around it, tayloring the mechanics to make playing that class as evocative and engaging as possible.  Arbitrarily restricting the class pool to 'the big four' in my mind is just stamping out all kinds of potential in favor of telling people how you think they're supposed to play their characters instead of letting them play the characters they want.

I think that the Warlord needs to be a class. Because it is different from the Figther. In 4th Edition, it does not have all the proficiencies that the Fighter have, less HP and healing surges, it uses Intelligence and Charisma a lot, and many different class features of the fighter. And their powers/maneuvers are different. That already counts for me to be a own class.

I've been advocating making the warlord into a healer/buffer build of the fighter for a while. It would be really easy with the CS dice. Trade a d6 to grant an ally extra damage or grant it as a bonus to a save. 
Pair with the Healer speciality and you're good to go. 

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The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

As much as I hate the Warlord class and think that its liver needs to be eaten by the Fighter (with a nice glass of Chianti), I'm pretty sure it's going to be its own class unfortunately; Too many people would cry if they killed it.

However, since the Warlord is nothing more than a charismatic fighter with some healing perks and some party buffs, I can't imagine why it needs to be its own class...but oh well. I'd be totally cool if it was relegated to a Specialty or subset of the fighter class.
 
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

This is another case of a concept that IMO doesn't justify its own Class.  It does step on the Cleric's role like the Assassin does on the Rogue's.

That's explicitly part of the point of the warlord - to free the system from "every single party needs a cleric period". It's not at all like the relationship between the assassin and the rogue; the issue there is that the assassin and the rogue, unless steps are specifically taken to separate them, perform similar functions in a similar way and are thematically similar. The cleric and the warlord perform (some, although much less than other pairs of classes) similar functoins in a very different way and are thematically different.

If any "sub-fighter" needs to be its own class, just based on pragmatics, I'd probably choose the warlord (with the barbarian a close second and the ranger a million miles in the distance in last place.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Is the only purpose of the warlord that people don't like the word "cleric" at the top of the charachter sheet?

I thought the purpose of the warlord is that it can force other party members to attack, everything else was just an excuse for that cool feature? 
I still don't understand why people think the warlord is a buffy/healy fighter, i mean sure the warlord can buff and heal, but his big schtick was the action enabling, that's what separated him from the cleric or the shaman.

A charismatic buffy/healy fighter is called a paladin, a warlord is someone who co-ordinates the party and lets them use their own abilities to the max.
 
The Warlord very much had its own niche, far beyond being a "healy fighter" or a "fighty cleric."  While it could be played as such, it was capable of so much more.
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
While it could be played as such, it was capable of so much more.

Like what? What else can it do besides heal and buff party members and fight? If there's something else conceptually profound about the warlord beyond those three things, I am unaware of them. 
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

I still don't understand why people think the warlord is a buffy/healy fighter, i mean sure the warlord can buff and heal, but his big schtick was the action enabling, that's what separated him from the cleric or the shaman. 
 


Yes the Warlords effect on the action economy was pretty striking...

Inducing openings in the enemies defenses for your allies to exploit could also be seen as a form of debuffing.
 
There is some manipulating enemies in to doing what you want them to do and being where you want them to be as well.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

What else can it do besides heal and buff party members and fight? If there's something else conceptually profound about the warlord beyond those three things, I am unaware of them. 



What else can a rogue do besides sneak attack and skills?  What else can a wizard or cleric do besides cast spells?  What else can a fighter do besides swing a sword?  The warlord directs his party in battle.  There's no reason that needs to be less character defining that swinging a sword, skulking in shadows, singing a song, or tossing bat poop around. 
The warlord enabled, that's what he did besides heal and buff, let's face it he really didn't fight much, the attack rolls were in service ot the enabling, buffing, and once in a while the healing, or the occasional de-buff, he has a few of those designed to set up the baddies to get gang stabbed by the rest of the party, the warlord's own damage was just enough to justify picking up a weapon. 
The warlord enabled, that's what he did besides heal and buff, let's face it he really didn't fight much.


While I am more than a little fond of the Princess Build warlord (who never throws an attack) the Bravura Style Odin Warlord and the Clever Odysseus with his Strength based Archery might both consider that to be insulting.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I am with those who say that the Warlord is too much to be simply a specialty.  It would not do the concept justice to simplify it into a set of feats, just as it wouldn't do the cleric justice to be reduced to a set of feats.

That said, and again as others have said, there are a number of specialties that relate to the concept of warlord that would be perfect.  This is no different from specialties based on fighting, lurking, spellcasting, and divine power.
 he has a few of those designed to set up the baddies to get gang stabbed by the rest of the party . 



An awesome bit for fun for the whole party.. look what a little coordination can accomplish.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

To put it into 5e terms if you take the buffing, healing, and enabling out of the warlord attacks, it's like being a fighter wihout Expertise die.
I am one of those who would cry if warlord were not a class. Ibdo think it is distinct from a fighter and cleric though there is overlap. Enabling is something the warkord made its own. It ahould be its own class.

Would a specialty work for everything Warlords need to do? Sure. Remember, these get 4 feats, minimum (1,3,6,9). 1) Buff allies; 2) Demoralize foes; 3)Ally positioning; 4)some other leadership thing.
 



I totally reject the idea that Warlord should ONLY be a Speciality.

But welcome the concept of a Speciality which can be added to other classes to make leader options beyond the "standard" Warlord.

While SOME elements of the Warlord CAN be "fluffed" as orders in combat, others can be pre-prepared plans, training for other party members, coded handsigns and a variety of other potential "signals" which allow the exploitation of opportunities which would be missed without the tactical nous and leadership of a Warlord.

But several elements which I believe are essential to a Warlord concept, including:

Accuracy Enhancement
Damage Enhancement
Granted Mobility
Granted Attacks
Full HP Restoration

Are likely too "powerful" for feats and will thus make a Warlord class necessary.

In any case, barring a change of plans (which has not been indicated) and a decision to deliberately anger 4th Edition fans (many of whom are very attached to Warlord as a class) we WILL have a Warlord class.

But having "martial leader" style Specialities AS WELL is a great idea!                   
I'd be fine with some commander specialties or whatnot, I just don't think they should replace a warlord anymore than mystic and necromancer replace the wizard.
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