UTTAS has no formal class system that restricts the skills and abilities character can learn and develop. This opens up character creation to potentially infinite combinations, but it also leaves players lost when thinking what they would like to play and what role they should be filling in the party. To help ease that concerns, players have the option of looking at Archetypes, built on the various roles characters can play in a party, to help them decide on helpful Characteristics, Skills, and Abilities for what they want to player.
To reiterate: Archetypes are not classes, nor should Game Masters wanting to run a UTTAS campaign look at them as such. These are merely suggestions to help players focus on the role they want to fulfill in the party so that they aren't shooting in the dark for hours, debating what would be best for them to take.
Every player has a function they fill on a team of adventures. Some are meant to identify enemies and use that information to form combat strategies, others specialize in talking to people and gathering information, and some are just meant to pick up a big stick and hit things as hard as they can. This isn't a bad thing, as deciding on roles each team member is meant to fill keeps team members from stepping on each others' toes and divide labor so no one person is taking on to many responsibilities.
Typically, players will fill one of the following roles during combat:
- Blasters: Long range attacks meant to shoot targets while hiding behind cover.
- Controllers: Strategists who focus on restricting the movements of their enemies to prevent the party from being overwhelmed.
- Leaders: Support characters who concern themselves most with keeping everyone alive, either by healing or mitigating damage.
- Strikers: Mobile, close range combatants who set their attention towards the most dangerous threats facing the party.
- Tanks: Hardy warriors meant to take on the brunt of their enemies' attacks, distracting them from attacking their weaker allies.
Archetypes are categorized based which of these roles they fill. Character types with similar functions are group together and share similar tactics, and they are differentiated based on what secondary roles they fulfill in combat.
Blasters all have one responsibility: get behind cover or another spot away from the front line, pick a target, and shoot them from a distance.
The Mage Edit
The Mage requires some set up to stop enemies from approaching or getting away, but once prepared they can take out nearly any enemy thanks to their versatility.
- Tactics: When a Mage enters combat, they will probably not spend their first round attacking; instead, they will often uses control powers such as Entangles or Structures to either isolate or corral their opponents. At this point, they will unleash their most powerful single a target attack to take down the most dangerous threat to them on the battlefield, or they fire off an area of effect attack to soften up multiple targets for Strikers to take down.
- Characteristics: The Mage's highest Base Characteristic should be Charisma, Ego, or Intelligence, depending on what source they want their Powers to come from. Dexterity comes second, since it will help the Mage's accuracy with their attacks. Charisma and Intelligence-based Mages will want either Body or Ego as their third highest, since channeled Powers require Stamina to function; Ego-based Mages should choose either Body or Intelligence, depending on whether they want to resist Physical and Energy attacks better than Mental attacks.
- Skills: Charisma based Mages are going to want Interactions skills, particularly Charm and Persuasion so they can act as the party's main speaker. Intelligence Mages will want Deduction, Perception, and as many Knowledge skills as they can afford to find and evaluate their enemies. Ego doesn't factor into any skills, so Ego based Blasters are free to take whatever skills they want.
- Traits: All Blasters should take Channeling to access Blast and other offensive powers. Intelligence-based Mages will get much benefit from Calculator and Eidetic Memory to substitute their lower Agility when making ranged attack or Dodging attacks. Striking Appearance will aid Charisma-based Mages with their Interactions skills.
- Abilities: All characters with Channeling should take Armor and Heal to protect themselves from attacks and recover lost Stamina from using their Powers, provided they have spare points to cover the cost. Charisma and Ego based Mages can use Command to separate or directly control their targets, while Intelligence Mages should Entangle their targets to stop them from moving. Drains, particularly those that target Agility, are extremely effective for single target control. Regardless of their Power's sources, a Mage should have one or two Blast powers to attack their opponents.
The Sniper Edit
The Sniper is completely dedicated to single target, ranged assaults. They evaluate the battlefield, informing allies of changing conditions on the battlefield and going after the most vulnerable or important enemies on the field. Nothing is out of the sniper's range, and if they're doing their job properly, their mark will never see the attack coming.
- Tactics: Snipers excel at singling out targets and eliminating them. They use Enhanced Senses and high Perception to find hidden targets, Tactics to pick out the most dangerous potential target, and long-distance attacks to insure they never have to get near their targets.
- Characteristics: Early on in their career, Snipers need to decide whether they want to use weapons or powers to deal damage. Weapon snipers should focus on Agility, while Intelligence works best for Power Snipers. Whatever stat they don't pick as their primary Characteristic should be their third highest; Intelligence helps weapon Snipers with Perception checks, and Power Snipers will benefit from Agility to raise their movement speeds and give them additional actions. Regardless, their second highest Characteristic should be Dexterity to improve their Accuracy for attacks.
- Skills: Perception, Stealth, and Tactics are the most important skills for a Sniper, since they need to find their targets, evaluate their role on the battlefield, and catch them off guard. If they're caught in melee against someone with high strength, Contortionist will enable them to escape Grabs or Entangles so the character can reposition themselves and potentially reestablish their Stealth. Knowledge skills will help in evaluating the types of creatures or attacks present on the field, and Acrobatics and Climb will help Snipers take cover in hard to reach positions.
- Traits: Regardless of whether they're based on Agility or Intelligence, the Sniper should take both Calculator and Directional Sense to accurately judge distances. Time Sense augments Tactics by giving the Sniper an Advantage on their roll to coordinate attacks with other characters, and if the player knows the campaign is going to take place predominately in one type of location, Terrain Mastery will give them an edge in mobility over those unfamiliar with the chosen environment. Power Snipers need Channeling to even do their job.
- Abilities: Weapon Snipers should build a couple of Martial Arts to assist their damage, since guns deal a fixed amount of damage and never improve otherwise; a Stance for countering ranged penalties is also helpful for attacking over long distances. Power Snipers need Blast as their main attack, and they should consider building multiple Blasts to take on different targets so they aren't caught without a means of hurting foes. Regardless of specialization, Clairvoyance, Enhanced Senses, and Telepathy will help the Sniper pick out targets and coordinate with allies, and movement Powers such as Fly, Jump, and Teleport will assist them in escaping from melee fighters.
The Stalker Edit
The Stalker is a switch hitter, specializing in ranged combat but being capable of throwing down in hand to hand if need be.
- Tactics: The Stalker needs to single out one target and take them out as quietly as possible, preferably from a distance. Because they can change between ranged and melee combat, they should adjust their strategy accordingly depending on their target; hand-to-hand fighters should be kept at a distance, while weaker foes should be engaged in melee. A stalker should never find themselves surrounded by enemies, as they don't have the Health or defenses to properly at as a tank.
- Characteristics: Regardless of a Stalker's abilities, Agility, followed by Dexterity, is their most important Base Characteristic; Stealth is a Stalker's lifeline in combat, and a more agile character is less likely to be seen. Dexterity will improve the Stalker's accuracy and provide bonuses to skills such as Contortionist or Rope Trick. The Stalker won't have enough Strength to lift heavy weapons like the greatsword, but they should invest a little so they can use the largest Agile weapon they can, which will ideally be a Mace, Rapier, or Spear.
- Skills: Stealth is the most important skill to a Stalker, as the easiest opponents to take down are those unaware of their attacker. if the Stalker misjudges their target and gets caught in a grapple or Entangle power, they'll want Contortionist to get away. Tactics will help them time attacks with their partners, Perception and Tracking will help them keep targets in sight and stop them from getting away permanently, and Rope Trick will neutralize enemy Snipers specializing in ranged weapons.
- Traits: Blind-Fight will help the Stalker take out hidden or otherwise unseen targets, likely catching them off guard if they are unable to see the Stalker either. Directional Sense and Terrain Mastery will help them track fleeing enemies, and Master of Improv will ensure they're never without a potential weapon in reach. They'll rarely have high enough Charisma, Ego, or Intelligence to develop decent attack Powers, but Channeling will let them take support abilities like Darkness, Images, or Invisibility to distract or elude enemies.
- Abilities: Stalkers should have an array of Martial Arts to help them attack enemies both up close and at a distance; their weapons won't likely be heavy enough to deal significant damage otherwise, and ranged weapons need other means of increasing damage since most don't receive bonus damage dice from high characteristics. Run Powers are exceptionally useful for keeping pace with faster enemies, and Stalkers with the Channeling Trait will benefit greatly from Darkness, Images, and Invisibility to aid their sneaky tactics.
The Trooper Edit
Unlike other Blasters, the Trooper wants to be out in the open to get the best possible shot on their enemies. Sturdier and more heavily armored than other ranged fighters, the Trooper can function as a backup tank, drawing fire and taking heavy hits than other damage dealers.
- Tactics: Troopers have one job: stand out in the open and start shooting the closest target. Most of their damage comes from either heavy ranged weapons, such as machine guns, or from multiple Blast powers. The Trooper can take oncoming blows either by donning the heaviest armor they can, or by boosting their Ego as high as possible to increase their Stamina and developing potent Armor Powers.
- Characteristics: Troopers should focus on 1 of 2 characteristics: Strength or Ego. Strength Troopers rely on either heavy firearms like the machine gun or thrown weapons to do damage, and they increase their durability by equipping heavy armor. Ego Troopers have higher Stamina and use Armor Powers for protection. In either case, the Trooper should invest in Dexterity second, followed closely by Body so that they have good Accuracy and high Health.
- Skills: Ego and Strength don't factor into any skills, so what the Trooper picks up is entirely dependent on their Dexterity and whatever their 4th highest Characteristic is. Contortionist keeps them from being grappled or Entangled, while Rope Tricks will give them extra versatility versus single targets. Tactics helps Troopers coordinate with their teammates to stun powerful enemies, First Aid will let them patch themselves up between battles, and Perception will keep the Trooper alert to hidden enemies. Alternatively, Acrobatics and Climbing will offset the penalties for wearing heavy armor, while big guns are naturally Intimidating.
- Traits: Blind-Fighting and Calculator benefit all Troopers, since they need all the help they can get in offsetting range penalties and hitting unseeable targets. Ego Troopers need Channeling to access Blast, while Strength Troopers get great mileage out of Throw Everything so they are never without a ranged weapon.
- Abilities: Strength Troopers will want Martial Arts to increase ranged weapon damage, offset range penalties, and provide greater defense. Ego Troopers need Blast to deal damage, as well as an Armor Power to increase their durability. All Troopers benefit from Enhanced Sense to pick out targets, and Dexterity Aids will increase their Accuracy.
Controllers focus on manipulating the battlefield or single enemies to create more favorable conditions for their allies.
The Conjurer uses Channeling to warp the battlefield to their advantage, restricting their enemy's movements to reduce the number of foes their allies have to contend with at any one time.
- Tactics: The Conjurer's primary responsibility is to funnel hordes of enemies into more manageable groups, hopefully separating them into virtually different encounters. This keeps groups from overrunning the Conjurer's allies. Against a single, more powerful enemy, he hampers that foe by Draining one of their Characteristics or Flashing their sight to keep them from seeing. Once the enemy has been sufficiently controlled, the Conjurer then uses their most powerful attack to help chip away at their foes.
- Characteristics: Charisma or Intelligence are the best first choices in Characteristics for a Conjurer; Ego works as well, but Psychic Channeling doesn't have access to the Structure power, one of the backbones of the Conjurer. They can avoid Accuracy checks by making their powers cover Areas of Effect, so Dexterity isn't a priority. Body will increase the pool of Stamina the Conjurer has to work with, and make them more sturdy against incoming attacks.
- Skills: The skills suited to a Conjurer are dependent on whether their Channeling is based on Charisma or Ego. Charisma Conjurers excel as negotiators and should take Interaction Skills such as Charm and Persuasion, while Intelligence Conjurers should study Deduction, Knowledges, and Tactics. The few Ego Conjurers might benefit from Interactions skills like Intimidate and Persuasion to aid their mind controlling skills
- Traits: All Conjurers need Channeling in order to access a greater variety of Powers.
- Abilities: Structures is the most important power for a Conjurer, as it allows the Conjurer to shape the battlefield as they wish. Drains versus Agility and Entangles will also restrict enemy movements, as will a cleverly placed Image. The Conjurer also benefits from having an AOE Blast to chip at the enemies they're corralling. Ego Conjurers need Command, Entangle, and Flash to control their targets.
Martial Artist Edit
The Martial Artist excels at manipulating their opponent's body and restricting their movement through physical maneuvers.
- Tactics: Martial Artists can follow one of two tactics: shut down a single enemy by grabbing, tripping, and shoving them, or plugging a hole and knocking down everything that comes near them.
- Characteristics: The Martial Artist's main stats are Agility, Dexterity, and Strength. Agility gives them the additional actions they need to keep pace with their enemies, Dexterity will insure their attacks hit every time and raise their Dodge, and Strength is needed to successfully grab, shove, and trip enemies. Body is useful for increasing Health, but they will rarely have enough to replace a proper tank.
- Skills: The Martial Artist needs to reach their opponents in order to hit them, so they should invest in Acrobatics, Climb, and Contortionist to help reach their targets. Rope Tricks provides them with another control option, and Tactics can help them decide what the best option for shutting their enemy down might be. If they focus on tripping Maneuvers, the Martial Artist should also consider becoming proficient in flails or whips to make their grabs even more effective.
- Traits: Ambidextrous works well with Multiple Attack maneuvers, letting them control more than one enemy a round more accurately. Double Jointed increases their likelihood of both evading and setting up grabs, and Master of Improv will let them boost their damage slightly by insuring they always have a weapon in reach.
- Abilities: Martial Artists need a variety of maneuvers to do their jobs properly. All of their techniques should have Strikes and Weapon Elements built in to let them damage foes while restricting their movement. Counterstrikes and triggered Maneuvers will let them lock down enemies and punish them for coming after the Artist. If they decide to invest in Powers, movement abilities such Run, Swim, and Teleport will carry the Artist around the field.
Shamans use their force of personality to dissuade their enemies from attacking, and when that fails they channel Powers to shut down foes.
- Tactics: Instead of opening with a Power such as Structures or Entangle like the Conjurer, the Shaman opens combat using Performance and Intimidate to cow their foes, hopefully getting them to surrender before the first blow is struck. If that fails, they'll use Commands and Drains to hamper the enemy's progress.
- Characteristics: Charisma is the most important Characteristic for a Shaman, since need as many dice as possible for their Performance and Intimidate checks. Dexterity will improve the Accuracy of Command and Drain, and Body will keep them from being knocked out as soon as their foes realize the Shaman is a threat.
- Skills: Performance and Intimidate will give the Shaman options for controlling enemies outside of their powers, and their high Charisma makes the other Interaction Skills highly attractive for them.
- Traits: Channeling is required for the Shaman to make the most of their high Charisma, as it grants them access to a greater variety of Powers, and Striking Appearance will help them make the most of their Interaction skills
- Abilities: Command will be the Shaman's primary control power, forcing opponents to take actions that are potentially against their best interests. Drains against Ego will make their Commands more effective, as will Aids to Charisma. Heal will help the Shaman take on a support role after they're finished telling their enemy what to do, and it will allow them to recover lost Stamina during downtime. If their enemies rely too much on buffing powers like Aid or Change Size, a well placed Dispel will make a potent foe more manageable.
Instead of creating walls, the Warden becomes one and halts every enemy coming their way through a combination of Martial Arts and Powers.
- Tactics: A well played Warden will spend exactly one round buffing themselves with Change Size and then wade into battle, knocking over and shoving every enemy in their way. The Warden's high Body and Strength will make sure they have enough Toughness and Stamina to ward off enemy attacks, and when combined with a triggered Trip maneuver for whenever an enemy moves within their reach, they will difficult to put down by other melee fighters.
- Characteristics: Both Body and Strength will keep the Warden alive and capable of knocking down enemies, and a decent Agility is necessary to have the actions necessary to keep more than one target stuck in place. One stat the Warden cannot ignore is Charisma, for without it they cannot use Change Size as a Power.
- Skills: A Warden is an imposing force thanks to the size, so it's only fitting that they're great at Intimidating foes. First Aid is also important to keep the Warden healthy between fights, and Climb can get them the higher ground against enemies on a battlefield with vertical elements.
- Traits: Since the Warden needs Channeling to use Change Size, they might as well take Adept as well so they can develop Martial Arts with a little more versatility than just physical strikes. Double Jointed will help Wardens focused on grappling to keep foes from escaping.
- Abilities: A Warden needs Change Size to give them the reach they need to lock down enemies, and it will give them extra Strength to grab and trip enemies. Strength Aids will make their grapples and trips even more effective, and Extra Limbs will let grapplers hold on to more enemies at a single time. For Martial Arts, Wardens should develop Triggered Grapple and Trip maneuvers to knock down and control any enemy that gets close to them.
The Leader's purpose is to assist other party members and either make them better at their own jobs or enable them to continue fulfilling their roles.
Strikers have one job: get up close to their enemies, and deal as much damage as possible. The faster they eliminate enemies, the sooner combat ends.
Whereas most Strikers rely on physical attacks, Adepts are more adaptable by targeting 2 or 3 different defenses. The key to his role is the Adept trait from which the archetype draws its name, which allows the character to create Martial Arts that target Energy Defense instead of Physical Defense.
- Tactics: The Adept doesn't have the bulk to stand up for long against physically imposing enemies, so they should instead focus on taking out grunts and more fragile targets instead of bigger, sturdier targets. Their ability to hit both Physical and Energy Defense allows them to switch between attacks to use the most effective maneuver possible.
- Characteristics: Dexterity is the most important Characteristic for Adepts, as it allows them to develop more powerful Martial Arts techniques. Adepts relying on light weapons will want Agility as their second highest Characteristic, while those preferring heavy weapons need an appropriately high Strength to use them properly. Finally, all Adepts should invest a few points in Body to improve their defenses and Stamina, and decrease the likelyhood of being Staggered in combat.
- Skills: All Adepts benefit from Contortionist to avoid being grappled o Entangled. Charisma-based Adepts work well as party faces and should invest in Interaction skills such as Intimidate and Persuasion, while Intelligence Adepts should take Intelligence skills like Deduction, Knowledges, and Perception. Those investing in Agility should also take Acrobatics, Climb, and Stealth to help them approach enemies in difficult-to-reach places and do so unnoticed.
- Traits: Adepts need both Channeling and Adept to create Martial Arts that target Energy Defense. If they use Strength based melee weapons, Intelligence Adepts will get some mileage out of Calculator for the rare occasions they want to use ranged weapons. Charisma Adepts benefit from Striking Appearance to increase the effectiveness of their Interaction skills, and those fighting with multiple weapons benefit from Ambidextrous to reduce penalties for making multiple attacks.
- Abilities: Adepts need at least 2 Martial Arts maneuvers, one targeting Physical Defense and the other targeting Energy Defense, so they can target whatever their opponent's weakness is. Ego Adepts should build a Blast to cover Mental Defense and give themselves a worthwhile ranged attack. All Adepts should have an Armor Power to increase their defenses, a Heal to keep themselves healthy in combat, and one or more movement Powers such as Run or Fly to reach distant enemies.
The Berserker has the most straight forward role of any archetype; they pick up a biggest stick or weapon they can find, and they hit things with it as hard as they can.
- Tactics: As mentioned previously, the Berserker isn't much for subtlety and works best when they pick up the biggest weapon possible and start swinging it. They're big, bulky, and hard-hitting, and that's all they need to be. At most, the Berserker will take one round to prepare by activating a Strength Aid or similar buff before wading into the thick of combat, but no more than that.
- Characteristics: A Berserker's most important Characteristics are the following in this exact order: Strength, Dexterity, Body, and Ego. Strength is needed to deal more damage, Dexterity insures their Dodge and Accuracy aren't terrible, Body increases their Health, Stamina, and defenses, and Ego gives them more Stamina to hold out in combat. Agility comes at a distant 5th, since more Dodge is always helpful for holding out in combat, while Charisma and Intelligence are completely useless to them.
- Skills: Berserkers need Acrobatics, Climb, and Contortionist to reach their targets and start swinging. Intimidate is flavorful and fitting since there are few things more scary than 130+ kilogram slab of muscle carrying a big stick, and Perception will keep stealthier types from getting away unscathed.
- Traits: The biggest weakness of the Berserker is that they need to see their target in order to hit them, and Blind-Fighting mitigates this by insuring all they have to do is know where to swing. Double Jointed will help those that dabble in grappling, since they have the strength to pull it off, and Terrain Mastery will keep enemies from using the environment to their advantage and slow down the Berserker.
- Abilities: Berserkers need exactly 3 Martial Arts techniques: one attack with Weapon Element and the most damage dice possible, a Charge to get up close and attack in the same round, and a Counterattack to make enemies think twice about hitting them in melee. Because of their high Strength, Berserkers also do well as grapplers and should consider building a Grab maneuver to either get away from other grapplers or keep ranged attackers from getting away from them. Because their Agility isn't too high, Run and Leap are useful Powers for closing the gap between targets, and Armor or Damage Reduction will reduce the damage they take during prolonged fights. Aids for Agility and Strength are also useful for increasing mobility and damage, though the one round set up might be too much for more aggressive players.
The Hunter doesn't just slash at their enemies and hope one strike will be enough to take them down; they create openings and hobble them first to maximize the effectiveness of their blows and prevent their target from getting away first.
- Tactics: The first turn of a Hunter should never be an attack; instead, they focus on either penetrating their target's defenses using Drain or Dispel first, or wrapping them up in an Entangle to restrict their movement and lower their dodge. Once that's done, the Hunter then sneaks up the target and destroys them with the strongest attack in their arsenal, which will usually be a Martial Art boosted by a Strike Power or the Weapon Element addition. Multiple Attack maneuvers are the best choice for Hunters since they won't have the Strength to use heavier weapons effectively, and for that reason they should wield two melee weapons whenever possible.
- Characteristics: The primary Characteristic for a Hunter varies wildly depending on the Powers they want to use to depower their enemies, but Dexterity or Agility are generally safe choices since both are useful for Accuracy checks. After that, their second highest stat is going to be completely dependent on what Power Source they want to base their Abilities off of; Natural Abilities depend on Body, Prana feeds of Charisma, Primal Powers utilize Intelligence, and Psychic Powers benefit from Ego. If the Hunter chose Agility or Dexterity as their highest Characteristic, then the other they didn't pick should be their third highest.
- Skills: Stealth, Rope Tricks, Perception, and Tactics are arguably the most important skills for a Hunter to build on; Stealth lets them approach enemies without being seen, Rope Tricks can take the place of an Entangle Power in shutting down enemies if prepared before hand, Perception will help them keep track of sneakier enemies, and Tactics will let them know what Abilities to open combat with and coordinate with their allies. Deduction will also help counter Coordinated Attacks from other enemies, and Tracking will let them follow escaping enemies.
- Traits: The two most helpful Traits to a Hunter are Ambidextrous and Master of Improv; Multiple Attack maneuvers are their primary source of damage, which will be more accurate and more powerful thanks to these two Traits. Hunters relying on Powers that cannot be build as Natural Abilities, such as Dispel or Flash, need Channeling to use these abilities in the first place, and Adept will increase their versatility by giving them multiple defense they can target.
- Abilities: The first ability the Hunter should develop is a Strike maneuver with the Multiple Attack addition; they are unlikely to Stagger their opponents since their Strength is low compared to other Strikers, so they need multiple attacks per round to deal out comparable damage to the Berserker or Adept. Those relying on Natural Abilities should take Drain or Entangle to cripple their enemies, while those with the Channeling Trait will find Dispel and Flash most helpful; those that channel Powers should also take Blast to give themselves a ranged attack for enemies they cannot approach in melee, as well as a Strike Power to increase their damage output.
The Soldier works best when they have allies to bounce off of and work in tandem with, dealing great damage in their own right while improving their allies ability to do so as well.
- Tactics: Soldiers use Tactics to initiate coordinated attack with their allies, and they get the most benefit out of these checks by taking the Out-Flank and Exploit Weakness Traits. These Traits allow them to deal more damage and attack more accurately when working in tandem with other melee fighters.
- Characteristics: Dexterity or Strength should be the Soldier's highest Characteristic; Dexterity gives them more Dodge and raises their point cap for Martial Arts, while Strength increases their overall melee damage and Toughness. Whichever of the two the player doesn't pick first should be second to increase their Accuracy and/or damage. Intelligence comes third to make their Tactics checks as high as possible. After that comes Body, followed by Agility, Charisma or Ego.
- Skills: Tactics is the Soldier's backbone, making their attacks more accurate and more deadly. Deduction and Perception are also important for countering opposing coordinated attacks and keeping track of enemies, and First Aid will keep them healthy between battles.
- Traits: The two most important Traits to the Soldier are Exploit Weakness and Out-Flank, as they will raise the Soldier's Accuracy and damage with melee attacks. Time Sense will further improve their Tactics rolls, Channeling is good choice as well due to the Soldier's high Intelligence, and Calculator will make up for their low Agility when making ranged weapon attacks.
- Abilities: The Soldier will need a Strike Martial Art to deal more melee damage, but other than that they are free to pick whatever will improve their effectiveness in melee combat. Soldiers with Channeling will benefit from Change Size's bonuses to reach and Strength, Armor will make them more resilient on the front line, and Run will get them into the fray more quickly. Counterattack maneuvers will dissuade enemies from going after them instead of the party's Tank, Trips will make their attacks even more accurate if they specialize in Strength over Dexterity, and a Ranged Martial Art will ensure their enemy is always within attack range.
Some inevitably needs to draw out the enemy and take hits for the party, and the Tank is supposed to laugh in the face of that danger.