Swordplay, Sneak or Fireball? Whats your Role?

My friend rolled up a new character the other day for a Dungeons and Dragons game I am going to be running soon and it got me thinking, I need to vary my play-style and think outside the box more. In a phone call today for a Middle Earth game being organised later in the year, I mentioned to the game organizer that I was considering playing a Black Numenorian warrior. Part of me felt I wanted to recreate a character that I had many years ago in a ME game which I have to say was good fun, a foul tempered individual who fought with a two handed sword and wore black plate mail…

But! Surely there is more to gaming than leaving a bloody trail across the north of Middle Earth (I can’t remember how a Black Numenorian ended up so far from home, which is probably why he was always scrapping…) and I’ve realized really that I have only had a couple of play-styles,  Warrior or Rogue.

Now that’s something I’m comfortable with I have to say and I do quite enjoy role-playing those professions. It has however got me thinking though that maybe I should branch out and try some of the magic classes that feature in role-play games. When reading some of the spell lists and spells available across the spectrum of games, throwing a fireball in an enemies direction or making oneself invisible definitely has a certain appeal, a refreshing change from bellowing and waving a big sword or trying to tip toe past a small army.

There are of course those classes which can use magic and still fight with effectively with weapons.  Clerics and Rangers spring to mind, both roles I’ve never tried. Having someone who can heal others in a party of adventurers is worth their weight in gold and the ability to track and forage is also a massive bonus, however  after flicking through my copy of “Spell Law”, part of the Rolemaster series, I’m impressed by the sheer number of spells available that would allow me to play a spell-caster but at the same time give me a great choice in play-style. I look back to Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition and again, lots of different spell-caster types with a wide range of casting abilities. Maybe then, it is time to seek out scrolls, study those ancient languages and seek out the books of knowledge from wherever they may be…

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