9 Reasons your Next D&D Character Should be a Monk

I asked Twitter which Dungeons & Dragons class I should write about. Twitter chose one of my favourite classes: the monk. Let me convince you that your next D&D character should be a monk.

Monks can learn to catch incoming missiles and throw them back.

That’s pretty cool with arrows and darts, but you can do the same when you’re attacked with spells like fire bolt or ray of frost too.

If you like one-one-on combat, you could make a monk who wants to duel with every character they meet.

This might be about testing and improving your own character’s skill or knowing how your allies fight.

You could make a monk who’s physically graceful, but socially awkward.

When you’re making a monk character, you always want to make Dexterity their strongest ability. With this kind of character, you also need to make Charisma their weakest.

While we’re on the theme of contradictions, you could make a monk who is an accomplished fighter but lacks discipline.

Maybe their lack of discipline is why they have had to leave their monastery and take up the life of an adventurer?

When you’re playing as a monk, you can just ask strangers for money and it’s not inappropriate.

Maybe your monk character always needs to ask for money because they’ve given their money away to others? Or maybe they don’t need the money, but they’re greedy?

You can make a character who masters the elements by choosing the genasi race and making a monk who follows the way of the four elements.

When choosing elemental disciplines, you could choose disciplines that match the element of your character’s subrace. Or you could disciplines that manipulate a range of different elements, to make an elemental all-rounder.

Your monk could be a tabaxi character who always lands on their feet.

If you choose to follow the way of the long death, it could seem like your character has nine lives.

If you make a goblin monk, your character could be just like Yoda.

Just check with your dungeon master if they’ll let you have a sun blade.

Lastly, you could coordinate with your D&D group and make a party of ninja tortles.

I’d suggest using subclasses like way of the open hand and way of the kensei. You could do this for a one-shot adventure or for a whole campaign, set in  the sewers of Waterdeep, Sharn or your own urban setting.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: War Wizard

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: War Wizard

By Chris Booth Twitter  Instagram  Website

Since Xanathar’s Guide to Everything was released late last year I’ve been gradually reading through all of the new subclass options that are included. Today I’ve reached the last one: the lone wizard class. Wizards have had it good for a long time, with one subclass for each of the eight schools of magic included in the Players Handbook, so it’s kind of fair that they only get one new option in Xanathar’s Guide.

Those eight original subclasses are nice and neat, but the war wizard from Xanathar’s Guide is here to mess things up. The eight original subclasses help to give the sense that wizards learn magic through academic study of a particular, compartmentalised field of magic. Rather than sticking to a pure, compartmentalised discipline, the war wizard takes what it finds useful from two schools, evocation and abjuration. This wizard is much more interested in the practical application of wizardry than knowledge for knowledge’s sake.

The war wizard uses what they know of abjuration to protect themselves in battle and uses their evocation to turn up the knobs for the damage on their attack spells. When a wizard chooses the war wizard specialisation, they gain the ability to use their reaction to raise their armour class in response to a specific attack or to add a bonus to a saving throw. They can also add their Intelligence modifier to their initiative rolls, as a way of representing tactical expertise. At higher levels, the war wizard can store magical energy which they can use to increase the damage their spells inflict, can increase their armour class whenever they concentrate on a spell and can even turn magical attacks back on their enemies.

I have to confess that I don’t think I’ve ever played as a wizard. Something about them has always seemed a bit too academic and clinical for me. I like the idea of a wizard who is a bit more of a generalist, integrating and applying knowledge from different areas of study. I’d be interested in seeing how other, more traditional wizards respond to a war wizard. Would they see them as ill-disciplined and unorthodox? Would they question the way that magical research is being applied by a war wizard? My guess is that the war wizard would find these concerns a luxury afforded only to some confined to an ivory tower.

What’s next?

I’m pretty excited about the May release Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, but that’s still a while off! In the meantime I’ll still be publishing a review each Thursday, so let me know if there’s something you reckon I should cover here.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Sorcerers

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Sorcerers

By Chris Booth Twitter  Instagram  Website

Since Xanathar’s Guide to Everything was released late last year, I’ve been reading through the new subclasses and considering how I’d like to use them. this week I’ve been having a look at the new sorcerous origins.

Divine Soul

The divine soul is a sorcerer whose magical abilities come from connection to a divine being such as a god or an angel. They might be descended from a divine entity or they might have been chosen by a god. Xanathar’s Guide says that these sorcerers may be perceived as a threat to institutional religion. I mean, why go a church or temple when you could hang out with your god’s scion?

Divine souls have access to the sorcerer and cleric spell lists, as well as one extra spell related to the alignment of their divine source. From the outset, divine protection can help them improve disappointing saving throws or attack rolls. Later on, the divine soul can also spend sorcery points to reroll healing dice and at the highest levels they can use a bonus action to regain up to half of their hitpoints, providing that they’ve already lost at least half.

All of these benefits add up to a character who will appear to be especially blessed or lucky, as though someone out there is looking out for them. What I’d like to do with this class option is make a character who’s an aspiring cult leader, mixing religion with ‘infinite potential’ ideas. Another thing I wouldn’t mind trying (which could go along with the cult leader idea) is making a character who is actually a reincarnation of a dead god, seeking to return to glory.

Shadow Sorcerer

This subclass option represents a sorcerer whose magical abilities come from the Shadowfell, the material plane’s dark parallel. They tend to have a dark and gloomy disposition, to the point where they might seem a bit dead. I’m picturing someone like Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series. (If you’re using this option, just use Alan Rickman’s voice.)

This subclass grants darkvision and the darkness spell, and an ability to drop to one hitpoint when they character should drop to zero. But the feature I find most interesting is the shadow sorcerer’s ability to summon a shadow hound. The summoned hound seems like it could pose a decent threat, but it only has a few hitpoints, so it will dissolve after only a little bit of damage. I could see a cruel and manipulative shadow sorcerer summoning one of these to attack an opponent, then suggesting that they might have imagined it. After all, the hound disappeared as soon as it was hit. Later on, this subclass grants the ability to teleport between shadows and at the highest levels they can take on a shadowy form themselves, allowing them to move through solid objects and resist most kinds of damage.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Druids

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Druids

By Chris Booth Twitter  Instagram  Website

Since Xanathar’s Guide to Everything was released late last year, I’ve been gradually reading over all the new class options and thinking about how I’d use them. This week I’ve got some thoughts on the two new druid circles: circle of dreams and circle of the shepherd.

Planar adventures prediction?

The first thing I notice about these options is that both are connected to the fey. The circle of dreams is another subclass related to the Feywild. Among the bard college options was the college of glamour, representing bards who were trained in the Feywild, and here we have the circle of dreams, representing druids connected to the Feywild. The circle of the shepherd also allows a druid to speak Sylvan, which would mean they can speak with most fey creatures. So I wonder whether this means we should expect more interaction with the Feywild in future adventures? There are also class options in this book connected to the Shadowfell (gloomstalker ranger and shadow sorcerer) and to planar portals (horizon walker ranger), so maybe we can expect more planar adventures generally. (That’s what I’m hoping, although I have enjoyed running old Planescape adventures using 5th edition rules.)

Circle of dreams

I’ve struggled to get my head around this subclass a bit because it doesn’t really seem to me as though the features go together. They don’t seem to have any kind of unifying theme, other than being things that a druid might learn from the fey.

A druid from the circle of dreams seems to be suited to a protective and nurturing role. One of their abilities allows them to create a magical enclosure that can help conceal the party while resting, kind of like a magical blanket fort. I imagine the interior of it could be a bit like the charmed tent from Harry Potter. (I reckon if you were wanting your magical enclosure to be like that you’d need to check with your dungeon master. I’d only let someone do that in one of my games if it was clear that no extra benefits were given, just cosiness.

Circle of the shepherd

I really like the look of this subclass and I ended up trying it out a couple of weeks ago when I jumped in on episode 2 of The Telling Book. The features turned out to be not that relevant to that adventure. (And we all died!) I still really like this idea, and I’ll probably try it out again.

A druid of the circle of the shepherd is someone who is at one with nature, to the point where they can communicate with beasts and with any creature that speaks Sylvan – namely, fey creatures. I picture a character who can talk with the animals, like Doctor Doolittle or St Francis of Assisi. They may even be accepted by animals as one of their own, as the scientist Jane Goodall was by chimpanzees. At higher levels, a druid from the circle of the shepherd who is reduced to 0 hit points will be protected by animals who appear nearby.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Clerics

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Clerics

By Chris Booth Twitter  Instagram  Website

Since Xanathar’s Guide to Everything was released in November, I’ve been having a look at the new class options. This week I’m having a look at the new cleric domains.

Forge domain

A cleric of the forge domain can improve weapons or even spiritually transform metal (such as coins) into equipment. At higher levels, the forge cleric can also avoid fire damage and receives extra benefits from heavy armor.

Does this represent a spiritual mastery of physical reality? It doesn’t seem to be a denigration of the mundane and material, but a kind of spiritual materialism, where the physical is improved. I wonder if a forge cleric would see their practices as symbolising moral purification or spiritual conversion? In this way, the forge domain seems almost like an alchemist, and I think that’s the way I’d want to play this subclass.

Grave domain

Xanathar’s Guide says that gods of the grave are focussed on maintaining the order of death and the afterlife, regarding the disruption of this order as ‘an abomination.’ It seems that it is acceptable for clerics of the death domain to delay or quicken someone’s death, but that they must ensure the dead stay dead. The idea here is that death is not an evil in itself, but part of the natural order, and that the dead deserve their rest.

Having abilities that help protect other characters from death, I think this subclass would effectively represent a medic character. At first level, this subclass has improved healing abilities and can stabilise other characters from a distance, while at higher levels they can actually use the spent life-force of the dying to heal the living. The obvious way to use this feature would be to heal your comrades using the life-force of the enemies you just defeated, but it could also take on a more tragic tone. Maybe the life-force of a friend who died in battle can be used to heal a wounded ally? This could have a big impact on the character who has been healed, leading them to live out the legacy of their fallen comrade.

This subclass would also suit a cleric who works as an undertaker or a caretaker in a cemetery, making sure the dead continue to rest in peace. (In my games these have often been followers of Kelemvor.) A grave cleric would also make a good zombie hunter, with the ability to detect undead and mark them for termination. If you’re playing Tomb of Annihilation, this would be a good reason that such a character would arrive in Chult. They might have heard that the jungles are swarming with undead, and have arrived with a bit of a saviour complex, thinking they’re going to cleanse Chult of zombies. (Good luck with that!)

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Rogues

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything: Rogues

By Chris Booth  Twitter  Instagram  Website

I just received my copy of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything in the mail. I’m pretty excited by the new character-building possibilities opened up by this book, and I thought I’d share some of my ideas for the rogue class.

Inquisitive

Jeremy Crawford has described this rogue option as a Sherlock Holmes type character for Dungeons & Dragons, but I see so many other possibilities. An investigative journalist is not too far from a private investigator (Sherlock’s assistant, Watson, is a journalist) and I think this option could easily help make a journalist (or a herald if you want them to sound more medieval?) looking for a scoop, hoping to uncover what’s really going on. The inquisitive could also be thought of as a vigilante – someone who investigates evil plots and takes justice into their own hands.

Then I was thinking, what if the inquisitive represented the shadow side of a supposedly holy religious organisation, tasked with investigating and executing heretics? (If I took this angle I’d also want them to have their own unorthodox beliefs or practises that they were trying to hide from their peers.) The religious angle got me thinking that the inquisitive could also represent a worshipper of Vecna, who is searching for secrets and keeping them closely guarded.

Lastly, I reckon the inquisitive could be effectively used to make an X-Files agent. If any dungeon masters are prepared to run an X-Files adventure based in Neverwinter, please sign me up! I’d imagine it could involve investigating the activity of mind flayers, aboleths and Lovecraftian aliens…

Scout

My local context in Melbourne, Australia has a lot of examples of historical figures who might fit the scout profile. Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner were Aboriginal trackers from Tasmania who fought a guerrilla war against the colonial authorities after executing some whalers who has murdered their relatives, and I could see the scout being used to represent figures like them. The scout could also represent a bushranger (in other places you’d probably just call them bandits) like Captain Moonlite or Ned Kelly, raiding farmers and merchants and maybe even riding into town for an occasional bank job. (Maybe your own local context has some stories you could draw on to create a character like this?)

Another way I could see myself using the scout option is to make an eco-terrorist character: someone who’s natural environment may be threatened by some kind of industry like logging or mining. I’m picturing a bugbear scout, or perhaps a lizardfolk or firbolg, armed with bottles of alchemist’s fire, who does lightning-quick attacks on the industrial enterprises that threaten their homeland.

5e Mystic Class and Dark Sun

5e Mystic Class and Dark Sun

By Chris Booth  Twitter  Instagram  Website

I started off playing D&D 5nd edition and 3.5 edition at the same time. When I mentioned the idea of making a psionic character to my 3.5 DM he said he didn’t like psionic characters and that they didn’t belong in D&D. He had the sense that they belonged more in a sci-fi setting, or in a specifically post-apocalyptic setting like Dark Sun.

D&D’s executive team, Mike Mearls, Chris Perkins and Chris Lindsay were actually talking about this at GameHole Con recently, while discussing the mystic class that’s currently being playtested. (You can listen to a recording of the panel at Nerds on Earth. There’s also a summary at EN World. You can download the current version of the mystic class at the DM’s Guild.). They were saying that it doesn’t feel like there is any unifying reason why mystics might have the range of psionic abilities that are currently being used.

They said that as they’ve continued to refine the mystic, they’ve been going back and looking at Dark Sun a lot to see how it fits there. They’ve been considering why there are psionic characters in Dark Sun, why a depleted world focuses on psionics and how psionics are understood in that setting. This makes me wonder if we should expect to see some Dark Sun material along with the official release of the mystic class in 2018.

To get an idea of what we might expect, I’ve been looking over some of the Dark Sun material from 2nd edition. To my understanding, Dark Sun is set in the dying planet of Athas, which has been depleted by magic use. The way arcane magic works on Athas is that magical energy has to be drawn out of nature, and this process has turned the world into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. There are some arcane magic-users who’ve learned to carefully channel magical energy back into nature when they use it in order to maintain balance. Druids can also carefully access magical powers by diligently serving nature and seeking to maintain a planetary equilibrium. Of course, there are also wizards who don’t have any concerns about the impact their magic use has on the fragile environment.

The other option for accessing supernatural powers is psionics. Psionic abilities don’t deplete nature because the required energy can be accessed from within the self. Just about everyone in this setting uses some kind of psionic ability, but anyone can refine and improve their psionic ability by disciplining their mind, body and spirit to work in harmony.

This emphasis on balance in the Dark Sun setting, including in the psionic class, suggests to me that this will be a theme in the final version of 5th edition’s mystic class. Who knows, if we get a Dark Sun book maybe we’ll also get some wizard or druid subclasses that focus on preserving balance?

How to Cheat Death!

“Yes, there is death in this business of whaling.” 

Adventuring is a dangerous life. There are times when even the most sympathetic GM will be powerless to mitigate a string of rash decisions or disastrous rolls. But it can be hard to part with a beloved PC, especially mid-way through a long campaign. Thankfully, most fantasy RPG settings leave room for a number ways to treat death a little less permanently. By suggesting a way to keep your PC’s “death” a significant, life-changing event, you might just be able to convince your GM to let you hang on a little bit longer. Below is a list of consequential alternatives to flat-lining your PC for good.

  1. Worldly Resurrection
    Probably the most common method to cheat death is to have your character magically restored to life. That said, few parties reach high enough levels where this is an option available amongst themselves – and, frankly, these epic tier parties aren’t at nearly as high a risk of dying in the first place. This means you’ll have to get some help from NPCs. Few GMs, however, will be willing to let NPC support so easily deflate the weight and significance of death. Make sure to propose some heavy debts to the NPC in question for having called in such a big favour!
  2. Divine Resurrection
    Just as with any method of cheating death, your GM will be more likely to allow it if you propose hefty consequences to accompany your second chance. Unlike worldly resurrections, a divine intervention gives you a bit more freedom to be creative with your long-term consequences. Rather than simply owing a favour or a small fortune of gold, consider taking on some deeper complications from having witnessed the awful presence of a divine hand. In addition to the inevitably zealous conversion, your PC may end up suffering from restless dreams, delirious waking fits, or having committed themselves to a vow of poverty for the sake of a nearby temple.
  3. Permanent Injury
    Another way to get around death is to propose that your PC doesn’t quite die in the first place. Instead, propose to have your character afflicted by a permanent, debilitating injury that lasts long after you’ve made your long and slow recovery – missing limbs, staggering limps, partial blindness/deafness, significantly reduced carrying capacity, etc.. For those of you that might hope to sneak around this result with a powerful restoration spell at a later date, remember that your GM might only entertain these alternatives in exchange for substantial, long-term effects.

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Role Book: The Face

PC Role Book
Your character in a tabletop rpg can be usefully understood in terms of certain roles. This Role Book series explores some of the ways these various roles can help enrich the roleplaying of your character – things like background, tactics, and story. These posts will help both the single-role min/maxer get more mileage out of their abilities as well as help the multi-faceted PC more effectively don a variety of hats.

The Face
Whether by empathy or deceit, by rhetorical flourish or astounding beauty, charismatic characters excel at steering social interactions in their favour. If you’re playing an even remotely charismatic character here are some things to consider beyond your shining persuasive dialogues.

Background Considerations
Contacts, Contacts, Contacts
As a face, you rarely visit a location without leaving an impression on someone. When adventuring in places you’ve been to before, be sure to discuss your potential contacts with your GM. While NPC contacts aren’t always going to have direct insights about your current objectives, they still function as a valuable barometer to your game’s setting and goings-on.

Spurned
Every once and a while, even the most charismatic characters will slip up. More often than not, these unsuccessful attempts to persuade/deceive will leave NPCs frustrated, suspicious, or outright offended. As a counterpoint to your address-book of positive contacts, provide your GM with a few spurned NPCs to keep those return trips to familiar towns and ports just a little bit more interesting.

Tactical Considerations
De-Escalation
If things haven’t become too heated, why not try keeping some confrontations from coming to blows? See if you can convince your enemies (and sometimes your fellow PCs!) that, for whatever reason, it might NOT be in their best interests to engage in a bloody combat. Keep in mind that the viability of this sort of interaction will depend on the circumstances of the given combat encounter. But hey, if those bandits are underpaid or that guardian ogre is intellectually underdeveloped, you just might be able to save your party heaps of time and trouble!

Dramatic Feint
Sometimes explosive combats can’t be avoided. If you happen to find yourself unsure of your character’s odds of making it out alive, a dramatic feint may just save your skin! Remember, either by deception or charm people are inclined to believe what you offer them at face value. So why not collapse into a heap after a glancing blow to deter your enemies from wasting any more time on actually beating you to a pulp? It isn’t advisable, however, to trust this tactic more than once against the same foes.

Story Considerations
Morale Boost: Adventuring is tough – physically, emotional, psychologically. Sometimes it can go a long way to turn your convincing demeanor towards your friends when things get heavy. This could equally be listed as a tactical consideration, but since it can be just as important at any given moment in an adventure, we’ve kept it down here. Morale boosts don’t need to be measured mechanically to be valuable, unless your GM is already tracking morale in that way (in which case, don’t stop sweet-talking!).

Social Barometer: Even if you’re not perceptive enough to be tracking every nuance in every interaction, it’s always in your best interest to try and pick up what you can. When trying to steer a social interaction, you’ll want to be as informed as possible so as to not risk derailing it entirely! Ask your GM questions regularly about any cues NPCs are giving off – shifts in tone of voice, body language, or mannerisms – so as to keep your guiding influence as unobtrusive as possible.

Be sure to check out the other parts in this series: The Damage Dealer; The Tank; The Skill-Monkey; and The Textbook!

Image © 2015 Paizo Inc.

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Role Book: The Textbook

PC Role Book
Your character in a tabletop rpg can be usefully understood in terms of certain roles. This Role Book series explores some of the ways these various roles can help enrich the roleplaying of your character – things like background, tactics, and story. These posts will help both the single-role min/maxer get more mileage out of their abilities as well as help the multi-faceted PC more effectively don a variety of hats.

The Textbook
Let the hot-shots and bruisers say what they want, NONE of them has ever stepped outside the wire without the right intel (at least, none of the smart ones). As a Textbook Character, you know a lot of stuff and this makes you an invaluable member to any band of adventurers who doesn’t already know everything there is to know about the places they’re headed (which is none of them). Here are some ideas to add depth to and get more mileage from your character’s bookish side!

Background Considerations
Academic or Experiential
Not all learned characters spend time in libraries or academies. Decide whether your character accumulated the bulk of their knowledge in an academic environment or through a more experiential approach. If going with the former, give your character a strong connection to a particular school or institution and one or two prominent NPCs from their studies – fellow students, professors, groundskeepers etc.. As an experiential learner, your character will have a stronger connection to a broader region or landscape wherein they went about gathering their knowledge first hand.

Tactical Considerations
Know My Enemy
A Sullarian ground wurm’s tail-end has a sheathed stinger almost an inch thick; nocturnal swamp hags are known to disguise themselves as lost children to lure in victims deeper into the bogs; the Fifth Fleet has a reputation for being the most ruthless and trigger-happy unit in the Alliance Orbital Security Command; Etc.. As a knowledgeable character, always ask your GM what you might know about your foes! Being able to recall or identify even the smallest of details about potential enemies, their abilities, or their habits can more than make the difference between a reasonably safe scuffle and a devastating fight for survival.

Know My Environment
Short of hiring a local professional to guide your group through the perils of every unique environment they enter, having a well-read companion can often be the best protection against an unexpected disaster. When entering a new tavern, town, province, country, or planet, be sure to ask your GM about things like the local fauna, terrain, climate, cultural practices, prominent figures, and any other major features from that area that you might have come across in your studies.

Story Considerations
Research Withdrawals/Deposits
By whatever method works best for you, you’re an avid learner, and that doesn’t stop just because you’ve started this whole adventuring thing. Whenever you get the chance, stop in at local libraries, archives, or infochants to see what you can dig up about the current milieu or your present objectives – after all, it’ll take you far less time than your companions to land on something useful! Similarly, every time you come back from periods of exploring relatively unpopulated regions, consider sharing (or selling!) any new information you’ve gathered to those same sources!

Data-Diplomacy
Sometimes a well-placed fact can trump even the most persuasive or intimidating tone, diction, and body-language. When engaged in social interactions with NPCs, consider the limits of their knowledge on current/local issues and where their motivations and loyalties lie. Peripheral figures often react strongly to secrets or details about major persons/ events, and so these can often be quite effective means to win over or intimidate tight-lipped NPCs.

Be sure to check out the other parts in this series: The Damage DealerThe TankThe Skill-Monkey; and The Face!

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Role Book: The Skill-Monkey

PC Role Book
Your character in a tabletop rpg can be usefully understood in terms of certain roles. This Role Book series explores some of the ways these various roles can help enrich the roleplaying of your character – things like background, tactics, and story. These posts will help both the single-role min/maxer get more mileage out of their abilities as well as help the multi-faceted PC more effectively don a variety of hats.

The Skill-Monkey
Anyone who’s eaten enough pot-roasts can break down a door, but it takes years to master the art of lock-picking. Similarly, no amount of flexing your brain-pan will render streams of computer code or a malfunctioning ion-blaster comprehensible to untrained eyes. Short of adventuring through absolute wilderness, all parties understand the value of bringing along some form of skilled technician – and even those outland wayfarers need a pilot to get out into the wastes! Here are some different ways to think about characters with trained skills.

Background Considerations
Tutor
Complex skills like decrypting code, picking locks, setting traps, or piloting starcraft are extremely difficult to learn in a vacuum. Often, this means you will have received some form of tutelage from a skilled instructor. Whether this mentor provided you with only the basics at the start of your skills training or was someone you sought out at a later stage for higher-level mastery, your refined aptitudes provide your character with his/her own built-in NPC. NPCs are a great way to root your character in the world, provide an ally/asset and sometimes a compelling complication!

Skilled Employment
Skilled workers are always in high demand. As a result, you will have likely held a number of jobs with employers who valued you somewhat more highly than the average labourer. This will give your character some form of social and possibly commercial connection to a local business, politician, agency, or institution. Discuss past employers with your GM to determine what kind of favours you may be able to call in or any non-public information you may have picked up on the job.

Tactical Considerations
Environmental Interactions
While not all interactions with a combat environment will require unique skill sets, some of the most important ones will. Whenever your party needs to activate/deactivate a device, open/close blast doors, steal a talisman, or just climb the curtain to drop the chandelier, you’ll likely be called up to bat. When entering combat, be sure to survey the field for additional objectives or anything unique that could help turn the tide of battle apart from simply whacking your opponents (the rest of your party will likely have that covered).

Storm Considerations
Quick Cash
As a character with specialized skills, you should be able to make some extra cash on the side. An evening singing in the local tavern, a few hours translating at the local archives, and repairing an engine at a chop-shop are all quick ways to earn extra spending money when passing through populated areas. If nothing else, skilled characters (when not under tight deadlines) almost always have the option to earn their room and board rather than pay for it. And who knows, you may even pick up some local rumours or make a new friend along the way too!

Bodily Cautions
Most tactile skills rely equally upon physical training as they do upon conceptual mastery. As a result, many skilled characters are likely to be more protective of their skills-affiliated body parts than most. Consider whether your character would be extra sensitive about taking care of their hands, fingers, eyes, or vocal chords. After all, a lingering physical injury can bring about debilitating levels of skill-fade or even outright inability!

Be sure to check out the other parts in this series: The Damage DealerThe Tank;  The Textbook; and The Face!

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