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ControllersD&D Insider Article
Know Your Role
By Matthew Sernett

Five classes make up the controller role: the wizard in the Player’s Handbook, the druid and invoker in Player’s Handbook 2, and the psion and seeker from the forthcoming Player’s Handbook 3. Each class approaches the controller role in a different way, but what these classes bring to a combat encounter follows the role’s basic tactics. A controller discourages enemies from making certain choices with his area offense attacks, by which the controller punishes enemies from grouping together or takes a direct hand in influencing actions.

Control powers take many forms. A particular class’s story elements, power source, and secondary roles all influence the powers available to these characters. A wizard might create a freezing cloud, and a druid can call forth writhing vines by using vine serpents to immobilize or restrain foes. Zones might deal damage to creatures that enter or start their turns inside them. Powers might punish foes for making attacks, moving, or performing another kind of action. Other powers might call forth new opponents so that enemies must divide their attention between characters and the creatures they summon. In every case, a controller’s powers encourage certain options while punishing others.

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    About the Author

    Robert J. Schwalb is an award-winning game designer whose more recent work can be found in Martial Power 2, Draconomicon 2, and Primal Power. Robert lives in Tennessee.