Forked Thread: Its the terminology that kills me...

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There's two levels of jargon going on here: PC role and Monster role.

They are different, despite two terms overlapping (leader/controller).

PC role jargon just formalizes the idea of classes with similar job descriptions: a fighter, barbarian or paladin was expected to fight in melee and soak damage (tank, now defender). A wizard, sorcerer, or psion dealed out massive damage to large areas of foes (nuker, now controller). A cleric, druid or bard was supposed to buff and heal (healer, now leader). Rogues, scouts, and monks did damage and had high mobility (skirmisher, now striker). All the role is there for is to tell players the general function of a class and what that class swaps out for (a warlord is as good at healing/buffing as a cleric, so if you have a warlord, you have the cleric's role covered).

Now, Monster's never had such neat little titles before (late 3.5 and) 4e. However, most DMs knew that you didn't run a mind flayer like a fire giant like a choker like a kobold. Each had their own strengths and weaknesses. 4e just put terms to that. Needed? Probably not. Useful? I think it makes creating monster "teams" easier, and I can balance them in roles like my PCs balance their "team" in roles.

The Green Adam

First Post
That's a class, not a play-style. Worse, it's a Defender, which the Gish often isn't.

Cheers, -- N

A good example of why its bothersome to me is it makes feel foolish in a hobby I've been at for over 30+ years. I have almost no idea what the above sentence means. :confused:



What a load of gump.

I've been playing for twenty years and in that time I've put together dozens of groups (none seem to last more than a year due simply to life changes), and in that time one of the common threads to all groups is the concept of group dynamics.

Even with 1e, people were saying, "What other classes have people claimed?" or in some way indicating that they wanted group balance in classes.

This is exactly the same as class roles. The only difference is that they've gone and given it a name in the system. Something that was lacking in previous editions.

Saying that all of a sudden this ruins your atmosphere is just ridiculous. It's the same argument as, "...calling them mobs and not monsters ruins D&D!"


Personally, as far as jargon goes, I find the class and monster roles to be quite useful. At a glance, I can get a general idea of what the class or monster is supposed to do; IMO, its a good organizing principle. Now, the issue of its usage around the table falls under the province of meta-gaming and table talk, and thus should be left up to the players and DM.


First Post
I will admit that I hate, hate, HATE the terms "gish" and "toon". No rational explanation for it, just how I feel.

I absolutely have to translate them as "hybrid fighter/mage" and "character" before I can move on if I'm reading a sentence with one of those two evil terms in itI guess I'm fine with almost anything else, but those two are just too diminutive and cutesie for me.


...Man, I like the term Gish. Guess I'm the odd one out.

As for jargon, the only one I've ever really seen is - and may the puppies forgive me - skill monkey. Aside from that?

"We need a healer?"
"Naw, I bought a wand of cure spells."
"We need a tank?"
"This ain't no MMO, Skippy."
"We need a damage dealer?"
"We ALL do damage."

So yeah, I haven't seen the jargon too much in my game. Roles would come up, but nothing like "defender" or "Striker." Nor was it really even about ROLES for the most part; it was more about vague archtypes. Usually it was "Do we already have a fighting man? Ok, I'll be fighting man. Sarah, how about you be magic dude?"


I've never actually spoken face-to-face with someone using the word "Gish" to represent something not having to do with Githyanki.

Probably a good thing, because I'd probably punch them in the face. :mad:


First Post
In my opinion, as for these terms being usefull for monsters.... I dont need WoTC telling me i need some kobolds with bows because the fight needs some "artillery", or some kobolds who dont fight with bows as "defenders". If i decide its a situation where the defenders of such and such dungeon or tower have set up a situation where range helps then they ALL have bows, and when the pc's hit an area where someone needs to put down their bows and fight so other kobolds can keep shooting without being molested then some of my kobolds will do that.

I dont need WoTC giving me arbitrary and pointless roles for my monsters to replace my common sense when evaluating the defenders I CREATED in the dungeon I CREATED. I think i have done a fine job so far in my years of GMing figuring out how many shamans are in X tribe and how many keep shooting bows while Y amount of goons leave thier positions to engage without WoTC giving me video game descriptions of each of these characters and premade stats along with silly powers for them that ignore any sort of inner system and stats u may have for a group of enemies.

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