View Full Version : [4E] What would a "Martial power sources only" game look like?

2008-06-16, 07:36 AM
Thought provoked by another thread, a thought experiment I thought worthy of a topic all of it's own. Let's say someone is putting a game together, and they say PCs can only be classes with a Martial power source.

Which means Fighter, Ranger, Rogue and Warlord are the only class options. Perhaps it's a sword & sorcery world where magic is the preserve of evil people who consort with demons and make pacts for power.

What happens to party balance? I can immediately see there's no Controller, and possibly much weaker healing. Does it massively change party tactics?

Which characters benefit as a result of it? Which are weakened?

What if magic was only possibly by Rituals? Or (relaxing the stricture a little) if others were allowed through multiclassing?

I guess finally, would anyone play such a game?

2008-06-16, 07:48 AM
Actually that would work out nicely. I wouldnt even say you'd be weaker at healing... the warlord gets plenty of abilities to heal.

However, what would you put in the 5th spot? Personally, I'd put in a second ranger... have one archery and one two weapon fight.

2008-06-16, 07:50 AM
This might work in a three player game (The DMG suggests dropping either the controller or the striker), and a few ideas of what would happen:

Without a controller, minions become much more of a nuisance (there are far less area of effect effects).

Damage output would be higher, because, as far as I've seen, both the fighter and the warlord are secondary strikers.

Dragonborn would be more useful due to their controllerish racial power.

2008-06-16, 07:50 AM
The lack of a Controller role is the main problem I can see. The Warlord should be able to heal, and someone else can multiclass into it too if there's a shortfall. An archer-Ranger and Rogue can cover ranged and melee Striking. If as you suggest rituals were being allowed, there'd need to be some relaxation of the rules, probably by giving someone Arcana and/or Religion as a trained skill.

The real question is what lacking a Controller does to a party's capabilities. Would doubling up on Strikers help to compensate? Would just using minons less often rebalance the game?

I'd be happy to play in such a game.

2008-06-16, 06:27 PM
Just using the Core books, it would work just fine. The lack of a Wizard hurts against larger groups of enemies, but both the Fighter and the Ranger are good at cutting Minions down.

In a 5-person party, my recommendation would be Fighter, Inspiring Warlord, Tactical Warlord, Archery Ranger, Rogue-or-TWF Ranger, but you could make do with almost anything. Parties don't necessarily have to be iconic; you can do just fine with 4 Fighters and a Warlord, or 5 Archery Rangers, or any of a number of combinations.

2008-06-16, 07:40 PM
Consensus on a 5-man party seems to be Warlord + Fighter + 3 any others.

2008-06-16, 07:54 PM
Consensus on a 5-man party seems to be Warlord + Fighter + 3 any others.

I would say Warlord + Fighter + Archery Ranger + any two others is optimal, with a heavy recommendation on using one of those two slots on a second Warlord, to have both the Inspiring and Tactical, and the last slot as another ranged combatant, whether Rogue or Ranger.

2008-06-16, 10:02 PM
Taking on Minions is easy. Have the Fighter take Cleave and the Ranger take Twin Strike. Rangers can focus on multiattacking from a distance, while Fighters can use abilities that do stuff like taunt enemies to get closer then smack them and stances that autokill minions adjacent to them.

2008-06-16, 10:43 PM
Play 5 warlords. Make sure you have some ranged weapons. :smallbiggrin:

2008-06-16, 10:54 PM
Play 5 warlords. Make sure you have some ranged weapons. :smallbiggrin:

2008-06-17, 10:31 AM
I actually have a campaign setting which works like this - magic is unknown to the world the players are from, so all classes are martial (there's more modern technology, though).

To make up for the lack of the controller, I give them access to modern technology - things like grenades and mines stand to fulfill a major facet of the controller, and often require careful deployment and planning.