I want to put together a party consisting of Harold the Herald, Marshall the Marshal, Ward the Warden, and Mark the Mark.
This is 5e, we must push through 6-8 encounters before we can give it a long rest ...You just literally can’t give it a rest
Captain certainly denotes rank, though it can be civilian (captain of a ship) rather than military. Either way, that implies legitimate authority. (And how much authority is relative, in a fleet action a captain's following orders every moment, detached he's the highest authority available.)I chose Captain, because while it always denotes leadership it often means a very low level of leadership (outside of a naval context). Commander is somewhat similar to captain, but seems more strictly a matter of military rank, hence not quite as good as Captain.
Both of which imply a legitimate authority out of place with D&D player characters.To me Marshal primarily means either a type of police officer or the highest possible army rank.
Good or not, it's taken, sure. PDK would've been even better as a PrC.Banneret implies knighthood. Good name for a level 3 subclass
Sorcerer, Warlock, Thief, and Assassin all carry comparably negative connotations, and 'warlord,' since it doesn't imply legitimate authority is actually something anyone with a band of followers and a territory could claim, to the literal definition. But, then, few D&D classes adhere to the literal definition, in the first place.Warlord is a truly absurd thing to call a low level character, especially one who is not evil aligned since in real life it has an exclusively negative connotation. And yes, it is badass, but it only gets that way by being difficult to attain.
In that sense, Herald wouldn't be all bad as a support class, (in 4e, "Leader" was code for 'support,' broader than the traditional band-aid cleric, but focused on helping allies, not aggrandizing itself).Herald, Warden, and Sentinel are all cool fantasy sounding things, but none of them particularly have to do with leadership. A herald is, in fact, an implicitly subservient person.
D&D is a game with strong traditions, yes.and the wheel turns again, and nothing new ever happens.
Yes, it's one of many labels chosen in D&D that does not quite match what's in the tin.Defining what a “leader class” does would help because it does not lead.
Support.Leader was game jargon from 4e. IIRC it provided bonuses also called buffs. Maybe a little “battlefield control”.
It seemed to me at the time an alternative to "Cleric" (the game's original support class, back with it was just the Fighter, Cleric, & Magic-user - and the Druid didn't become a viable alternative to it until 2e at the earliest) or "Healer" (which was often viewed as boring). The explanation of Leader made the support function clear and went out of it's way to explain that it didn't imply 'party leader' in the sense of bossing players around.It is my suspicion that the role was called leader as a placeholder.
Sure.Some of the newer classes deviated from this paradigm in favor of cool sounding names. If you do that you can call it anything.
Then again, the Bard is in no way a leader, in concept.I'm amazed that I've read through this entire thread, and nobody has made the obvious "Bard" joke¹.
Honestly, I've always found 'Controller' the most ambiguous, least-clearly-supported, and simultaneously most-potent, yet most-dispensable role, because it's power doesn't always synergize or even 'play well' with the rest of the party.if you say "4e classes are categorised by their role in combat: Defender, Striker, Controller and Leader"... then it's much easier to understand intuitively what it is exactly that the first three do.
"Healer" is decidedly narrow, and, in the long-time RPGer and MMO communities, really carries something of a negative connotation.The 4e definition of Leader fits the term - it's not a bad game term. It's just fundamentally unsatisfying in the sense that if you don't already know what 4e's Leader role is, you're less likely to be able to guess the set of abilities that a Leader is expected without some additional context. It's clear that the game design space that 4e carves out for the "Leader" role works and makes sense along with the other roles, but maybe there's too much cultural baggage to have a good name for that? Not that I have a better idea. "Support" is both underwhelming and would be confusing if you also have "Controller", since that's also support in a way. "Healer" is accurate, of course, but also plays into one of the big anti-tropes.
Your issues with the Controller role are with the powers and game balance it had, though - not the fit of the name. That's an entirely different argument, and let's not have it here .Honestly, I've always found 'Controller' the most ambiguous, least-clearly-supported, and simultaneously most-potent, yet most-dispensable role, because it's power doesn't always synergize or even 'play well' with the rest of the party.
"Leader" though, does outright feel like a euphemism. Like they're struggling to make the Role sound appealing. It's no coincidence, I think, that in 3e, when the Fighter was Class Tier 5, it's fluff text was redolent with suggestions it made a "natural party leader" in spite of 0 mechanical support for the concept.
Here's a problem: Healer sounds more important and exciting (at least, it seems to for a lot of new players. "Can I play a healer?" is a thing I have heard quite a bit - at least in the same order as other "Can I ..." from newbies, even if it's not the most common). But Healer also evokes the spectre of the poor benighted healbot in older players."Healer" is decidedly narrow, and, in the long-time RPGer and MMO communities, really carries something of a negative connotation.
'Support' strikes me as the most accurate.
Oh, there was ambiguity in the name, too. Controllers in 4e were mainly implied to inflict conditions, but also expected to sweep minions with AEs, even if they carried no 'control' riders, so there as a 'blasting' aspect to it.Your issues with the Controller role are with the powers and game balance it had, though - not the fit of the name. That's an entirely different argument, and let's not have it here .
It may sound a bit prestigious - associations with doctors and medical dramas and EMTs and the like, I suppose.Here's a problem: Healer sounds more important and exciting
And younger players exposed to the concept/role via MMOs. So it's really kinda out. Also, it's narrower than the actual role even in 4e (when roles were at their most tightly-defined).(at least, it seems to for a lot of new players. "Can I play a healer?" is a thing I have heard quite a bit - at least in the same order as other "Can I ..." from newbies, even if it's not the most common). But Healer also evokes the spectre of the poor benighted healbot in older players.
Agreed.Support is accurate, and works well for what they do, but also sounds less essential (which is amusing, given just how much a support class played well makes the game better for everyone).
Sure. Like a regional dialect.I think both names have problems. Then again, maybe the best thing to tell people is: Use the names that will best work with the players you have.