Building a 5e Warlord II: (Fighter, Paladin, Bard)

By Michael Komarck. Image Found Here.

By Michael Komarck. Image Found Here.

Let's be honest, my last attempt was incomplete. I reworked and updated the concept. There is a lot going on, taking abilities from 3 classes, but feels like a warlord, or at least it should...

Creating a Warlord
When creating a warlord, think about where the character came from, or their place in the world. Is your warlord from a small village militia? Did your character serve in a great imperial army? How did your character distinguish themselves from an average soldier? What caused your character to leave their post? Where they tried for insubordination? Or did your warlord leave on good terms? Perhaps an invading horde defeat the army in which your warlord served?

 

Quick build
You can make a warlord by following these suggestions. First put your highest ability score in Strength followed by Charisma, and then constitution. Second, choose the soldier background.

 

Race: Human (Variant)

Feat: Martial Adept (p 168), Select Commander’s Strike and Rally

Skill: Choose one

Attribute: +1 to Strength and Charisma

 

Hit points and Proficiencies 

Hit dice: 1d10, except for 1d8 on levels 3, 7, 10, 11, 14

Hit points at first level: 10 + your constitution modifier

Armor: All armor, shield

Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons

Tools: None

Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution (or charisma if your DM allows)

Skills: Choose two from the fighter list (p72)

Equipment: Same as fighter list (p72)

 

Level 1:

Fighting style (p 72)

Second Wind (p 72)

 

Level 2:

Extraordinary Senses (Divine Sense)
Choose a class of creature (undead, fiend, horde creatures, et cetera). You have fought or studied these creatures for so long that you are able to track any of them within 60 ft of you, if you spend the time to look. This ability functions analogously to the Divine Sense attribute on page 84.

 

We’ll get through this; I know it (Lay on Hands)
You have seen enough combat to know that few encouraging words and a helping hand can make all the difference. This attribute functions exactly like the Paladin’s Lay on Hand ability on page 84. Your healing pool increases by 5 on levels 6, 12, and 15

 

Level 3 (1d8):

Battle Orders (Spell casting)
You have learned that a quick word can be the difference between life and death on the battlefield and trained enough in the art of war to properly issue helpful commands (or suggestions!) during combat. Woe to those that do not follow your advice. This functions exactly like the Bard’s Spell Casting ability on page 53. You gain additional battle orders according to the Multiclass Caster Chart on Page 165 on levels 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, 15. The number of cantrips and battle orders known are analogous to the bard’s spell casting chart.

Warlord Spell Chart

Inspiration
You can inspire others through your stirring words (loud voice?) and martial actions (foolhardy charges?) on the battlefield.  This functions exactly like the Bard’s Inspiration ability on page 53.

 

Level 4:

Action Surge (p 72)

 

Level 5:

Martial Archetype: Battle Master (5d8 superiority Dice) (p 73)

Student of war (p 73)

 

Level 6:

Fighting Style (p 85)

Heavy Hit (Divine Smite)
You know that perhaps the best way to victory is sometimes through your own action. Focusing your strength, you are able to expend the use of a battle order (spell slot) to increase the damage of your attack. This functions exactly like the Paladin’s Divine Smite ability on page 85. (Option: Per the DM’s allowance, you could reassign the damage type from radiant to the damage type weapon you are using)

 

Level 7: (1d8)

Jack of All Traits (p 54)

Battle Preparation
You know that the right mix of healing, inspiration, and comfort to help revitalize your wounded allies as they prepare for the next battle. This functions exactly as the Bard’s Song of Rest ability on page 54

 

Level 8:

Ability Score Increase

 

Level 9:
Extra Attack (p72)

 

Level 10: (1d8)

Expertise p 54

Combat Inspiration
Your inspiration now functions like a Bard’s Combat inspiration on page 55.

 

Level 11: (1d8)

Ability Score Increase

 

Level 12:

Call out (once per long rest)
In the thick of battle, calling out a foe can have a distinct advantage. This functions the same as the Vow of Enmity ability on page 88.

 

Level 13:

Ability Score Increase

 

Level 14: (1d8)

Font of Inspiration:
Your inspiration die are now d8s, and you regain all uses of your inspiration after a short rest.

 

Level 15:

Ability Score Increase

 

Level 16:

Know your enemy (p 73)

Additional Battle Maneuvers (p 73)

Additional Superiority Dice (6d8 total, p 73)

 

Level 17:

Ability Score Increase

 

Level 18:

Indomitable (p 72)

 

Level 19:

Superiority Dice are now d10 (6d10 total, p 73)

 

Level 20:

Extra Attack (2) (p 72)

 

The Good:

Part of my design philosophy in working with this build was to avoid any homebrew content. Frankly, I just don’t feel like I know the system well enough to warrant making new material.  In that regard, the build is a success. This build is made using multiclass rules and re-skinning of abilities, besides a few minor tweaks, there is no real home brew content.  I was also concerned that multiclassing in to 3 classes would make the build feel “stunted”, but I think the build levels nicely. You unlock new abilities during the first 10 levels and then spend the rest of your time honing your character’s skills. The warlord fulfills the combat role nicely, by level six you can use the Heavy Hit and battle maneuver to deal significant amounts of damage. With heavy armor, high hit points, 2 fighting styles, and an extra attack, warlords should be able to hold the line for the party while inspiring everyone to fight harder.

 

The Bad:

There is a lot going on with this build. You have Maneuvers, Battle Orders, Inspiration, and some other baggage (a re-skinned Lay on hands, Vow of Enmity, and Divine Sense) that could overwhelm you without focus. If you are the player that takes 20 minutes to decide what you do, you probably shouldn’t play this character. All the skills coming together can be difficult to manage if you really appreciate a focused class. Ultimately you are trading focus in a few areas, such as spell casting, for a plethora of slightly weaker options. Finally, not all spells can be re-skinned as a “Battle Order” and thus are basically not usable if you want to maintain the illusion that the warlord’s battle orders come from a martial power, and not an affinity with magic.

Oh, and this build only works with humans (although it is simple enough to be whatever race you want, and then not take the feat), and you would probably not have any success with a dexterity based build. Dump your bow, and grab your javelins.

 

 

Warlord Spell List

Cantrips
Guidance
Spare the Dying
Resistance

 

1st
Bless
Bane
Cure Wounds
Shield of Faith
Heroism
Healing Word

 

2nd
Aid
Calm Emotions
Lesser Restoration
Find Steed
Magic Weapon

 

3rd
Beacon of Hope
Mass Healing Word
Aurora of Vitality

 

4th
Aurora of Life
Aurora of Purity
Death Ward