Dynamos on the field of combat, warlords walk the line of victory and ruin through their determination to achieve glory. Where some may talk tactics, the warlord dives in. Where some may fight in strategic units, the warlord shines alone as an inspirational beacon on the field of combat; to be a warlord is to be a lord of war.
Adventures: Warlords adventure for many reasons, but one reason that will always be prominent is the desire to test their skill against the world’s most dangerous opponents, to show their strength to themselves and to the world. Others may do this for profit, others for fun, others for revenge, but it is always certain that a warlord seeks the glory and honor only a battle well-fought can bring.
Characteristics: Brash arrogance and an irrepressible nature are hallmarks of the warlord. A devil-may-care warrior, many warlords are as fearless as they are fierce, and they both love life and live their lives to the fullest. Hedonists in some extreme cases, the warlord is drawn to combat as a moth to the flame. Alignment: Any. Warlords can come from any and all ethical backgrounds, though they do tend more towards a chaotic alignment. Lawfully aligned warlords are rarer, and tend to compose their impulses through strict discipline.
Religion: While not overly religious, some warlords follow gods of war and battle with temperaments similar to their own.
Background: Warlords come from families with strong warrior traditions, from barbaric tribes and from academies that produce the strongest warriors. One thing that sets them apart is their reckless nature and the inspirational presence they possess.
Races: Humans and half-elves are prominent warlord races due to both possessing an impetuous nature. Half-orcs become very fearsome warlords in their own right, and dwarves are known for their ferocity when defending their homes.
Other Classes: Warlords get on well with fighters, rangers, and barbarians as their martial nature makes them amicable, but paladins and warders tend to chafe under their recklessness. Wizards and especially bards and sorcerers get on quite well with them, and clerics find them to be tolerable.
Role: Striker. As a very aggressive class, the warlord seeks to bring martial power to the field in the form of overwhelming force and ferocity. Additionally, warlords make excellent leaders, as they provide some passive benefits from their class features as well as active benefits from discipline choices and their gambits.
Abilities: Strength and Charisma are incredibly important to a warlord, as without Strength the warlord is weaker in combat and without Charisma many of his abilities will not function, as Charisma is the warlord’s primary initiation attribute. Constitution is important for vital hit points. Intelligence and Dexterity take up the bottom of importance, for both skill points and defense (or ranged combat).
Hit Die: d10
Starting Wealth and Age: As fighter.
The warlord’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (martial) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Maneuvers Known||Maneuvers Readied||Stances|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Warlord’s Gambit, gambit (2), bonus feat||6||4||1|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+0||Tactical Presence (indomitable)||7||5||2|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||Warleader, Force of Personality||8||5||2|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+1||Tactical Flanker, gambit||8||5||2|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||Tactical Presence (rallying), Battle Prowess +1||9||6||3|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+2||+2||Dual Boost 1/day, bonus feat||9||6||3|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+2||+2||Tactical Presence (free action)||10||6||3|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+2||+2||Tactical Assistance, gambit||10||7||3|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+3||+3||Tactical Presence (victorious)||11||7||4|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+3||+3||Dual Tactical Presence||12||8||5|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+4||Battle Prowess +2, Dual Boost 2/day, gambit||12||8||5|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+6||Bonus feat, Dual Boost 3/day||16||10||7|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+6||+6||Battle Prowess +3||17||10||7|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+6||Dual Stance, gambit||18||11||7|
All of the following are class features of the warlord.
Warlords are proficient with all simple weapons and martial weapons, and with light and medium armor, and with shields.
A warlord begins his career with knowledge of six martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to him are Golden Lion, Primal Fury, Scarlet Throne, Solar Wind, Thrashing Dragon, and either Piercing Thunder or Tempest Gale. If he does not have that discipline’s associated skill as a class skill, he gains it as a class skill. Once he knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by warlords is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. His maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and he do not provoke attacks of opportunity when he initiates one. He learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on Table 1-3: The Warlord. The warlord must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it. See the Systems and Use chapter for more information.
Upon reaching initiator level 4th, and at every even numbered initiator level thereafter (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), the warlord can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. In effect, the warlord loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. He can choose a new maneuver of any level he likes, as long as he observes his restriction on the highest-level maneuvers he knows. The warlord need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. The warlord can swap only a single maneuver at any given level. A warlord’s initiation modifier is Charisma.
A warlord can ready four of his six starting maneuvers, but as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he must choose which maneuvers to ready. He readies his maneuvers by going through weapon drills for 10 minutes. The maneuvers he chooses remain readied until he decides to repeat this again and change them. Warlords do not need to sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready their maneuvers; any time he spends 10 minutes in practice, he can change his readied maneuvers. He may not ready any individual maneuver more than once. He begins an encounter with all readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he may have already used them since he chose them. When the warlord initiates a maneuver, he expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuver can be used once per encounter (until they are recovered, see below).
For a warlord to recover expended maneuvers, he must perform one of two types of actions: a gambit action in which he gambles on his performance in battle (see Warlord’s Gambit below), or he may spend a standard action to recover a single readied maneuver of his choosing.
Warlords begin play with knowledge of one stance from any discipline open to warlords. At the indicated levels (see class table), the warlord selects an additional new stance. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended and he does not have to ready them. All the stances he knows are available to him at all times, and he can change the stance he is currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description. Unlike with maneuvers, the warlord cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one he already knows.
At his core, the warlord is a warrior who relies on both skill and daring; without this he is but any other combatant. By setting himself to danger, does his true skill shine, or so the motto of the warlord goes. At 1st level, a warlord selects two gambits from the gambits available to warlords. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, a warlord selects an additional gambit to learn. Any gambit that would normally use the warlord’s Charisma modifier to determine its effects instead uses his warlord initiation modifier, if it is a different ability. These gambits allow the warlord to recover maneuvers. Due to their reliance on the stresses of combat to bring out the best of the warlord, gambits cannot be used outside combat.
A gambit has two aspects: a risk and a reward. A gambit’s risk describes an action the warlord must take in order to play the gambit. The warlord begin a gambit as a swift action, then performs the gambit’s risk action. He may add half his warlord initiation modifier as a luck bonus on any d20 rolls made while performing this action (such as the Acrobatics check of an acrobatic gambit, or the attack roll of a brave gambit). The warlord only gets this bonus if he spent the swift or immediate action required to begin the gambit; if taking the actions normally, he gains no additional benefits. If the warlord initiates a maneuver as part of a gambit, he cannot recover that maneuver when the gambit is completed (even if it’s his only expended maneuver).
If the warlord succeeds at his gambit’s risk, he recovers a number of expended maneuvers equal to his warlord initiation modifier (minimum 2) and gains the reward listed in the gambit’s description. Allies who would gain a benefit from the gambit’s reward must be within 60 feet of the warlord and able to see him perform the gambit’s risk. If the warlord fails his gambit (such as missing the charge attack of a brave gambit, or failing the saving throw of an unbreakable gambit), he suffers the gambit’s rake, recovering only a single expended maneuver and taking a –2 penalty on all d20 rolls for one round
|Acrobatic Gambit||The warlord makes an Acrobatics check to move through a creature’s threatened area without provoking attacks of opportunity.||The warlord and each of his allies gains a morale bonus equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier on the damage roll of the next attack they make against that creature before the start of the warlord’s next turn.|
|Brave Gambit||The warlord makes a charge attack (if he has the ability to make multiple attacks on a charge, only the first attack roll gains the benefits of the gambit, and that attack must be successful for the gambit to succeed).||The warlord and each of his allies gain a morale bonus equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier on the damage roll of the next attack they make before the start of the warlord’s next turn.|
|Battering Ram Gambit||The warlord attempts an overrun combat maneuver against an opponent.||Other allies adjacent to the overruned opponent may make an attack of opportunity against that creature.|
|Cavalry Gambit||The warlord makes a mounted charge attack or overrun combat maneuver.||The warlord and each of his allies gain a morale bonus equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier on attacks of opportunity against the target of the warlord’s attack or overrun until the start of the warlord’s next turn.|
|Chessmaster’s Gambit||The warlord attempts a reposition combat maneuver against an opponent.||The warlord is able to move the opponent into an undesirable position, and that opponent takes a penalty to their AC equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier until the start of the warlord’s next turn.|
|Dastardly Gambit||The warlord makes a dirty trick attempt.||The warlord and each of his allies gain a morale bonus equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier on the damage roll of the next attack they make before the start of the warlord’s next turn.|
|Deadeye Gambit||The warlord attempts a called shot.||The warlord and each of his allies gain temporary hit points equal to his warlord initiation modifier. These temporary hit points last until the end of the encounter or until used.|
|Duelist’s Gambit||The warlord makes a disarm attempt.||The warlord can make an attack of opportunity against the disarmed opponent. If he hits, he gain a morale bonus on the damage roll equal to his warlord initiation modifier.|
|Flanker’s Gambit||The warlord attacks an opponent adjacent to one of the warlord’s other allies.||The warlord is considered to be flanking that opponent until the end of her next turn, even if the warlord is not in a position that would allow him to flank them.|
|Gatecrasher Gambit||The warlord makes a bull rush attempt.||The opponent is so rattled by the warlord’s deft bull rush, that he suffers a penalty equal to his warlord initiation modifier for one round on all d20 rolls.|
|Grappler Gambit||The warlord makes a grapple attempt (but not a grapple check in response to being grappled).||When the warlord has the successfully grappled opponent pinned, the warlord gains a morale bonus on damage rolls when dealing damage as part of a grapple check equal to his warlord initiation modifier. This ability lasts until the opponent escapes the grapple.|
|Outrider’s Gambit||The warlord makes a ranged attack while riding a mount that has moved at least 10 feet this turn before his attack.||The warlord’s other allies each gain a morale bonus on their next attack roll during this encounter against the opponent the warlord hit equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier.|
|Oxen’s Gambit||The warlord attempts a drag combat maneuver against an opponent.||The warlord boldly grabs his target and drags them around while inspiring his allies to action; for every 5 feet the warlord drags the opponent, his allies (other than himself himself) may move 5 feet without provoking attacks of opportunity as a free action, even if it isn’t their turns.|
|Pinhole Gambit||The warlord makes a ranged attack against an opponent that is adjacent to one of his other allies.||The warlord gains a bonus to his armor class equal to his warlord initiation modifier until the start of his next turn.|
|Rascal’s Gambit||The warlord makes a feint attempt.||The creature the warlord successfully feinted at becomes flat-footed until the start of its next turn.|
|Ravager’s Gambit||The warlord makes a sunder attempt.||The warlord’s sundering attack ignores a number of points of the targeted object’s hardness equal to his warlord initiation modifier.|
|Sweeping Gambit||The warlord makes a trip attempt.||The warlord can make an attack of opportunity against the tripped opponent. If he hits, he gain a morale bonus on the damage roll equal to his warlord initiation modifier.|
|Thieving Gambit||The warlord attempts a steal combat maneuver against an opponent.||By successfully stealing an opponent’s item, the warlord infuriates them to the point of heedless anger. That opponent takes a penalty to their AC equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier, but gains a +2 bonus on damage rolls against the warlord. Both the penalty and bonus last until the start of the warlord’s next turn.|
|Unbreakable Gambit||The makes a Fortitude or Will save against a non-harmless extraordinary ability, maneuver, power, spell, spell-like or supernatural ability ability. Unlike other gambits, unbreakable gambit can be activated as an immediate action.||The warlord regains a number of hit points equal to three times his warlord initiation modifier.|
|Victory Gambit||Unlike other gambits, the warlord must activate this gambit at the start of his turn, before taking other actions. When he does so, he chooses an opponent. If he reduces that opponent to 0 or fewer hit points this turn, the gambit is a success. Otherwise, it is a failure. This gambit does not add the warlord’s initiation modifier as a luck bonus on any d20 rolls.||The warlord and each of his allies gain a morale bonus on their next attack roll during this encounter equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier.|
At 2nd level, the warlord’s innate charisma allows his very presence to aid and assist not only himself but his allies as well, just by his being around. Adopting a presence is a move- equivalent action, and only one presence may be maintained at any given time. At 7th level, the warlord is capable of adopting a presence as a free action.
Indomitable Presence: At 2nd level, the warlord shines as a beacon to his allies on the field of battle, inspiring them to fight with him to their last breath. All allies within 30-ft. of his position gain the benefits of the Die Hard feat, and may add his warlord initiation modifier to Fortitude saves versus death effects, fatigue or exhaustion effects, or poison effects as a morale bonus.
Rallying Presence: The sight of a warlord on the battlefield is enough to strengthen the hearts and wills of those who fight beside him in battle. At 5th level, the warlord may add his warlord initiation modifier as a morale bonus to Will saves versus fear, death effect, or compulsion effects to all allies within 30-ft. of his position. If the warlord maintaining this presence becomes cowed, frightened, panicked or falls prey to a hostile mind-affecting ability (such as one that would stun or daze him), compulsion or death effect, this presence immediately ends.
Victorious Presence: The preternatural skill at arms that a warlord of at this level possesses is enough to win any battle. At 9th level, any foe that the warlord brings to 0 or fewer hit points in battle immediately fuels his hunger for the win, granting him and his allies within 30-ft. of his position the character’s class level plus his warlord initiation modifier in temporary hit points. These hit points endure until they are lost or until the end of the encounter, whichever occurs first. Damage inflicted on the warlord is deducted from his temporary hit points first before being deducted from his normal hit point total.
New Tactical Presences – When a warlord gains a new tactical presence (including by taking the Extra Presence feat), he can select from the following instead:
Warning Presence: The instructions given by the wary warlord help his allies defend themselves against sudden surprises. Allies within 30 feet of the warlord gain a bonus equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier on Reflex saves against traps and to their AC during a surprise round. In addition, the warlord can designate one of his allies to act in a surprise round, even if they normally would not be able to. A warlord must be at least 2nd level to select this presence.
Taskmaster’s Presence: The warlord is a driving master, be it cruelly with a whip or kindly with encouragement. Allies within 30 feet of the warlord gain the benefits of the Endurance feat and gain a morale bonus on saving throws against fatigue, disease, compulsion effects, and sleep effects equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier. If the warlord is participating in a Craft or Profession check made by one of his allies, he can add his warlord initiation modifier as a morale bonus on that check. A warlord must be at least 5th level to select this presence.Gladiator’s Presence: The warlord has seen some scraps in his day, and he knows how to inspire his allies through some tough moments too. Allies within 30 feet of the warlord gain a morale bonus on combat maneuver checks and to their CMD equal to the warlord’s initiation modifier. In addition, those allies do not provoke attacks of opportunity when making combat maneuver attempts. A warlord must be at least 9th level to select this presence.
The warlord excels in the theater of war because he knows how best to work with his allies. At 3rd level, the warlord becomes an ever more capable commander and may share tactics with his allies. First, the warlord gains a teamwork feat as a bonus feat (he must meet the prerequisites for this feat to select it). As a standard action that the warlord performs, the warlord and allies within 30- ft. of him can share teamwork feats that they possess with each other, acting as if they both possessed the teamwork feat that they are sharing. The warlord can only share one teamwork feat at a time, either one of his own (with all allies within 30-ft. of him) or an ally’s (in which case only the warlord receives the ability to use the teamwork feat he does not possess). The warlord and allies retain the use of this feat for 3 + his warlord initiation modifier in rounds. The warlord can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + his warlord initiation modifier, plus one additional time per day at 7th level and four warlord levels thereafter.
At 3rd level, the warlord’s forceful personality and bold, headstrong nature assist him in resisting the influence of others. Where others use personal serenity, awareness of the world around them, or plain old sensibility, the warlord gets by with endless nerve. The warlord may add his warlord initiation modifier in addition to his Wisdom modifier to determine his Will save bonus. If the character is ever able to add his warlord initiation modifier to his Will save through use of another ability (for example. the paladin’s divine grace) he may only add his warlord initiation modifier once to his Will save.
At 4th level, the warlord is exceptionally gifted at working with his allies to bring down opponents and his skills assist any who ally with him. At the start of the warlord’s turn, he chooses a single square adjacent to him. Until the start of his next turn, he and his allies can treat that square as if it was occupied by him for the purposes of flanking opponents.
The warlord is a skilled combatant, mixing traditional fighting skills with the skill of his martial discipline training. Choose a discipline, and when the warlord is in a martial stance from this chosen discipline, the character gets the listed bonus (+1 at 5th level, +2 at 12th level, +3 at 19th level) as a competence bonus to attack and damage rolls, CMB rolls, and to his CMD. He may select another discipline at 12th level, and third discipline at 19th level.
Knowledgeable in the ways of making the best of any situation through pluck and verve, the warlord is capable of applying multiple martial principles simultaneously. At 6th level, once per day the warlord may initiate two boost type maneuvers as part of the same swift action. He may use this an additional time per day at 12th level, and three times per day at 18th level.
At 8th level, the warlord’s gift for helping his allies in combat improves. The character may use the aid another action for any single ally within 30-ft. of his position as a move action, and when he successfully uses the aid another action, it affects all allies within 30 feet.
At 11th level, the sight of the warlord on a field of combat inspires multiple feelings in those around him. He may select and use two presences, activating them together as a free action.
At 13th level, the warlord’s excellence in battle has enabled him to utilize the tactical skills of his allies as well as his own with greater speed. The warlord may now use his warleader class feature as a move action.
At 15th level, the warlord is capable using three of his presences together at the same time, activating them together as a free action.
At 17th level, the warlord’s peerless ability in the theater of war has enabled him to utilize the tactical skills of his allies as well as his own with the greatest of speed. The warlord may now use his warleader class feature as a swift action.
At 20th level, the warlord’s ability to use his stances improves, allowing him to gain the benefits of two known stances simultaneously. He must still adopt each stance individually, requiring him to expend one swift action for each stance.
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have Warlord as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.
|Aasimar||Add +2-1/2 feet to the range of the warlord’s tactical presence. This option has no effect unless the warlord has selected it twice (or another increment of 2); an aura of 14 feet is effectively the same as a 10-foot aura, for example.||POW:E|
|Dromite||Add +1/4 to the number of uses per day of the warlord’s warleader ability.||POW:E|
|Dwarves||Add +1/5 to the bonus on saving throws granted by the warlord’s tactical presence.||POW:E|
|Elan||Add +1/4 to the number of uses per day of the warlord’s warleader ability.||POW:E|
|Elves||Gain 1/5 of a new combat feat.||POW:E|
|Gnome||Add +1/4 of a maneuver known from the Tempest Gale or Thrashing Dragon disciplines.||POW:E|
|Goblinoid||Gain a +1/4 circumstance bonus on all d20 rolls made during a warlord’s gambit.||POW:E|
|Half-elf||Add +1/4 to the number of uses per day of the warlord’s warleader ability.||POW:E|
|Half-giant||Add +1/4 of a maneuver known from the Golden Lion or Primal Fury disciplines.||POW:E|
|Halfling||Gain a +1/4 circumstance bonus on all d20 rolls made during a warlord’s gambit.||POW:E|
|Half-orc||Gain 1/5 of a new combat feat.||POW:E|
|Human||Gain 1/6 of a new combat feat.||POW:E|
|Maenad||Gain 1/5 of a new combat feat.||POW:E|
|Xeph||Gain 1/5 of a new combat feat.||POW:E|
When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.
Presented below are several warlord archetypes and alternate class features to help you in building your character.
|Archetype / Alternate Class Feature||Class Features Changed or Replaced|
|Class Skills||Weapon & Armor||Maneuvers||Maneuvers Readied||Bonus Feats||Warlord’s Gambit||Tactical Presence||Warleader||Force of Personality||Tactical Flanker||Battle Prowess||Dual Boost||Tactical Assistance||Dual Tactical Presence||Improved Warleader||Warlord’s Presence||Master Warleader||Dual Stance|
|X=replaced, (X)=optional replacement, C=changed|