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View Full Version : Party Roles and my cleric that doesn't fit in



Inquisitor Tremayne
02-13-2008, 03:47 PM
So I have been doing a lot of thinking about the effectiveness of our PC group and how we work as a team, mostly because I am at a loss as to how Tirsa (the cleric) fits in and how I can play her effectively.

4th edition offers up PC "roles" and reading up on them I think they make a lot of sense (more so than the defined 3.5 roles of Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, and Mage) and have been critical in looking at how our party operates.

First, there are 4 roles, Leader, Defender, Striker, and Controller.

(the following is just my take on what I have read, all of this may actually be different when 4th edition is released)

The Leader is the party's "face", healer, booster, and option giver. Currently Ithilden (the Paladin) and Strumble (the bard) fill the "face" role and very well. Tirsa is obviously the healer, yet Strumble and Ithilden can provide some needed healing. Strumble fills the roles of booster and option giver (haste). I would put all 3 of us in this role, with it being Strumble's primary role.

Next is the Defender, this is the PC that engages the enemy in melee and is the heavy damage dealer. This is obviously Ithilden with Tirsa coming a close second. I would still however put this as Ithilden's primary role.

Striker is the one who can out-maneuver the enemies and deal "secondary" damage. So while Ithilden is engaged in melee and Strumble is boosting, Jahde (the Sorcerer/Rogue) is bouncing around dealing "support" damage and trying to cut off enemies that maybe trying to out-maneuver us. Jahde and his levels of Sorcerer/Rogue fills this role nicely!

Last is the Controller, this is the character that is controlling the battle field by cutting off or limiting enemies options with big area attacks, walls and etc... Tirsa can do a little of this with Flame Strike and maybe Sound Burst but none of us can really "own" this role.

So as you can see, there isn't really a clearly defined role or place for Tirsa and I think this is the trouble I am having with playing her. While she does manage to cover a wide range of roles she is still not necessarily needed, and thats fine. I never REALLY wanted to be a cleric anyway I was simply filling the roles that were left open. My ideal character would be a Ranger who would probably be another Defender or Striker or a Wizard who would fill the role of Controller. Not that I am trying to pigeon-hole any of us into particular roles, but simply that this is a good way to look at our party and the way I am feeling about my character.

As a healer there are plenty of magic items to invest in to replace this role.
As a defender she has enough Hp and a high enough AC to soak some damage and keep enemies distracted but just isn't a big damage dealer without being boosted to do so.
Then as a controller all she really has is Flame Strike. Most of her other spells are selected to heal and boost the party should they need it or to expend as healing spells.

So what I am looking for is some feed back on how to play an effective Cleric or if I should switch up characters and play a Ranger or a Wizard?

One option would be to invest in magic items that allow my cleric to fill one particular role. I am just no sure what magic items would do this. I am leaning toward the Controller but I feel a cleric's options are limited in that field. Also I am just not that familiar with clerical spells and magic items to know what combos I can optimize the best.

I have always played her as a fighter because thats what the party needed when I joined as well as some healing. Now that thats not needed too much anymore there is really no need for her.

nijineko
02-13-2008, 04:07 PM
i must disagree. you could fill the battlefield control slot much more effectively. as a cleric you have access to a lot more spells than just flamestrike, and that's an offensive spell, not a control spell at all.

if you can cast fifth level spell, at least, then you have the following options from the players handbook:

5th: command, greater; dispel (alignment); hallow(prep only); insect plague; symbol; wall of stone.

4th: control water, dimensional anchor, dismissal, freedom of movement.

3rd: deeper darkness; dispel; magic circle.

2nd: darkness; enthrall; hold person; silence; spiritual weapon.

1st: cause fear; command; obscuring mist; sanctuary.

plus the summoning spells, and the buff spells are all handy. not to mention cool stuff from the spell compendium: wall of dispel magic, symbol of spell loss, mass sanctuary, earth reaver, curse of ill fortune, blistering radience, wall of (alignment), wall of sand, wrack, wall of light, ring of blades, and more.

all of these can be used to affect the battlefield in different ways, from barring passage to making it difficult to hit to damaging opponents and more. make sure you pick your ground to give yourselves the advantage too!

or you could pick a different role entirely, if you wanted. just some thoughts. =D

Maelstrom
02-13-2008, 04:14 PM
What spheres does your Cleric have? That might modify your role some as well.

Anaesthesia
02-13-2008, 04:54 PM
What spheres does your Cleric have? That might modify your role some as well.

Ditto. You don't have to fill your entire spell list with just Cure spells. When I play cleric I have one cure spell per level, as well as a Healer's Kit and several potions or Wands that held Cure spells.

In PHB 2, there are other themes, suggested Backgrounds as well as Suggested Personality Archetypes. Maybe one of those will give you an idea to go on? They have Divine feats in the PHB2, so maybe one of those can help you as well.

I would also recommend looking at Complete Divine, Defenders of the Faith and the Spell Compendium, for more spells and/or ideas on how to improve your cleric.

DrAwkward
02-13-2008, 05:21 PM
Ditto. You don't have to fill your entire spell list with just Cure spells. When I play cleric I have one cure spell per level, as well as a Healer's Kit and several potions or Wands that held Cure spells.

If you channel good energy, you shouldn't have to prep any cure spells. Clerics can convert any non-domain spell to a cure (or inflict if you rebuke) spell spontaneously.


It sounds to me like Inquisitor's group just isn't getting pounded hard enough. Don't you ever need to start laying down the big healing spells to keep your front lines alive? Is your healing done out of combat, for the most part?

Inquisitor Tremayne
02-13-2008, 05:31 PM
I think we have solved the problem.

The player for the bard suggest I try to be the controller and so I am going to focus on that. He is buying me a Peripat of Wisdom +6!!!

Her domains are Good and Healing.

I don't ever prepare any cure spells but I have been sitting with bull's str and bear's endurance waiting for a chance to use them.

All healing happens outside of combat. I rarely heal during combat.

I have the complete divine, defenders of the faith, spell compendium, divine champion, etc...

I think I just need to read over the spells and choose from there.

*Edit: I think part of the problem was that I was having to fill roles in the party as players were coming and going. Now that we have a steady group I can focus on one aspect.

I'm feeling better about the character now. and not just because of the wisdom +6!:D

Please keep the suggestions coming!

Anaesthesia
02-13-2008, 05:44 PM
If you channel good energy, you shouldn't have to prep any cure spells. Clerics can convert any non-domain spell to a cure (or inflict if you rebuke) spell spontaneously.


I know that. I just like being completely annoying/paranoid and having at the very least one prepared anyway, out of all my spells (even if its just a cure light).

Maelstrom
02-13-2008, 06:36 PM
Hmm, thought about multiclassing? Mystic Theurges are awfully tempting, especially if you do a lot of your healing outside of combat...

Just 3 wizard levels and you qualify. You could even go specialist evoker for the extra spells since you've got the other side covered.

DrAwkward
02-13-2008, 07:25 PM
I know that. I just like being completely annoying/paranoid and having at the very least one prepared anyway, out of all my spells (even if its just a cure light).
Never a bad idea to be paranoid. :cool:

Usually I only prepare them if I want a metamagic feat on them, so they don't face the sorceror casting-time restriction.

tesral
02-13-2008, 09:01 PM
So I have been doing a lot of thinking about the effectiveness of our PC group and how we work as a team, mostly because I am at a loss as to how Tirsa (the cleric) fits in and how I can play her effectively.

4th edition offers up PC "roles" and reading up on them I think they make a lot of sense (more so than the defined 3.5 roles of Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, and Mage) and have been critical in looking at how our party operates.

First, there are 4 roles, Leader, Defender, Striker, and Controller.


Too small a toolbox. There are many many more "roles" that are being offered here. Finding your own nitch is part of what the game is about. The above lens is looking entirely through combat as if combat was the be all end all of the game.

There e are not four roles. There never have been "four roles" there never will be "four roles". Pigeons fit in pigeonholes. Don't be a pigeon. There are as many roles as you have the skill and imagination to create.

rabkala
02-13-2008, 11:21 PM
Get a lesser metamagic rod of reach. Any touch spell becomes a ranged touch spell for those moving characters in combat. It is cheap and effective without boosting the level of your minor buffing and healing spells.

nijineko
02-14-2008, 01:14 AM
ah yes, along with the excellent suggestion of metamagic rods, may i also suggest runestaffs as a way of expanding your on-hand selection.

hmmm, i don't think i ever prepare cure type spells. now, heal and restores, on the other hand.... i usually dump the 0-level spells on cure if i need to stabilize someone.

DrAwkward
02-14-2008, 10:33 AM
Get a lesser metamagic rod of reach. Any touch spell becomes a ranged touch spell for those moving characters in combat. It is cheap and effective without boosting the level of your minor buffing and healing spells.

If you are using the healing spell spontanously, it's still a full-round action to cast, even with the rod, no?

rabkala
02-16-2008, 03:01 AM
I was under the impression it was a standard action. Spontaneous casting takes no extra time. The metamagic rods power the spell and only sorcs must make it a full round action, I believe. Either way, it fits his idea of his character role. All the metamagic rods are great. Get a bunch of them; reach, substitution, shaping, enlargement, silence, extension, etc. They are a great bang for your buck and can really come in handy.

Inquisitor Tremayne
02-16-2008, 11:38 AM
I'm just waiting to see if our DM will let us retrain feats. If yes then I will pick up Extend Spell at 10th, Persistent Spell at 11th, Scribe Scroll and Reach Spell at 12th.

I think it is all coming down to spell selection really. I think the group as a whole has been under utilizing each persons potential.

rabkala
02-16-2008, 12:01 PM
It is always hard to bring everyone together into one cohesive unit, especially if there is any change in the group. It is hard enough to bring about your own long term character goals without things changing.

Retraining feats is a great option. I generally allow it at set times. I have had many players change feats because they didn't even think about potential prestige classes at the character onset.

Does your cleric have any prestige plans? Sometimes a couple quick dips into some front heavy classes/prestiges can be very helpful in the long run.

Heavy use of potions, scrolls and wands are a great way to increase power potential.

Inquisitor Tremayne
02-16-2008, 01:29 PM
I'm picking up Radiant Servant of Pelor PrC next level.

I am roleplaying the change she is going through. She began as a fighter type character and is now turning into a nurturer healer type character that wants to take care of her companions.

This is what retraining the feats and taking the PrC will represent.

nijineko
02-19-2008, 07:02 AM
don't overlook the healing feat from comp-divine. bonus healing dice.

Inquisitor Tremayne
02-19-2008, 08:56 AM
don't overlook the healing feat from comp-divine. bonus healing dice.

Are you talking about Augment Healing? That only gives you +2 points of healing.

DrAwkward
02-19-2008, 10:50 AM
Are you talking about Augment Healing? That only gives you +2 points of healing.

+2 points per spell level. So +2 on cure light, +4 on cure mod, +6 on cure serious, etc.

As a DM, I've house ruled that Cure Minor counts as a "half level" so gets +1 point of healing from this feat.

There are also two different feats that I've seen that use your "turn" attempts to do AE healing. Don't know of any that give bonus dice, though.