Playing outside the character box…

2007 August 26
by Stupid Ranger

One of the reasons I love rules-lawyering is that it sometimes is affords me the opportunity to true something unique; I truly enjoying bending perceptions of what a specific class is capable of being. It’s one thing to lawyer the rules…. it’s entirely something else to mine the rules for alternatives that most people haven’t noticed.

For instance, in my various D&D groups, clerics have nearly always been human or dwarven… nice, sturdy races that have lots of hit points. As we began a new campaign, no one else was volunteering for the role of cleric, so I decided to give it a go. But I refused to play a human or dwarf; I would play an elf, as that is the race with which I am most comfortable. So I rolled up my character as an elf dedicated to Corellon Larethian. As I started to review the domains associated with my Corellon, I discovered that with the War domain, if I chose to wield the preferred weapon of my god, I gained the associated weapon proficiency and weapon focus feats. The thought of having my cleric wield a longsword, the favored weapon of Corellon, was appealing, so I went for it. In the end, while Yfinia was no Lumbar, she was definitely outside the standard of clerics my group had seen and definitely fun to play.

Another character that stuck out as being slightly outside the norm was Silvarie, an elven sorceress. Having seen several other sorcerers in combat, I didn’t want her to be delegated to casting spells then hiding when she ran out. So I played to the elven weapon proficiency with the longbow; Silvarie used her spells as a complement to her archery, instead of using her weapon only as a last resort when she ran out of spells. She shot more arrows than spells and still remained an effective part of the group.

I present these characters merely as encouragement for those of you seeking something a little different from the norms which you have played for so long. Take your favored race or class, and research something to add a little twist to it. You might be surprised how much fun you have when you’re outside the character box.

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