Strategy, Tactics, and Operations (Dec 4, 2012)
Roles and Magic Combat (Feb 24, 2012)

Continuing development of the Star Wars total conversion of Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons let to further refinement of the character roles this afternoon. I used some terminology to better illustrate the differences between the roles, and even came up with a new at-will power for a random defender class.

Association football (soccer), Bloomington, In...

Roll to hit.


Strikers deal “active direct damage,” generally represented as weapon plus ability modifier A plus ability modifier B. An example of this would be the Essentials slayer class, which focuses on melee basic attacks (Strength-based), and applies bonus damage equal to its Dexterity modifier.

[w] + ability A + ability B


Defenders deal “passive direct damage,” through a combination of Opportunity Attacks, immediate actions (interrupts or reactions), and “punishment” effects. This is best represented by the classic fighter and paladin classes, through use of Combat Challenge and Divine Sanction respectively.

Gambit, Punishment, Aura/Zone


Controllers deal “active indirect damage,” hitting multiple enemies with area burst, close burst, and close blast attacks, effectively “spreading around” the damage. Alternatives to damage including a menagerie of status effects, and powers that function independently of attack rolls are part of the controller’s repertoire.

Burst, Blast, Multi-attack


Leaders deal “passive indirect damage,” choosing either to act through their allies and companions or summoned creatures, or alternately applying vulnerabilities and creating zones to provide boons to their allies and cause problems for their enemies.

Granted action, Companion, Summons

Striker 3

Who wins in a fight between a striker and his main target? The answer is truthfully, the one with the most gun.


I also compared the features of each role side-by-side with an estimate of where their advantages would be the most useful, though it should be noted that the outcome of some match-ups are tenuous at best, and most likely dependent on the builds of individual characters (attacker and defender) for “real” results.

Controller beats Defender
> A controller tends to target multiple opponents at once, and doesn’t really care if the defender wants a front-row seat. There isn’t much a defender can do to prevent a controller’s status effects, or stop them from targeting multiple creatures.

Defender beats Striker
> The defender wants to stop the striker from getting to targets in the group like the leader and/or the controller. Presumably the defenses of the leader are better than those of the controller, if only slight, but the defender is built to take a beating.

Striker beats Leader
> There’s only so much a leader can do to mitigate the effects of a focused striker before they fall under the onslaught of all that DPS. Controllers will tend to dampen the effects of a striker’s attacks, making them less vulnerable in the long term.

Leader beats Controller
> More defensible than a controller, the leader is more effective against lone targets (due in part to concentrated-fire tactics) and is better armed against the controller. A healing-focused leader can outlast the controller in a straight fight.


It can safely be assumed that match-ups that aren’t against either the role you have an advantage against, or the role against which you’re disadvantaged are up in the air, based almost entirely on how each combatant has spec’ed out their character.

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