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Do we need a tank?


Skull & Shackles

Cheliax

We are getting ready to start this AP and while discussing our characters, we realized we have no tank. No major damage dealer for the front line. We have a bard, a fighter (cad, focusing on dirty tricks), and 2 rogues ( knifemaster and one going for arcane trickster). Given your experience in this AP, do you think a group of this make up can survive and do well in the AP? We may have a fourth player who wants to play a cleric, so for now ignore that missing link. Thoughts?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players have a Rogue, Cleric, Druid, & Bard. None of them are tanky. They're doing just fine - though be warned this AP has some deadly parts. Even with an optimized party you may experience some premature deadination.

I'd say that having some healing and some AoE magic are the critical things. And having fun trumps all of it.


My players have a ranger, a monk, a gunslinger, and a samurai. We should be adding a rogue around the time they attack the Man's Promise; I'm concerned that, without Sandara's healing, Bonewrack Isle will grind them up.


we have a bunch of tanks.

2 martially inclined polearm wielding oracles of different gods and mysteries. both fight almost identically. both use heavy armor and different reach polearm choices. they are different races as well.

1 dwarven 2WF fighter who dual wields sawtooth sabres

1 varisian healbot cleric

1 drow rogue who uses his supernatural gifts to create ambushes

1 tian barbarian/fighter who 2hands a katana

1 mwangi barbarian who wields an earthbreaker

1 gnomish sorcerer who specializes in AoE

1 Ulfen animal singer who buffs, summons swarms of rats, and plays the role of face

1 halfling witch who drops lightning bolts, uses slumber, flies, and debuffs

5 tanks plus a rogue. we have brute force covered, though we don't have much for ranged combat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Darth Krzysztof wrote:
My players have a ranger, a monk, a gunslinger, and a samurai. We should be adding a rogue around the time they attack the Man's Promise; I'm concerned that, without Sandara's healing, Bonewrack Isle will grind them up.

My players just spent most of Bonewreck Island running away. There is little incentive to stick around most fights. What came right after Bonewrack whipped them pretty good though. I think most of the time my players breeze through fights, then occasionally they take a real beating.


As a player in S&S and a GM for Jade Regent, I would say if the players want to have a non-traditional party, let them. They're making a decision that could make for some great and really interesting battles, will make some easier than normal and others harder than normal. That's a choice they're making. Once that choice is made, they'll need to think of tactics and strategies to make the non-traditional party work.

In S&S, we're also running without a "tank" but we have a lot of damage output. My summoner has an insanely deadly eidolon that, when buffed, is hard to hit but has relatively few hitpoints (not a traditional "tank" that can soak up damage). We have a magus who can do damage but is frail. We have a druid for support but not a lot of damage and is also fragile. Add to that a gunslinger and an alchemist, and we are, on the whole, a rather fragile party. So, we try to divide, conquer and kill the enemy quickly. We also used summoned creatures (from the druid and summoner when the eidolon is away) to soak up attacks from enemies (if they're attacking our summoned creatures, they're not attacking our PCs, which in some ways is even better than having a tank).

Bonewrack Isle was brutal,

Spoiler:
particularly as we don't have a proper cleric... I wouldn't be surprised if our GM did us a couple of small favors in the final fight against the mother and son duo, but he also explained we wound up having to fight the devilfish at the same time because we went into the tunnels at the low-tide, making it a much tougher fight than normal.
But we made it through without any fatalities.

Rather than being worried about it, I would encourage a nontraditional party... I would just make sure to give party an opportunity to think about strategies to compensate for it.


SnowHeart wrote:

My summoner has an insanely deadly eidolon that, when buffed, is hard to hit but has relatively few hitpoints (not a traditional "tank" that can soak up damage).

that is actually the other kind of traditional tank. the blink tank, also called an avoidance tank, dodge tank, or parry tank. it is just as traditional as the steriotypical blood tank, whom is the heavily armored guy who soaks up lots of damage by means of massive hit points.

the blood tank focuses on maximizing HP and finding ways to mitigate the damage of hits, whether by wearing heavy armor, or by applying stuff like regeneration. they tend to be vulnerable to high impact low accuracy attacks, or stuff along the lines of offensive magic.

the avoidance tank, focuses on ways of negating the effects of an attack. but is screwed by attacks that ignore avoidance. a single hit is dangerous for a blink tank. because it is commonly assumed that (in MMOs) that the tank would have an evasive buff applied, which are frequently named Blink. after the quick twitchy movement of blinking an eye.


Ah, good to clarify. Cheers.


OP I don't think the lack of a tank is going to hurt you nearly so much as:

a). you lack a full progression arcane.
b). you lack a full progression divine.
c). yes, you lack a tank.
d). you don't have a great deal of diversity. If you find a stave of ultimate destruction - who will recharge it. If you find the two handed ax of ravening destruction.. who's going to pick it up...

can you succeed? yes. but you've set your self a challenge.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

OP I don't think the lack of a tank is going to hurt you nearly so much as:

a). you lack a full progression arcane.
b). you lack a full progression divine.
c). yes, you lack a tank.
d). you don't have a great deal of diversity. If you find a stave of ultimate destruction - who will recharge it. If you find the two handed ax of ravening destruction.. who's going to pick it up...

can you succeed? yes. but you've set your self a challenge.

Not that I disagree with any of this on the surface of it, but the truth is, the point of the game is to have fun - any good DM will look at his party's make-up and adjust the threats and help available accordingly to keep the game challenging without making it impossible.

I'm such a big fan of non-traditional parties that a 'traditional' party almost always seems forced to me.

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