F is for Fantasy Gaming #AtoZChallenge

Dungeons & Dragons game in progress. Miniature...

Dungeons & Dragons game in progress. Miniatures from Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game and others on Master Maze scenery by Dwarven Forge. Around the dungeon can be seen many multi-sided dice, a character sheet (bottom left) and a D&D manual (top right). Note that the circular template at the bottom is not from Dungeons & Dragons, but rather is from Warhammer 40,000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I have people visiting my blog who may not know much about roleplaying gaming, I thought I’d give a quick explanation. I used a great website, d20 PFSRD, as a reference here.

I use the term “fantasy gaming” to include games such as Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons. These games are generally set in a quasi-medieval world, usually with varying levels of magic, fantastical races (elves, dwarves, halflings) and strange creatures (unicorns, basilisks, satyrs). Frequently the backstories of these worlds include at least one apocalypse or tales of destroyed kingdoms that provide a reason for ruins and dungeons for exploration.

Players take on the roles of adventuring heroes familiar to viewers of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings movies, such as barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer and wizard. The fighter is the typical hero who uses a sword, axe or other weapon to defeat enemies (like Boromir). Similar to the fighter is the barbarian (think Conan the Barbarian), but like the Incredible Hulk, s/he gets additional powers when going into a rage. The monk is a highly-disciplined martial artist whose body is a weapon. The rogue (called the thief in old Dungeons and Dragons editions) is a versatile character, master of sneaking (like Bilbo in The Hobbit), finding and disarming traps and unlocking door. The classic hunter and tracker is the ranger (think of Strider before the hobbits knew him as Aragorn). The bard (one of my favorite classes) is a charismatic character with some performance skills through which s/he can cast spells that help her/him manipulate, persuade and inspire. The paladin (another of my favorite classes) is a righteous and faithful fighter dedicated to battling evil in the name of her/his deity and casting some spells. The cleric serves her/his deity through might in arms and in spells, especially spells to turn and destroy undead. The druid is a worshiper of forces of nature and a protector of the wild with abilities of turning into a wild animal, as well as communing with an animal companion. The sorcerer is a spellcaster whose arcane ability comes from within, usually because of some magical bloodline. Last, but not least, is the wizard, a character whose magic use comes from study.

I’ve talked about the characters and not much else, so I’ll continue this in the next installment. What’s your favorite character to play? Comment below!

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