On the issue of Tanks and Crowd Control

A few arguments I've seen around this board about CC and Tanking:

"The game is built to be playable without a grid! How can you CC or Tank without a grid?"
Answer: Immobilize effects, taunt effects, and any other effect that doesn't actually use distance traveled.

"It's modular, so tanking isn't in the core rules"
Response: I understand that the rules are incomplete as of now. I'm not going to argue that. I'm just pointing out that if the game is truly going to be modular, protecting the squishy needs to be a core mechanic.

As a final note I'd like to make it clear that tanking and CC are just two sides of the same coin.

To tank is reactive. You are defending yourself or another from incoming damage or effects (In a gridless game this would usually be done by standing adjacent to your squishy and intercepting attacks.
To crowd control is proactive. You are preventing the enemy from getting into a favorable position. This usually comes in the form of debuffs (disadvantage, immobilization, blindness, etc).

Note that none of this requires a grid.
Please stop using MMO terms for a tabletop game. Tank. Crowd Control. Debuffs. Those terms gained usage because of MMOs. They should stay there. This is NOT a computer game and it shouldn't be designed or thought of as one. A living, thinking, breathing human DM controls the monsters (or would you prefer Mobs?) and how they react, not a pre-programmed AI. Any DM worth his salt knows how to make adjustments to combat encounters without NEEDING an artificial game mechanic to tell him what to do.
"Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
Fighters shouldn't be "tanks" - fighters should be the guys who kill stuff in melee the best while wearing heavy armor and have the highest hitpoints to keep themselves alive.
Here is reality, read and understand: Rangers aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Fighters aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Casters aren't "god mode" or overpowered, in any edition. The tarrasque isn't broken. And you aren't voicing your opinion by claiming otherwise, you're just being a pain. Now, stop complaining.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Please stop using MMO terms for a tabletop game. Tank. Crowd Control. Debuffs. Those terms gained usage because of MMOs. They should stay there. This is NOT a computer game and it shouldn't be designed or thought of as one. A living, thinking, breathing human DM controls the monsters (or would you prefer Mobs?) and how they react, not a pre-programmed AI. Any DM worth his salt knows how to make adjustments to combat encounters without NEEDING an artificial game mechanic to tell him what to do.


Translation; DMs should use dummy tactics.
You've obviously not paid attention in language class.

People steal terminology from other places all the time. English is pretty much the result of people stealing words and concepts from other languages whole hog.

Furthermore crowd control is older than the bloody internet, and actually applies to controlling crowds, suppresion fire, and anti-personell weapons among other things. 
Please stop using MMO terms for a tabletop game. Tank. Crowd Control. Debuffs. Those terms gained usage because of MMOs. They should stay there. This is NOT a computer game and it shouldn't be designed or thought of as one. A living, thinking, breathing human DM controls the monsters (or would you prefer Mobs?) and how they react, not a pre-programmed AI. Any DM worth his salt knows how to make adjustments to combat encounters without NEEDING an artificial game mechanic to tell him what to do.


Translation; DMs should use dummy tactics.



If you want to run your game like an MMO (which is pretty narrowly focused, as it's programmed that way), go for it, but a tabletop game doesn't need to be clogged up with a lot of artificial rules forcing monsters to act in a pre-determined way.
"Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
Please stop using MMO terms for a tabletop game. Tank. Crowd Control. Debuffs. Those terms gained usage because of MMOs. They should stay there. This is NOT a computer game and it shouldn't be designed or thought of as one. A living, thinking, breathing human DM controls the monsters (or would you prefer Mobs?) and how they react, not a pre-programmed AI. Any DM worth his salt knows how to make adjustments to combat encounters without NEEDING an artificial game mechanic to tell him what to do.


Translation; DMs should use dummy tactics.



If you want to run your game like an MMO (which is pretty narrowly focused, as it's programmed that way), go for it, but a tabletop game doesn't need to be clogged up with a lot of artificial rules forcing monsters to act in a pre-determined way.


Opinion.

As a player I prefer to have the ability to defend any player in my group who is weaker than the rest.
Taunting/tanking/CC are simple and recognizable tools that allow the players this kind of 'control' on the battlefield.

Also, my group was using the terms taunting and tanking before we ever played an MMO way back in the 90's...
Like it or not, the appropriation of language (MMO or otherwise) from outside the D&D sphere is not only going to happen, it's been happening since the beginning.  Just to name a few, terms like armor class and "to-hit" were originally appropriated from the tabletop gaming crowd.  Terms like "stacking" can be seen in the core rules now.  And I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I've seen "buff" and/or "debuff" in at least one core rulebook.

At my tabletop, there are only two of us old farts who've been playing since 1st edition.  For the rest of our table, they've never played anything but 4e.  But they've played plenty of WoW, LoTRO, CoH, Diablo, the list goes on.

And quite frankly, descriptive archetypes such as tank, controller, defender, etc...they make sense.  I'd actually be surprised if it was the MMO world that coined these phrases.  My money's on these terms being older than even Everquest.

The meta-game evolves, and we'd be kidding ourselves that external influences don't have a place in our games.  If my 16 year-old nephew wants his "toon" to be a tank or a controller in my tabletop RPG, the last thing I'm going to do is berate him for something as silly as language.  Heck, D&D is what gave me my love of reading and language.  In the end, it's still a game, and having fun is what it's all about.  Nothing breaks fun like somebody sitting on their high horse demanding that proper terminology and ettiquette be obeyed.
One of the clerics has a theme that grants them decent reactive "Tanking" style abilities.  They are not necessarily 'proactive', so they do not fit your second criteria above, but they do fulfill basically everything else up there.  Using immobilization and disadvantage and everything!

Personally, I was quite pleased with this implementation, though I think in a tactical rules module it could be expanded greatly.
And quite frankly, descriptive archetypes such as tank, controller, defender, etc...they make sense.  I'd actually be surprised if it was the MMO world that coined these phrases.  My money's on these terms being older than even Everquest.




You are correct. I was a MUDder from 1994-2008 ( I think - may have been 09), and those terms (especially tank) were all in use when I started.
Here is reality, read and understand: Rangers aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Fighters aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Casters aren't "god mode" or overpowered, in any edition. The tarrasque isn't broken. And you aren't voicing your opinion by claiming otherwise, you're just being a pain. Now, stop complaining.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Cool, an occasion to write my ideas about "Defending"

The "Tank and taunt" approach is not the only one possible. It was put at the forefront by MMOs because it is, for many reason, the easiest way to act in a MMO : if only one member of the team takes damages, and this member also happen to be able to reduce the damage he takes, the healer has less work to do, and spends less ressources, and time, than if ennemies are free to hit anything. So you give heavy resistance classes the ability to force ennmies to attack them.
But the point is to :


  • reduce the ability of the ennemies to damage the team

  • reduce the quantity of ressources you have to spend to survive the encounter.


In many MMOs, today, the classic "one tank takes it all" approach has been questioned (even the very known, big seller I won't name here has now high level encounters where you can't just heal the tank, and where the tank can't keep the "aggro" at all time...)


4E tried another approach to "team protection" with the mark mechanism - it was not a "taunt" forcing the ennemy to attack the taunter, it was a way to make this ennemy less dangerous to every member of the team, but the taunter, by giving him maluses to hit (and often, lowering his mobility too). Of course, it confused a lot of players who where thinking in the classical "focus on the tank" habit, but it worked, especiall y because it was combined with forced movement as another way to reduce the ability of ennemies to damage group members ( a task that was often more for the Controller than the Defender).


All this to say that "taunt and tank" is not the only way possible for D&D Next to allow "defender" tactics, either as a "role" of some classes, or as more global cross-class mechanisms.


And I think it would be bad for this iteration of the game to try to "stick" to concepts that are curently reworked in new directions by the very games who helped make them "classics" - be it tanking, healing, or even damage dealing, aspects that are all currently the subject of much experimentation in video game industry.

Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
You are correct. I was a MUDder from 1994-2008 ( I think - may have been 09), and those terms (especially tank) were all in use when I started.


Ahh, yeah I used to MUD back in the day too...now I'm sure I remember that at least some of the standard MMO terms were in use.  I seem to recall a fair amount of "nuking" going on.
In a game of (American) football, the defensive line is trying to get at the quarterback, and the offense is trying to block them.  The offense are pretty effective at their job because they can react in real time to how the defense moves.  If football were played in a turn-based system, in contrast, it would be trivial for a defensive lineman to run around the offense's threatened areas.  This breaks verisimilitude.  The purpose of rules like marking and opportunity attacks is to patch this unfortunate consequence of playing in turn.  They're not there to force the DM to play a certain way, they're there to force the game to play out in a way that's at least a bit more similar to how it would work in real time.

Note that 4e actually had few if any MMO-style "taunt" powers.  The design philosophy was to create nasty consequences for ignoring the big guy waving a sword in your face.  Now, maybe the original idea of "marking" was a bit convoluted, but I think the Essentials version of the mechanic got it basically right.  It doesn't control the monsters' minds, it just punishes them for acting in ways which should be stupid but which, by the more basic turn-based rules, aren't.
This is exactly what I'm getting at. Marking is a form of debuff, which is proactive crowd control. Reactive defenses don't really translate well in a turn based system unless you break turn order (like the 3.5 Immediate Action).
Yeah I'm not married to a particular form of defending or another, but I did like the addition of a mechanic that would prevent rogues and wizards from getting the full wrath of the monsters. The cleric they have in the playtest seems to fall a bit short given the advantage/disadvantage system. He can hand out disadvantage to monsters attacking his allies within 5 feet, any striker will be looking for advantage. Seems like the easiest way to get advantage in combat would be by flanking, doing so with the defender puts you outside his defending range. 

Auras seem to be an evolution from marking because it's easy to keep track of, but this doesn't seem to be as good as either.  

If you want to run your game like an MMO (which is pretty narrowly focused, as it's programmed that way), go for it, but a tabletop game doesn't need to be clogged up with a lot of artificial rules forcing monsters to act in a pre-determined way.


Ironically, this is an argument FOR marking--or, in MMO speak, "drawing aggro." Without it, monsters need "artificial rules;" the DM has to follow a "gentleman's agreement" to respect the fighter, because nothing actually stops him from charging and murdering the wizard. In other words, the game ends up clogged with "artificial rules," even if those rules are never put to paper.
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A few arguments I've seen around this board about CC and Tanking:

"The game is built to be playable without a grid! How can you CC or Tank without a grid?"
Answer: Immobilize effects, taunt effects, and any other effect that doesn't actually use distance traveled.

"It's modular, so tanking isn't in the core rules"
Response: I understand that the rules are incomplete as of now. I'm not going to argue that. I'm just pointing out that if the game is truly going to be modular, protecting the squishy needs to be a core mechanic.

As a final note I'd like to make it clear that tanking and CC are just two sides of the same coin.

To tank is reactive. You are defending yourself or another from incoming damage or effects (In a gridless game this would usually be done by standing adjacent to your squishy and intercepting attacks.
To crowd control is proactive. You are preventing the enemy from getting into a favorable position. This usually comes in the form of debuffs (disadvantage, immobilization, blindness, etc).

Note that none of this requires a grid.



"Tank" and "tanking" is an MMO concept brought into D&D in 4th edition by Hasbro's/WotC's targeting of the MMO crowd.  D&D did without them for 3 editions prior to 4th.  I've had many great and successful games in all 3 editions.  A Warrior's/Fighter's classic role was not a "tank".  Though, they often "chose" to protect the "squishies" and did so creatively and successfully without the need for power cards that made all the bad little pieces on the board attack the fighter just because the card told them to.  If you play a fighter using only the core rules of 5th edition, you might actually have to get a little imaginative and creative, and put some discription and roleplay into your game.  Who knows?  After playing the core, you might actually pass on the 4th edition: The Gathering module for 5th edition when it releases.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/5.jpg)



"Tank" and "tanking" is an MMO concept brought into D&D in 4th edition by Hasbro's/WotC's targeting of the MMO crowd.  D&D did without them for 3 editions prior to 4th.

Absolutely factually false. The only thing about Tanking imported from MMOs is the term Tanking. They existed all the way back in 1e--they were just called "meat shields."

P.S. Tanking does NOT exist as a game-term in DnD. They're called "defenders." 

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Seemed to work fine for my group today.  In one instance our fighter yelled out a taunt as an opposed intimidate check to draw some attention, and in another he simply stood in the middle of a corridor to prevent any goblins from getting by him.  Not all those caves are wide enough to let a whole party through like a 4th edition gridded combat!


"Tank" and "tanking" is an MMO concept brought into D&D in 4th edition by Hasbro's/WotC's targeting of the MMO crowd.  D&D did without them for 3 editions prior to 4th.

Absolutely factually false. The only thing about Tanking imported from MMOs is the term Tanking. They existed all the way back in 1e--they were just called "meat shields."

P.S. Tanking does NOT exist as a game-term in DnD. They're called "defenders." 




lol

I think my meaning is clear.  If you want to get technical with terminology as your defense, then have at it.  The OP was the one who called "Defenders" "tanks" to begin with in the thread title and original post.  And like I said, Hasbro/WotC brought that concept into D&D with 4th edition, where they made the "Defender's" main roll to be the "Master of Getting Beat Down".   And gave the Rogues the classic MMO "DPS" role.  In previous editions of D&D, especially 1st and 2nd editions where D&D got it's start, the Fighter was the master of melee.  The Thief's primary role was in exploration.  And you were glad to have the Rogue in those editions where traps were actually deadly.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/5.jpg)


lol

I think my meaning is clear.  If you want to get technical with terminology as your defense, then have at it.  You were the one who called "Defenders" "tanks" to begin with in your thread title and original post.  And like I said, Hasbro/WotC brought that concept into D&D with 4th edition, where they made the "Defender's" main roll to be the "Master of Getting Beat Down".  

No, they didn't.

Go all the way back to Chainmail, DnD's grandfather game.

The "Fighting Man" was tough but not very effective, and his main roll was to stand between the explosively powerful, fragile "Magic User" and the enemy.

The Tank has been part of DnD (by different names, with differing degrees of mechanical support) since before DnD existed.

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Now you're grasping. lol.

"Tank" or "meat shield" is the role concept in which a hardy character tries to take on the majority of the damage to protect the rest of the party, and has abilities keyed specifically for that, but did little damage.  The "Defender of 4th edition.  Not the Warriors and Fighters of previous editions that were great at combat and dealing damage.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/5.jpg)

Now you're grasping. lol.

"Tank" or "meat shield" is the role concept in which a hardy character tries to take on the majority of the damage to protect the rest of the party, and has abilities keyed specifically for that, but did little damage.  The "Defender of 4th edition.  Not the Warriors and Fighters of previous editions that were great at combat and dealing damage.

1) "Defender" builds sometimes dealt tons of damage in 4e

2) Fighters in 1e and 2e never got close to a 10d6 fireball in terms of damage; they dealt d8-d10 + 6ish damage at high level 2 - 2.5 times / turn.

3) 3e fighters SUCKED at ever doing damage, except for a few specific builds abusing Power Attack and/or Lance multiplier damage. Seriously, my first character was a sword-and-board fighter, and I deald d8  + 5 damage starting at level 4. The barbarian was doing like 2d6 + 8, +16 or so in a rage.

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1) "Defender" builds sometimes dealt tons of damage in 4e

2) Fighters in 1e and 2e never got close to a 10d6 fireball in terms of damage; they dealt d8-d10 + 6ish damage at high level 2 - 2.5 times / turn.

3) 3e fighters SUCKED at ever doing damage, except for a few specific builds abusing Power Attack and/or Lance multiplier damage. Seriously, my first character was a sword-and-board fighter, and I deald d8  + 5 damage starting at level 4. The barbarian was doing like 2d6 + 8, +16 or so in a rage.


Your point is well made, but  I think we can agree that this is one tradition more honored in the breach than the observance.

Your point is well made, but  I think we can agree that this is one tradition more honored in the breach than the observance.


I'd probably agree with you if I had any idea what you meant Tongue Out
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Now you're grasping. lol.

"Tank" or "meat shield" is the role concept in which a hardy character tries to take on the majority of the damage to protect the rest of the party, and has abilities keyed specifically for that, but did little damage.  The "Defender of 4th edition.  Not the Warriors and Fighters of previous editions that were great at combat and dealing damage.

1) "Defender" builds sometimes dealt tons of damage in 4e

2) Fighters in 1e and 2e never got close to a 10d6 fireball in terms of damage; they dealt d8-d10 + 6ish damage at high level 2 - 2.5 times / turn.

3) 3e fighters SUCKED at ever doing damage, except for a few specific builds abusing Power Attack and/or Lance multiplier damage. Seriously, my first character was a sword-and-board fighter, and I deald d8  + 5 damage starting at level 4. The barbarian was doing like 2d6 + 8, +16 or so in a rage.




4) Once you got to where Fighters could be dishing out silly amounts of damage, it was at a point where damage is useless. Instakill spells and Save or Suck spells were where it was at and anythign nonmagic was trash.


"It's modular, so tanking isn't in the core rules"
Response: I understand that the rules are incomplete as of now. I'm not going to argue that. I'm just pointing out that if the game is truly going to be modular, protecting the squishy needs to be a core mechanic.



It is a fairly big assumption that protecting the squishy needs to be a core mechanic. 3 editions existed without any such mechanic. Please give a reason why it is then nessicary.

I am all for a module with a 'tanking' fighter (please see this thread). What you have to release is that my adding these control you make the fighter a 'tank' giving it a role. Previous editions didn't have roles. You could have a fighter that was dps or a fighter that was a meat shield. By assigning roles you make this impossible and make tanks is a big way of assigning roles.

In the end everyone can have what they want by just making roles optional and modular. 


It is a fairly big assumption that protecting the squishy needs to be a core mechanic. 3 editions existed without any such mechanic. Please give a reason why it is then nessicary. 


Thousands of generations existed without cars. Please explain why you don't ride a horse everywhere.

Look at the people who actually played those editions (I played 1e, but admittedly I was in 3e at the time). They effectively played with tanking rules. The specifics were seldom commited to paper, and varied wildly from table to table, but they existed--because the game was literally unplayable if every monster walked past the fighter to OHKO the d4-HD wizard.

3e implemented AoO's to resolve this problem--to prevent arguments, unbalanced houserules, and generally provide a balanced, fun game experience. And nearly everything in 3e was scrapped for 4e, but the biggest change to AoOs? Renaming to OAs!

Protecting the squishy is a core of gameplay. And DnD's core mechanics need to support the core of the game--otherwise what's the point?
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Tanking being in core or no, forcing a player to be "creative" at something so simple as "I'm going to plant myself in the middle of this 15 foot hallway and woe to any one creature that tries to get past me" is silly.

As is, short of readying an action, a fighter simply cannot stop enemies from going around him.  If you play it "by the grid" a single man cannot hold a ten food wide hallway, even if he's a masterswordsman and he's being approached by commoners.

I don't really care which rules they use to fix this, but there should be some rules to this effect.


It is a fairly big assumption that protecting the squishy needs to be a core mechanic. 3 editions existed without any such mechanic. Please give a reason why it is then nessicary. 


Thousands of generations existed without cars. Please explain why you don't ride a horse everywhere.

Look at the people who actually played those editions (I played 1e, but admittedly I was in 3e at the time). They effectively played with tanking rules. The specifics were seldom commited to paper, and varied wildly from table to table, but they existed--because the game was literally unplayable if every monster walked past the fighter to OHKO the d4-HD wizard.

3e implemented AoO's to resolve this problem--to prevent arguments, unbalanced houserules, and generally provide a balanced, fun game experience. And nearly everything in 3e was scrapped for 4e, but the biggest change to AoOs? Renaming to OAs!

Protecting the squishy is a core of gameplay. And DnD's core mechanics need to support the core of the game--otherwise what's the point?




Cars and horses are actually a good example.

If you want a country with limited travel you can have horses. Another country might want cars. If you put cars in both countries those horses are going ot be hideously outdated. 

Maybe instead of cars you want to improve to carriages? If there are cars you can't have those either.

By making it non-core you simply make it an option. It is ALL personal preference. By making it core you force it on all the players. Since what you like is personal prefernce in the first place I really don't see how making it optional hurt anyone. It just maximizes the people you make happy.

Protecting the squishes isn't a core of gameplay depending on how you play. There are non mechanical ways to deal with it. I am all for optional mechanics to deal with it as well, but don't force them on anyone. 
Please stop using MMO terms for a tabletop game. Tank. Crowd Control. Debuffs. Those terms gained usage because of MMOs. They should stay there. This is NOT a computer game and it shouldn't be designed or thought of as one. A living, thinking, breathing human DM controls the monsters (or would you prefer Mobs?) and how they react, not a pre-programmed AI. Any DM worth his salt knows how to make adjustments to combat encounters without NEEDING an artificial game mechanic to tell him what to do.



I disagree ... they are COMMON game terms now that represent valid concepts that apply to even tabel top RPGs.  Folks need to stop being afraind of gettign there chocolate in someone elses peanut butter as though concepts from diffente game genres are toxic.

When you talk about there being a difference between tanking / CC versus a DM control you completely miss the point that be it SOFTWARE or "PEOPLE"WARE ... something needs to exist to FORCE a monster to attack the tough character.

Mechnically anything with half a brain would see that destroying the healer or mage is the best first target (JUST like the player do on monsters) but the D&D as a game cannot support that.  The computer approach to the problem was to develop taunts, the 4E solution was OAs and marks, the 1E / 2E solution was ..."OH PLEASE MISTER DM STOP MAKING ME REROLL" and the DM would run the monsters into walls like keystone cops and have them ignore the massive damage and healing from the back ranks to focus on the idiot in platemail up front that did no damage.

Thus ...  its perfectly valid to talk about "taunts" in 5E or use the OA / mark language of 4E to fill in the gaps where that language didn't exist in 1E / 2E (even thoguh the problem did).  Those words acurately describe the problem in a way that nothing in prior editions can.



Cars and horses are actually a good example.

If you want a country with limited travel you can have horses. Another country might want cars. If you put cars in both countries those horses are going ot be hideously outdated. 

Maybe instead of cars you want to improve to carriages? If there are cars you can't have those either.

By making it non-core you simply make it an option. It is ALL personal preference. By making it core you force it on all the players. Since what you like is personal prefernce in the first place I really don't see how making it optional hurt anyone. It just maximizes the people you make happy. 

...you seem to have completely missed my point about horses and cars. And I have no idea where you're going with carraiges.

Let me clarify: your point that "several editions were fine" without OAs, thereore we don't need them today, makes as much sense as me saying that our great-grandparents didn't need cars, therefore our society will function just fine on horseback.

And making OAs optional hurts people by making the game unplayable without optional rules or houserules. 
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The term 'tank' for the warrior type predates MMOs by a lot of years. It's the word all of the D&D folks I played with used as early as AD&D. If warriors are only capable of limited damage compared to other classes, and have no way of defending the casters, they have no function. 
Please stop using MMO terms for a tabletop game. Tank. Crowd Control. Debuffs. Those terms gained usage because of MMOs. They should stay there. This is NOT a computer game and it shouldn't be designed or thought of as one. A living, thinking, breathing human DM controls the monsters (or would you prefer Mobs?) and how they react, not a pre-programmed AI. Any DM worth his salt knows how to make adjustments to combat encounters without NEEDING an artificial game mechanic to tell him what to do.


Translation; DMs should use dummy tactics.



Mechanics for aggro, tanking, etc.. LIMIT your ability to protect a squishy.


The DM has infinite power to allow logical bodyguarding.



You just need a capable dm.      
Logical bodygaurding doesn't exist if the gaurds don't have either the ability to out damage the wizard or the ability to stop/punish the monster.

A real world body gaurd functions by killing the badguy, distracting the badguy, or getting his charge out of reach of the badguy.

A body gaurd who cannot do any of these things can only put himself between the badguy and his charge and hope the badguy lacks either range, reach, overwhelming physical force, or the brains to walk slightly to the left.

A capable DM plays monsters with some semblance of their listed intelligence. An ogre might try to rush the fighter head on, but a hob-goblin or a dragon is gonna just ignore a bodygaurd that offers less credible threat than the target.

NOw that said the fighter is obviously not a defender.

He's got the slayer theme and should be played accordingly.

The cleric is the defender.
It is a fairly big assumption that protecting the squishy needs to be a core mechanic. 3 editions existed without any such mechanic. Please give a reason why it is then nessicary.


What? Go read your AD&D DMG again - I just checked mine, and page 70 says that breaking off from melee incurs a full attack routine from any creature that the fleeing creature is engaged with. Now reread your 3E books - you'll probably notice attacks of opportunity in there somewhere if you're careful.

Now open your AD&D Player's Handbook and figure out who has the most hit points, best armor, and best weapons. Next, determine who has the least hit points, worst armor, and worst weapons. Put two and two together - who is supposed to be standing in front of whom? Are the magic-users standing in front of the fighters or vice versa? Repeat this procedure with the 3E books as well, pretending for the moment that class means something.

D&D has always had tanking mechanics. Some people probably think 4E was different in a dramatic way because monsters had to attack the fighter or paladin, just like in WoW. But those people either never read the books or have made a hobby of misrepresenting what they read. No cure for that!

DDN as of the current playtest is unusual in its lack of tanking mechanics. Anyone who is serious about testing the rules should probably see what happens in this limited rule set when a DM makes an effort to eliminate frail but powerful PCs first.

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Defending the party, or at least punishing a monster for sauntering past you like you don't exist, is an essential component for a core mechanic. See all the reasons above to support this, I need not repost them.

Now, WHO does this is not important. I actually like their use of Defender as a theme, rather than assigning the role to a class. This opens the door for more mix-matching of classes and roles, based on your preference. This cleric is a defender? Awesome! The fighter wants to focus on murdering things? Good for him!

Point is, it doesn't matter what class does what, as long as someone appropriate has the ability to defend. And the utter lack of opportunity attacks in the playtest just doesn't make any goddamn sense. You can't just up and turn your back on something you're engaged in a battle to the death with, and wander off at your liesure to do something else. 
I distinctly remember describing my 3.5 Warforged fighter as a "tank" despite never having played an MMO (at the time).

That said, a "tank" or a "meatshield" or whatever is the concept of a heavily armored combatant who engages in melee combat with the goal of protecting lighter-armored friendlies. They've existed in all editions of D&D. The only difference is that in 4e, they could actually do their job (in 3e, if an enemy was engaging the fighter....all they had to do was shift 5 feet away, and then charge another target. Hardly what I would call being a capable defender).

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Defending the party, or at least punishing a monster for sauntering past you like you don't exist, is an essential component for a core mechanic. See all the reasons above to support this, I need not repost them.

Now, WHO does this is not important. I actually like their use of Defender as a theme, rather than assigning the role to a class. This opens the door for more mix-matching of classes and roles, based on your preference. This cleric is a defender? Awesome! The fighter wants to focus on murdering things? Good for him!

Point is, it doesn't matter what class does what, as long as someone appropriate has the ability to defend. And the utter lack of opportunity attacks in the playtest just doesn't make any goddamn sense. You can't just up and turn your back on something you're engaged in a battle to the death with, and wander off at your liesure to do something else. 



I agree, giving a defending theme to any class that wants to try it is great, but some kind of basical Attacks of Opportunity were useful to block at least one enemy you have engaged
Logical bodygaurding doesn't exist if the gaurds don't have either the ability to out damage the wizard or the ability to stop/punish the monster.

A real world body gaurd functions by killing the badguy, distracting the badguy, or getting his charge out of reach of the badguy.

A body gaurd who cannot do any of these things can only put himself between the badguy and his charge and hope the badguy lacks either range, reach, overwhelming physical force, or the brains to walk slightly to the left.

A capable DM plays monsters with some semblance of their listed intelligence. An ogre might try to rush the fighter head on, but a hob-goblin or a dragon is gonna just ignore a bodygaurd that offers less credible threat than the target.

NOw that said the fighter is obviously not a defender.

He's got the slayer theme and should be played accordingly.

The cleric is the defender.



Definately the bodyguard needs to be able to punish the attacker ignoring him to get at the squishy guy being guarded.

I am leaning toward advantage+disadvantage as a good solution.   
Nothing prevents any character from posting up next to the wizard and readying an action to attack anyone who threatens them.
Help make Combat Mastery happen: If you like the idea of Combat Mastery, as outlined below, for fighters copy it onto your signature and add interesting combat maneuvers to the list. Two new examples could be throat punch or spit in eye. Combat Mastery: When a Fighter performs combat maneuvers such as bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, pick up kobold by the neck, etc, the minimum die result is 10. Fighter Combat Maneuvers: On a given round the fighter can bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, hip toss, eye poke, ball kick, hair drag, blind with sand, slide down banister, swing on chandalier, walk on barrel, use enemy as shield, interpose self in front of arrow trying to kill wizard, intimidate, etc, in place of his/her move action. This is a nonattack action that might cause the fighter's opponent to be rendered prone, unarmed, blind for a round, etc, or otherwise grant the fighter advantage or his/her opponent disadvantage as the Fighter sees fit.
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