View Full Version : Need help with a 4e campaign.

2009-03-07, 12:24 AM
I'm DMing a 4e home brew campaign with my brother, and three of my friends. The only one with any PnP experience is my brother, but everyone is eager to try the game out. They made characters using standard array. I allowed them to use the PHB, FRPG, and MP. In the end the party consisted of:

Archer Ranger

Dodger Rogue (my brother)

Orb Wizard

Cleric of Bahamut.

Looking at this you can probably see my problem. They don't have a defender. I have been trying to find ways to off set this. The rogue will take to the frontlines, but can really only do damage with backstab. I was wondering if I should throw in an NPC defender with lower stats who really only participates in battles, any other ideas that could work?

2009-03-07, 12:46 AM
Well, honestly it depends on the challenges you through them a bit. While it's good to have all the roles there, see how they do in a battle or two. If they're taking way too much damage (or one in particular is taking too much damage) and using up all they're healing surges after two fights, you may want to give them a defender to soak up some hits and take the heat off. However if they seem to be doing realtively fine, no one's dropping every battle, maybe let them stay at it. It's homebrew so you decide the challenges they face. It's not a problem without a defender, it just makes them think differently in strategies and sometimes have to suck up some damage.

2009-03-07, 04:16 PM
Like Pink, I recommend a wait-and-see attitude. Play to their strengths by using a lot of traps, Artillery monsters and minions.

2009-03-07, 04:29 PM
It shouldn't be a problem. Clerics are still pretty tough, and rangers have some of the highest damage outputs of any class. As a rule, two strikers together can essentially be one defender.

2009-03-07, 04:33 PM
Perhaps you have a story already set-up, but the make-up of the party is clearly biased towards more of a subtle, infiltration, fast-skirmish type of encounter rather than a "kick in the door and kill everything that moves" encounter.

2009-03-07, 06:26 PM
Yeah, this party will be fine without a Defender - if that's a STR Cleric. Otherwise, the Rogue is going to be effectively worthless in a fight, unless he's actually a Sniper Rogue.

What kind of story do you have planned?

2009-03-07, 06:41 PM
also, while i agree with the above, let them lead the story.
what i mean is if they think they're getting kicked in too much then let them look for a melee combatant helper who they can hire for help etc.

rather than just throw an npc into the fray.

but yes is it a melee cleric and rogue? the main issue they are going to have is that with only these two in melee getting flanking for the rogue is going to be that much harder.

Inyssius Tor
2009-03-07, 06:51 PM
The Distant Advantage feat, from the upcoming Player's Handbook II, grants you combat advantage on flanked enemies even if you aren't flanking them. That and a crossbow will make your rogue's life a lot easier, I think. It's Heroic tier, with no prerequisites.

2009-03-07, 07:41 PM
The Distant Advantage feat, from the upcoming Player's Handbook II, grants you combat advantage on flanked enemies even if you aren't flanking them. That and a crossbow will make your rogue's life a lot easier, I think. It's Heroic tier, with no prerequisites.

Only if a party of ranged characters decides to flank someone for him :smalltongue:

That's really the problem here - if this is a party of 3 ranged characters and a melee rogue, they're screwed when it comes to combat. More accurately, the Rogue is.

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-07, 09:07 PM
Don't do anything you wouldn't normally do. The first step of character creation should always be to ask the other party members what they are playing. They skipped that and they can deal with the concequences. Give them appropriate challenges for their level.

Sounds harsh, but it may actually increase their enjoyment. If someone dies (my guess, the rouge - but the wizard is vulnerable, too) I'll give you 10 to 1 he re-rolls as a defender. Even if his play style doesn't really jive with the role, he will enjoy it more than he normally would because of the prolonged absence of the role in the party. All his defenderish abilities will feel "overpowered" because they have been so sorely lacking up to this point.

Give them a heads up that you are taking this approach. They may find a strategy that defies you, and will all feel proud of themselves for surpassing your expectations. That orb wizard may be able to do some stuff with zones that locks your melee guys down (orb mastery lets him extend durations, right?) and the double strikers may be able to tear through everything else, the archer taking out targets of opportunity and the rouge getting flanking from the cleric... you never know, this party might work out great. Don't change things just cause no one wanted to play a fighter or paladin.

And definitely don't DON'T DON'T play an NPC that is allied with the party in the fights. This way lies frustration.

2009-03-07, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the input guys.

I looked over the Cleric character sheet. He is a human with a really good starting AC and strength, so he should easily double as a defender, there is also a chance that two more guys will be joining the game. The rogue fits a more stealth and close range role.

As for the story, it will basically be a BBEG going around attempting to bring about the end of the world. They are attempting to build up their strength and defeat him. Standard RPG fair. The BBEG is a rule breaking Genasi Swordmage, but it should not be hard for me to change the rest of the stuff to their advantage.

I can post the stats of the characters if you guys are interested later.

2009-03-08, 11:51 AM
Still needs 2 to flank even with the ranged flanking feat.

Rogues have issues without a flanking buddy or 2.