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%

Nonchameleon, i will have to take your word on the bard, as I only have the first phb and dmg (another issue i had with 4e was the expectation people buy 3 phbs). But what you are describing still doesn't sound like what I am after. If that class works out for you, great. But my experience making characters with the first PhB, and with the others when I went back and tried to play again last year is the roles totally ruin the game for me. There may be exceptions, like the bard,as you point out, and they may have changed their approach over time, but the classes were very carefully balanced around combat encounters in 4e, rather than against other elements or over the course of the campaign. This is something 4e defenders hold up as a good design model, something they said explicitly they were doing, etc. So either they didn't do what they set out to do with roles, or they changed how they were used over time. Either way, i dont see what roles bring to the table in that case.

Balanced across the combat encounter != straightjacked to that balance.

As long as you have options balance is information. Nothing more, nothing less. It means that if you put approximately the same inputs in, you get about the same outputs. There are choices (feats, utility powers) where you can go for different types of combat option - or non-combat options and when stacked these can have a significant impact. But by making the choices I was I was completely aware of what I was doing.

I've listed above what roles bring to the table. Guidance for both developers and players.

And for the record, the PHB2 is both much better designed and written than the PHB1. The Invoker, with a literal shard of unfiltered divine power, and spells such as Rain of Blood rocks. The Bard's great fun - with the ability to viciously mock people and do psychic damage. The Shaman with a spirit companion really extends the game. The Avenger - a divine assassin has a line of inspiration that lead directly to a ninja librarian of Ioun.
 

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It's fine to not like something... just be very careful about ascribing things to them that can be proven demonstrably false just in an effort to strengthen your point. It's very easy to do, but weakens your argument when its shown to not be 100% correct. And we're all guilty of it occasionally.

Again, i dont really think that is what has been going on here for the most part. It atrikes me that people genuinely disagree. But aggresively pursuing your point about an edition and countering people point by point, doesn't make one right. And a lot of times, that is what this looks like to me. I havent really seen anyone prove much of anything. Seen lots of good arguments, lots of different presentations of evidence, but nothing more than usual internet debate fair.

Edit: just to be clear, this comment is directed at both sides.
 
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Balanced across the combat encounter != straightjacked to that balance.

Sure, but it does mean classes are genuinely all going to have some parity in combat. That is the whole point of balancing around individual combat encounters.

I've listed above what roles bring to the table. Guidance for both developers and players.

I think classes can achieve this. But the problem isnt the concept of roles themselves. It is the specific roles 4e was limited to, and the fact that they were all combat roles. Like I said, the old thieves really werent much in combat, their role in the game was predominantly non non combat (trap detection, scaling walls, stealing).

And for the record, the PHB2 is both much better designed and written than the PHB1. The Invoker, with a literal shard of unfiltered divine power, and spells such as Rain of Blood rocks. The Bard's great fun - with the ability to viciously mock people and do psychic damage. The Shaman with a spirit companion really extends the game. The Avenger - a divine assassin has a line of inspiration that lead directly to a ninja librarian of Ioun.

Again, i will have to take your word. My understanding is they did change direction a bit later on. But even when I came back to the game last year (where we had both phb ii and iii) at the table I wasnt terribly impressed with the game.
 


SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
But from these things I conclude that 4e style explicit roles carry a lot of very negative baggage, and they do it for a benefit which I think is fairly minimal.

Since even the most ardent of 4e style role supporters seem to be telling me that they failed utterly in their job of allowing WotC to control what happened on other peoples tables I'll ask again: Why should explicit roles exist in 5e?
As I've said recently, I believe that roles will be gone as an explicit part of D&D Next, largely because people have a problem with seeing the game elements that are traditionally behind the curtain, so to speak.

Now roles will still exist, in the game, but we won't talk about them, so that will be out of many people's minds. (I firmly believe that even the most anti-roles folks still use them in their games, but just don't think of it that way.)

This will make it more difficult for people with no gaming experience to figure out what to do in the context of a combat encounter, but nothing I've seen indicates that D&D Next is targeted towards new players at all. Again, I expect this will make a lot of folks very happy that we'll be back to the 70's and 80's style of gaming again.

I also expect that we'll have a couple of classes that don't perform well in the context of the standard roles. These will become D&D Next's version of the bard and monk from 3x, and will not be played very much as a result. Heck, maybe that's exactly what they plan to do with the bard and monk classes... there's precedent for it already.

So not liking explicit roles in the game means you're likely to be pleased with what D&D Next has to offer. It is a victory for the classic style of play.
 

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