Playing without a leader

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Hi, longtime lurker here. In the next week i will be playing D&D after a 20+ year hiatus. We have a 4E group starting up with a wizard, druid, rogue, and barbarian. I will be playing a warden. Notice anything missing? Are we setting ourselves up to get murdered? Any advice or tales to relate?
Make sure everyone has some healing potions and have fun.  The game will work just fine.
Hello Lharn...basically, it will be up to the DM to challenge you and make your adventures interesting.  If he/she is up to it, it is fine to play without a leader.  It is 100% better for players to play what they want then to feel like they have to play a role they don't want to play.  Just make sure you get healing potions as soon as possible for after PCs have used 2nd wind.  As a party, don't bite off more than you can chew and you should be fine.  Also, always have an escape plan, just in case the going gets tough.

Welcome back to D&D.  Enjoy.

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Your DM will just have to dish out less damage and be careful not to focus fire or someone will go down/die.

Also, the essentials druid has a leader build, The Sentinel.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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Unlike previous editions, you don't need a healer/leader to survive.  You just need to take that lack into account and design your group tactics around it.  For example, since you won't have someone handing out attack bonuses, you'll need to do your best to flank at every opportunity to improve your chances to hit.

Later on, you'll want magic items that can maximize the healing surges you use, like the Cloak of the Walking Wounded or the Amulet of Life.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
A lot of really good feedback here. You could also ask the DM to work in more extended rests, or give you an item that makes it easier for you to rest. An item like the Exodus Knife
Show

Power Daily (Standard Action)


When you use the exodus knife to trace a doorway onto a solid object, it opens a portal into an empty extradimensional space 4 squares wide, 4 squares high, and 4 squares long.


While the door is open, anyone can enter, see into, or affect the extradimensional space. Only creatures inside the space can open or close the door (a minor action). Once closed, the door becomes invisible to anyone outside the extradimensional space. Creatures on the inside of the closed door can see out, but those outside can't see in. Creatures on one side of the closed door cannot affect creatures on the other side.


The extradimensional space lasts for 8 hours. Any creatures still in the space when the effect ends reappear in the closest unoccupied squares outside the door.

would be pretty handy here, even if it's completely unrealistic for your party to have, but maybe that's part of the mystique of your group, possessing some unimaginably powerful artifact.


I ran a game for a Ranger and a Warden once.  I just house ruled that they each got to spend one healing surge as a minor action each encounter to duplicate a basic leader.

I would probably do the same thing again since it worked out so well and let them play the classes they wanted. 
The party will do fine as long as the players are careful to minimize risk.  Don't overextend and fall back when necessary.  The danger of not having a leader is two-fold.  First, you don't have a good way to recover when things go downhill (heavy burst damage, lots of status effects, etc.).  Second, you can't take a time out during combat (defense boosts, temp hit points, etc.).

Be mindful of these problems, be ESPECIALLY wary of lurkers, and you should be fine.

-SYB
nothing to add here, but welcome back to the game!

Unlike previous editions, you don't need a healer/leader to survive.

Actually I disagree. Out of the box the healer is needed just as much as in any other edition. 

Sure, you can adjust your game to work without a leader, but that requires the same work from DM-side and player-side than in any previous edition.


4e's promise that you "no longer need the cleric", just means that you can take the warlord or shaman and be just as good.


Yet going leaderless requires just as much special care as before



Yet going leaderless requires just as much special care as before



So does going defender-less, striker-less, or controller-less, though. If you have a huge gaping hole in your party make-up somewhere, you need to take a few steps to mitigate it, or something will come and punch you in it.


It's perfectly doable though. Especially if the Barbarian is willing to go Thaneborn and the Warden (that'd be you, OP) goes for Life Warden. That should give you enough leadery-ness to survive, especially combined with a few healing potions and some careful tactics.

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You also have everyone take training in heal and tack on a few utility powers, or MC and swap utilities in from the MC'ed class.
The original DMG suggests that, with no leader, the party compensate by either taking some secondary leader class stuff (they point to the Paladin, but others have things too), more healing potions, and then they mention that controllers and leaders (of the enemy kind) will generally hold more sway in combat.

Also, what others have said about taking MC feats or other options to create healing opportunities.
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Second Wind is a minor action and have tons of fun!


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You can play just fine with out a leader, even without the DM changing anything. You just can't play the same way you would if you had the leader.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

The players either need to be more careful in the actions they take or be a dwarf.

You don't need any one class to be successful, just need to know the party's strengths and weaknesses....though be prepared for random death (still pretty hard to die in most cases), as the rolls will go against the characters at some point.
"The great epochs of our life come when we gain the courage to rechristen our evil as what is best in us." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Unlike previous editions, you don't need a healer/leader to survive.  You just need to take that lack into account and design your group tactics around it.  For example, since you won't have someone handing out attack bonuses, you'll need to do your best to flank at every opportunity to improve your chances to hit.

Later on, you'll want magic items that can maximize the healing surges you use, like the Cloak of the Walking Wounded or the Amulet of Life.



What are you talking about? I play 3.5, playing without a healer is just fine, especially because if you do have a "healer", their healing spells end up healing far less damage than a different spell fo the same level could prevent!(for instance, the druid could heal 1d8+1 or entangle a bunch of the enemy fighters... a no-brainer really, especially if you consider that by the time you're rolling 3d8 for healing, the enemies deal -far- more damage than that in an equivalent action)

Healing in 3.5 was best left out of combat. A wand of Vigor, lesser will carry your party through the first 550 damage inflicted upon them. When it runs out, invest in some healing belts/2 new wands!

Rolling a Cleric, thinking you'll be your God's hand of justice on this plane, and then being relegated to healing duty because nobody grasps that there are better, cheap solutions out there... Well, let's just say that out of all the worst things possible that is THE. WORST. POSSIBLE. THING! ;)
try out Life Warden, it's fun
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You can have a party without a healer, have fun and kick tail at the same time   One of the groups I was in had a clericless party for a good while (two fighter rouges with spiked chains and a barbarian) we were an absolute menace to our foes.  We also had to make extensive use of fighting defensively, the expertise feat, fighting smart and probably independently supported the city's temples without healing potion purchases.  But it is very doable.

Mostly this is an issue for the DM.

If the DM throws killer encounters at you, yea, you will probably die.

But the DM should be having slightly weaker groups of enemies, and or let you rest more often.


Once I allowed second wind to be used twice per encounter for a leaderless party, that helped.


A party with no leader requires the DM to adjust a bit, just like a party of eight with four leaders would require the DM to adjust.
just like a party of eight with four leaders would require the DM to adjust.

If they are four warlords with different Presences, he'll probably just double the combat encounters.

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