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Healer, Tank and Damage Dealer in D&D Games

Fenris 2.0

Jan 1, 2013
I recently thought about the "holy trinity" of combat roles in D&D Games. While the trinity owes its rise to MMOs it is a mechanic that I like in my strategic battles. The following Roles where enabled by different mechanics and Feats in different Games:

a) Healer

Dedicated Healers were most easily created in NWN; the Healing Domain of Clerics made every Healing Spell cast with a Character who had this domain "empowered", a good bit more effectiv; also it reduced the Spell Level of some Healing Spells. It was the most powerful healing enhancement and so if you wanted to have a dedicated healer, it made most Sense to have a Cleric with the Healing Domain. In NWN 2 there was the "Augment Healing"-Feat, wich would give two Points extra Healing per Spell-Level. Kaedrin's Class Pack introduced the Renewal Domain and the Touch of Healing Feat, the first gave Augment Healing as Bonus Feat and reduced the Spell Level of some restoration spells, the second enabled you to spam "Lesser Healing-Spells" without removing Spells from the memorized Spell-List. IIRC you could fully heal your Party in PnP this Way, as long as you had a single Healing Spell memorized after Battle and enough time, Kaedrin tried to balance it by only allowing to use it until the recipient of the Spell had half of his Hitpoints back.
I don't think the Healing Spells in ToEE of a Cleric with the Healing Domain were empowered, I think they only got a Healing Bonus Spell per Spell-Level, I haven't found anything about it in the manual and it didn't look that way either.

The big Problem with a D&D Cleric is, that his Spells are better used for Buffing and Offense, and that he can - with the right attributes, Spells and Equiqment - vastly outperform a Fighter in Melee. The Healer Class in PnP is a Joke, much worser then a Cleric in every single Way.

b) Tank

D&D doesen't have much Tanking-Mechanics - in P&P it is mostly the Call of the DM wich enemy attacks wich Character; a Dire Wolf will probably simply attack the nearest Player-Character, while a Goblin might decide to take out the guy with the Star Pattern on his Dress and the Pointy Hat first, because someone like this has burned his last Warparty to cinders. There is one Feat that enables a bit of Tanking, "Aggravate", but it is Charisma based and works only on intelligent enemies, in one campaign a Paladin of our Group used it to some effect. Also there is one Class Feature, the Knights Challenge, that IIRC gives an enemy penalties when he attacks someone other than the Knight. Since the Knight was a pretty bad Class, we never had one in our Party and I don't know the exact Details anymore, it's probably a lot like the aggravate Feat. In PnP and in ToEE the best way to tank was the positioning and a Weapon with increased Range (and a Feat for more AoOs) for some more Attacks of Opportunity if somene tries to pass the tank. The Dwarven Defender was a Prestige Class that should have been perfect for Tanking, except it was not, because he got his bonuses by not moving from the spot :(

NWN 2 had the Neverwinter Nine Prestige Class, wich had the Class Feat "Protect the Lord" wich "channeled" some Damage from the protected to the NW9 and a nice 2D6 Sneak Attack, wich made it a not so good Idea to try to get past the NW9 or to ignore him to get to the more squishy Party Members.

IIRC there is a Shield other Spell for Paladins (and Clerics ?) that also channels Damage from the recipient of the Spell to the Caster.

c) Damage Dealers

A Lot of Feats for nearly every Class to increase the Damage Output, and some mean Prestige Classes... you have to use special Builts to not cause much Damage :)

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