The Warlord's HandbookHow To Make The Grunts The Best They Can BeSo you want to be a Warlord. I can't blame you, ordering around other people can be a lot of fun. It is certainly better than getting bashed in the head over and over again like those people trying to be Fighters and you won't be a wimp like the Wizard. That said, being a Warlord is only for a certain type of person. Here is a little advice that might help you determine whether you have what it takes to be a Warlord.This is a work in progress. This is a work of my opinions, but I can easily be swayed. The more people contribute, the better this handbook will be. Table of ContentsThe Warlord's RoleWhat type of Warlord are you?Choose Your WeaponBuild TemplatesOther Notes on Weapon TypeA Warlord and ArmorWho Are You? - AttributesWho Are You? - RacesThe Philosophy of DamageThe Types of Warlord Powers and OverlappingPowers that Hit on a MissPowers that Avoid ArmorAt Will PowersEncounter PowersUtility PowersDaily PowersParagon Path/Epic DestinyMulticlassing (To Be Constructed)FeatsSkillsLinksBuilds Part 1Builds Part 2Equipment (Under Construction)
The great axe is actually more damaging (than the maul) once you figure in high crit (again, unless you have hammer rhythm, though in Epic a greataxe with axe mastery will do superior DPR to a maul with Hammer Rhythm and a 17-19 Constitution but without hammer mastery and is negligibly behind Hammer Rhythm+Hammer Mastery until the Hammer character hits Constitution 20
The number before the slash represents the rating fo an Inspiring Warlord. The number after the slash represents the rating of a Tactical Warlord.
1 Guarding Attack (3/5): For a Tactical Warlord an acceptable defensive buff. For an Inspiring Warlord, the buff can easily halve the chance of a hit against your ally. Use this exploit with a reach weapon from behind a defender guarding a choke-point. The defender will never go down.
3 Steel Monsoon (3/5): Shifting an ally 1 square is massively useful, as mentioned earlier. Shifting most allies 1 square can rearrange the entire tactical situation.
3 Inspiring War Cry (1): This qualifies as a give that doe not take. You sacrifice your action for a 50% chance for your ally to overcome a condition. That is not a reasonable exchange unless the status is absolutely horrible/
Good. I have so far seen nothing about Inspiring Warlords and was reluctantly taking up my pen (well, text editor) to attempt a handbook myself - and now I don't have to.
Going to subscribe and shoot the link over to the party's Warlord as helpful advice.
Speaking of helpful advice, you want "role" not "roll".
ranger+pathfinder is probably a better striker multiclass than kensai and even a moderate dex allows for chain armor specialty, shield specialty, and heavy blade+OA feats.
Battle captain also has one of very few AoE attacks that warlords get.
I wish you'd go into more detail why battle veteran isn't a good paragon as I think it could be very good for inspiring warlord?
Also re: multiclass warlord+student of sword+knight commander is best for warlords who want to tank.
You're right about justicar, thats the best paladin paragon for warlords.
Also, tactical warlord+arcane initiate+battle mage is a good combo.
A big difference in inspiring warlords will be over CON or DEX is their 3rd highest score (means they either go plate and maybe axes or stay with chain specialization and gravitate towards heavy blades and OA's or rarely two weapon fighting.)
Justiciar's powers require an implement rather than a weapon, so keep that in mind.
On the other hand, consider Champion of Order. Even with Divine Challenge 1/Encounter, Certain Justice is still awesome, letting you keep one foe weakened as long as you focus on him. Furthermore, at 23 you get Great Dragon War Cry giving you and your party a huge bonus to attacks against your target. Very nice for solos, and you can do it every encounter!
Battle Captain is a good Path - I don't buy that being able to use a Minor Action to provide +INT to Attack and Speed is not worth taking.
Good start, however, I have noticed that your rating system is a little inconsistant - see the quotes;
take your entry for Guarding Attack;
This is confusing. Shouldn't the rating be (5/3) as an Inspiring Warlord will get more benefit from the ability? I think that's what you meant, but I'm not sure, see this entry;
This looks correct (Inspiring/Tactical) as Steel Moonson gains a benefit for Tactical Warlords.
Edit: I misread it - it does say that it is an attempt to shake off a condition. Not as great, but I would not say that it is a wasted action. It is still situational and not a guarantee but you are still getting a 2W attack in and hit or miss your ally gets a second chance to save.
I don't understand Stir the Hornet's Nest
Meanwhile, remember that it is generally preferable for you to use an inspiring word on an ally rather than let them heal themselves; in fact, it is quite likely that you are better at this type of healing than a cleric.
17 Battle On (2/3): Unlike Inspiring War Cry, this attack also comes with decent damage. For an Inspiring Warlock the odds are better than 50%. Used properly, this is worth an extra ally action per encounter. Not bad. Unfortunately a single feat at this level makes the effect mostly less important for the inspiring warlord. Yes, this means that the Tactical Warlord can probably get more use out of this than an Inspiring one can, despite the bonus for Charisma.
I like Wizard of the Spiral Tower for a tactical warlord myself, since Int will likely be close behind your Str (my dm is also letting me use Corellon's Implement as the wording on it is a bit unclear).
The One Sword I think will be very good, a weapon attack vs. reflex and will that has the potential of not being expended and possibly daze.
Shape the Dream is good as well, negating an attack to your Will for one action isn't bad.
Corellon's Blade is fun, a +4 weapon attack vs Will that takes some creatures out of combat for a round, letting your party focus on the remaining creatures seems good to me.
I also think the power swap would be worth it too, as the warlord doesn't have MUST haves at every levels of their powers. I'll be taking Arcane Gate as level 10 utility, the various wall spells, and encounter spells to my taste.
But that's just me
But that's just my preference.
You've switched Beat Them Into the Ground and Knock Them Down in your evaluations. You say for KTD (lvl 9 daily) that you don't need to be adjacent, but it's BTItG that allows a basic attack instead of a basic melee attack. BTItG also gives a bonus on the rolls equal to Int mod, so it's almost strictly better, IMO. (and it's an encounter instead of a daily).
Also, I think you are severely underestimating Relentless Assault. With a Divine Oracle (or two) and/or a Daggermaster, that could get quite ridiculous. I don't think it's amazing, just not a 1. I don't understand Stir the Hornet's Nest... It's like Lead the Attack, except it only applies to ranged attacks, forces you to use a thrown weapon, does 3[W] more damage, and gives the bonus to damage as well. I don't think the latter two make up for the first two...
For Villain's Nightmare, I didn't think of that particular use for it, and with a Defending Weapon (not out yet, it was on the Swordmage in an adventure. It provides it's enh bonus extra when using total defense or second wind) it could get quite ridiculous. However, I'm not sure how often you'll be facing a boss that'll care about not being in melee range of his targets, or care about provoking an OA from you. Interesting though, I'll have to look at enemies more...
I think you are overestimating Furious Smash and underestimating Commander's Strike. Commander's Strike can be used on a melee striker that missed on his turn, so that you get that bonus damage in. Also, it adds your Int mod to his Str mod and weapon damage. If you have a maul fighter, this can be quite nice in terms of damage, and is a nice fallback for when no one needs shifting. I think that Commander's Strike is still somewhat useful for Inspiring Warlords, because the extra damage isn't a huge issue, sometimes you just need a striker/fighter to attack again, for bonus damage or marking.
For Furious Smash, the ally has to be adjacent to either you or the target. I'm guessing that most of the time, no one but the fighter (and maybe striker) will be adjacent to you or the target, and so it's use is almost as limited as Commander's Strike in terms of targets. It's still good, but will mostly only apply to melee attack rolls. (unless the squishy wizard moves closer to the frontlines to get the bonus...) It is an attack against Fort, but unfortunately brutes often have Fort higher than AC. (and brutes are often on the frontlines, where you will be) I think the Tactical evaluation should be a 1 or 2, so I pretty much agree there.
Thanks for all your hard work on this guide . Two quick questions though:
Maybe I’m missing something obvious but…wha? Healing Lore lets a Cleric add his Wisdom bonus to all of his healing powers. That means baseline Healing Prayer should be giving more HP than baseline Inspiring Word. I haven’t seen any feats or features that give a Warlord anything like Healing Lore.
Again I may be missing something obvious but what feat are you talking about? To me this looks like a pretty sweet power, especially if your DM likes throwing controllers at you (but keep in mind LOTS of monster have status effects, not just controllers).
My mini-guide to tactical warlords is linked through the My Threads link in my sig. Just so you can find it should you care to link it or otherwise use it.
I'm honestly surprised it took someone this long to look at Warlords more comprehensively, and I'm glad you're doing it. I actually did that mini-guide because I was looking at x/wizard multiclasses, and needed to ground myself in Warlord to see how appealing a Warlord/wizard could be. (Not very, as it turns out, unless you can get your DM to houserule Corellon's Implement).
A few places you say "Warlock" in the guide. Might want to clean those up. :D
Inspired Recovery allows an ally to trigger a free save with a bonus equal to your Charisma by spending an action point for an extra standard action just because he can see you. Giving the ally the opportunity to decide when to use this effect is nice, effectively beoming a once every other encounter power available to all allies. If your DM likes throwing substantially bas status effects that require saves at you, than by all means take more of these types of powers.