November 12, 2018

Marshal

Base Class
Comments from the Finger: We always try to design our classes with a one-word hook. Here's "Leadership, the Class". 

Marshal

A half-elven man, regal and imposing, sits astride an armored warhorse. He is adorned in the outlandish attire of a high-ranking commander, his chest weighed down with ribbons and medals, and carries on his hip an ornately decorated saber. To his right, a powerfully built orcish woman in far less decorative attire sits astride her own horse, carrying a large, though pedestrian, greataxe. They begin their ride down the city road, accompanied by the blaring of trumpets and banging of drums, which announce their approach to the castle to receive yet another medal.
     A dwarven woman, shrouded in a cloak, sits huddled near the stump of a long-felled tree. Eyes surveying the darkened woods, she shudders from the cold. She makes every effort to shrug it off and conceal her need for the roar of the campfire, as she steels herself for her watch. Another dwarf, also a woman, taps her on the shoulder from behind. Handing the cloaked dwarf a bowl of stew, piping hot and fresh from the pot, she motions her towards the fire. After a moment of hesitation, the cloaked dwarf takes her bowl and digs in, taking a moment to glance with admiration and thanks, as her commander assumes the watch in her stead.
     An orc warchief sits in his tent, deliberating on his next move. He pores over the list of the dead from the most recent battle, knowing full well that the list will only grow longer; if he doesn’t pick his next target correctly, his whole clan will surely be wiped out. Wracked by indecision, he reviews the flurry of details again in his mind, and slouches low in his chair. Then, another orc, garbed in the clothing of a hunter and scout, barges into his tent and shoves a scroll into his hands: it’s just the news he needs. He laughs, stabs his knife into the map of his next, final target, and pops the cork from a bottle of mead: tomorrow, there shall be blood. And glory.
     Decisive leaders and brilliant strategists, marshals inspire their allies to greatness. Invariably, they stand alongside their cohorts, their devoted lieutenants, whom they entrust with their lives, and train for leadership. Marshals out-plan and out-strategize their enemies, overwhelming them with tight coordination and precise strikes. While these tactics rarely afford marshals the killing blow, it ensures they’re always on the winning side.

Fearless Leaders
People of all talents and walks of life aspire to leadership, but few innately inspire loyalty the way a marshal does, or are as comfortable in command. For a marshal, taking charge of a situation isn't an option, it’s the only course of action. Each marshal demonstrates supreme confidence while in command, but the best of them resolutely accept accountability for success and failure alike, a tendency that fosters true camaraderie in their followers and total loyalty in their cohorts.
     Moreover, marshals are trained in both the basics of combat styles and battlefield strategy. Where they themselves can’t be at the forefront of fighting, they ensure that the right people are leading the change to ensure victory. Marshals tend to be preoccupied with the big picture, planning for worst case scenarios and strategizing two steps ahead. They tend to look at the mettle and loyalty of their followers, rather than their intelligence or training, as a measure of their fitness for tasks.

Right Hand Man
Often, a great leader is only as good as their lieutenant, their right-hand man, appointed to execute their orders and safeguard their vision of success. Marshals entrust this responsibility to a cohort, who is far more than a simple soldier: they are a confidant, an advisor, a trusted friend, and a loyal companion. Cohorts see their commander as a wellspring of inspiration, and are bettered by the training and camaraderie following them brings, and will readily fight beside their commander to their dying breath.

Creating a Marshal
Marshals are consummate leaders and generals, though this can be realized in radically different ways. Your marshal may be an officer in an army, the chief of a tribe, the captain of a ship, or any other of a number of leadership roles. The only commonalities all marshals share are positions of authority and a natural inclination towards leadership.
     Importantly, you should consider what kind of leader your marshal is; not simply their choice of banner, but how they treat their subordinates, in what manner they give orders, and how they inspired their cohort. Do you rally others to their side with a magnetic personality or a stoic facade? How might you deal with a dilemma that offers no clear winning strategy? In what manner do you treat your foes once you’ve secured victory?
     You should also think of previous victories or defeats that have defined your marshal in the past. Has your story been that of a meteoric rise or a disgraceful fall? What event first thrust you into leadership, and how did you first take to it? Which success or defeat led you to the life of an adventurer?

Quick Build
You can make a Marshal quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Charisma your highest ability score, followed by Strength. Next, select History and Persuasion as your skills, and take the Dueling Fighting Style.

The Marshal
LevelProficiency BonusFeaturesBattle DiceCohort Feature
1st+2Born Leader, Fighting Style
2nd+2Cohort, True LoyaltyCohort feature
3rd+2Banner, War Tactics2d8
4th+2Ability Score Improvement2d8
5th+3Blitz2d8
6th+33d8Cohort feature
7th+3Banner feature3d8
8th+3Ability Score Improvement3d8
9th+4Advanced Tactics, General’s Resolve3d8
10th+43d10Cohort feature
11th+4Coordinated Strike3d10
12th+4Ability Score Improvement3d10
13th+5Banner feature3d10
14th+54d10Cohort feature
15th+5Lead by Example4d10
16th+5Ability Score Improvement4d10
17th+6Banner feature4d10
18th+6Immortal Legion4d10
19th+6Ability Score Improvement4d10
20th+6Warlord4d10Cohort feature

Class Features
As a marshal, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d8 per marshal level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per marshal level after 1st

Proficiencies
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None

Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Animal Handling, Athletics, Deception, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Persuasion

Equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted to you by your background:
  • (a) scale mail, or (b) leather armor 
  • A dagger and (a) a warhammer or (b) any simple weapon 
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) a shortbow and 20 arrows 
  • An embroidered standard and (a) a traveler's pack or (b) one kit you're proficient with

Born Leader
By 1st level, your competence and commanding personality lend you a knack for leadership. Common folk defer to your authority and influence, especially in times of crisis. As a result, you have advantage on any Charisma (Persuasion) check you make to convince someone to let you take charge of a situation or to give someone orders in a dangerous situation.
     Additionally, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of your Intelligence modifier, to any ability check you make related to planning, strategy, or tactics.

Fighting Style
At 1st level, you adopt a style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.
     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
     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. You must be wielding a shield.

Cohort
Starting at 2nd level, you gain a loyal cohort to who carries your banner and does battle in your name. Select a companion from the Cohort section; following an 8-hour initiation period, that creature becomes your cohort and gains all the benefits of your True Loyalty ability. You can have only one cohort at a time.
     If your cohort is ever slain, you can raise them from the dead by the usual methods, such as the raise dead spell, or you can spend 8 hours initiating a new cohort. If you do so, your previous cohort loses all abilities granted by your True Loyalty ability, even if it is later returned to life.

True Loyalty
The cohort you gain at 2nd level obeys your commands as best it can. Your cohort takes its turn immediately before or after your turn (your choice), and you determine its actions, decisions, attitudes, and so on. If you are incapacitated or absent, your companion acts on its own.
     Your cohort has abilities and game statistics determined in part by your marshal level. Your cohort uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own. In addition, at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 20th levels, your cohort gains new abilities based on its archetype. 
     Your cohort gains proficiency in skills listed in its statistics. It also gains proficiency with simple weapons, martial weapons, light, medium, or heavy armor if its statistics contain weapons or armor from that category. For each marshal level you gain after 2nd, your cohort gains an additional hit die and increases its hit points accordingly. 
     Whenever you gain the Ability Score Improvement class feature, your cohort’s abilities also improve. Your cohort can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or it can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, your companion can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature unless its description specifies otherwise. 
     Your cohort’s alignment is within one step of you own, and has a personality trait and flaw determined by the GM. Its bond is always, “I will follow my commander into any fray, and I will gladly fight by his/her side until my death.”
     Your cohort is always considered to be in range of your marshal features and abilities.

Banner
Starting at 3rd level, you adopt a banner which you fly in combat, serving as a beacon for your troops. You can select from the banners which are detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 7th, 13th, and 17th level.

War Tactics
Starting at 3rd level, you have a pool of battle dice, which are d8s, that use can use to bolster your allies or perform special maneuvers in combat. You begin with 2 battle dice, and regain all expended battle dice when you take a short or long rest, or when you roll initiative.
     Your battle die changes and more battle dice become available when you reach certain levels in this class, as shown on the Battle Dice column of the Marshal table.
     You can spend battle dice to use the following maneuvers:
     Brace. As a bonus action on your turn, you can expend a battle die to bolster your allies. Each allied creature within 30 feet of you that can see or hear you adds the battle die to all saving throws it makes until the end of your next turn.
     Rally. As a bonus action on your turn, you can expend a battle die to choose one allied creature within 60 feet of you who can see or hear you. That creature regains hit points equal to the die rolled + your Charisma modifier. You cannot use this ability to heal a creature who has 0 hit points. 
     Staggering Strike. As a bonus action when you take the Attack action on your turn, you can expand a battle die to attempt to stun a humanoid target. On a hit, the target must make a Constitution saving throw (DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier) or be incapacitated until the beginning of your next turn.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Blitz
Starting at 5th level, as a bonus action on your turn, you can direct your cohort or a friendly creature within 60 feet that can see or hear you to fight alongside you. The chosen creature uses its reaction to move up to its movement speed or make a single weapon attack.

Advanced Tactics
At 9th level, your maneuvers improve in the following ways:
     Brace. Allies can also add the battle die to their ability checks until the beginning of your next turn.
     Rally. Whenever you spend a battle die to cause a creature to regain hit points, that creature also gains temporary hit points equal to your marshal level. 
     Staggering Strike. When you hit with a staggering strike, you add the battle die to the damage roll.

General’s Resolve
By 9th level, you can shake off compulsions and fear that would cripple a normal man. You can't be charmed or frightened. Also, each friendly creature within 10 feet of you has advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Coordinated Strike
By 11th level, you and your cohort fight as a perfect fighting unit. Whenever you attack a creature that your cohort hit with a weapon attack since the end of your last turn, you deal an additional 2d8 damage on a hit.

Lead by Example
Starting at 15th level, whenever you roll a 20 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, each friendly creature within 30 feet has advantage any time they make that same type of roll (attack roll, ability check, or saving throw) until the beginning of your next turn.

Immortal Legion
At 18th level, when a friendly creature within 120 feet that can see or hear you drops to 0 hit points, but is not killed outright, you can use your reaction to cause that creature to drop to 1 hit point instead.
     Once you use this ability, you must finish a short or long rest before you can do so again.

Warlord
At 20th level, when a friendly creature you can see within 30 feet makes an attack against a creature within its range and misses, you can turn the miss into a hit. Alternatively, if it makes a saving throw and fails, you can turn it into a success.
     Once you use this ability, you must finish a long rest before you can do so again.


Banners

Marshals of all kinds endeavor to be true kings of the battlefield, mastering all of its secrets, and gathering the best men to their side to fight in their armies. To that end, they adopt symbols denoting their command style, values, and skills.

Eagle
With sharp eyes and even sharper arrows, marshals of the Eagle seek to be lords of speed and ranged combat, mastering bow, sling, and ballista alike.

Maneuver: Eagle Shot
Starting when you choose this banner at 3rd level, you learn the following maneuver:
     When you make a ranged weapon attack roll against a creature, you can use your bonus action and expend a battle die to add it to the roll. You can use this ability before or after making the attack roll, but before the GM says whether the attack hits or misses.

Vantage Point
By 7th level, you can quickly scale walls to gain a perch above your foes. Climbing no longer costs you extra movement. In addition, by climbing at half speed, you can climb up difficult surfaces (such as vertical walls) without making an ability check.

Close-Quarters Shooting
At 13th level, being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls or the ranged attack rolls of friendly creatures within 20 feet of you.

Darken the Skies
Starting at 17th level, when you take the Attack action on your turn, you can fire a hail of arrows. You can use your action to make a ranged attack against any number of creatures within 10 feet of a point you can see within your weapon’s range. You must have ammunition for each target, as normal, and you make a separate attack roll for each target. A creature only benefits from cover from these attacks if it is sheltered from overhead.
     Additionally, you can use your bonus action to command an ally that can see or hear you to join the arrow rain. The chosen creature uses its reaction to make a single ranged weapon attack against one of the creatures you targeted.

Lion
Bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, mastery of horsemanship and mounted combat, and unwavering honor are the hallmarks of marshals of the Lion.

Maneuver: Lion’s Challenge
Starting when you choose this banner at 3rd level, you learn the following maneuver:
     As a bonus action when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one battle die to challenge the target to a duel. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC equals 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus). On a failed save, the target has disadvantage on all attack rolls against targets other than you until the end of your next turn.

Saddle Sure
At 7th level, you have advantage on saving throws made to avoid falling off your mount. If you fall off your mount, you always land on your feet if you are capable of taking actions. Mounting or dismounting a creature costs you only 5 feet of movement, rather than half your speed.
     Additionally, you can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead.

Reposition
Starting at 13th level, you and up to three friendly creatures you choose can each move up to 20 feet when you roll initiative.

Lion’s Gambit
Starting at 17th level, when you take damage from a creature that is within 5 feet of you. you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature and add half your level to the damage roll.
     You can make this attack three times, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a short or long rest.


Cohorts

More than a mere soldier in your army, your cohort is the most steadfast of allies, is loyal to a fault, and will likely be a lifelong ally and friend. But not all cohorts are cut from the same cloth or possess the same skillschoose from the following archetypes when you enlist a new cohort.

Berserker
Vicious and wild, the Berserker tears across the battlefield in a wild frenzy, devastating its enemies with boundless rage.

Berserker
Medium humanoid (any race), any alignment 
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 13 (2d8 + 4)
Speed 30 ft. 
STR 14 (+2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 14 (+2)
INT 9 (-1) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 9 (-1) 
Skills Athletics +4, Survival +3
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages any one language (usually Common)
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) 
Cohort. While following the command of a marshal, the berserker gains additional abilities based on the marshal’s level: 
2nd. Rage (Recharges after a Long Rest). The berserker can enter a rage as a bonus action, gaining the following benefits for 1 minute:
• The berserker has advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
• The berserker deals an additional 2 damage on melee weapon damage rolls.
• The berserker has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
This rage ends early if the berserker is knocked unconscious or if the berserker does not attack a hostile creature or take damage on its turn. The berserker can also end its rage on his turn as a bonus action.
2nd. Unarmored Defense. While not wearing armor, the berserker gains a bonus to AC equal to its Constitution modifier.
6th. Relentless (Recharges after a Long Rest). If the berserker takes damage that would reduce it to 0 hit points, it is reduced to 1 hit point instead.
10th. Rage. The berserker can rage twice before requiring a long rest and deals an additional 3 on melee weapon damage rolls while raging.
14th. Brutal Critical. The berserker deals an additional die of damage on a critical hit.
20th. Rage. The berserker can rage three times before requiring a long rest and deals an additional 4 damage on melee weapon damage rolls while raging. 
ACTIONS
Greataxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d12 + 2) slashing damage.
Handaxe. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) slashing damage.

Champion
A Champion is a skilled, tactical fighter, just as comfortable in the saddle during military drills as armored on the field of battle.

Champion
Medium humanoid (any race), any alignment 
Armor Class 16 (scale mail, shield)
Hit Points 11 (2d8 + 2)
Speed 30 ft. 
STR 14 (+2) DEX 11 (+0) CON 13 (+1)
INT 11 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 9 (-1) 
Skills Athletics +4, Handle Animal +3
Saving Throws Strength +4, Constitution +3
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages any one language (usually Common)
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) 
Cohort. While following the command of a marshal, the champion gains additional abilities based on the marshal’s level:
2nd. Ability Score Increase. The champion’s Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution increases by scores by 2, to a maximum of 20.
2nd. Martial Prowess. The champion deals an additional 2 damage on melee weapon damage rolls.
6th. Second Wind (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest).  On his turn, the champion can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + the marshal’s level.
10th. Martial Prowess. The champion deals an additional 4 damage on melee weapon damage rolls.
10th. Deadly Accuracy. The champion’s weapon attack rolls score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
14th. Defensive Prowess. While wearing armor, the champion’s AC increases by 1.
20th. Martial Advantage (1/Turn). The champion can deal an additional 7 (2d6) damage to a creature it hits with a weapon attack if that creature is within 5 feet of an ally of the champion that isn’t incapacitated. 
ACTIONS
Javelin. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) piercing damage.
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) slashing damage, or 7 (1d10 + 2) slashing damage if used in two hands.

Hunter
A Hunter is a naturally skilled tracker and outlander, as comfortable in the depths of the woods as in a tavern or or town.

Hunter
Medium humanoid (any race), any alignment 
Armor Class 14 (studded leather armor)
Hit Points 11 (2d8 + 2)
Speed 30 ft. 
STR 10 (+0) DEX 14 (+2) CON 12 (+1)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 9 (-1) 
Skills Nature +2, Survival +4
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages any one language (usually Common)
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) 
Cohort. While following the command of a marshal, the hunter gains additional abilities based on the marshal’s level:
2nd. Sharpshooter. The hunter adds 2 to its ranged weapon attack rolls.
6th. Spellcasting. The hunter is a 1st-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC = 8 + the hunter’s Wisdom modifier + the marshal’s proficiency bonus, spell attack modifier = 10 + the hunter’s Wisdom modifier + the marshal’s proficiency bonus). The hunter has following ranger spells prepared:
     1st level (2 slots): animal friendship, hunter’s mark
10th. Evasion. If the hunter is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, the hunter instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.
10th. Two-Weapon Fighting. If the hunter wields two light melee weapons, it can use a bonus action to make an additional melee weapon attack. It does not add its ability score modifier to the damage of the second attack.
14th. Spellcasting. The hunter has the additional following ranger spells prepared:
     2nd level (2 slots): pass without trace, spike growth
20th. Spellcasting. The hunter has the additional following ranger spells prepared:
     3rd level (2 slots): call lightning, protection from energy 
ACTIONS
Longbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage.
Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) slashing damage.

Stalker
Stealthy and subversive, the Stalker is just as adept an assassin as a burglar or thief.

Stalker
Medium humanoid (any race), any alignment 
Armor Class 14 (studded leather armor)
Hit Points 9 (2d8)
Speed 30 ft. 
STR 9 (-1) DEX 14 (+2) CON 11 (+0)
INT 13 (+1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 11 (+0)
Skills Acrobatics +4, Stealth +4
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages any one language (usually Common)
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) 
Cohort. While following the command of a marshal, the stalker gains additional abilities based on the marshal’s level:
2nd. Expertise. The stalker doubles the proficiency bonus added to two of the skills or tools it is proficient in.
2nd. Sneak Attack (1/Turn). The stalker deals an extra 3 (1d6) damage when it hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of the stalker that isn't incapacitated and the stalker doesn't have disadvantage on the attack roll.
6th. Sneak Attack. The stalker’s Sneak Attack damage increases to 2d6.
6th. Uncanny Dodge. When the stalker takes damage from an effect it can see, it can halve that damage as a reaction.
10th. Evasion. If the stalker is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, the stalker instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.
10th. Sneak Attack. The stalker’s Sneak Attack damage increases to 3d6.
10th. Two-Weapon Fighting. If the stalker wields two light melee weapons, it can use a bonus action to make an additional melee weapon attack. It does not add its ability score modifier to the damage of the second attack.
14th. Sneak Attack. The stalker’s Sneak Attack damage increases to 4d6.
20th. Assassinate. During its first turn, the stalker has advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn't taken a turn. Any hit the stalker scores against a surprised creature is a critical hit. 
ACTIONS
Short Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) slashing damage.
Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.



Changelog:
11/13/18: Cohort: Stalker: Shortsword deals d6 damage
11/14/18: Banner: Levels in feature description updated to match table

49 comments:

  1. Is there any updates to the class since the Patreon release?

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    1. Nothing substantial. I think there was a small change to Cohort proficiencies. As we make additional changes, this will be the most up to date file.

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  2. Just going to point out, under Short Sword for the Stalker cohort, it says 1d8 + 2 slashing damage. If this is intentional, then it's fine, but I just figured I should point it out.

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    1. It should for sure be a d6. I'll change it soon

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  3. The berserke's ac should be 14. Love the class btw.

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    1. Their AC only becomes 14 when used as a cohort. That's not built into the NPC by default because the Cohort trait only applies when they're used alongside a marshal.

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  4. There is so much role-play potential here! I love it. As a request, would you consider a cohort with a warlock or priest style. limited like the others of course. it would allow you to play as things like the Cult leader and loyal cultist, or the noble commander and his battlefield medic. i understand it would be harder to do because they are spell heavy classes to be using, but i would like to know if you think its something that could be balanced.

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    1. We absolutely have plans to do that in the future, along with a proper Mage cohort. We'll definitely tackle them when we next expand the class, if not sooner.

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  5. I just feel like this would be an awesome way to play a batman/robin character archetype.

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  6. Lovely. I like how you've boiled down some classes/subclasses to form these NPC's.

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  7. Is there supposed to be a PDF for this, because I don't see one. If not, then please disregard this comment.

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    1. There /should/ be. I think I broke the HTML. It'll be up in a minute.

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  8. I think this is the first time I have seen that you didn't release a downloadable pdf with the homebrew; but perhaps I just haven't been paying attention and/or haven't been on this site long enough.

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  9. Would you tack on racial abilities to the cohort stat block, once you select a race for the cohort?

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    1. You can, for sure. Use the rules for customizing NPCs in the Monster Manual.

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  10. Banners class feature at level 3 shows wrong levels at which you get new features, when compared with the description of the Banners features.

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    1. Oh, sure enough. Could have sworn I fixed that. Table is correct; I'll change the feature shortly.

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  11. In the future, I would love to see banners for defensive, hold-the-line style tactics, stealthy stuff like ambush tactics, extended deployment SPEC-OPs and the like (or the batman and robin idea someone else mentioned), pararescue style activity and combined arms.

    Likewise, a few examples of doing cohorts of unusual sophonts, like a wyrmling dragon growing as you level, a fledgeling beholder that you are raising to not be an asshole, a sophont construct that your late artificer father/uncle/friend bestowed upon you on their deathbead, not!tinkerbell and so on.

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  12. My suggestion would be an “ascetic/martial artist” cohort. That could easily be reflavored as a side kick.

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  13. For some reason, I keep picturing a party involving a Marshal (Lion Banner), a Warmage (House of Kings), a Rogue (Mastermind), and a Cleric (Order Domain). Each one would struggle on its own, but as a team, they'd be a force to be reckoned with as each one serves to bolster the others.

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  14. So seeing this again reminded me of my characters I had created for a campaign that fell through: They were all MFoV classes and the characters were all related to the same couple, a Husband (Human Wizard/Arcane Trickster) and his Wife (Human Sorcerer/Bard/Warlock). If one died I was going to have the party run across another as they are trying to find their parents (either because they are missing or because they don't know who they actually are).

    The Shugenja was the illegetamete, Aassimar child of the Husband and the high priestess of a holy order.

    the Gunslinger was the Wives half elven child with an Elven Noble;

    the Alchemist his full Elf sister that helped him develop gunpowder;

    the Channeler was a Fire Genasi whose elemental mother was... ravished by the Husband as he robbed the Wizard that had summoned it;

    The Warden was the half-Orc Daughter of the Wife abandoned in the woods with her Orc father.

    the Witch was the Tiefling son of a Noblewoman whom the husband had woo'ed on her wedding day:

    the Warmage was a Saytre child of the Husband whom was caught in a Fey circle for a time.

    The Only one that was a child of the Husband and the Wife was the Human Craftsman, who helped his half elf brother make his guns for the first time.

    I tell you this because the Marshall was the one I ran out of half-races for. I went Goliath but couldn't find evidence that they were actually Half-Giants. I need another few half race's for the Engineer and the Binder (If I can ever figure out how to make one) now, if only for completion if nothing else... Love these classes guys.

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    1. A yuan-ti-pb could be half (or former) human I suppose. Maybe even a triton, but not canonically.

      Also, there's no canon on the offspring of, say, a hobgoblin and human, or gith and human.

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    2. I know, right! I considered a Spirithost from the Men and Monsters book... or is it Monster and Men? Thats were I pulled the Saytre from too. Yuan-Ti could fit well... my Goliath Marshall is the result of an experiment that ended with the Wife Sacrificing a Giant to see if she COULD make a Goliath.

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    3. The MHP patreon has a PDF with near-human feats, which is a bunch of feats that you can take as a variant human to be a half-human half-[whatever the feat corresponds to]

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    4. Yes... But IDK, I feel like thats a bit... too human. More like a few generations back kinda thing, though I will go back and reread the whole section.

      Those characters were more or less this couple who neither could keep it in their pants and had a bunch of, if you mind my language, half breed children. The fact that this Dark Enchantress and this Gentlemanly Wizard Thief left so many kids was the running plot/joke/gimmick.

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    8. Okay I deleted my other replies because I wanted to get all my ideas on one page. You could go with a living construct (such as warforged, awakened golem, vect, or matryoshka) that was built by one of them (they are both arcane casters so this could work), a revenant (possibly one that was actually raised by them but lost large pieces of their memory when they died), a dhampyr, a fletching, a kalashtar, or a Simic Hydri (should be easy to reflavor it as just a magic hybrid).

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    1. Alpha drops literally today at noon. I'll make a post and stuff

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    2. I meant like a Space Marine cohort or something along those lines

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  16. when you select a race for your cohort does it get the races ability scores applied to the cohorts blocks provided here?

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    1. I wouldn't change the ability scores, but I'd add racial traits. For reference, see the rules for customizing NPCs in the Monster Manual.

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  17. Marshal's really cool. I wanna remind everyone that if you take the knight variant background you get 3 commoners, which goes really well with this.

    How Dark Matter going? Any chance for a full pdf soon? I'm starting a new campaign soon and might make it a Dark Matter campaign :)

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    1. The alpha literally drops today at noon (CST).

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  18. Could you make a PC your cohort? Like say the Marshal is a ship captain and the cohort is the PC first mate?

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    1. You could, but i imagine most players would rather play a full powered character than an equivalent to another player's pet. However it could work great for that player who can't show every session.

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  19. I love that the subclasses are banners, is such an original and thematic choice. As a player, you probably pick the banner because you want access to it's features; but the character in the fiction is probably picking a banner that represents their newly found abilities. It also leaves a lot of room for additional options.

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  20. Can cohorts attune to magic items? (can i give my champion a +1/2/3 magic sword and magic plate?)

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    1. I would think so, yes, in the same way that a normal NPC could.

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    2. Currently playing a revised Alchemist Alseid in Storm kings thunder, if he dies, definitley gonna switch to a rwby esque duo (jaune-phyrra) of a super average (10-14 stats) but very charismatic guy (20) and a champion cohort that might end up with some of the demigod feats you guys published

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  22. Crazy question
    Lets say I do a Marshal with heavy druidic influence, could I have a beast as a cohort instead of a humanoid (with the necessary changes, as in a beast would not speak any language normally)?
    Or you know, if I really really want my cohort to be a great white wolf with a sword on his mouth?

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