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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Creating a new character. OR ALL HAIL the Plain Vanilla fighter!

Mamluk from Aleppo
My friend is starting a new campaign tonight.
This will be his second full fore into campaign play and I for one am looking forward to getting started.


Unfortunately this means I have to make a new character a level on sprout consisting of some class and race combo. Sometimes I wish  DM's would just hand me a pre-gen and say "let er rip." 

I'm a GM I know, when everyone comes to a table and you look at the assortment of freaks on the table and say, 


"That? group.... is going to be a party?!" 
"Yes! We have the  Thief, Paladin, Priest of death, Necromancer, Druid  combo!"

The joke around our table is, Mark always makes a fighter.


A strong silent type, 2 handed weapon fighter.
There are reasons for this  choice, those guys fill a role. My last character Orin had a pretty good amount of influence on the  games path even if he didn't talk all that  much.



No idea who this is, great pic though

Statistically it's nice to have  a brick of HP that deals damage three times a round in the party. That brick of HP can help cover up a a world of bad rolls by other characters and keep monsters occupied while the wizards do their thing.

There is an another less talked about facet of the "Plain Vanilla Fighter (PVF)."A fighter has very few constrictions placed on the player concerning background or personality. A druid for example or a Ranger have built in  out looks. Wizards are supposed to be at least bookish, Clerics follow a god and should show at least pay lip service to the  gods when played. And so on, these assumptions only grow when the  players start refining the characters even more tightly. Necomancers should be kind of Dark goth metal right? Paladins are the  Dudley do-rights of D&D correct?  These sort of defacto  roles have existed in RPGs for years and are kind of ingrained in the expectations when a DM says "tonight we're playing D&D." The players kind of know what "A druid" is and what to expect. It's not a bad thing, it's part of the shared language of RPG's that has been built up over the past four decades.

Fighters on the other hand seem to move more easily among roles. There are just so many historical and literary examples of "Fighters"



Conan. Typical PVF archetype.
The musketeers, Fighters.
Lampedo, Fighter (at least I assume she could kick but like the rest of the Amazons)
Knights of the round table, fighters.
Razia Sultan "Fighter"
Xena, Fighter
Indigo Montyoa, Fighter.
Kyuzo, Fighter.

Camilla, warriror
King Lenoidas, Fighter

Fafhrd, Fighter

The list could go on forever.



So many different ways to  play  or approach a fighter.

The PVF is just an empty cup waiting to get filled by player ideas.

the flexibility of the  form is the  greatest single  advantage to starting out with a fighter. Nowhere is this listed as a bonus or a benefit, but it should be. 
Your fighter could be anything from young farm hand  armed only with bravery and a pitch fork, to a nobles son setting out with his grandfather's mail and  a newly forged sword. The game doesn't care which.


For this game I will not be making a plain Vanilla fighter though I will likely stick to a melee class, like Paladin. I have never been much for the spell using classes * 

I guarantee after a few games of the  Paladin  Do-Gooder act, I'm going to be wishing for the  flexibility of my good old PVF.

Thanks for reading.
-Mark.