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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%

I think they problem is that we need new questions.

1) Should the designers name a classes combat role in the class description?

2) Should the game enforce a class' role in the class' mechanics?


4) if no to Question 2, what should regulate the combat roles each class's concept has? Or should there be no regulation and restrictions on class combat roles and let the class concept do whatever it can do?

1) No with a resounding voice.
2) No yelled so loud it can be heard around the world.
4) In an appendix describing possible build choices that show how each class could be a role - a basic description of types of abilities/spells/powers/what-have-you that fits each role. Or in a Role/Character guidelines book or modules.
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
I voted for Option 3, because it is the closest option to "not having roles." All classes can be strikers or leaders or whatever, depending on the circumstances. We don't need to hard-code them into the classes, IMO.
 

The problem with roles being explicit, for most people, is the risk of being told that they can't or shouldn't have an ability because it doesn't suit their role.

A 3rd edition fighter would not take kindly to being told he HAD to wear heavy armor. Even if that was the most effective use of the class abilities. 4th edition clerics (in playtest) did not like the idea that they shouldn't have access to area-effect blasting spells because that was the controller's job.

Roles can be an excellent way to define what a class is and is not intended to do. But every class needs enough variety that a player feels free to range outside the primary focus. They can be kept behind the rules, if that's what it takes to keep the older-edition players from fleeing.
 

Hussar

Legend
i never said it was a straiht jacket (you keep building strawmen here), i said the classes were designed around roles, and they clearly were. That doesn't mean they dont have powers outside their focus, but it does mean the designers made classes to excel at striking, controlling, etc.

Well, ok. Then where's the problem? Specialization at all is bad? Every edition had classes specialized at certain things. Where it went off the ranch somewhat was that the casters could out specialize everyone else because of the spell system. Roles simply added a bit of niche protection.

Again, if roles are straight jackets, then where is the problem?

Lord M said:
That is the mechanical "straightjacket" Roles have in 4E to my opinion. Why shouldn't the "striker" wizard do as much damage as any other "striker". Why shouldn't any class have the opportunity to be the best "leader". Because the game says "Strikers are these classes" means that other classes cannot be as good as they are as strikers - if part of your combat character design goal is to be able to do the absolutely the most damage of anyone in the part, but are somewhat squishy, you should allow every class to do that - not just "better than everyone except the specialist".

Meh. I like the idea of niche protection. If all classes can be anything, then why bother having classes at all? Go all the way and make the game point based a la HERO or GURPS. Classes, depending on your point of view, are either strong archetypes gathered around a common theme, or a bag of mechanics gathered around a common theme. Either way, they're gathered around a common theme.

If another class can jump in and do your schtick as well as you can, why bother with class at all?

A wizard doesn't out do the strikers in single target damage because that would put strikers out of a job. OTOH, you can build a wizard that does a pretty darn good job emulating a striker, although, he's not quite as good as the best strikers. Fantastic. We have differentiation between classes - that answers the whole "homogenous classes" thing. A rogue can't out do the wizard in mass effects, but, he can take a number of area attacks and status debuffs which put him in the same ballpark as the wizard. Again, he's not as good as a wizard, but, he gains some other things in return (better armor, more hit points, etc).

If roles aren't a straight jacket forcing you into specifics, they also aren't so open that they allow you to ride roughshod over another class' schtick.

A striker wizard or a controller rogue is still a wizard or a rogue, with all the basics that that entails. However, they can do the other roles well enough that they are making valuable contributions to the group and aren't riding the pines because they are completely inneffective.

I mean, try making a defenderish thief in AD&D and watch what happens. Or try straying outside of role with any non-magic class in 3e. At least the classes are versatile enough in 4e that they can actually operate outside of their niche without having to patch on a magic system to do so.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
1) No with a resounding voice.
2) No yelled so loud it can be heard around the world.
4) In an appendix describing possible build choices that show how each class could be a role - a basic description of types of abilities/spells/powers/what-have-you that fits each role. Or in a Role/Character guidelines book or modules.

So you prefer that the game doesn't tell nor enforce roles on a class. It just describes possible builds and hopes players don't make "Godzilla" or "Combat useless" characters.
 

I really hope 4E-style combat roles are gone for good. When they accomplish what they're trying to do (telling a player what to do with his character), they suck. Otherwise, they're just useless.

Cheers
 

Well, ok. Then where's the problem? Specialization at all is bad? Every edition had classes specialized at certain things. Where it went off the ranch somewhat was that the casters could out specialize everyone else because of the spell system. Roles simply added a bit of niche protection.

Again, if roles are straight jackets, then where is the problem?
.

Yes, the classes didn't used to be this specialized and that is the problem. At least that is one my major issues with roles. You don't have to accept that. But I don't understand why you continue to assume either bad faith or ignorance on the part of those who just disagree with you about 4E mechanics.
 
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So you prefer that the game doesn't tell nor enforce roles on a class. It just describes possible builds and hopes players don't make "Godzilla" or "Combat useless" characters.


Exactly.... well mostly. Tell roles about class, just not as part of the class description a big section that says "advice on running a good character and game, subsection: Roles" or something.

But then Hero/Champions has been my favorite game system since '85, and that concept is implicit (well actually explicit) in those rules. So my view is biased. :)


I'm one of those who believe that the information should be made available to players and DMs (Hey this combination could be an issue in this type of game) but that balance, in general, is up to the DM. Have enough info that if followed no one is combat useless (unless that is a specific choice of the player - to play a combat useless character for whatever reason), and enough advice to avoid the really big pitfalls of Godzilla. But don't hardwire it into the system.

But then I also believe that DMs should allow or disallow any race/class/feat/what-have-you based on gameworld design and personal taste. I don't believe that just because something is in the rules, that the player has an undeniable right to use it.

The buck stops with the DM not the rules.
 
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A wizard doesn't out do the strikers in single target damage because that would put strikers out of a job. OTOH, you can build a wizard that does a pretty darn good job emulating a striker, although, he's not quite as good as the best strikers. Fantastic. We have differentiation between classes - that answers the whole "homogenous classes" thing. A rogue can't out do the wizard in mass effects, but, he can take a number of area attacks and status debuffs which put him in the same ballpark as the wizard. Again, he's not as good as a wizard, but, he gains some other things in return (better armor, more hit points, etc).

Some people don't want these kinds of lines in their game though. I get that you do, and that is fine. 4E is ideal for someone with that preference. I just found this is part of the reason why 4E fails to scratch my gaming itch. I don't want characters cut up into these particular categories. Part of my understanding of the theme of wizard includes striking. Why should they do striking less well than another class, just because both possess the ability. There are other ways to balance the game than around these perceived roles, and they would probably retain the underlying flavor a lot better. Casting times/vancian limits and slow xp progression are a great way to balance out wizards. A wizard can do much of what a thief can, but he can't do it over and over again all day. If that isn't enough the designers can increase casting time or bring back the old school XP progression. I would have prefered they worked out more of the balance in this way, than by making the classes mechanically the same and assigning them roles. This to me produces exciting and interesting characters. Roles makes me feel like I am on a football team or something and they feel far too narrow.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Exactly.... well mostly. Tell roles about class, just not as part of the class description a big section that says "advice on running a good character and game, subsection: Roles" or something.

But then Hero/Champions has been my favorite game system since '85, and that concept is implicit (well actually explicit) in those rules. So my view is biased. :)


I'm one of those who believe that the information should be made available to players and DMs (Hey this combination could be an issue in this type of game) but that balance, in general, is up to the DM. Have enough info that if followed no one is combat useless (unless that is a specific choice of the player - to play a combat useless character for whatever reason), and enough advice to avoid the really big pitfalls of Godzilla. But don't hardwire it into the system.

But then I also believe that DMs should allow or disallow any race/class/feat/what-have-you based on gameworld design and personal taste. I don't believe that just because something is in the rules, that the player has an undeniable right to use it.

The buck stops with the DM not the rules.

I have a "No combat bad" PCs rule in my game. Having to ban this and that to make the game fun and balanced to all is annoying to me as it kills good concepts that I might want to see. I feel all DM bannings and adjustments should be fluff based and not fixes.

I am biased a bit too as I like playing PCs with "jerk", "hermit" or "paranoid" personalities who still function in battle.
 

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