Ultimate Battle Lord (PFRPG) PDF

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Welcome the BATTLE LORD to the field.

The Battle Lord, designed by Michael Sayre is the quintessential spiritual successor to a class from the 3x days. Taking the mantel of marshaling the field as a solid commander of the soldiers that are on the ground. They inspire their troupes with commands that offer teamwork feats and mighty auras that support engagements off the field of battle.

Leader of a mercenary company or a gruff old veteran of war, the Battle Lord will carry the battle standard.

Ultimate Battle Lord is a rough and dirty compilation product. What that means is that it is printer friendly with a few black and white art.

It combines Battle Lord material from Liber Influxus Communis and Liber Xpansion all into one nice PDF at a reasonable price.

This PDF contains:

  • The Battle Lord base class
  • 6 Archetypes
  • 12 Feats

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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The Inheritor of the Marshal

5/5

Introduction
Ultimate Battle Lord by Amora Games is a compilation product that includes everything (to my knowledge) out there for the Battle Lord, a class that is like an update of the Marshal class from the old Miniatures Handbook, a class that looked more fit for a board game than an RPG, and it kind of was. Anyway, the original marshal had some interesting stuff going on but was a very bland class at the end of the day (I remember “fixing” this class and the fighter by gestalting them in non-gestalt campaigns LOL). However, Michael Sayre shows his updating skills to the max, just like he did with his awesome Akashic Mysteries. Also, I like the fact that authors are getting enough recognition nowadays that they have their names slapped on the cover.

What’s inside?
11 pages of content for just 3 bucks, a very good deal IMHO, which include:

-The Battle Lord base class (BL from now on): a full BAB, two good saves, 4 skill points, and proficiency with all but exotic weapons, heavy armor and tower shields class whose main role is leading and buffing allies, both in and outside combat. The BL gains the bravery class feature of the fighter, which in itself is not THAT exciting until you consider other products out there that interact or replace this ability for something more meaningful, like Bravery Feats by the same author. Beyond this, the BL generates a special, gradually-expanding aura that can give two types of buffs to allies in it (including the battle lord): Drills give a bonus in combat, and Noble Auras give a bonus outside of it. Apart from a vanilla bonus, these drills also give allies temporary feats. At higher levels, BL can activate more than one dril/aura at the same time, get access to stronger drills and noble auras, and having a “divine aura” as their capstone.
Not only that, but BLs also get a Specialty, a kind of bloodline that gives a more focused theme to the battle lord, being Artillerist (gunner/siege engineer), Soldier (melee-er, combat manoeuver master), Medic (non-magical healer) and Scout (infiltrator). So if you wanted to be part of a stealthy campaign or no one wants to be the healer, you can adapt your BL for that!

-6 Archetypes for the BL: Cavalrymen are mounted sword n’ pistol warriors; Dual Specialists get access to two specialties; Eldritch Chevaliers can cast a couple of arcane spells and get some other magical abilities; Marines fight better in coastal, naval and aquatic environments; Warchief are the chaotic, barbarous counterpart of the BLs and Zealots are the religious warriors who don’t cast spells but get some channel-related abilities. Of these, only the Dual Specialists are a bit lame, and feel unnecessary when you count the Military Training feat chain presented later.

-12 Feats: This section includes 9 Teamwork feats, with some including the twist of not needing another character to possess the same feat to work, and most have very few requirements. I remember a couple of Teamwork feats having MANY requisites. The feats evoke many films’ scenes and have nice benefits, but none wowed me. Also, if you liked the specialties, you can take one as a member of any class with the Military Training feat chain, including the BL itself, and you could even have 3 specialties using these feats and the Dual Specialty archetype.

Of Note: The base class itself, especially in low-magic campaigns. It just works so well and gives you access to THAT archetypical role of a leader among men. I really liked the specialties, even if they are so few, and the archetypes, the Zealot and the Warmonger in particular, who cover the roles of the (anti)paladin/barbarian leader really well.

Anything wrong?: There are no favored classes :-/ This is particularly grating since in the author’s other class books, namely Akashic Mysteries and The Luchador, he includes them in a very nice way including background info. I would have loved an archetype that was part of a cavalier or samurai order but oh well. Finally, I would have liked the Warmonger archetype to give specific, thematically fitting rage powers to their drills, but I can do that on my own. Nothing else beyond this.

What I want: I was expecting at least one strategist archetype, specialty or feat that allowed you to buff without being present, as long as the allies followed the “plan”, with/without using the mass combat rules. I think a specialty that based tactics on the Knowledge (history) skill would fill the bill, giving access to contingency plans, counterintelligence (like changing a rival strategist bonus into a penalty), and prediction. Something like Zhuge Liang et al., the class, but maybe I’m just being spoiled.

What cool things did this inspire?: The Strategist (TM) specialty outlined above LOL! Also, the Zealot is perfect for my return to Al-Qadim campaign, since it is a religious warrior that doesn’t feature divine spells.

Do I recommend it?: If you want a leader of men that doesn’t play an instrument or has a mount, need a non-spellcaster decent healer, or want to include more military themes in your campaign, this book is for you. I would give it 4 stars because of the glaring lack of favored class bonuses, but with that price I can’t. 5 star-shaped medals of honor from me.


Battle Lord - Inspired and Inspiring

5/5

The battle lord is a full base attack bonus class with d10 hit die, 4 + Intelligence modifier skill points per level, and Good Fortitude and Reflex saves. Its primary class features are Drills, Auras, and combat Specialties, and it also gains Bravery like a fighter. I will talk about each of those features below.

The battle lord's Drills and Auras share a set of general rules, including the radius they can affect, which starts at 10 feet and scales up to 55 feet. 55 is an odd number to end on, but it makes sense with the level progression of the class.

Drills are the battle lord's main combat ability, and the battle lord will learn six of them by 20th level. A first level battle lord can have one Drill active at a time, but at eighth and sixteenth level she gains the ability to have an additional Drill active, so that by sixteenth level she can have three drills running concurrently. Drills work by giving the battle lord and every ally within their radius who has spent an hour training with the battle lord access to a teamwork feat and a buff. For example, the Blademaster's Drill gives everyone affected a +2 morale bonus to damage rolls and the Precise Strike feat. Bonuses granted by Drills increase at fourth level and every four levels after that. Starting at twelfth level you get access to Greater Combat Drills, which work just like the Drills you could pick up before but are more powerful.

Auras work much like Drills but are usually options for out of combat, like the Diplomat's Aura, which gives the battle lord and her allies a bonus to Diplomacy checks and causes creatures who enter the Aura's area to make a Will save or have their attitude towards the battle lord improved by one step. At fifteenth level you can choose Imperial Auras, which are more powerful than the lesser Auras and often grant options that seem more magical or supernatural in their effects.

Specialties are one of the big ways you get to customize your battle lord, giving her a back up role or special set of combat options. The Specialties available are Artillerist, Medic, Scout, and Soldier. Artillerists gain proficiency with firearms, a Grit pool that uses Intelligence instead of Wisdom like a Gunslinger, and feats and abilities to make her better at leading a siege crew. Medics gain new uses for the Heal skill, such as repeatable hit point healing, and the ability to remove negative effects like poison, disease, ability damage, blindness, curses, and eventually she can even resuscitate an ally who has died within the last round. Scouts gain special Stealth bonuses and abilities, Ranger traps, and evasion. Soldiers learn how to apply their Intelligence bonus to CMB and CMD for various combat maneuvers, their Armor Class when using Combat Expertise, and their Fortitude and Will saves.

The battle lord's Bravery class feature seems to fit better on the class then it does on the fighter. Since the battle lord has a good Will save, it is more likely to make a difference. I also used some of the Bravery feats from Rogue Genius Games Genius Guide to Bravery Feats, which was written by the same author, and it made the class seem even more well rounded and interesting to play, adding on useful bonuses and abilities. I used the Blood-Slicked Terrain and Risky Feint feats on my battle lord to add on some fun and cinematic combat options like opening myself up to a potential attack to feint as a swift action adding my Bravery bonus to the attempt, or make enemies I tripped slip and slide on their own blood.

Ultimate Battle Lord also includes five archetypes, the Cavalryman, Dual Specialist, Eldritch Chevalier, Marine, Warchief, and Zealot. The Cavalryman must choose the Artillerist specialty, but trades out some of his aura increases and some of the Artillerist options for a mount and the ability to two weapon fight with a sword and pistol. The Dual Specialist get to choose two specialties but loses some of their strength as a party buffer. The Eldritch Chevalier does not get a Specialty, instead learning spellcasting that goes up to fifth level spells, and gaining the ability to cast spells while wearing armor, trade out Drills for additional spell slots, and share buffing spells with allies affected by his Drills. The Marine is an aquatic option for the battle lord who is strong in aquatic environments and good with a harpoon. The Warchief is a chaotic battle lord who shares barbarian Rage powers instead of using normal Drills. The Zealot is a battle lord who uses Wisdom instead of Intelligence, can use Channel Energy, and can blind and nauseate enemies with the Channel Smite feat.

There are also twelve new feats, nine of which are new teamwork feats and three which work allow anyone to learn some of a battle lord's Specialty abilities, like the Eldritch Heritage feats allow a character to get Bloodline abilities.

There are a few typos and odd choices for rules language here and there. There was a "do" instead of "due", and the language for the Cavalry Drill was convoluted but still decipherable. The .pdf is very affordable though, so I don't count these small typos against it.

The battle lord is a very fun and interesting class that allows you to play a military leader who uses wits and tactics to supplement his brawn, and I like that it performs well at all levels of play. The battle lord may very well be my new favorite class.


Perfect Leader Class for Players and NPCs alike!

5/5

Ultimate Battle Lord

Disclaimer: I am a friend of Michael Sayre, the author of this product. I originally read and fell in love with the Battle Lord before I knew his name, so any gushing I do about the class stems from legitimate enjoyment and not friendship.

The Battle Lord Class

I love this class for a lot of reasons. First and foremost is that it actually allows me to build a powerful fighting leader for any situation. I don’t have to spread my point buy thin touching all my bases, nor do I have to sacrifice the theme by going for a class that “sorta fits.” The Battle Lord is very adaptable and is very likely to come through for you if you’ve ever thought “I wish I could make a truly great leader of man who gets by with his wit and guts instead of with a spellbook and divine intervention.”

The Class has d10 hit die, a good Reflex and Will Save, 4+int skill points per level, and a pretty good list of class skills. I don’t believe the Battle Lord has a dump stat since each stat can lend you power in some way, but of your mental stats Intelligence will be key.

The class table has a lot of specific names on it, but essentially the Battle Lord has three class features.

Bravery: As Fighter, but it’s worth noting that Michael has written a pretty cool book that uses the Bravery class feature as a kick off point for some extremely cool feats.

Aura: This is your primary class feature. Essentially you have an aura radiating from your character that gets larger as the Battle Lord levels. The aura can be centered on yourself or thrown to an area you’re sending orders to, vocally or with hand signals. Auras are subdivided into Combat Drills and Noble Auras. Essential combat Drills give combat bonuses to those within and Noble Auras give out of combat bonuses. As you level you get access to a variety of Combat Drills and Noble Auras, eventually being able to have multiple active at once. You gain Combat Drills and Noble Auras on separate tracks. Some of the later level auras can do amazing things that many would find appropriate for a 15th+ level leader, like giving a speech so powerful and moving that people can’t help but respond in kind.

Specialty: Represent your special training. The base class includes Scout, Medic, Artilerist, and Soldier. You pick one at level one and as you level our Battle Lord gets pretty awesome features related to your specialty. You get stuff like adding your Int modifier to the stealth checks of allies within your aura or using heal checks to remove Diseases, Blindness, and other terrible afflictions or the ability to add your int modifier to CMB and CMD.

The Battle Lord is one of those classes that is simple to set up and play, but has a lot of depth for a proactive player.

Archetypes

This PDF contains 6 archetypes. Going over each one would be a bit much on my fingers, so I’ll summarize each. I believe they’re all pretty well balanced against a base Battle Lord though.

Cavalryman : Expecting a mounted Charger? No instead you get a horseman specializing in Sword and Pistol or 2xPistols. Honestly this is pretty refreshing and cool especially considering the historical context of this archetype.

Dual Specialist : This archetype essentially trades stacking Auras for having two specialties. This can make some pretty cool combinations that can really benefit the team and the Battle Lord themselves.

Eldritch Chevalier Replaces your Specialty and a few Auras with a slow progression of Wizard spells! You only get up to 5th level spells, so this isn’t a game breaker and actually ends up being about a match for a specialty.

Marine : A modified Scout specialty that makes you a very cool team player in the water. In a campaign where I expect a lot of water combat the Marine is indispensable. In a land based campaign it’s not worth it though.

War chief : Uses charisma instead of Int for specialty stuff. Combat Drills? Less tactical and more AM BARBARIAN (Rage Power sharing)! This archetype is perfect for someone who felt the Battle Lord was to civil and wants something more brutal.

Zealot: Uses Wisdom instead of Int. Gains channel energy and channel smite in exchange for some auras and aura range. Is more useful on a neutral deity since you can grab a negative energy channel for your channel smites. Will also probably be my archetype of choice since it’s very similar to the base class, but gives me a mechanical benefit for playing a deity worshipper (something I do in every campaign).

Feats

This section features a feat line similar to Eldritch Heritage to give players access to specialties. The requirements are appropriate for what it gives you.

A lot of teamwork feats of varying power. The standout to me being Frontline Shield Fighter, which utilizes a very good feat chain that a lot of players don’t know about and culminates in a super cool teamwork feat. I like a few more, but personally I find most of them to be a bit weak for my taste though.

Overall

If you want the perfect non-magical leader class then this is the book for you. In terms of content I think one well written class, 6 archetype, and a couple of pages of feats is more than worth the cost presented.


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Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Sweet. This is my Battle Lord class, originally written for Amora Games' Liber Influxus Communis. Drawing some inspiration from a combination of my own time in the military and the Marshal class from 3.5, the Battle Lord gets Auras and Drills, teamwork focused abilities that allow him to buff allies on and off the battlefield. In addition to sharing various bonuses and teamwork feats with allies, the Battle Lord selects a military specialty, such as Artillerist, Medic, Scout, or Soldier, which further customizes him and gives him tools to fill a specific role in addition to his general roles of primary combatant and party buffer.

All of the Battle Lord materials (class, feats, and archetypes) from Liber Influxus are included in this .pdf, as well as materials from the upcoming Liber Influxus: Expanded not yet released anywhere else.

The Battle Lord is an intelligent, full BAB combatant who enhances the entire team's performance and capabilities, and which Endzeitgeist referred to as "a thing of beauty".

If any of that interests you, but you're looking for a lower price tag than the complete Liber Influxus collection, you can grab the Battle Lord here and now for slightly less than I typically spend on my morning coffee.


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As a big fan of the Battle Lord from Liber Influxus Communis, this release has me excited!


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First review!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Thank you for the excellent review!


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I am totally buying this next time I get paid.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Milo v3 wrote:
I am totally buying this next time I get paid.

I designed the Battle Lord a little after I'd done the Vizier and while I was still working on the Guru and Daevic, and I really wantes to do something fun and non-magical, or at least extremely low magic (the Battle Lord does have a couple Su options and a caster archetype).

It's one of my favorite bits of work, and every time I go back and read through it again or sketch out some additional materials, I still get really caught up in imagining all the characters I could potentially make. I was really in to Glen Cook's Black Company and Erickson's Malazan Book of the Fallen when I was doing the initial design, so soldiers who challenge wizards and demons with little more than their wits and military expertise was a theme I wanted the class to be able to fully embody.

When you pick it up, please let me know what you think! Also, as Andrew mentioned in his review, if you like the Battle Lord, he's designed to have a lot of synergy with another low price point supplement I wrote, The Genius Guide to Bravery Feats from Rogue Genius Games.


Well I'm totally not buying this if its going to be in Liver Xpansion. I guess this for people who don't want all the classes from LIC.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Malwing wrote:
Well I'm totally not buying this if its going to be in Liver Xpansion. I guess this for people who don't want all the classes from LIC.

Yeah, if you're already getting LIC and LX, there's less value in this particular product since the materials it contains are compiled from those two products.

It could still have some value even if you plan on getting those two products, depending on how you value having all the Battle Lord materials compiled together in one printer-friendly document.

***Edit***

I was trying really hard not to comment because I know it's a simple typo, but I can't help giggling about "Liver Expansion", which sounds like a fairly serious medical condition.


Ssalarn wrote:
Malwing wrote:
Well I'm totally not buying this if its going to be in Liver Xpansion. I guess this for people who don't want all the classes from LIC.

Yeah, if you're already getting LIC and LX, there's less value in this particular product since the materials it contains are compiled from those two products.

It could still have some value even if you plan on getting those two products, depending on how you value having all the Battle Lord materials compiled together in one printer-friendly document.

***Edit***

I was trying really hard not to comment because I know it's a simple typo, but I can't help giggling about "Liver Expansion", which sounds like a fairly serious medical condition.

That's what I get for answering on my phone.

I imagine that the LX would have a print copy so I'll probably just wait for that since it's mentioned to be on the horison.


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Medical term for liver expansion is hepatomegaly. The more you know~!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Adam B. 135 wrote:
Medical term for liver expansion is hepatomegaly. The more you know~!

Okay. How do we turn that into a game mechanic.... I'm picturing a monk/battle lord hybrid class that uses pressure points to inflict various conditions on opponents.

....

Which is basically another class I already wrote, the Guru. Hmmm....

I want an excuse to use the word "hepatomegaly" in a game mechanic. Maybe I'll make it a disease.

Except I just looked it up and apparently it's basically a symptom of other illnesses, like heart conditions, not a specific ailment. Ah well, at least I learned something.


There is a whole set of them. Cardiomegaly, splenomegaly, even cytomegaly. I think playing a Battlelord will at least give players a chance to say these kinds of words, provided they choose the right specialty.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Adam B. 135 wrote:
There is a whole set of them. Cardiomegaly, splenomegaly, even cytomegaly. I think playing a Battlelord will at least give players a chance to say these kinds of words, provided they choose the right specialty.

i.e. Play a Battle Lord, choose Medic as your specialty, then show off your vocabulary of medical terms every time you make a Heal check :D


Could use hepatomegaly as some sort of ability in Secret Sands with a canopic jar themed thing, where you expand the powers given by the Imset jar.... though that might be a stretch.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Milo v3 wrote:
Could use hepatomegaly as some sort of ability in Secret Sands with a canopic jar themed thing, where you expand the powers given by the Imset jar.... though that might be a stretch.

I think for the time being, I'll set that idea aside, though I am glad that I got to learn something new.

Have you had a chance to check out the class yet?


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An updated version of this title is now available.

Added last line to warchief archetype ability Tactical Insanity "Rage powers normally usable once per rage are instead usable once per minute."

That is the only change that has been made.
~Greg

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Amora Game wrote:

An updated version of this title is now available.

Added last line to warchief archetype ability Tactical Insanity "Rage powers normally usable once per rage are instead usable once per minute."

That is the only change that has been made.
~Greg

Thanks for taking care of that Greg! I was using the UnC barbarian when I was playtesting that archetype and it slipped my mind that 1/rage powers needed to be accounted for.


Do zealots still have to be lawful?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Milo v3 wrote:
Do zealots still have to be lawful?

Doesn't it say they must be within 1 step of their deity's alignment? Because I meant for their alignment restriction to be changed to require them to be within 1 step of their deity's.


Ssalarn wrote:
Doesn't it say they must be within 1 step of their deity's alignment? Because I meant for their alignment restriction to be changed to require them to be within 1 step of their deity's.

The wording listed doesn't specifically replace the default so I originally thought that you might just not work with chaotic gods, where you have to fulfil both alignment prerequisites at once.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Milo v3 wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Doesn't it say they must be within 1 step of their deity's alignment? Because I meant for their alignment restriction to be changed to require them to be within 1 step of their deity's.
The wording listed doesn't specifically replace the default so I originally thought that you might just not work with chaotic gods, where you have to fulfil both alignment prerequisites at once.

I'll double-check it and talk to Greg and see if we can push an update, but the Zealot doesn't need to be Lawful, he just needs to be within 1 step of his deity, like the Cleric. Consider this an official response if you have a GM who questions it in the meanwhile.

Basically, where the core Battle Lord uses an iron code of discipline to focus his mind and train his allies in drills, the Zealot relies on the tenants of his faith to guide him and almost teaches his drills the way a preacher would deliver sermons.


Well that is bizarre. Good catch. I don't see it on the original material but I think I just saw the discussion in an email we had. I will update the file this weekend as well as incorporate it in the next update of LX.


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So far the Battle Lord is the third party class I've used most as an NPC while DMing. Looking for a chance to run a Warchief and his tribe against my players!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Insain Dragoon wrote:
So far the Battle Lord is the third party class I've used most as an NPC while DMing. Looking for a chance to run a Warchief and his tribe against my players!

The big bad in a recent adventure I put together was an orc Warchief with the Metal-Clad archetype from the Advanced Bestiary. The "Iron Orc" was widely agreed to be the coolest bad guy the party had fought in some time!

I'm running a standard Battle Lord (Medic) in Legacy of Fire right now, and it's been a lot of fun to play with a Battle Lord that I'm not playtesting.


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What Tier would this class be considered? 3, 4? I use Ssalarn's Akashic Mysteries classes, would the Battle Lord feel like it had enough utility alongside those classes? Is there anyone with experience playing this class in Paizo APs, and is it any good?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Desha wrote:
What Tier would this class be considered? 3, 4? I use Ssalarn's Akashic Mysteries classes, would the Battle Lord feel like it had enough utility alongside those classes? Is there anyone with experience playing this class in Paizo APs, and is it any good?

Yo! Always nice to talk to a potential repeat customer :)

So, (with the caveat that the Tier system is somewhat limited in actually gauging the quality of a class and is more a GM tool for assessing party options and compatibility) I would personally put the Battle Lord at a pretty solid Tier 3. He's got 4+Int skills, a specialization chassis that rewards him for investing in Int, and in addition to being a full BAB combatant with good proficiencies, he's got at-will Teamwork feat sharing for solid combat buffing and gains a Specialty that allows him to step up and customize where he fits in the group, with options like the Scout and Medic that allow him to make the whole party stealthier and less likely to be surprised, or to step up as a solid secondary healer.

I have had the opportunity to play the Battle Lord in the Legacy of Fire AP, and he's done really well so far. I built him pretty tanky and made sure that one of my drills was the Infantry drill, which grants the Battle Lord and all allies within the Drill's area an enhancement bonus to speed and the Swap Places feat. In combination with the Medic Specialty, it made for a fun character who could quickly shore up weak areas in the party by rushing in and covering a wounded ally's retreat, then helping patch everyone up after the fact. I know I wrote it, but I still consider it one of the most fun combatants I've ever played.


Desha wrote:
What Tier would this class be considered? 3, 4? I use Ssalarn's Akashic Mysteries classes, would the Battle Lord feel like it had enough utility alongside those classes? Is there anyone with experience playing this class in Paizo APs, and is it any good?

I feel that the Battlelord fits into tier 3. Not only does the base class provide a lot of customization, but the archetypes bring it to the next level. My favorites are the charisma based archetype (Warchief) that shares Rage Powers instead of teamwork feats, and a wisdom based archetype (Zealot) that trades aura/drill radius and a few drills known for channeling energy and gaining channel smite.

I am just wondering, what else is it you want from the Battle Lord? It definitely brings utility, but it can bring more than that.


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Adam B. 135 wrote:
Desha wrote:
What Tier would this class be considered? 3, 4? I use Ssalarn's Akashic Mysteries classes, would the Battle Lord feel like it had enough utility alongside those classes? Is there anyone with experience playing this class in Paizo APs, and is it any good?

I feel that the Battlelord fits into tier 3. Not only does the base class provide a lot of customization, but the archetypes bring it to the next level. My favorites are the charisma based archetype (Warchief) that shares Rage Powers instead of teamwork feats, and a wisdom based archetype (Zealot) that trades aura/drill radius and a few drills known for channeling energy and gaining channel smite.

I am just wondering, what else is it you want from the Battle Lord? It definitely brings utility, but it can bring more than that.

I guess the two big things I am worried about are the fact that teamwork feats seem to be largely regarded as being fairly terrible, and the class itself getting boring to play after a while. I like the Akashic classes because I rarely take the same action twice in the same combat, and if I get bored playing a class one way, I can switch up my veils and play a very different style.

What makes the Battle Lord better than a Cavalier or another class that gets Tactician? How do Specialties compare to the Cavalier's Orders? How flexible is the class itself, both during an adventure and between one adventure and the next?

@Ssalarn

Thank you for the input and response! I'd like to know what a couple people who didn't write the class think before picking it up though. No offense.


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If I may: The Battle Lord is currently by far the best martial commander class out there. Its versatility surpasses the Warlord and every single Talented Cavalier build I can come up with. Good skills and full BAB maintain flexibility and allow you to be the group's face, front-line fighter and buff-battery. The draw of the class lies not in teamwork feats, but in its class options, which greatly enhance the tricks available at your behest. In my review of Liber Influxus Communis, I covered the base class in excruciating detail; Liber Xpansion still will take a bit.

That being said, few classes can match the versatility/amount of options/player agenda of Akashic classes, so I don't think the battle lord reaches that level of customization/flexibility. I do have a suggestion, though: Michael has written Bravery Feats for Rogue Genius Games that coincidentally work perfectly with the battle lord - if you add them to the fray, it'll take some time before things get boring - that I can guarantee, mainly since I've seen these guys in action for quite a while now. In my home-game, they're my go-to commander class...which should tell you something about the quality of the class.

Just my 2 cents!


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Desha wrote:

I guess the two big things I am worried about are the fact that teamwork feats seem to be largely regarded as being fairly terrible, and the class itself getting boring to play after a while. I like the Akashic classes because I rarely take the same action twice in the same combat, and if I get bored playing a class one way, I can switch up my veils and play a very different style.

What makes the Battle Lord better than a Cavalier or another class that gets Tactician? How do Specialties compare to the Cavalier's Orders? How flexible is the class itself, both during an adventure and between one adventure and the next?

I won't disagree. Teamwork feats are hard to build around in most cases, due to requiring the whole party to use them. They are incredibly strong however, when you have good class features to support them (or give them out for free), such as solo tactics, or the Battle Lord's Combat Drills. Combat Drills take a move action to start, and share a teamwork feat with everyone participating in the Combat Drill. However, the drill also gives a scaling bonus to something, such as Blademaster's Drill, which grants a +2 morale bonus to melee damage that scales upwards, while also giving the participants the Precise Strike teamwork feat (+1d6 damage when flanking). At 8th and 16th level, they get the ability to maintain 2 and 3 drills at a time, allowing even more bonuses and feats to be shared. There are drills that benefit the party in most combat situations, providing mobility, defenses, and ranged/melee offense to the party depending on what you need.

Out of combat, there are also plenty of Auras, which are non-combat drills. They provide scaling skill bonuses to the entire party, and even provide pretty powerful effects such as the Diplomat's Aura, which gives a scaling diplomacy bonus and also does the following: creatures within this aura must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ the battle lord’s class level + his Charisma modifier) or have their attitude towards the battle lord instantly improved by one step. This step can only be improved once per individual. Quite a few of the later auras and drills also grant powerful magical effects. It is quite handy.

As far as the class goes, its probably the most flexible "non-magic" classes I've seen. It also has an archetype to get some spells.

This is much better than tactician because it is a move action, it gives additional bonuses, can give more feats at the same time, and has no daily limit of uses.

The specialties always give the class more options, instead of just making them better at what they already do. Medic Specialty for instance can heal a decent amount of HP per day, but also can remove almost all the status effects you'd need a cleric for (even drain and curses are covered). Artillerist Specialty allows the Battle Lord to competently use fire arms, gaining int-based grit, proficiency, and even gaining intelligence to damage with siege weapons and firearms. Additionally, the Artillerist specialty gains all the required tech to use siege weapons. The Soldier Specialty becomes increasingly durable and better at combat maneuvers, gaining CMD, CMB, save, and AC bonuses.

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Just to kind of chime in and sum up on some of the points Adam and EZ were making-

The cavalier is a mounted warrior who has some leadership abilities. The Battle Lord is a combat-proficient leader, and and as such, he has both better action economy with his drills, and he isn't limited in how often he can use them. He's supposed to be leading, so he doesn't run out of leadership. His drills are always more than just sharing a teamwork feat as well, since every drill is typically a teamwork feat + a thematically matching scaling buff.

As Adam mentioned, the Cavalier's Orders generally just customize the way he does combat, whereas the Battle Lord's Specialties actually add a whole new role or set of abilities to the class, like the Medic's healing, the Scout's stealth and traps, or the Artillerist's Grit pool and siege leader abilities.


Endzeitgeist wrote:
If I may: The Battle Lord is currently by far the best martial commander class out there. Its versatility surpasses the Warlord and every single Talented Cavalier build I can come up with. Good skills and full BAB maintain flexibility and allow you to be the group's face, front-line fighter and buff-battery. The draw of the class lies not in teamwork feats, but in its class options, which greatly enhance the tricks available at your behest.

That is very high praise! I think you may have sold me on the class. Are there any particular options you thought were either really good, or not up to the standards of the rest of the material? Ssalarn had mentioned medics and scouts and I know there are other specialties like the artillerist Adam mentioned, which have you played or seen played and how did they do at that job? Could an artillerist replace a Gunslinger in a group?

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That being said, few classes can match the versatility/amount of options/player agenda of Akashic classes, so I don't think the battle lord reaches that level of customization/flexibility. I do have a suggestion, though: Michael has written Bravery Feats for Rogue Genius Games that coincidentally work perfectly with the battle lord - if you add them to the fray, it'll take some time before things get boring - that I can guarantee, mainly since I've seen these guys in action for quite a while now. In my home-game, they're my go-to commander class...which should tell you something about the quality of the class.

Just my 2 cents!

Thank you! I actually have Bravery Feats, so I may have to see how these play together.


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An Artillerist could more than happily replace a Gunslinger.

The most common complaint I see of the Gunslinger is that it adds nothing to the group except for full-attacks. A Battle Lord Artillerist still has access to all the other cool class features.

The way I see it this story has two endings.

You buy this PDF and are extremely happy with one class or you buy Liber Influxus and find yourself extremely happy with numerous classes.

Grand Lodge

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Desha wrote:
Endzeitgeist wrote:
If I may: The Battle Lord is currently by far the best martial commander class out there. Its versatility surpasses the Warlord and every single Talented Cavalier build I can come up with. Good skills and full BAB maintain flexibility and allow you to be the group's face, front-line fighter and buff-battery. The draw of the class lies not in teamwork feats, but in its class options, which greatly enhance the tricks available at your behest.

That is very high praise! I think you may have sold me on the class. Are there any particular options you thought were either really good, or not up to the standards of the rest of the material? Ssalarn had mentioned medics and scouts and I know there are other specialties like the artillerist Adam mentioned, which have you played or seen played and how did they do at that job? Could an artillerist replace a Gunslinger in a group?

I'm going to say the warchief can't replace barbarian or skald, but it's a lot of fun to play.

I will also mention that I like to play marital that can cast spells. So yeah I would play a magus. But if I wanted a more marital with a chance of casting magic, I'll take the Eldritch Chevalier. A VERY limited number of spells per day, but it could be any spell he chooses to prepare. But it also takes this into account. Instead of learning a drill I can gain a spell slot. It's pretty well put together I feel.


I picked up my copy and have been looking at building a couple different battle lords. My GM has approved the class for our next game.

I am actually very interested in two of the archetypes, the eldritch chevalier and the cavalryman. Does anyone have experience playing either archetype?

The chevalier's spellcasting seems to work best with long duration buffing spells that she shares, but I am curious as to whether there's potential for her as a blaster or controller. Control spells in particular seem like there should be some good options for blending her Drills with a spell like black tentacles.

Does the cavalryman's mount really make up for not getting to add a stat to damage like the gunslinger? I thought maybe it would get to add Intelligence to damage, but it looks like it gets mostly defensive bonuses until Thunder and Steel is gained at 14th level. It also would have been nice if the archetype had a more gender neutral name, but I haven't been able to think of one that still tells you what the archetype does, so maybe you had the same problem.


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Keep a tab on all your drills, auras and specialty with this brand new Battle Lord character sheet.

If you like it, please check out other sheets (and a new project!) by clicking on my name. Lots of stuff there.

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The Ragi wrote:

Keep a tab on all your drills, auras and specialty with this brand new Battle Lord character sheet.

If you like it, please check out other sheets (and a new project!) by clicking on my name. Lots of stuff there.

Ragi, you rock man! I think you've now made a custom character sheet for every published class I've written. I'm actually going to transfer my current Battle Lord for our Legacy of Fire game over to your new sheet and give it a test run!

Desha wrote:

I picked up my copy and have been looking at building a couple different battle lords. My GM has approved the class for our next game.

I am actually very interested in two of the archetypes, the eldritch chevalier and the cavalryman. Does anyone have experience playing either archetype?

The chevalier's spellcasting seems to work best with long duration buffing spells that she shares, but I am curious as to whether there's potential for her as a blaster or controller. Control spells in particular seem like there should be some good options for blending her Drills with a spell like black tentacles.

The eldritch chevalier works best, in my experience, with a combination of buff and control spells. While you can certainly do a fair bit of blasting if you're so inclined, I don't think that route is likely to synergize super well with his other abilities, unless you're doing something like sharing save-boosting teamwork feats with your Drill and unexpectedly blasting foes who thought that being in combat with your allies would protect them.

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Does the cavalryman's mount really make up for not getting to add a stat to damage like the gunslinger? I thought maybe it would get to add Intelligence to damage, but it looks like it gets mostly defensive bonuses until Thunder and Steel is gained at 14th level.

I'm going to go with "Yes". Mounts are serious force multipliers, even if you aren't playing a charger. The mount also synergizes really well with the base Battle Lord abilities, both boosting his mobility so he can more efficaciously deploy his Drills, and, since riders actually occupy all the squares their mount occupies, potentially increasing the area of Drills centered on the Battle Lord. You really don't need to add a stat to damage with the firearms for a cavalryman to perform effectively.

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It also would have been nice if the archetype had a more gender neutral name, but I haven't been able to think of one that still tells you what the archetype does, so maybe you had the same problem.

I'm going to be honest, initially I did the same thing with the Artillerist, calling it the "Artilleryman" or something along those lines. While I fixed that and found a more gender neutral option, I just couldn't come up with an alternative to Cavalryman that didn't lose the historical and thematic flavor I wanted the archetype to convey. "Equestrian" lacked the proper combat-oriented connotations, and after about an hour on thesaurus.com I chose to leave the name as is.


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Reviewed, for what is worth. Great class Ssalarn! Going to review the luchador and the bravery feats soon(tm)

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the xiao wrote:
Reviewed, for what is worth. Great class Ssalarn! Going to review the luchador and the bravery feats soon(tm)

Thank you for the review! As one of my earlier projects, I'm always happy to see that the battle lord stands the test of time (even if it does lack some of the bells and whistles I started incorporating into later products). I'm glad you enjoyed it and that it filled some needed roles in your campaigns.

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