Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Case For Warrior-Wizards, err Paragons

According to Paul Haynie, G'noll at the Halls, Uncle Gnoll elsewhere, "...I REALLY dislike Paragons in 7.x. In 5.x, they turned up about one time in 360, which was already too rare to waste rules space on for my money. In 7.x, the two additional attributes make it one Paragon in more than 2500 characters, which is pretty much an absurdity..."

Statistically speaking, he's right. I've even argued this point with Ken St Andre about Warrior-Wizards from 5th edition back in the 80s over a dispute with my players. My rule was "Warrior-Wizards had to be rolled up in front of me, the GM. Or another GM that knew and trusted."

I suppose knowing that I trusted no other GMs besides myself, my players went to extreme measures. And after being very publicly embarrassed by two players with letters proclaiming me a bad guy, I had to write my letter to the Game Designer, THE CREATOR. And I eloquently, for a 16 year-old who didn't speak English that well and didn't like to proofread anything, argued the strict math and pointed to the number of the Types that were coming across my perusal. So a week, or maybe ten days, later I was able to show a letter from the man that I now know as the Trollgod, reversing himself and stating that I could, and should, run my tabletop any way that I want I want to.

It's a good thing too, that I stuck with the rule. If only to see the magic of tabletop role-playing versus statistical analysis. Player-Characters with all initial attributes over 12 do happen, even in 5th edition without the TARO rule, more often than one would think. In practice at my 32 T&T campaigns to date, that lasted over three weeks, the Warrior-Wizards seem to come in runs. At one time, I had three out of six delvers playing Warrior-Wizards. And the guys weren't cheating. In 7plus edition, the occur about once in ten character roll ups. I even had to bar the Type from my first playtest campaign, see Athebes, because I wanted to teach the players "true T&T."

That said, I am not the world's biggest fan of the uber-class of character Type either. But once again, seeing the players in front of me light up as their dice rolls are "on a roll" just melts my heart. Such success in "roll-playing" merits reward. It's like winning a poker game AND collecting on bets on the Superbowl in the same night. How can I be such a minimalistic nihilist (BUZZKILL) and deny the players a "prestige class."

And lastly, it's a popular Type. Doing without it would probably hurt the appeal of the game.


  1. Hmmm. On the other hand, I will now categorically state that I have NEVER, in 36 years of role playing, had eight consecutive 12+ rolls on 3D6. But anecdotal evidence is bunk, anyway....


  2. I've watched it happen, Paul. What else can I say.

  3. Two words: "Lucky Dice" (that first words is a euphemism for "loaded", of course).

    Next time, provide your OWN dice, and see how many times it happens!!!

    --Glarrrn of Trollhalla.

  4. I've had players roll up a few Warrior-Wizards over the years, so it does happen.