STC Lunch Game
Adventuring parties are made up of a diverse cast of characters. While each one is different there are 4 common battlefield roles that represent a broad balance of needs in combat. These are the Leader, Defender, Striker, and Controller roles.
An arm commands but a single sword. A leader can wield a thousand blades. Leaders have powers that enable their allies to expend healing surges and restore additional Hit Points. A Leader’s attacks commonly generate synergy, giving out bonuses to their allies on the field. A party without a leader doesn’t last long in battle. The Sentinel and War Priest classes are leaders.
The best defense is a good offense. A striker specializes in dishing out more damage and quicker than any other type of character. Strikers are all offense, all the time. A party without at least one striker has a hard time clearing out enemies in a prompt fashion. This costs them valuable healing surges and precious minutes that might be a margin between life and death. Hexblades, Slayers, Scouts, and Thieves are strikers.
The defender is the tank of a party – heavily armored with the most HPs and Healing Surges by far. His powers make it difficult for nearby enemies to escape him or target other party member. combat other party members. Without a defender the wolves have free reign of the battlefield and they’ll pick apart a party starting with the most vulnerable – casters and healers. The Knight and Paladin are defenders.
A controller specializes in crowd-control. His attacks deal out area-of-effect damage and crippling afflictions to his foes. Without such a specialist a party could find itself overwhelmed by sheer numbers of evil minions or swarms of vermin. The Hunter and the Mage are controllers.