View Full Version : [4e] What classes make good non-spotlight-steal DMPCs?

2008-08-31, 01:37 PM
The title is a good summary. I've been trying to run a steady 4e weekly game for several months now but annoyingly I don't have more than one or two reliable players. While I'm still hunting for new players that can be counted on, I don't want to tell the guys who do show up that we can't play because there's just not enough people for what I have planned.

I know that any DMPC can just quietly aid the group and not steal the show, but are there any classes you have noticed that are better at this? So far I'm think defenders best fill this "roll," since tanks are typically needed, but not the star attraction, as it were.


(And on a bonus note, suggestions on where/how to find/build a reliable player group?)

Tequila Sunrise
2008-08-31, 01:39 PM
Clerics and warlords. Just focus on healing and buffing, and you're golden. As to finding a reliable group, sometimes there's just no help for it. I live in upstate New York and have two reliable players and three unreliable players. (The three unreliables are a family, so if one doesn't come none of them do.) The best I can suggest is networking sites like Pen & Paper, yahoo groups and meetup.com. And of course there's the good ol' fashioned gaming shops, along with places where gamers are likely to be employed or hang out like big book and video stores.


2008-08-31, 01:41 PM
Warlords. Clerics can be a bit of a stealer for Wizard characters at lower levels, but not too terribly much. Warlords steal -nothing-. Perfect healbitch/attackbuff for the other PCs.

2008-08-31, 01:41 PM
I'd disagree with Leaders. They kind of direct the flow of battle with their choice of buffs and such - they can get real annoying, real fast.

I think you were right on with Defenders, and may I suggest the Paladin? His powers are wide-angled buffs, and he has many, many self-sacrificing powers which can help your PCs out when they need them. Unlike a Fighter, they dominate the front line, so your PC Fighter can operate without someone jogging his elbow.

2008-08-31, 01:45 PM
If you do pick a Defender, DEFINITELY pick the Paladin (as Oracle's suggested). Fighters dish out damage like candy, and they don't have much back-up healing for other characters.

2008-08-31, 01:47 PM
*nod* Paladin is what I was looking at initially. I never considered Warlord, but that could work out very well.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Kurald Galain
2008-08-31, 01:47 PM
I'd say anything that doesn't duplicate a "role" already filled in the party.

2008-08-31, 02:00 PM
We rotate DMs in my group, so we're always running with a DMPC. I've got a wizard, who I still play when I DM, and the other DM plays a Fighter. I find combat is fluid enough, and the classes balanced enough that it's enough to just do the job your class does, and never make it look easy for your PC, I've knocked myself negative a few times. It's more the out-of-combat issues.

2008-08-31, 02:06 PM
I'd go for an NPC with a couple of at-wills, and Healing/Inspiring word. Don't bother with action points or daily/encounter powers: this is someone who's in the background and just there to make up numbers.

2008-08-31, 09:49 PM
I'm going to go against the flow and say Wizard.

Defenders are crucial to party success because they choose where the fight happens and who the enemy attacks.

Leaders can largely determine party tactics because they choose which buffs to give to whom.

Strikers play a large role in determining which enemy goes down first.

As for the Wizard, a control wizard is probably too involved tactically to make a good DMPC, but a blaster wizard (focusing on damage powers) is a nice simple character. "Group em up for me boys, I'm bringing down the fire!"

Despite being able to dish out a lot of damage and devastate minions, the blaster wizard won't steal anyone's thunder (no pun intended), because they rely on the other PCs to position the enemies properly.

2008-09-01, 04:31 AM
Absolutely not Warlords and Clerics - they're Leaders, and Warlords, especially, dictate how the party fights (they have to, because most of their powers rely on having your allies in advantageous positions).

I'd say Fighters and Paladins - the Tanks. Maybe Strikers (Rangers, Rogues, and Warlocks), to a lesser extent - Rogues would be on top, since they need another PC to set them up to use their best attacks.

Mando Knight
2008-09-01, 12:36 PM
I'd go for an NPC with a couple of at-wills, and Healing/Inspiring word. Don't bother with action points or daily/encounter powers: this is someone who's in the background and just there to make up numbers.

This sounds a bit like the "NPC Design Steps" from pages 187-188 of the DMG. These guys are a lot weaker, only get one of each power per tier (except at-wills, they're stuck at one unless they're human), and only get one healing surge per tier. If you don't want to upstage the PCs, then this might be the way to do it. I would suggest a Cleric or Paladin, though if the 2 players are Strikers or Wizards, you may want a Warlord or Fighter for defensive control...

2008-09-01, 05:20 PM
Healer or tank. Lot of work, little glory.