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Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
05-03-2009, 05:57 PM
Which character class would you [almost] NEVER play, and why?

We all have our favorite classes, but what i want to know is which character/ class would you [almost] NEVER play? All rpgs are welcome.

I'll begin: Thief.

Why? It's simple, i get far in my gaming with skillful playing. Since die rolling is heavy with thieves, and my rolls have been known to go on a SUCK streak, my thieves usually live short lives. Bet you weren't expecting that for an answer? :eek:

So, what share the rest of you. Be sure to list the why/s?

Enjoy!

Malruhn
05-04-2009, 06:35 AM
None of them.

My favorite character class is whatever the heck I'm playing RIGHT NOW... and it doesn't matter what it is - it's my favorite.

They all have strengths and all have weaknesses from all sorts of angles - so I really don't care. Gimme them dice and a piece of paper - whatcha need tonight?

drewshi
05-04-2009, 07:08 AM
Paladin.

I don't think I could be as good as is required to play the role. Every person has their dark side and while it might be fun for the DM to try and coax that out of you, I think it would limit your play.

Smilin' Jack
05-04-2009, 07:23 AM
Got to agree - Paladin

Moral relativism is a virtual necessity for enjoyable RPing.

BrotherDog
05-05-2009, 03:07 AM
There are no classes that I so utterly dislike. Maybe say that I like Sorcs the least of them, and maybe the 3.5 redo the Psion, they just weren't as awesome. There was more sense to how 3.0 did it, different disciplines used different stats.


Race on the other hand is another thing entirely. That'd be them munchkinfest Humans. Ick! Lame-O!

templeorder
05-05-2009, 11:16 PM
In most systems i dislike playing priest archetypes. Faith is so mishandled (in my opinion) that its just not interesting.

gajenx
05-07-2009, 06:01 PM
I rarely play Paladins since I am not overly able to be the traditional cavalier hero. Though in DnD 3.0 and 3.5 I also did not like playing classes with a 2+ INt modifier for skills since I am a skill whore.

yukonhorror
05-07-2009, 06:22 PM
paladin, because of the inflexibility in play. If you want to play a paladin right, you are forced into undesirable situations. That and it is so dang hard to roll a 17, and being forced to put it into charisma (where in 1e cha has no power) is that much more painful.

The 4e paladin has overcome this, so it might be fun to play one.

One that I played once, but will rarely play again is the cleric. Why? Because he seemed to always be treated as the healing vending machine. If I used spells like sanctuary or got into the thick of combat, I'd get drilled and yelled at by my party members for wasting memorized spell slots and putting myself in a position where I could fall unconscious. Every cleric in every game I have played is treated like this. Some players like being so well depended on and highly protected, but I like to get into the thick of things and have spell versatility.

Again, 4e has remedied this because of healing surges.

InvestFDC
05-07-2009, 10:01 PM
I never could get into barbaraians. Too one dimentional. Paladins fall in this category too.

Webhead
05-07-2009, 10:39 PM
I never could get into barbaraians. Too one dimentional...

You just haven't met the right Barbarian! Cev Elind Bimtuck Pelgrin. Now he was a Barbarian!

Here's the only character "class" that I would likely never play:

Netrunner/Decker/Rigger

Why? I'm not interested in having to take so much of the GMs time away from the rest of the group just so that I can "work my magic". Likewise, whenever I run Cyberpunk, I treat hacking and netrunning really fast and loose with just a few skill rolls and let players know that it will be mostly relegated to plot advancement in my games. I tried to run one game with a dedicated Netrunner and that was all it took to realize what needed to happen.

Sascha
05-07-2009, 10:54 PM
I can't think of any specific class that I wouldn't want to play, with the right group in the right campaign; that said ... healers. Priest-types are so varied, but somehow the execution comes down to healing, blah :P

MortonStromgal
05-08-2009, 11:29 AM
Paladin.

I don't think I could be as good as is required to play the role. Every person has their dark side and while it might be fun for the DM to try and coax that out of you, I think it would limit your play.

It is a tough role, I used to always try to think what would Yoda or Ob-wan do. Paladins always seamed a lot like jedi to me.

I wont play any eastern class be it monk, ninja, samurai in a non eastern setting. Even if they do exist in Greyhawk. I also wont play any over the top evil so I cant relate class (I can't think of one in D&D but for Vampire it would be no Tzimiche)

gajenx
05-09-2009, 06:57 AM
Well jedis I think would not be too bad of a almost to paladins in thought. From what I have had to endure with wife and friends whom are fans of star wars movies :yuck: , Jedis are the LN alignment version of paladins.

Webhead
05-09-2009, 10:22 AM
Well jedis I think would not be too bad of a almost to paladins in thought. From what I have had to endure with wife and friends whom are fans of star wars movies :yuck: , Jedis are the LN alignment version of paladins.

It's all interpretation and opinion of course, but I definately think Jedi fall into the Lawful Good category. Yes, the ways of the Jedi are to respect law and authority but their ultimate service is to Good. The primary goals are the preservation of life, liberty and the well being of others. If the law is not serving to protect those basic rights, the Jedi will regard it as improper law (that doesn't mean they will "fight" said government but they will seek temperate and peaceful ways of returning those rights to the people).

One major tenet of the Jedi way is "evil through inaction". For a Jedi to allow "evil" to be perpetrated and not attempt to reasonably oppose it is as bad as if the Jedi were committing the evil act themselves.

Sascha
05-09-2009, 12:45 PM
It's all interpretation and opinion of course, but I definately think Jedi fall into the Lawful Good category. Yes, the ways of the Jedi are to respect law and authority but their ultimate service is to Good. The primary goals are the preservation of life, liberty and the well being of others. If the law is not serving to protect those basic rights, the Jedi will regard it as improper law (that doesn't mean they will "fight" said government but they will seek temperate and peaceful ways of returning those rights to the people).
What he said. Appropriate for paladins, too, for the most part ;)


One major tenet of the Jedi way is "evil through inaction". For a Jedi to allow "evil" to be perpetrated and not attempt to reasonably oppose it is as bad as if the Jedi were committing the evil act themselves.
The bolded bit is largely forgotten, in a lot of my experiences with Jedi/paladin problems.

Kalanth
05-09-2009, 04:03 PM
So far the only class that I have not played and have no desire to play is the Monk. I run and play in games with more of a dark ages feel to them and the monk just does not fit into those games. All time one person has played a monk in those games and that convinced me further as to why I won't play a monk.

gajenx
05-10-2009, 08:44 AM
I do not play them either in most DnD game because it is based on Western culture not eastern.

Though in my games I do a change of weapons they know and can use but call them savate fighters or pugilists. I also state the class has a change of thought for it and tell people who play it to look at traditional Savate or Irish pugilists schools for how those people should be acting and thinking.

mnemenoi
05-10-2009, 05:38 PM
Rangers would be my choice. They are geared toward solitary lives and that tends to unravel in a group dynamic. One can only be the dark foreboding stranger with a heart of gold and the attitude of a rebel for only so long without it getting tired. I have seen some that were played well, but I think its the exception and not the rule.

As far as races go I think it would have to be an Elf (any variety, though I do appreciate Green or Copper elves a bit more). Again the same flaws emerge, though in a different manner. I demand elves be played haughty and very patient, often avoiding situations that might be threatening. If you could live 1000 years why fight a human tyrant, give it 20 years and he'll be killed or die, problem solved. With their extreme age I believe they would feel all other beings were like infants and jibbering idiots, giving them about the same in respect. When I do see them played they are all loving creatures of the forest helping all they can and understanding everyone's issues. I guess its just viewing them in a realistic manner befitting their culture and uniqueness, but not feeling they are any better or worse then any other race and having their own inherent flaws.

nijineko
05-14-2009, 01:26 PM
wizards. it irks me to have to pick and guess ahead of time what spells i'm going to have, and for some reason no number of scrolls makes it better. i suppose if i had two of every scroll in the phb, that might be enough.

divine casters bug me less, because they can cast everything, they just have to wait a day to get it.

i always push for a houserule where memorized caster types can leave some slots open and spend a short time to memorize/pray for a specific spell. something like a minute or ten minutes per spell.

spontaneous casters bother me the least. for some reason, having a limited selection but total flexibility is cool, but having no flexibility drives me nuts.

that or lots of pearls of power or memento magicas, if appropriate. ^^

BrotherDog
05-15-2009, 02:12 AM
wizards. it irks me to have to pick and guess ahead of time what spells i'm going to have, and for some reason no number of scrolls makes it better. i suppose if i had two of every scroll in the phb, that might be enough.

divine casters bug me less, because they can cast everything, they just have to wait a day to get it.

i always push for a houserule where memorized caster types can leave some slots open and spend a short time to memorize/pray for a specific spell. something like a minute or ten minutes per spell.

spontaneous casters bother me the least. for some reason, having a limited selection but total flexibility is cool, but having no flexibility drives me nuts.

that or lots of pearls of power or memento magicas, if appropriate. ^^

There are feats that allow one to drop a prepared spell for another of equal or lower level the same way a Cleric can spell for an equal level healing spell, depending on the feat. One such example is Signature Spell. Plus sometimes there are house rules for using a point system, but then it's basicly or sorc that knows more spells. I hope this helps.

Dytrrnikl
05-15-2009, 11:57 AM
Any spellcaster class that is allowed to wear armor, wield more than one or two weapons, and have roll more than 1d4 or maybe, just maybe 1d6 hit points per level. Magic equals power and versatility, regardless of whether it's arcane, divine, or psionic. Their needs to be a major trade off for gaining that power - lower hit points than all other classes, lots of restrictions on the number and types of weapons they can learn to wield, and absolutely, positively, no armor ever...unless it's something granted by a spell, such as Mage Armor, Barkskin, or Inertial Barrier. They might be able to lay waste to a battlefield with Meteor Swarm, Earthquake, Storm of Vengeance, or Stygian Conflagration but...dammit, it takes a dman lot of study, prayer, inner reflection to get there, meaning you lack in other areas. 2E had this with Wizards - unfortunately only Wizards, it got broken in 3E, and looks to be that way in 4E. Trade off...absolute power or awesome mundane combatant, not both.

Nocturne
05-16-2009, 01:28 PM
Paladin, will almost never play one. Even with variant rules used in every game I've ever played where the Paladin had to match the god he/she followed alignment, never found the class apealing. And, like the knight, I've never seen some one who played it for anything other than to be an annoyance to the other players, either through shameful munchkinism, or through being selective in their application of their personal code. For example I knew one person playing who said that it wasn't ok for their paladin to kill an unarmed person, but they were ok in beating some one till they passed out, heal them a single cure light spell, then "arm them" with a spoon and kill them.
Yes this is a creative way to get around a pesky thing like honor, but would any deity fall for this out sort of blatant abuse of the rules?
As for race, I hate gnomes, most games I played they either become mildly nuts tinkerers, or absolutly perverted creature with nymphomania, can't get either of those out of my head. Also dwarves, just don't like them, stats wise if you give me a penalty in CHA you better give abionus in something I'm going to use, CON won't hack it, the way I play HP doesn't matter as much as other things. Second dwarves are just annoying to me personaly, don't really lean towards family honor, industrius work ethic, or being predisposed to a martial type class like fighter or paladin.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Paladin, will almost never play one. Even with variant rules used in every game I've ever played where the Paladin had to match the god he/she followed alignment, never found the class apealing. And, like the knight, I've never seen some one who played it for anything other than to be an annoyance to the other players, either through shameful munchkinism, or through being selective in their application of their personal code. For example I knew one person playing who said that it wasn't ok for their paladin to kill an unarmed person, but they were ok in beating some one till they passed out, heal them a single cure light spell, then "arm them" with a spoon and kill them.
Yes this is a creative way to get around a pesky thing like honor, but would any deity fall for this out sort of blatant abuse of the rules?
As for race, I hate gnomes, most games I played they either become mildly nuts tinkerers, or absolutly perverted creature with nymphomania, can't get either of those out of my head. Also dwarves, just don't like them, stats wise if you give me a penalty in CHA you better give abionus in something I'm going to use, CON won't hack it, the way I play HP doesn't matter as much as other things. Second dwarves are just annoying to me personaly, don't really lean towards family honor, industrius work ethic, or being predisposed to a martial type class like fighter or paladin.
OK I take back one thing I said, I've seen one person play a paladin fairly well, for RP reasons, but never seen it before or since. Paladins in my games don't have to always be lawful in my games, but they have always been awful.

esterhazy
05-16-2009, 01:44 PM
like them all just never how the dm expects

nijineko
05-16-2009, 04:08 PM
OK I take back one thing I said, I've seen one person play a paladin fairly well, for RP reasons, but never seen it before or since. Paladins in my games don't have to always be lawful in my games, but they have always been awful.

we should play together sometime then.


like them all just never how the dm expects

amen to that. the one time i shocked everyone was when i played a pure race single class. they kept looking for the catch. ^^ i guess weird and offbeat is my standard. =D so i played it up and wouldn't let anyone look at my character sheet. it was kinda fun.

Baldwin Stonewood
05-18-2009, 02:46 PM
A bard for me. Jack of all trades, master of none. Never really excited me.

Rook
05-20-2009, 02:29 PM
Love playing thieves and paladins. Have never had the desire to play an assassin.
Paladins are the most fun because of their restrictions. They don't have to be played as the nanny or the super-ego of the group. Placing limits on your character's actions and making sure their motivations are honorable makes the play more enjoyable for me.
I try to make my thieves three-dimensional; my favorite thief character serves as a scout, supports his fellows from the rear in pitched battles, avoids close combat if at all possible, is willing to risk himself to save a comrade, but will also take advantage of almost any situation in order to get a greater share of the loot or to avoid having to pay for something.
Assassins are evil and I guess I just can't get into playing an evil character.

RoryN
05-21-2009, 01:26 PM
I've played all of the classes at one time or another (1E & 2E), and there are really none I wouldn't play under the right circumstances, but my least favorite would have to be assassin. I just never found the assassin useful in a group situation. Sure, there are the thieving skills, but they are made to perform a special function...assassination, and there are so few times that is actually asked in a campaign setting.

Personally, I've enjoyed my paladin play in the past. I have seen some who play it as "Evil? Kill!", but I took the play differently and didn't automatically go into kill mode upon discovering an evil entity. We had one instance where a new player came into our game and was playing a NE thief, and upon detection, the cleric and I (paladin) took him aside and said in straight-forward terms that if he did anything to jeopardize the group, he would meet with a very untimely death, but if he got along and helped, we would help him convert to a less "evil" moral view. Death sometimes is a good bargaining chip, especially when dealing with weaker opponents. ;)

Baron_Samedi
05-21-2009, 01:39 PM
I've always been opposed to the martial classes my entire RPG career, i've always been the spell caster. The closest i've ever gotten to being a 'tank' was playing a paladin of St. Cuthbert. I don't know what it is, i've never seen myself as playing a fighter, not that there's anything wrong with people who do, the game revolves around them. I don't know, maybe that's the thing...i also think it takes a rare type of player to make a fighter really, interesting...i've always prefered the bard or some performer class...it tests out my improvisational skills, plus i get to perform in an inn, or town square for cash, instead of lending my self out to fighting...

BrotherDog
05-22-2009, 03:45 AM
...Personally, I've enjoyed my paladin play in the past. I have seen some who play it as "Evil? Kill!", but I took the play differently and didn't automatically go into kill mode upon discovering an evil entity. We had one instance where a new player came into our game and was playing a NE thief, and upon detection, the cleric and I (paladin) took him aside and said in straight-forward terms that if he did anything to jeopardize the group, he would meet with a very untimely death, but if he got along and helped, we would help him convert to a less "evil" moral view. Death sometimes is a good bargaining chip, especially when dealing with weaker opponents. ;)

He was playing closer to Lawful Good, while you were more like NG, CG or CN. The Lawfuls don't give second chances, let alone a first one in most cases, while the others always give at least one or two chances. So you must've been using alternate Paladin rules.

I also seem to notice people thinking that Lawful Good supports the concept of Freedom, you couldn't be further from the truth in that department. It also reminds me of a PrC I saw that required Paladin abilities to join, but you also had to have freed slaves. Freeing slaves is a Chaotic act and the Paladin would lose his special Paladin abilities for doing such a thing. They must've meant for Sentinnels to join, as they're the NG version of a Pally. I forget which issue# of Dragon those alternate aligned Paladins were in, but they were so cool. Sure, they grossly misnamed the CG one with a LN name concept but that's easily fixed fluff. Liberator rather than Avenger. That would work. ;;D

Sascha
05-22-2009, 10:39 AM
He was playing closer to Lawful Good, while you were more like NG, CG or CN. The Lawfuls don't give second chances, let alone a first one in most cases, while the others always give at least one or two chances. So you must've been using alternate Paladin rules.

I also seem to notice people thinking that Lawful Good supports the concept of Freedom, you couldn't be further from the truth in that department. It also reminds me of a PrC I saw that required Paladin abilities to join, but you also had to have freed slaves. Freeing slaves is a Chaotic act and the Paladin would lose his special Paladin abilities for doing such a thing. They must've meant for Sentinnels to join, as they're the NG version of a Pally. I forget which issue# of Dragon those alternate aligned Paladins were in, but they were so cool. Sure, they grossly misnamed the CG one with a LN name concept but that's easily fixed fluff. Liberator rather than Avenger. That would work. ;;D
Freeing slaves is also a Good thing and for paladins, Good should take precedence over Lawful where the two conflict (assuming the act wouldn't, y'know, be all amounts of stupid). Enslaving sentients may be legal, but it's also Evil according to DnD alignments - to quote the 3.5 book, "'Good' implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings" and "'Evil' implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others."

A paladin's prima facie duty is to oppose Evil, not Chaos; they just believe the best method to *keep* Good going is through Law. What you describe is rather Lawful Neutral, not Lawful Good. The thing to remember, really, is that DnD's alignments aren't based in historical precedent; they're modern views and the writers don't disguise them.

Also, on the second chances bit, a few quotes that are very in-line with a paladin:

Rupert Giles (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0372117/): To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's-it's... it's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it.
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, 2.19, "I Only Have Eyes For You"

Ben (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0916518/): She could've killed me.
Giles (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0372117/): No, she couldn't. Never. And, sooner or later, Glory will reemerge and make Buffy pay for that mercy. And the world with her. Buffy even knows that, and still she couldn't take a human life. She's a hero, you see. She's not like us.
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, 5.22, "The Gift"

Angel (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004770/): There's one thing more powerful than conviction. Just one: mercy.
Angel, 5.1, "Conviction"

(Granted, the last two end in the speaker killing or allowing to be killed a human, but the words themselves are still true.)

kirksmithicus
05-22-2009, 01:38 PM
Paladin
Cleric
Fighter
Bard


I prefer Rangers and Thieves / Rogues, but I was contemplating trying out a Tiefling Cleric (undead hunter type). I went with the Halfling Ranger instead, but if I don't like that character after a few games, I might switch to the Cleric. The warlord was getting a bit stale and under used because of the lack of strikers in the party.

Windstar
05-22-2009, 07:39 PM
Psionisit, won't play it,

Not smart enough to figure psionics out.

:confused::confused:

tesral
05-23-2009, 08:47 PM
There is one, the Artificer.

Why? The whole class depends on the commoditizing of something in the game that should never be a commodity, experience. Charging experience for magic item creation has to be one of the most backassward ideas Lizards ever came up with after a three day bender. Every other act by every other class gains you experience. Only casters succeed and pay for it.

Artificers take advantage of that metagame factor and bring it out in the open. Magic, for a piece of your soul.

So nope, I won't do it.

BrotherDog
05-24-2009, 02:52 AM
There is one, the Artificer.

Why? The whole class depends on the commoditizing of something in the game that should never be a commodity, experience. Charging experience for magic item creation has to be one of the most backassward ideas Lizards ever came up with after a three day bender. Every other act by every other class gains you experience. Only casters succeed and pay for it.

Artificers take advantage of that metagame factor and bring it out in the open. Magic, for a piece of your soul.

So nope, I won't do it.

It's 90 times better than using Con points like the old days. They don't have to use xp exclusively though. They can use magic energy from magic items that may not be as useful as they use to be. Plus they have their allotment of crafting points. My guess is they didn't give too many to prevent the Artificer from becoming too munchkin, but many o' player will find ways to do that anyway and with any class.

lespapillons
05-24-2009, 11:10 AM
Hmm...barbarian is probably the least appealing class to me. I'm not a big fan of melee, so I don't play barbarians often.

Dark
05-24-2009, 11:15 AM
Druids there is something about them that doesn't appeal to me.

tesral
05-24-2009, 12:49 PM
Druids there is something about them that doesn't appeal to me.

You won't worship with the druids
Who drink strange fermented fluids
And run naked through the wouids
That's not good enough for thee? :party:

BrotherDog
05-25-2009, 03:03 AM
You won't worship with the druids
Who drink strange fermented fluids
And run naked through the wouids
That's not good enough for thee? :party:

I second that, in fact even add on a third. Wanted to add a wildshape line but got a dire-brainfart.

tesral
05-25-2009, 06:11 AM
I second that, in fact even add on a third. Wanted to add a wildshape line but got a dire-brainfart.

One verse from a very old Filk slightly modified.

shilar
05-31-2009, 01:30 AM
For me its clerics druids and bards just cant wrap my heads around the motivations. Wonder if that has anything to do with the fact I'm an agnostic with no desire for the spotlight.

Tamburlain
05-31-2009, 10:19 AM
Loves me some druids! But clerics, priests, and whatnot rarely impress me, at least from their traditional narrative point of view.

I like the 4e Invoker class. Unlike most other divine-based classes, in the right hands it allows for a character to bypasses the whole issue of personalized deities and invoke power from a generic "mystical" source.

Harwel
06-01-2009, 10:42 AM
Paladin. Just too "saintly" for me.


I like the 4e Invoker class. Unlike most other divine-based classes, in the right hands it allows for a character to bypasses the whole issue of personalized deities and invoke power from a generic "mystical" source.

Didn't 3.5 and 2e allow for this also? Pretty sure you could always play a cleric that didn't worship a specific deity.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-01-2009, 10:45 AM
I never cared for the holy characters, myself.

tesral
06-01-2009, 10:47 AM
Paladin. Just too "saintly" for me.



Didn't 3.5 and 2e allow for this also? Pretty sure you could always play a cleric that didn't worship a specific deity.

Way of the Sacred Self (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/sacred_self.pdf)

Tamburlain
06-01-2009, 12:29 PM
Paladin. Just too "saintly" for me.



Didn't 3.5 and 2e allow for this also? Pretty sure you could always play a cleric that didn't worship a specific deity.


That's cool. I didn't know about that option.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Way of the Sacred Self (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/sacred_self.pdf)

I love this. What publication does it come from?

TheSmartestLemming
06-01-2009, 08:20 PM
I have always had trouble playing religious characters, so paladin, and cleric are always a hard fit for me. Add to that the fact that every time I've played a cleric the only role was a band aid, and anything else I did was looked down upon, basically if you are casting a spell that isn't a heal or buff, you're wasting spells. So bah on them

I also can't stand anything with psionic powers, and prefer wizards over sorcerers, although I have played both.

I think it's just mainly that I can't play what I don't understand or accept. I've never understood religion (raised as an athiest) and while I will never put it down, can't get into the roll of a religious character. I just can't accept psionic/psychic powers for oh so many reasons.

tesral
06-02-2009, 10:10 AM
I love this. What publication does it come from?

Mine. I wrote it. Part of that making it yourself thing.

Valdar
06-02-2009, 07:20 PM
I agree that martial arts and psionics have no place in a Western setting. A martial artist called "Monk" would have to be Shaolin, which I guess worked in the Western setting of the old Kung Fu series, but an unarmed combatant in a world where eveyone has swords just doesn't make sense.

Psionics work well in a science fiction setting, but in Fantasy, we already have magic for that. Why do we need psi?

I guess the 4e Monk being psionic means that I can safely forego PHB3 entirely...

tesral
06-03-2009, 12:48 AM
That is exactly why the marital arts were developed, so that unarmed people could defend themselves against people with swords. When guns came along, the Monks suffered.

BrotherDog
06-03-2009, 04:20 AM
That is exactly why the marital arts were developed, so that unarmed people could defend themselves against people with swords. When guns came along, the Monks suffered.

So did the guys with swords. I don't get this east/west-ist closed-mindedness. It's a fantasy world and setting. Who's to say they weren't way closer geographicly and culturally in that world. I mean, thank Hastur it's not this lame, crappy world of Earth. I guess, I just separate it from the real world.

Oh well....

Have a day

;;D

tesral
06-03-2009, 09:28 AM
They have. Every land has it's unarmed marital arts. It's just from the Western point of view, the local ones are uninteresting and the Eastern ones exotic. Boxing and wrestling* are legitimate marital arts that have been so removed from the actual fighting and reduced to sport we don't think of them as fighting styles. France has Savate. There are a large number of stick fighting styles as well.


* Real wrestling, not stuff like the WWE

Harwel
06-03-2009, 12:03 PM
I agree that martial arts and psionics have no place in a Western setting. A martial artist called "Monk" would have to be Shaolin, which I guess worked in the Western setting of the old Kung Fu series, but an unarmed combatant in a world where eveyone has swords just doesn't make sense.

Psionics work well in a science fiction setting, but in Fantasy, we already have magic for that. Why do we need psi?

I guess the 4e Monk being psionic means that I can safely forego PHB3 entirely...

This is a pretty narrow point of view. Martial arts reflects a very broad concept of unarmed martial training, why does it "have to be shaolin"? Samurai were trained in jujistu in case they were disarmed. There's no reason why, even in a fantasy setting derived from the standard Western dark ages formula, people couldn't be trained in "this is what you do if your spear is broken and a swordsman is coming at you", and a highly evolved system can come out of that as techniques are refined.

As far as psionics in a fantasy setting, it essentially functions as a third form of "magic". Saying "why do we need psionics" is kind of like asking why we need divine magic when we already have arcane magic. You don't, but it provides more variety, more flavor, different mechanics.

Valdar
06-03-2009, 12:48 PM
That is exactly why the marital arts were developed, so that unarmed people could defend themselves against people with swords.

I can find no evidence of this at all. In personal experience and a few minutes of reading Wikipedia, martial arts (specifically, unarmed combat techniques) were developed for fights in which both combatants are unarmed- which would make sense in a land where weapons were banned for most of the population, i.e. not your typical fantasy world.

When the Samurai were being phased out in Japan, the police developed weapons specifically designed to fight against the Katana, such as the Jitte (parrying rod to trap the blade) and the Manriki-Gusari (hooked chain to trap or entangle the blade)- they sure didn't throw down with the Samurai bare-handed, as that would have gone really badly for them.

I can think of no techniques, schools, or styles that train sword vs. fist combat. If they even exist, they're certainly not typical of unarmed martial arts in general- hence my sentiment that including the Monk class in an otherwise Western fantasy game is a mixing of incompatible genres (I wonder how many gamers grew up assuming that Franciscan monks knew kung fu?).

Psionics I associate with modern parapsychology, i.e. the telepathy experiments using the cards with the wavy lines and such, which I also think doesn't belong in the fantasy genre. The Starship Troopers movie had a good representation of it- how those experiments led to psionics, and how they were used by the army. Star Trek is also a genre with a good treatment of psionics, with the various abilities of Vulcans and Betazoids that are clearly not intended to be supernatural. So, in my mind, that puts psionics firmly in the Science Fiction genre, which makes an even worse mix with Western fantasy than the Martial Arts genre.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

This is a pretty narrow point of view. Martial arts reflects a very broad concept of unarmed martial training, why does it "have to be shaolin"? Samurai were trained in jujistu in case they were disarmed.

Samurai weren't Monks. Can you name any other monastic tradition, Eastern or Western, that taught martial arts?

Oldgamer
06-03-2009, 02:01 PM
There were styles of martial arts created by peasants to help them fight those with weapons, especially Samurai. Samurai in the later years before basically winking out became nearly evil in their treatment of peasants. It was not unheard of for a Samurai walking through a village to lob off a peasant's head for looking at him wrong, and their status justified this. Ninjutsu was created in a similar fashion, though they still carried a variety of weapons. Ninjutsu is actually the "art of invisibilit", but the combat techniques that were taught were killing techniques by hand or weapon. They loved shuko which could render themselves unrecognizeble if caught (if they didn't just kill themselves with a poison pellet in their mouth) by carving their face up in one fell swoop as well as help them climb.

As far as a class I'd never play, it's also one I dont' allow if I'm DM (and wont participate in a game if there is one) is a Psionic. I just can't stand them, they don't seem to fit into my idea of D&D. Just a personal opinion of them.

Harwel
06-03-2009, 02:33 PM
Samurai weren't Monks. Can you name any other monastic tradition, Eastern or Western, that taught martial arts?

No, I can't, but what does that have to do with whether martial artists fit in a fantasy setting? If you play a system where the martial artist class is called "Monk" (like D&D), just rename the class "Martial Artist" and move on? Semantic arguments about class names have little to do with martial arts' overall compatibility with fantasy settings.

edit: Let's also add that fantasy settings are just that: fantasy settings, not historical Earth settings. And I know samurai weren't monks, I used that as an example of why someone in an environment replete with swords, spears, naginata, and other dangerous weapons might receive unarmed training, and extended that.

If you'd like a fantasy example of "monks" who aren't shaolin monks, look at the Haruchai (the best were called Bloodguards) of the Thomas Covenant series. They were a warrior people who refused to rely on weapons and armor because they couldn't be relied on. They trained extensively in unarmed combat, and even had limited telepathy between them (psionics). It worked really well IMO.

Valdar
06-03-2009, 03:07 PM
There were styles of martial arts created by peasants to help them fight those with weapons, especially Samurai.

Yeah, but as I said, those styles used weapons.


No, I can't, but what does that have to do with whether martial artists fit in a fantasy setting?

Well, you were taking issue with me saying that a martial-artist "Monk" had to be Shaolin, so I thought I'd explain myself. That's the connection here- people who want to play a "Monk" are trying to play in the Kung Fu genre when everybody else is doing Western Fantasy. I find it contrived that anyone would choose unarmed as their primary fighting style- you're only fighting unarmed if that choice has already been made for you, either by law, custom, or other reason, and you're basically doomed if your opponent is under no such restriction.

Again, I see no evidence in history of someone training fist vs. sword- fist would simply lose. I know Fantasy isn't history, but for me, it isn't Kung Fu either- I see them as separate genres in the same way that Fantasy and Science Fiction are separate genres.

Oldgamer
06-03-2009, 03:11 PM
Yeah, but as I said, those styles used weapons.


I'm afraid you are wrong there. 2 styles in which I hold black belts in were created for peasants without weapons in Okinawa, Wado-ryu and Goju-ryu. Both branch off's of jujitsu, and then another branch from those two was Aikido. None of those 3 use weapons traditionally. Goju-ryu was ironically created by a man named Myagi in Okinawa :)

Moritz
06-03-2009, 03:20 PM
Heh, I remember Akido... or should I say I remember hurting from my toes to my nose. Being tossed around like a rag doll can do that do a guy.

Harwel
06-03-2009, 03:40 PM
Well, you were taking issue with me saying that a martial-artist "Monk" had to be Shaolin, so I thought I'd explain myself. That's the connection here- people who want to play a "Monk" are trying to play in the Kung Fu genre when everybody else is doing Western Fantasy. I find it contrived that anyone would choose unarmed as their primary fighting style- you're only fighting unarmed if that choice has already been made for you, either by law, custom, or other reason, and you're basically doomed if your opponent is under no such restriction.

Again, I see no evidence in history of someone training fist vs. sword- fist would simply lose. I know Fantasy isn't history, but for me, it isn't Kung Fu either- I see them as separate genres in the same way that Fantasy and Science Fiction are separate genres.

I also provided a fantasy example of an unarmed martial artist that sounds remarkably like a D&D monk that has no monastic affiliations and fits in quite well in a fantasy world. You seem to have a conception that any advanced unarmed training is automatically "Kung Fu" and anyone trained in it has some kind of monastic background just because the D&D rulebook reads that way. I doubt you would even the same if you stepped out of D&D and into, say, BRP where there are no character classes to even call "monk", and there's a generic skill called "Martial Arts" that merely represents advanced unarmed combat training.

The sentence I bolded is a terrible generalization. My experience with people that choose a martial artist character is that they're looking for a trained unarmed combatant, not necessarily a "Shaolin monk" wanting to play in a "kung fu" campaign. It probably helps some that I don't play D&D for the most part.

As far as an unarmed combatant going against an armed one, yes, in the real world, all other things being equal the unarmed guy is in trouble. But now you're just confusing what is realistic with what is fun. It's a game based on fiction, and fiction is full of unarmed combatants taking out armed opponents. Realistically, a guy with a 3' long sword going against a 90' long dragon (if such a thing even existed) is doomed, but hey, they triumph anyway, right?

Valdar
06-03-2009, 04:55 PM
I'm afraid you are wrong there. 2 styles in which I hold black belts in were created for peasants without weapons in Okinawa, Wado-ryu and Goju-ryu. Both branch off's of jujitsu, and then another branch from those two was Aikido. None of those 3 use weapons traditionally. Goju-ryu was ironically created by a man named Myagi in Okinawa :)

Sure they're unarmed styles, but were they developed to go up against weapons, Samurai in particular? I've never heard of these styles, but from Wikipedia:
--Wado-Ryu mentions blocks for sword attacks (in one line, after many descriptions of defenses against knives and unarmed attacks), but it's a 20th Century art.
--Goju-Ryu is a little older, but no mention of sword blocks.

From what I know about the decline of the Samurai, those who went after them used weapons like the Jitte and Manriki-Gusari (you wouldn't want to use a sword against a Samurai, as he's certainly got you beat in the skill department...)


I also provided a fantasy example of an unarmed martial artist that sounds remarkably like a D&D monk that has no monastic affiliations and fits in quite well in a fantasy world. You seem to have a conception that any advanced unarmed training is automatically "Kung Fu" and anyone trained in it has some kind of monastic background just because the D&D rulebook reads that way. I doubt you would even the same if you stepped out of D&D and into, say, BRP where there are no character classes to even call "monk", and there's a generic skill called "Martial Arts" that merely represents advanced unarmed combat training.

The sentence I bolded is a terrible generalization. My experience with people that choose a martial artist character is that they're looking for a trained unarmed combatant, not necessarily a "Shaolin monk" wanting to play in a "kung fu" campaign. It probably helps some that I don't play D&D for the most part.

As far as an unarmed combatant going against an armed one, yes, in the real world, all other things being equal the unarmed guy is in trouble. But now you're just confusing what is realistic with what is fun. It's a game based on fiction, and fiction is full of unarmed combatants taking out armed opponents. Realistically, a guy with a 3' long sword going against a 90' long dragon (if such a thing even existed) is doomed, but hey, they triumph anyway, right?

Heading toward the "agree to disagree" point here, but:

--Yes, any fighter would have some knowledge of unarmed techniques, even advanced ones. My twitch point is someone who uses unarmed exclusively when swords can be had- that's what looks like Kung Fu to me.

--Outside D&D, GURPS has the "Trained by a Master" advantage, without which you'll have trouble going up against an armed opponent when unarmed. That advantage is cinematic and specific to Martial Arts campaigns, and typically wouldn't be allowed in a Fantasy game.

--D&D has been an enormous influence on fantasy literature; I would be surprised if something "monk-like" hasn't found its way in. Just because something appears in Fantasy literature somewhere doesn't mean that I'd want it in my campaign.

--If martial arts is fun for you, go for it, but that's a really subjective argument. Something can be fun for you without being fun for me.

In conclusion, to me, Monk just seems like it belongs in the Kung Fu genre, not the Western Fantasy genre. If you're into mixing genres, go for it- I just find that mixed genre campaigns tend to lose focus and party cohesion faster than single-genre ones.

Oldgamer
06-03-2009, 05:23 PM
Sure they're unarmed styles, but were they developed to go up against weapons, Samurai in particular? I've never heard of these styles, but from Wikipedia:
--Wado-Ryu mentions blocks for sword attacks (in one line, after many descriptions of defenses against knives and unarmed attacks), but it's a 20th Century art.
--Goju-Ryu is a little older, but no mention of sword blocks.




They weren't meant to fight against armed opponents, in the course of my studying the art, all actions are designed for an unarmed opponent. Tha Sanchin stance is a mainstay and is designed to take blunt impact from a kick or punch and not losing your balance. Especially so in being that is is a young art and no weapons other than knives (and guns, but that is more of a military style) can be included. And in the +/-13 years of studying, I haven't learned anything about sword blocks and I'm learning from one generation from the original Otsuka who founded the style. Our dojo's head black belt teaches sword techniques, but he is clear in saying they are not Wado-ryu. You can only trust Wiki so far.

Harwel
06-03-2009, 05:37 PM
Heading toward the "agree to disagree" point here, but:

Yes we are, not that there's anything wrong with that. :) Different strokes for different folks and all that.


--Yes, any fighter would have some knowledge of unarmed techniques, even advanced ones. My twitch point is someone who uses unarmed exclusively when swords can be had- that's what looks like Kung Fu to me.

Again, read the Thomas Covenant books (if you haven't done so already), paying extra attention to the Bloodguards. A great implementation of unarmed warriors in western-style fantasy. It never came across as "kung fu" to me and the Bloodguards stubbornly refused to use weapons or armor of any kind.


--Outside D&D, GURPS has the "Trained by a Master" advantage, without which you'll have trouble going up against an armed opponent when unarmed. That advantage is cinematic and specific to Martial Arts campaigns, and typically wouldn't be allowed in a Fantasy game.

A certainly helpful, but not really necessary advantage. Again, it depends on the campaign. A character with high Karate and Judo in GURPS 3 (I'm most familiar with this one) could likely take out a generic thug with a sword without needing TbaM. As long as we're bringing up GURPS, GURPS Martial Arts (at least the one I had that went with 3rd ed) also included sample unarmed styles that were designed to fit into more "traditional" fantasy settings, as well as "street fighting" martial arts styles that were less trained and more groin-kneeing eye-gouging ear-tearing arm-twisting fun. Also, "Karate" and "Judo" were expressly stated to represent generic "striking" or "hold/throw" (respectively) combat training, not necessarily any form of asian martial art at all.


--D&D has been an enormous influence on fantasy literature; I would be surprised if something "monk-like" hasn't found its way in. Just because something appears in Fantasy literature somewhere doesn't mean that I'd want it in my campaign.

Again, I'll refer you to Thomas Covenant, which predates the publication of D&D Monks (Lord Foul's Bane 1977, 1e PHB 1978).


--If martial arts is fun for you, go for it, but that's a really subjective argument. Something can be fun for you without being fun for me.

In conclusion, to me, Monk just seems like it belongs in the Kung Fu genre, not the Western Fantasy genre. If you're into mixing genres, go for it- I just find that mixed genre campaigns tend to lose focus and party cohesion faster than single-genre ones.

Well, that's a given that what one person likes isn't necessarily what another likes. Also to an extent I'm playing devil's advocate here, since I don't often play martial artists, but to deny that unarmed combatants can fit very well into many fantasy worlds just because they don't fit into yours isn't something I can agree with. As you say, the whole thing is subjective, but if done well, I don't see it as mixed genre.

I guess the only thing I'm trying to convey is that a D&D Monk isn't necessarily Saturday morning kung fu theater. That's terribly unimaginative.

tesral
06-03-2009, 06:47 PM
Sure they're unarmed styles, but were they developed to go up against weapons, Samurai in particular? I've never heard of these styles, but from Wikipedia:
--Wado-Ryu mentions blocks for sword attacks (in one line, after many descriptions of defenses against knives and unarmed attacks), but it's a 20th Century art.
--Goju-Ryu is a little older, but no mention of sword blocks.


"blocking" a sword attack is called "getting hit". So you don't block them you avoid being hit.

It is dangerous to deal in absolutes. A marital art in the sword era that did not deal with armed opponents would not be an effective martial arts. "Sorry dude, I can't fight you if you're going to swing that sword around."

Garthungalor
06-03-2009, 07:28 PM
I think I've played all the classes at one time or another and I think they all have their own uniqueness to them. I've enjoyed playing them all at times, but not all the time. I think my least favorite would be playing an old school 1E Magic-User. Sure they kicked butt at higher levels, but you had to get there first! The d4 HP just didn't cut it and you usually had no CON bonus either. At first level a glob of kobold spit could kill you! You did get some pretty cool spells as you progressed but you shoot a fireball or two and your done for the day. They were always good as NPC's though :)

Valdar
06-04-2009, 12:08 PM
A marital art in the sword era that did not deal with armed opponents would not be an effective martial arts.

My premise is that an unarmed combatant would not be effective against a swordsman, advanced training or no. Too much mechanical and material advantage on the swordsman side, and even the poorest of peasants has mining or farming tools he can turn into a weapon. Such a combatant would need superhuman speed to defeat a swordsman, and such superhuman unarmed speed is part of the Kung Fu genre.



I guess the only thing I'm trying to convey is that a D&D Monk isn't necessarily Saturday morning kung fu theater. That's terribly unimaginative.

I'm sure there's a place for a well-thought out unarmed combatant in a fantasy game that is separate from the Kung Fu genre, in the same way that there are deep roleplaying opportunities for evil characters or reformed Drow. I just find it much more likely that the martial artist wants the campaign to match Kung Fu genre tropes rather than Western Fantasy ones, and the player wanting to be evil wants to be an ass and blame it on RP. So yes, I agree with you that it's possible, but I remain skeptical that it's unlikely.


I'm afraid you are wrong there. 2 styles in which I hold black belts in were created for peasants without weapons...


They weren't meant to fight against armed opponents.

So, I was wrong when I said that the styles developed for fighting weapons used weapons themselves, but the contrary examples you gave were not styles for fighting unarmed against weapons? Confused here-

Oldgamer
06-04-2009, 01:01 PM
So, I was wrong when I said that the styles developed for fighting weapons used weapons themselves, but the contrary examples you gave were not styles for fighting unarmed against weapons? Confused here-


I've been confused on exactly what you are trying to say actually, it seemed as if you were saying martial arts were designed for unarmed vs armed. After reading back further, you weren't, my mistake. The two styles I mentioned were designed for both combatants being unarmed. Other styles I've taken were for the opposite, which I mentioned with the gun comment. But that is military and not a style so to speak ... disarming techniques is all they are, which throws the combat back on equal or reversed grounds when the weapon is taken out of the picture or used against the opponent.

I was confused as well, it happens ... more often the older I get it seems :)

tesral
06-04-2009, 03:47 PM
My premise is that an unarmed combatant would not be effective against a swordsman, advanced training or no. Too much mechanical and material advantage on the swordsman side, and even the poorest of peasants has mining or farming tools he can turn into a weapon. Such a combatant would need superhuman speed to defeat a swordsman, and such superhuman unarmed speed is part of the Kung Fu genre.


Having seen a few Kung Fu Masters move, it's not so super human. A sword is not that overwhelming. It depends on keeping you opponent out of arms reach, but it has plenty of moments when a skills fighter can get inside that guard.

What it comes down to is the skill of the fighter. Tools can only give you so much advantage. And with every advantage comes a disadvantage. The skilled fighter, regardless of the weapon, strives to maximize his advantages and cover his disadvantages. Skilled swordsman vs Kung Fu master? I'm not taking that bet, it could go any nunmber of ways.

Oldgamer
06-04-2009, 04:10 PM
Having seen a few Kung Fu Masters move, it's not so super human. A sword is not that overwhelming. It depends on keeping you opponent out of arms reach, but it has plenty of moments when a skills fighter can get inside that guard.

What it comes down to is the skill of the fighter. Tools can only give you so much advantage. And with every advantage comes a disadvantage. The skilled fighter, regardless of the weapon, strives to maximize his advantages and cover his disadvantages. Skilled swordsman vs Kung Fu master? I'm not taking that bet, it could go any nunmber of ways.


I saw within the past few years, a Kung Fu master do what we in D&D call Flurry of Blows; it was pretty incredible. He hit the guy in the chest and face probably 30 times in just a few seconds. None of the blows were powerful by any means, and they were all over the place ... but they were very disruptive to the guy he was hitting and allowed the master to deliver a blow that took the wind out of the guy. I also saw the same little guy fight him blindfolded and still managed to connect probably 80%-90% of his blows.

Parzival
06-05-2009, 01:33 PM
Class?
(OK, cheap "geekier than thou" moment over. Seriously, I'm partial to characters of the "face" character archtype.)

Mainly, I'm posting in responce to the invocation of unarmed fighting in GURPS.
If you're unarmed and going up against competant armed NPCs in that system, you're pretty much screwed unless you're using the extremely (I would say "ridiculously") cinematic Chambara rules.
The system was originally built as a simulation of gladitorial combat (titled "Man-to-Man") and evolved from there. I assure you that it does not overlook the mechanical advantages weapons and armor provide.
And with the system being built on a bell-curve, your slightly greater skill doesn't mean all that much. Especially when your opponent only has to hit you once, but you've got to hit him numerous times.

Seriously, your best bet is that the GM isn't terribly familiar with the system.
Otherwise, you'll be very lucky or very dead.

Valdar
06-05-2009, 02:53 PM
Having seen a few Kung Fu Masters move,

If your example of fist vs. sword is a Kung Fu movie, then you've proved my point nicely about how such a thing is only appropriate in the Kung Fu genre.

tesral
06-05-2009, 08:33 PM
If your example of fist vs. sword is a Kung Fu movie, then you've proved my point nicely about how such a thing is only appropriate in the Kung Fu genre.

Moves, not movies. Actually Kung fu master doing actual Kung Fu.

acnoll
06-05-2009, 08:42 PM
Most leader classes that don't heal (D&D 4e) if they don't heal, the mainly just do damage(not much), and u end up with a useless character

curtis
06-06-2009, 11:18 AM
I do not like playing warlocks. I do not like playing any thing that has one of the main stats being cha. The whole force of personality just does not seem right to me.

Valdar
06-09-2009, 06:41 PM
Moves, not movies. Actually Kung fu master doing actual Kung Fu.

Do you have a link to a video of such a feat? A link to a description of a martial arts style that trains sword vs. fist? If martial arts were developed for the unarmed to take on the armed, as you said, surely you'd have more evidence than just an anecdote?

Katbutt
06-10-2009, 07:39 AM
I don't like the palidan. everytime I play one I suck bit time. After a game or two I as my dad Kaewin to let me change. But I least suck at rogues. I really like them. Kiera my 4th edtion roguse really rocks.

Meep!

Harwel
06-10-2009, 10:31 AM
Do you have a link to a video of such a feat? A link to a description of a martial arts style that trains sword vs. fist? If martial arts were developed for the unarmed to take on the armed, as you said, surely you'd have more evidence than just an anecdote?

I'm not Tesral, but does this article about jujitsu qualify?

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=17


From a broader point of view, based on the curricula of many of the classical Japanese arts themselves, however, these arts may perhaps be more accurately defined as unarmed methods of dealing with an enemy who was armed, together with methods of using minor weapons such as the jutte (truncheon), tanto (knife), or kakushi buki (hidden weapons), such as the ryofundo kusari (weighted chain) or the bankokuchoki (a type of knuckle-duster), to defeat both armed or unarmed opponents.

When I took some jujitsu some 20-ish years ago, they did teach moves against someone with a knife, a pipe, practice sword, etc. Most of them involved blocking or grabbing their forearm or wrist while moving inside and then trying to disarm them by twisting the arm or wrist or hand in one of the numerous submission holds, usually with some elbow or knee strikes thrown in to a vulnerable spot (eg knee to the groin), or a trip or throw. I'm older and slower and extremely rusty now, so I wouldn't want to test it myself in a real-life situation against a young guy with a knife at this point, but it was definitely part of the training. In fact my instructors had one of the students swing a bokken at him full speed and he had him on the ground, disarmed, and in an arm-bar in about 2 seconds flat. No, I don't have video.

Baldwin Stonewood
06-11-2009, 07:10 AM
I'm not keen on Psionics so any class dealing with this ability.

Arkhemedes
06-13-2009, 06:32 PM
After having been the DM for the vast majority of my RPG years, I find that playing anything that isn't a spell caster of some kind to be down right boring. But then its been more years than I can remember since I played a PC.