D&D Podcast: Blood of Gruumsh

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In this episode, Mike Mearls returns to host the podcast! First, Mikes sits down with Chris Dupuis and Rodney Thompson to talk Dungeon Command: Blood of Gruumsh, Unearthed Arcana, and the Original "White Box" Edition of the game. From there, Mike and Rodney move on to discuss the current status of D&D Next, including possible roles and implementation for party leaders.

D&D Podcast: Blood of Gruumsh 

All around helpful simian

Took a few notes while they were speaking...


  • Druids, paladins and rangers are being playtested internally.

  • Druids and paladins are true to form, very consistent over the editions

  • The warlord is a type of fighter (currently).

  • Warlord was an amalgamation of the fighter with bard healing and tactical support previously. The class isn’t an expression of a character in D&D, it’s more of a ‘system’ brought to life.

  • They will focus on the tactical aspect of the warlord, which fits best within the fighter -- choose maneuvers offering assistance to others.

  • The warlord as a ‘sargeant of the guard’ is not a resonant healer.

  • ‘Inspiration’ is the bard’s deal.

  • Conversations about ‘healing’ being related to physical damage (i.e. healers assisting those who’ve been ‘gutted’ on the battlefield).

  • If you want warlord healing take the appropriate healer specialty. Perhaps alternate ones to the ‘spellcasting’ one will be added to the system. (A ‘feat-based bard-healing ability’ or the ‘leader’ specialty)

  • Inspiration and tactical cunning is the bard; inspiring is what the bard does.

  • Character building may allow a warlord to be built with Fighter class choosing tactical maneuvers with healer specialty or leader specialty.

  • Focusing more and more on building unique characters that also resonate in the game with crunch options -- backed up with mechancs.

  • Feats aren’t about ‘capability’ as much as they are about ‘building a new type of character that you couldn’t before’

  • Design mechanics that do what you want them to do so fluidly and easily that you forget about it.


Sounds like the warlord ran into the bard and the fighter in a dark alley; the bard told him to stay off his turf and the fighter took all his stuff.

Danny

"Inspiration and tactical cunning is the bard;" - tactical cunning is the bard?

I guess that's good for Fighters, but less good for Warlord fans. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
I really hope we see that kind of warlord build be possible soon. I honestly don't think you could make a half-decent warlord out of a fighter with 4 feats and a few maneuvers in the current system.
This discussion has got me wondering, and google isn't being helpful.
What charachters from various well known stories represent the "warlord"? 
I actually liked most of what was said here, both about Next and its Warlord. 

I guess it all really comes down to how well it is implemented and put together. 


To ClockworkNecktie: 

I would agree with this, but hope this means they have shifted feats to a more prominant - and powerful - position once more. I mean, if you could make a reasonable healer out of four feats... That would be excellent.

The other mention is that with the new Fighter, it sounds like the Maneuvers are going to gain a bit of design space and power - so maybe this will be enough to make it work.


I shall remain optimistic until proven wrong.



To Daganev:

An interesting question, I guess any real leader/fighter could be put under that banner.

Mat Cauthon or Perrin Aybara from WoT (Robert Jordan)
Aragorn, Theoden or Boromir from LotR (JRR Tolkein)
Dalinar or Adolin from TWoK (Brandon Sanderson)

Those were the first seven that came to mind anyway...
It bugs me that somehow the barbarian makes the cut as a class but not the warlord. I mean, you can capture the essence of the barbarian class in one Rage feat; why does that get spun out into an entire class, while the more complex and equally archetypal warlord gets stripped down for parts?
This discussion has got me wondering, and google isn't being helpful.
What charachters from various well known stories represent the "warlord"? 



From history? Choose any great general with a gift for tactical brilliance and inspiring leadership as opposed to individual martial prowess: Napoleon. Julius Caesar. Gaius Marius. Alexander. 

Carrot from Discworld. Captain Winters from Band of Brothers. Arguably Eddard Stark. Cosca or Monza from Joe Abercrombie's books. 

From Greek mythology? Jason. Agamemmnon.

CAPTAIN AMERICA. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Bards haven't ever been non-magically "inspiring".

They've always done musical magic.

But I don't feel like they are actually speaking a truth when they say Bard "owns" inspiration. 
Thanks Youngy,
I'm still not getting it though.
Are there more single dimensional charachters that would be a warlord?
(Mat is gambler/thief, Perrin is a werewolf, Aragorn is a ranger, Dalinar is a knight, etc.)

Like Merlin is the wizard, Conan is the barbarian. Sir Lancelot is the paladin?

Your mentioning of Mat Cauthon makes me wonder if Paton (of WWII fame) is a warlord? Should Warlod be translated as "General" in my mind?
 

Your mentioning of Mat Cauthon makes me wonder if Paton (of WWII fame) is a warlord? Should Warlod be translated as "General" in my mind?
 



Yes. Any officer, generally. You could have the stereotypical John Wayne gruff Sergeant as a Warlord just as easily as Patton.
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Notes and my questions:

With the talk about the difficulties people encounter with the "300 page rulebook", it's not clear that they understand the difference between rules and material. I do think that thinking about barrier to entry is important, but the effects of tons of rules and tons of material are vastly, vastly different. If you look at a lot of well-designed games of all types, they introduce what's sometimes a large quantity of material in an elegant, intelligent and effective way. Don't get me wrong, material is an obstacle, but every penalty-for-firing-into-melee and percentile-based-concealment-miss-chance is worth pages and pages and pages of spells in terms of real complexity.

Glad to hear that they're revising the math behind the game.

I'm surprised that the druid fell into place so easily, in their words, since it traditionally combines a bunch of systems that are comparatively larger headaches than most classes. Not surprised that the paladin fell into place so quickly, since it's traditionally been a beatstick with a bunch of rando features attached to it, which Next has shown it can do just fine in the form of the barbarian. I also personally feel that the druid could benefit more than most classes from actually being thought about instead of sort of mutely ported forward, but who knows what it'll look like. The design so far has been heavily inertia-based, but maybe they managed some inspiration on this one.

I'm curious about what they decided to do with the ranger. I think that the ranger needs something you can really point to as being unique and exciting for the class.

The fact that they're working on the druid and the ranger hopefully means that we'll also get some insight into the companion rules, unless they've dropped the companion angle from both of those classes.

Apparently, when they said, "If a character class appeared in a PHB in the past, it will appear in Next's PHB", what they meant was "If a character class appeared in a PHB in the past, it will appear in Next's PHB, but not necessarily as a character class". The assumption that I, and I think everyone else had been working with, was more like the normal thing someone would think when they hear "If a character class appeared in a PHB in the past, it will appear in Next's PHB."
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.
Not many Generals were great small unit leaders.

I'd say someone like Peter Young, founder of modern wargaming and WWII Commando, is a better real life example.

I just don't get how they can't see this as the obvious missing piece from the D&D character lineup. 
Also - not thrilled at Mearls equating healing with body parts.

EDIT: I'm glad they like the idea of the character concept being represented mechanically, but I'm not sure it's really integrated into their design process. 
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Also - not thrilled at Mearls equating healing with body parts. 



He's been doing that since day one and the actual RAW has never changed.

Just goes to show that even some of the development team have always played the game with houserules and never really realised it. 
Also - not thrilled at Mearls equating healing with body parts. 

Mearls' grasp of the game and how it works generally does seem pretty limited; I have to assume that he's got a better understanding than he seems to have. It's one of the basics of D&D that a character isn't hindered just because they lose HP. You run into all kind of weird para-rules situations if you treat it differently. Does Mearls think that resting overnight regrows limbs? 3.5 knew that severed limbs were not covered by regular healing. That's why Regenerate is a separate (and very high level) spell. I'm trying to think of a reason why someone's experience with D&D would be so limited that that's never come up before, but who even knows.
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.
Not many Generals were great small unit leaders.

I'd say someone like Peter Young, founder of modern wargaming and WWII Commando, is a better real life example.

I just don't get how they can't see this as the obvious missing piece from the D&D character lineup. 

I'm not seeing what what piece it plays in the D&D charachter lineup.


Patton, Napolean, Matrim as a general, I get.  I don't see what role they play in a group of 5 people, but I get that you might have someone who leads armies part of 5 person team for some reason.  And I get that person who leads armies may not be anyhting else that currently exists, but I don't see what part they play that nobody esle does.   Every hero is inspiring in a mundane way. Every group has a leader no matter what.  (I'm still unclear what the mechanic of allowing a charachter to attack an additional time in a round represents. A somatic haste spell?)


" I think that the ranger needs something you can really point to as being unique and exciting for the class."

When I think of D&D rangers I think of Robin hood, or Beastmaster.  The survivalist outdoors man.  I think it's a pretty well defined space actually and unique. (Tracking, hunting, shelter building)
When I think of D&D rangers I think of Robin hood, or Beastmaster.  The survivalist outdoors man.  I think it's a pretty well defined space actually and unique. (Tracking, hunting, shelter building)

I'm hoping they go double down the beastmaster thing, possibly using MDD to command the beast (or boost your commands to it), unless they have a totally unique new system in the pipes. I'm expecting a fighter with Essentials-style "At level X, you get this random feature" bonuses tacked on. (This is the design used for the barbarian, but the ranger doesn't even have something as distinct as Rage.) Being good at one or two skills isn't even enough to build a full background off of, much less a class. Survivalist is something I expect to be reflected in the class, but, in large part because backgrounds are split off, it's not something I'd ever pick to be the unique and exciting thing for a class.

Or Orzel's ranger idea. I'd be happy with something like that, but that may be too innovative for Next.
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.
I'm not seeing what what piece it plays in the D&D charachter lineup.

Patton, Napolean, Matrim as a general, I get.  I don't see what role they play in a group of 5 people, but I get that you might have someone who leads armies part of 5 person team for some reason.  And I get that person who leads armies may not be anyhting else that currently exists, but I don't see what part they play that nobody esle does.   Every hero is inspiring in a mundane way. Every group has a leader no matter what.  (I'm still unclear what the mechanic of allowing a charachter to attack an additional time in a round represents. A somatic haste spell?)



There's a reason we don't just have generals and private soldiers. The non-com or company-level officer is just as important to the functioning of a group; keeping it motivated, coordinating efforts so that it actually is working as a group instead of five individuals fighting duels in the same vicinity, making decisions about tactical priorities, etc. 

It's the reason that Captain America is in the Avengers, why Cyclops was about more than his eye-blasts, etc.

I think the issue is the specific words we're using: instead of "inspiring," let's say "motivating," like when the gruff sergeant barks at a flagging soldier to keep them fightin. Instead of "leader," let's say "tactician," the person in the group who's looking for a flank or higher ground or opening in the enemy line - not for themselves but for the group member best able to make use of it. 

As for action-granting - attacks per round aren't a literal description of each attack and never have been. Rather they're a gestalt of actions that describe a significant blow. The Warlord sees or creates an opening that wasn't there a second ago, and snaps out an order that their ally responds to automatically.  
Race for the Iron Throne - political and historical analysis of A Song of Ice and Fire.
I'm trying to think of movies or books I've read where this sort of activity takes place, and the best I can come up with is the occasional non-involved "side kick" who shouts "look out" at the right moment.


I'm really not sure what you are refering to with captain america and cyclops.
 
Not many Generals were great small unit leaders.

I'd say someone like Peter Young, founder of modern wargaming and WWII Commando, is a better real life example.

I just don't get how they can't see this as the obvious missing piece from the D&D character lineup. 



Becoming a powerfull general to me souds like somthing for the legecy system they talked about for level 10+
I'm trying to think of movies or books I've read where this sort of activity takes place
 



Like (D&D Style) Vancian magic and the entire Cleric class?
I'm trying to think of movies or books I've read where this sort of activity takes place
 



Like (D&D Style) Vancian magic and the entire Cleric class?

Vancian comes from a book, Dying earth.  The idea of limited spell casting that can't be completed untill some rest isn't unique to that series either.  It's very common in 1930s literature.

Clerics is a trope I've seen in multiple books and movies and comes from medievel legends. Especially ones dealing with Catholic mythology in some way.

I believe the archytpical cleric was Van helsing. 
I wonder how powerfull the healer specilisation will become.
Will it be enough to have a character with the healer specilisation as main healer of the party.
Or will the game assume there would be more healing in the party making a character of the cleric/druid/bard class a must have for the party.
 
Maybe the most intresting result would be that you need 1 person in the party to be a healing class like cleric/druid/bard or a character of any other class with the healer specialty, to get to the amount of healing the game asumes to be in the party.
This would mean you could play a all rogue party as long as one of them has the healer specialty.

Trying to imagine the rogue with the healer specialty, a sname oil salesman whose concoctions realy work ?
Personally, I like the idea of the Warlord being a style of Fighter. That is only my preference, however, and I can totally understand people wanting Warlord as it's own class.

The trick with making Warlord a class is to keep it from steping too much on the toes of other classes. Paladin is a mix of Fighter and Cleric, but with it's own unique features that make it different from just a Fighter/Cleric. The Druid is a priest like the Cleric, but is distinct enough to require it's own class. For the Warlord to stand on it's own, it needs to be more than just an Inspirational/Healing Fighter.

This could be done, even after making a Warlord Fighter Style. I suspect that even if Warlord doesn't make it as a Class in the PHB, it will probably find it's way into a later book.
King Arthur was a perfect "warlord".
His big sword and its scabbard did all the fighting job. His knights were the skilled warriors with specific profiles that Arthur used for his interests.

D&D wizards exist in no fictions or "history". Even the one that inspired the awful spellcasting system.
D&D military rogue is also not represented. Fritz Lieber imposed the guild thief concept, with rogue's schools where young people were trained in different "rogue skills", but if we take a true example, like the old russian "rogue aristocracy", each rogue was a specialist, never a pickpocket + a burglar + con artist and else. And the old "rogue aristocracy" despised violent crimes and rejected killers. This criminal system wasn't favoring any kind of weapon mastery.

I don't care about having to play a fighter or a bard to play a tactical leader, but the lack of representative archetype in fictions or history pleads far more against the wizard and rogue class than the warlord.
See, I don't really get that. I think that if paladin had never been a class and you were trying to sell me on the idea that paladin should be a class, it'd be a tough sell.

"So there's going to be a new class, like a cleric but with an emphasis on combat."
"So it's a battle-style cleric? We have that."
"Yeah, but it sacrifices a lot of spellcasting capability for additional fighting capability."
"So it's a fighter/cleric?"
"Yeah, but it's different. It's worth being its own class."
"It what sense?"
"Well, it can detect evil."
"So it's a cleric."
"Well, it can heal people."
"Like a cleric?"
"Yeah, but instead of spending spell slots to heal, it has way less spellcasting, and then a separate supernatural form of healing, where it heals people by touching them."
"So it's like a cleric, is what I'm hearing. Let me guess, it gets to turn undead, but not quite as good as a cleric. Almost like a Fighter/Cleric would."
"Uh, yeah. But it can summon a horse. You know, like a wizard can. A magic horse that people will certainly not routinely forget about."
"I see."
"But don't worry: if the horse dies, the paladin gets a small penalty for a month, or until they level up, which could be immediately, or it could be a while. We want to make sure to implement this in a way that makes paladins put a variable value on the life of the horse based on how long until they ding."
"Naturally."
"And it gets a bonus to saves."
"Right, because being a paladin means that you're better at dodging than a Fighter/Cleric."
"It also has to hew to certain standards of behavior."
"Like... a cleric does?"
"Yeah, but, you know, more."
"So you're saying that Fighter/Cleric with a figurine of wondrous power counts as a full class?"
"Oh yeah, and one more thing. It's not even every kind of Fighter/Cleric. It's only Lawful Good ones."

Now, in reality, I'm fine with paladin being a class. I've had lots of players have fun with the paladin class. But if you gave me the choice between "canonized multiclass base class with a few extra toys" and "fighter, but with a wide massive swath of qualitatively distinct capabilities", it wouldn't be hard for me to decide which one I'd choose as the base class. I don't think it's impossible to build a fine game where Paladin is a base class and Warlord is a specialty, but I wouldn't argue for it based on some kind of consistency about what gets to be a class. (I also expect the Paladin to be much better distinguished from a Fighter/Cleric in Next than it was in 3.5 anyway.)
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.
I like how they said 2 of the 3 classes: Paladin and Druid, were straightforward.

----

I also like the part on how they spoke about backing up a concept with mechanics. That is pretty much the game part of the RPG.

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!

Paladin to me was always a knight on horseback.  I never thought of it as a mix of cleric and fighter.   Obviously they have removed this emphasis over the years, but that's still what it is to me.

I'm not so interested in what a class can be described as, as much as I'm looking for a personality that is obviously that class.

Patton or Napolean or any other great general who is not known to be a really great fighter  seems to fit that bill.  But it seems to me that as soon as I groked that, I was told that really a Warlord is something else, because it's more about the squad team leader who isn't anything else other than a squad team leader. And now I'm at a loss for a personality.
The warlord is very much like the player character in console RPG with limited ally control.

Your Commander Shepard. The guy who kills the baddies while telling people what to do. The guy screaming "Get to cover" and "Charge". The guy stunning the ogre so his teammate can escape or sneak behind.

The real problem with warlords is that they make sense but are hard to write in a story. Storywise, warlords come in when the enemy is too tough for one guy but the situation allows for double teaming. This is rare in stories as most narratives rarely have enemies that require forcing on them in a nonfocusfire situation. But D&D is built on ganging up on tough monsters.

The real stage for warlord is... pro wrestling. When one heel sets up their opponent for the next heel. And breaking pins. No one kicks out in a tag match.

---

Paladins were always the blessed warrior to me. The armored knight who heals was just the D&D archetype but Sampson was the paladin to me. He was divine but had no spells or controllable magic. He was blessed with superhuman strength. Paladins where more like divine superheroes. The one who were not overtly born from divinity but instead blessed by it.

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!

They continue to trivialize 4e classes because representing the class in all its glory is too risky in reference to bringing back the lost 3e player base to 5E, or players that rejected 4e. I would rather they drop the warlord to be honest. If they are not going to include 4E classes (however they justify it) then don't attempt to make half-hearted attempts. It is insulting. Apparently 4E is not relevant when attempting to pass on a legacy. We can be friends and play D&D as long as we don't mention 4e. If you look close enough, you can justify any class as being represented as another class.
Yes, wizards are tricksters and cheat with reality, they could just be a rogue subclass.
So, the paladin and ranger can co-exist with the cleric and druid, but the warlord can't co-exist with the fighter? This is nothing more than a giant middle finger to 4e and its fans. The entire playtest has been adamant about doing just that. This is the straw that breaks the camel's back for me.

Even 13th Age has the Battle Captain. Which is just the Warlord under OGL.
The warlord is a type of fighter (currently).


So sad. 
As much as I love the warlord class (one of my favorites from 4E), don't judge this before we see it.

In the last packet, the Fighter gets 5 maneuevers over the course of the first 10 levels.  That gives a lot of room for making a warlord.

Healing was never something iconic about the warlord.  It had the 2/encounter heal power simply because it was a Leader class, and Leader classes in 4E got a 2/encounter heal power.  I am optimistic that a warlord could be represented through maneuvers.  The rest of the warlord package fits well with the fighter (high HP, good weapon skills, good armor).
As much as I love the warlord class (one of my favorites from 4E), don't judge this before we see it.

In the last packet, the Fighter gets 5 maneuevers over the course of the first 10 levels.  That gives a lot of room for making a warlord.

Healing was never something iconic about the warlord.  It had the 2/encounter heal power simply because it was a Leader class, and Leader classes in 4E got a 2/encounter heal power.  I am optimistic that a warlord could be represented through maneuvers.  The rest of the warlord package fits well with the fighter (high HP, good weapon skills, good armor).





It's the principle behind it. The only reason it doesn't exist as its own class is because it is unique to 4e. Something ddn has made it a point to exclude. Factor in that Mearls apparently has no idea how D&D has ever run under RAW, and it leaves me with no confidence in the designers anymore.
As much as I love the warlord class (one of my favorites from 4E), don't judge this before we see it.

In the last packet, the Fighter gets 5 maneuevers over the course of the first 10 levels.  That gives a lot of room for making a warlord.

Healing was never something iconic about the warlord.  It had the 2/encounter heal power simply because it was a Leader class, and Leader classes in 4E got a 2/encounter heal power.  I am optimistic that a warlord could be represented through maneuvers.  The rest of the warlord package fits well with the fighter (high HP, good weapon skills, good armor).



It's the principle behind it. The only reason it doesn't exist as its own class is because it is unique to 4e. Something ddn has made it a point to exclude. Factor in that Mearls apparently has no idea how D&D has ever run under RAW, and it leaves me with no confidence in the designers anymore.

You can't possibly know this, unless you have personally talked to the designers.

Second, what does "how D&D has ever run under RAW" even mean?

The warlord is very much like the player character in console RPG with limited ally control. Your Commander Shepard. The guy who kills the baddies while telling people what to do. The guy screaming "Get to cover" and "Charge". The guy stunning the ogre so his teammate can escape or sneak behind. The real problem with warlords is that they make sense but are hard to write in a story. Storywise, warlords come in when the enemy is too tough for one guy but the situation allows for double teaming. This is rare in stories as most narratives rarely have enemies that require forcing on them in a nonfocusfire situation. But D&D is built on ganging up on tough monsters. The real stage for warlord is... pro wrestling. When one heel sets up their opponent for the next heel. And breaking pins. No one kicks out in a tag match. --- Paladins were always the blessed warrior to me. The armored knight who heals was just the D&D archetype but Sampson was the paladin to me. He was divine but had no spells or controllable magic. He was blessed with superhuman strength. Paladins where more like divine superheroes. The one who were not overtly born from divinity but instead blessed by it.



 But why is this a class rather than a specialty? 


Shouting orders, telling others what to do, being a master tactician - none of those are class restricted.  OK - except for the stun thing - that might work best with a wizard or cleric (spell caster) although fighter manuevers ought to cover that as well.

Carl  
So if a character with the healer specialty would be enough to be the main healer for a party what kind of intresting concepts can we create?

a Barbarian with the healer specialty calls anybody who complains wussies bullieing their bodies into healing themselves.

A fighter with the healer specialty is a motivator much like the warlord was ( maybe think of diftent styles based on fighting style)

A monk with the healer specialty with his knowlage of the flow of ki could be a acupuncturist, sticking needels in his allies in the middel of combat to alouw their ki to flow in a way that heals them.

A rogue with the healer specialt could be snake oil salesman using all the strange cures that where used in the middel ages but for him they realy work.

A wizard with the healer specialty could heal based on the scool of magic they use ilusions to motivate,conjuration to instantly create perfectly placed bandages, necromancy killing any bactira that could couse infection and so on but should be distinct from the holy heeling from a priest.

 
As much as I love the warlord class (one of my favorites from 4E), don't judge this before we see it.

In the last packet, the Fighter gets 5 maneuevers over the course of the first 10 levels.  That gives a lot of room for making a warlord.

Healing was never something iconic about the warlord.  It had the 2/encounter heal power simply because it was a Leader class, and Leader classes in 4E got a 2/encounter heal power.  I am optimistic that a warlord could be represented through maneuvers.  The rest of the warlord package fits well with the fighter (high HP, good weapon skills, good armor).



It's the principle behind it. The only reason it doesn't exist as its own class is because it is unique to 4e. Something ddn has made it a point to exclude. Factor in that Mearls apparently has no idea how D&D has ever run under RAW, and it leaves me with no confidence in the designers anymore.

You can't possibly know this, unless you have personally talked to the designers.

Second, what does "how D&D has ever run under RAW" even mean?




It is obvious when you consider the paladin/cleric and ranger/druid are in. It is out because it is unique to 4e. 

 
I'm actually very happy that healing and inspiration is a bard "thing".   I think this means that non-magical healing will not be making a return to 5e.