It’s time to take a closer look at the AD&D warrior. Anyone can just pick up a stick and whack a goblin – right?
There is far more depth to this standard class than many gamers give credit. It’s not always a mindless brute with a club.
A fighter in AD&D is just what the name suggests, a “Physical Conflict Resolution Specialist“. Fighters primary requisite is strength, there is no doubt. These are hardy adventurers who pick up the blade to make their way in the world.
Fighters specialize in arms and armor, and unfortunately sometimes get viewed as – boring to play.
The Fighter requires a minimum of 9 Strength, and less known, is the required minimum of a 7 Constitution. Fighters enjoy a d10 per level in Hit points plus any constitution bonuses up to level 9 (after that it’s 3 hp /level). Only fighters with a constitution of 17 or better enjoy additional bonuses to hit points.
Fighters have the best attack table in the game, hands down.
They specialize in weapons and armor, there are no weapons, armor or shields barred from use for the warriors of the world.
At ninth level, the simple fighter may become a lord by building a castle or hold and clearing an area of 20-50 miles of foul beasts. (I assume our friend Gary Gygax meant enemies of the local land and people since fighters are allowed any alignment). This attracts a body of men-at-arms and mercenaries.
They may then collect 7 SP per month, per inhabitant of the freehold! This doesn’t sound like a lot, but keep gathering a following, and it’s income you don’t need to adventure for.
The Fighter is the most common character in the game, it’s really what the game was centered on during its’ inception. It’s likely been played by every gamer at least once or twice. The fighter is uncomplicated with spells, extra sneaking abilities, or extra tables. Therefore, gets thought of as “Vanilla”.
The Human fighter probably gets the worst reputation of all as being the most boring to play. Rethink this role by considering inspiration such as Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan, Ancient Gladiators, The Apache defenders, Samurai, Vikings, Musketeers, Spartans, Mongol Horsemen, and hundreds of others throughout history and you begin to see that the warrior is as diverse as your imagination.
Allow your mind to step outside of a battered peasant from England in your game for a moment. Attach a little bit of real world history to the game world and the fighter gets exciting. Historically, Traders traveled the Silk Roads that spread from Java, to China, India, Persia, Arabia, Somalia (Africa), to Egypt and Europe. Each of those lands had fearsome warriors. There are probably more real-world examples of incredible fighters than any of the other classes. You are not bound by just the white picket fence of standard RPGs. ROLE play that sucker!
Consider the Somali warrior in service to the Sultan in the Adal Empire. They were fearsome in battle, and not considered nearly enough in classic RPGs. This is only one small possibility that keeps the vanilla fighter from being a piece of background scenery.
Fighters are the classic “Hero” of adventures. They are give two sub-classes right from the get-go in AD&D (Paladin and Ranger). The pure fighter though, deserves some attention, and some imaginative application of historical examples.
Human Fighter? YES thank you! It means anything from a wild Neanderthal, to a silver-tongued swashbuckler. The fighter is likely the most diverse and powerful class in the game. Grab it by the codpiece and roleplay the hell out of it!!
What are some of your favorite warriors throughout history that might inspire gamers?
pop it in the comments below