When preview material for the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons first started to come out, what excited me the most was probably the addition of the Warlord class. The Races & Monsters preview book described the class alongside pictures of armored warriors covered in weapons (both melee and ranged), shouting orders and pointing out tactics to their allies. When 4e was finally released the Warlord class was extremely interesting and very new, but completely lacked that “Weapons Master” feel that I had really wanted to associate with the concept. In fact, it had no ranged attacks or abilities at all.
It wasn’t until late last year when I found a post by Wyatt on his blog detailing rules for a ranged Warlord build, and I found myself thinking it could definitely be presented as a great add-on to the core rules. So that’s exactly what I set out to do, and today I present to you a preview of the first three levels of our Ranged Warlord!
These rules were originally written entirely by Wyatt from Spirits of Eden, but I liked it so much I asked for his permission to take his ideas and run with them. In the end I worked to edit them, balance them against the core rules, and format them so that they fit in with the other rules provided for 4th Edition. Then I ran everything by Wyatt and received his blessing on it. If you’re as excited as I am to try it out, please use these rules here as a playtest. We welcome all feedback on it and are definitely curious how it stands up during play. The rules presented here are still a work in progress: the final build will include powers all the way up to level 30 (excluding utility powers because the existing ones are just as useful for a ranged warlord as they are for the melee builds), as well as possibly a few paragon paths to go along with the ranged concept. The full build should be released in the next two months, but if I hear a lot of good feedback and encouragement I just might finish it sooner!
Backrow Commander Warlord
Your leadership takes the form of quick commands, cunning strategy, bold action and tactical superiority – but not from the front lines. Behind your allies, or close to them, you observe the battlefield with your sharp wits and quick reflexes, seeing through your enemy’s tactics and finding the flaw that can shatter them. You might also take a more daring approach, coming closer to the danger zone to stand by your allies despite your lack of a blade, taking the cuts and bruises along with them. You assist your allies by creating opportunities for them to strike and by damaging your enemies from afar. Other warlords strike viciously and topple enemies – but you strike meticulously, with a calculating eye, knowing that small strikes and exploited openings will quickly add up. You are more effective at defeating melee attackers, but even slippery ranged attackers can be outmaneuvered with a well-aimed bolt. You use your Dexterity for your attacks, so make that your best ability score. Many of your powers will use your Intelligence or Charisma modifier – choose one to make your second best score. Wisdom should be your third best score to increase your Perception skills, or perhaps the score you did not choose out of Intelligence or Charisma, to allow you a more versatile selection. You should greatly considering getting training in Perception to enhance your view of even the most minute details on the field.
New Class Feature:
The Ranged Mastery class feature is available to any warlord who wishes to command from behind a wall of soldiers and focus on Dexterity, rather than Strength. To select this class feature, you must give up the Commanding Presence class feature, in addition to proficiency in chainmail and military melee weapons.
Ranged Mastery: You gain proficiency in military ranged weapons, access to all ranged Warlord powers, and the range of your Combat Leader class feature is increased to 15 squares. You may still take any of the Warlord powers listed in the Player’s Handbook and Martial Power.
Level 1 At-Will Exploits
Level 1 Encounter Exploits
Level 1 Daily Exploits
Level 3 Encounter Exploits
Some of the powers (especially Ricochet Shot) are still being re-written for clearer wording, but hopefully you can get the gist of how the power works from this post. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!