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Call to Arms: The Warlord
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Call to Arms: The Warlord

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The time for battle is now! Monsters tumble out of the dark, wicked drow hatch vile plots, demons eager to invade the Material Plane clamor at the edges of reality, and bizarre aberrations pursue mad agendas that will plunge the world and all the planes into chaos. The people need champions to throw back the darkness, to take the fight to the dread enemies, and thwart their evil designs. While adventurers of all kinds answer the call to battle, from courageous fighters to cunning rogues, fell wizards and wise clerics, they aren’t the only ones capable of take a brave stand. Joining them is a new breed of warrior: those brilliant tacticians and inspiring leaders known as warlords. These battle-hardened champions lead the charge into combat and through their insights, tricks, and stratagems, they enable all who fight at their sides to achieve their full potential to triumph in the face of any adversity. 

     Call to Arms: The Warlord returns a popular archetype from older editions of the world’s most popular roleplaying game to the present. First and foremost a leader, warlords aid their allies through their design and implementation of brilliant combat plans. A welcome addition to any group, warlords can help turn the tide of battle, snatching ultimate victory from the jaws of certain defeat!

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (18)
Customer avatar
Sebastian B January 20, 2019 1:51 am UTC
Under Inspiring Speech it says "hear your speed" when it should be "hear your speech".
Customer avatar
Lennon R January 19, 2019 10:48 pm UTC
Inspiring Speech says:

You and any friendly creatures that can hear your speed gain temporary hit points.

If I wear boots of elvenkind, can *anyone* hear my speed?! :O ;)
Customer avatar
Christopher K January 17, 2019 2:13 am UTC
This pdf needs at least one more pass by an editor, and the class is generally a mess of overpowered and underpowered features.
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Jonathan L January 17, 2019 1:55 am UTC
I'd like to suggest that it would be clarificatory to be explicit that the Warlord is supposed to get Wisdom and Constitution as its proficient saves as a deliberate feature of the class, perhaps as a separate class feature entry, in order to dispense with the idea that this is somehow a mistake or isn't consistent with the way all other classes have their save proficiencies assigned.
Customer avatar
George L January 17, 2019 3:55 pm UTC
I agree. If the intent was to go against the design of all core 5th edition classes, it should definitely be clearly stated. By design, all existing core classes have saving throws based on the ability scores that affect the class and subclasses. They encourage having a high value to allow classes to be better at their jobs. Wisdom isn't mentioned anywhere else in the class description and doesn't seem fit the core design of 5th edition classes. However, Charisma does as most of the abilities have Charisma based uses per day. Constitution makes sense as they would need more HP to survive up close in battle, but I can also see Dexterity being an equal fit for survival (aoe spell saves, AC, finesse attack bonuses, etc). The whole class reads as a spell-less Bard, and I love that idea. It just needs to be properly balanced.
Customer avatar
Dyer R January 16, 2019 6:45 pm UTC
This class comes with more than just 1 subclass, it in fact, comes with FIVE (5)!!

I just downloaded it, and haven't had a chance yet to read it. but i did want to state for anyone curious, who might, like i did, look through comments to try to confirm how many subclasses this class provides, because i was concerned since no others were mentioned.

I also feel based on work put in and quality, that $2.50 is far too low.
Customer avatar
Christopher R January 16, 2019 4:24 pm UTC
This class is really cool and flavorful. Love it! Here are some thoughts I'd like to share on it:

1) As others have suggested, having two good saves as a starting proficiency is a bit weird for a 5e class. If you want this class to be particularly good at resisting magic effects, I would make it a class feature and push it back past level 2 so it works better as something a multiclass character needs to invest in. Alternatively, you could make the extra save proficiency an aspect of the subclasses.

2) I'd like to echo Michael O's recommendation to put a duration on Battlefield Commands, maybe 10 minutes. As it currently is worded, you could use a "battlefield command" to get a buff on a persuasion check you make the next day. It's a bit awkward for the flavor.

3) I get that Attack Command comes after Extra Attack and that makes sense, but I would actually switch Attack Command and Commanding Presence so that you get Attack Command at level 1 and Commanding Presence...See more
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donovan D January 19, 2019 8:35 pm UTC
"I would actually switch Attack Command and Commanding Presence so that you get Attack Command at level 1 and Commanding Presence at level 6."

Looks like the author made this change in v4 though the names of the two features were tweaked as well. Much much better now, so thank you for the suggestion. I agree that 'Enabling' allies to attack is the core feature that makes a Warlord distinct, and it's really annoying when defining class features are pushed off too late in the progression. And the damage boosting Aura was way too 'dippable' in a multiclassing spec before.

Also since paladin's Aura of Protection is a level 6 feature, putting the warlord's aura at that level feels right to me. Tangentially, I now want to play in a party with a Warlord and a Paladin and stand between them. :)
Customer avatar
Ricardo N January 16, 2019 2:56 pm UTC
Great class and great concepts!

I feel that the class looks balanced. My only suggestion would be to take another look at the Inspiring Speech Class Feature. I find it to be a little bit lackluster and feel it could be completely overshadowed in mid to high tier gameplay. I don't know, level 2 seems a bit 'dead' at this stage.

My suggestion would be to leave it as it is, but swap it with Commanding Presence. Thus, at 1st level you would get your battle commands, which scale, and a minor boon in Inspiring Speech. 2nd Level would get Commanding Presence, which also scales, and is a beefier benefit, more akin to the Fighter's Action Surge, for instance.

A couple of ideas, if you feel like changing it would be:
- Change the Class Feature so that it allows your allies to reroll up to three spent hit dice, keeping the higher results or;
- Change it to allow you (the warlord) to spend a reaction to grant command dice to an ally that is struck by another creature....See more
Customer avatar
Paul P January 16, 2019 2:31 pm UTC
Phenomenal guide! I am thinking of multiclassing my Warlock Pact of the Blade into this for some really fun antics. (playing the traditional chaotic neutral tiefling)
Stratagem of the Shrewd Commander - Attention to detail - it states that you regain the uses after a rest, but it doesn't specify long or short rest as the rest of the PDF does. Which might it be?
Customer avatar
Daniel D January 16, 2019 4:32 am UTC
I really like this class! It could use some rebalancing, I know that much, but I think people who know more about game design and balance, and can say it better than I can, have already mentioned anything worth mentioning. And beyond that, I think this class is so interesting and flavorful and I will absolutely be adding it to my (increasingly expansive) collection of certified and approved homebrewed materials!
Customer avatar
Alex S January 16, 2019 4:08 am UTC
Very interesting framework but could use some balance and focus. I am considering whether to allow this is a campaign that I am running and will likely wait to see the updates. I agree with most of George L's comments and other comments about some of the basic class design elements (ie. saves).

The core mechanic of the class seems to be the Battlefield Commands. Right now they feel much less impactful than the passive bonus from Commanding Presence and some of the later passive Strategem bonuses. Here are some suggestions to take or leave as you like:

* Standardize the number of dice per short rest - more like the Superiority Dice for the fighter - so that there isn't so much riding on a high CHA score. Use CHA to determine the maximum number of dice that you can give to a single ally.

* Have more dice available but allow them to be used to enhance damage rolls as well. This could replace Commanding Presence.

* Allow people to choose whether to use the dice after...See more
Customer avatar
LI JEN L January 16, 2019 3:02 am UTC
FINALLY. A Character Class To Accurately Simulate Sun-Tzu (Author of “Art Of War”) And Captain Steve Rogers!

Because The Class Features instantly reminded me of “The Avengers”, where Through Ironclad Strategy and Formation, Captain Rogers was able to make Six Warriors fight like Six-*Hundred*.
Customer avatar
Donald F January 16, 2019 12:54 am UTC
Is this approved by wizards as an official class like the Bard etc?
Customer avatar
George L January 16, 2019 9:11 pm UTC
No, it's not an official class. However it was created by Schwalb, who was a designer on the Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes in addition to designing A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game for Green Ronin and his own Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG.
Customer avatar
George L January 15, 2019 11:47 pm UTC
Just bought this and I love it! There are a few balance issues, but I think it's an incredible addition to the existing classes of 5e:

* Overall, I think it needs to be made clear that the majority of the abilities cannot be used by the Warlord, but rather her allies. Unless I'm reading many of them wrong.

* Being Charisma is repeatedly used throughout the class, it seems clear to me that saving throw proficiencies should be Constitution and Charisma. Putting wisdom feels like an oversight.

* Battlefield Commands - need to be rewritten so that it's delivered as a Bonus Action, the Warlord can issue a command to an ally. Maximum number of commands equal to her Charisma bonus (min 1), and all are restored on a Short Rest. Then this needs to become the primary resource for how many of the abilities and commands are delivered, not all given out before a fight starts.

* Commanding Presence - may be extremely overpowered at low levels. Especially in campaigns where...See more
Customer avatar
George L January 16, 2019 9:18 pm UTC
One thing I forgot to mention was that because they are in the center of combat, and many of the bonuses and benefits of the Warlord affect other allies, shouldn't they get to choose a Fighting Style at 2nd or 3rd level?

* Archery: You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
* Defense: While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
* Dueling: When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
* Great Weapon Fighting: When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.
* Protection: When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll....See more
Customer avatar
donovan D January 16, 2019 11:16 pm UTC
I love a lot of your suggestions above there, and may make some of those tweaks to this class before including in any of my games.

But with regard to the Fighting Style, I think the intention was to make Warlords more generalists while leaving weapon style specializations to the Fighters, Rangers, and Paladins? Maybe because unlike Rangers and Paladins, Warlords get that 3rd attack at 11th? And of course Warlord gets a whole lot of scaling features that Fighters don't get. Could have been a balance decision to encourage the warlord to use their attacks to enabler teammate attacks, rather than being melee powerhouses on par with a Fighter.

Though of course a Fighting Style isn't outside the motif at all. If I were to add that feature, I might remove another though. In fact, to get similar flavor but mostly retain the balance, I could see removing Inspiring Speech at level 2 and instead adding...

Battle Training - Gain one of the following feats: Athlete, Charger, Defensive...See more
Customer avatar
Levi W January 15, 2019 10:54 pm UTC
Sorry, friend. I can't really support this class. The wording or mechanics (I can't tell which) is holding back a few of the abilities from making sense and being balanced. Level 1, commanding presence, gives an extra modifier to damage to not only your allies, but you also (you are a friendly creature within 10 feet). Gaining a second modifier (a main class ability at that) to damage at level 1 is not friendly to balance and the issue of power creep. The only way to get that much extra damage on an attack so early is adding it to a cantrip, which you don't get modifiers on. Not to mention being able to stack warlords and break the game.
Advantageous action is also in need of revision as it basically says:
"You can have a bonus action. You can only use a bonus action to use "help" except you can do things help doesn't do."
Reviving anyone with a bonus action? Healing word was already broken. You don't need it as a constant effect for someone bleeding out. It makes no sense...See more
Customer avatar
Michael P January 15, 2019 5:17 pm UTC
Question - is this a new complete class, or subclass of an existing one?
Customer avatar
January 15, 2019 6:36 pm UTC
Completely new class.
Customer avatar
Michael O January 15, 2019 2:58 pm UTC
First, let me say that this is a beautiful product that aims to fill a niche demanded by large swaths of 4e veterans. The style, layout, and art are on point. I’m hopeful that with some mechanical refining, this can become the standard for the 5e Warlord. To that end, I have some comments on the base class:

Classes are built with one strong save and one weak save. The class gives proficiency in Constitution and Wisdom saves. This is imbalanced and deviates from standard class design.

Starting Equipment is as strong and versatile as the starting equipment for any other class. It’s basically the Fighter equipment with spears swapped for handaxes. Perhaps this makes sense for the Warlord, but I’d appreciate a little greater variance.

Battlefield Commands is too strong because it exists outside the action economy. Compare with Bardic Inspiration which costs a bonus action. Narratively, this doesn’t jive because nothing happens when you roll initiative. It’s just the...See more
Customer avatar
January 15, 2019 6:36 pm UTC
Thanks for the feedback!
Customer avatar
January 15, 2019 8:10 pm UTC
You should have an updated file by tomorrow morning.
Customer avatar
Michael O January 15, 2019 8:23 pm UTC
You're welcome! I added you folks on Twitter (@thinkingDM) so we can keep the discussion going.
Customer avatar
Christopher R January 15, 2019 9:26 pm UTC
Great review! Just wanted to add one thing: the Help action can either target a friendly ally to help them with an ability check, or an enemy to help an ally attack them (so you'd be targeting the enemy with a feint or distraction or something). I think the ability envisions you being able to grant an ally advantage on an attack (by targeting an enemy) while simultaneously giving a benefit to an ally.
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File Last Updated:
January 19, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on January 14, 2019.