How vital do you consider the 4 traditional roles?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 87 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Scarab Sages

I've seena few posts lately that made me wonder this. How vital do you consider each of the 4 traditional roles (fighter, mage, priest or rogue)? Could you make a viable party for an uknown campaign where you dropped one or more of these roles e.g. no full or partial arcane caster or no full attack martial class (fighter, barbarian, etc). Would you need at least a hybrid of tge lost role e.g. magus?

As part of this, say you were about to start a new campaign with a DM and players you know and trust. You don't know what the campaign will involve exactly but the DM's said it will involve a mix of everthing. Social interactions, sneaky segments, pitched battles and in the end the big boss fight, wilderness survival. However due to various circumstances you've wound up in the position of choosing the classes for all 4 players. The other 3 know this and trust you to pick a nice balanced mixture that should be able to handle whatever is thrown at you. What would be your 4 choices? Any class and archetype combo is allowed as long as its rules legal no house rules? If it makes a difference 1st and 5th level start and going to 10th or 20th finish.

For me I'd probably go arcanist, brawler, slayer and probably a cleric or maybe a paladin. However I only really know arcane casters there's probably better martial and priest classes. To be honest I never touch clerics so I'm sure there are other better healing options that can do other things.

Still point is I'd be trying to cover the 4 core roles as I don't think you can really drop one and have a viable party. Although with the hybrid classes you can vary it up a bit more I've got full arcane, full divine, full fighter and a fighter/rogue mix. Between the arcanist and slayer I cover skills, between brawler and slayer I cover combat, cleric is divine and arcanist is arcane(obviously). I do feel you need a fighter (we don't have game tanks but someone who can take damage while hopefully occupying an enemy away from the squishier types is important), arcane spellcasting is too versatile to pass up offering benefits on travel, buffing, battlefield control, rogues are less important these days but a high skill character is important be it bard, rogue or other, clerics are simply vital because while you can buy potions/wands of healing eventually your going to need a resurection or a remove curse or a cure ability damage without wanting to go back to town. So for me I think we do still need the four core roles unless your playing a specific campaign where one or more might be dropped.


Those four roles were looking shopworn by the end of AD&D 2e.

Without a divine spellcaster healing conditions is a real problem (maybe an alchemist could do it?), but all the others are negotiable.

A full arcane spellcaster trivialises many non-combat problems and is very useful to provide control or save-or-lose effects, but isn't absolutely essential. It's very useful of course, a couple of them in the same party aren't a waste.

Fighters & similar can be useful (or a waste of time if poorly made or played), but they can be entirely replaced by spellcasters, whether summoners or gish-types.

Rogues...don't have a clearly defined role. I've pointed this out to you before Senko. Stealth is something that can be done via spells or by non-rogues of any class with the appropriate skills, even if magic traps are a big thing in your game there are other ways to deal with them, sneak attack is entirely optional and not required in any party.


The 4 roles are tank, controller, healer and face

Controllers ends combat, tank keeps controller alive, healer keeps tank alive and face deals with issues outside of combat.

All roles should be capable of damage or be capable of ensuring others do their role better. For instance a healer that buffs and heals so it doesnt attack.

Classes should fit into those roles. Some classes can do multiple roles.

Pathfinder fills these roles very well in all aspects even from class to class. It's entirely possible to make an all bard group for example.

With the amount of archetypes and classes and styles and feats and spells one should be capable of making any class fill at least 2 of these roles, so filling the 4 roles is easy and varied.

Scarab Sages

avr wrote:

Rogues...don't have a clearly defined role. I've pointed this out to you before Senko. Stealth is something that can be done via spells or by non-rogues of any class with the appropriate skills, even if magic traps are a big thing in your game there are other ways to deal with them, sneak attack is entirely optional and not required in any party.

Yes in fact your posts were part of what prompted this thread. I had a specific concept in the other threads that I wanted to play which is why I stuck with the choice there but I did listen. I admit rogues as in sneak/trap finding I can see having stopped being required with the removal of other classes having a limit on the DC trap they can deal with. Though I do think you still need a skill class I can see that being filled by a high into one just as well.

You'll notice in my class choices I don't have a pure stealth one like the rogue having gone with the slayer instead. They're supplying skills (6 + int), full Bab and d10 hitpoints meaning they're a much better fighter than the rogue.


While it is often laid out as such, I think that the True Roles™ are as follows;

The Fighter fills the role of Offense. The ability to both deal and take damage.

The Thief fills the role of Utility. The ability to solve problems in non-martial ways.

The Priest fills the role of Support. The ability to heal and bolster allies.

Now normally the Wizard is considered it's own role, but looking at it through this lens places it any all three categories. However, the importance of magic in some systems gives a Wizard his own niche that he might not otherwise have.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah. It's not that you can't use a rogue, it's that they don't define a role of any kind.

My dream team of four? I dunno, maybe herald caller cleric to heal and control the battlefield, guide ranger (archery) to do wilderness skills and take out specific enemies on the battlefield, warp psychic for utility, save-or-lose and battlefield control, arcane duelist bard to buff and strike and face. Or - a Pei Zin practitioner lunar oracle riding a tiger to paladinish glory, a psychometrist avenger vigilante using weird science to back them up on the battlefield and when talking, a shadow seeker sorcerer for stealth and battlefield control, and a grenadier alchemist for spike damage and backup healing. Or - I could keep coming with ideas forever. There's no one best answer.


No one best answer? I dunno. I think I nailed it with 'all bard group'


I'd say the ROLES still need to be filled. In D&D 1e they were filled with very specific character classes. Fast forward to PF1 and there's really no "right" way to do it anymore.

Combat is SUCH a huge part of this game. Heck, of most TTRPGs. The out-of-combat "face" is often the "Aquaman" of the group. By that I mean, if you ACTUALLY role-played through an entire 24 hour period of your characters' lives in a typical AP or module, about 70% of that would consist of non-combat things like travel, survival, gathering info, recon, etc.

That 70% is the "water" where the "Aquaman" of the group is best suited to shine, but that 70% is often ignored so that the exciting 30% of traps and combat can keep the audience's attention.

Regardless, when I plan adventures for my games I go into it thinking of the four roles and how they'll likely deal with a situation, then I modify the situation I've made for my own players' characters.

I think balance is important, in all things. Balance between the 4 roles; balance between ranged and melee attackers; balance between combat, traps, non-combat challenges and such. This is my opinion though. Depending on your GM, the adventures they're running, balance may not be needed or appreciated.

If you're playing an intrigue game, the guy who made Tharg the Barbarian is kind of out. Likewise if the entire campaign will take place riding on the backs of giant eagles and "dogfighting" with crossbows from said mounts, making a greatsword-focused fighter is just a bad choice.

There again, you need balance. Balance between GM and players. Setting a level of expectation that the entire group can abide by is crucial.


I'd disagree with the roles being fighter, mage, priest, rogue. In fact I actually think dnd 4e nailed the roles perfectly:

Defender - attracts attention of the enemies and keeps them away from the party. Pathfinder doesn't have traditional tanks, there are few ways for a tanky character to force enemies to attack them. What you can do instead is make it so not attacking the tank character is a downside to the enemy. This can be best applied through two methods. Either attacks of opportunity, simple way employing a reach weapon and Combat Reflexes so that anyone trying to get past your tank and to the squishies in the back will take hits (preferably debilitating ones like trip, doing damage isn't your job), or through applying negative effects on the enemies (auras, various debuffing spells/effects, combat maneuvers, etc.). Make enemies regret ignoring you.

Striker - pure damage, this is the role that breaks through a ton of HP and high AC. If you want to drop triple digit damage numbers, build a striker.

Controller - as the name suggest, you control the battlefield. Usually through use of some kind of magic, you deploy traps, zones, and other effects that incentivise the enemies to funnel where you want them to go, limiting their options (and ideally in reach of your defender). Turn enemies into allies, and make them behave how you want them to, not how they do.

Support - no, not healer, support. While healing is definitely part of support character's arsenal, force multipliers and protection for allies are usually much better use of resources.

The thing about pathfinder is that one class can often fit more than one roll, and usually most classes have a niche archetype that can fit a specific role so knock yourself out with choice of classes, but as long as you have the above archetypes filled, you will be good.

Now for the other part, non-combat aspects. IMO any class can be good at them. Your defender can be the party's face (Paladin with high diplomacy), your controller can be the shady sneaky type (Sorcerer with high bluff and training in sense motive and stealth), etc.

And unless your DM loves super complicated traps, a 10ft pole usually does the trick. For others trapfinding is somewhat necessary but not *really*. You can usually find someone in the party who can either take the damage, or come up with a inventive way of triggering the trap without much risk. Just remember to have a couple characters put ranks in perception.

Silver Crusade

Our Ironfang Invasion group has done pretty well with a Geokineticist, Hunter, Shaman and Sylvan Sorcerer (the front line is my Shaman and the two animal companions). We're 16th lvl now, so in the last part of the AP.


Tbh, you don't *need* the 4 roles anymore and you can still be successful. But when you do have those 4 roles filled, the group functions like a well-oiled machine.

Vital roles? Not so much. Nice to have roles? Absolutely.


You have to bear in mind that an arcane 9th (wiz/sorc) and a divine 9th (cleric) can to a reasonable degree stand in for each others role with sensible archetype choices... not in the early days of PF1 but certainly at the end.

To such a degree, I quite like to run 3 man APs as a GM.... I've been a player and a GM on the receiving end of 4 man parties with both a Wizard and Cleric and as long as the PCs know what they're doing, APs can become trivialised by 7-8th level.

I flat out do not GM 5 man parties.....


The traditional D&D 4-person party really isn't relevant in terms of party roles. I do think that Fighter/Cleric/Wizard is an excellent foundation for a party (and if I were to build a "dream team" those would be my first three class selections), although the fourth slot is really up for debate. I would direct you towards the forge model of combat, which is a much more useful framework for thinking about party roles in combat. Your three roles Anvil (battlefield control and disruption), Hammer (threat elimination), and Arm (support and buffs). The Fighter/Wizard/Cleric team works well because they complement each other in terms of these roles, while the Rogue is the odd man out because he's really outclassed in those roles (unchained rogue does much better, although I'd still say it's a middle-of-the-road class)

Now, unless you're in a very combat-heavy campaign you will also need out-of-combat options. This usually requires some degree of skill investment and class features that serve as problem-solving tools to overcome non-combat challenges. However, this doesn't strictly need to be a primary role (which is why Core Rogue fails so hard) because this can often be mixed into other builds quite naturally. If everyone picks up a handful of skills, spends some money on a handful of utility consumables, and shares the load in terms of carrying non-magical items, there is no need for a party member to be dedicated to a non-combat role.


Not. Run a party of all rogues, it'll be fine.


PCScipio wrote:
Our Ironfang Invasion group has done pretty well with a Geokineticist, Hunter, Shaman and Sylvan Sorcerer (the front line is my Shaman and the two animal companions). We're 16th lvl now, so in the last part of the AP.

/derail what kind of shaman?

Silver Crusade

Lelomenia wrote:
/derail what kind of shaman?

No archetype. Flame spirit with Battle wandering spirit (have never chosen a different one). High strength using a longspear. It's not strictly the most optimal combination, but it's solid.

You can see the character sheet here (Greater Magic Weapon and Barkskin shown active at the moment). Background skills used for this campaign.


I think I go with scout, crowd control, recovery as my team. You need someone who can give the party advance notice of danger through some means, someone who can lock down the danger when you encounter it, and someone who can bring the party back up to full force afterward.

Scout - Spiritualist:
Your scout is useless without knowledges, and needs to be capable in a wide number of terrains. Rogue should fit here, but there's other classes who can do the job more reliably in multiple environments. This role can frequently be done better by an expendable assistant, a familiar, or a pet. The phantom makes a perfect scout, and the spiritualist has easy access to knowledges. If you want to be a total wiener about it, you really want one level of totem spiritualist and the rest as a hunter so you can double up on pets.

Crowd Control - Druid:
Access to wall spells and a pet, as well as forms that allow them to operate in a number of environments. They can destroy whatever terrain is there, and allow the party to treat that as a good thing.

Recovery - Oh....:
Looks like I accidentally covered that already. Just give me two guys who can kill things quickly to round out the party. Preferably in a way that can ignore terrain problems and effect a wide variety of creatures.

Two Guys Who Can Kill Things Quickly - Occultist with a focus on ranged combat and weapon buffing. Archer Fighter with the same focus. If you want a party face, you could turn one of these guys into a party face.


blahpers wrote:
Not. Run a party of all rogues, it'll be fine.

It honestly would be. Though I would make stealth synergy teamwork work feat a priority. Get rid of the biggest flaw of a scouting party, the random 1.


Cavall wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Not. Run a party of all rogues, it'll be fine.
It honestly would be. Though I would make stealth synergy teamwork work feat a priority. Get rid of the biggest flaw of a scouting party, the random 1.

Yeah I think an all Rogue party would be pretty viable.

I'd give everyone stealth synergy and gang up.

In regards to the OP, while the Rogue is a bit harder to use, they can make decent damage dealers and debuffers. The problem is that both require sneak atrack, so you need a reliable way of getting sneak attack.

Outside of combat Rogues get 6 skills per level even if they dump INT to 7, meaning they make great skill-monkeys even if you try not to. They aren't the best at it (Investigator/Bard probably win that), but you don't need to be the best to be good.

For the ideal party I like the Forge of Combat model, but I tend to seperate the "Anvil" role into debuffs and battlefield control. So the roles are: Damage dealer, Buffer, Debuffer, Battlefield control. I also think it' a good idea to have a tank - someone who can take a few hits and survive when the dice go against you. The tank doesn't have to be a PC, it can be an animal companion or just summoned creatures, but it's good to have insurance against the dice gods.

I'm currently going through Iron Gods, and we got through the first book and a half with a Bloodrager, a Gunslinger and a Bard. We CRUSHED most encounters. We recently added a wizard to the party, and it has made things a lot easier, but we've had great success with no 9th level caster at all (though it did mean we had to pay a little more for Restoration).


I'm currently in an all dwarf game with a bolt ace a forester hunter (me) a forgepreist warpriest and a straight fighter.

I think itll be interesting. And filled with many fun play opportunities.


Cavall wrote:

I'm currently in an all dwarf game with a bolt ace a forester hunter (me) a forgepreist warpriest and a straight fighter.

I think itll be interesting. And filled with many fun play opportunities.

I’ve tried to get my group to play an all something game a few times. It’s a large group so we can never agree on what that the all will be. I’m peanut butter and jealous, Cavall.

Sorry for the departure...count me in as a proponent of the Forge of Combat. There’s so many different class options to fill the traditional roles in Pathfinder and so many classes that blur the lines between the traditional roles. It’s what you’re doing not what your class is called that matters.


Senko wrote:
I've seena few posts lately that made me wonder this. How vital do you consider each of the 4 traditional roles (fighter, mage, priest or rogue)?

Two questions: First, how do you define "roles", and second, how do you define these specific "roles"? Is a Witch a mage, a priest, both? Is a Wildshape Druid a fighter, a priest, both, none?

"Role" implies that you have one character who does that and for whom that's the defining characteristic. I say that is literally the wrong way to build a party (or character) in Pathfinder, because you're trying to instert a square peg into a round hole, artificially stifling creativity. Due to traits, archetypes, racial traits, and more hybridish classes, the traditional party roles are split between multiple characters in a proper Pathfinder party. In such a party, "tanking", damage dealing, skills, problem solving, casting and sometimes even healing are done in part each by multiple characters.

In Pathfinder, there is literally no reason to have just one character focus on skills - cross-class skill are no concern. Having intelligence based skills on the intelligence based character and charisma based skills on the charisma based character, instead of having them all on the dexterity based character, should obviously be superior.
Likewise, you don't need a dedicated healer, because infight healing is very weak most of the time, anyway. Everything else can be done outfight; when in doubt, by hiring an NPC. HP healing is mostly done with wands of CLW or Infernal Healing, which means almost every caster can do that.
Not only is a dedicated tank not needed, you don't even need a martial character (pets and summoned monsters, or just debuffs and/or battlefield controll options can fill that gap).
You'll want to have some characters that do damage (not technically needed, but in practice, it's generally the most efficient thing), but there's no reason such a character shouldn't do other stuff as well.

The important thing to realize is that everything is a means to an end. It's always the end that counts, never the means. The goal is never to pick the lock, it's getting through the door (sometimes, with the extra challenge of leaving no signs behind, or producing no noise). It doesn't matter if that's by picking the lock, breaking the lock/door, teleporting, stone shaping the wall, or turning etheral. You don't need someone who picks locks, you need one PC that can do one of these things to pass that obstacle.

In combat, it's even more pronounced - in almost every combat, the goal is to incapitate the enemy without suffering to much. Killing enemies quickly, using debuffs, and using battlefield controll options are all means to the same end, as are boosting defenses and/or infight healing. You don't need all of these. Generally, a good mix is better than only having one, but lacking one or more is not problematic if the others are stronger. In the end, it just doesn't matter whether the enemy is incapitated because it's sleeping, heaviliy debuffed, attacking a near-immune character, having their damage healed back again afterwards, or dead.
One notable result of this is that you can replace practically everything in combat with damage - rather than becoming less effective in multiples, HP damage gets stronger the more you have across the party.

Senko wrote:
Could you make a viable party for an uknown campaign where you dropped one or more of these roles e.g. no full or partial arcane caster or no full attack martial class (fighter, barbarian, etc).

I've played in a party that didn't have a d10/12 HD class and the melee/martial job was done by the Magus, the Druid+Pet, and my Summoner's Eidolon - each of those had either low HP or low AC (so no "tank" in the party). The party didn't have a "priest" type, either - HP healing was done by the Magus' spell recalled Infernal Healing (plus a wand if needed) and the condition removal was split between the Druid and the Sorcerer, plus hired NPC. The Druid was the only class with more than 2+int skill ranks per level.

So, we had no traditional tank, no traditional healer, no martial class, and no skillmonkey, and still the party was ridiculously effective.

To showcase how one character can fulfill multiple "roles", let me tell you a bit about what my Summoner from that campaign had or could've had (e.g. I didn't take social skills for roleplay reasons): Infernal Haling on the spells list, plus teleport later on, means that character can fulfill the "healer" roll to a good amount. Charisma focussed obviously helps for social interactions. Large Eidolon with Mage Armor, Barkskin and the cheap Improved Natural Armor evolution results in a frontliner that can block well, while pounce plus multiple attacks results in high damage. Early access Haste allow good party support. Invisibility and Fly allow sneaking. Phantom Steed, Teleport etc. allow transportation. Wall of Fire + Lesser Rod of Dazing can controll the battlefield fairly well. Half-Elf plus Seeker trait resulted in high perception, which in PF works against all traps.
So yeah, that Summoner was/could have been: Healer, party face, 'tank', damage dealer, support caster, party transportation, battlefield controller, and trap finder. That's without the Summon Monster SLA!

When the chips come down, you don't give a f*$% about a "role", you want a job done. When you're suffering from a nasty disease or something, you don't care how good at HP healing your "priest" type guy is. When you're inflicted with Mummy Rot, it doesn't matter whether a single Cleric or a Wizard and a Druid working together remove it from you. So it was the Witch casting Arcane Eye that allowed the party to learn where the artifact was hidden, and the melee unMonk using Empty Body that got it out of the royal treasury, instead of the dedicated skill monkey Rogue with maxed ranks in stealth and bluff plus Skill Focus for both. Who cares? If the job gets done, lack of a dedicated "role" for that in your party is irrelevant.

Senko wrote:
Social interactions, sneaky segments, pitched battles and in the end the big boss fight, wilderness survival. However due to various circumstances you've wound up in the position of choosing the classes for all 4 players. (...) What would be your 4 choices?

Depends on a lot of things, including what I know the other players like, and the difficulty level of the campaign. You don't need and actually don't want maximum efficiency. If I do, I wouldn't pick a class without at least 6/9 casting. Unless there's some heavy emphasis on the early levels.

Liberty's Edge

My Return of the Runelords AP has an unchained monk as a scout/frontliner, a sorcerer, a Cyphermage wizard, a Pact wizard with a Healing witch patron, and a heavily armored inquisitor/cavalier with an animal companion. We're making it work!

I'm very fond of hybrid classes with plenty of skills like inquisitors, investigators, occultists, and vigilantes. They can fill a lot of different roles!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As mentioned, the "four roles" were rather worn by the end of AD&D 2e (with kits and Player's Option class customization) and pretty outdated in 3.x.

From 3.0 forward, "roles" became secondary to party functions (IMO). Using some of the common terms for these functions, I'd categorize the most central of them as:

Battlefield Control- basically adding or taking away combat options (barriers, flight, preventing enemy attacks or movement, etc.); the wizard is usually a class people think of for this function, but also covers maneuvers such as disarm and trip or "tanking" to reduce attacks on "squishier" PCs

Buffing- giving the PCs bonuses; most casters have at least a few spells for this function; the bard and the cleric are usually two classes people think of for this function

De-Buffing- imposing penalties on opponents; again, most casters have at least a few spells for this; however, this can also cover using Intimidation to demoralize and the dirty trick maneuver

Direct Damage- includes both blasting and weapons; can be either melee combat (such as a raging barbarian) or at range (such as an archer or blaster sorcerer)

Healing- in addition to restoring hp, includes removal of status effects, disease, poison, etc.; the cleric is usually thought of for this function, but many classes (or almost any character with a high Use Magic Device skill check) have the ability to perform this function

Skills- the three main categories for most campaigns are usually infiltration (Disable Device, Perception, Stealth), information (Knowledge skills), and social (Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive)

Note that there is a lot of crossover between functions. For example, summon monster and summon nature's ally spells can act as battlefield control and direct damage, the "tank" usually does direct damage in melee, many spells both do damage and impose penalties, etc.

Pretty much any given class can perform any given function. It may be easier for some classes to perform some functions and some classes may not be able to perform at the same level of ability in a given function as others, but that's a different argument.


1st edition Pathfinder has such wide assortment of classes and archetypes to choose from that the tradition roles are kind of moot point. It is quite easy to build an effective party with none of the traditional 4 classes.

One very effective party would be an inquisitor, magus, warpriest and bard. All the characters are 6th level casters, all the characters have medium BAB. You have two divine casters and two arcane casters so should be able to cover an magic needs. Since the bard can attack while maintaining inspire courage all the characters benefit from it. You also have two characters with decent stealth and scouting skills. Between the characters all important skills should be easily covered. No characters have weak will saves and most of them have good fortitude saves.


If we're talking about a game of generic fantasy adventure, there are needs every party has to fill. Every party needs the ability to do damage, use stealth, use magic, and heal. However, the hobby has changed a lot since the 1970's. Today there are almost endless combinations to make up a party that covers all those needs effectively, not just the old school AD&D standard of Fighter, Thief, Magic User, and Cleric combination.


The only role I really try to get someone to play is a healer. The rest are completely free to choose from. I don't even insist on a healer. My current group doesn't have one.

I guess that since I run a homebrew only game that we have more flexibility than some campaigns that run APs and modules. I can very easily tailor a game to fit the party, rather than force a party to create the roles that a published adventure might require.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:


One very effective party would be an inquisitor, magus, warpriest and bard. All the characters are 6th level casters, all the characters have medium BAB. You have two divine casters and two arcane casters so should be able to cover an magic needs. Since the bard can attack while maintaining inspire courage all the characters benefit from it. You also have two characters with decent stealth and scouting skills. Between the characters all important skills should be easily covered. No characters have weak will saves and most of them have good fortitude saves.

Oh yes potentially very powerful with some good archetype choices...

Monster Tactician, Bladebound, Arsenal Chaplain, Court Bard

Would do very well in any AP I can think of!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
One very effective party would be an inquisitor, magus, warpriest and bard.

The only problem I see is that there is no one that can deal with traps here. Having said that, there's enough healing here to render a trap ineffectual (except for using resources), and even then, modules like the Tomb of Horrors are far less common than they use to be.

Having said all that, I don't see this as any less effective of a party than the core 4.


If traps are really a concern there are a couple of ways to deal with them. Any character can deal with mundane traps if they put points into disable device. For magical traps dispel magic works pretty well Considering all the characters in my suggested party are spell casters that is easily accomplished. Both the inquisitor and the warpriest have find traps on their spell list. The inquisitor is going to have a good perception roll so with that spell they will pretty much spot a trap a mile away.

Another option would be for the bard to give up performances and take the archeologist bard archetype. He would not be boosting the rest of the party, but his own combat ability would be significantly stronger.


blahpers wrote:
Not. Run a party of all rogues, it'll be fine.

That could be fun if everyone uses a different archetype. Heck, a Phantom Thief can take Combat Trick multiple times, effectively giving them as many feats as a Fighter. An eldritch scoundrel has wizard spells.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

blahpers wrote:
Not. Run a party of all rogues, it'll be fine.

Crack out UMD, buy a bunch of wands, etc, and who needs spellcasters?

Dark Archive

born_of_fire wrote:
I’ve tried to get my group to play an all something game a few times. It’s a large group so we can never agree on what that the all will be. I’m peanut butter and jealous, Cavall.

[tangent] Also a big fan of 'all X' parties, whether in tabletop or MMOs. We've done all elf and 'all monster' parties in AD&D, but never got around to a theme group in PF. And MMO, ah yes, all Druid or all Necromancer guild in Everquest, all Paladin groups in Warcraft, all Fire Controller 'guild' in City of Heroes, all Robot Masterminds 'guild' in City of Villains. Love it! [/tangent]

As for the topic, I've found over the years that the party generally needs some reliable damage and some reliable healing. PF never really had 'tanking' in the same sense as MMOs, and damage-dealing foes generally do damage wherever they want, they can't be 'taunted' onto a 'tank.' And the 'rogue' role has changed from 1st edition AD&D to being more of a face / damage dealer, than a trapfinder, since traps seem utterly optional these days (and often easily bypassed by low level summons from a wand or bag of tricks or robe of useless junk or whatever).


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

The only problem I see is that there is no one that can deal with traps here. Having said that, there's enough healing here to render a trap ineffectual (except for using resources), and even then, modules like the Tomb of Horrors are far less common than they use to be.

Many years ago in a LARP our party didn’t have a trap-handler, and at the end of the adventure we found the essential paperwork we needed in a trapped box.

“No problem” said the fighter, “I’ll chin the damage”, and opened the box, to a loud bang.

At this point the referee leant forward and applied a lighter to the paperwork...

The moral of this being that most traps in PF/D&D are unimaginative. They do damage to the party and that is easily fixable. To make them worth adding to adventures traps should kill hostages, destroy clues, damage vital equipment or unleash the forces of hell if not dealt with properly.


Neriathale wrote:
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

The only problem I see is that there is no one that can deal with traps here. Having said that, there's enough healing here to render a trap ineffectual (except for using resources), and even then, modules like the Tomb of Horrors are far less common than they use to be.

Many years ago in a LARP our party didn’t have a trap-handler, and at the end of the adventure we found the essential paperwork we needed in a trapped box.

“No problem” said the fighter, “I’ll chin the damage”, and opened the box, to a loud bang.

At this point the referee leant forward and applied a lighter to the paperwork...

The moral of this being that most traps in PF/D&D are unimaginative. They do damage to the party and that is easily fixable. To make them worth adding to adventures traps should kill hostages, destroy clues, damage vital equipment or unleash the forces of hell if not dealt with properly.

But, unlike the example, not result in automatic mission failure. Nor should a lack of any single skill result in the campaign coming to a standstill.


Neriathale wrote:
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

The only problem I see is that there is no one that can deal with traps here. Having said that, there's enough healing here to render a trap ineffectual (except for using resources), and even then, modules like the Tomb of Horrors are far less common than they use to be.

Many years ago in a LARP our party didn’t have a trap-handler, and at the end of the adventure we found the essential paperwork we needed in a trapped box.

“No problem” said the fighter, “I’ll chin the damage”, and opened the box, to a loud bang.

At this point the referee leant forward and applied a lighter to the paperwork...

The moral of this being that most traps in PF/D&D are unimaginative. They do damage to the party and that is easily fixable. To make them worth adding to adventures traps should kill hostages, destroy clues, damage vital equipment or unleash the forces of hell if not dealt with properly.

I've had a trap destroy potions and scrolls, but you make an excellent point.


If you come across a trapped chest and have no way to open it without destroying the contents (and possibly yourself), that's an excellent time to head down to Ye Olde Rogue's Guild and hire a Lockpicker for 5g and a 10% fencing fee for selling whatever is in the chest.

I'm scared to death of traps, tbh. I'm always reminded of those poor guys in the movie The Mummy with Brenden Frasier. Not the guys who got cursed and consumed by the Mummy (although that was horrible), but rather the 3 guys who got sprayed with the pressurized acidic salt that melted their skin. *shutters*

No thx. I'll hire an expert, tyvm.


Set wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
I’ve tried to get my group to play an all something game a few times. It’s a large group so we can never agree on what that the all will be. I’m peanut butter and jealous, Cavall.

[tangent] Also a big fan of 'all X' parties, whether in tabletop or MMOs. We've done all elf and 'all monster' parties in AD&D, but never got around to a theme group in PF. And MMO, ah yes, all Druid or all Necromancer guild in Everquest, all Paladin groups in Warcraft, all Fire Controller 'guild' in City of Heroes, all Robot Masterminds 'guild' in City of Villains. Love it! [/tangent]

Heh nice. City of Heroes was fantastic.

I've also played an all Bard game. we Which was incredible. Only 3 of us and the GM had to bump the CR up by 3 levels. We just synced so well. I guess, since we were triplets, we were also in an all half elf game too at the time haha.

The beauty of this game is how you can take a freebooter/trapper/infiltrator ranger and place him next to a core ranger and they share next to no common elements. And yet, here they are, both rangers. Both capable of some of the same concepts, but play out as totally different.

That's the best part is how general statements of "this does this" just isn't even true. You can have healer wizards and caster rogues and bards that don't even play music.

It's easy to fill the basic roles when even the same class can do so much.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
One very effective party would be an inquisitor, magus, warpriest and bard.
The only problem I see is that there is no one that can deal with traps here.

Sure they can. Everyone can disable mechanical traps, Summon Monster and other spells can circumvent magical traps, Dispel Magic can surpress a magical trap, but most of all, the Aram Zey's Focus spell allows the Bard to disable magical traps.

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Having said all that, I don't see this as any less effective of a party than the core 4.

I strongly disagree on the notion that Wizard/Cleric/Fighter/Rogue are a "core 4". Maybe in other games, but not in Pathfinder. Even if for some reason you want specialists for melee and skills, and even if we're talking about only CRB classes (or even CRB only), I would pick other classes to represent those "positions" (namely Barbarian and Bard).

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
One very effective party would be an inquisitor, magus, warpriest and bard.

You'd be hard pressed to find a combination of four different 6/9 caster classes that don't make a highly efficient party, especially if you allow free archetype selection.


Derklord wrote:


You'd be hard pressed to find a combination of four different 6/9 caster classes that don't make a highly efficient party, especially if you allow free archetype selection.

Oh yeah? Challenge accepted.

Cleric, Goliath Druid, Wizard, Master Summoner

=========

Well shoot, that's pretty darn efficient. Nvm.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
Derklord wrote:


You'd be hard pressed to find a combination of four different 6/9 caster classes that don't make a highly efficient party, especially if you allow free archetype selection.

Oh yeah? Challenge accepted.

Cleric, Goliath Druid, Wizard, Master Summoner

=========

Well shoot, that's pretty darn efficient. Nvm.

Those are also all 9/9 casters :p

EDIT: yes, I consider the summoner a 9/9 caster due to not only it's early access to some spells but also the summon monster SLA scaling as fast as a wizard's spell access.


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Derklord wrote:


You'd be hard pressed to find a combination of four different 6/9 caster classes that don't make a highly efficient party, especially if you allow free archetype selection.

Oh yeah? Challenge accepted.

Cleric, Goliath Druid, Wizard, Master Summoner

=========

Well shoot, that's pretty darn efficient. Nvm.

Those are also all 9/9 casters :p

EDIT: yes, I consider the summoner a 9/9 caster due to not only it's early access to some spells but also the summon monster SLA scaling as fast as a wizard's spell access.

I was being facetious :P

Scarab Sages

So it seems most people think either you dont need the core roles or that the roles have changed.


More that with new classes capable of doing a role that calling one class that role seems misleading. You don't need a wizard, you need a controller. You don't need a cleric you need a healer. You don't need a fighter you need a tank. Etc


There are far more than just 4 roles, and many characters contribute to more than one at once. Beefy Beatstick, Melee Monster, Ranged Beast, Debuffer, Buffs & Support, Blaster, Battlefield Manipulation, Save or Die Specialist, Skill Monkey, Utility God, Party Face...

Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cavall wrote:
More that with new classes capable of doing a role that calling one class that role seems misleading. You don't need a wizard, you need a controller. You don't need a cleric you need a healer. You don't need a fighter you need a tank. Etc

Pretty much this. Fighter isn't a role. It's a class that fills a single roll well. Same with the other core 4 classes. Other classes fill those same roles just as well or straddle the line between certainly roles. And there's nothing wrong with that.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

There's no one way to play.

Some class combos can make some campaigns 'easier', but 'easier' is not likely to mean 'more fun'.


Back in the original D&D those four classes were the only classes. In the original D&D there were not a whole lot of differences between characters of the same class. There may have been some minor differences between characters, but essentially they were the same. Two wizards may have had different spells known, or maybe one fighter had a higher STR score, but that was about it. Things like archetypes and feats did not exist. There were no rules for skills and almost everything focused on combat. This led to a situation where each player chose a different class for two reasons. The first was so that all the characters were not the same. The second was because if someone did not play one of the classes those abilities were not present.

Latter editions of the game added more options. When AD&D came out there were a lot more classes, but many of them were considered subclasses of the four original classes. Paladins and rangers for example were considered to be subclasses of fighter. Second edition later added more options to customize your character. The introduction of skills and feats in 3rd edition allowed you to actually have characters from the same class that were not exactly the same. Pathfinder introduced archetypes so now you could have character of the same class that had almost nothing in common. It also allows characters to have class features of other classes. With 1st edition Pathfinder characters have a lot more options so they are no longer cookie cutter copies of each other.

The whole idea of the tradition 4 class party is a relic from the 1970’s. It has about as much relevance in modern gaming as the Intel 808 chip does in modern computers. There are a lot of discussions on what roles are needed on the forums. The forge of combat is an excellent example of this, but focuses solely on combat.


Senko wrote:
So it seems most people think either you dont need the core roles or that the roles have changed.

Before you go on talking about "core roles", could you please answer the questions I started my first post with? First, how do you define "roles", and second, how do you define these specific "roles"? Is a Witch a mage, a priest, both? Is a Wildshape Druid a fighter, a priest, both, none?

Cavall wrote:
More that with new classes capable of doing a role that calling one class that role seems misleading. You don't need a wizard, you need a controller. You don't need a cleric you need a healer. You don't need a fighter you need a tank. Etc

How do you define these things? Is anyone standing in front a tank (and a controller to boot)? Would you call any Wizard or Druid, no matter the build, a healer? Both have access to healing spells and some removel spells, after all.

I vehemently opposte the notion that you need a dedicated controller, healer, or tank.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
There are a lot of discussions on what roles are needed on the forums. The forge of combat is an excellent example of this, but focuses solely on combat.

It should be noted that while it's core statements are good, the document it is still erroneous in parts.


Derklord wrote:
Senko wrote:
So it seems most people think either you dont need the core roles or that the roles have changed.

Before you go on talking about "core roles", could you please answer the questions I started my first post with? First, how do you define "roles", and second, how do you define these specific "roles"? Is a Witch a mage, a priest, both? Is a Wildshape Druid a fighter, a priest, both, none?

Cavall wrote:
More that with new classes capable of doing a role that calling one class that role seems misleading. You don't need a wizard, you need a controller. You don't need a cleric you need a healer. You don't need a fighter you need a tank. Etc

How do you define these things? Is anyone standing in front a tank (and a controller to boot)? Would you call any Wizard or Druid, no matter the build, a healer? Both have access to healing spells and some removel spells, after all.

I vehemently opposte the notion that you need a dedicated controller, healer, or tank.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
There are a lot of discussions on what roles are needed on the forums. The forge of combat is an excellent example of this, but focuses solely on combat.
It should be noted that while it's core statements are good, the document it is still erroneous in parts.

No I would not call a wizard, with no matter the build, a healer. Nor did anyone say dedicated as of there is nothing else your character can do. Simply that you're the best of the group to do it. I think some overlap is not only inevitable but expected. I do think as well that trying to do something vs being the thing your supposed to excel at are 2 different things. Tanking is not the same as being the tank for example. It's simply how one situation may play out.

1 to 50 of 87 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / How vital do you consider the 4 traditional roles? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.