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Beelzebub1111
2011-11-04, 11:18 AM
So, if you and your friends are making characters for a campaign. Is it better, in your opinion, to have each character be a specialist to fill a specific role but not particularly good outside of their specialization? or is it better for everybody to go broad in case somebody gets put out of commission?

There are benefits and drawbacks to both, but I personally prefer the former since it at least makes everyone feel important. But having a Backup who can unlock a door or use a computer comes in handy.

Tyndmyr
2011-11-04, 11:31 AM
I find players almost invariably carve out specialization niches. Even in an all wizard party, each one is going to have the things he prefers to do.

That said, I like my chars as generalized as possible.

peacenlove
2011-11-04, 12:19 PM
I usually run sandbox style campaigns, so I ask my players to have as much generalization as possible, without being ineffective.
If they decide to travel into an underwater kuo toa temple and then steal an artifact under the noses of drow priestesses, I need to know as a DM that they at least have a shot at that.

big teej
2011-11-05, 06:29 PM
So, if you and your friends are making characters for a campaign. Is it better, in your opinion, to have each character be a specialist to fill a specific role but not particularly good outside of their specialization? or is it better for everybody to go broad in case somebody gets put out of commission?

There are benefits and drawbacks to both, but I personally prefer the former since it at least makes everyone feel important. But having a Backup who can unlock a door or use a computer comes in handy.

I find it best for people to play whatever they wish, I don't care if that means an entire party of RAW PHB monks.

Mark Hall
2011-11-06, 12:53 PM
In a decent-sized party, I like to see people specialize... usually with one person who has not specialized, but can fill in for anyone else.

I actually encourage people to think about who their character is, either in terms of the A-team or the Serenity crew.

Shadowknight12
2011-11-06, 01:13 PM
I am a huge fan of specialised characters who fill a specific role within a party. I find that generic parties bore me to tears (regardless of whether I'm DMing or playing). As a player, I'll usually try to work out with the rest of the players what everyone's niche is, so that there are no stepping of toes and everyone feels useful, but that is usually met with disinterest. As a DM, I try to get my parties to do the same, with predictable results.

Earthwalker
2011-11-07, 08:12 AM
Odd how the A-Team is your choice for specists. They certainly are, but then that are all capable of combat.

So the do have a general base (all former Military) but then have thier own skills on top.

Personally I very rarly play in a system where I am a complete specalist. I do pick up skills for other areas. for example playing shadowrun I may be the Hacker of the group, with a team face and a street sam. I may still have very limited skills in social interaction and gun play. After all I have spent my career up to this point not with this group, I must have some skills outside my hacking.

flumphy
2011-11-07, 08:18 AM
One of my main motivations for gaming is to feel useful (or at least pretend I'm useful) and actually get to stand out on occasion, so I lean heavily toward being a specialist. Even if everyone else generalizes I try to find one niche that isn't filled yet.

The Reverend
2011-11-07, 10:20 AM
In 4e the specialization is built in, more or less. Otherwise I play the character not what they do and build toward that.

arguskos
2011-11-07, 11:24 AM
My group tends towards the "we all just play something" and work it out as we go. Personally, I endeavor to make my characters with a specialty (my current character is a parkour artist who kills people as he moves past them) but also able to pinch hit in a few other areas (I can trapfind and disable traps, can do stealth, and can chase down almost anyone, three things the party can't do elsewise, but I don't specialize in these things).

Velaryon
2011-11-07, 12:12 PM
Jack-of-all-trades is my favorite archetype to play, so I tend toward classes or multiclass combinations that do that or at least grant the appearance of doing that - gishes, mystic theurge, skillmonkeys, and so on. I know that some of those are really just filling a role themselves, but they at least feel like they do a variety of things so that's good enough for me.

When I'm not playing that type of character, I try to shoot for somewhat specialized, but not so much that I can't do anything else. I find that when I specialize too heavily, I feel pigeonholed and get bored when I'm not relevant.

For example, in a Star Wars Saga campaign I played in about a year ago I played a combat droid specialized in dual-wielding heavy weapons. I was basically a heavily shielded, flying mobile artillery platform, and hardly anything could stand against me in combat except Force-users (and even they would have some difficulty with me). But outside of combat, I basically couldn't do anything useful, so I ended up spending almost all the time outside of battle repairing damage to myself, doing research for the other players who needed to sleep, or just sitting around. It got pretty dull, and I started asking the GM to set up a way for me to go out in a blaze of glory so I could play a new character. The game ended before it could happen though.

Dr.Epic
2011-11-07, 01:49 PM
Everyone excels in one specific field or area.

Mark Hall
2011-11-07, 07:23 PM
Odd how the A-Team is your choice for specists. They certainly are, but then that are all capable of combat.

Like the crew of the Serenity, they all have their specialties. Everyone's got to have weapons skills, though, because it's the gorram A-team!

I mean, the only way they can avoid hitting everyone for 98 episodes is by having near-supernatural combat skills.

BA obviously has a geasa of "never willingly fly" to get more power points. The chains are part of his Talisman geas.

lightningcat
2011-11-08, 12:12 AM
Overly specialized characters bore me, although I do like having something specific that make the character important to the group.
On the other hand, lately I've been playing with a bunch of players that love to specialize on combat, and are useless in most other situations. So I've been taking the JOAT route just to be different.

DropsonExistanc
2011-11-11, 12:50 AM
Oddly enough, the Encounters group I run (working up to Crystal Cave season) has just decided to base their characters off the A-Team, to the extent of having "the guy who hires them" and "the team van" as character archtypes.
We have about 6 regular players.

As for myself, depends on the system. I like playing characters who are fairly independently-skilled, but not all systems allow that without making the character unable to fill a "party role". I tend towards druids in 3.5, wardens in 4e, and fightin' types in other systems (K9 squad Hunter, Valkyrie-inspired Werewolf shawoman, etc).