O papel do Líder e outro playtest

O site da WotC foi atualizado com dois artigos bons desta vez, o primeiro sobre os papéis dos personagens na nova edição, em especial do Líder. O segundo é um relato de playtest com algumas informações novas e mais dúvidas sobre as classes.

Let me tell you about my character, Nils, and how he contributed a few grace notes to 4th Edition’s concepts of character class roles.

Nils isn’t a 4th Edition character; he’s my old 3.5 character from Mark Jessup’s “Nine Chords” campaign. There are nine deities in Mark’s homebrew world, one deity each for the nine alignment slots. Each of the gods is a great bard whose personal pleasure and cosmic power flows from ritual bragging in front of the other gods about the kickass accomplishments of their worshippers. (Perhaps this arrangement will seem even more fitting when I mention that Mark is the director of marketing here at Wizards of the Coast…)

In a world like this, someone in the party has got to play a bard. But when the character class draft went down, everyone stepped back toward fighter or cleric or wizard or rogue, and nobody was willing to jump on the lute grenade. Mark was disappointed with us. I hate to see a disappointed DM, so I vowed to detour into bard-land just as soon as I was comfortable with Nils as a fighter.

Four greatsword-swinging levels of fighter later, Nils entered the path of lute-n-flute. My roleplaying opportunities increased because I was now the spokesman and PR agent for the PC group. But in encounters that focused on combat instead of roleplaying, Nils was forced into a mold pro basketball analysts call a “tweener,” too wimpy to play power forward alongside the ranger and the barbarians, and not capable of long-range shots like the wizard.

The PC group appreciated the singing bonuses Nils provided, and they appreciated his eventual haste spell, but supplying those bonuses meant that I spent at least two rounds at the start of combat making everyone else better without doing much of anything myself, except maybe moving around. Once I entered the combat, I survived by making judicious use of the Combat Expertise feat.

By the time the campaign slowed down to once or twice a year sessions, I’d played Nils for seven bard-only levels and obtained a much clearer perspective on the problems faced by D&D characters who don’t feel a clear niche. Fighters, rogues, clerics, and wizards all occupy pivotal places in a D&D PC group’s ecology, while the bard is singing from offstage reminding everyone not to forget the +1 or +2 bonuses they’re providing to attacks and saves against fear.

When Andy (Collins), James (Wyatt), and I put together the basic structure of 4th Edition, we started with the conviction that we would make sure every character class filled a crucial role in the player character group. When the bard enters the 4th Edition stage, she’ll have class features and powers that help her fill what we call the Leader role. As a character whose songs help allies fight better and recover hit points, the bard is most likely to fit into a player character group that doesn’t have a cleric, the quintessential divine leader.

Unlike their 3e counterparts, every Leader class in the new edition is designed to provide their ally-benefits and healing powers without having to use so many of their own actions in the group-caretaker mode. A cleric who wants to spend all their actions selflessly will eventually be able to accomplish that, but a cleric who wants to mix it up in melee or fight from the back rank with holy words and holy symbol attacks won’t constantly be forced to put aside their damage-dealing intentions. A certain amount of healing flows from the Leader classes even when they opt to focus on slaying their enemies directly.

Does every group need a Leader class? Not necessarily. Is it worth having more than one Leader in a party? Maybe.

We settled on crucial roles rather than on necessary roles. 4th Edition has mechanics that allow groups that want to function without a Leader, or without a member of the other three roles, to persevere. Adventuring is usually easier if the group includes a Leader, a Defender, a Striker, and a Controller, but none of the four roles is absolutely essential. Groups that double or triple up on one role while leaving other roles empty are going to face different challenges. They’ll also have different strengths. That’s the type of experiment you’ll be running in eight months. Before then, we’ll have more to say about the other roles.

One last thing before I go, since I started this note off by talking about Nils. This time, let me say a few things to Nils directly: “Nils, it’s been fun playing you. But I’ll see you again in a future incarnation, and this time around when Al-Faregh the wizard and Jum the barbarian are chopping up beholders, you’re going to be fighting on the same playing field instead of handing out Gatorade cups and singing the national anthem.”

Já estava na hora da WotC perceber o paradoxo do bardo e do monge – classes cuja principal característica é serem capaz de fazer um pouco de tudo de maneira razoável em um sistema de jogo extremamente focado na especialização. E convenhamos, dar suporte aos outros personagens nem era bem uma especialização e mesmo que fosse o clérigo podia fazê-la de maneira bem melhor.


Então além de termos a confirmação que os bardos estarão presentes na 4ª edição (ainda que não seja no primeiro Player’s Handbook), sabemos que ele agora será focado em suportar o grupo sem gastar todas suas ações para fazer isso, uma característica de todas as classes que ocupem o papel de Líder, que finalmente deve tornar o papel de suporte algo divertido de se jogar em um combate.


Agora o segundo artigo, um misterioso relato de playtest de :

We work hard at Wizards, but some of our work is all play. I recruited my gaming buddies to test the game further at home and to see what its like to DM with the new rules. The players got to test the character side of things, and I got to experience adventure building and monsters.

My players like a reason to adventure together beyond being mutually employed by the same bloke who relies on the local watering hole to hire mercenaries. So they created a mostly human party of 1st level PCs who are all affiliated with a local count. The warlord, Domna, is the baron’s youngest daughter, and Tian, the rogue, is Domna’s lifelong friend and also the son of the leader of baron’s personal mercenary troop. Sasha, the wizard, is daughter to the baron’s chancellor, and guarding her is Robozcniek, a warforged fighter. Rounding out the group is Heron, and eladrin ranger who was a childhood friend of Tian and Domna. Long story short, the political situation made the count’s having a team of specialists with a little legal authority a good thing. My having a party under direct influence of a local ruler was even better.

I wanted to whip up something that showcased the new game’s tech, but I wanted to do it quickly. Using Own K. C. Stevens’s A Dark and Stormy Knight as inspiration, I designed a haunted tomb under a tor. One of the count’s barons had been rewarding retiring soldiers with frontier land near the tor, and these farmers recently spotted goblin scouts ranging toward a fallen tower built atop the tor by citizens of a long-gone hobgoblin kingdom. Then a little girl disappeared, along with some livestock. The count dispatched Domna and her friends to investigate the situation.

After traveling to the outlying farmsteads, which were fortified yards surrounded by fields, and speaking with one of the farmers, the PCs determined that one home might have come under attack the night before. They investigated, and they soon saw the farm’s stockade gate was open and the inner yard, where livestock was usually kept at night, was empty but drenched in blood. Heron noticed some large wolf tracks leading into the yard, and the party cautiously entered, expecting goblins.

Right they were. To the east, Heron spotted saddled wolves in the barn and a goblin archer in the barn’s loft. Tian spied another goblin peeking out of the modest farmhouse to the north. Neither chose to warn their oblivious comrades, so a surprise round was my players’ first contact with 4th Edition combat.

Their second impression came squarely from the three arrows with which Heron skewered the hapless goblin sharpshooter in the loft. That poor goblin fired on Heron, missing but triggering an immediate counterattack from the ranger, who followed up with two more arrows on his turn. The sharpshooter was dead before the third arrow struck home.

Taking a cue from Heron’s boldness, thinking the fight might be over quickly, Tian rushed to the house despite protests from Domna that he was overextending himself and thereby the party. Tian arrived at the closed front door and threw it open, but couldn’t quite reach the javelin-wielding miscreant within.

Too far out in front, Tian and Heron soon learned their mistake. The wolves rushed Heron, easily flanking him and pulling him to the ground. The goblin skirmisher in the house hurled a black-shafted javelin at Tian and scored a critical hit! Tian lost more than half his hit points in one blow, and to add insult to injury, the goblin then scampered out of the house’s open back door to a tree on its west side.

But then the first regular round started. Domna rushed a wolf and missed it, after shouting encouragement to her friends (providing a small bonus to them). The wolves continued to tear at Heron, almost sending the unfortunate ranger to death’s door. Sasha used a wizard strike with her staff, not only injuring a wolf, but also pushing it away from the prone Heron. This gave Heron the room he needed to stand, move away from his assailants, and regain a few hit points with a second wind. On his first regular turn, Tian used his second wind, then pursued the goblin by leaving the front door and running to intercept at the tree. He missed the wily skirmisher with his attack. The goblin cackled and backed away, then hurled another javelin at Tian—for another natural 20! Down Tian went, dying. Moving closer to Tian, the skirmisher started to reach for the knife on his belt to finish the rogue off. Robozcniek cut that thought short, literally, running across the battlefield, then charging the skirmisher and finishing the little dastard with one swift longsword stroke.

On the second regular round, Domna struck the wounded wolf, trying to keep it off Heron. That wolf attacked Domna, but she fended it off with her shield. But the uninjured wolf smelled blood, and it took Heron down again, this time knocking the eladrin out. Sasha maneuvered to blast both wolves with another strike from her staff, pushing the one attacking Heron away again. Robozcniek rushed across the battlefield a second time, and he terribly wounded the wolf that had been attacking Heron.

As the initiative count came to the top again, Domna used her tactical acumen to attack in such a way that the wolf she hit opened itself up to Robozcniek. The warforged struck true, and the wolf collapsed in a heap. Badly wounded and alone against many enemies, the remaining wolf tucked tail and ran, but Sasha was having none of it. She pulled out all the stops and set off a fiery blast around the fleeing beast. It tumbled down, still smoldering.

Their first real battle over, the heroes still standing aided their fallen friends—who had learned a valuable lesson. Investigation of the farmstead and more adventure remained ahead of them.

Misterioso principalmente por não nos dar nenhum background do jogo. Temos um guerreiro warforged no grupo, mas em nenhum momento ele fala que a aventura se passa em Eberron ou sequer cita algum tipo de problema para adaptar a raça para 4ª edição, como no relato do Logan Bonner. E numa boa, todo mundo que me conhece sabe que eu piro em Eberron, mas a simples idéia de Warforgeds no mundo default de D&D me da muito medo, já que eles vão cair ali sem todo o background bacana da Last War e da Casa Cannith. Tomara mesmo que seja só um personagem isolado, e que a raça não seja incorporada no PH.


Por outro lado temos os Eladrin, que cada vez mais parecem certos como raça básica, o que faz sentido já que seriam uma espécie de contra parte benigna dos tieflings. Ainda fico curioso sobre o motivo dos aasimar não fazerem este papel, mas nem me importo muito, afinal um caótico e bom é sempre melhor do que um leal e bom em qualquer situação : )


Também temos o primeiro relato dos Warlord, nova classe básica que me parece com uma espécie de bardo combativo, e cujas habilidades funcionam enquanto a personagem desce a porrada nos lobos, seja fornecendo bônus ao resto do grupo ou facilitando os ataques do warforged.


Finalmente temos a primeira mostra do ataque menor e liberado do mago, o wizard strike que me pareceu um ataque que pode ser usado tanto no combate corpo a corpo (usado no primeiro lobo) como à distância (no segundo e terceiro) , mas não tenho certeza. De qualquer forma pareceu muito legal, esse relato de playtest certamente foi mais interessante e útil que os dois últimos!

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