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Major PC roles?

4.0 argues for four main roles in D&D - the Defender (tank/healer), Leader (healer/buffer), striker (damage-dealer - either range blaster or close-up basher), Controller (uh...not even they've done much to outline this one).

When I'm building my mental D&D party, my roles are:
Negotiator/face
Caster/Blaster
Expert/trapspringer
Tank/Scrapper
Medic/defense

Am I missing anything here? by reducing everyone's character sheets to just combat stats, D&D kind of throws out the expert and "face" role, but they're still necessary in a well-rounded party. However, "face" is almost purely based on player charisma now...

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
baktre
Oct. 9th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
Well, anyone willing to blow a few feats on skills can quickly become an expert. Given now few skills there are and how crappy feats are, it wouldn't be hard to quickly have every skill you cared about!
baktre
Oct. 9th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
...and speaking of such, I leave myself no choice but to spend my level 1 skill on 'diplomacy'. DIPLOMAT SMASH! :)
spottylogic
Oct. 9th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
Hmm...I can't *stop* you, but maybe you should build up to that :)
octos
Oct. 9th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
The major design goal was to separate out of combat abilities from in-combat and allow everyone to have a chance of contributing. My recommendation is to read everything you can find on skill challenges and then sort out your own methodology for running them. DMGp42 is your best friend. I'd also study how the disease track works. It can be a model for so many other things.

Like baktre said, anyone can train in a skill and be competent now, so you don't have to have a rogue to spring the traps. Spending a feat on skills never feels like a waste. And skills are more like skill groups. Don't be afraid to make complex skill use require that a character be trained. When there's no applicable skill, use a stat roll.

If your group has experienced players, they may be in for a shock because things have subtly changed. The wizard will not be laying waste to everything unless it's minions. The cleric is still the king of healing, but it's a side job. He'll be blasting or fighting with a side of buffing. The fighter will also not be dishing out the damage. They hit hard, but nothing like the strikers.

Teamwork is the ultimate power. My group is really starting to gel and it's a blast. Once the party combos start flowing monsters drop quickly.

But this is mostly about skills. I haven't run any heavy diplomacy yet, but have done some skill using. The idea seems to not have something important hinge on a single die roll that someone can munchkin too much. It's more of a problem-solving exercise with a roll for how well you pull off your idea.

Think about all the times Picard had to be a diplomat, especially with Klingons. He used basic diplomacy a lot. But he'd also throw in history citations and the occasional show of strength (intimidate). Maybe he dug up some dirt on the council earlier (streetwise) to drop at the right moment.

So you have more of a decision tree than just a flat pass/fail. Instead of "use diplomacy" it's "how do I use diplomacy". One guy could do it all, but then everyone else is twiddling their thumbs. It's a very subtle difference. I hope it makes some more sense.

Here's something to get you started- http://gloomforge.livejournal.com/12135.html?thread=208487
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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