View Full Version : Commander (3.5 base class, WIP, PEACH)

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-01, 04:49 PM
Hi! I've been working on a leadership-based class, and have hit a bit of a roadblock. I can't seem to think of any more class features. Here's what I have so far:


Alignment: Any.

Primary Stats: Cha, Int

HD: d6

Class Skills: Appraise, Bluff, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Gather
Information, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Local), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), Knowledge (Religion), Perform, Profession, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spot

Skill Points: 8+int
BAB: Average
Saves: As monk.
{table=head]Lvl|BAB|Will|Fort|Ref|Class Features
1|+0|+2|+2|+2|Improved Feint, Tactical Leader, Inspirational Leader
2|+1|+3|+3|+3|Bonus Feat
3|+2|+3|+3|+3|Great Leader
4|+3|+4|+4|+4|Bonus Feat
5|+3|+4|+4|+4|Order From Behind 1
6|+4|+5|+5|+5|Bonus Feat
7|+5|+5|+5|+5|Lead From the Front
8|+6/+1|+6|+6|+6|Bonus Feat
9|+6/+1|+6|+6|+6|Tactical Precision
10|+7/+2|+7|+7|+7|Great Leader (30), Bonus Feat
11|+8/+3|+7|+7|+7|Inspire Endurance
12|+9/+4|+8|+8|+8|Bonus Feat
13|+9/+4|+8|+8|+8|Tactical Brilliance
14|+10/+5|+9|+9|+9|Bonus Feat
15|+11/+6/+1|+9|+9|+9|Great Leader (35),
16|+12/+7/+2|+10|+10|+10|Bonus Feat
17|+12/+7/+2|+10|+10|+10|Inspire Heroism
18|+13/+8/+3|+11|+11|+11|Bonus Feat
19|+14/+9/+4|+11|+11|+11|Master of Tactics
20|+15/+10/+5|+12|+12|+12|Great Leader (40), Bonus Feat, Master of Inspiration[/table]


Improved Feint: At 1st level, Commanders gain the Improved Feint feat as a bonus feat regardless of whether they meet the prerequisites.

Tactical Leader: Starting at 1st level, Commanders grant an insight bonus equal to their Int modifier to initiative checks made by themselves and their allies who can hear them.

Inspirational Leader: Starting at 1st level, Commanders add a morale bonus equal to their Cha modifier to all Will saves and damage rolls made by allies who can hear them.

Bonus Feats: Commanders gain bonus feats from the fighter's list of bonus feats at 2nd and 6th level, and every two levels thereafter.

Great Leader: At 3rd level, Commanders gain the Leadership as a bonus feat regardless of whether they meet the prerequisites. Starting at 10th level, Commanders may increase (as though with the Epic Leadership feat) their maximum leadership score to 30. At 15th level, this increases to 35. At 20th level, this increases to 40.

Order From Behind: At 5th level, Commanders gain the ability to survey a situation while they are removed from battle. Commanders grant all allies who can hear them the ability to flank enemies simply by having them threatened by two people at once, without having to be on opposite sides of an enemy, as long as the commander has not been attacked or made any attacks in the past round, and is not adjacent to any enemies. This does not, however, allow them to gain the bonus from flanking multiple times.

Lead From the Front: Starting at 7th level, whenever a Commander lands an attack on an enemy, all allies that can hear them gain an additional +2 to the morale bonus that they would normally gain from the Inspirational Leader class feature until the beginning of the Commanderís next turn.

Tactical Precision: Starting at 9th level, all allies who can hear the Commander gain an insight bonus to attack rolls and Reflex saves equal to the Commanderís Int modifier as long as the Commander has not been attacked or made any attacks in the past round, and is not adjacent to any enemies.

Inspire Endurance: Starting at 11th level, Commanders allow all allies who can hear them to ignore the effects of fatigue, and treat exhaustion as though it was only fatigue. Note that this cannot ignore fatigue caused by the effect of inspire endurance.

Tactical Brilliance: Starting at 13th level, the commander, and all allies who can hear him, gain the effects of the combat reflexes feat but using the commander's intelligence modifier in place of their own dexterity modifier. This is considered an insight bonus for the purpose of stacking.

Inspire Heroism: Starting 17th level, all allies who can hear the commander add to their morale bonus to will saves against fear an amount equal to the commander's bonus to will saves.

Master of Tactics: When a Commander of 19th level or higher aids another in a skill check, or in melee combat, the total bonus granted to that person is equal to the amount by which the Commander's roll exceeded 10.

Master of Inspiration: Starting at 20th level, all allies that can hear a Commander are immune to fear effects, fatigue and exhaustion, and they are considered to have to Diehard feat.

Please help out if you can think of anything that would fit this theme, and let me know if what I've got here is over/underpowered, or if there's anything else I'm leaving out that should be included. I'm fairly new to homebrew, especially in 3.5 (until recently, I was using 4e), so I'm open to any suggestions. Thank you in advance!

Edit: Alright, I think I've just about put the finishing touches on! Still looking for feedback, though, as what I have here is still very tentative.

2013-02-02, 10:52 AM
Epic feats at third level? No. Predict what your enemy will do next turn? What about PvP combat? Add you K (H) or K (G) to all your initiatives, and your allies'? Even at level 4, that's going to be 7+int, which is a LOT.

The basic idea is good, but maybe having a table to show what it actually does would be a good idea.

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-02, 11:52 AM
Regarding the epic feat, I figured that, since all it really does is allow for leadership scores over 25, and since leadership was intended to be a large part of the class, I it might work out OK. If not, then would it be better if I stretched that benefit over the 20 levels, rather than just removing the score cap all at once?

With the wise leader feature, I thought including sense motive would make sense, though I didn't really have any idea how to include it. The prediction of the target's actions is kind of a placeholder at this point, and I'd be immensely grateful for any ideas for replacing it (and will also attempt to come up with one myself, if possible).

The knowledge thing requires you to know ahead of time that the encounter will be happening in the next 1 minute. That isn't always on, unlike the original int modifier thing. Also, you can't just spam it, since it has that cool-down, and you can't use it in combat. It gives you a tactical advantage, but only if you can predict the fight.

Thanks for the feedback!

Edit: I made the stuff regarding leadership scale as you level, culminating with Epic Leadership at 20th. Is that still too much, or does that work a bit better? Also, I can't seem to figure out how to include a table.:smalleek:Any help there? Never mind, I figured that out!

2013-02-02, 03:23 PM
I would say scrap the prediction. I'd also ask why K (H) would be used for the initiative? I can see K (G) for knowing the properties of the area they're fighting on... I'd leave it as "A relevant Knowledge check, which will usually be Knowledge (Geography) but could, for example, be The Planes if the area over which the battle is being fought is on another plane."

Apart from the dead levels which you can fill in as you go along, I think it's way too... situational. If you know there'll be a battle, you can have ridiculous initiatives; if you don't then you have a useless class feature.

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-02, 03:37 PM
I was thinking of being able to learn from history/historical battles, and from similar situations that have happened before, though thinking about it more I thing geography would make more sense. That particular feature was kinda meant to be situationally powerful, though I can see replacing it with something else. I'm thinking maybe something to make flanking better/easier for allies that's based around either int or K(G). What do you think about that idea? Also, I've decided to scrap wisdom, just sticking with intelligence and charisma.

2013-02-02, 03:47 PM
what kind of commander is this? is he a platoon or squad commander, or a generalissimo? because you've got me thinking it's the second one, but the first one is much, much more DnD oriented. I'd suggest making it based around auras that the commander can learn, which affect all allies that can hear him within 60 feet or something. the auras could be stuff like: +1 to attack bonus, +2 to INIT, +1 or 2 to AC, double the aura range. that's jm2c though, and obviously is not relevant if you don't change the class to be more of a squad style commander(which is what a party is: a squad).

edit: as for your specific question, i would stagger things a bit more, and then give him bonus feats. this would allow less dipping and more personal combat prowess on the part of the commander.

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-02, 04:02 PM
The core idea was that I thought the leadership feat was really cool, but the only core classes that could really make the most of it were the Bard and Sorcerer due to good charisma scores. I thought that there ought to be a non-caster class based around that feat, as a paragon of leadership, so that's what I decided to make. For the most part, the class features are applicable in smaller groups. I wanted this to be a guy who would be equally comfortable at the head of an army as when he's leaving the army back home. I think the leadership feat is really pretty versatile, where it could give you a few low-level physicians to keep the party alive with the heal skill, it could give a few low-level skill monkey/sneaky types, and if the DM decides that it's time to go to war, you just happen to have an army back in the guild hall/city/whatever. Also, when in a dungeon crawl, your followers may not be altogether too useful (though you still are a master of tactics and inspiration), but once you're done getting the fabled sword and it's time to overthrow the dictator with it, you just might have to storm a castle or two. Not compatible with every game, but it could certainly be a fun, flavorful addition to the party, assuming I don't screw it up (which I can't guarantee).

Edit: Oops! I didn't notice your edit. How many bonus feats should they have (as fighter, as wizard, or somewhere in between)? Obviously it'll be off of the fighter list, but I don't really know how often I should have them happen, considering. If I gave them a choice of bonus feats as a fighter, but not at 2nd and 4th, since I already have feats there, and moved the second part of Lead From the Front and all of Order From Behind to different levels to stagger them, would that be enough?

Another Edit: I changed some stuff like I said, but now I'm worried that some of those class features are too weak for their level. Any ideas for fixing that (unless I'm totally wrong on that and it's just fine)?

Yet Another Edit: I think I've pretty much finished off the class, but would still like some suggestions. I'm not entirely sure about some of what I've done, so would still like feedback.

2013-02-03, 10:20 AM
To Inspire Endurance, add "Note that this cannot ignore fatigue caused by the effect of inspire endurance."

Word tactical brilliance as "The commander, and all allies who can hear him, gain the effects of the combat reflexes feat but using the commander's intelligence modifier in place of their own dexterity modifier."

Word inspire heroism as "All allies who can hear the commander gain a bonus to will saves against fear equal to the commander's bonus to will saves."

I'm not sure that giving all the followers all this funky stuff and then letting him take epic leadership and legendary commander at lv20 is really going to go down well, either.

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-03, 10:28 AM
Yeah, I wasn't really sure how to word that stuff, thanks for that. The legendary commander and epic leadership together is probably too much, I admit, should I just stick with the immunities and diehard, and leave out the two feats? Or maybe make it so that they get the two epic feats as bonus feats automatically upon meeting all the prerequisites, but not before, so that they basically just don't have to spend a feat on it, but that's all?

Edit: Also, wouldn't the fact that the followers are pretty much all low level make up for that? Assuming no multiclass, no additional bonuses other than charisma and level to leadership score, and a charisma score of 20, a Commander 20 with epic leadership isn't going to even have level 10 followers.

2013-02-03, 10:51 AM
Edit: Also, wouldn't the fact that the followers are pretty much all low level make up for that?


Your leadership is going to be 20, plus 5 if you do the right things, plus your charisma mod. With the number of magic items and attribute advances you get at level 20, as well as being able to start at +5, it could easily push your entire leadership to being in the 43-45 range. Now, that means you have 10-11th level followers. Who can all be sorcerers. With leadership. Or, they can just be extra commanders. And so can your cohort. And you have tens of them, and literally tens of thousands of follwers total. Oh, and if they die you get new ones.

You can have about a hundred thousand magic missiles and several fireballs floating around. Every single round. Oh, and every single one of these people ignores just about every status condition known to man, makes ridiculously many AoOs, gains +stupid to all their damage rolls, can flank people alone (SNEAK ATTACK!), and so forth, for as long as the Commander has a big enough loudspeaker.

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-03, 11:30 AM
They are immune to fear, fatigue, and exhaustion, that's it. The extra commanders don't add anything but more followers, since just about all of the class features grant either insight bonuses or morale bonuses, which don't stack (admittedly, I forgot to include the type of some of those bonuses, so I'll fix that as well). Also, 45 leadership score gives 1 9th level follower, 10 with legendary commander, and none above that level. However, I can see that it could be significantly overpowered, and will remove that. They can take those feats when they meet the prerequisites just fine, I suppose, so I'll just increase the max score to 40 and leave the feats out.

Edit: Additionally, they don't have the ability to flank alone. They just don't have to be on opposite sides of an opponent. They still need at least 2 people, and even then, it only functions if the commander is removed from the battle. If that was unclear, I must have worded it poorly. I'll also try to fix that.

2013-02-03, 11:56 AM
They still gain crazy bonuses to all their damage rolls and some of their saves. And there are still lots of them.

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-03, 12:20 PM
Intelligence modifier for Reflex, attack rolls, and initiative (assuming the Commander isn't actually in the melee himself), Charisma modifier for Will and damage, (extra +2 to will+damage if the Commander has successfully hit an enemy this round) isn't altogether too much, considering that it is a major part of the class, and it will be needed for the followers to have a chance of hitting anything around the commander's level, or for them to do significant damage, or for them to survive enemy attacks. The large numbers are good out in the open, but when it comes to subterfuge, or tight corridors in a dungeon, not so much. You're gonna take your cohort and maybe a couple followers if you're going into a dungeon crawl, that's it. The rest can stay home. I'm honestly kind of worried that just immunity to fear, fatigue, and exhaustion, and Diehard, isn't really enough for a capstone, so I'm not so sure that what I currently have is overpowered, now that they don't gain the two epic feats at 20th.

2013-02-03, 12:59 PM
I guess that it's okay, taking into account what other people have said.

I'm just not sure how practical it would be to actually play. It seems like a great deal of paperwork, both for the GM and the player. More than I'd probably like at my table, at least.

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-03, 01:12 PM
Yeah, though I think that's more of a flaw with the leadership feat itself. I think that a lot of the large-scale battles that would have your entire army would be mostly tactical, you see the field and decide how your army should move. The PCs, the cohort, and maybe a few followers might actually have to roll for stuff, but overall I think, were I to DM it, a lot would just be a matter of "what sounds most likely to happen, given the way that everyone is moving?" rather than actually rolling everything out. I don't really know how to reflect that with the mechanics of the class, even though I really wanted a class with a leader/general type feel to it. It would probably, in the end, require a lot of DM intervention. For me, that wouldn't be a huge deal, as when NPCs fight NPCs in large-scale battles in adventures I'm running, I tend to do exactly what I just talked about anyway, because D&D really doesn't handle that very well mechanically speaking.

2013-02-03, 01:35 PM
I like the idea, but I am confused about the exact workings of the class.

I'd shuffle the Epic increase in Leadership to a much, much higher level. 15th at least.

Commanders grant all allies who can hear them the ability to flank enemies simply by having them threatened by two people at once, without having to be on opposite sides of an enemy, as long as the commander has not been attacked or made any attacks in the past round, and is not adjacent to any enemies.

So, if you have guys like that:


does the middle guy in the bottom row get the flanking bonuses TWICE?

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-03, 01:51 PM
Regarding the Epic Leadership, they never actually gain that feat. Basically, the Leadership feat allows for leadership scores up to 25. Epic Leadership allows for infinitely high leadership scores. This class gets bumped to 30 at 10th, 35 at 15th, and 40 at 20th. It's not quite the same there.

Regarding flanking, I'd say no, but that's not reflected in the rules anywhere, so I'll specify that.