April 8, 2016


Martial Archetype
Note from the Palm: This was inspired by recent re-watching of Reign: The Conqueror, the weird, Aeon Flux-style retelling of the story of Alexander the Great. In it, he is obsessed with speed, sure that it is the absolute key to overwhelming victory. Lots of these abilities would work very well for a Calvary-based class, but i wanted to build something that did this on foot, not a Cavalier. In any case, enjoy!


In combat, there are situations where each weapon is important: In duels, it is the sword, flexible and strong, good for attack and defense; In brutal melee, the axe and the hammer win the day, pounding through armor and crushing the warrior beneath; In siege, the ballista can strike with great force that which cannot be destroyed by man alone. In war, however, it is the spear and the arrow that win the day: quick, long reaching, and able to kill the enemy before they know they are dead.
     Here, in this spot, at the tip of the spear, is the Vanguard.

Starting at 3rd level, on your turn, you deal an additional 1d8 damage on the first melee attack made after you move at least 10 feet in a straight line towards your target. You may do this multiple times on the same turn, but you must move at least 10 feet in a straight line towards your target between each attack, and you cannot use this ability against the same creature more than once per turn. This damage increases to 2d8 at level 10, and 3d8 at level 18.
   Alternatively, you may use your momentum to knock your target away or flatten them to the ground. Instead of taking bonus damage, the target of your melee attack must succeed on a strength saving throw (DC = 8 + your Strength modifier + your proficiency bonus) or be shoved 10 feet away from you or knocked prone.

Double Time 
Starting at 7th level, you are no longer hindered by rough terrain, and you may travel overland at twice the normal speed without suffering any ill effects. Any allies traveling with you for greater than 1 hour also gain these benefits.
     Additionally, you gain proficiency in the Survival skill. If you are already proficient in Survival, you can select a different skill from among those which fighters can learn at 1st level.

Lightning Step
Starting at 10th level, on your turn, you may take the Dash or Disengage actions as a bonus action.

First to Fight
At 15th level, your base movement speed increases by 10 feet, and you may add your proficiency bonus to your initiative rolls.

War Master's Charge
At 18th level, as an action on your turn, you may move up to twice your movement speed in a straight line towards a creature. At the end of this movement, you make a melee attack with advantage against that creature. Any allies within 20 feet of you when you start your movement may use their reaction to do the same, though they do not have to choose the same creature as you. Once you use this ability, you must finish a long rest before you can do so again.

Changelog: 4/10/16: Double Time: If you already are proficient in Survival, you can pick another skill.
4/15/16: Added  Shove mechanic to Advance, based on external suggestions.
Reduced Advance's movement requirement to make it more useable and keep it in line with the Charger feat.
4/16/16: removed 100 person limit on Double Time to make it more consistent with similar abilities. 


  1. Oh this one looks like fun. It feels like it would do well in more open area combat, but would feel underwhelming in tight placing, allowing for players to think more about their battle terrains. Good work as always guys, looking forward to seeing this one in action.

    Oh and a question for clarification. Does the dash provided by lightning step stack with War Master's Charge, or does war master's charge only apply to your normal move speed?

    1. It is your movement speed. If you increase that by using Dash as a bonus action before you use war master's charge, you more twice whatever that new speed is.

      Also, that's why I made the bonus damage scale but only apply to an enemy 1/turn. It works fine in a slightly enclosed space (only need 15 feet), but really shines in a big, open envrioment.

  2. Is it too much to ask for a clause allowing you to take another fighter skill if you already have survival? If you wanted to use this character to play a woodland skirmisher, having to wait 6 levels to take survival is not exactly fair.

    1. That's not exactly the intent. More, when you get to that level you can use your abilities to help feed your troops.

    2. It still means that if you take for example the ever popular Outlander background, you're dicked out of part of your class feature and from the looks of it purely to enforce the strict fantasy intended by this subclass.

      I don't understand the issue with allowing a second choice from fighter skills - there is even precedent in the core rules with Purple Dragon Knight.

      A subclass should not fail to provide its assigned bonus if you have the skill already, that goes against the very foundation of what 5th edition was built on.

    3. Eh, I'm not heavily invested on either side of the issue, but I think you might be extrapolating a bit. After all, purple dragon knight isn't the core rules, it's an add-on. There's no example that I can see in the PHB one way or another.

      Either way, I don't think it significantly alters the power level of the class, so I could go either way on it.

    4. If you ask for the core rule example, there's one on page 126, where the backgrounds start (along with something about inspiration):

      "If a character would gain the same proficiency from
      two different sources, he or she can choose a different
      proficiency of the same kind (skill or tool) instead."

      I agree with Shardin. If your campaing is skill reliant, it would help to have as much as possible. If it isn't, it can't hurt. And I don't think having any part of a class feature being useless is fun, and neither is planning 5 levels ahead (atleast not for me).

    5. Why is this even being discussed? It's a non-issue as if you would relieve proficiency from two sources, you just pick another appropriate proficiency (meaning skill or tool). If you are already proficient with Survival, Shardin, just pick whatever skill makes you happy.

    6. Some DM's won't allow you to take another skill if you already have the one you're gaining. They might just say "shoudl've planned ahead" or "you should've picked something else". My DM even ignored the rule which I quoted, saying "if they overlap, you don't get something else, it's waisted." Some RAW DM's (not all of them though) can be really annoying. That's why.

    7. Except that isn't RAW, that's a houserule. That isn't a variant rule in regards to getting to choose a different proficiency. That -is- RAW. Ask if they have any other retarded homebrew or just kick them in the dick.

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  3. So my one question is, why not make the Lightning Step a smaller 3rd level ability? In the long and short of things, Wizards (through Expeditious Retreat) and Rogues can replicate this later on. Granted the qualifying movement is restricted enough that even under optimal positioning they can only hit 2 creatures by level 5 even while risking taking the dash action and provoking all those opportunity attacks.
    Alternatively, I think if something like the Swashbuckler perk of "if you make an attack roll against a creature, you don't provoke opportunity attacks from it when you move away from the creature." If a party is fighting as many creatures appropriate to the level 10 creature, that fighter could get torn apart from that dash action.
    Just a suggestion, no big deal :D

    1. Well, there are a couple reasons why Lightning Step is where it's at:

      1) Until level 11, a standard fighter only has 2 attacks, so having more than 30 feet of movement isn't a necessity.

      2) The level 1 power is quite strong enough on its own, and the level 6 power is intended to be an exploration-tier ability.

      3) Any vanguard worth his salt takes mobility. It's not a feat tax at all, but this is one of the few fighter builds where that feat makes 100% sense to take.

    2. Addendum to that:

      When I build Homebrew, I try to take into account all of the factors that a character with the new abilities could be expected to have. In the case of fighters, that absolutely includes feats. While they are optional, the majority of groups (including adventurer's league) use them as a part of the game, and the fighter gas an extra chance for one at 6th level. With this subclasd I assume that, by 6th level, MOST (but probably not all) vanguards have taken mobility, as it is the feat that most compliments their fighting style. A Swashbuckler-like ability would not only make at least one of the archetype levels OP, it would take away from the benefit of the feat.

    3. This is precisely why I love having you on the team. You have a serious attention to detail when it comes to this stuff.