Our goal with this new column is to adopt a more Unearthed Arcana style to class building; that is, develop a more or less complete class, take a nice chunk of it, and make it available for you all to view, critique, playtest, and entirely break. It is our hope that this will lead to a more balanced, effective, and intuitive new class, and fewer post-releace balance changes and fixes.
The first up on offer is the Warlord. While sharing a name and general concept with the 4e class, this is not an adaptation. The concept here was to create a fully martial class that had both battlefield control and party support abilities, while still being fun to play. My initial draft was fully functional, and seemed to be balanced, but it felt bland, and was lacking some real punch: fighters had more attacks, bards and clerics have spells, barbarians have rage, etc. To that end, the warlord has something that no other class has: A cohort!
A cohort, in this sense, is another creature of one of the standard races, who increases in power as you gain levels in the warlord class. While not specifically gaining PC levels themselves, they gain abilities from a specific class based on the warlord subclass you choose.
All in all, we hope this is something that interests you, and we eagerly anticipate your feedback!