General Questions

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Hey, I'm new to D&D and I've got some questions. They're all kinda dispersed, so I'm posting them in one thread. I've been playing 4e for about five months, and overall it's been a fun experience. I'm trying to get more knowledge about the working of the game, and the Optimization Board has been a big help in understanding the game.

I've played a Ranger, Bard, and a Shaman thus far, all under level 8.


I'm reading and seeing designations like "V class" and I don't really understand what these are. Can someone explain? Are there more than just V class?

What are the most "interesting" Striker and Defender builds? I know Controllers and Leaders usually have some depth, but from what I've seen, Strikers and Defenders have much less. Are there any Striker or Defender classes with decent depth and options? When I was playing a Ranger, I balanced between DEX and STR to have more options in the build, but it was kinda boring just stabbing/shooting things turn after turn.
I've started leaning towards Leaders and Controllers mostly, and the next Encounters Session I'd like to use a Striker or Defender but actually have some deeper strategic thought.

A veteran player I play with/talk to keeps telling me that specilization is important. I'm more of a "toolbox" kinda guy who likes his options. So long as my main stat is as high as it can be for my attack rolls, I like to broaden my horizons. He's not trying to play my character or anything, but it does concern me that I may be doing it incorrectly. Should I be focusing on specializing like he says?

Just trying to learn. I appreciate any help I can get.
1: A V class is a class with two possible primary stats and a single secondary stat, such as the Paladin which uses STR OR CHA and WIS.  Most such classes can also function using both their primary stats and little or no secondary, but with lesser effect.  Other class design are I - one primary, one secondary (Slayer, Hunter), A - one primary, multiple possible secondaries (lots, this is the most common design), X - 2 or more primaries, 2 or mroe secondaries (Warlock, Cleric).

2: Almost all of them are pretty interesting.  Fighters and Warlords have LOTS of options, but you can give yourself something interesting to do with almost all defenders and strikers, including Rangers.  The difficulty with deep strategic thought is that it's a group game, and the whole group has to be good at tactics and strategy, for it to be specially helpful.  ALso that, in combination with point 3, it tends to be a game in which nuking one enemy at a time until they're all dead, is better than taking them all on at once with anything other than low-damage control.  This is because with a very few exceptions, enemies don't get any weaker with damage, until they're dead, so a 1hp enemy is just as much threat as a full-hp enemy, and therefore you're better off making one enemy 0HP, rather than 5 enemies losing 1/5 of their HP.

3: Generally, it's better to specialise, yes.  This is a game which heavily rewards specialisation - particularly for strikers (because putting all your resources into being good at killing stuff, makes you better at doing your combat job, which is killing stuff).  If you want to be the guy with lots of options and lots of different ways t contribute, you can, particularly by playing a good Controller, but even then your plans may start top get quite formulaic, quite quickly.  It is, though, worth noting that out of combat utility merits a little more specialisation, and the people who are arguably best at skills are the Ranger, the Rogue and the Bard, broadly speaking - most skills available, most applicable stats etc.  But also that Lair Assault tends not to be a heavily skills-y environment...
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.
1: A V class is a class with two possible primary stats and a single secondary stat, such as the Paladin which uses STR OR CHA and WIS.  Most such classes can also function using both their primary stats and little or no secondary, but with lesser effect.  Other class design are I - one primary, one secondary (Slayer, Hunter), A - one primary, multiple possible secondaries (lots, this is the most common design), X - 2 or more primaries, 2 or mroe secondaries (Warlock, Cleric).

2: Almost all of them are pretty interesting.  Fighters and Warlords have LOTS of options, but you can give yourself something interesting to do with almost all defenders and strikers, including Rangers.  The difficulty with deep strategic thought is that it's a group game, and the whole group has to be good at tactics and strategy, for it to be specially helpful.  ALso that, in combination with point 3, it tends to be a game in which nuking one enemy at a time until they're all dead, is better than taking them all on at once with anything other than low-damage control.  This is because with a very few exceptions, enemies don't get any weaker with damage, until they're dead, so a 1hp enemy is just as much threat as a full-hp enemy, and therefore you're better off making one enemy 0HP, rather than 5 enemies losing 1/5 of their HP.

3: Generally, it's better to specialise, yes.  This is a game which heavily rewards specialisation - particularly for strikers (because putting all your resources into being good at killing stuff, makes you better at doing your combat job, which is killing stuff).  If you want to be the guy with lots of options and lots of different ways t contribute, you can, particularly by playing a good Controller, but even then your plans may start top get quite formulaic, quite quickly.  It is, though, worth noting that out of combat utility merits a little more specialisation, and the people who are arguably best at skills are the Ranger, the Rogue and the Bard, broadly speaking - most skills available, most applicable stats etc.  But also that Lair Assault tends not to be a heavily skills-y environment...



Thanks for clarifying that "Class" thing. It makes more sense now.

Yeah, group strategy can be a  troublesome thing. I've had Focus-Fire failures that made a seemingly simple encounter take three hours and almost kill us. Though when the Fighter runs off in his own direction away from the main enemy force to go stab a scout, I don't think things are going to end well.

Specializing seemed to me to apply to Strikers and Defenders, focusing mostly on dealing and absorbing damage respectively. I'm the Leader role, so I'm trying to at least be competent in one other area to fill that gap if need be.
A veteran player I play with/talk to keeps telling me that specilization is important. I'm more of a "toolbox" kinda guy who likes his options. So long as my main stat is as high as it can be for my attack rolls, I like to broaden my horizons. He's not trying to play my character or anything, but it does concern me that I may be doing it incorrectly. Should I be focusing on specializing like he says?

Just trying to learn. I appreciate any help I can get.

"Specializing" was critical in 3e, and meant carefully-planned 'builds' that sacrificed everything possible to be extremely good at one thing.  You needed such an 'optimized' build to be competative.   Similarly, in 2e, a Fighter needed to 'specialize' (in a specific weapon) or he'd be notably sub-par.

4e is little different.  You need to focus on a few things, but they're easy to spot, not difficult 'build' decisions.  If you keep your primary stat high, and have one really good magic weapon instead of a selection of weak oones, so that you can actually hit the bad guys, you're sufficiently specialized to be viable.  If you specialize to a high degree, you can get some pretty high DPR, or some insane skill checks or whatever, but you don't have to completely cripple yourself in every other area to do so.  All 4e characters have a few skills, some variety of utilities and powers, and other options for 'breadth' that don't have to be canabalized to make a specialist build just to be 'in the game.'  



 

 

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