Different roles for different classes

4th Edition

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The "traditional" four classes have the following role:

Leader - Cleric
Defender - Fighter
Striker - Rogue
Controller - Wizard

What happens to their powers and concepts if they're in a different role? The warlord, seems to me, the fighter in a leadership role. Same with warlocks and sorcerers, which strike me (hah!) as wizards in the striker role.

What would be a wizard in the leader role? Defender role? Or a fighter in a controller role?

joela wrote:
What would be a wizard in the leader role?

Depends how far you're willing to extend "wizard". A Bard is a leader, and it shared a lot of similarities with wizards in previous editions.

Defender role?

This one's pretty straightforward: a Swordmage is essentially a wizard that takes a beating in melee.

Or a fighter in a controller role?

I'm not sure. I don't know that we've ever really seen a fighter in a controller role in any edition. It'd be interesting to see someone try and pull such a class design off.

A Wizard is an Arcanist (a user of the Arcane power source) in the Controller role. Bard and Artificer are Arcanists in the Leader role, Warlocks and Sorcerers are Arcanists as Strikers, and Swordmage is Arcanist as Defender. That's how I tend to think of it. You don't have a character sheet with Wizard written on it, but you're using arcane magic to enhance your combat ability.

The Martial Controller, btw, is in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. One of the Ranger variants, but I can't remember off-hand whether it's the Scout or the Hunter. Not a Fighter, but a character who fights and who happens to do so in a way that has some results in common with what a wizard does.

As noted, Essentials actually plays around with this a bit. We have a fighter build (the Slayer) that is a Striker - adept at walking up and beating an enemy's face in. We have a ranger build (the Hunter) who is a Controller - using ranged attacks to pin down and disorient enemies.

I think one can certainly play around with the roles. And, more than that, one can mix and match pieces of them - they have done so from the beginning. The Fighter has always had elements of Striker in him, being great at dishing out damage, while the other PHB Defender (the Paladin) clearly had elements of the Leader.

The Warlock is a Striker, but with a tendency towards also being a bit of a Controller.

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Good stuff. Thanks, everyone!

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