10.13.2010

Goodbye Dump Stats! Fighter Edition

That's it.  I've had it.  Who came up with the bull shit 'dump stat?'  In good role-playing there is no such thing.  In good role-playing there is no Rogar with a 4 intelligence (Outrageous!).  Even the rolls that suck the hardest can lead to great characters, great games, and great stories.

Starting with the Fighter class, I will illustrate what happens when, instead of treating an ability as a dump stat, you put your best score there instead.  And what happens when you put your lowest score in those spots.


Fighters!

Straight Up Strength.
When playing a fighter, it's typical to load your highest ability score into Strength.  After all, fighters use their strength to lay on the smack down.  Great, straight up strength fighters include the likes of Samus Aran and Captain America.  But what happens when you put your lowest score there?  You get fighters like Spaceman Spiff and Courage the Cowardly Dog.  Proportionally, they are strong based on their body types, however, they are not epic, D&D strong.  Their feats of strength are adrenalin fueled at best.  Both Spiff and Courage have to use their intelligence, wisdom, and constitution to get through their trials.  But no one can deny that they're fighters!

A Little Finesse - Dex Heavy and Light Fighters
So what happens when you dump your fighter's best roll into Dexterity?  After a quick pick of the Weapon Finesse feat, you have Will Turner and Astharoche Asran.  Will and Asta's entire fighting style is not based on their strength, but their speed and agility.  Spend the points and get ranks in tumble (acrobatics for Pathfinder) and you get every character Jackie Chan ever played.   So what do you get with a low dex... The Incredible Hulk.  Duh.

A Drink Never Hurt Anyone - Constitution Monkeys
Wong Fei Hung is a constitution power house!  He doesn't pack much for strength, but he can take a straight hit without batting an eye.  Probably because he's drunk off his ass.  But that's what con is for!  So what does a fighter with a low constitution look like?  Abel Nightroad.  Abel, a bad ass while the Crusnik is activated, is plague by a constant hunger that's made worse by his refusal to eat what really nourishes him: vampire blood.  He's ease to take down just by letting him wear himself out.  Sure, his con stat is intentionally lowered by his own doing, but that's a game mechanic you can play with.

Smart as a Whip - Intelligent Fighters
There's one thing I can't stand and that's fighters who use intelligence as a dump stat (Outrageous!).  But I guess that's what Rogar's for.  He's a meat shield and little more.  But an intelligent fighter?  They're bad ass on top of being able to figure it all out.  A great example is Ash.  So he's an S-Mart employee.  So what?  He shows up with a trunk full of college textbooks and proceeds to make himself a new hand and gun powder. 

Wise Beyond Their Years - Wise Fighters
I played one of these once.  He had a wisdom higher than all but one of the clerics in the party and he used it.  The best fighters, indeed, the best leaders, have a lot of wisdom.  They aren't the smartest people in the group, but they know how to take all the information and find the answers with it.  Jack Carter is an exceptional example of a wise fighter.  He's surrounded by egg heads, but his wisdom always saves Eureka.  A great fighter with a low wisdom is Captain Marvel. Billy Batson is still, underneath the powers, a little kid without much experience.  His good heart and strength see him through, but he's easily tricked which is the sign of a low wisdom.


A Smile and Wink - Charismatic Fighters
My fav charismatic fighter?  Brisco County Jr.!  Ah yeah!  His mouth gets him out of just as many predicaments as it gets him into.  He has the kind of charisma that bards dream of and dashing rogues drool over.  A fighter with a low charisma? Castiel.  He's short on charm, personality, and anything else that would make him the least bit tolerable to work with on a constant basis. 

Average All Around
So what if you roll up a bunch of really average scores?  Who ever heard of an average fighter?  At that point, it isn't about the stats, but about how you use your skill points.

An average fighter with a lot of lore: Dean Winchester.  Where Dean lacks in intelligence and charisma, he makes up for in what he knows, the right solution to the problem.

An average fighter with a lot tactical knowledge: Fin the Human.  Fin lacks a lot of strength and dexterity, but he is tactically savvy and trusts his intuition.

An average fighter with a high craft skill giving him lots of gadgets: Batman.  (No link.  If you don't know who Batman is, get off my internet!)

I'm sure there are a lot of readers ready to kill me because I've only mentioned two female characters in the list.  Well, sue me.  The list is meant to illustrate what you can do, not represent.

But let's throw some girls in here for shits and giggles anyway:
Turanga Leela is an intelligent fighter with some serious martial arts skill
Helena Bertinelli is a very charismatic fighter whose not above using womanly wiles to get her way.
Rogue has constitution is spades.
Padme Amidala is wise beyond her years, if you over look the fact that she married a psycho.

6.16.2010

We are losing The Game

Do we really need another blog talking about how awesome Nintendo's presentation was and how much everyone elses' sucked?  I didn't think so.

Here's something different and proof that my glorious library is losing The Game:

Ann Arbor's Video Game Librarian

Ann Arbor...  You B****h!

6.10.2010

Free RPG Day 2010!

Saturday, June 19th is Free RPG day!

Free RPG Day is run like Free Comic Book Day: to give the masses a taste of something new without having to pull out the wallet!

Check out the site for more details on who is giving out what and where!

Great.  Now I'm sad.  Nittany Line Hobbies was the game shop of State College, PA for many years and now it's gone, a victim of poor management rather than the recession.  Comic Swap, which is just around the corner from former Nittany Line, is doing their best to beef up the game selection, but they just don't have the space to carry everything.

From Happy Valley, the closest shop is The Games Keep in West Chester.  Here's to hoping they will participate in Free RPG Day!

6.03.2010

Spellcasting... Soda?

Indeed!

Dungeons & Dragons Limited Edition Spellcasting Soda!


Because we could all use some of Bigby's Crushing Thirst Destroyer as we go full swing into con season!

5.25.2010

Geeky Clean!

Dishonored Dwarf Shaving Soap Kit

Ganked from

But it is that time again: Con Time!

The packing will begin in earnest this weekend.  And toiletries must be had.