I took one of those quizzes today on Facebook that started an avalanche of memories. The question was” Which Dungeons and Dragons character class are you?” After I finished I received Paladin. For those of you that may not know a paladin is a holy warrior or knight. You know the kind of guy that makes it on King Arthur’s round table. I suppose it fits my personality.
The whole thing took me back some decades when I was still playing D&D. I was a young father back then but I was the old man in a group of players that included one of my best friends and guys that were still in high school to college to fresh out of the military. I often played a Paladin or Cleric. I was one of the few people that could handle playing a class with restrictions and didn’t mind playing clerics becasue they can have a lot of influence on the actions of a party. I would often tell players: “Be foolish and I will use my healing spells on someone else who isn’t as stupid.” That combined with the fact the Clerics are decent fighters in their own right you can have a lot of fun, if you keep the faith and be devoted to whatever deity you are devoted to.
Those guys along with many other groups before them spawned some great characters. Thane the Fist of Thor – a cleric with a war hammer – and Karic True-Blade – paladin of the realm – are just a couple of the great characters I played over the many years.
I miss those guys as it was the last time I was really able to play D&D regularly and I don’t think I have been able to play since actually. It was with this last group that I however achieved a character that I would call my best ever and my most favorite to play – Amok.
Amok was a half elf male wild magic mage. Wild magic is highly unpredictable. You could cast a spell to fire lightning bolts and you would get a cloud of butterflies coming out of your hand. On the other hand you could cast a spell and it would do much more than you intended in a good way. The magic only really worked as expected maybe fifty percent of the time, the rest of the time you rolled the dice and crossed your fingers. My thought with Amok was to create a wild mage whose personality was much like the magic he wielded – sometimes stable; sometimes wild and unpredictable.
Amok backstory went something like this: was the product of a elf mage and a human mage but as he grew up his parents noticed some oddities about him particularly they discovered his nature talent for magic but the magic was wild and unpredictable. He was fairly normal until one day his magic took the life of his pet familiar who he was very close to. After that Amok began to embrace the random nature of his powers by being random himself. He soon became considered dangerous and when he came of age, the town where he lived exiled him much to his parents disappointment. He embraced the moment, changed his name to Amok and took to wandering but soon realized that his random nature could get him killed – he was random and odd but not stupid or unwise. His solution was to attach himself to adventuring parties (whether they wanted him or not) and try to ‘help’ them. This help was not always appreciated.
Amok due his nature, read books on random subjects and so he had acute knowledge of odd subjects, wore clothing that was both gaudy and had to have at least six colors to it. He often looked like a rainbow. He carried only his backpack for his stuff, his clothes, his spellbook and wore bracers that made his armor class very high. He had a fondness for flowers. His alignment was Chaotic Neutral which means he cared little whether good or evil was winning but absolutely insisted on living free. Despite his random nature, in the end his desire for self preservation would kick in. The one thing was he was powerful in wild magic. He could kick some serious butt but often he caused annoying problems so large that party members would try to kill him or at the very least chase him off. He however would always wander back into the parties life until he decided it was time to move on. My friend from the group shared this memory today that kind of illustrates Amok’s nature.
Oh no things are running Amok.
DM: you are being surrounded by orcs.
Fighter: I draw my sword and prepare to fight.
Ranger: I nock my arrow and draw preparing to fire.
Cleric: I am casting bless over the party.
Ed speaking in 3rd/4th person: Amok is looking at the wild flowers in the field with awe and levitating towards them to get a closer look.
True story I was there.
One of my finer moments playing Amok.
My memory of Amok was this:
My favorite Amok moment was when the party was on a ship heading down a river and we ran into some sort of amphibious creatures. They were coming over the sides in waves and Amok straight sat down by the mast and while reading a book chewed on a sandwich. The curses and death threats I and Amok received should have been recorded as they could have made money. Then when the fight got darkest he stood up and threw a fireball spell. If you understand the nature of wild magic anything can happen and it did. The fireball literally consumed every single one of the creatures in a chain effect. Amok then returned to his book. That was the real problem other characters and players had with Amok. He was powerful as anything but also unpredictable as anything. Truly a fun character to play.
It caused a lot of profanity to come toward me during our gaming sessions but I would smile and talk like Amok in the third person. The problem was Amok saved the party so many times that to have that kind of power in the party people put up with this antics. The sad day was our last adventure before the group broke up – people were heading different directions in life and that was that. I do miss Amok and perhaps I might write him into something. The Theology Pub maybe. Crazy as a fruit-bat, but more powerful than Gandalf the Grey.
Blessings and Cheers!!!