Seven players role issue

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We have seven people playing together in one campaign and we're trying to figure out the best way to have the roles spread out amongst the players. Do you all have any suggestions? We currently have two leaders defenders and controllers and one striker
here is the current party now:
Tiefling Bard
Dragonborn Cleric
Human Swordmage
Longtooth Shifter Warden
Shardmind Psion
Human Wizard (Mage)
Deva Avenger 
My Commander decks! http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29942477/Endrek_Sahr,_Master_of_Disaster http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29942329/*Rumbling_Stomach_Noises*_Guildpact_Borborygmos_Deck
I think the Controllers are the roles you most easily could replace. More Strikers would give you more up front damage, which would (hopefully) mean faster combat. The controllers easily could find themselves stepping on each other's toes if their areas of effect overlap.

Another aspect to remember, certain classes which mark foes cannot mark the same foe. We've had issues where multiple defenders were all yelling at the same target, knocking off each other's marks. But things like a Warlock's curse (striker) can be used on a target who has been marked by a fighter (defender) without removing the mark.

Make sure the players understand their roles and want to play them. Defenders who want to be strikers will get frustrated they can't deal as much damage, strikers who want to defenders will race into battle and get thumped, and Leaders can feel frustrated standing on the edge of the battlefield buffing or healing others rather than being in the thick of things. We had a player who had a Leader role character who almost never healed anyone because he really didn't want to be a leader. He'd race off in a different direction and out of range of half of his powers.

Good luck. I have six players at the table and it can be challenging keeping track of everything.
It depends on what classes they are playing.  I would worry with a party like yours combats are going to drag, but it depends a lot on how the party is built.  If at least one of the controllers and at least one defender are focused on damage and at least one of the leaders is an attack granter I wouldn't worry about it that much.  If one of the leaders is a pacifist cleric, the striker is a fey lock or a control focused monk, etc. than things will potentially drag.

Multidefender parties are tricky to pull off.  Some defenders like battleminds, wildblood wardens, swordmages, and chaladins work a lot better than others in multidefender parties since they have good powers that punish enemies without having to mark them beforehand or keep them in your defender aura.

The more players you have the more important controllers become since you will face more enenies at once.  In paragon and epic multicontroller parties are fearsome if the controllers are well built.

Multileader parties are effective, but it helps if the leaders are focused a bit on different things.  Something like a tactical warlord focused on attack buffing and granting and a ranged cleric with a lot of save granting and debuffing won't be wasting effort for instance.

Generally its best to add more strikers before you have multiples of other role.  Mainly because more damage speeds up encounters.
More leaders and more strikers over more of anything else would be my suggestion.  Particularly good buffing/enabling leaders (which, let's face it, is basically adding more strikers anyway).  Two controllers is probably more than enough, and will tend to make combats drag rather than speed up.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

I agree, controllers are the least needed in duplicate.  With 7 party members I would think you would want 2-3 strikers, 2 leaders, 1-2 defender, 1 controller.  Many classes do great at putting conditions on enemies, but the ultimate condition is, without a doubt, dead.  Strikers specialize in dead.  


Of course with all that said, I personally hate playing strikers.  So I get where your group members might be coming from.  They want to do interesting tactical things in combat, enabling allies, setting up combos, locking down enemies.  I totally understand.  I would just worry about combat dragging on without the ability to dish out more damage.  But there are strikery options for many other classes so you might be perfectly alright.  And everyone should play what they want, its more fun that way.  There are really no set requirements for roles in 4e.  They are only suggestions, not even guidelines.  And you DM may be good at balancing the challenge to the abilities of the party. 


TjD

Two controllers is probably more than enough, and will tend to make combats drag rather than speed up.



That really depends on level and quality of controllers.  Optimized paragon/epic wizards and invokers and to a lesser extent druids can end a lot of encounters by round 2.  I have played in a 5 person party with 2 optimized wizards in epic and a 5 person party in paragon with an optimized invoker and wizard.

The DMs had trouble challenging us in both parties.
In my experience, roles are irrelevant. Have the players pick the types of characters they want to play. That will work out better in the long run.
I've been running a game of All-striker characters for a couple years now. The fights are quick, dirty, and brutal. They take on encounters that are 4-5 levels higher than they are and survive. The damage just stacks up with them. Would a leader or controller be helpful? yes, from time to time. But the weight of damage they bring down is just amazing. Most encounters don't last beyond 3-4 rounds.

So, "balanced" party is a myth. Not necessary. Play what you want to play. And have fun. That's the important bit.
Your party composition seems fine.
Your party composition seems fine.

And I would suggest it is perfectly fine if the players are playing PCs that they want to play.

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
It also depends on the secundary role of the party members, even when their main role is one, if the party start to weight their secundary role toward what the group lack or need, it shouldn't be a problem.
Seems fine to me, especially if each role dupe focuses differently.

I'd expect the party will struggle with cohesion for a session or two, until they all 'get' what their companions are both capable of and what they do often.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
Two controllers is probably more than enough, and will tend to make combats drag rather than speed up.



That really depends on level and quality of controllers.  Optimized paragon/epic wizards and invokers and to a lesser extent druids can end a lot of encounters by round 2.  I have played in a 5 person party with 2 optimized wizards in epic and a 5 person party in paragon with an optimized invoker and wizard.

The DMs had trouble challenging us in both parties.


They can make the encounter won, but that doesn't mean it ends, particularly if you're playing in a setting where surge count, and therefore, damage taken, even during cleanup, actually matters.  Stunning the entire encounter for the first couple of rounds means the PCs win, but it doesn't make it over.  Attack-penaltying the entire encounter means the PCs win, but you still have to fight them, and they still have to roll to hit in case they crit or do miss damage or whatever.

Whereas, nuking them to death means they are dead.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
In our 8 player party we had 2 defenders, 2 leaders, 1 controller and 3 strikers (fighter, warden, warpriest, artificer, mage, sorcerer, rogue and ranger) and the DM was having a really hard time 'challenging' us, which, from the party's stand point, was boring.
We recently swapped around a bit and now have 2 leaders, 1 controller, 1 defender and 4 strikers (warden swapped to warlord and warpriest swapped to slayer); it might not sound like much of change but we now hit a lot harder while exposing our squishy underbelly a bit more, encounters are more fun because they are more challenging and 'risky'
Tiefling Bard
Dragonborn Cleric
Human Swordmage
Longtooth Shifter Warden
Shardmind Psion
Human Wizard (Mage)
Deva Avenger 

here is what the current party is. We are all level one. Thanks for all the feedback guys. This is helpful 
My Commander decks! http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29942477/Endrek_Sahr,_Master_of_Disaster http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29942329/*Rumbling_Stomach_Noises*_Guildpact_Borborygmos_Deck
Hmm always a challenge to think up party compesition like this as you never know for sure how characters will work together.

I think the best advice though is not to focus to much on the race/class, but more look on how the players want to play it.

A human mage for example could be the normal controller, but he could also go the pyro route (areablaster). So  I think it's pretty important to look at how people see themselves playing their characters.

I am playing in a 6 character party for example where we are playing with one pacifist cleric, one bowranger and 4 melee. One of the characters however is an avenger that is good at taking on a moster solo, but with so many meleecharacters he just isn't really working out that well. It is probably also partly becuase of how the DM usually plays the monsters.

Think of a general strategy as a party and just build your characters around that.

In D&D though being to optimized can get quite boring in my opinion so there is also such a thing as to much preparation. Just have fun ;)
1 leader for 7 people is stretched pretty thin, consider having 2.

2 defenders are great for such a group, your numbers will guarantee some amount of spreading out, 2 defenders can help keep everyone covered.

Strikers are great,  dead enemies are harmless.  

Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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I think your party will be fine especially if the non striker PCs (probably the warden, wizard, and cleric) focus on boosting their own damage some through things like themes and immediate attacks.
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