Sunday, March 4, 2012

Trickster classes in RPGs and gamebooks

In many gamebooks, you are a warrior who deals with problems by swinging a sword at them and faces their opponents in fair combat, but that is not the only way to achieve victory and you will not come across enemies who share your skills and values.  There are some careers for which all is fair and you will have to be quick witted to deal with them.  Here are some classes that would suit the trickster mentality.


The rogue class is a catch all term for a character that uses their agility to avoid blows in combat rather than face it head on.  Rogues also have a large number of skills which are usually devoted to getting things that other people do not want you to get.  Rogues could be anything from dexterous burglars to charming con artists.  You play a rogue in several gamebooks.  for example, in the Blood Sword gamebook series, you could play a trickster which is a rogue like character.  You also get to play a rogue in the Fighting Fantasy book Midnight Rogue.


The bard is a Dungeons and Dragons class which mixes some stealth, some magic and some martial abilities with their unique bardic music abilities.  Most of these abilities combine to make the bard an excellent support class for the group - the bard's music improve rolls and their spells include healing.  Bards can be described as the best choice for fifth member of a party of adventurers including a fighter, cleric, wizard and rogue.

In flavour terms, bards are charmers who make friends easily and can really get a party started.  They are all nonlawful as their trade cannot be restricted by laws.  Bards are always on the lookout for adventure following their whims to the next load of excitement.

Arcane Tricksters

We're moving into magic using classes now.  Arcane tricksters are rogues who use arcane magic to supplement their abilities.  Being able to pick pockets and disarm traps from a distance, become invisible and cast spells without speaking or gesturing must be infuriating for an opponent.


Illusion is all about manipulating appearances, the classic staple of a trickster.  If you do it enough, then your opponents will question everything they see and hear.  They will be thrown into confusion and disarray.  Your encounter with Thaum in Talisman of Death is a great example of how illusions can be put to good effect.


Enchanters manipulate the mind.  Making people go against the rule of law is what the trickster likes to do and enchanters can make people do what they want.  You can play an enchanter in The Blood Sword series.

Next week, we will look at the Riddling Reaver, a famous Trickster across the gamebook world of Titan.  Until then, happy gamebooking!

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