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Leader and Striker

When you are playing D&D with less than four players, your party obviously cannot cover all character roles. If you have three players, you can refer to Chapter 1 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide for some advice on how to cope with that. If you play with only two players, there are six possible combinations of roles. Well, actually ten, but you do not want your players to play characters with the same roles.

In “Controller and Defender”, I’ve already had a look at one of these combinations. Today, we will see, what difficulties a group only consisting of a leader and a striker has, and how they can survive, although this is one of the more difficult combinations.

When your group only consists of a leader and a striker, the striker has to sacrifice his mobility in order to defend the leader. So it is a good idea to put some effort into making the leader stronger.

To strengthen the leader, its player should focus on defensive powers and items. If you, as a DM, are feeling generous, you can also give him a more powerful armor than he should have at his level. Now that you have a really sturdy leader, he can also try to fill in for the defender.

A good choice of classes for this combination of roles is, e.g., a Shaman and a Sorcerer. The shaman, as a leader, can also be the party’s defender, and the sorcerer, as a striker, can lean towards the controller role.

When choosing monsters, bear in mind that artillery, controllers, skirmishers and lurkers will be the monsters your players can deal with quite well. The skirmisher can engage the artillery monster in melee quickly. The striker can follow the skirmisher and defeat him. Controllers and lurkers do not pose a special threat to this role combination, as far as I can see. The other monster roles, though, are more powerful in this situation. Brutes might charge the leader, while your striker is in melee with other enemies. Soldiers might gain too much control over the battlefield. Also big groups of monsters (especially minions) will last longer due to the lack of a controller.

What do you think about this role combination?

Picture by Markus Röncke under a Creative Commons license.

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