Sunday, May 3, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 3: Favorite Playable Class

Fighter. Hands down, my favorite playable class for a very long time has been fighter.

The first character I put on paper, but did not play, was a human fighter who was escaping fighting pit slavery. The character I played to the highest level  I've to date attained was a human fighter. It was a great class for me to learn the D&D systems, learn how combat and the battlefield worked, and be able to have a pretty straight dotted line when it came to decision making. 

(this is kind of a funny point of comparison here, for me, as a gamer. I stuck with fighters in Dungeons and Dragons at the beginning, because of their lack of complication and their perceived ease. In Shadowrun, which we play once a week, I've been playing a Decker, which many other people at the table think is the hardest role to play. It's interesting, to see how different systems might appeal to you differently, and also to realize and recognize how you might have grown and changed as a gamer)

In 3rd edition, 3.5, and Pathfinder, a thing fighters had going for them was feats. ALL the feats. A human fighter started with 3: one for being first level, one for being a fighter, and one for being human. This is significant because in those editions, feats were your extras, the way you tweaked and customized your character to differentiate him or her from other individuals of that same class. You could make a super agile duelist who eschewed shields and most armor, and who was specialized in taking out spellcasters. You could make an archer who could snipe from hiding and at tremendous distances from the actual enemy. You could make a swordswoman who can walk down a hallway and kill seven men in a turn (I did this, with my fighter in the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, and it still comes up in conversations about Games of the Past™).

In 5th edition, I haven't yet played a fighter. Feats are an optional part of the system, and as a table, we're still getting our sea legs for the changes. That I can tell, fighters still get amazing things in their toolbox, and I look forward to the game when I finally roll one up again, as it were (we don't roll stats anymore. We've been using the point buy options, or the offered stats options). In the few games we've had in the new edition so far, I've seen fighters and their abilities put to good use.

Another big reason fighters appeal to me is the implicit deadliness of the D&D environs. I mean sure, there's raise dead and resurrection and reincarnation.....if you have the cash to pay for it. I've had several characters die, only one or two come back. Character death, and the threat thereof, is built into D&D. You can't expect to be a hero (or mercenary or adventurer, whatever you feel your role/goal is) if it's easy; if it was that easy, the townspeople would just take care of their problems on their own.

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