Let's talk about party roles...


As of late I noticed a heated debate about alchemists having bombs and whether or not they were useful. The answer? It depends. A striker alchemist might want bombs, but maybe not a tank as much. (random example). It depends on what your concept is. So... This thread is to get unorthodox ideas. Rogue tanks, wizard strikes, fighter controllers, etc. I'll go first. Fighter controller. With reposition, bull rush, trip, intimidation, you may not deal damage, but you'd be a great controller. Help prove that classes aren't restricted to certain roles. A high constitution and dexterity rogue has enough survivability and damage dealing to be a tank. For this... There is no wrong easy to play a class.

Certain roles are restricted to certain classes.

Most Fighters will make absolutely terrible healers, in or out of combat. Too few skill points, little to no incentive to boost charisma for UMD, no innate ability to heal or to cast. Wizards also generally make poor healers at low to mid levels, when healing scales better relative to damage. At higher levels, they can summon healing, which is nice, but a bit past the point when it would help most.

Not to say that you can't play a class against its intended niche and playstyle, but it requires a lot more investment and system mastery to achieve a reasonable level of competence.

Rogues are about as effective at tanking as Aristocrats of the same level- give or take a bit, because Rogues get Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, and the Resiliency Rogue Talent, but Aristocrats get shields and heavy armor. On the other hand, Barbarians and Paladins make excellent tanks with little investment. Barbarians have 1 HP/level more than any other class, have the ability to sprout 2 HP/level on command, get a will save boost, have innate DR, rage powers that can heal, increase DR, increase AC, and let you counterattack, and archetypes and feats that increase your DR and rage Constitution boost further. Paladins get heavy armor, shields, strong fortitude and will saves, can self-heal without sacrificing full attacks, can remove status effects while self-healing, and can pick up feats that boost healing further.

Classes aren't restricted to certain roles, but are certainly restricted from some roles. Alchemists are versatile enough to fill most roles, but I don't think the Barbarian can heal me with his axe, and I'm not sticking around for long enough to find out.

The Exchange

Fighters can do some kind of control with a reach weapon and combat reflexes, the problem is once enemies start flying, theres no other means of control except for dazing assault, which most monsters, having a good fort save, would make their save. Combat maneuvers are limited by size(except for grapple, dirty trick), as a medium creature you can only use them on large creatues. Monks have access to the feat ki throw, that lets them ignore size limitations temporarily at the expense of ki.

At the best, fighters can only exert control on the area they threaten, which is about 20 ft when enlarged(baring bloodrager abberant bloodline, other reach enhancing shinenigans like longarm), when a caster can control things hundreds of feet away from him.

Scarab Sages

I like playing my characters against type. Some of my favorites:

Martial Battlefield Controller: Lore Warden fighter with the trip line and dirty trick line. If you CAN'T trip it, you can probably blind it, and with a reach weapon and combat reflexes you get enough attacks to stay pretty darn effective at defending your allies and begin the anvil to set them up, too.

Divine Shield: Cleric with TONS of armor and buffs. I currently am specialized at channeling to harm undead, but against non-undead I have plenty of buffs, and I purposefully put myself on the front lines. Why? Because I've gone out of my way to have the highest AC in the group. I support my allies by tricking enemies into "going after the healer" while I use full-defense. Usually I can get enemies to waste a round or 2 of actions before they move on, at which point I can continue supporting my allies or throwing out debuffs or Spiritual Weapons.

There are a few others, but I haven't seen the characters get high level yet. We'll see how they turn out.

Not so much as a build but something we have done a lot of. Purchased wardogs to help us. At low levels surprisingly effective. Bite with a Trip then we just beat on them as they attempt to stand. We actually get attached to the dogs one guy always calling them Bernie and Bernadette.

Grand Lodge

I played a bloodrager healer.

I healed everyone of all thier problems. Most people have no problems when they are dead.

I know you were joking, but that reminds me of the eragon series. One character had healing magic but she healed people of fear, anger, or some other negative emotion that made them fight. Then she'd walk up to them and kill them...

I am actually very found of the Barbarian who replaces the Rouge.

WizardPlease check for traps on the door.
Barbarian Grinning wickedlyI got this! Lifting his great axe high and slamming it into the door until there is no more door.

The Exchange

Some places it works, but try THAT in some ol skool dungeon like tomb of horrors, or rappan athuk, or bonekeep and see where that takes you...

Probably a one way ticket to hell :)

What you need to do is rage, declare spell sunder on the door(you hope it's a magical trap - and hopefully not more then one trap on the door), then smash the door to bits.

Not old school in fact started using it in Pathfinder door is a Mimic usually advanced. They hit back hard.

6/9 casters are generally very flexible and can fill multiple roles depending on build. But that's what they're designed to, so it's not a huge surprise. It means that you can have things like Alchemist Healers, Controller Bards etc, which is nice.

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Who's bringing the booze, and who's DJing the MP3 are the only roles I care about.

... are.. are we talking about the same kind of party here.

MageHunter wrote:
This thread is to get unorthodox ideas. Rogue tanks, ...

Actually I play my halfling Core rogue that way, a good share of the time. In case he gets no chance to sneak attack, I switch to full defense. Which means +6 dodge AC (he has Acrobatics 3 anyway) on top of being Dex based and small. Yes, d8 hitpoints are lousy, but favored class bonus can be spent on them without much regret. The racial luck bonus to saves helps, especially combined with evasion. In case he ever gets mindcontrolled, he won't be much of a danger.

On full defence enemies can walk around your rogue without difficulty. At that point he fails at tanking.

A plains druid with the monkey domain can be a decent traps guy and scout. Barbarians are kind of limited when it comes to quietly dealing with traps, but they can be amazing scouts otherwise with the right rage powers.

avr wrote:
On full defence enemies can walk around your rogue without difficulty. At that point he fails at tanking.

Investing zero additional resources into a role that can be fulfilled half of the time (narrow dungeons, doors, mindless opponents etc.) is still a good deal...

Mort that is way to logical for a Rager!

Don't forget this can come up when you don't mean to. If your barbarian's busy discussing politics with the king, she's not around to tank as the guards are swarming the rest of the party ...

Derek Dalton wrote:
Not old school in fact started using it in Pathfinder door is a Mimic usually advanced. They hit back hard.

The barbarian will take the hit a lot better than the rogue who sets it off by jabbing it with a lock pick.

For Mummy's Mask I had an Alchemist Explody Healer. That Healing Bomb discovery was great

"I Smash a vial upside the Inquisitor's head and heal him 8 hit points, everyone else gets 4 from the splash. Zombies take 4 damage too"

Derek Dalton wrote:
Not old school in fact started using it in Pathfinder door is a Mimic usually advanced. They hit back hard.

In that case, you at least have the advantage of hitting first and sending a durable member up front. As Atarlost said, it would be even worse for the rogue to try it and give up the initiative :) .

My bladebound Kensai is the party scout, trapper & face.

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