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Day 3: Favourite playable class.

Halts_peril_three v2Regardless of the official class I think all my characters have shared some basic similarities. They have never been magic using and have never had clerical abilities though they are often deeply religious. They like the outdoors and they like to cook. They tend to prefer sneaking, engaging in combat only when they have built up tactical advantages (hiding and shooting from a distance rather than running bare-arsed at the enemy, in other words).

For rules pursposes this means a cross between a Ranger and a Thief. They call them Rogues nowadays.

Thieves seem to me to offer the most rounded opportunities for stories. They can often read, they can climb and sneak and open locks. They can fight if they have to.

Mind you, I’ve spent most of my RPG life being the DM for everyone else rather than playing characters. As a consequence I’ve designed those worlds and adventures to cater for the tastes of the people playing. This has mostly meant fighter-related stories in low magic worlds. In fact, I have no clear recollection of any player ever using spells to good efect. Which does not mean that these classes are useless – it just means that the memorable moments have not come from them in our games.

A Thief related anecdote that I recall concerned the dungeon I had made that had what I thought was a particularly clever trap. There was a corridor in which there appeared a pit. In the bottom of the pit were stakes and stuff – obvious. The pit was just wide enough to be jumped, if you took a good run up. It was a stright corridor with no overhangs or corners or anything that a rope could be attached to. That there were corpse remains in the pit indicated that someone had not jumped far enough and had fallen in. The intention was for the characters to conclude the way to get across was to really run and jump hard, because it was so simple.

The tricky bit was that on the other side of the pit was a thick glass wall. You could not reach it or see it. And if you jumped you’d smack straight into it and drop into the pit.

I chuckled with anticipation. But the thief in the party advanced, examined everything in a lengthy question and answer session, and then threw a stone over the pit. It struck the glass, of course, and so the trap was sprung. They did not jump.

Despite my disappointment, and despite my being unable to remember what the heck they did next, I do recall that moment as a fine example of a simple trap that challenged role-playing. It was a thief’s moment in the sun.