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Character Roles
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Thread: Character Roles

  1. #1
    ronpyatt's Avatar
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    Character Roles

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    I'm not understanding some of the objections to having roles in 4e; Namely Defender, Leader, Striker, Controller. I thought I understood, but I'm really missing some clue as to why these 4 roles are considered bad, restrictive, or offensive or something else.

    As I understand roles in the 4e...
    1. The roles reflect the classic adventure types since D&D began.
    2. Character classes are not exclusively one role.
    3. Roles have no effect on game mechanics (as of yet).
    4. Roles do not restrict a classes ability to change roles.

    Do I have these wrong? Or am I missing the point that so many have been trying to make? HELP!!!

  2. #2
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    I've never had a problem with it, nor has anyone i have ever known. No doubt just an unhappy fringe group skipping rocks in the pond. Minor ripples, nothing more.

    Thoth-Amon
    Last edited by Arch Lich Thoth-Amon; 08-13-2008 at 01:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronpyatt View Post
    I'm not understanding some of the objections to having roles in 4e; Namely Defender, Leader, Striker, Controller. I thought I understood, but I'm really missing some clue as to why these 4 roles are considered bad, restrictive, or offensive or something else.

    As I understand roles in the 4e...
    1. The roles reflect the classic adventure types since D&D began.
    2. Character classes are not exclusively one role.
    3. Roles have no effect on game mechanics (as of yet).
    4. Roles do not restrict a classes ability to change roles.

    Do I have these wrong? Or am I missing the point that so many have been trying to make? HELP!!!
    These roles encourage cooperation. So, the grandstander who wants to do it all while the rest of the party watches will hate the concept. I say, tough- D&D is now a team game.

    I've also seen some confusion between "Role" and "Roleplaying"- as if having a combat role strips away all of your character's personality.

    I'd just have to say, if you hate roles, play GURPS. Seriously. I love GURPS. And when your gaming group comes to you with a vampire, a fairy, a centaur, and a space alien, maybe you'd be wishing you had roles instead.

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    You know, I really haven't a clue why they would find this restrictive in any way.... *sigh* They've ALWAYS existed! Fighters did what? That's right...protect the mages and the clerics. Rogues did what? What's that? Strike out of the darkness and do massive damage! I think it just gives reasons for people that are against the change to gripe about something else.

    Honestly I like the class roles...if I have a problem with one class I reference another class similar to it's feel. Swordmages are a prime example of this. I'm playtesting one using the preview Wizards put out for the RPGA..and they are arcane defenders....so if I'm caught in a jam, or say...I reach level 4 before the new books come out...I'll probably be picking something out from the fighter or paladin powers and giving it a swordmage feel till I get my hands on it.

    lol What do you think will happen when they come out with the Class Books like Martial Power coming out this year?

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    Another reason people rail against roles is that some think they are too WOWish.

    Personally, I don't get the prejudice people seem to have against online MMOs, but for some, the ability to compare some aspects in 4e to a game is a death sentence.

    MMOs have transitioned over time as the authors figured out what people enjoyed. The more people enjoy it, the longer they play (and pay), and unlike many other games where if you lose interest, the publisher still got their inflow from your original purchase, an online game loses out when you lose interest. Thus in any form of entertainment, MMOs are one of the most customer-responsive, and therefore have a great deal of research put behind them to make them more fun, challenging, and exciting.

    So now comes 4e, where they have leveraged some of that research, and they have found that people do enjoy teamwork, and do enjoy being good at what they do. Roles are a natural choice in this light.
    Last edited by Maelstrom; 08-13-2008 at 05:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronpyatt View Post
    I'm not understanding some of the objections to having roles in 4e; Namely Defender, Leader, Striker, Controller. I thought I understood, but I'm really missing some clue as to why these 4 roles are considered bad, restrictive, or offensive or something else.

    As I understand roles in the 4e...
    1. The roles reflect the classic adventure types since D&D began.
    2. Character classes are not exclusively one role.
    3. Roles have no effect on game mechanics (as of yet).
    4. Roles do not restrict a classes ability to change roles.

    Do I have these wrong? Or am I missing the point that so many have been trying to make? HELP!!!
    That's my interpretation as well, so you're not alone. The people who object to it seem to feel that your combat role defines how you have to roleplay, which I find to be a ridiculous position.
    "You know spies gamers, a bunch of *****y little girls." - Sam Axe

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    I agree with Tamerath on this one, roles have always been there. just because they put it into plain sight and gave it more definition doesn't mean much has changed from the original.. and Maelstrom also bring up a very good point, i have played wow and it is fun, it is not heretical if you look at something that works and incorporate it into your system. the only thing keeping me from getting too hot on the 4e is the fact that i would have to buy all my books again haha

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    I was against it at first. Then as I was leveling up my 9th level Cleric in 3.5, I realized that I had made some feat choices and other decisions early on based on what the party needed when I first joined them, namely a fighter AND a cleric.

    At that point when I was leveling I realized that I was at a crucial juncture, do I go the route of how I have been playing my character and forgo the PrC that is going to make her a badas* super powerful cleric or do I go fighter and be a hindrance to the party because I do not have access to spells x, y, and z?

    I was really torn because my characters job as the main fighter had been replaced by the new paladin that joined us, so now I COULD focus on being a healer, but I had an extensive background that accounted for her fighting spirit. Plus we were severly gimped in the challenges we were facing because we were an oddball party anyway. A Paladin, Rogue, Sorcerer/Rogue, Fighter/Cleric, and a Bard. Yeah, I needed to be the best at one thing because my role had changed into being the healer.

    Anyway, long story short all this got me thinking about character roles and how a party should work and I realized that unless strides were made by the DM unusual party mixes like ours were always going to suffer because we didn't fill the 4 rolls as best that we could, fighter, healer, wizard, rogue.

    4e seems to have fixed this by allowing the roles to mix together better, AND even offer the DM suggestions on creating encounters for different mixes of roles.

    Go 4e!
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    flipping through the 3.5 phb:

    every class description has a paragraph titled "role".

    all of the descriptions pretty much correspond with the analogues in 4e.

    this is a complete non-issue.

    i'm not a fan of 4e for other reasons (mostly, if im going to be completely honest, due to my perceptions of the early marketing campaign and blogs of the WotC people - and the FR thing - and i'm really weird, but i LOVE Vancian magic), but this argument against 4e (the "roles" one) obviously doesn't hold any water whatsoever.
    Last edited by agoraderek; 08-14-2008 at 12:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post

    I'd just have to say, if you hate roles, play GURPS. Seriously. I love GURPS. And when your gaming group comes to you with a vampire, a fairy, a centaur, and a space alien, maybe you'd be wishing you had roles instead.
    I don't see that party as necessarily bad. Could lead to some interesting roleplaying, which is what gaming is about in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dog View Post
    I don't see that party as necessarily bad. Could lead to some interesting roleplaying, which is what gaming is about in the first place.
    Yes, but writing an adventure for such a group? What motivations would they have in common? What kind of teamwork would such a team use? What obstacles would challenge one player without being completely trivial or impossible for another?

    Yes, it could work- but it would be easier if everyone had some common ground to base a game off of.

  12. #12
    ronpyatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dog View Post
    I don't see that party as necessarily bad. Could lead to some interesting roleplaying, which is what gaming is about in the first place.
    Ah! Someone who likes a challenge.
    You're right, that party may not be a bad combination, but it could be bad if the DM prepares his or her encounters based on the standard 5 party member 4 role dynamic. Easy to do, but a DM has to be mindful of the PC classes. Also, if a PC class decides to take on a role that is not considered typical for that class, the DM may need to adjust the encounters (including skill challenge encounters) appropriately.

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