Talk:Marshal (3.5e Class)

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Power - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it has a impressively unique approach to martial power. Its just plain awesome. This class seems as if a multiclassers wet dream. Every level a unique ability and many that scale to stay legit at higher levels. its difficult judge the effectiveness of some abilities because they can effect everyone in the party. I especially love when you sacrifice your move action so an ally can attack for free. And, "Charge!" freaking sweet. Everyone gets to charge. (I feel a'bit sorry for the parties wizard though.) And the healing abilities would literally be life savers. Yet, it feels balanced at every level. (Don't get me wrong, there is certainly something wrong with this class! ...I just have yet to find it.) --Jay Freedman 03:16, 30 August 2009 (MDT)

  • And, the ability "No Quarter" might be a'bit strong. What if Joe Shmoe crits? Thats a'lot of damage. --Jay Freedman 03:24, 30 August 2009 (MDT)
And what if instead of the Marshal there was another copy of Joe Shmoe and they crited too? That's kinda the point of "No Quarter"--to show that you + someone is better than someone by themselves, or even if they had a copy of themselves with them, due to all the upgrades and such. --Ghostwheel 07:41, 30 August 2009 (MDT)

Wording - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because I love the names of the abilities. Their shouts or battle cries. Very nice. the "character level" in bold was a'bit much. I got it without the boldness. And ditch the whole "leader" fluff. Thats roleplaying in my opinion. This kid is inspiration, endurance, and grit. Not role-model. --Jay Freedman 03:16, 30 August 2009 (MDT)

  • Oh, and their is so much text in your Table:Special area that my head exploded. --Jay Freedman 03:21, 30 August 2009 (MDT)

Formatting - 3/5 I give this class a 3 out of 5 because needs to finish preload and shine the tires. --Jay Freedman 03:16, 30 August 2009 (MDT)

Flavor - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because, it works... The whole epic captain of armies, thing. But could I understand that without the picture or fluff text. Actually no... I just got "cleric remix". This is not a bad thing. This is a role not often found in 3.5e. It felt "battle buffer" to me. Now, that last ability "Charge". That screamed leader. So your almost there. --Jay Freedman 03:16, 30 August 2009 (MDT)

Thanks for the compliments! Any specific examples of what you'd say to fix as far as wording/flavor goes? For the flavor, I tried to keep it as generic as possible so people could go the gritty captain of armies, or the young and aspiring Robin Hood with his trusty men, or the blackguard of darkness who intimidates his allies into moving faster than they would regularly out of fear of him. And the only thing I should have left for the formatting is the sample NPC, I think. Anything else you saw specifically that could use a change? --Ghostwheel 07:40, 30 August 2009 (MDT)
Let me look it over again. I'll get back to you will 3 specific examples soon. Sweet. --Jay Freedman 19:04, 30 August 2009 (MDT)


First thing I want to say, not specifically related to anything, is you could credit Genzoman on the artwork, either as part of the picture upload or here.

How can I credit him? Didn't know he was the artist, just found the pic on the Internet and found it to work for this class. I'll try to address the points one at a time, so bear with me.
If you look at the picture (the full one), you can see his signature in the lower right. It's fairly prominent (and yet relatively unobtrusive). Anywho, I've taken care of it on the pic upload page, and while GD seems to think it's excessive of have the credit here as well, I don't. Meh. -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)

Power - 4.5/5 I give this class a 4.5 out of 5 because it has a nice array of abilities (some of which I have commented on below), but I feel that an archetypical party doesn't play particularly well into the marshal's strengths, and a party that has strong individual classes, such as the druid, mage, and cleric, doesn't really fit either. The best party for the marshal would be one created in true synergy, with the wizard maybe taking levels in eldritch knight or abjurant champion (maybe duskblade), having a swordsage or some other fighter-type rather than a true fighter, the cleric specializing in buffs and then going in for the smash, and a combat-oriented rogue. It can be done, but I don't think it's quite standard. Anyway, while I believe most of the abilities are fine (some are a little weak, perhaps fillers, while Charge could be abused, even as a 19th level ability) it is this inherent disconnect between the marshal's strengthes and how he connects with the party that means I cannot give this more than a 4.5 at present time. Perhaps if the marshal had full BAB and could more effectively step in for a barbarian, swordsage, or whatever, I might feel I could give it a five. As is, it is a great complement, but if the marshal isn't spending Battle Points, I feel he's a bit less useful (maybe unacceptably so). --Jota 22:03, 5 September 2009 (MDT)

I agree that the Marshal won't help the mage too much (apart from increasing his mobility and denying enemies AoOs against him, which isn't bad all by itself), but for both the cleric and the druid (especially when shapeshifting) the Marshal can be indispensable. An example could be Guided Attack to give the druid a free attempt to grapple the foe (or use it on one of his summoned animals or animal companion) while more martially-minded clerics are going to enjoy the extra attacks as well as the boost to damage from No Quarter.
At its core, the Marshal is supposed to fill the 4th role of healer/leader the way that neither the cleric nor druid can, since they either become melee powerhouses or concentrate on summoning/battlefield control much of the time. Taking this into account, it becomes the unique 4th wheel where clerics and druids were copies of a different wheel, just made in a different way (buffing themselves to greatness rather than relying on feats or maneuvers). As long as there is even one fighter-type the Marshal should be able to hold his own, and at worst you can always multiclass if you want to concentrate on the more martial abilities of the Marshal--not hard to do with how multiclass-friendly the Marshal is.
Even as it is, it has enough HP not to be too squishy and you can pick up Heavy Armor Proficiency easily enough. The thing that really lets the Marshal diversify is the feats he chooses. For example, he could pick up Manyshot to become a ranged attacker, Shock Trooper by level 9 to be a charger, and so on. Where often enough feats are the linchpin to many builds, for the Marshal they act as their original purpose; to allow one to diversify a little without changing the core focus/power of the class.
And just like the Factotum should be spending Inspiration points, the Marshal should be freely spending BP points, though he should ration them as he sees the fight progress. Another nice tactical choice available to the player is to decide how many BP points to use, but yes, the Marshal is going to suck if he doesn't use em. Fortunately, he can always regain them by spending a round. -- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ghostwheel (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts.
I don't have too much time at the moment (and I see you've been blocked--also, I got your other message, I'll see if I can get on later), but I will address what I can. Basically, I acknowledged that the right party could flat out own with a marshal (as you mentioned, the shapeshift druid and buff cleric, rather than the summoner/holy word spammer or whatever. Also, the way I saw it, with the right feats/feat tree (since this doesn't really have any feat needs--unlike some other classes), the Marshal could be a solid combatant, but I'm still not sure full BAB would push it over the edge. I just think that once you run out of BP, while it is possible to replenish them, having the ability to stab someone in the face with more than moderate proficiency would be nice. I mean, if I were to compare to say, the Tome Fighter, the TF gets neat tricks and full BAB. I just think this could benefit from the same. Also, having to sink points into Charisma while being a fighter is another small part of this that I think full BAB would help offset. -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)
  • From the little I understand of 4e, this seems like a backwards conversion of the Commander (or something like that--don't know the exact name), down to the inclusion of replenishable encounter points (or perhaps akin to a maneuver-based class, which seem similar to 4e as well--or perhaps they were the stepping stone).
Didn't have 4e in mind when I made the class, but it does have Leader-ish aspects to it--as it should have, being the Marshal. That said, it's an excellent class for both newbies and masters of the game. For newbies, even if they pick bad feats they'll still be effective in combat (a problem both for the wizard if they choose bad spells and for fighter-types if they choose bad feats). For masters, it's an interesting class that concentrates on something that no other class does, allowing them to do something new and use their full spectrum of actions every round, also allowing for tactical combat due the rationing of actions and deciding what's good and what isn't.
Not so sure a newbie could handle all the nuances that go into this, but that's neither here nor there. -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)
  • Don't Die On Me is a useful addition. Probably more useful at lower levels where one bad damage roll can straight up drop, but that makes it level appropriate at first level.
That's mostly what it was meant to be. You'll notice that the "less synergistic/powerful" abilities don't cost BP points, allowing them to be used freely to make up for their weakness.
  • Stand Your Ground doesn't seem particularly useful early on (3 hitpoints at level one might make a difference, but I'm not totally convinced), but the scaling is rather nice and its usefulness definitely does grow quite a bit.
Most D&D characters can get through a combat without requiring too much healing; the Marshal allows them to continue longer and to require less healing later. As you noted, the scaling is nice, and by 5th level the extra HP begin to matter with the multiplier. This ability drops off a little around levels 3-4, but you get other abilities to compensate.
  • Guided Attack is quite the nice trick. Because it requires a move action you can use it twice in a round (I'm sure you're aware of this, I'm just rambling to myself), allowing you to get your fighter into position so he can take that full-attack action without Dire Charge or whatever. My only concern (touched on above) is that these are targeted toward helping a fighter-type for the most part. If I am to assume the marshal is a fifth wheel to a traditional four-person party that's fine, but if he takes the fighter's place or the fighter is replaced by a druid, then I think the marshal's usefulness is a bit more marginal. You can still work with rogues and even clerics, but it's not quite the same.
As noted above, the Marshal fills the healer/leader role, allowing both the rogue and the fighter in the traditional party to function better. Even with a druid in the mix instead of the druid, the druid's going to be in wildshape or summon, which lets the Marshal function just as well.
  • The same as above applies to Awesome Blow, although Awesome Blow is more rogue-friendly I feel. I can see you sort of have a progression, although I don't think the status effects are given in order of increasing usefulness (i.e. it's been a while since I've looked at the exact rules, but I'm pretty sure nausea trumps daze).
Nausea = lose a standard action, Daze = lose your whole action ;-) And I'm sure any sort of meleer would love to get their hands on the bonus to attack and the chance to apply an effect to an enemy.
Maybe I picked a bad example, maybe they scale better than my poor memory can recall. Meh. -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)
  • Feather yon foe has marginal usefulness in the archetypical party, but it's an okay filler.
Yep, mostly filler. Notice the lack of BP point use for it
  • Never Give Up seems also incredibly situational. Reading further, Never Surrender makes it much more acceptable.
It's a sort of last resort to bring your party back to fighting prowess should they appear to be losing. I've yet to playtest it, but I think it could work well in the right situation. And only 1/encounter, so it's not meant to be used constantly or immediately.
  • Charge would be awesome in a party of warriors, less so in a party of casters, unless they were the right casters (as mentioned above). Also, the loose definition of allies could lead to balance questions, or if the party was of significantly larger size than normal. --Jota 22:03, 5 September 2009 (MDT)
That could be a problem, but I based that ability White Raven discipline's War Master's Charge ability, and never found that to be overly overpowering. Furthermore, due to the bonus to attack even casters have a chance of hitting, forcing them to make a tactical decision (yay! tactics!) whether they want to risk it or not.
I was also thinking summoning here. Throw in familiars and animal companions and things could potentially get ugly. Still, it's the kind of capstone that makes you want to take a class all the way (although it is given at level 19). -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)

Wording - 4.25/5 I give this class a 4.25 out of 5 because: see errata below. --Jota 22:03, 5 September 2009 (MDT)

Will fix most of these and just comment on the ones that need one.
  • Verb agreement issues (crushing versus shoot) in the first sentence.
  • Inconsistency of capitalization in the ability titles isn't necessarily wrong, but it does irk me a little.
Mind changing the ones that look odd?
Not so much odd, just I would expect as titles they'd be mostly capitalized and yet they're not. Given that this is a wiki and other circumstances I'm not sure what the best way to do this would be. I'll ruminate on it and get back to you. -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)
  • Capitalized class name (should just be marshal when not at the start of a sentence)
  • Shake it off is somewhat contradictory. You say it is to help overcome failed saves but then you say it must be done before the result is announced. I get what you're saying: I rolled a 5, quick, reroll! That said, it is a little bit of a misnomer.
  • Guided attack; bonus is to attack and damage rolls or just the attack roll?
Should be just the attack roll.
It's not totally clear; that's the only reason I asked. -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)
  • Uncapitalized use of charisma throughout (should be capitalize when referring the D&D attribute/ability score
  • Move, move, move: allyto
  • No Quarter applies to spells as well (I'm assuming yes, just want to clarify since Guided Attack primarily benefits martial characters)?
It's supposed to, actually :-) Gives a boost to any damage-centered casters (like a friendly warmage) who might be in the party. And yes, if a caster had a BAB of 11 and used Magic Missile, you could add the damage to 3 missiles as long as you targeted them all at one foe, or if you used a fireball a single foe would take the extra damage.
That's a little complicated/different and something you might consider explaining in further detail. -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)
  • Permanent capitalized in Break Free (shouldn't be)
  • Does Dizzying Retort allow the marshal to use a lesser version (say if he's seventeenth level) should he so choose?
  • Never Give Up: well-place (needs a 'd')
  • Watch Yourself: allytakes
  • CHARGE!: Your parentheses should go inside the previous sentence rather than be part of their own.
  • Capitalizing things like scale mail, large steel shield, sack, etc. when not at the beginning of a sentence (don't do it).
  • Combat: first sentence: should probably be a colon rather than a semi-colon. Also capitalizing classes in mid-sentence again.
  • First comma under advancement should probably be a semi-colon
  • Semi-colon in quote should be a comma
  • Wouldn't capitalize human or marshal in the quote citation
  • Comma after interaction in NPC Reactions.
  • I would use: "There are, however," rather than "However, there are," but this is more semantic. --Jota 22:03, 5 September 2009 (MDT)

Formatting - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because the formatting is fine for the most part. I noticed you haven't included an Abilities section, which I think is a little bit of an issue. I know the class will need Charisma, but I don't think it would hurt to say that out front. There's no NPC, and the inter-wiki linking could be much more comprehensive (status effects, items, Knowledge (Local), to give a few examples). Also, Awesome Blow could be given in a table, which would look sexy. --Jota 22:03, 5 September 2009 (MDT)

How would I put it in a table? Could you please format it for me? *is still not completely knowledgeable as far as wikicoding goes*
Well, someone was kind enough to stub it out, and seeing as I'm giving this class a try, I went ahead and completed the table for the sake of convenience.--Sildraug (talk) 23:26, 18 August 2012 (MDT)
As a quick FYI, this class has been changed and updated by the author over here, since he doesn't frequent this site anymore.

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it's a very intriguing premise, a class that helps others rather than doing stuff itself (although obviously this can do a little of both). It's also well-executed, and while the flavor sections are a little skimpy you have a nice picture (one I had in reserve and was waiting to give to a class like this, one just didn't exist at the time), although I do think you could credit Genzoman somewhere as mentioned before. Also, you use the PHB gods in your example, but not everyone will be using those same deities. Still, rather excellent. --Jota 22:03, 5 September 2009 (MDT)

Thanks for all the comments, hope I was able to clarify a few things and helped point out how it balances well even without a full party of melee-centered individuals. Any change in thoughts after clarifications? --Ghostwheel 01:24, 6 September 2009 (MDT)
The only change I can think might happen would be power, but I'll stand by that 4.5 for now. If you can make a solid argument why it shouldn't have full BAB OR you bump it up to full BAB, I'd probably give it a 5. Also, I'll give you the first line or two of the table I proposed. As an additional side note, the whole no-include thing makes it a bit of a bitch to edit. -- Jota 08:36, 6 September 2009 (MDT)
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