D&D 4E What if Controllers also had a signature ability?

Undrave

Hero
So, you know how 4e had four roles: Defenders, Striker, Leader and Controller? And how the Defenders could mark, the Strikers has damage buff mechanics, the Leader had a minor action heal twice per encounter? So, each role had its own signature ability… except the Controller role.

What if the Controller role DID have a signature ability? What would it look like?

Personally, I think it should have been an encounter reaction triggered when an enemy succeeds a saving throw. Preferably against a condition you imposed but that might get annoying to track. For example, I can see the Druid’s reaction creating a zone of difficult terrain, the Invoker making the target glow for a turn so they’re incapable of hiding (or hand out temp HP to allies nearby?), and maybe the Wizard inflicts a small amount of damage in a burst? Or maybe the trigger could be, depending on class, simply moving out of a zone you created? Basically a sort of "Oh no you don't!" reaction to impose additional (minor) control on the battlefield.

You guys got suggestions?
 

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This really depends on what you mean by [controller] - which the game itself doesn't really nail down, so we're forgiven for floundering a bit here.

The thing is that [controller], as defined by what's given, is a collection of things - so having the singular signature ability isn't all that easy...

For instance :
  • [controller] as the imposer of debuffs : then, as you suggested, an extension of duration could work
  • [controller] as the imposer of debuffs (second) : a standard penalty applied - something similar to the Invoker
  • [controller] as the AoE master : a power to turn a single target power into an area
  • [controller] as the AoE master (second) : a power to turn a area power into a zone
  • [controller] as the battlefield manipulator : a power to create a [wall] or other area (could be similar to above)
  • [controller] as something I'm not thinking of right now : [...]

All of this is setting aside the [wizard], as it can easily be built to not exhibit any of these traits. So yeah... not an easy fix if you want to retain/respect as much given material as possible.
 

glass

(he, him)
I do not have much useful to add, unfortunately. I agree with @MoutonRustique(Real); 4e never decided what "controller" actually meant (aside from "stuff the wizard did" - which in previous editions was not particularly limited). I have being trying to come up with a defining feature for them for years, but so far without success.
 

cimbrog

Explorer
I do not have much useful to add, unfortunately. I agree with @MoutonRustique(Real); 4e never decided what "controller" actually meant (aside from "stuff the wizard did" - which in previous editions was not particularly limited). I have being trying to come up with a defining feature for them for years, but so far without success.
Controller used to be a primary role in WoW that was effectively eliminated after an expansion or two. Probably for the same reasons.
 

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