Monday, January 11, 2010

Demonstration Model: The Mule

Thursday’s post attracted a lot of attention and I was gratified to see that I’m not the only soul attempting to come to terms with the prosaic and the bizarre in the campaign. Many of us apparently have a Tolkien on one shoulder and a Hargrave on the other, and we waffle back and forth between these imps’ whispers while trying to find the middle path.

As I mention previously, I’m uncertain if I’ll ever be completely comfortable giving in to the wahoo attitude, but that doesn’t prevent me from trying to escape the classes' rut. Even if none of them ever see the light of day in game play, they keep the mental waters roiling. Creativity, after all, is a pond that grows stagnant if you don’t throw in the occasional rock or two.

These various attempts have yielded strange fruit, as some of you commented on regarding my Octopus class. But that class, although serious, was intended for use in a “dreamlands” setting: a place where the logical and the outré are intertwined. In a standard campaign, however, I don’t have quite as free of a run to create. This if fine though. I’ve discovered that the limitations imposed by the average fantasy campaign can lead to much more interesting results.

One such result is my Mule class. While it’d be unlikely that anyone would spend a year or so of gaming to raise their humble beast of burden to the lofty ranks of 8th level, it might be the thing for a jaded role-player looking for a challenge. On the other hand, gamers are an interesting bunch and there’s possibly someone out there who’d love to level up the first mule of renown in their campaign world.

In either case, while I can’t claim the class is without a little humor, it was my intention to make it as serious and playable as any of the traditional class choices, thus chipping away at the shackles of class complacency. After all, what else fits in to a standard dungeon expedition better than the always-welcome pack mule?

Would I let someone run a mule in actual play? Without hesitation, if that’s what they wanted and were aware of the challenges such a class has to overcome. The stories, laughter, and fond memories that might result from a PC mule in the party would be worth the risk. And those things are the reasons we chose this pastime in the first place.


Mark Thomas said...

This is seriously awesome. I'm definitely going to steal this for my Moria game.

Vanadorn said...

Clipclop would be proud

Lige said...

I like it! Only one quibble: your artwork shows a donkey.

Anonymous said...

When I tried running Temple of Elemental Evil some years ago, one of the characters had a mule... it earned more XP from combat kills than half the party - and that's why there's an "animal companion" racial class in my D&D-esque house rules for sf/mutant-future.

Endy said...

Sounds to me something like Bill from the Fellowship. However, it certainly looked fun. I linkd to the earlier post, so I just want to say: I'm glad you followed through on this thought.

Legion said...

Very late to the party here, but, Holy Dinah! This is a bloody fantastic idea! I'm going to run a 24-hour 40th anni marathon this weekend. Some of my players are goers; hopefully one will take this out for a trot.
Thanks, Man.
Awesome McPossum!