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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Mr. Zolrane's Avatar

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    Default Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    I'm pretty new to DnD so maybe I'm just talking out of my ass here: My current character is a Chaotic Good Human Barbarian. Thing is, he's polite, sophisticated and loathes unnecessary violence: in other words, one of the least barbaric individuals one could ever come across.

    What about the rest of you, fellow Playgroundigans? Ever played a character against type? Anyone agree that class need not be a lifestyle?
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Zolrane View Post
    What about the rest of you, fellow Playgroundigans? Ever played a character against type? Anyone agree that class need not be a lifestyle?
    My very first pen-and-paper character, in 3.5e D&D, was a Half-Orc Paladin. He had high charisma and strength, but terrible intelligence.

    Oh, and his name was "Obesus Rex"
    Last edited by Quirken; 2010-12-23 at 11:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    I haven't really done it (I mean, I've refluffed my Warforged Ranger's spells to be more "states of mind" or techniques, but that's about it), but I do agree. A class is one's skill set, but any skill set can be applied to a variety of careers.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirken View Post
    My very first pen-and-paper character, in 3.5e D&D, was a Half-Orc Paladin. He had high charisma and strength, but terrible intelligence.

    Oh, and his name was "Obesus Rex"
    So, a big, dopey, incredibly nice guy?

    Also, awesome name
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Fluff is mutable and all that.

    Personally, as the GM I'm rather bored with creating characters that act exactly like their classes. I don't often completely do a reversal, but I tend to make a strong character first, and then stat him up. Much more fun that way in my opinion.

    Though, I did enjoy Dorgar, the highly intelligent Barbarian warchief, very cunning in battle, always a step ahead of any competition. And eternally ashamed that he never learned to read and went to great lengths so that his underlings and opponents never knew.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    I would say that class = archetype(s), which is itself something very fluid, but not completely "whatever you want".
    A rogue can be James Bond, it can also be some assassin (not the class, the occupation), a pick pocket, a thug, a spy, a mercenary, etc. There's plenty of any class can be, but every class can't be everything.
    A barbarian is the class with martial weapon proficiency, with rage and illiteracy, this gives strong hints and making a intelligent bookworm barbarian would just seem inconsistent and weird to me.
    Last edited by Mastikator; 2010-12-23 at 11:45 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Yes, with the caveat that in most campaigns, the player characters already have a lifestyle: they're adventurers of whatever stripe, so it's normal for whatever oddities are suggested by their class to be downplayed in favor of making a character who can at least function.

    Then again, I've played solipsist, Chaotic shapers ("the world is a dream, and I a lucid dreamer") in fairly direct contravention of psion fluff, so i suppose it would be more accurate to say that a character's backstory is a bridge between the assumptions of his class and the realities of his lifestyle; the farther apart they are, the longer you need to spend putting the bridge together and the more fragile it will be, so it'd be wise to match concept to class as closely as is reasonably possible if one is unsure of oneself.

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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    I typically play all my characters in the same general form- fight happy loonies. Even the squishier sort.


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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    In most cases, especially for physical classes, it's not hard to play "against type" while making use of class abilities. Divine classes have harder restrictions based on how actively the gods inspect their servitors' actions. Psi-powered classes are wiiiiiide open.

    A fine example of lifestyle not meeting class expectations: Byron the Berserker. Good comic, there.

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    I would say that class = archetype(s), which is itself something very fluid, but not completely "whatever you want".
    A rogue can be James Bond, it can also be some assassin (not the class, the occupation), a pick pocket, a thug, a spy, a mercenary, etc. There's plenty of any class can be, but every class can't be everything.
    A barbarian is the class with martial weapon proficiency, with rage and illiteracy, this gives strong hints and making a intelligent bookworm barbarian would just seem inconsistent and weird to me.
    I disagree, more or less. Some jobs/whatever-class combinations would be harder to do than others, but I think there's few that are really impossible. To take your own examples, a Rogue could also be a king or a circus performer, a magician, a baker, a farmer, a soldier, a warrior for righteousness, a scholar, an animal-lover or just about anything else.
    And an intelligent bookworm Barbarian would be both doable and interesting to me. There are several different ways of fluffing Rage - it could be a beserker state, a short temper, a tightly controlled state of mind, demon blood seeping through, and so on. Any of these would work for this character type, but perhaps the tightly controlled state of mind would be best, especially if her "bookworm"ness is directed at knowledge of psychology and physiology, understanding her own body and how best to control it.
    A Barbarian is able to spend some skill points in order to be able to read. If the player doesn't want to get rid of that bit of fluff, though, then it would be pretty neat for the character to have some small magical item that reads text out for it, basically converting them all into audiobooks. Or maybe she has to rope friends or hirelings into reading to her. Or maybe she's more of a hands-on researcher, performing experiments of her own and seeking out experienced people to learn from directly.
    So yeah. An intelligent bookworm Barbarian, especially say a naturalist or anatomist, would be very doable, not inconsistent, and interesting rather than weird (not that there's anything wrong with weird ).

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    I forget where it was - maybe the 2e PHB? But one of the printed book examples of a barbarian was a haughty noble that was a good swordsman but had a lethal temper in battle. Obviously that character spent the skill points to be literate, and used his social stature as a key ingredient of his intimidate checks.

    So yeah, the "civilized barbarian" is actually a pretty common character archtype, imo. I've certainly had it played in my groups a number of times.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Serps mentioned something about fluffing the rage:

    I did something along those lines: without going into self-indulgent detail, my barbarian (his name is Sephus Vayne btw) is psychically linked with a homebrew creature called The Dread which can only be described as an anti-demon: a Lawful Evil psychic entity with a fierce protective instinct toward Sephus. It is its own creature and I RP for the both of them (though they are "converging" but that's a rabbit trail). When Sephus rages the creature assumes control of his body, and their personalities merge: Sephus' loyalty to his friends combines with The Dread's vindictiveness: the result: mess with Sephus' friends and The Dread will hunt you to the ends of the earth and kill you slowly. Stuff like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Well, it really is a matter of opinion but one of my players ended up playing a paladin who ended up leaving the party due to the unnecessary slaughter of a (evil aligned, I might add) Goblin village.
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    There was a long thread about this not too long ago. Many of the classes (especially the core ones) are based around different power sources or perspectives.

    For instance, a person is born a Sorcerer and called to become a Paladin. Druid have lifestyle restrictions that they adhere to and Paladins have a strict code. Wizards, Clerics and Druids all spend time in the morning preparing spells of their own kind and bare similarities to other members of their classes in this way.

    So, does a member of a class need to possess a particular lifestyle? In a few cases, yes, but usually no. However, are the classes set up for particular lifestyles? Definitely. This leads to rogues being expected to act like outlaws, Barbarians expected to act like dumb brutes and Wizards expected to walk around in robes all day long.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterOfJello View Post
    There was a long thread about this not too long ago. Many of the classes (especially the core ones) are based around different power sources or perspectives.

    For instance, a person is born a Sorcerer and called to become a Paladin. Druid have lifestyle restrictions that they adhere to and Paladins have a strict code. Wizards, Clerics and Druids all spend time in the morning preparing spells of their own kind and bare similarities to other members of their classes in this way.

    So, does a member of a class need to possess a particular lifestyle? In a few cases, yes, but usually no. However, are the classes set up for particular lifestyles? Definitely. This leads to rogues being expected to act like outlaws, Barbarians expected to act like dumb brutes and Wizards expected to walk around in robes all day long.
    Fluff is mutable. A Sorcerer might have been born a Sorcerer.. Or he might have drunk demonic blood as a child, or he might have lived in a Wild Magic Zone, and so forth. But this says nothing about his lifestyle - he could be a con man, a street magician, a priest, an apostle of terror, and so forth.

    Classes are only a lifestyle if you want it to be, barring the extreme example of the PHB Paladin. Heck, even Wizards have ACF's to get rid of the iconic Spellbook.

    Edit: I played a Human Sorcerer once. At level 8 or 9, he was still going into melee with his longsword. He had a Strength of 14 and a Con of 18. His spells was just something he did from time to time - it was not his focus.
    I even picked up Able Learner for Tumble, I think.
    Last edited by Shadowleaf; 2010-12-24 at 01:06 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    I'm still of the belief that "classes as archetypes" is the core assumption of the game. Re-fluffing isn't terrible as long as it doesn't go too far outside the theme of the class - a barbarian as a berserker who is otherwise civilized is still reasonable.

    This is one of the reasons I prefer Pathfinder - the archetypes allow the base classes to represent lots of different fantasy heroes.

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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    It depends a bit on the class.

    In general, I'm fairly willing to say that classes are tools to give your characters the abilities that you want them too. However, unless it's something that's agreed with between player and DM, the actual powers themselves and their source, are what's defined in the class. This leads to some classes being able to switch fluff a bit better than others.

    For example, a monk, you can easily flavour many different ways, there's no inherent prerequisite to their ability. You could play it with the flavour of a standard fighter character, who was so adept with a sword he thought it was beneath him to use it on opponents, and took a vow to fight with his bare hands alone or something.

    But a cleric or a bard? Bard music abilities all come from a perform skill that you need to have max ranks to keep up with your latest abilities. Hence, bard's need to be a performer of some sort, there's no escaping it. Likewise, a cleric needs a deity to grant spells, and they should likewise be a character that acts in a degree of servitude to that power in order to be deserving of being granted those powers.

    That being said, again, if a player and DM come to an agreement, change things up to whatever. Really, even apart from flavour, but crunch, I wish sometimes my own players would play a character and not just a class. If a fighter actually wants to improve themselves and uses spare time to study spells from a book without an intention to multiclass, wouldn't it be amazing to suddenly pop out a magic missile in combat or something? Likewise, maybe that bard character, when the orcs had attacked and killed a group of druids doing a balancing ceremony, after the party fought off the orcs, what if that bard used bardic knowledge to try and complete the ceremony, and gained the ability to cast goodberry or fire seed or something.
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    The Rogue i'm playing now, follows a strict code on theft, he refuses to steal from anyone he does not kill, and he wont kill someone, unless there's no other choice.

    This made me weep the other day, when i found a wand in a wizard's room at the keep we were at. I so badly wanted to swipe it, but my character wouldn't do it, against his code.


    I do agree though that class does not dictate how the character acts. It's more a guideline, as long as the character doesn't do something that will make him become an Ex-class, it's interesting to see how they players play them.

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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    I would say that class = archetype(s), which is itself something very fluid, but not completely "whatever you want".
    A rogue can be James Bond, it can also be some assassin (not the class, the occupation), a pick pocket, a thug, a spy, a mercenary, etc. There's plenty of any class can be, but every class can't be everything.
    A barbarian is the class with martial weapon proficiency, with rage and illiteracy, this gives strong hints and making a intelligent bookworm barbarian would just seem inconsistent and weird to me.

    I agree with this 100%.
    Think that your first PC class is what define you the most along your life.
    if you choose to be a barbarian, you character will simply not act like a bookworm, politeness is not acceptable too.
    I base my opinion in that you choose a way of life.

    someone without table manners, iliterate, violent, aggresive, that loves fighting would rather be a barbarian, a fighter, MAYBE a rogue.
    but a wizard? wtf.

    My first PC was a roguish chaotic elf. How could i act like a lawfull good paladin if i stole all my life and never cared about legal things?
    Multiclassing is another story, you learn things along your journey. YES they change you. But i think your first class is that archtype that will define you the most.

    Quote Originally Posted by The-Mage-King View Post
    I typically play all my characters in the same general form- fight happy loonies. Even the squishier sort.

    Hey, it works.
    Sry mage, but that way of playing is good and bad at the same time.
    I, as a DM myself, would get bored over time and never give you XP point for Roleplaying.
    Playing a class that suits you is always fun, easy and looks natural.
    But the point of Roleplaying is that you could adapt to every character you play.

    EX:
    "heroicladysaverswashbuckler": im here to save you ladies! (wink)
    "werewolfhumanthatkilledhiswifeduehisillness": im here to save you ladies! (smirk)

    it doesnt seems right to me xD
    Last edited by Loki Eremes; 2010-12-24 at 02:35 AM.
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Zolrane View Post
    ...his name is Sephus Vayne...
    Sounds like a Final Fantasy reference to me. It's probably not, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Eremes View Post
    But the point of Roleplaying is that you could adapt to every character you play.
    The point of roleplaying is to have fun and play what you want to play as. There's no right or wrong way to roleplay.

    "werewolfhumanthatkilledhiswifeduehisillness": im here to save you ladies! (smirk)
    This would work perfectly fine. The character could feel guilty, his feelings pushing him toward helping women in order to make up for his mistake, even if only a little. The character could simply be a chivalric person--just because he accidentally killed his wife doesn't mean he's a bad person (unless you strictly adhere to the "all werewolves are evil" school of thought).
    Last edited by Temotei; 2010-12-24 at 02:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Eremes View Post
    someone without table manners, iliterate, violent, aggresive, that loves fighting would rather be a barbarian, a fighter, MAYBE a rogue.
    but a wizard? wtf.
    Why not? You can ACF away your spellbook dependancy. The only thing you'd miss by being illiterate is copying scrolls into your spellbook (which I'll admit is a pretty solid hit - but you're already playing a Wizard).

    I really don't see how a no-table-manner, illiterate, violent, aggresive, fight-loving guy could not cast spells like a Wizard and have a pet snake.
    English is a second language etc etc.

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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Zolrane View Post
    I'm pretty new to DnD so maybe I'm just talking out of my ass here: My current character is a Chaotic Good Human Barbarian. Thing is, he's polite, sophisticated and loathes unnecessary violence: in other words, one of the least barbaric individuals one could ever come across.

    What about the rest of you, fellow Playgroundigans? Ever played a character against type? Anyone agree that class need not be a lifestyle?
    Sure.

    IMO one of the most underused concepts with PCs is LYING! Lots of people - most people? - in RL project a public face which is very different from the real thing.

    That said, I find people who go 'anti-stereotype' just for the sake of going 'anti-stereotype', and then think they're oh so clever, more annoying than those who just bask in the stereotype. (Renegade Drow etc)

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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    As Trekkin already noted, adventuring is a lifestyle; being a Rogue or Cleric is just a set of skills that determines how you go about adventuring.

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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    The point of roleplaying is to have fun and play what you want to play as. There's no right or wrong way to roleplay.
    Yes, all RPG are about fun, but theres no fun without a challenge to yourself.
    at least this is what i think.




    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    This would work perfectly fine. The character could feel guilty, his feelings pushing him toward helping women in order to make up for his mistake, even if only a little. The character could simply be a chivalric person--just because he accidentally killed his wife doesn't mean he's a bad person (unless you strictly adhere to the "all werewolves are evil" school of thought).
    not when youre just starting.
    Are you telling me that if you killed your beloved about about 1 or 2 months ago, and when on full moon or when you loose your temper youre losing your conciouness and when you regain it you killed several people.....you will continue acting cheerfull? maybe if youre an evil character.

    As i said, along your journey you change a lot if you lived strong experiences.
    But at the begining is difficult to think that you are happy and act cheerfull knowing you are a unconcius killer machine. Unless youre evil or mad.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Depends on the class. Something like Druid or Paladin is a lifestyle to a much greater degree than something like Rogue or Fighter.

    (Yes, yes, you can change fluff. You can also change anything else about a class that you feel like, so saying 'fluff is mutable' is a bit of a non sequiter.)
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Eremes View Post
    not when youre just starting.
    Are you telling me that if you killed your beloved about about 1 or 2 months ago, and when on full moon or when you loose your temper youre losing your conciouness and when you regain it you killed several people.....you will continue acting cheerfull? maybe if youre an evil character.

    As i said, along your journey you change a lot if you lived strong experiences.
    But at the begining is difficult to think that you are happy and act cheerfull knowing you are a unconcius killer machine. Unless youre evil or mad.
    I don't recall saying anything about happiness.
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    I don't recall saying anything about happiness.
    dont evade the point or the discussion: your first class is what define your way of acting and behave the most. Or lets beter say, YOUR CHARACTER IS WHAT DEFINE YOUR FIRST CLASS THE MOST.

    and Temotei:
    EX:
    "heroicladysaverswashbuckler": im here to save you ladies! (wink)
    "werewolfhumanthatkilledhiswifeduehisillness": im here to save you ladies! (smirk)

    i think you misunderstood that.
    I used it right next to the swashbukler for making the image of they both having the same way of acting (highlight WINK and SMIRK), leave the "ladies" apart, i did not think of any better stereotypical phrase xDDD
    Last edited by Loki Eremes; 2010-12-24 at 03:23 AM. Reason: quoted two time the same thing :smallredface:
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Eremes View Post
    if you choose to be a barbarian, you character will simply not act like a bookworm, politeness is not acceptable too.
    If I want to play a polite bookworm Barbarian, why not? Aside from the example I already went into detail with, there's plenty of other ways to do it: perhaps he was raised to be a rough, angry Barbarian, but then one day he discovered Civilisation and became Cultured. He doesn't suddenly forget everything he was taught, and perhaps in battle he behaves exactly the same as ever, but out of battle he is a very different person, obsessed with improving his mind. Or maybe she is a bit unhinged, and tends to lose it at the sight of blood. This lack of control is something she feels guilty or embarrassed about, so she tends to over-compensate by excessively good manners and researching a lot about psychology in search for a cure.
    That's three examples of a bookworm Barbarian. There's a million more, I'm sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Eremes View Post
    someone without table manners, iliterate, violent, aggresive, that loves fighting would rather be a barbarian, a fighter, MAYBE a rogue.
    but a wizard? wtf.
    I think that'd be a totally fine character. The illiteracy for a Wizard would be tricky, but I'm sure I could work it out. The rest, easy-peasy. Isn't it stressed here all the time that the Wizard can do anything anyone else can do, but better? You would just have a Wizard who focusses on spells that get her into the heat of battle. The "table manners... violent, aggressive" stuff is purely roleplaying fluff that ANYONE could have. Who are you to dictate that a Wizard has to be polite, cultured, and sophisticated?
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Eremes View Post
    My first PC was a roguish chaotic elf. How could i act like a lawfull good paladin if i stole all my life and never cared about legal things?
    You couldn't, you'd be playing a different character. Noone's talking about alignment, so I'll ignore that - debates over what exactly alignments mean and so forth aside, you can't play a Chaotic character as a Lawful character without becoming Lawful. But, a Roguish elf like a noble champion for justice and goodness? Absolutely. You just steal from evildoers. Simple.
    Finally, we're not (at least, I'm not) particularly talking about playing a class as another class - i.e. I wouldn't say "You can play a Rogue like a Paladin". Those are classes, not lifestyles. What you CAN do is play both a Rogue and a Paladin as a champion for righteousness. The alignment and so on restrictions of the Paladin make it trickier to play one as a "Rogue" archetype such as a dastardly cad or a mischevious prankster, but I don't think it's impossible.

    Saph re. changing fluff: While that is always an option, it's not necessary in the sorts of things I'm talking about.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Eremes View Post
    dont evade the point or the discussion...
    I just don't like having words shoved into my mouth.

    i think you misunderstood that.
    I used it right next to the swashbukler for making the image of they both having the same way of acting (highlight WINK and SMIRK), leave the "ladies" apart, i did not think of any better stereotypical phrase xDDD
    I noticed that they acted in the same manner. I'm just saying that both characters can have that same thought pattern; it's not a matter of what they are, but who they are.
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    Default Re: Class need not be a lifestyle: Discuss

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Eremes View Post
    not when youre just starting.
    Are you telling me that if you killed your beloved about about 1 or 2 months ago, and when on full moon or when you loose your temper youre losing your conciouness and when you regain it you killed several people.....you will continue acting cheerfull? maybe if youre an evil character.

    As i said, along your journey you change a lot if you lived strong experiences.
    But at the begining is difficult to think that you are happy and act cheerfull knowing you are a unconcius killer machine. Unless youre evil or mad.
    He hides his fear and trauma under a veneer of bravado and humour, especially if his allies don't know about his history in which case he does everything he can to keep up the facade of normality and chipperness.
    CF: Marco from Animorphs, various others.

    Problem solved

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