Marshal

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Marshal is an old French loanword meaning "Stable Keeper" that has developed through the ages to represent someone who rounds up other people.

This has been used in military contexts to represent field commanders, or in law enforcement contexts to represent agents of the courts and/or various varieties of bailiffs.

Warhammer 40,000[edit]

Black Templars[edit]

The Black Templars Space Marine do not follow the Codex Astartes organisation in that they do not have fixed companies and therefore the rank of Brother-Captain does not actually apply to them.

Instead they use the rank of Marshal as their closest equivalent for the commanders of their individual crusade fleets.

Adeptus Arbites[edit]

The Adeptus Arbites includes the rank of "Suffering Marshal", which is a playable career in Dark Heresy, representing those officers who go on detached duties in order to track down and recover Imperial fugitives, usually from worlds which are outside of Imperial jurisdictions.

3rd Edition D&D[edit]

Printed in the Miniatures Handbook (and free in that book's official excerpts), like many of the classes presented there, the Marshal is optimised purely for battlefield combat and doesn't perform really well compared to other PC classes.

As expected from professional soldiers, they are trained in all armour and in simple/martial weapons. However their base attack bonus is the same as Rogues and Clerics, and their Hit Die is decidedly average at D8 so they do not really count as front-line warriors.

What they do get in terms of class abilities however is access to team enhancing abilities: First in the form of Auras which will be explained in further detail below, as well as the ability to grant ALL of his allies within 30' an extra move action a number of times per day.

The Auras come in two formats, Minor or Major, and you can have one of each active at the same time. Each Aura grants circumstance bonuses to the marshal's allies within 60' as long as they remain conscious, mobile and audible and the magnitude of these bonuses scale with the Marshal's level.

Minor Auras generally provide bonuses on characteristic checks, which often require the PC to know what he's expecting in advance to be of any use, so is therefore situational. But since the bonuses can be swapped freely it's not such a big deal.

Major Auras are far more sweeping, and grant positive modifiers to things such as attack rolls, armour class or movement speed. These are far more useful to your allies as in most cases everyone shall be able to benefit from them.

From the way the class is built it really needs to be used in much larger scales rather than small groups of PCs, otherwise the bonuses that the class provides could be more easily outstripped by a divine caster through buffing spells.

Making Marshals work[edit]

Unfortunately, there are limited options available to Marshal PCs in terms of alternate routes to take. Very few feats or prestige classes really improve their core abilities in any way.

So unlike spellcasters, rogues or warriors: multiclassing away from Marshal will essentially mean starting a whole new progression.

At its simplest, taking the Leadership feat works well, as having more allies in your vicinity grants the greatest return on your investment, as even a whole bunch of lv1 commoners can be made relatively accurate with your maxxed out auras, and be made to move around more quickly with your ability to grant extra actions.

There are other things to look out for if you know where to look.

Dragon Magic introduces Draconic Auras, which can be taken as a feat and used in addition to your normal auras. If your PC is of the dragonblood subtype they also scale with his level too, regardless of class. So you can make your PC the central hub of a nicely-buffed army. There is also a feat to allow your project two auras, allowing for a potential grand total of four. You just need to be careful about which bonuses you provide, because as per the basic rules, they do not stack if they are of the same type.

In the same book there is also the Dragon Lord prestige class, which provides all the Draconic Auras and allows you to project one yourself. So when combo'd with with potential feats and class abilities you could end up projecting up to five auras. It also has a full BAB progression and d10 hit die, so therefore is a good option to get Marshal's more involved in combat, rather than sitting on the sidelines cheering his party on.

The class also enhances your Leadership feat if you have it, by giving you a draconic cohort and also gives you a number of other team-enhancing abilities such as granting temporary hit points and morale bonuses to attack rolls. In addition, this class also eventually buffs you in relation to how many enemies you get flanked by.

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Classes
Player's Handbook: Barbarian - Bard - Cleric - Druid - Fighter - Monk
Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Sorcerer - Wizard
Player's Handbook II: Beguiler - Dragon Shaman - Duskblade - Knight
Complete Adventurer: Exemplar - Ninja - Scout - Spellthief
Complete Arcane: Warlock - Warmage - Wu jen
Complete Divine: Favored Soul - Shugenja - Spirit Shaman
Complete Psionic: Ardent - Divine Mind - Erudite - Lurk
Complete Warrior: Hexblade - Samurai - Swashbuckler
Dragon Compendium: Battle Dancer - Death Master - Jester
Mounteback - Savant - Sha'ir - Urban Druid
Dragon Magazine: Sha'ir - Deathwalker - Fleshcrafter - Soul Reaper
Dragon Magic: Dragonfire Adept
Dungeonscape: Factotum
Eberron Campaign Setting: Artificer
Heroes of Horror: Archivist - Dread Necromancer
Magic of Incarnum: Incarnate - Soulborn - Totemist
Miniatures Handbook: Favored Soul - Healer - Marshal - Warmage
Oriental Adventures: Samurai - Shaman - Shugenja - Sohei - Wu jen
Psionics Handbook: Psion - Psychic Warrior - Soulknife - Wilder
Tome of Battle: Crusader - Swordsage - Warblade
Tome of Magic: Binder - Shadowcaster - Truenamer
NPC Classes: Adept - Aristocrat - Commoner - Expert - Magewright - Warrior
Class-related things: Favored Class - Gestalt character - Multiclassing
Prestige classes - Variant Classes - Epic Levels
Forces of the Codex Compliant Astartes
Command: Apothecary - Brother-Captain - Brother-Sergeant - Chaplain - Chapter Master
Command Squad - Honour Guard - Librarian - Techmarine
Troops: Assault Squad - Centurion Squad - Chapter Serf - Devastator Squad
Scout Squad - Tactical Squad - Terminator Squad - Veteran Squad
Transports: Drop Pod - Land Raider - Mastodon Heavy Assault Transport
Razorback Transport - Rhino Transport - Spartan Assault Tank - Termite
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Dreadnought - Javelin Attack Speeder - Jetbike - Land Speeder
Predator Tank - Sabre Tank Hunter - Sicaran Battle Tank - Vindicator
Ordnance: Hunter - Rapier Armoured Carrier - Stalker - Thunderfire Cannon - Whirlwind
Flyers: Caestus Assault Ram - Fire Raptor - Landing Craft - Storm Eagle - Stormbird
Stormhawk - Stormraven - Stormtalon - Thunderhawk - Xiphon Interceptor
Superheavy Tanks: Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer - Fellblade Super-Heavy Tank
Typhon Heavy Siege Tank
Spacecraft: Battle Barge - Strike Cruiser
Allied Space Marines: Fallen Angel - Primaris Marine - Blood Angels - Dark Angels
Deathwatch - Grey Knights - Space Wolves