Warlord's place in the world.

So on the google+ mike said he wanted a warlords place in the world. And while he could think of plenty of exaples of people leading armies or even nations, he was a bit stumped by people leading small groups.

So where do warlords come from, and what examples of stories have warlords?

I kind of like the idea of an officer training school. They exsist in the real world.

Or perhaps a more natural leader who just ends up taking charge simply because they are calmer minded and can see the bigger picture in battle. You actually see that in the players themseves, one will often make tactical suggestions (sometimes a bit too much). Like "hit the guy who's almost dead" or "move here and block the corridor". That guy is a warlord.

Another example is captian america (in the new movies). Who fits the bill very well. He got got everyone to work as a team, both with the normal soldiers and the super hero's.

Coaches in modern sports also do this. Some warlords should have playbooks and only called plays from the side lines.

Other thougts/suggetions?

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 think part of the problem stems from the fact that so little in literature gives focus to the squad leader type of person, as most of the time it's either the warlord as an individual warrior, or the warlord as the inspirational leader and tactician for large-scale battles.  Captain America is a good example of what a warlord could be, since he does work in both small-scale (Avengers) and large-scale (regular infantry).  For something closer to real life, you could have the NCO as a low-level warlord, whose abilities and responsibilities focus on working with small groups, then as you reach level 10 you'd be closer to a high-ranking officer or a great leader whose abilities and responsibilities not only deal with "a few good men", but also stretch to hundreds and thousands of soldiers.

In a more fantasy-based scenario, you'd have local tribesmen as low-level warlords, who would go campaigning and raising armies and gaining recognition and respect (and fear) to the point where he can easily be considered as a brilliant strategist or great warrior, a leader amongst men.

Although unfortunately, due to the fact that warlords often (but not always) come from a warrior lineage or training, it is unsurprising if some might argue that warlords might be better off as background, a sort of Leader Specialization, or even a combination of leader-ish Fighter maneuvers.
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The Quarterback

Sure you can do the Wildkat if you don't have one but real team have a QB scream the names out cities, colors, and number.

"Neverwinter 26. Blue 35 KILL KILL KILL"

Neverwinter 26: Archer shoot the goblin at 6'oclock
Blue 35: Wzard hurl a fireball (level 3 spell) at the orc
KILL KILL KILL: Archer disregard first order. Target is down already.

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!

I like your idea.  A warlord is the guy who remains cool under pressure, is charismatic enough to get people to follow him, and smart enough to know the best action to take.

It is true that a small group will use very different tactics (and be concerned about different things) vs. a large army.  But that doesn't mean a small group doesn't use tactics.

Your example of Captain America is spot on.  He leads a small group into battle, and directs their attacks and actions in order to make them greater than the sum of their parts.

I don't think I like the example of the coach.  In my opinion, the warlord in D&D shouldn't be sitting on the sidelines.  He needs to lead by example, and he needs to be able to make instant changes to tactics and actions.  Once the play has started, there isn't much the coach can do.

In terms of real life, modern day examples, I think of warlords more like swat team leaders.  They are highly trained and participate directly, and at the same time they organize the rest of the team. 

So for D&D, I picture the warlord as the guy who always ends up taking charge during a fight in a natural way (high Cha, Int, or both).  He has an understanding of how to win fights, either through training or inate skill, that convinces others to follow and listen to him.  He leads through example (should be capable of being on the front lines, wearing heavy armor, etc) as well as direction.  The warlord could be someone with the soldier background who has trained for years to lead, or he could be a simple farmer who is thrust into the position and simply discovers that he is good at it.

EDIT: Orzel, your example killed me (with laughter, in a good way).  I can picture the orcs thinking, "What the what is he talking about?" just before they are wiped out in 1 round from the perfectly coordinated tactics of the other team...I mean adventurers.
The Quarterback (or Linebacker on defense) quickly comes to mind. Basically someone who has the intuition to change the plan on a whim based on tactics or a gut feeling.

In a fantasy setting, someone in another thread mentioned Tanis, half-elven as a good example and I'm inclined to agree. Sure he's good with his bow but he's also extremely coordinated and orchestrates the group to perform well under stress. Another example I can think of is Maximus from The Gladiator. Issuing battle orders, rallying his troops, gaining the honor and trust if his comrades.
Most of the Warlords in the Forgotten Realms are orcs. Look to the orcs
Coaches call plays mid battle all the time. In american football, the QB just repeats what the coachs says. In basketball, plays are shouted out alot. They don't stop mid action. Baseball has coaches to tell the runner weather to go ot stop mid play.

We could also go on the evil side and have a warlord whip slaves into action. Driving them with fear and never attacking themselves, they only pick up a weapon as a last resort.

So yes, some warlords should be on the sidelines. Not all, but the option to yell and not attack should be there.

Though i agree they should still get heavy armor and martial weapons. It should be possible to play a ciniving old granny with no Str or Dex, politely asking her allies to be efficent killing machines.

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.

In FR I could see King Azoun IV being a Warlord as well as Obould or even Breunor Battlehammer.
As for the American Football example, while QBs do often go with what the coach calls there are audibles which change the play on a dime. This is only based on what the QB reads and changes accordingly.
Sgt Foley (Call of Duty)
Peppy Hare (Star Fox)

Ramirez, kill that pit fiend with this dagger!

Also I like all 4 types of leader in Next if possible.
Such as Peter Pan who kept the Lost Boys happy and willing to charge into battle with his overconfidence and lack of fear which fuel their happiness powers from their fey patron.

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 or caudillo (=charismatic leader...or strongman) or condottieri would be perfect with the module of henchmen/companions/allies.

I wouldn´t be surprised if the next D&D tries a module of miniature wargame. The marshall class would fit better there. 

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Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Examples like quarterback aren't really helpful, as that doesn't describe their palce in the world. It describes what they do, how they do it, but not using in-game terms or really answering the question of how they fit into the  campaign world. They're not all former athletes. 
Likewise, the idea of warlord acadamies doesn't seem as satisfying, as how does that work with small towns or locales in the borderlands. Or barbarian tribes? 

Another element to take from the chat was them asking for examples of warlords from earlier books and sources. Characters people can point to and say "that's a warlord".
Captain America is a pretty good example. But not great as you don't see him affecting what his allies' are doing and instead he puts them in a place where they can do the most. He tells them what to do and plans their attack, but it's hard to represent that mechanically. The player just needs to know strategy for that to work, and having one player boss around everyone else won't fly as well at the table.
Plus, Cap isn't a D&D character. If he's the only one, it feels more like forcing a non-D&D archetype into D&D. I mean, well before you saw barbarian as a core class (in 3e) you could look at characters that were berzerkers or simmilar to barbarians. 


Moving onto more positive dicsussion points...
My go-to example is the aforementioned Tanis Half-elven. He was a fighter in earlier editions (like most warlord examples tend to be) and lead the Companions to victory. He kept their morale up and directed them in battle. 
As for in-world examples of how they fit into the world, there's captains of the guard. The people who defend small settlements and the like. Or the leaders of barbarian hunting parties. Those orcs that rally and organize disparate and previously fueding tribes into a single warband (Obould Many-Arrows).

 
As for how bards and warlords differ, I think focusing on Intelligence for the warlord might be a good way. Leave the charismatic inspiring and moral a little more to the bard, or make it secondary to the warlord. The bard is primarily Charisma with some magic and rogue abilities while the warlord is primarily Strength or Dexterity, with some Int used for strategy and side abilities. Let the warlord focus on the role as frontline or occasional frontline leader character and move the bard into the back ranks a little more unless necassary.  

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Ender from Ender's Game
Nevare from Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy.
Mat Cauthon and Perrin Abaya from Wheel of Time

I think the OP's got it right that the most common would be those people in the world who were sent to military schools as a kid.  They'd graduate ready to do their job, but without the real-world experience that comes with adventuring.  However, also common would be warlords who went to the "school of hard knocks" version of military schools: kids who grew up in rebellious villages and the like.

Likely backgrounds would be second-son nobles, recognized bastards of nobles, middle-class military brats, prodigy commoner military brats, rebels, bandits (blackguards, hey!)

Basically, anyone with leadership talent or training who has also either had a) theoretical military training but not real-world experience or b) real-world experience (as in the case of rebels) but no formal military training.
Lets see, iconic characts that exhibit Warlord-ish characteristics :

• Willian Wallace (Braveheart film)
• Maximus Arrelious (Gladiator film)
• King Leonidas (300 film)
• King Theoden & Eomir (LotR films)

I thnk the real question is how do you incorporate the idea of a Warlord into a low level game? Or how can one be a Warlord at first level? This is, perhaps, more of a problem with the name specifically rather than the ideals and mechanics it facilitates. I'm ok wifh them going with Marshal or something else besides Warlord because I'm far more interseted in the crunch than I am of the title they associate with it.
At low levels, I picture "warlords" more as natural leaders, and less as a rank.  If they're a part of an organization they might quickly rise through the ranks, but at the lowest of levels a "warlord" might just be the "leader" of a group of friends, or a small adventuring group (of equals), or a "gang".  Or he might be "just one of the crowd" of guards or soldiers or whathaveyous - just that one that other people tend to listen to (because he's often right).
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
See Discworld's Vimes rise from night guard to Commander of the Watch to Duke Vimes.  He had some natural talent in leadership, but learned a lot along the way.
Flip side: what are some examples of evil warlords? Are they doing something different than captain America? Mechanically different or just different "flavor."

Gang leaders of local factions appear to be calling shots for their enforcers. Same with cartels, it seems. Look at the bad guy from Kick-a$$.

Megatron from transformers? Not inspirational but fear-based.

And Hans Gruber from Die Hard. Yeah, it turns out *SPOILER* he's a thief - but what he does in the film seems to go along warlord lines.

These are fantasy examples. Mostly because I don't read the D&D comics or novels. But they definitely have a place in fantasy.
Tangent, but:
But they definitely have a place in fantasy.


I'm a firm believer that the incorporation of themes and archetypes from other genres enriches, expands, and extends "fantasy", rather than harming it in any way.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Megatron from transformers? Not inspirational but fear-based.

Nothing wrong with a fear based warlord.

Also, optimus prime is more of a warlord.  He doesn't have the most power, speed, or anything else, but he leads.

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.

The warlord's place in the world is the same place that team captains have in the world. 

Essentially, the fighter and warlord are both trained warriors.  But while the fighter is trained to size up an enemy, the warlord is trained to size up a situation.

I like Ender as an example.  Captain America works as well.  And Sgt. Rock.  Chris Adams from Magnificent Seven. Sergeant Bowren of Dirty Dozen.

These are people who know their allies' strengths and can direct them to better leverage those strengths while shoring up their weaknesses.  I agree with greatfrito that warlords are natural leaders, but as levels increase they become better trained at directing their allies.
The warlord's place in the world is the same place that team captains have in the world. 

Essentially, the fighter and warlord are both trained warriors.  But while the fighter is trained to size up an enemy, the warlord is trained to size up a situation.

I like Ender as an example.  Captain America works as well.  And Sgt. Rock.  Chris Adams from Magnificent Seven. Sergeant Bowren of Dirty Dozen.

These are people who know their allies' strengths and can direct them to better leverage those strengths while shoring up their weaknesses.  I agree with greatfrito that warlords are natural leaders, but as levels increase they become better trained at directing their allies.


You do have to admit, though, the difference between warlord and fighter is a bit fuzzier than the differences between some other classes.  If they decided to fold the two classes together, I wouldn't cry myself to sleep that night.  I don't think they're going in that direction, though.  The fighter's expertise dice really are doing a wonderful job of making the statement, "This is the guy who owns you with weapons.  Period."
The Warlord is to the Fighter as the Sorcerer is to the Wizard. The distinction should be in the mechanics as well as in the in-game image.

Additional y Id say that making the Warlord a full class with the iconic features of 4E woLONGGo A LONG
You do have to admit, though, the difference between warlord and fighter is a bit fuzzier than the differences between some other classes.


I think it's about as fuzzy as the distinction between paladins and clerics, and between wizards and sorcerers.  It's a matter of style and attitude, not tools.

If they decided to fold the two classes together, I wouldn't cry myself to sleep that night.


I would be sad at the missed opportunity.
*stupid phone*. I meant it would go a long way with some 4E fans in a showing that they're not sweeping everything we like under some rug.
It's kind of a silly concern.  I mean, how many fighters, rogues, paladins or rangers roll out of academies each year?  I have no problem with many warlords being self-taught and the idea of a warlord being something you use to describe someone's style and affinity for leadership.

It worked for this dude.


Essentially, the fighter and warlord are both trained warriors.  But while the fighter is trained to size up an enemy, the warlord is trained to size up a situation.



Ooh, on that note, warlords do not have to be tactical specialists.  They could also be the foremen of the party when it comes to engineering tasks.  Need to build a bridge to cross a river?  The wizard may have a magical solution to contribute, but for a mundane solution or the organization of mundane and magical pieces of the puzzle, you probably want to consult the "warlord".

Of course, if we go with that interpretation, then a name denoting something broader than warlord might be better.  Are there any words that are right smack dab between Tactician and Foreman?  (Preferrably without connoting that the warlord is the leaderly authority of the party, but rather an authoritative leader in the party?)  Well, actually "Tactician" does work rather well here.  "Warlord" is still more flavorful, though.
The Punisher is a very good tactical leader if people are willing to follow him.

Any good leader of a small military group can be qualified as a "warlord/marshall".

I don't think sport examples are good, as the kind of motivations and pressures on the players can't be compared.

In classic criminal groups, the warlord is called "the brain".

I think the error in the "warlord" concept is to focus on the military background. Army favors tactical thinking, but any endangering activity favors this kind of thinking.
I think it's easier to make the "supervisor" as specialty, but it can exist as a class.
As a class, my opinion is that it should stay neutral and be able to organize and support any kind of effort, military, criminal, mercantile, administrative, or else. If it must have a focus, it should only be "managing adventurers profiles".

In short : Warlord is too restrictive for a concept that appears in any dangerous background.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

This is why warlord makes sense as a prestige class for characters level 10+, and never made any damned sense for those if level one. Put it where it belongs.
Captain, chief, counsellor, herald, master, ringleader, instigator, vanguard, leader

What about "sergeant"?  That sounds like something that could be used as a criminal organization rank as easily as a military or guard/detective rank.  And the rank alone doesn't say much about the person's experience or training.  People envision young sergeants and incompetent sergeants as easily as they do tough, gritty, and cunning sergeants.  And a sergeant in one organization might be just under the head boss, but in another organization might be the lowest level of middle-management.  It has flavor without specificity.
I disagree.  The warlord is the equivalent of an officer with field training.  The level 1 officer is the equivalent of a junior lieutenant just out of officer training.  The level 10 officer is the grizzled veteran who can size up the enemy or a new recruit with a glance and know exactly how to get his team to take out the enemy.
I don't think sport examples are good, as the kind of motivations and pressures on the players can't be compared.


Actually, it's kind of scary how much psychology is shared between organized sports and organized violence.  We as a species seem to have invented sports basically as a way of getting what we want out of warfare - trust, cameraderie, community-building - without the bloodshed.
This is why warlord makes sense as a prestige class for characters level 10+, and never made any damned sense for those if level one. Put it where it belongs.


You don't think people can take on leadership roles until they're in the double-digit levels?  I saw natural leaders around me in high school.
I disagree.  The warlord is the equivalent of an officer with field training.  The level 1 officer is the equivalent of a junior lieutenant just out of officer training.  The level 10 officer is the grizzled veteran who can size up the enemy or a new recruit with a glance and know exactly how to get his team to take out the enemy.




2LT Wizard fresh out of the academy in charge of adapts?


"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Should warlords lead from behind or lead the charge?  This choice could change class mechanics a good bit, to the extent that which we choose limits the flavor of the class description.
Lead by example

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Lead by example



In that case, we are probably talking more veteran or visionary than military-school graduate.  Are we taking the warlord in the direction of the Adept/Expert class?  And are we making him Divine-Lite?
Should warlords lead from behind or lead the charge?  This choice could change class mechanics a good bit, to the extent that which we choose limits the flavor of the class description.


In 4E you could build a warlord either way.  In theory, anyway - when I tried to play a "lead from the front" warlord I felt kind of wimpy.  I dunno, maybe I just built him poorly.  But conceptually, at least, the choice was definitely there.
So on the google+ mike said he wanted a warlords place in the world. And while he could think of plenty of exaples of people leading armies or even nations, he was a bit stumped by people leading small groups.

For every general leading an army, there are thousands of lieutenants and NCOs leading small groups of soldiers.  There are just too many to be remembered as individuals by history, while generals tend to be.  

I'm not the most well-read, guy, but what about Jason?  The led the Argonauts, who were a dream-team of mythological heroes.  For that matter what about every historical or fictional captain of a pirate or naval ship?

What about Gregory Peck in The Guns of Navarrone?  Cpt Mallory led a small group of commandos on an impossible seeming mission to destroy a set of monstrous guns hidden in a cave.   That's pretty D&D right there. Or for a real-life WWII hero leading a small group, Audie Murphy.  Or, I'm sure Seal Team 6 had a leader.



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At low levels, the warlord is the guy screaming "Watch out!" and "Keep going!" over and over. His addition to the team is strictly reactive observation and minor boost of morale. He is doing no more than giving warnings, advice, and minor pep talks.

A lieutenant straight out of officer training
A noble from a military family who has just ended schooling
A knight who has been groomed to lead
A veteran soldier who picked up battle strategies.

As the warlord levels, he slowly moves to one of the 4 types of warlord.

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!

Nathan Ford in the Leverage TV series is a "warlord" !
(When he's sober)

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

a) Ender is definitely a warlord. In fact, at least sometimes he's a lazylord - his behavior in certain battles makes it plain that he directly controls NO offensive or defensive capability, but merely orders his subordinates. (On at least one occasion he issues initial orders and then shuts down his console, taking no further part.) On other occasions he's personally part of a feint to draw enemy forces away from the group of his subordinates who are carrying out the real attack.

b) In my opinion the real-life, low-level warlord in the infantry is usually called "Sarge". There are thousands in the US military alone. He isn't normally the one who decides what the unit will do; but he decides how to get it done, gives detailed orders to the men, usually handles a weapon himself in combat situations, represents his soldiers' interests in diplomatic situations... 

Occasionally you get a warlord called "Lieutenant". They tend to get promoted relatively quickly, particularly if there's an actual war on, and command larger and larger units.

c) 4e supports many types of warlord - the "lazylord" who sits in back issuing orders; the "princess" who gets in melee in spite of being pretty much incompetent at it but in her panicked fluttering creates opportunities for her allies; the archer who sits in back *with a ranged weapon* distracting enemies at crucial moments and issuing orders; the bravado who leads the charge (and brings several allies with him); the tactician who uses his melee weapon to create opportunities; the inspirational who just keeps (his allies) going and going (the second-best healer build in 4E behind the pacifist cleric)...
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
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