So the topic came up yesterday: a Dungeons & Dragons game, wherein every character is built with the same class — fighters, rogues, warlords, rangers — eschewing the norm where everyone plays a different class and fills a different role. As a thought experiment, I thought I’d go through and look at how to build a dynamic party that still hits the main points of the different roles. (Damage, Tank, Healer, Control)

The discussion didn’t go so far as to define how “pure” the different characters’ classes would be, as to whether they could be multiclassed (take a feat here or there to pick up some extra powers) or if hybrid characters would be acceptable. I think certain classes lend themselves more to having a couple in the adventuring group (strikers, usually) than others — and some lend themselves better to multiclassing (leaders).

If it were me running the game, it would be important for me to have the whole group sit down and talk about characters beforehand, ’cause inevitably the story would revolve around the class and its power source — martial, arcane, divine, primal, psionic, or (if everyone wants to play the assassin) shadow.

Some classes work better in groups than others, and some are difficult to get to work alongside others of the same type. For instance, a group of defenders would step all over each others’ toes when it comes to marks — since one mark supersedes any previous mark (except in very rare cases), as do a warlock’s curse. Any marking mechanic, potentially causes problems: hunter’s quarry, oath of enmity, or assassin’s shroud.