MMORG/RPG TranslationMany new players seem to be coming from the world of World of Warcraft and other computer based role playing games. These players are most familiar with the various character generalizations common in MMORG games: Tank, Heal, DPS, etcetera. These concepts were unknown in 1978 when we started playing this game. We simply knew we needed a Fighter, Thief, Cleric and Mage to handle most adventures a party would find themselves faced with. Today’s face-to-face players can come from a world overly concerned with their DKP rates and such when they first sit down to explore a Role Playing game. First to be emphasized is that our goal is to tell a collective story. The “best” solution does not necessarily tell the most compelling story. Always look to build the history and personality of a character within the story arc. Being the best at smashing things is best left to 13 year olds.
TankAs there are few opportunities for in-combat heals and no character can sustain huge amounts of damage, the tank role is much more nuanced. Tank characters need to be strong to carry as much armor as practical to deflect as many hits as possible. Higher Combat Proficiency and skills that increase blows (shield and off hand weapons) plus judicious use of Combat Parry and Dodge will improve survivability. Better than average Miracle Proficiency will improve Clerical healing ability.
Heal:There are three healer paths: The Clerical, and Healer and Chirugeon. The Miraculous heals of the Cleric are stronger, faster and more permanent – but success is more dependent on the receiver than the caster. Magical heals are more complicated, temporary, and require more effort from the Healer. Physical healing from a Chirugeon is very slow, permanent, and the recipient may remain somewhat incapacitated for days. As Yellow Tome is skills based, a single healer character may (and probably should) choose healing ability from more than one of these paths to be able to choose the right heal for the situation.
DPS:Maximizing damage producing effects is a difficult fit.
Melee combat damage is a compromise between weapon speed (blows) and effectiveness against the specific armor. High weapon speed attacks like dual wield swords will be effective against low armored opponents, but the chance of a hit is nearly nil against full armor without a lot of training. A slower, harder hitting Maul may be the only way through an opponent’s armor, but leaves the attacker subjected to numerous opportunities of injury from a faster opponent.
Ranged physical attacks are quite effective, but rate of fire (blows) is limited. Bows are effectively useless closer than 5 feet or so and there is the significant risk of injury to friendly characters if melee is already engaged. Welcome to the real world and re-roll any miss against others in line-of-sight. Physical Magic is very effective at range (though not very far) and even has some area effect possibilities. Sand, Fire, and Water can be “beamed” at opponents using the “detach” spell. Again, collateral damage is all too possible in melee.