Warlords? Yes, please!


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Hi everybody,
overall I'm really impressed by Pathfinder 2nd ed. so far. In particular, I'm also really impressed by the sheer amount and quality of material featured in the Gamemastery Guide, which I'm going to buy as soon as possible.
One thing I'm really missing is a kind of Charismatic Fighter, some kind of Warlord Class or something like that.
Are we going to see it, maybe as an Archetype in the Advanced Player's Guide or as a Class in a future Ultimate Combat Guide? Or is there already something to build such a character and I've missed it? (Apart from the Rally rules in the Gamemastery Guide).
Many thanks, and happy gaming and most of all happy life to everybody in these difficult times and days!!!


Like a Marshal/Paragon? We had things that attempted to make a "leader" class or a "leader" role in 1e. They were mostly lame.

Not sure what's coming out in the future in terms of archetypes or whatever, but your best bet right now is to probably make a beefy Bard or take a Bard multi-class dedication. Bard/Champion would be pretty straightforward, or Champion/Bard, maybe Fighter/Bard if you aren't into the spellcasting element.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Rangers actually have a fair amount of feats geared towards leading a party. It isn't their strongest build but it's not nothing.

1 monster Hunter
2 monster Warden
4 Scout's Warning
6 Swift Tracker
8 Warden's Boon
10 Master Monster Hunter
12 Double Prey
14 Shared Prey
16 Legendary Monster Hunter
18 ???
20 Triple Threat


vale_73 wrote:
One thing I'm really missing is a kind of Charismatic Fighter, some kind of Warlord Class or something like that.

I'm not entirely sure what you are looking for.

Any character can put a few points in Cha and take appropriate skills and/or feats. Is that not sufficient?

Are you looking for being a team leader or face of the party when out of combat?

Or is it more that you are wanting to use high Charisma as a weapon? That is more the role of a Bard. Maybe Fighter with Bard dedication?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I imagine what OP is looking for is something along the lines of the Rogue Genius Games' War Master class from first edition - a heavy armor martial character with abilities based around granting your allies bonuses and positional advantages.

You could definitely do that with a Fighter with Bard dedication, but probably OP is envisioning it without the knowledge/performance/spellcasting aspects of the Bard.

Honestly I would enjoy a War Master style class - or maybe an archetype designed to help fighters/barbarians/champions/rangers excel in that role.


To me it sounds like he is looking for something more like the Warlord Fighter Archetype. Which is impossible in this edition until Cha to AC is introduced.


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breithauptclan wrote:
vale_73 wrote:
One thing I'm really missing is a kind of Charismatic Fighter, some kind of Warlord Class or something like that.

I'm not entirely sure what you are looking for.

Any character can put a few points in Cha and take appropriate skills and/or feats. Is that not sufficient?

Are you looking for being a team leader or face of the party when out of combat?

Or is it more that you are wanting to use high Charisma as a weapon? That is more the role of a Bard. Maybe Fighter with Bard dedication?

Warlords were non-magical leaders who could pass out healing & abilities to their peers. A Step here, some temp h.p. over there, maybe an extra action to somebody in a better position, etc. Lots of commands, auras, and the like. Nearly magical in their effectiveness.

There's a niche for a Warlord in PF2, though I'm not sure at-will abilities will amount to much compared to their 3.X version.
A martial/MCD Bard (for the Compositions and likely Ranger or Champion as mentioned above) would mirror about what you'd expect to get, and probably be better overall using some spells or Focus Points. So maybe there really isn't such a niche, but then again there could be an archetype for a few distinct abilities.

And Warden's Boon has potential IMO. Most any martial could benefit well from Hunter's Edge stacked on top. Add an MCD and you could be quite the buffer, while still a legitimate warrior.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Temperans wrote:
To me it sounds like he is looking for something more like the Warlord Fighter Archetype. Which is impossible in this edition until Cha to AC is introduced.

May I just say that I hope Cha to AC is never a thing.

Or more generally, I hope "[weird stat] to AC" is never a thing.

I suppose it could be fine for a class entirely built around it. But never as an archetype or other option that any character could get.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
I'm not entirely sure what you are looking for.

A Warlord would be a nonmagical character who values Cha (and/or Int possibly) and provides support to their allies rather than focusing directly on DPR.

Look at, for instance, the 4e Warlord, a Leader class that provided team buffs, extra attacks and debuffs (along with limited healing and temp HP) while doing fairly mediocre damage themselves.

Or the Path of War Warlord, which relies on gambits that can debuff or manipulate enemies to help allies.

Or to a lesser extent, the 5e Battlemaster, which has a few abilities that give allies benefits, although it's along with a bunch of more normal fightery stuff.

For Pathfinder specifically, as mentioned the Rogue Genius Warmaster is a good fit. Nothing in Vanilla PF that really encapsulates the idea, but the Cavalier's banner ability is probably something such a character might have.

In any case, I think the critical features of such a character are that they're a frontliner in their own right and focus on providing benefits to allies rather than directly improving their DPR. Rogues can provide some support through debilitations, but miss the flavor mark and Bards are inherently too magical to really fit the concept.

Quote:
Any character can put a few points in Cha and take appropriate skills and/or feats. Is that not sufficient?

No more than a character with a few points in Int with some feats is a sufficient stand-in for a wizard.

Quote:
Or is it more that you are wanting to use high Charisma as a weapon? That is more the role of a Bard.

Bards are a different beast entirely and distinctly magical, which breaks away from what the OP is talking about.


Thank you all very much indeed for all of your answers!
I was thinking about something in line with D&D 4th edition Warlord Class or the D&D 5th edition Battlemaster, a martial fighter focused on leading and buffing and even healing her comrades in battle... The Bard option is really great for cool characters when I want to go magical, but I was thinking of a class without spells per se.
Many thanks again!


Captain Morgan's monster hunter ranger is probably the best option at the moment.

If you're willing to reflavor, champion has a bunch of stuff that could be easily flavored as skill and charisma instead of divine (maybe make it psychic damage instead of good). Maybe champion/ranger.

You may also want to check out the Investigator playtest. They "study" enemies and can give out some buffs to allies. It's a bit meh at the moment, but there is potential in there for a good future class.
https://www.enworld.org/threads/playtest-four-new-pathfinder-2e-classes.668 402/


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The Cavalier in 1st ed was actually a warlord/leader character masquerading as a mounted combatant - they had abilities about;

Issuing challenges
Waving a banner around to inspire their allies
Granting allies teamwork feats

(This is why I would love to see the cavalier come back as a class instead of just an archtype)


The Liberator Champion not only gives the damage reduction of the other champions, but it also gives free movement with their reaction. They can also heal with lay on hands. It's not a bad fit for what the OP is asking.


On the topic of magical vs. nonmagical effects...
Isn't the occult tradition the unknown, lingering magic inherent to objects, emotions, stories or music?

So a bard "warlord" who gives commands (Oratory, Inspire XYZ) with their "Golden Voice" might create magical effects just by talking. If you take the bard MCD you can even skip the spellcasting.

So, while mechanically magical some non-flashy effects from the occult list can really be flavored as supernaturally effective mundane activities I think. Because that's partly what the occult tradition is.

As a completely mundane leader type I agree that Ranger does some good things in that regard.


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The problem with these leader classes is that their mechanics can make them the default leader of the party unless they are very well designed.

I remember one which gave a formation bonus for being next to it and buffed the attack of any player who was hitting a specific target. Mechanically it was fine, but the whole group ended up following the warlord around and assisting on his target, which made a terrible play experience.

The 4E Warlord was a lot better designed. You only had to have the warlock in your line of sight and within a few squares to gain the bonus. However the problem still existed for it, though in a much less obscene way. Unfortunately it was part of a much larger problem that was 4E.


The SRD of D&D 5th Ed. has got a warlord class created by a 3PP, and Pathfinder SRD algo has got one, created by Dreamscarred Press as a martial adept class for its "Paths of War".

I imagine Warlord class like a pokemon trainer or digimon tamer but whose "monster pet" is a squad (troop monster subtype), and I would add "ki" martial maneuvers, like the school of the white raven from "Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords".


LuisCarlos17Fe wrote:

The SRD of D&D 5th Ed. has got a warlord class created by a 3PP, and Pathfinder SRD algo has got one, created by Dreamscarred Press as a martial adept class for its "Paths of War".

I imagine Warlord class like a pokemon trainer or digimon tamer but whose "monster pet" is a squad (troop monster subtype), and I would add "ki" martial maneuvers, like the school of the white raven from "Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords".

The pathfinder srd has an actual warlord called warlord by adamant.

The pokemon class you describe is the summoner, which was official paizo pathfiner 1 content, and was also broken because filling the table with summons was a GREAT idea that turned all your games into Warhammer and broke the action economy of the game.

Edit: I see you said 'troop'. My mistake. That would be a single model. In that case, is it not just a regular summoner with a funky eidolon?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Troop as monster pet works only if the warlord can designate the rest of the party as his troop.

But I think the key power the OP had in mind was the D&D 4E power Commander's Strike, which enables the warlord to give up his attack in order for an ally of his choice to make a basic attack immediately.

One popular character concept in D&D 4E was a hybrid of two classes from which the character could be a "pacifist" who never physically made an attack himself but who granted all sorts of bonuses and extra attacks to his allies.


masda_gib wrote:
Do a bard "warlord" who gives commands (Oratory, Inspire XYZ) with their "Golden Voice" might create magical effects just by talking. If you take the bard MCD you can even skip the spellcasting.

Hmm...

Inspire Courage gives a status bonus, and Monster Hunter gives a circumstance bonus. So those stack.

So potentially give out +1 initiative, +3 to hit, +3d6+1 damage, +2 AC and still make a bow attack. It could be pretty potent in the right party.

Not enough feats to get liberating step in as well.


Also Ranger's (Greater) Distracting Shot, and Scoundrel Rogue can hand out Flat Footed. (-2 AC)
And anyone can try to Demoralize. (-1 AC).

krobrina wrote:

The problem with these leader classes is that their mechanics can make them the default leader of the party unless they are very well designed.

I remember one which gave a formation bonus for being next to it and buffed the attack of any player who was hitting a specific target. Mechanically it was fine, but the whole group ended up following the warlord around and assisting on his target, which made a terrible play experience.

Not really any different from Hold Monster, Fear, Paralyze, Color Spray, Synesthesia, Flat Footed, ect.. Wizard picks the target, and everyone follows them around to get the bonus. Ok, maybe a little less annoying since wizard don't do it at will. But still, same effect.

That said, I am in favor of having it reversed. Other players pick the target, and warlord adds the bonus as reactions (like Aid kind of is). So maybe some archetype with...

Rapid Aid: You gain an extra reaction that you can only use to Aid.
Moving Aid: You can take the stide action as part of the Aid reaction, but must end your Stride in a position where you can Aid.
Assisting Shot: (same as fighter).

Thus, the other player can go attack whoever, and you just follow along and hand out +X.


If you look at the existing classes, the martial ones are clearly built on this baseline:
Expert attacks + conditional critical specialization at 5th
Weapon specialization at 7th
Expert defense and Master attacks at 13th
Greater weapon specialization at 15th
Master defense at 17th or 19th

Then different classes improve on that in various ways – fighters have better weapon proficiency, champions and monks better defense, barbarians rage, rangers hunt prey, and rogues sneak attack + debilitations. But it would be a fine starting point for a Warlord.

But instead of getting abilities that make your own fighting better, you'd get abilities that boost or exploit your allies. For example, I could see an action like this:

Distracting blow (Action)
Warlord, Flourish
Make a melee Strike. If this Strike hits, you deal minimum damage, and an ally adjacent to the target may Strike the target as a reaction.

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