Roles: what are they


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Scarab Sages

Reading the recent monk thread about what role a monk fills I realized that there is no consus on what the roles even are. After a bit of thought (at least like 30 seconds) I came up with what I consider my views of what a groups roles are.

  • Heavy Meele - this group normally like to move forward and confront the enimies directly relying on thick armor and a large stack of hit points to not die. Fighters, paladins, cavaliers, some cleircs and orcles, and some barbarians, some magi do well to fill this role.
  • Light Meele - This group forsakes the heavy armor to gain hightend mobility and a tactical advantange from moving around these foes. This group excells at high terrain encounters (catwalks above vats of acid, crumbling ledges in a volcano, etc). They are not as druable as the heavy meele but often bring useful skills to the table. Rogues, bards, monks, inquisitors, some fighters, some rangers, barbarians, some alchemists, and magi fill this role well.
  • Ranged Damage - These guys very sensably kill things from over there. They bring the noise so to speak. Wizards, alchemists, rangers, some witches, sorcerers, gunslingers, some fighters.
  • Healing - Everyone takes damage. These guys make sure the opponents die first. Clerics and oracles are the top tier of healing. Druids, bards, paladins, inquisitors, witches and alchemists can also contribute depending on their build.
  • Combat Control - These guys keep everything under control though use of magic (walls, charms, wards, etc) or combat manuvers (grapple, disarm, trip, reposition, etc). Wizards, sorcerers, witches, summoners, figthers, monks, magi, druids, and bards all do well. The smoke bomb ninja also gets a nod here.

This is simply my opinion and may be subject to change. But I'm super happy if my group has these bases covered.

Dark Archive

Well I think you can add Bard to the list of ranged damage. Haste + Rapidshot + Manyshot + Longbow/Shortbow while performing is plenty of damage. Paladins also are great at killing stuff with bows.

I would also like to add a category, and subtract a category. I think Healing is not really a good category for a class to fulfill, for the common argument of "It's better to make the enemy die first and then clean up the damage later". Buffing, on the other hand, is a great role for a class to fill. Wizards, Bards, Clerics and Oracles are all fantastic at this, while Sorcerers, Druids, Alchemists, and even Monks now can all do it to some benefit.


Light Melee isn't a role, it's a consolation prize. If you can't put yourself into the heavy melee role you'd better be bringing something else to the table.

You can substitute miss chance for armor to some degree so most 3/4 BAB casters can swing it given time to buff, possibly as little as one round. The difference between the strongest core light armor and the strongest core heavy armor is only AC 3 DR 3(elven chain vs dwarven plate) and mirror image or displacement will cover that over a typical combat.

That's only the direct combat roles though. There are also the noncombat roles. Off hand there's Face, Espionage, and Knowledge.


I have several roles (base classes only) -

Heavy Melee: Wears heavy armor, hits stuff with a weapon of some sort. Suffers from low speed and heavy encumbrance. Fighters, Paladins, and some Clerics can fit here.

Light Melee: Wears lighter armor, can hit effectively in melee, and typically can shoot well too. Barbarians, Bards, some Clerics, Dex Fighters, Monks, Rangers, and Rouges fit here.

Ranged Support: Shoots bows effectively. Usually weaker in Melee, but can perform decently there too. Bards, Dex Fighters, Rangers, and Rouges are typical.

Magical Support: Supports the party with buffs, de-buffs, and/or healing. Includes Bards, Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and Wizards can fit here, depending on spell selection.

Magical Attack: Helps defeat enemies with magical attack spells/abilities. Includes primarily Druids, Sorcerers and Wizards.

Specialists: Aids the party more out of combat with skills that are necessary at certain times. Nearly every class helps in this regard, with Bards and Rouges taking the lead.

Our group doesn't mega-power game to the point where we ignore healing, so I think it's still critical to include it. Parties without Clerics are dead parties, in my experience, unless the DM plans for that in the adventure (which I do, as we have no cleric).

It's rare to fill all of these roles - our group has no magical attack, for example.

4th Edition has 4 roles - Defender (soak damage), Striker (Dish out damage), Controller (large swaths of damage to areas), and buffer (aid party with abilities). I think that's all of them (I might be wrong on names).


TheRedArmy wrote:

I have several roles (base classes only) -

Heavy Melee: Wears heavy armor, hits stuff with a weapon of some sort. Suffers from low speed and heavy encumbrance. Fighters, Paladins, and some Clerics can fit here.

Light Melee: Wears lighter armor, can hit effectively in melee, and typically can shoot well too. Barbarians, Bards, some Clerics, Dex Fighters, Monks, Rangers, and Rouges fit here.

The roles aren't really separate. Do damage, take damage. Speed isn't making or breaking anyone.

Fighter at level 3 or higher in a breastplate or in mithral platemail as soon as he can afford it or in any armor at level 7: 30'

Ranger wearing medium armor: 20' until level 4 or 5, and longstrider will never stack with haste

Rogue of one of those small, stealthy races so often associated with rogues: 20'

The line's too blurry to separate them by speed and they all have the same requirements of power and durability to go into melee.


As much as I'm sure to be maligned for this I think 4e hit the nail on the head in regards to roles.

Defender
Striker
Controller
Leader

Most classes can fit more than oen of these roles. Some can take oens they'd normally not eb able to with the addition of archetypes.

Scarab Sages

Atarlost wrote:

The roles aren't really separate. Do damage, take damage. Speed isn't making or breaking anyone.

Fighter at level 3 or higher in a breastplate or in mithral platemail as soon as he can afford it or in any armor at level 7: 30'

Ranger wearing medium armor: 20' until level 4 or 5, and longstrider will never stack with haste

Rogue of one of those small, stealthy races so often associated with rogues: 20'

The line's too blurry to separate them by speed and they all have the same requirements of power and durability to go into melee.

Speed isn't really the distinguising thing between light meele and heavy meele (though its not nothing). In my view a light meele character can get places the others cannot. At low levels it may mean having the speed move up ladders and around catwaklks on balance beams. At high levels may mean being able to tumble though the pair of giants blocking the tunnel to get at the caster behind them. Also note that nothing inherently prevents the fighter from serving in both roles - with armor training he is as manuvrable as the rogue and only lightly hindered by armor check penalty. The magus can simularly serve both roles depending on if his spells are more offensive or defensive in nature.

Also, I respectfully disagree that healing is not useful. It many not be absolutly required all the time, but when you need it you need it.


A role is a set of mechanics in which a class excels at that contributes in a useful manner without being penalized by the system itself. So it depends on the classes and the system.

With D&D classically being a fairly combat heavy game since AD&D1e, the roles have mostly been set against how they act in combat.


TarkXT wrote:

As much as I'm sure to be maligned for this I think 4e hit the nail on the head in regards to roles.

Defender
Striker
Controller
Leader

Most classes can fit more than oen of these roles. Some can take oens they'd normally not eb able to with the addition of archetypes.

You know what I'm going to take this concept a step further and propose that there are out of combat roles as well.

Face
Scout
Outdoorsman (Sometimes scout, not always)
Knowledge Monkey

None of these things have any true impact on combat as a whole (in most cases)but it is quite possible to be a leader adn a scout for example or a scout and a controller.

Scarab Sages

TarkXT wrote:
You know what I'm going to take this concept a step further and propose that there are out of combat roles as well.

This is an intresting idea and I will have to give it some thought. On one hand I agree that these out of combat roles are often helpfull or ocasionally required, yet on the other hand... I don't really love them.


TarkXT wrote:

As much as I'm sure to be maligned for this I think 4e hit the nail on the head in regards to roles.

Defender
Striker
Controller
Leader

Most classes can fit more than oen of these roles. Some can take oens they'd normally not eb able to with the addition of archetypes.

I'm not sure about that. I think you, or rather WotC since they came up with the list, are too attached to having four roles.

Defender I'll buy. It never appears alone since there's no aggro mechanic, but it's a role and it exists.

Striker is also a real role in PF. If it appears alone there's a problem because there's no aggro mechanic to keep Strikers from getting pasted, but it sometimes happens anyways.

Controller is also a role if it means what I think it does. The Treeantmonk Wizard does mostly this.

Leader isn't a single role. It sounds like it's the 4e healer/buffer, but they're not inextricably linked in PF.

Healer is a role. Again, if you're filling only this role you're doing something wrong.

Buffer is a role.

Debuffer is a role.

I agree on your noncombat roles, but add Nil. While it's pretty much unheard of for someone to build a character with no combat role people do build characters with no noncombat role.

In the traditional party:
Fighter- Defender/Striker/Nil
Wizard- Controller/Buffer/Debuffer/Knowledge
Cleric- Healer/Buffer/Striker/Defender/Face?
Rogue- Striker/Scout/Face?

There's no outdoorsman because this is the AD&D party and everything happens in dungeons. The rogue tries to do damage -- in melee no less because he can't sneak attack reliably at range -- but can't take hits so will have a pretty short life expectancy. I list the Cleric as Striker/Defender mostly because of Divine Favor/Power and armor proficiency respectively. The fighter could also be a Defender/Controller as a combat maneuver build.

Scarab Sages

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In my mind, there are 3 roles.

Damage
Control
Support

Damage: Enemies need to die before you do. You make sure that happens.

Control: Enemies are dangerous. You make them less dangerous, which may or may not involve killing them.

Support: The whole is greater than the individual. You make sure the team functions at optimal efficiency, often sacrificing some small personal benefit to grant a benefit that outweighs your personal loss to the party.

I use these three viewpoints because roles like tank and healer don't/shouldn't exist in the game. They're just someone who specializes in a specific kind of Damage, Support, or Control. Tank? Could be a Supporter, could be a Controller. Healer? Again, could be a Supporter, could be a Controller. Striker? Could be a Damager, could be a Supporter (the classic example for me is the Combat Bard). Most classes don't fall into a single "role" unless you specialize to the extreme, which I have often found detrimental.


There are no set roles, as there are too many to fill, meaning either you don't really need to fill them all (and they have little meaning) or you need to fill multiple roles (and thus have no role, just 'role options'). Which is to say, your hero needs to be versatile because your foes are many and variegated. If your PC focuses on doing one role very well (and only one role), then, sorry, your PC's probably not contributing enough in some fights, perhaps deadly fights.

With no prejudice, IMHC 'maxed out characters' tend to die more frequently than PCs built to have fun (and therefore open to more options.)
"What do you mean it's an Evil Flying Snake Temple? But I'm a trip monkey!"
"Umm, really? Is that all you do?"

Heavy vs. light melee? A melee character should try for the strengths of both and the weaknesses of neither. And should carry a bow, a nice bow with a high Str bonus. If slow, (I'm looking at you, you beautiful Dwarfs) you should have a 'fast option' for emergencies (boots of haste/fly potion, et al).
Casters should have a mix of spells (control, damage, defense, maneuverability, stealth, misc.) not just ones for their 'role', and the tactics (as a team) should shift to match what spells will come into play against what types of monsters. Fighters should know the casters' options without table talk, such as whether the mage can finish off the wounded so the fighter can go engage somebody else, or can hold off the second wave until this batch is cleaned up.

Gravitating too far into one or another role is a good way to come into some battles understaffed as those prepared for contingencies are left with the burden.
Everybody should have something to contribute in the following fights:
Warriors with reach/range (Giants)
Casters you dislike grappling (Liches/Vampires)
Warrior-Casters (Outsiders or Dragons)
Weapon immune (Black Pudding or Swarm)
Magic immune (Golems!) (I love/hate them)
Archer ambushes/flyby attackers with reach/range (Manticore)
Trip/grapple nastiness (Wolves or Kraken)
Hordes
Incorporeal

They should also be able to adjust for strange/difficult terrain, darkness/blindness/invisibility, unconscious/paralyzed comrades, grappled/tripped comrades, the list is long...and conveniently in the back of the Core book.

I think to have 'four core roles' and then fill them, is to do an injustice to the complex beauty that is PF.

A better question might be what 'role options' or 'functions' should the PARTY have. (For example, I think a party of four needs at least 1.5 healers, but a 'devoted healer' needs to do more, or the party's at a lack.)

So example of breakdown for dungeon crawl (Undermountain type) four person party, 4th-6th level:
1.5 healers (the .5 being a PC able to heal the main healer.)
2.5 melee types (two to block 10' corridor, the .5 being a PC who can safely guard from monsters coming around back)
1 mook destroyer(evoker or Great Cleave or reach/Combat Reflexes)
3 mook killers (as everybody should be able to help kill mooks)
1 scout (or 1.5, with one to watch the back of the first, unless the first is a spell...)
3 modest ranged (or flight capable)
1+ superior ranged
1 trapfinder
1.5 faces (the .5 being a backup if the first fails/is disabled or has racial issue with those being talked with)
1+ knowledge monkey
1+ 3D traveler (flight/climb/et al) (a.k.a. rope carrier/bridge maker)
1.5 food providers (spells/Goodberries/heavy backpack)
2 mage killers (As Undermountain has many) (Silence, Spellbreaker, et al)
1 escape plan... (Everybody has a potion of Invis, right?)
And so forth. I'm sure I'm missing something.
There's just too much to cover in a world of fantasy, which may be why so many threads focus on PvP style encounters as if monsters were built like PCs.
They aren't. They do horrible things to you while denying some of your coolest abilities. So get more abilities, not just better abilities.

Okay, it's not late, but that whole last bit is a blur in my mind so I should halt for now. Can't... focus...
JMK

Dark Archive

Davor wrote:

In my mind, there are 3 roles.

Damage
Control
Support

Damage: Enemies need to die before you do. You make sure that happens.

Control: Enemies are dangerous. You make them less dangerous, which may or may not involve killing them.

Support: The whole is greater than the individual. You make sure the team functions at optimal efficiency, often sacrificing some small personal benefit to grant a benefit that outweighs your personal loss to the party.

I use these three viewpoints because roles like tank and healer don't/shouldn't exist in the game. They're just someone who specializes in a specific kind of Damage, Support, or Control. Tank? Could be a Supporter, could be a Controller. Healer? Again, could be a Supporter, could be a Controller. Striker? Could be a Damager, could be a Supporter (the classic example for me is the Combat Bard). Most classes don't fall into a single "role" unless you specialize to the extreme, which I have often found detrimental.

Then all we have to do is add the social roles: Face, Skills, Knowledge.

Feasibly you could have a three-person party adequately covering all 6 of these roles. Perhaps not optimally, but it's doable.


Atarlost wrote:

Light Melee isn't a role, it's a consolation prize. If you can't put yourself into the heavy melee role you'd better be bringing something else to the table.

You can substitute miss chance for armor to some degree so most 3/4 BAB casters can swing it given time to buff, possibly as little as one round. The difference between the strongest core light armor and the strongest core heavy armor is only AC 3 DR 3(elven chain vs dwarven plate) and mirror image or displacement will cover that over a typical combat.

That's only the direct combat roles though. There are also the noncombat roles. Off hand there's Face, Espionage, and Knowledge.

Dude,if you're telling me maguses only get a consolation prize..

I love Light Melee,it's my favorite role.


Ouch, double ninja'd by Atarlost and Davor.
(Please don't flank me, I'm about to level!)
Am deferring to Davor's simple elegance...

Scarab Sages

Mergy wrote:


Then all we have to do is add the social roles: Face, Skills, Knowledge.

Feasibly you could have a three-person party adequately covering all 6 of these roles. Perhaps not optimally, but it's doable.

Right. Even then, I wouldn't necessarily include out-of-combat roles, as that entirely depends on the game style. I mean, having knowledge is NICE, but I've never seen a game where it was anything special. Usually, knowledge and other skills are spread out throughout the party, so no one person has to fill any given role by himself, especially in regards to out-of-combat "roles."


sphar wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

Light Melee isn't a role, it's a consolation prize. If you can't put yourself into the heavy melee role you'd better be bringing something else to the table.

You can substitute miss chance for armor to some degree so most 3/4 BAB casters can swing it given time to buff, possibly as little as one round. The difference between the strongest core light armor and the strongest core heavy armor is only AC 3 DR 3(elven chain vs dwarven plate) and mirror image or displacement will cover that over a typical combat.

That's only the direct combat roles though. There are also the noncombat roles. Off hand there's Face, Espionage, and Knowledge.

Dude,if you're telling me maguses only get a consolation prize..

I love Light Melee,it's my favorite role.

Magi eventually cast in heavy armor, get enlarge person, mirror image, and displacement, and can use their arcane pool weapon enhancement to compensate for their less than full BAB. There's nothing light about their melee capabilities.


Mergy wrote:


Then all we have to do is add the social roles: Face, Skills, Knowledge.

Feasibly you could have a three-person party adequately covering all 6 of these roles. Perhaps not optimally, but it's doable.

Face & Knowledge I understand, but what's "Skills" in a 'social' context if not Face? (Did you mean 'espionage' as in earlier post?)

IMO, I think three characters could do two things each more than adequately, especially with the PF skill system.

Scarab Sages

Castilliano wrote:


Face & Knowledge I understand, but what's "Skills" in a 'social' context if not Face?

IMO, I think three characters could do two things each more than adequately, especially with the PF skill system.

I believe "skills" refers to Disable Device, Stealth, Survival, Perception, Climb, Swim, Acrobatics, and any of the various skills that provide a distinct benefit that few party members would have available, as well as the ability to perform well at those skills. (Swim may be available, but what fighter is gonna wanna jump out of his heavy armor to go skinny dipping?)


Atarlost wrote:
sphar wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

Light Melee isn't a role, it's a consolation prize. If you can't put yourself into the heavy melee role you'd better be bringing something else to the table.

You can substitute miss chance for armor to some degree so most 3/4 BAB casters can swing it given time to buff, possibly as little as one round. The difference between the strongest core light armor and the strongest core heavy armor is only AC 3 DR 3(elven chain vs dwarven plate) and mirror image or displacement will cover that over a typical combat.

That's only the direct combat roles though. There are also the noncombat roles. Off hand there's Face, Espionage, and Knowledge.

Dude,if you're telling me maguses only get a consolation prize..

I love Light Melee,it's my favorite role.

Magi eventually cast in heavy armor, get enlarge person, mirror image, and displacement, and can use their arcane pool weapon enhancement to compensate for their less than full BAB. There's nothing light about their melee capabilities.

Not everyone plays into higher levels,you know.*cough*PFS*cough*

If you read the first post,light melee are the people that don't wear heavy armor and get a tactical advantage from moving around.A Dervish Dance magus does exactly that,and can pump out the damage.

You're referring to Light Melee in the sense that they can't do anything in melee.This is not what Light Melee is.

Dark Archive

Davor wrote:
Castilliano wrote:


Face & Knowledge I understand, but what's "Skills" in a 'social' context if not Face?

IMO, I think three characters could do two things each more than adequately, especially with the PF skill system.

I believe "skills" refers to Disable Device, Stealth, Survival, Perception, Climb, Swim, Acrobatics, and any of the various skills that provide a distinct benefit that few party members would have available, as well as the ability to perform well at those skills. (Swim may be available, but what fighter is gonna wanna jump out of his heavy armor to go skinny dipping?)

In any case, I'm taking a crack at three members filling those six roles. I'll be back in a moment with the results. Some min-maxing may take place.


Contrary to 4e, in PF, roles are focused on builds, not classes.

A two weapon fighter with medium armor and acrobatics (a very acceptable build for fighters in PF) will have a different role than a heavy armor and claymore fighter. A druid who focuses on shapeshifting can have a very different role than one who focuses on entangle/faerie fire/obscurement/etc.

Roles, more specifically, are just theorycrafting targets which min maxers in build competitions attempt to aim for. They don't have value when applied to actual gaming (for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they encourage a party representing a given distribution of roles - while failing to acknowledge that, during the life of a campaign, a player may not show up at every game session - which encourages character builds to not be so tightly focused). Like most things theorycrafting, their value is more theoretical than in actual game play.

The question of which roles exist only makes sense in terms of the theorycrafting competitions most likely to occur among a given group of people.


Regarding 4e:

Officially speaking there are the four roles. However, each class in those rules behaves different and has different strengths and weaknesses. And some classes can work themselves to use a secondary role as well.

So you have Fighters and Paladins. Both of them are Defenders But what does that mean?

Being a defender is in itself divided to a few different "roles" that they play:

Battlefield Control: hashing out debilitating effects and "taking control" of areas of the battlefield to make sure the baddies can go where you want them. Also something that Controllers do, usually this is judged against other defenders, not controllers.

Damage: Kinda obvious. Also usually the main thing for Strikers, defenders can do it fairly well too!

Mobility: This one matters a good deal. 3e is sort of the odd one out in D&D that penalizes lots of movement. Movement matters a TON in 4e, especially as a defender, as they're almost all melee classes.

Stickiness: This is more or less how good you are at making sure the bad guy attacks you, not the squishier classes. This can be both how good you are at making enemies attack you, and how good you are at making sure they can't escape.

Survivability: Somewhat goes without saying, how much punishment you can take to the face and still trucking.

So you have fighters and paladins, and they're both "defenders." But in reality, they play very differently. Fighters potentially have better stickiness, damage, and mobility - and if they use a polearm they can have some incredible battlefield control Seems a bit one sided...until I note that some fighters are better at things then others. The polearm fighter will have much better control, but will do less damage and obviously won't have a shield. The paladin, on the other hand, will just about always be more survivable. And indeed, strength based paladins can reach the same damage potential as fighters. Oh yes, and paladins - especially charisma based ones - have backup healing and can be somewhat decent as a secondary Leader

It goes farther though. The two classes favor different styles of stats depending on what type of fighter/paladin they are, which opens up to different skills and different fighting styles (Fighters with polearms do a ton of sweeping to keep badguys that are next to him EXACTLY where he wants them, fighters who focus on grappling are amazing at choosing one or two enemies and locking them down entirely while looking like Mayor Haggar, charisma based paladins are more adapt at calling down the wrath of their deity, which can be done at a range). Furthermore, as I said, Fighters are very solid defenders and, depending on build, can work as a secondary striker or controller, whereas paladins can potentially work as secondary striker or leader.

So yeah, while there are the four basic roles of "Defender, Leader, Striker, and Controller," each one goes far more in depth then just, say, "Be a big dude that stands in front of enemies"


My 2 cp.

Combat Roles.

Damage. Subdivided into ranged (spells/weapons) and melee (heavy/light) Heavy melee are the classes that can dish and take heavy damage. Paladins, Invulnerable Rager Barbarians, Fighters, ect. Light melee are the classes that either deal damage but can't take it as well like Rogues and Rangers, or those classes which might have good defenses but don't dish as much damage, like the cleric. Most "light melee" characters also fill another role (often as the primary) but not all.

Control. Classes which deny actions to the enemy by slowing them down, taking them over, or possibly just knocking them over. Wizards and Witches fit here.

Support. Buffers and Healers such as the Bard and Cleric fall here. Even though support achieves a similar effect to control, they do it from the other end of the spectrum by affecting their own side rather than the other one.

Hybrids. These are characters who by their very nature fall into multiple combat roles. Normally they aren't as good as a full specialist, but they can often change how they approach things based on what works best for the situation. Others might just have a few tricks from other roles. The Magus, Alchemist, Inquisitor, and Druid all fall here.

Different archetypes and builds can change where the class roles normally fall, putting a hybrid up with the specialists and vice versa.

Out of Combat Roles.

Face. Someone who specializes in people skills, normally a high charisma character, but not always. Bards are king here, but others aren't incapable.

Scout. Often, but not always includes the "trapmonkey." Stealth, perception, and other skills are considered key. Often supplemented with magic.

Knowledges. With so many to choose from, parties might split up the skills among multiple characters. Wizards, Inquisitors, and Bards do great here, either due to the high int, or to class features that enhance the base skill role (Inquisitor adding wis bonus to the roll, and the Bard being able to decide he rolled a nat 20 eventually).

Dark Archive

Not sure if anyone cares, but here's what I think is a viable three-person party, covering the six roles that myself and others brought up. Not saying this is correct in any way, but I think these three could work together nicely.

So I started with putting the six roles together: I put Knowledge with Support, Skill with Control, and Face with Damage. I also cheated a little bit by using some archetypes and abilities that make some classes a little bit SADer.

Knowledge/Support - Wizard (Conjurer, Teleportation sub-school) because while we need buffs, what we need more are numbers
Skill/Control - Ranger (Urban Ranger) - a rogue only better, and also brings a pet
Face/Damage - Inquisitor (Conversion Inquisition) - Wisdom instead of Charisma for face skills

A brief and not very fleshed out example of each using 20-point buy:

Elf Conjurer 1 (Teleportation sub-school):

Str 9
Dex 16
Con 12
Int 19
Wis 12
Cha 7

Feats:
Breadth of Experience (+2 to Knowledge/Profession, can make checks untrained)

Skills:
Knowledge (Arcana) +10, Knowledge (History) +10, Knowledge (Local) +10, Knowledge (Nature) +10, Knowledge (Nobility) +10, Spellcraft +8

I'd like to say I'm sorry for dumping charisma, but I'm actually not sorry at all. +10 to all trained Knowledge checks at level 1 is amazing, and he still gets +6 with the others and can make them untrained. At level 2 he can pick up the other knowledge skills, as well as appraise. Unfortunately this delays Spell Focus: Conjuration and Augment Summoning, but I wanted the builds to be evident from the get-go.

Human Ranger 1 (Urban Ranger Archetype):

Str 20
Dex 12
Con 14
Int 8
Wis 12
Cha 7

Feats:
Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush

Skills:
Acrobatics +2, Climb +9, Disable Device +5, Perception +5, Survival +5, Swim +9

Two dump stats this time, so I can get his Strength sky-high. To be perfectly honest, he may be able to do just as much damage as the damage, but his primary feature is bull rushing. At level two he takes the sword and board combat style to pick up Two-Weapon Fighting, and at level three he picks up Improved Shield Bash, graduating to a Shield Master at level 6, and bull rushing with his shield at level 7. Control is part moving the enemy around, and part making them fear you enough to focus on you. Oh yeah, on the skills angle, despite dumping intellect a little bit, he can still fit in all the skills the other two can't, and at level 3 he can disable magical traps like a rogue.

Human Inquisitor 1 (Conversion Inquisition):

Str 12
Dex 18
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 15
Cha 7

Feats:
Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot

Skills:
Bluff +6, Diplomacy +6, Heal +6, Intimidate +6, Linguistics +1, Perception +6, Sense Motive +6

Yeah, I dumped Charisma with all three of these, sue me. Here's my biggest cheat moment, but the Conversion Inquisition is just so perfect. Inquisitors get way more skill points than they know what to do with, and putting them into face stats seems a waste if I'm dumping Charisma. This way, he can let fly with Bane and a Longbow, and his divine spells, though not as potent as a cleric, means we have both arcane and divine magic going on.

I await your criticism. :D


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Regarding 4e:

Officially speaking there are the four roles. However, each class in those rules behaves different and has different strengths and weaknesses. And some classes can work themselves to use a secondary role as well.

So you have Fighters and Paladins. Both of them are Defenders But what does that mean?

Being a defender is in itself divided to a few different "roles" that they play:

Battlefield Control: hashing out debilitating effects and "taking control" of areas of the battlefield to make sure the baddies can go where you want them. Also something that Controllers do, usually this is judged against other defenders, not controllers.

Damage: Kinda obvious. Also usually the main thing for Strikers, defenders can do it fairly well too!

Mobility: This one matters a good deal. 3e is sort of the odd one out in D&D that penalizes lots of movement. Movement matters a TON in 4e, especially as a defender, as they're almost all melee classes.

Stickiness: This is more or less how good you are at making sure the bad guy attacks you, not the squishier classes. This can be both how good you are at making enemies attack you, and how good you are at making sure they can't escape.

Survivability: Somewhat goes without saying, how much punishment you can take to the face and still trucking.

So you have fighters and paladins, and they're both "defenders." But in reality, they play very differently. Fighters potentially have better stickiness, damage, and mobility - and if they use a polearm they can have some incredible battlefield control Seems a bit one sided...until I note that some fighters are better at things then others. The polearm fighter will have much better control, but will do less damage and obviously won't have a shield. The paladin, on the other hand, will just about always be more survivable. And indeed, strength based paladins can reach the same damage potential as fighters. Oh yes, and paladins - especially charisma based ones - have backup healing...

This thread isn't about 4e. So, spending the entirety of long posts on 4e in this thread is disruptive.

Focus on the actual topic.


Mergy wrote:
In any case, I'm taking a crack at three members filling those six roles. I'll be back in a moment with the results. Some min-maxing may take place.

I'll only offer the class choices for such an exercise.

1: Paladin. Heavy melee, limited buffing and healing support, in addition to party face. Optionally a Cavalier if healing isn't as needed.

2: Inquisitor. Light melee but with more support magic and some healing. Also serves the scouting role, with some knowledge skills and the "dark side" of a party face via intimidate.

3: Witch. Control and knowledge skills. Depending on hexes and patron chosen there is also the option for some support (limited buffs and healing) and abilities as well.

This isn't the only way to achieve such an end. One could easily have a summoner, druid, and bard if they wanted, letting the eidolon and animal companion handle tanking duties while the characters sit back and support them. Or many other combinations others will undoubtedly come up with.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
LilithsThrall wrote:

Contrary to 4e, in PF, roles are focused on builds, not classes.

A two weapon fighter with medium armor and acrobatics (a very acceptable build for fighters in PF) will have a different role than a heavy armor and claymore fighter. A druid who focuses on shapeshifting can have a very different role than one who focuses on entangle/faerie fire/obscurement/etc.

Roles, more specifically, are just theorycrafting targets which min maxers in build competitions attempt to aim for. They don't have value when applied to actual gaming (for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they encourage a party representing a given distribution of roles - while failing to acknowledge that, during the life of a campaign, a player may not show up at every game session - which encourages character builds to not be so tightly focused). Like most things theorycrafting, their value is more theoretical than in actual game play.

The question of which roles exist only makes sense in terms of the theorycrafting competitions most likely to occur among a given group of people.

I think roles play a part (if somewhat obvious) in actual play - at least when it comes to assembling a party. Our group is a long way from min-maxers yet we always discuss roles and factor them into our decisions when coming up with new characters.

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Jason Ellis 350 wrote:
Mergy wrote:
In any case, I'm taking a crack at three members filling those six roles. I'll be back in a moment with the results. Some min-maxing may take place.

I'll only offer the class choices for such an exercise.

1: Paladin. Heavy melee, limited buffing and healing support, in addition to party face. Optionally a Cavalier if healing isn't as needed.

2: Inquisitor. Light melee but with more support magic and some healing. Also serves the scouting role, with some knowledge skills and the "dark side" of a party face via intimidate.

3: Witch. Control and knowledge skills. Depending on hexes and patron chosen there is also the option for some support (limited buffs and healing) and abilities as well.

This isn't the only way to achieve such an end. One could easily have a summoner, druid, and bard if they wanted, letting the eidolon and animal companion handle tanking duties while the characters sit back and support them. Or many other combinations others will undoubtedly come up with.

I posted my interpretation a few posts up; please check it out! :)


Now, I mentioned D&D was combat heavy (most class-based systems tend to be). Others are talking here about skill-roles, so I thought I'd expand into skill-based games.

In Shadowrun 4e, there are multiple roles that act more like basic stereotypes. Because everything is skill based, things can be combined or meshed together more easily.

So, the stereotypes are things like the Decker/Hacker (depending on edition), the StreetSammy, the Face, the Mage, the Adept, or the Rigger. Of these, only the StreetSammy and Adept are stereotypes typically aimed at overwhelming combat, the first through cybernetic implants, the second through applied magical buffs. But, as I said, these roles/stereotypes aren't hardline enforced - you can take implants or spells that improve your diplomacy skills to make you a mix of Adept and Face. The Decker and the Rigger can go perfectly together. Or you can use your cybernetic implants to be better at hacking. Really, the only limitations is that you can't (effectively) mix large scale implants with magic.

The point of this is to hammer in what I said earlier - roles do not exist in a vacuum. The "roles" in SR4 are different from the roles in D&D 4e are different from roles in, say, Legend of the Five Rings 4e. A role in the end is a mechanical specialty that is rewarded in the game. Making a polearm fighter that focuses on sweeping players around or controlling the battlefield is rewarded in 4e. Making an Adept that's capable of destroying tanks with a mix of magic and a gigantic titanium tipped bow and arrow is mechanically rewarded in SR4.

I think a lot of the talk in 3e/Pathfinder regarding "roles" comes to the question of how classes can set themselves apart. Let us say that one of the roles in 3e is "do damage." The questions I would ask are: are there "sub-roles" in this, such as doing steady damage set against doing burst damage? Are there other roles that reduce the potency or potentially even make doing damage as a dedicated role useless? And for classes put into "doing damage" as a role, can they/do they perform other roles as well?


Re: 3 PCs, 6 roles
With 3 PCs Will Saves become more important so I vote Paladin (Face/Control).
I think Wizard h.p. are too low with so few blockers and Summon takes a full round to pull off, so instead of Conjurer I vote Summoner (or Druid), (Knowledge/Support)
& lastly Inquisitor archer (Scout-Skills/Damage) (Or Alchemist)

I think they overlap into each others' roles a tad.
Which is fine. With only three, they need to.
They're a little light on area effects, but all can wear armor to weather the onslaught of peons.

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Castilliano wrote:

Re: 3 PCs, 6 roles

With 3 PCs Will Saves become more important so I vote Paladin (Face/Control).
I think Wizard h.p. are too low with so few blockers and Summon takes a full round to pull off, so instead of Conjurer I vote Summoner (or Druid), (Knowledge/Support)
& lastly Inquisitor archer (Scout-Skills/Damage) (Or Alchemist)

I think they overlap into each others' roles a tad.
Which is fine. With only three, they need to.
They're a little light on area effects, but all can wear armor to weather the onslaught of peons.

Summoner doesn't quite get knowledge like Wizard does, unfortunately. Summoner could work, but I'd put them in the face role.


Just my 2 cents here, then I am going to bed,

before I popped up on these forums I had need heard of roles, or thought much in the direction of what roles a PC plays, I think their is a lot of dependance on roles. the book has a little role description before every class. so you can read that if you would like.

I my self get sick of roles this roles that and all the fancy names we give them, glass cannon,mobile caster, tank ect..

I may be naive or just wired differently but I just make a character I like and go for it. I think roles are highly over rated. If this game is supposed to be a fantasy adventure of epic portion . than it is all about people being drawn together to face a enemy, save a kingdom what ever is the hook in your campaign. and just like in real life I don't think that you need roles, not every body balances every body else out perfectly. It may sound selfish but it is incredibly freeing to just make a character not a tank, granted I still throw down when I need, In Fact I grappled a cannibal tonight in serpents skull. It is a good example of people thrown together with out planning. that is what it should be not super role based.

I guess what mean is it is kinda boring if pathfinder is like counterstrike ,one person gets to be the medic, one the engineer one the heavy weapons guy. It works in cs because it is needed, bunt in pathfinder it is not, you shouldn't plan your character around what every body else wants you to be.

we have so much more options and availability in pathfinder to just have fun and not worry, about well we already have a caster so you have to be a bard, cause frank over here is the cleric. and i am the fighter so you can't be the fighter cause we need a bard for "support"

extreme circumstances i know, but it happens. part of the fun in the pathfinder system is overcoming challenges, and solving the puzzles in the modules, my wife can go to college my fighter should be able to hang back and not have to rush forward to every encounter. the wizard has magic missile, and the cleric has a mace. they can use them.

I Think a party of all wizards would due super epic....in the ned it all comes down to the die roll anyway.


sphar wrote:

Not everyone plays into higher levels,you know.*cough*PFS*cough*

If you read the first post,light melee are the people that don't wear heavy armor and get a tactical advantage from moving around.A Dervish Dance magus does exactly that,and can pump out the damage.

You're referring to Light Melee in the sense that they can't do anything in melee.This is not what Light Melee is.

High level? Mirror Image comes at level 4 and provides more defense than the difference between light and heavy armor unless you're restricted from special materials.

If Light Melee doesn't mean light it's a false distinction. Survivability is survivability whether it comes from armor or dexterity or miss chance or simply having d12 HD and an absurdly high con. Damage is damage. Mobility is too blurry a line to craft meaningful distinctions on unless you want to put multiclassed cleric(travel)/barbarians and monks and small cavaliers on medium mounts alone in their own category. Anyone can put points in acrobatics and anyone can take mobility and every melee build that does serious damage requires a full attack to do so with the exception of one barbarian totem.

Dark Archive

Lobolusk wrote:

Just my 2 cents here, then I am going to bed,

before I popped up on these forums I had need heard of roles, or thought much in the direction of what roles a PC plays, I think their is a lot of dependance on roles. the book has a little role description before every class. so you can read that if you would like.

I my self get sick of roles this roles that and all the fancy names we give them, glass cannon,mobile caster, tank ect..

I may be naive or just wired differently but I just make a character I like and go for it. I think roles are highly over rated. If this game is supposed to be a fantasy adventure of epic portion . than it is all about people being drawn together to face a enemy, save a kingdom what ever is the hook in your campaign. and just like in real life I don't think that you need roles, not every body balances every body else out perfectly. It may sound selfish but it is incredibly freeing to just make a character not a tank, granted I still throw down when I need, In Fact I grappled a cannibal tonight in serpents skull. It is a good example of people thrown together with out planning. that is what it should be not super role based.

I guess what mean is it is kinda boring if pathfinder is like counterstrike ,one person gets to be the medic, one the engineer one the heavy weapons guy. It works in cs because it is needed, bunt in pathfinder it is not, you shouldn't plan your character around what every body else wants you to be.

we have so much more options and availability in pathfinder to just have fun and not worry, about well we already have a caster so you have to be a bard, cause frank over here is the cleric. and i am the fighter so you can't be the fighter cause we need a bard for "support"

extreme circumstances i know, but it happens. part of the fun in the pathfinder system is overcoming challenges, and solving the puzzles in the modules, my wife can go to college my fighter should be able to hang back and not have to rush forward to every encounter. the wizard...

I agree that it isn't necessary to over-think it to this degree. Personally, I just like the thought experiment.


Lobolusk wrote:

Just my 2 cents here, then I am going to bed,

we have so much more options and availability in pathfinder to just have fun and not worry, about well we already have a caster so you have to be a bard, cause frank over here is the cleric. and i am the fighter so you can't be the fighter cause we need a bard for "support"

extreme circumstances i know, but it happens. part of the fun in the pathfinder system is overcoming challenges, and solving the puzzles in the modules, my wife can go to college my fighter should be able to hang back and not have to rush forward to every encounter. the wizard...

I don't think anybody here is supporting forcing roles upon others (as I've seen other posts support, even if subtly).

I've seen parties function with gaps, but mind you they fill those gaps with magic items or alternative tactics. ("We can't heal well, so we'd better kill faster." "We can't scout worth a darn, so we'd best just rush in before they can prep for us." "We have three clerics, so I guess we can just walk through traps anyway. Whose turn is it?"
Parties face different dangers, and the roles are ways of tackling those dangers in specific ways, not ways of forcing group composition.
But they suffer if they don't compensate. Example, no diplomacy/face can really suck in a dangerous city (among other places) and assuming a world with many inappropriate CR NPCs floating about.

As DM, I seldom comment on character creation beyond advice when asked, or if they're targeting a build that will blow up in their face (and will ruin their fun). Except when somebody tries to tell somebody else what they 'need' to be. I flat out waylay that thought train.
I actually did have that three cleric party mentioned above because all three players came to the table kinda' wanting to be the cleric. So they were. (One strength/melee, one fire/blaster, one death/Mystic Theurge) Each got to be a cleric, each got to be distinct, but they lacked the range of roles to be truly efficient. They made up for it with AC and healing (and had lots of fun trying to convert one another).

On that note, a party of wizards could be cool. But those wizards would really have to be built with the knowledge that they're in a party with only wizards. (Golem? RUN!)
(I've done this in Baldur's Gate & Icewind Dale to good effect, but with lots of resting.)

Gotta sleep myself...
JMK


If any class is performing only one major role it's either not pulling its weight or you're defining your roles too broadly to be really useful. If several classes only perform one role it's the latter.

If, for instance, you have two SoS casters there's no overlap in the debuffing role if because of their specialty and opposed school choices or if a sorceror their spell selection they aren't going after the same saves. The more roles are subdivided the more it's possible to break up the traditional eigenparty.

Targeting AC at to do HP damage is one role.
Targeting Fortitude with SoDs is another.
Getting people into melee with you and not dieing is another.
Targeting HD plus wis mod to impose the shaken condition is another.

Lots of the possible roles are completely optional. You may not need a combat maneuver guy in every party, but it's still a role that contributes something to the party if the character doing it also contributes enough other things to be worth the bump to CR he requires.


I think "I don't care about roles I just play what's cool" is kinda unintentionally dishonest.

When you think of making a "cool character," what about them is cool? I'd put money down that the answer to that question is a theme that can be seen as a role.


Steve Geddes wrote:
I think roles play a part (if somewhat obvious) in actual play - at least when it comes to assembling a party. Our group is a long way from min-maxers yet we always discuss roles and factor them into our decisions when coming up with new characters.

If you specialize each character into a role and "factor them into [your] discussions when coming up with new characters", what do you do when a player can't make it to the game session and you've got noone filling his character's role? You feel the loss of the role, sometimes rather dearly.

If, instead, characters didn't focus on roles, but, rather, players played whatever they wanted to, you'd end up with redundancy in role coverage which would make the loss of a role for the game night less likely.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
LilithsThrall wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think roles play a part (if somewhat obvious) in actual play - at least when it comes to assembling a party. Our group is a long way from min-maxers yet we always discuss roles and factor them into our decisions when coming up with new characters.

If you specialize each character into a role and "factor them into [your] discussions when coming up with new characters", what do you do when a player can't make it to the game session and you've got noone filling his character's role? You feel the loss of the role, sometimes rather dearly.

If, instead, characters didn't focus on roles, but, rather, players played whatever they wanted to, you'd end up with redundancy in role coverage which would make the loss of a role for the game night less likely.

FWIW, we dont play if someone can't make it (or someone else plays their character). I was just responding to your suggestion that roles have no part to play during actual game time but rather in character optimising/min-maxing. I don't think that's the case (at least the way we do it).

I dont mean that each character is necessarily specialised - merely that the concept of role factors into our discussions. I can confidently predict we'd never end up with a party without the ability to deal with traps (for example) because the role of trap-detector/disarmer is something we always make sure we have. Similarly with some kind of healing ability and facility with magic.

The fact we use the concept of roles in ensuring we've 'covered all the bases' doesnt imply that each character becomes a one-trick pony.


A purely mental construct designed to organize commonly or easily associated playstyle options. These constructs are intended, or imagined, to represent a hierarchy with relation to total list of available defined option within the totality of the gaming system. Often these constructs are limited to the totality of options generally reserved for options associated with players meaning an entire other set of hierarchies and constructs could could exist with reference to the totality of options literally intended for non players.
Further roles are then utilized to ontologically define character options with respect to the collection of associated options. These judgements often refer to cost/benefit of analysis with respect to furthering an options ability to perform the intended option with the most efficiency or increase the breadth of availability within that subset of associated options.

Simply, they don't exist, but people will judge your builds on it anyway.


LilithsThrall wrote:


If you specialize each character into a role and "factor them into [your] discussions when coming up with new characters", what do you do when a player can't make it to the game session and you've got noone filling his character's role? You feel the loss of the role, sometimes rather dearly.
If, instead, characters didn't focus on roles, but, rather, players played whatever they wanted to, you'd end up with redundancy in role coverage which would make the loss of a role for the game night less likely.

HA! No. Sometimes you end up with holes, sometimes you end up with several deficient characters and one decent one (making them looks like the min maxer when all they did was focus on the aspects of their class that function best). Most of the time you end up with concepts and characters that don't make sense being around one another. What usually happens is that someones "character they wanted to play" turns into a character they didn't want to play because some role is so drastically unfulfilled that it results in character death. Personally I think this runs face first itno the stormwind fallacy. Filling a role does not mean you're not playing the character you want. Maybe the character I want is a team player who survives.

Think of adventuring groups as a specializaed paramilitary unit. Everyone can pick up a hand gun, use handcuffs, yell at soemoen to get on the ground and is a pretty decent shot with a longarm. But only one is trained in in disarming bombs, only one is a hostage negotiator, and only one pokes mirrors around the corner to see what's around the corner.

That's a much more organic way of looking at things. And it's been said if you can't fill a role someone else has to step up. If you don't have a rogue who can spot traps you find ways of finding the traps without him. If you can't use the party face to negotiate things you may have to focus on intimidation, magic, or trickery to get your way. The cleric call out sick? You've got so many other classes that can heal it's ridiculous. Having people specialize in roles does not mean they're your only option available in those situations it simply means that it's your "best" option when those times come up. Pathfinder is very good about giving secondary options to characters even when they specialize to the extreme.

Don't get me wrong you should play the character you want. I will never suggest otherwise but discounting things like teamwork, filling a niche in combat, or specializing with the group in mind is ignoring the game part of the roleplaying game. Doing otherwise might as well be freeforming it. Less argument and hassle.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think roles play a part (if somewhat obvious) in actual play - at least when it comes to assembling a party. Our group is a long way from min-maxers yet we always discuss roles and factor them into our decisions when coming up with new characters.

If you specialize each character into a role and "factor them into [your] discussions when coming up with new characters", what do you do when a player can't make it to the game session and you've got noone filling his character's role? You feel the loss of the role, sometimes rather dearly.

If, instead, characters didn't focus on roles, but, rather, players played whatever they wanted to, you'd end up with redundancy in role coverage which would make the loss of a role for the game night less likely.

Actually, in my group, you'd end up with like 4 hulking barbarian brutes and a stealthy ranger. Period. Every game. Every adventure. Ever.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Or this.


Whether you want to believe in them or not, roles exist. You don't have to design a character around filling a role to have that character still fill that role. Redundancy in a role does not mean the role does not exist, because redundancy is built into the system.

Roles-Dealing damage, healing, scouting (includes divinations), finding/disarming traps, social skills, combat crowd control, magical utility.

You can have a melee paladin who can also heal. You can have an arcanist bard who also is a trapspringer. You can have a social character who also provides magical utility (teleportation, identification, rope trick) like a Sorcerer perhaps.

Typically you are defined in the game by how you specialize your character into these roles. Some characters can cover all these roles eventually, like high level clerics or druids with the right domains. Some, because of how they are built, only contribute in one area, like the archetypal big stupid fighter. These are things that, in virtually every published module or home game, will need to be done at some point to move the plot and characters forward.


TarkXT wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


If you specialize each character into a role and "factor them into [your] discussions when coming up with new characters", what do you do when a player can't make it to the game session and you've got noone filling his character's role? You feel the loss of the role, sometimes rather dearly.
If, instead, characters didn't focus on roles, but, rather, players played whatever they wanted to, you'd end up with redundancy in role coverage which would make the loss of a role for the game night less likely.

HA! No. Sometimes you end up with holes, sometimes you end up with several deficient characters and one decent one (making them looks like the min maxer when all they did was focus on the aspects of their class that function best). Most of the time you end up with concepts and characters that don't make sense being around one another. What usually happens is that someones "character they wanted to play" turns into a character they didn't want to play because some role is so drastically unfulfilled that it results in character death. Personally I think this runs face first itno the stormwind fallacy. Filling a role does not mean you're not playing the character you want. Maybe the character I want is a team player who survives.

Think of adventuring groups as a specializaed paramilitary unit. Everyone can pick up a hand gun, use handcuffs, yell at soemoen to get on the ground and is a pretty decent shot with a longarm. But only one is trained in in disarming bombs, only one is a hostage negotiator, and only one pokes mirrors around the corner to see what's around the corner.

That's a much more organic way of looking at things. And it's been said if you can't fill a role someone else has to step up. If you don't have a rogue who can spot traps you find ways of finding the traps without him. If you can't use the party face to negotiate things you may have to focus on intimidation, magic, or trickery to get your way. The cleric call out sick? You've got so many...

I've started with the assumption that players are beyond the "training wheel" noob stage. As such, I've implied that players actually get used to roles being missed and that they have the ability to adapt to that - quite a bit different from just having a missing role sprung on them in surprise during a particular game session (which can be adapted to as well, but takes more gaming experience). The players are familiar enough with the rules to know that if they have a party w/o a cleric, they can put a wand of cure light wounds in the hands of the Sorcerer or Bard or that the Wizard can cure with MS IV. So, the party w/o a cleric makes it a point to carry such a wand and have their wizard keep that spell memorized.

Adventuring groups aren't "a specialized paramilitary unit". They are a group of PCs run by a group of players whose first goal is to have a relaxing evening having fun playing the characters they want to play. Perhaps a particular group of players will find setting up their party as "a specialized paramilitary unit" part of having fun, but it's hardly a requirement and, in many cases, would be a hindrance to the players having fun (as it would mean that a player or two might not be able to play the characters they'd prefer).
And having two characters who don't fit together (ie. have no reason to adventure together) is a matter of character concept/personality, not roles.


meatrace wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think roles play a part (if somewhat obvious) in actual play - at least when it comes to assembling a party. Our group is a long way from min-maxers yet we always discuss roles and factor them into our decisions when coming up with new characters.

If you specialize each character into a role and "factor them into [your] discussions when coming up with new characters", what do you do when a player can't make it to the game session and you've got noone filling his character's role? You feel the loss of the role, sometimes rather dearly.

If, instead, characters didn't focus on roles, but, rather, players played whatever they wanted to, you'd end up with redundancy in role coverage which would make the loss of a role for the game night less likely.
Actually, in my group, you'd end up with like 4 hulking barbarian brutes and a stealthy ranger. Period. Every game. Every adventure. Ever.

A competent GM can do quite a lot with 4 hulking barbarians and a ranger.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

All-melee parties are the easiest to DM for.


LilithsThrall wrote:
meatrace wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think roles play a part (if somewhat obvious) in actual play - at least when it comes to assembling a party. Our group is a long way from min-maxers yet we always discuss roles and factor them into our decisions when coming up with new characters.

If you specialize each character into a role and "factor them into [your] discussions when coming up with new characters", what do you do when a player can't make it to the game session and you've got noone filling his character's role? You feel the loss of the role, sometimes rather dearly.

If, instead, characters didn't focus on roles, but, rather, players played whatever they wanted to, you'd end up with redundancy in role coverage which would make the loss of a role for the game night less likely.
Actually, in my group, you'd end up with like 4 hulking barbarian brutes and a stealthy ranger. Period. Every game. Every adventure. Ever.
A competent GM can do quite a lot with 4 hulking barbarians and a ranger.

Yes, but it won't remotely resemble Pathfinder and will only last one session. No traps, no social encounters, and oh everyone dies after a sorta hard combat. Pretending that no one will ever need healing doesn't make damage go away.

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