D&D 5E How would you like 5e to handle combat roles.

5e combat roles

  • 1 role. Defender or Striker or Leader or Controler.

    Votes: 27 21.8%
  • Everyone is a striker plus a secondary role: Defender or Leader or Controler.

    Votes: 27 21.8%
  • Everyone can play each role but in different ways.

    Votes: 70 56.5%

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Poll needs a fourth option:

- Do away with predefined combat roles entirely.

That one would get my vote.

Lanefan
 

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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I actually have no real problems with removing the identification of "roles" from the game... simply because their conception has already served it purpose.

Roles were put into place for two real reasons: 1) Giving the game designers a baseline of power when creating classes, and 2) Telling players what the classes were good at.

Number 1) has done its job admirably. The designers of D&DN now know how to be more diligent in not overpowering or underpowering a class. We won't ever see the Bard be as ineffectual comparatively as it was back in 3E. They now know what a solid Bard class should be capable of and how it probably should compare to other classes of its ilk. They don't need assign it the role of "leader" anymore... because they know intuitively how it should be regardless. Likewise... they also know not to put so much power into the hands of the Cleric or Druid that allowed them to effectively play two or three roles at the same time and at the same level of ability as another class as they did in 3E. They know it intuitively now as part of good design, and don't need to explicitly say it out loud to realize it. And this is a good thing.

And as far as 2)... I think some of that will come down to how the classes are described in the class section, some of that will come down to what theme get selected (which will probably indicate to the player in its description what style of combat focus they will probably lean towards or be good at), and some of that could come down to helpful hints in the DMG that might talk about the DM assisting the player in deciding what he wants his character to do, and what the DM can then look for within the game to point the player in that direction. That, and that pretty much all of us already know intuitively what classes tend to be good at, even if the term "role" is never explicitly used.

So ditch the word if it means that much to people. After all, we're still going to use the concepts and party-building precepts of them anyway, because we have 40 years of gaming experience to tell us they are actually fairly useful. Even if we don't want to actually say it out loud.
 

BobTheNob

First Post
Poll needs a fourth option:

- Do away with predefined combat roles entirely.

That one would get my vote.

Lanefan
Im with this.

D&D was fine before roles, and frankly after years of playing 4e for years, I cant say that anyone in our group was really overly thrilled by them, frequently my players expressed dissatisfaction to me.

Im not going to buy into the debate on this thread (which to all involved please...everyones opinion is valid, accept that other people will disagree with you), but I will say that an option for no roles should have been part of the poll.
 


ForeverSlayer

Banned
Banned
In my opinion roles don't really matter. You can look at a class and get an idea as to what it can do in combat. Just create classes first and then let the player's decide how they will contribute in combat. We don't really need a "Defender" mechanic or a "Striker" mechanic that anchors a class to a certain role.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In my opinion roles don't really matter. You can look at a class and get an idea as to what it can do in combat. Just create classes first and then let the player's decide how they will contribute in combat. We don't really need a "Defender" mechanic or a "Striker" mechanic that anchors a class to a certain role.
Absolutely; and each player might have a different idea of what a class' "role" is in combat, even side by side at the same table!

An example: some people I game with like to play what I call "light" Rangers; light-to-no armour scout and archer types that try to give out damage without taking any - I think those are called Strikers. But then there's me; if I'm playing a Ranger it's going to be "heavy": I'm going to put it in plate mail and tank it up, as Rangers - particularly in 1e - are usually pretty tough and in my view should be throwing their hit-point-laden bodies into the fray to defend the squishies - which makes them Defenders.

Clerics are another good example of a multi-role class.

Lan-"I'm not sure this is what they meant when they said it was a role-playing game"-efan
 

Hussar

Legend
Absolutely; and each player might have a different idea of what a class' "role" is in combat, even side by side at the same table!

An example: some people I game with like to play what I call "light" Rangers; light-to-no armour scout and archer types that try to give out damage without taking any - I think those are called Strikers. But then there's me; if I'm playing a Ranger it's going to be "heavy": I'm going to put it in plate mail and tank it up, as Rangers - particularly in 1e - are usually pretty tough and in my view should be throwing their hit-point-laden bodies into the fray to defend the squishies - which makes them Defenders.

Clerics are another good example of a multi-role class.

Lan-"I'm not sure this is what they meant when they said it was a role-playing game"-efan

But there's a good example. If you're playing a "tank" ranger, then why play a fighter? The ranger has more hit points, better special abilities, all sorts of other goodies, although a slight xp hit. So, what's the point of having the fighter class?

Well, I suppose you could argue that because the of the stat requirements, you need a fighter because rangers were harder to qualify for, but, that seems kind of lame. "We have fighters for those who just aren't good enough to be rangers"? Yay, an "also ran" class.

And, funnily enough, people talk about classes doing multiple roles. Yet, it's almost always the casters - I want to be a defender/striker/whatever wizard, goes the refrain. Yet, I rarely see it go the other way.

Do you want the thief/rogue to be able to create area of effect effects and lots of buff/debuffing like a controller? How about the ranger? Should rangers be able to create area effects? Maybe he's just shooting a cloud of arrows wuxia style which burst into flame and create fireballs. Or, maybe the rogue should be healing people and giving them extra actions per round a la a leader. After all, I can think of all sorts of rogue leader archetypes... or well... maybe not.

Somehow I don't think too many people want that in their core rules. Niche protection for a class means that a given class actually has a reason to exist. If any class can cover any niche, why bother having classes in the first place? Go GURPS or HERO and be done with it.
 

Hassassin

First Post
Do you want the thief/rogue to be able to create area of effect effects and lots of buff/debuffing like a controller? How about the ranger? Should rangers be able to create area effects? Maybe he's just shooting a cloud of arrows wuxia style which burst into flame and create fireballs. Or, maybe the rogue should be healing people and giving them extra actions per round a la a leader. After all, I can think of all sorts of rogue leader archetypes... or well... maybe not.

Somehow I don't think too many people want that in their core rules. Niche protection for a class means that a given class actually has a reason to exist. If any class can cover any niche, why bother having classes in the first place? Go GURPS or HERO and be done with it.

I would like to basically see "controlling" be mainly something primary casters can do, and "defending" mainly something primary melee characters do. However, it's fine if a rogue picks up some alchemist fires for area effects and potions for healing, or the fighter picks feats (or whatever) that let him trip enemies and push them around.

"Niche protection" seems to mean that each class has its thing that other classes can't do. I'd rather have "niche specialization", where each class has a few areas of core competence where they are better than most classes.

For fighter, those areas would encompass all combat styles: TWF, sword and board, two-handed, ranged. Other martial classes would be good at one or two: the ranger at TWF and ranged, the barbarian at two-handed, the paladin at sword and board. To me the fighter has always been a combat generalist, who can pick up any weapon he finds and use it effectively.
 

MoxieFu

First Post
Keep Roles out of the core game. They can be part of an optional module for tactical combat for those who want it. I don't want to have to pay for an extra layer of complexity and then have to strip it back out of the game. This is part of the game that should be dialed-out entirely when the dial is at its lowest setting.
 

Hussar

Legend
I would like to basically see "controlling" be mainly something primary casters can do, and "defending" mainly something primary melee characters do. However, it's fine if a rogue picks up some alchemist fires for area effects and potions for healing, or the fighter picks feats (or whatever) that let him trip enemies and push them around.

"Niche protection" seems to mean that each class has its thing that other classes can't do. I'd rather have "niche specialization", where each class has a few areas of core competence where they are better than most classes.

For fighter, those areas would encompass all combat styles: TWF, sword and board, two-handed, ranged. Other martial classes would be good at one or two: the ranger at TWF and ranged, the barbarian at two-handed, the paladin at sword and board. To me the fighter has always been a combat generalist, who can pick up any weapon he finds and use it effectively.

Really? Have you actually seen players change their fighter's weaponry and styles around during play? Sure, the fighter might have a ranged weapon and a melee weapon, but, beyond that, I've never seen a play switch styles. If the fighter uses a shield, he always uses a shield. If he uses two weapons, he always uses two weapons. Again, barring specific circumstances when he switches to a bow. But, fighters have always baselined on whatever single style they chose at 1st level.

Keep Roles out of the core game. They can be part of an optional module for tactical combat for those who want it. I don't want to have to pay for an extra layer of complexity and then have to strip it back out of the game. This is part of the game that should be dialed-out entirely when the dial is at its lowest setting.

What complexity? This is why I think people really haven't bothered to read the 4e PHB when they criticise this. There is no complexity here. It's a label, nothing more. Being a striker does not make a character any more or less complicated than before. It makes it more transparent, but, that's about it.

I would think that a game with hard wired combat roles would actually be simpler than one without. After all, if you want to be X, then you simply choose the classes that are labeled X. Otherwise, you're basically reinventing the wheel with every character made.
 

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