The Tank
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Basic Information

The Tank is a Combat Role that involves sucking up damage and protecting the other characters in the Adventuring Party. Sometimes also known as The Brick.

Subtypes and Related Tropes:



Game and Story Use

Building This Character



Special Abilities

  • Powers that restrict enemy movement around the battlefield, punish them for ignoring, draw attacks off your friends, etc, are perfect for The Tank. Games that already have aggressive "opportunity attack" systems, or very strict targeting rules may do this effectively for you, in which case you can ignore it. See also Instant Death Radius.
  • Anything that makes you harder to kill effectively makes your whole party harder to kill. Boost up your defense!
  • Things that boost your initiative or awareness can help you cut off foes in the case of an ambush or sudden shift in the tactical situation. This is a higher priority is systems that change initiative order every combat round.


  • Don't forget your armor and shield, if they're the least bit in-genre.
  • For your backup weapons, consider a thrown weapon that can be carried in multiples, like daggers, axes, or javelins. That way, if a foe gets past you and you can't catch up, you can take a small penalty to Quick Draw such a weapon and hurl it at them. With any luck, that'll distract them from your wimpy buddies.
  • A weapon that extends your reach is useful for blocking or punishing enemies, and items that increase your movement allow you to get where you need to be.


  • Listed above, some tanks might rely more on not getting hit than on surviving hits.
  • Listed above, depending on your magic system, some tanks might be more oriented toward soaking spells than soaking hits.
  • Depending on your social mechanics, a tank might be able to taunt enemies into striking rather than having to block movement or punish.
  • The Tank can overlap with other roles. A Petmaster/Tank might use summon magic to screen enemies, a Trapper/Tank can block movement, a Sniper might soak "hits against stealth" (in the kind of game that handles that kind of abstraction) to keep enemies from acting against allies, or a Mezzer/Tank has ways to lock down an opponent other than taking hits.
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