Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Post About Fighters

Gurwinder as Keeper
Welcome back. I haven't posted much about D&D and AD&D lately.

Gurwinder as Warrior
Let's fix that with some thoughts on fighters. In B/X D&D fighters were characters who specialized in putting their weapon on someone and hard. Exactly what kind of guy or gal he was was totally in the theater of the mind. They could be any kind of fighting man or woman.

Not so in AD&D. Fighters gained sub-classes, the ranger and the paladin. For years, no decades, I always thought of paladins as being the guys with great armor and heavy weapons and rangers were archers due to the their outdoorsy nature and good dexterity. Plain old fighters were a mix of the two, using a short bow, sword and board. While fighters might have horses that they use and care for, the paladin has a horse built into their character but rangers often had dogs and wolves as companions. And these animals were not so friendly company.

However, the big thing that sets rangers and paladins apart from fighters is their use of magic. Paladins have spiritual magic while rangers have arcane spells.

Not Venus Genetrix,
but Venus Bellatrix. 
In the campaign I have been playing, there is a fighter, Gurwinder A’flumine. She is a small woman with a bow and knife. She wears a stola, palla and tunic at all times. She is reserved and calm, but the player has done her best to make her the leader of a band of misfit rangers, mages and daredevils. There was no declaration of intent, but she leads from the front.

While I rolled her up and foisted her off on the player, that player accepted her as she was designed, a fighter. But as she played, the character changed.

A slight change her stats to that of a paladin mechanically alters very little, except retainers. Gurwinder would have a modest boost in strength and constitution, which would not change her combat stats. Her charisma would climb by 7, which is huge but not out of character as with a 10, she was the de facto leader of this motley band. She retains no monies for herself, has not sought a horse or armor, or even better weapons. This player has redefined how I thought of fighters and their subclasses since I began playing.

What do you think? Let me know if I should offer to retroactively reclass this character as a paladin in the comment below.

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