Character Buffer
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Basic Information

Character Buffer is a combat role of someone who provides the status buff or power-up effects for the rest of the adventuring party.

Usually this is accomplished via some sort of enchantment magic or divine blessing by a wizard, priest or shaman.

Some games allow similar non-magical effects by means of charisma and leadership or clever tactical insight. In some editions of D&D, for example, a Bard can use music to buff the whole party.

In theory an alchemist could pull this off with potions, or a blacksmith or mechanic by performing a tune-up on the PCs equipment, but this tends to be done before and between combat, rather than being a combat role per se.

Related Tropes:

The negative counterpart is:



Game and Story Use

  • The extent to which a dedicated buffer is a viable character concept depends a lot on the rules system in play. You're giving up actions that could be used for direct attacks to instead merely boost the attacks of the other characters. Every buff has the opportunity cost of preventing you from swinging a sword/gun/fist, so you need to make sure the math of the buff is worth it. Look for buffs that:
    • have long duration, multiple targets, and/or stack, so any one action spent buffing gives benefits across multiple attack rolls by your allies
    • perform double-duty by healing the target or protecting against enemy de-buffs and status effects
    • or increase both to-hit odds and damage at the same time so it better makes up for the party getting one less attack each turn.
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