Almost one year ago, I revised my five tactical roles:
Changing of the Roles

I think I’ve discussed before about how every creature and character being allowed Opportunity Attacks is cool and all, but it makes individual Opportunity Attacks less special. Opp Attacks are also sort of a rare in spite of this – players actively avoid them and have loads of options for preventing them.

For instance, because every creature and character can also shift, Opportunity Attacks rarely come up because a player would almost always rather shift and suffer the consequences (usually without even thinking about them) than incur a dreaded Opportunity Attack. Of course this also makes shifting powers highly-prized.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, or if you clicked on the link at the top, you may be aware of the tactical roles I devised to simplify class design for combat. There are five essential roles: harrier, charger, keeper, trapper, and seeker. These are based on a combination of historical military tactics and gaming concepts.

Almost two months ago, I drafted some simplified versions of Fourth Edition’s Opportunity Attack, Charge Attack, shift, saving throw, and marking rules for divvying up among the tactical roles I established. After observing dozens of Fourth Edition game sessions, I determined these to be among the “core combat concepts.”

Here are my current expressions of these concepts:

Charge Attack: Move up to four spaces and make a basic melee attack as a Standard action.

Opening Gambit: When an enemy leaves an adjacent space, make a basic melee attack against the target as a Quick action.

Penalty Check: Check one adjacent enemy as a Swift action. The check lasts until the end of your next turn.

Saving Grace: Remove one ongoing effect as a Swift action. This is a basic action.

Tactical Shift: Move up to two spaces as a Sudden action. This is a basic action.

Each one of these powers can be reduced to a fairly straightforward nickname such as “charge,” “gambit,” “check,” “save,” or “shift,” much as they have been in the past with games like Dungeons & Dragons. Each is designed with the intent to “grant” them to allies via cooperative powers, much as a leader would grant attacks or other buffs.

The powers are currently assigned to each role in the following manner:

Harriers use “Hit and Fade” tactics, and receive the Saving Grace and Tactical Shift powers owing to their mobility and ability to quickly shrug off debilitating effects.

Chargers use “Shock and Awe” tactics, and receive the Charge Attack and Penalty Check powers to punch through defensive lines and hold enemies at bay until reinforcements arrive.

Keepers use “Advance and Hold” tactics, and receive the Opening Gambit and Tactical Shift powers representing their ability to keep and hold the line.

Trappers use “Divide and Conquer” tactics, and receive the Penalty Check and Saving Grace powers owing to a certain tenacity and ability to keep enemies on their toes.

Seekers use “Seek and Destroy” tactics, and receive the Charge Attack and Opening Gambit powers based on their ability to strike and stay alive behind enemy lines.

I’m still working out some of the fiddly bits, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made so far. Hopefully this will go somewhere soon, possibly in conjunction with my revisions to the visibility rules (see my previous post on Cover and Concealment).