D&D Classing it Up: Fighter

Ready for a Holiday Fight, we come back with one more post, this time on playing a fighter.

Image Source: Wizards

A fighter is often considered the most boring of classes but one that is really wide open. A fighter seems pretty bland because they are just a fighter; they don’t get any special spells, and they don’t get any special types of attacks that you might get from being a rogue or a monk. But while they are kind of dull, they are the chicken of the D&D world. By that, I don’t mean that they are easily scared; I mean that this is the class you can dress up in almost any way and put any flavor on top of it.

Mechanically, the fighter can be very diverse — you can be a great weapon fighter, fight with a sword and shield, be an archer, or maybe figh with a spear. The nice thing about being able to pick any of those things is that you can really build a different story around it. Along with that, you can then focus in and hone those skills with your different abilities, and your sword and shield fighter can be different than someone else’s fighter with the same weapons.

Alistair from Dragon Age gazing to the left with a disgusted expression

(Credit: BioWare)

Now, being a fighter, a lot of people think that you’re probably a former soldier, but that’s another way that the blank slate of being a fighter can really change things up, and probably my favorite way to do so. The question you have to ask is, why do you fight? Yes, you could be a grizzled veteran who joined the king’s army in a glorious war against your kingdom’s sworn enemies. But there are a lot of other spots that need a fighter. Maybe you trained with a weapon so you could be a bodyguard for the mayor of your village, since, besides that of the mayor, that is one of the most coveted positions. But that’s getting into backstories, so let’s write up some different ones that might not be as obvious.

Growing up in your small village, you always looked up to the mayor’s old bodyguard. There wasn’t that much need for a bodyguard — or so you thought. Your town wasn’t that special, and the bodyguard seemed to have the best job in town, living in the mayor’s manor and getting better food than most. You dedicated your youth to becoming the next bodyguard, training with the old bodyguard as much as you could. He retired and went back to his hometown, and you found out from the mayor that maybe there were more threats than you had thought. You found this out when an assassin killed the mayor and a new ruler came into town. Now you’re on the run, trying to find a way to right the wrongs that have happened and to find out why your little village is so important.

There was only one way to pay off your debt. You knew it, they knew it, everyone knew it. The Foundlings were not the type that would forgive your debts. Technically, there was another option besides joining them, but that was death, and you weren’t ready to die yet. You had to join up with the Foundlings and work off your debts. That took you ten years — or, well…you were almost out of debt at that point. Now they needed you to kill one last person. But this person — this person was different, and while your other kills had been wrong, this one would be evil, and you couldn’t do it. They were just a kid. Now you’re back on the run again from the Foundlings, but maybe these new people will help you clear your debts.

For thirty years, you’ve served in the King’s army. It was a life, and you made it high up in the ranks. Since you were a youth, it had always been your dream to make it to the position of general, but once you got there, you realized it wasn’t what you had thought. It wasn’t the noble war the soldiers were told about. It was just greed leading the army, and the more you looked into it, the more it seemed like the king was the bad guy. So you decided to leave. But leaving the army wasn’t an option. Now there is nothing for you; you are on the run, and you have been for a few years. You’ve seen how the war has ruined so many lives. Now you know what you need to do — maybe it’s why you made it to general in the first place. You have to kill the king, but it isn’t something you can do on your own.

Have you played a fighter? If so, what was your story, and why did you play one? Which of these backstories would you play?

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