Warlord (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Warlord / Marshal
A Dungeons & Dragons character class
Publication history
First appearanceMiniatures Handbook
Editions3.5, 4th
(as a standard class)4th
(as an alternate class)3.5

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The warlord, known as the marshal in 3rd edition, is a playable character class in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. They are leaders and commanders, inspiring figures, and master tacticians.

Publication history[edit]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition[edit]

Marshals were introduced in the Miniatures Handbook.[1][2]

The marshal is a military commander whose abilities are focused on leading others into battle and inspiring them to victory. As they progress in levels, marshals gain the ability to project minor and major "auras" that grant a variety of bonuses to nearby allies. Charisma is the marshal's most important ability, as it enhances the effectiveness of his minor auras and is the key ability for several of the marshal's class skills, in particular Diplomacy. The marshal also has the ability to grant nearby allies bonus move actions. Although a military-style class that is proficient with most weapons and armor, the marshal himself is not as good at combat as a fighter: the marshal has the same hit die, saving throws, and attack bonus progression as a cleric.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition[edit]

The Warlord appears as a core class in the Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition Player's Handbook.[3] Warlords are martial leaders. As leaders, warlords are focused on buffing and healing allies, however, like all 4th edition classes, their attack powers generally include damage dealing capabilities.

Warlords evolved from the marshals of 3rd edition,[4][5] filling the leader role in 4th edition's new role categories. They were designed to be physically tough, able to stand alongside the defender classes, fighter and paladin, but their powers are based on directing actions, providing bonuses to attack and defense, and healing their allies. There are two suggested builds for the warlord class: the inspiring warlord, focused on charisma and the tactical warlord, focused on intelligence.[6] Warlord attack exploits are generally strength-based and use melee weapons.

Warlords have three class features. Combat Leader improves the initiative of allies within range. The Commanding Presence class feature has four versions: Inspiring Presence, Tactical Presence, Bravura Presence and Resourceful Presence; one version of Commanding Presence is chosen during character creation, and a second version can be obtained with a feat. Inspiring Presence and Tactical Presence are presented in the Player's Handbook, while Bravura Presence and Resourceful Presence are presented in Martial Power. Inspiring Presence allows allies to regain a number of hit points based on the warlord's level and charisma when they spend action points for extra actions, and provides charisma-based bonuses to many warlord exploits. Tactical Presence causes allies to gain a bonus to attack rolls based on the warlord's intelligence whenever they use an action point to make an extra attack, and provides intelligence-based bonuses to many Warlord exploits. Inspiring Word allows the warlord or an ally to spend a healing surge and increases the healing provided by doing so, and can be used several times per encounter.

Paragon paths for warlords include Combat Veteran (Player's Handbook), Battle Captain (Player's Handbook), Knight Commander (Player's Handbook), Sword Marshal (Player's Handbook), Shadow Captain (Manual of the Planes) and the Pack Master (Dragon #364).


  1. Tweet, Jonathan, Mike Donais, Skaff Elias, and Rob Heinsoo. Miniatures Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  2. http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20030906b
  3. Heinsoo, Rob; Collins, Andy; Wyatt, James (June 2008). Player's Handbook. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0-7869-4867-3. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  4. http://archive.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drdd/20080314
  5. http://archive.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ex/20080421a
  6. Heinsoo, 144

External links[edit]

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