Poll Position: Not just a role

Our Poll Position conundrum for this week is:


Blame Hammerknight for getting me off on an RPG kick again. But why should we have that much fun only on paper, right? So my thoughts on the best Real World class are to follow...

  • Barbarian: Being a practical sort, I have to wonder what one would actually do with the abilities of the Barbarian class. You'd have extra movement speed, you'd take less damage from blows, and you'd be able to berserk. That might make you ideal for a customer service job, as they are subjected to a lot of abuse, and being able to run away from time to time would be handy. I used to do that at Dell and I can tell you, callers could make me berserk fairly easily. If you got your body into shape, you'd be an amazing boxer or MMA guy, maybe.
  • Bard: This has a lot of potential in the real world, especially given the premium we all put on entertainers. You could make a nice living as a live musician playing clubs and the like. On the other hand, if you wanted to take up a life of the costumed adventurer, their breadth of skills (including spell casting!) would be awfully handy.
  • Cleric: We have actual clerics right here in the real world already, so there'd be existing organizations you'd slot into nicely. The ability to manifest actual "miracles" (i.e. spells) would be powerful considering no one else could do them. You could easily build yourself into a globe-spanning religious leader, if you were so inclined.
  • Druid: Like the cleric, you could easily rise to the leadership of an environmental group with the abilities of a druid. Plus just being able to change shape and cast nature-oriented spells would be cool. In terms of super-heroing, I'd think you'd have to be fighting loggers and whalers and those sorts of nature ravagers, which is certainly possible here in the real world and would, I think, be very satisfying. Or, you could take a job with the National Parks Service if crime-fighting wasn't really your thing. Lots of potential here.
  • Monk: MMA here we come!
  • Paladin: In a way, I suppose certain police officers are modern-day paladins. Granted your armor would be Kevlar and your magic warhorse would be a Dodge Charger or whatnot, but still, just the healing powers alone would be extremely useful in the real world. You couldn't use them purely for selfish gain or you'd lose the abilities altogether, but this class (obviously) would lend itself most easily to being a super-hero in the modern sense of the word, doing good throughout the world even without the sword-swinging.
  • Ranger: The single most compelling ranger ability for me would be the Animal Companion. Being able to have a little furry buddy you could speak to would be awesome. And some of the druidic type nature spells would give you an enormous boost in the real world. If you wanted a more adventurous life, your tracking and archery (hopefully transferable to rifles) would earn you a spot in any army.
  • Rogue/Thief: You could be the Best Thief Ever. Or you could join the CIA or whatnot, working as a great undercover agent or spy abroad. See Bourne, Jason.
  • Sorcerer: Basically the spells of a Wizard but without the need for a spell book. If guys like David Blaine can make millions with fake magic, think how much you could do with some of the real stuff as a sorcerer.
  • Wizard: I have to confess, I never play wizards in actual games, so I'm biased here. But the need for a spell book alone discourages me from this one. Granted, you could do some amazing, unbelievable, world-changing things with a good wizard's tool kit, but where would you get replacement ingredients from?

For me, I'd probably go with Paladin. That was always what I wanted to play in actual RPG games, and I could do a lot of good here in the real world with those powers. Plus, I live in Texas, so having the ability to summon a magical horse would be darn handy.

What about you, what would you pick?

11 Responses to Poll Position: Not just a role

  1. PCFDPGrey says:

    Hmm, I’ve actually been on a Warlock kick of late. However, since that doesn’t seem to be one of the options, I think right now I’m leaning more towards the Ranger class (even with the new, reduced hit dice).

  2. The Imp says:

    While the money and fame-making possibilities of the bard are compelling, I’ve got to go with the sorcerer for sheer depth of power.

  3. Tigerguy786 says:

    Druid for certain. I’ve always wanted to be a different animal

  4. Bael says:

    From this list, I’d go with a cleric. Not as much pure firepower as a wizard or sorcerer, but plenty of versatility and some good mind control options. And the combat ability to physically kick the crap out of any other type of spell caster.
    As for the real world, can you say “Cult of Personality?”

  5. caw says:

    U asked about the ad&d characters, right? !!, so i would go for the ranger, archery with some drudic power esp. entangle u can kick off u enemy. For the new d&d i would make another choice her i would probably go for the warlord i like the way he encourages his companions.

  6. The Atomic Punk says:

    I haven’t “D&D’ed” for years. But, Paladin for that mix of Knight Templar, Arthurian Hero, Righteous Warrior. That idyllic champion to offset my disappointments (Call it nerdiness, cynicism, romatincism, but it’s there.)

    In my “D&D” years ago, I would say thief. Speaking of getting old, what’s the difference between a Sorcerer and a Wizard? My old understanding is that a Sorcerer conjures, invokes, and forces magic. A Wizard has an inate ability to bring forth astonishing feats.

  7. violodion says:

    Was 1st Ed AD&D all the way. Mages were always fascinating when one had the imagination to back them up. Definitely start weak, but can end up arguably the strongest. Groups I was involved and appreciated took a more guideline approach to the rulebooks.

    Played all the classes at one time or another in many a GM’s campaign milieu. Too, GM-ed a number of campaigns in various systems and genres. Potentials and options for classes heavily varied upon world & GM mentality, though not always intentionally. Then again, we were much younger, less wise, and had much to experience.

    Sadly, from what can gleaned from friends who gamed on since I stopped, RPGs took out the really cool bits which made pure spellusers worth playing. The ultimate goal for a players and GM was, of course, Wish — but, what to do when one gets it?

    Taking “Wizard” in the spirit of Magic-Users, as intended by the late, great E Gary Gygax.

  8. The Eric says:

    Atomic Punk: It’s the other way around. Sorcerers have the innate magic ability.

  9. Bael says:

    I’m a couple of editions behind, but i think the basic difference is that wizards have a wide variety of spells that they have to memorize, and forget when they use them. A set list of spells that they can use once each before having to take time to restock, if you will. Sorcerers have a more limited selection, but cast from a point system, so they can cast any spell they know without having to specifically prep it before hand.

  10. @Eric and Bael: thanks for clearing that up. I was thinking more old school 1st & 2nd edition with “Magic User” which, even then, I thought was generic.

    RPGs, MUDs, et al owe much to D&D. Glad to see the game continues on and continues to evolve.

  11. kingmonkey says:

    I think there’s more money in being a bard.

    America’s Next Top Bard, etc..