Roland is Borderlands "Soldier" class. He is originally from the planet Promethea and is a former soldier of the Crimson Lance, the highly trained private military of the Atlas corporation. He is proficient with all weapons, although he prefers shotguns and combat rifles. Roland can deploy a Scorpio Turret that can be upgraded throughout the game.
Atlas records state that Roland was honorably discharged from the Crimson Lance. Unfortunately, Crimson Lance doctrine states that the only type of discharge is dishonorable, which generally involves a bullet through the skull. When questioned about either his involvement in or departure from the Crimson Lance, Roland quickly changes the subject to loot, of which he firmly believes there is always room for more.
(Information taken from the Borderlands manual)
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
After the opening of the Vault and the defeat of General Knoxx, Lilith and Roland traveled to Pandora's moon Elpis on a vacation trip. There was where they met Jack for the first time, who asked them for help against Colonel Zarpedon through the Vault Hunters. They didn't want to have anything to do with that at first, but they ended up helping when they realized the true danger behind the attacks. So, they cooperated with Jack and the Vault Hunters to recover the Helios station and its main weapon, a giant laser, until they saw how Jack killed three scientists throwing them into space on the suspicion that one of them might be a spy. Lilith didn't want to continue helping him, but Roland kept acting normally and then made a plan in order to defeat Zarpedon while also preventing Jack from using the laser. They keep helping but, with Mad Moxxi's help, at the end they destroyed the laser and almost the entire Helios station.
Before the events of Borderlands 2
Following the Vault Hunters' defeat of General Knoxx, the Atlas Corporation abandoned all remaining Crimson Lance soldiers on Pandora. Roland used this opportunity to rally the Lancemen against Hyperion, pledging to give them a cause their previous employer could not promise them, forming the Crimson Raiders, along with Mordecai, Brick, and his then-girlfriend Lilith.
The Raiders were originally stationed in New Haven, but was discovered when Shep Sanders disclosed its location to Hyperion. Overrun by the company, and with Lilith believed dead by Hyperion, the Raiders relocated to Sanctuary. Roland then ended his relationship with Lilith to focus on defending the town, while she drew the bandits' attention away.
Before meeting with the new Vault Hunters, Roland was captured by the Bloodshots, a bandit group who attempted to claim the bounty on his head. With the assistance of Lilith, the Vault Hunters rescue him from Hyperion. He then resumes his post as the leader of the Raiders and assigns story quests to the Vault Hunters.
During the Crimson Raider/Slab joint strike on Control Core Angel, he assists the Vault Hunters in retrieving the Vault Key. In the core of the facility, he lowers the shields guarding Angel's Eridium injectors, while the Vault Hunters destroy them. Against Roland and Angel's insistence, Lilith appears as well. When Angel dies, Roland goes to retrieve the Vault Key, but is shot dead by Handsome Jack. After Jack is defeated, Roland is buried with the original vault hunters tearfully mourning him.
Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep
A manifestation of Roland becomes part of the plot of Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, where he is added in randomly at points whenever Tiny Tina wants to, and was meant to be a necessary player in Tina's game would it not be for his untimely demise, ultimately representing how Tina can't let go of Roland. Roland acts the same (AI wise), deploying his Scorpio Turret and assisting the player, he will always use common (or white) rarity weapons and is clad in white armour instead of his normal attire to fit with the theme. His choice of words when speaking are clearly inspired by Tina's speech patterns rather than the actual Roland's. Roland, in said game, identifies himself as a White Knight of the Queen. After the original Vault Hunters finish their game, they gather at Roland's memorial statue, joined by Claptrap and the new Vault Hunters, where Tina says her farewell.
Roland does not appear in the game personally, however there is a town on Pandora named after him, with a large memorial statue that bears affectionate comments from all of the principal characters of the series. Presumably, he is buried here.
- See also: Action Skills
Roland's Action Skill is a sentry gun called the Scorpio Turret; a turret that shoots enemies and also provides a shield for cover. Roland's turret will be affected in one of three ways depending on which skill tree the player decides to fully upgrade. The turret lasts 20 seconds. The Scorpio Turret is a very versatile ability, when used correctly it can fill a wide range of situations, such as being used to cover the player's side to keep from being flanked, or temporarily holding off enemies while the player retreats. The Scorpio Turret is also the longest skill to cool down, mainly due to its devastating capabilities.
- Investments in the Infantry branch of the skill tree can increase the Scorpio Turret's damage, reduce its cooldown time and even allow it to shoot guided missiles.
- Investments in the Support branch of the skill tree can reduce the Scorpio Turret's cooldown, increase its burst fire count and allow it to eject resupply packs to replenish the ammunition and grenade stocks of all team members.
- Investments in the Medic branch of the skill tree can add team regeneration or revive effects to the turret.
- Main article: Class Mod (Borderlands)#Soldier
Some of Roland's abilities are meant to supplement and support the party, while some boost his offensive capabilities. His Infantry skill tree can boost his weapon damage, while his Medic skill tree will increase health regeneration, and Support will increase shield regeneration and regenerate ammunition for the party. Some of these benefits are only active when Roland's Scorpio Turret is deployed. He is by far the best support class because his turret can be upgraded to heal and regenerate ammunition for him and his allies. He is the only character that cannot boost his melee in some way, but his upgrades for the Scorpio Turret are more spread out among his skill trees, making it potentially more useful in more situations than the other character's action skills (except Lilith, whose skills are spread out about the same amount). Roland is the only playable character who does not have an action skill to daze enemies and has the only action skill capable of being taken out by weapons fire aside from character death.
- Main article: Roland/Quotes
- Early concept art of Roland depicted him as a light-skinned male with dark and graying hair. Though his design has since been changed, these early concepts show a very strong resemblance to Dr. Zed – meaning that it is possible that these early designs were recycled and used for the Doctor.
- In his quote, "I'll TC the vehicle", TC likely stands for "Tactically Commandeer" the vehicle. In the U.S. Army, TC is an abbreviation for "Tactical Commander". However, the TC of an U.S. Army vehicle is actually the Officer/NCO in the passenger seat.
- In the opening where the Vault Hunters are seen as children, Roland's attire is a simpler version of his Crimson Lance armor he wears as an adult. His pauldron is a trash can lid, his grenadier cap is replaced with a Boonie hat, he wears the same scarf, and his greave is fashioned out of what appears to be a piece of sheet metal.
- It is stated in Roland's profile that he dislikes publicity. Ironically despite this, he appears to be okay with having his picture on dozens of recruitment posters across Sanctuary.
- Roland appears to be the leader of the original Vault Hunters as they take orders from him after rejoining the Crimson Raiders without protest. This is also suggested by one of his class mods in Borderlands being the Leader.
- In Borderlands 2, due to his rank and the severity of circumstances, Roland seems to have difficulty expressing himself, as Lilith has to tell the player what he means to say when he speaks sometimes.
- In his Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon's Keep reveal cutscene, he is seen using the Scorpio rifle, but once the cutscene ends, he will use a white rarity rifle.
- In Borderlands 2 on one of Lilith's monitors in the Firehawk's lair as well as the Crimson Raider HQ, an online profile of Roland states he was homeschooled in 2854 (only visible with PC PhysX graphics on high).