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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mr.Moron's Avatar

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    Default Base Class: The Warlord

    I ran across some other folks using this tool: http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/ and wanted a project to test it out. I decided to do my version of one of the combat leader as represented by the Marshal and White Raven Schools of the 3.X era and the Warlord of 4e, from where the class gets its name.
    The Warlord:
    http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/HJXb2aKtr

    Some design notes:
    Roughly speaking the three Archetypes are meant to be

    Comrade: Fights side to side with allies, focused on defense. Abilities are somewhat more consistent than the others.
    Marshal: Helps more allies at once, a leader who doesn't get their own hands dirty. Abilities aren't as numerically strong on paper, but extremely powerful when groups can can capitalize on their flexibility.
    Warchief: Leads by example, focused on melee attacks and raw damage. Abilities are narrow and one-dimensional, but provide the most raw power.

    Specific Abilities:
    Enduring Surge: 0 is a valid choice for how many hit dice to spend, in which case the subject simply recovers your leadership die in hit points. This is a rinky-dinky heal so probably not worth the bonus action in most cases but it does make Comrades very effective at getting allies back on their feet in a pinch.

    Overwhelming Force: Yes, if you get a "10" or higher on an additional dice you can roll it again. If your eyes are going cross trying to figure out what this means for the average. When you combine this rule and reliability on a d12 the average result is about 9. While very rare, this can result in huge numbers. YMMV but in other games & situations I've found rare runaway successes tend to generate a nice anecdotes and good table feel. If anyone actually wants to use this class feel free to limit the die to only explode once if these rare cases bother you, it doesn't do much to the average result.
    Last edited by Mr.Moron; 2016-06-28 at 10:25 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Base Class: The Warlord

    Before I start throwing stones, let me say that this is probably the best Warlord I've seen so far.

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    Tactical Acumen might be too powerful for a second level feature. Action Surge is already arguably the best feature in the game; keeping it at second level and letting it apply situationally to virtually any member of the party based on what would have the biggest impact would probably push it over the edge.
    A wizard casting two spells on the same turn with Action Surge had to give up access to an entire spell level (compared to a wizard who kept to his class) in order to do so; a wizard casting two spells on the same turn with Tactical Acumen needs pay no price for the privilege.

    I'm not sure how Morale Boost and Improved Morale boost would affect the overall balance of the game, but they concern me. I realize that it's partly there in order to balance using hit dice for healing in combat, but between these and Enduring Surge, you're playing pretty loose with mechanics that, iirc, were deliberately kept out of class features when the core classes were being designed.

    Tireless Leadership... regaining a class resource when you roll initiative and you're out of it is usually a capstone feature. You might want to move this to 20 and give more than a single point.

    Reliability is a big deal. I'm not saying it's too big a deal in and of itself, but... it's a big deal on a list of features that are all big deals.

    Perfect Execution is interesting in that it encourages the warlord to hemorrhage their leadership at the start of a combat and be very reluctant to give it out in the third round or later. I don't think it's necessarily too strong -- especially as a capstone, though I still think Tireless Leadership makes a better one -- so much as I'm just not sure how I feel about the warlord being stronger at the start of a fight than at the end of it.

    Strategic Reassessment is massive. Nobody else gets back class resources if the dice don't go their way. It would be a big deal if that's all you gave at third level, but you also give...

    Martial Readiness, which appears to allow a single leadership die to be rolled multiple times. Or is it only supposed to be available the first time someone makes a saving throw within that one round? If it does add to all saving throws for the round, that's, once again, massive. And also RAW Strategic Reassessment would give you the die back if anyone failed a saving throw, even if others succeeded.


    And now I'm a little burnt out. Might come back and finish going through the rest later.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mr.Moron's Avatar

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    Default Re: Base Class: The Warlord

    Thanks for the feedback! Here are my responses to some of your concerns, some of these issues I have already given some consideration

    Tactical Acumen: Yeah it's powerful, full stop. However it is important to note that this does not affect the Warlord themself. In other words the player using it isn't the one to benefit and things like that need to have a big impact, otherwise they aren't satisfying. In general I do want everyone in the party to feel like they've gained a level or two by having The Warlord around. It is a buffing class after all, so the impact on party members should be big and immediately obvious albeit at the cost of the Warlord not really being an all-star during their own turn.

    Still I totally recognize that it's super good and it's the reason you never get a second use. If it is consistent feedback that handing out Action Surge to party members is too strong some alternatives are to put in a "No Spells" clause or limit it to the Attack Action. I'll find something else the Warlord can offer to casters in that case.

    Regaining Leadership Points: A few of your comments are in this vein: Tireless Leadership , Strategic Reassessment

    Leadership Points are a long-rest resource that in general are supposed to feel weaker than spells or other long rest resources (of which 1/2 casters get 15 to the Warlords 12). In my first design pass you gained back 1/2 your Leadership points on a short rest and all on a long rest. However, I removed that in favor of giving them some ability to regenerate them through combat conditions and tireless leadership as that is more dynamic and gives the class unique feel. If consistent feedback says they just have too many leadership points to work with, I'd probably use their base leadership as the knob to turn - giving them lower maximums.


    Note to Self/Possible Change suggestion: It's also possible to just remove their baseline progression, say they start with 0-2 every day and rely on their generation mechanics to get them. Though this would require more aggressively tuned generation mechanics.

    The reason for this is that the regeneration mechanic is really used to underscore the Archetypes:
    • The Warchief wants to get stuck in and make attacks, any round he isn't making an melee attack roll is a turn he doesn't have a chance to generate critical and get more points. The Warchief doesn't want to hang back.
    • The Marshal wants to stay safe and avoid trouble. Any round he's mixing it up in melee, or calling attention from enemy spell casters is a turn he isn't getting his points. The Marshal directs the action, he doesn't do the dirty work.
    • The Comrade just really wants to stand by his buddies. Any round he isn't throwing his abilities out to help is friend, is a turn he is leaving potential points on the table. The comrade spends his points as much as possible.



    As a general element thats a part of the class I want to keep, even if the exact numbers need tuning.

    Morale Boost/Enduring Surge: Honestly, this used to just be a straight healing ability and it might go back to being that. However, I wanted some sense that he wasn't shouting magic words that stitch them back together like a healing spell. Hit Dice provide a real mechanical connection to a character's natural endurance and reserves of will and I think they frame the ability a bit better. We'll see what folks say.

    I'm certainly open to suggestions that keep the Warlord restoring hit points in some fashion, without him just yelling at your wounds.


    Martial Readiness: This was designed to be the Warlord's answer to the paladin's aura. They get your die on every save for the round. I think it has some good strengths and weaknesses compared to the aura and in general it's meant to be a comparable class feature.

    -They have the same range.
    -The paladin's aura is always on and doesn't require resources.
    -Marital readiness has higher maximums (+12 vs +5), but relies on a hat might come up 1 when the paladin's aura woulroll td give you a constant +4.
    -Martial readiness has a better average, than most paladins.

    Having to turn on martial readiness is I think a big deal since you need to antcipate when the enemy is going to impose their saving throws ahead of time. The paladin's aura? Make a save you got it. Martial Readiness if they call for the save and the Warlord didn't use it last turn.. you're out of luck. If you use martial readiness and the dragon decides it's just not his turn to breathe (assuming the DM is meta-gaming it), you've wasted the point.

    As always I'll keep an eye on this for consistent feedback. It could always just affect a single person, or say 1 person per leadership point.

    Perfect Execution: Actually I think you're right on the start of turn thing. This is purely an artifact of me wanting to play nice with the Marshal's "Disciplined Initiative" ability. I'll change the wording so you can activate it at any time rather than just during initiative. At the end of the day the Warlord just doesn't have enough reactions/bonus actions in 2 turns to burn all his points anyway. He'll just need to use some of the normally by virtue of this being a long-rest ability.
    Last edited by Mr.Moron; 2016-06-28 at 01:29 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Base Class: The Warlord

    Enduring Surge is a little much. At level 20, you can spend 21 Hit Dice at once. That's more than anyone actually has. I'd just make it improve by 1 each time.

    Why no Defense on Fighting Style?

    Tactical Acumen is, I agree, too much. Action Surge is much more powerful on a caster than on a fighter, and this stacks with it.

    Morale Boost is a bit much as well. That's an extra 10-35 HP every short rest. That can easily be a third of your HP at level 9.

    Tireless Leadership seems fine.

    Improved Morale Boost is also too much. Again, it's nearly a third of your HP, for free. I'd make it a single die for the basic and two for the improved.

    Reliability is fine, if you make the suggested change for Enduring Surge. (Did you run the numbers? Because with this, you're over the number of Hit Dice people have, I think.)

    Perfect Execution is worded weirdly. Is it like advantage, where they take the better roll? If so, it's fine. Do they actually double the result? If so, little too powerful.

    Strategic Reassessment is fine.

    Martial Readiness is a little too much.

    Stand as One seems fine.

    Call Of Duty is a crappy game, but the ability is good. :P

    Defensive Formation should cost a leadership die for each ally who benefits from it. Other than that, good.

    Deliberate Planning seems a little weak, honestly. Hard to pull off.

    Practiced Protocols should not come with a free Leadership die. Other than that, good.

    Disciplined Initiative should cost a die for EACH ally, not just one for all.

    Preparation seems a little weak, actually. I'd let you give one to EVERY ally (costing a point per ally, of course).

    Collaboration is OP as hell. That (without my change to Preparation) gives a Rogue or Full Caster THREE TURNS, for three spells or three sneak attacks. With my proposed change, it's even worse.

    Brutal Cunning is fine.

    Pack Leader should be damage, not attack. If it stays as is, it's too strong.

    Aggressive Strategy is fine.

    Overwhelming Force is fine.

    Warband Leader is fine, IF you make the change to Pack Leader.

    Overall, a really cool class. Needs some work, but is very fun. Kudos!
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Base Class: The Warlord

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Enduring Surge is a little much. At level 20, you can spend 21 Hit Dice at once. That's more than anyone actually has. I'd just make it improve by 1 each time.
    I think there may be some math going wonky here. You start with up to 1. You leadership die improves at levels 6, 10, 14 and you get +2 from reliability. This means you can spend a maximum of 9 at level 20.. well level 18, you get what I mean. That's the RAI anyway. If the wording is confusing this somewhere please let me know so I con correct it.

    Why no Defense on Fighting Style?
    No particular reason. I want them to have Archery for Marshal and Two-Weapon Fighting for Warchief, as those blend nicely with their recovery mechanics. Great Weapon Fighting is just there as kind of catch all fighter dude. In the end I had to choose Defense or Protection for the 4th slot and protection felt like it let them do something with that shield proficiency. However I think given all the reactions this class uses, also having protection is probably nosier than I intended. I think I'll probably swap this to defense.

    Good Catch.


    Tactical Acumen is, I agree, too much. Action Surge is much more powerful on a caster than on a fighter, and this stacks with it.
    2 in a row!


    Morale Boost is a bit much as well. That's an extra 10-35 HP every short rest. That can easily be a third of your HP at level 9

    Improved Morale Boost is also too much. Again, it's nearly a third of your HP, for free. I'd make it a single die for the basic and two for the improved.
    Fair enough. I'm hardly attached. If I get more feedback along these lines I'll reduce it.

    Reliability is fine, if you make the suggested change for Enduring Surge. (Did you run the numbers? Because with this, you're over the number of Hit Dice people have, I think.)
    Again, where are you getting this 21 hit dice thing from? Please let me know! I honestly can't find that reading in the text.

    Perfect Execution is worded weirdly. Is it like advantage, where they take the better roll? If so, it's fine. Do they actually double the result? If so, little too powerful.
    I'll rework the wording. The intention is as follows:

    Once per long rest, you may choose to use the ability. When you do, for two rounds the effect of all your leadership dice are doubled.

    Strategic Reassessment is fine.

    Martial Readiness is a little too much.

    Stand as One seems fine.

    Call Of Duty is a crappy game, but the ability is good. :P
    All noted. Could you expand on your feelings with Martial Readiness a bit, particularly when taken in the context of the paladin's aura. Knowing this might help me tune it. See my comments above on the space it is meant to occupy.
    Defensive Formation should cost a leadership die for each ally who benefits from it. Other than that, good.
    That is a lot of your limited daily resources to (maybe) block against 1 attack the monster might not make. If you guess who he'll attack wrong you get -nothing-. Could you explain a bit more on your reasoning here?

    Deliberate Planning seems a little weak, honestly. Hard to pull off.

    Practiced Protocols should not come with a free Leadership die. Other than that, good.

    Disciplined Initiative should cost a die for EACH ally, not just one for all.
    I'd rather not have them be effectively paying 2 points per Tactical Insight. Would "gain an additional reaction you may only use on tactical insight this turn" be a better fit?

    Disc Init: See my comments on Defensive Formation. That's a pretty chunk of your resources just to (maybe) get your turns first. An old iteration had it give you 2 allies per point, would that be acceptable?


    Preparation seems a little weak, actually. I'd let you give one to EVERY ally (costing a point per ally, of course).
    Preperation is meant to be used before combat, not during hence the name. I'd like to keep it that way, if 1 hour is too short what would make a good "Let's go over the plan ahead of time" window? Maybe "4 Hours" or "Until you finish a long rest"

    Collaboration is OP as hell. That (without my change to Preparation) gives a Rogue or Full Caster THREE TURNS, for three spells or three sneak attacks. With my proposed change, it's even worse.
    You already can give everyone a point. It seems casters are just the turd in the bucket here, ruining everything for everyone. Though it begs the question? Why not just run 3 Full Casters? Anyway how does this wording work

    "~ may give up their turn to allow them to take another turn. During this turn the subject cannot cast spells and cannot use any class features or abilties that can only be used once per turn"


    Brutal Cunning is fine.

    Pack Leader should be damage, not attack. If it stays as is, it's too strong.
    It is damage rolls? Does the phrasing make this unclear somehow

    Aggressive Strategy is fine.

    Overwhelming Force is fine.

    Warband Leader is fine, IF you make the change to Pack Leader.

    Overall, a really cool class. Needs some work, but is very fun. Kudos!
    Thanks for the feedback. I see common themes: Casters are already too overpowered to give anyone nice things. I'll work on some phrasing that keeps the core abilities, but kicks the casters to the curb so the Warlord can place nice with his other stick wielding buddies.
    Last edited by Mr.Moron; 2016-06-28 at 01:57 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: Base Class: The Warlord

    OH! I thought it was each time you got more dice, not each time the die improved! Okay, okay, that was me being dumb. Nevermind, totally fine.

    Perfect Execution is, like I said, a little bit too much. That averages to +13 to attack rolls. I'd make it advantage on that roll (averaging 8 instead).

    Martial Readiness is gotten a lot earlier, and is as good (and, eventually, better than) the Paladin's aura.

    Resource management is part of the game. You shouldn't get effects for free. This is especially important for larger parties. And it also means you can pick and choose who really needs the bonuses.

    I know that, about Preparation. I'd still let you give one die to every ally.

    That change makes collaboration useless. I'd just scrap that ability and make a new one.

    Oh, it is? That's me being dumb again. Yeah, it's fine.

    And don't blame caster, just account for them.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Base Class: The Warlord

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    OH! I thought it was each time you got more dice, not each time the die improved! Okay, okay, that was me being dumb. Nevermind, totally fine.

    Perfect Execution is, like I said, a little bit too much. That averages to +13 to attack rolls. I'd make it advantage on that roll (averaging 8 instead).
    Fair point. If it seems like 2 rounds is a weird duration it's because it was consistently walked back from earlier incarnations. I'm not sure the bump from average: 6.5 to 8 is worth a capstone though. I think I'll probably just need to replace this with something else.

    Martial Readiness is gotten a lot earlier, and is as good (and, eventually, better than) the Paladin's aura.
    I'm going to be honest, for some reason my brain was telling me paladins got their Aura at 3, rather than 6. What about flipping Martial Readiness & Stand as One in the progression order? This would put it at 7, a level after the aura.

    Resource management is part of the game. You shouldn't get effects for free. This is especially important for larger parties. And it also means you can pick and choose who really needs the bonuses.
    Right, but if a bonus isn't good enough to spend a point on nobody will use it. It's about matching the price to the effect. A wizard doesn't have to spend a spell slot per person he wants to Teleport, for example. I'll keep an eye on this. If I get more feedback, I'll revisit these.

    I know that, about Preparation. I'd still let you give one die to every ally.
    Question: Are you under the impression you can only have 1 die lent out total? If so that is not RAI and my wording needs work. You can hand out a die to everyone by using the ability N times, where N is your number of allies.

    That change makes collaboration useless. I'd just scrap that ability and make a new one.
    I'll think on it. I want something that follows naturally from Preparation, an ability that really gains a lot from the fact anyone at the table can use it.
    Oh, it is? That's me being dumb again. Yeah, it's fine.

    And don't blame caster, just account for them.
    I'm open to suggestions. Allow me to rephrase: The presence of casters is a sometimes frustrating limit on design space as their turns, abilities, resources, and lives are so much more valuable than anyone else's. Yeah Yeah, you have to account for them but I certainly can feel just a wee bit frustrated and what a massive skew they are!
    Last edited by Mr.Moron; 2016-06-28 at 02:12 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Base Class: The Warlord

    Rogues too, with their sneak attack.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: Base Class: The Warlord

    Changes Made:
    Defense Style replaces protection.
    Tactical Acumen's action can now can't be used to cast non-cantrip spells.

    Purposed New Version of of Collaboration:
    Collaboration

    Starting at 15th level you and any ally you have given a leadership point to gain the following option to spend it on:

    Spend a leadership point as an action, you may grant an ally who can see or hear you some of your personal abilities for a time. Choose one of the following options:

    • You may grant them the abliity to cast one cantrip you know using their character level. This effect lasts 1 minute.
    • You may grant them the ability to use the Jack of All Trades class feature, if you posses it. This effect lasts 1 hour.
    • You may grant them the ability to use the Martial Arts class feature, if you posses it. This effect lasts 1 minute.
    • You may grant them the ability to use the Second Wind class feature, if you posses it. This effect lasts 1 hour.
    • You may grant them the ability to use the Divine Health class feature, if you posses it. This effect lasts 1 minute.
    • You may grant them the ability to use your Favored Enemy class feature, if you posses it. This effect lasts 8 hours.
    • You may grant them the ability to use the Cunning Action class feature, if you posses it. This effect lsts 1 minute.
    • You may grant them the ability to use the Reckless Attack class feature, if you posses it. This effect lasts 1 minute.


    Once an ally has gained a benefit from Collaboration they can't gain the same benefit again until they finish a long rest.
    Last edited by Mr.Moron; 2016-06-28 at 02:51 PM.

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