Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just stand in the back and don't get hurt

But... I don't wanna. It's boring back there.

Sure, I'm just a lowly sorcerer with d4 HD and no armor and the worst BAB in the game... but, I still like to get in there and mix it up a little. I have mage armor and shield cast, and this sickle ain't just for reaping crops.


Defender, Leader, Controller, Striker.

Great in terms of monster design, but I worry that it'll spill over into the realm of character classes. There's nothing I hate more than the thought of being pigeon holed into some designated cookie cutter role.

I suppose I'm lucky in that my gaming group has an unspoken "play whatever will be fun for you" rule. We talk about having a balanced party but in the end we always seem to end up with anything but. One party will be heavy on casting but light on melee. Another will have tons of melee power but no healer. Yet, somehow the game is still fun. Gasp!

I also have a lot of fun with taking "unusual" character concepts (ie. nerfed, gimped, broken) and trying to make it work. The best example that comes to mind was a dwarven sorcerer with a few fighter levels. He overcame his racial charisma penalty, overcame the arcane failure chance from wearing armor, and waded into battle with his greatsword. He was challenging. He was fun. But would I have made him with the idea of "roles" rattling around in my head?

Actually, to be honest, yes. But that's just because I'm a selfish jerk and my fellow players understand, nay, expect that of me. Plus, the optimist in me wants to believe that DM Crwth adjusts his campaign to make it easier on our unbalanced party.

My point is, that roles applied to characters will undoubtably change the way in which others play the game.

How many out there will crack open the new 4e PHB, filled with limitless potential (or so we're promised), and instead of trying some diverse and unique combination of race, class, and talents will opt for some bland cookie cutter character just to fill his or her assigned role?

In my opinion, one is too many. So please WotC. Keep your roles to monster design and leave the roleplaying to us.

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