Classy Characters

Crew DM/Gaming Advice

Classy Characters

So we have our race, our backstory is put together, now all we are missing is our job. Class is our profession, this is what we trained to be. Characters don’t just wake up one day and go “I’m a fighter!” and charge into combat. It takes weeks of training to learn combat maneuvers, skills and various other talents to make that job work. It is not just some title that is waved around by adventures (although some backstories might say otherwise). Years of effort are put into being that class and each class specializes in a different field. Mages by no means know how to judo throw an enemy. I am also fairly sure that Fighters may never figure out how the Thief got his hands on their gold bag. These tricks of the trade make a class what it is. Special, Unique and yours.

So lets explore the basis of classes. The general Archetypes that almost every RPG falls into. I am going to go ahead and use the DND equivalent for it but I am sure you can mentally convert as needed.

Starting with the fighter if you have seen any action movie you know this is not an easy job. Lets roll back to Lord of the Rings and focus on Gimli the Dwarf. With the amount of commoner causalities the dwarf should have been at least wounded during the battle for Helms Deep. It takes special fighter training to learn how to battle multiple assailants. Years of battle training create a fighter into a dangerous martial character. Anyone playing it needs to remember how long they trained which makes them a expert on fighting styles. Utilizing ever moment of their training can be key to the characters survival. Not to mention cold iron beats magic any day in the mind of a fighter.

Thief’s training is usually more diverse than a fighter. Thief builds usually end up being the skill-monkeys of the group with the know how to accomplish any mission. Not battle experts as much as dodging experts understanding your specific cliche of Thief is important. Some assassinate, some tinker, some appraise, some perform and some even  dabble in everything. I am using Thief to condense the DND Bard and Ranger with the Rogue as we are mostly discussing fluff here. The point is the specialized nature of these characters. You never just learn to pick a lock, or the perfect spot to instant kill and enemy! These things take practice and time to learn and in that time is where the soul of your character can start to be found!

Mage’s train for hours upon hours researching hidden text. They tap into a stream of magic to learn skills that even the elders have not mastered. This never ending thirst for knowledge is what makes this character different. They have learned this forgotten art and work tirelessly to maintain it. The life of a Mage is no easy life, every morning waking only to prepare spells. They have to love their craft to do this and most believe they work the hardest out of all the party. Never ending research, never ending search and more magical items are always found!

Healer has to maintain good standing with their gods while also watching out for the well being of the party! They have studied their own pantheon of gods and know the ins and outs, the religious do’s and dont’s that comes with their deity’s worship They know what the signs mean and sometimes even have a direct line to their god. Healers are by far one of the most valuable in the party. They are usually brought up from a young age in the religious study and continued to grow through bypassing the Acolytes in rank and excelling in the service to the church. From child hood up this is again, no easy task. This has influenced your character for YEARS and is not something that can be demonstrated simply in a class name.

The general point here I am trying to present is that the class is more than just a label. It is a way of life that your character has subscribed to. A study that you are dedicated to and the expansion on this fact that there is more to a class then meets the eye is what can make or break a character! Unique lessons in life, if a fighter in my party quoted his teacher he would get extra rewards because that shows how much he knows. The book breaks it down very well in most game systems why a character would bet his class. Fluff for the class outweighs the actual name of it. Yes your good at fighting but WHY! This fact is what matters most to a lot of DMs. Keep it in mind next time you select a class.

Till next week, Cheers!
~Howl Philinish, Captain of the Airship.

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Hello, my name is Howl. I am a ‘professional’ gamer and reviewer that works with the NERD community. This is my personal blog and podcast and if you would like to get updates or see more please follow me on Twitter: @HowlPhilinish. or even my Instagram: HowlPhilinish. I hope to see more of you and feel free to comment! I read every comment so don’t be shy!

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