Sean was running a module this time, with Kim (Kala the Druid), Dave (Skervin the Rogue/Ranger), Dan (Kernighan – don’t ask – the Cleric), Shay (Trinky the Wizard), and myself (Makai the Monk) playing. Said Island of Death apparently has some link to Mehitoharo, and ancient and good (we think) Dragon who might be able to help with the world’s current ills (dramatically rising sea levels, general unrest, and lycanthropic sheep – again, best not to ask). The natives, though, seem a bit unhelpful – whenever they see us, they scream “The Evil Ones!”, so we had some issues, especially given that all but one member of the party has mini-maxed their charisma down to 8, and again the best and only social skill is Diplomacy (+10, so not bad actually) on Kernighan. So we kidnapped the high religious leader instead. We’ll see how that works out next time.
I’m going through a period of angst with respect to my monk Makai. I really like the Monk class because they are such self-reliant individualists – they require no equipment, they can get into and out of most things, while they can’t defeat everything, there is little that they need to fear due to their ability to escape most anything. And they can more than hold their own in combat. This all makes them an attractive class, despite their rather straight-jacketed development path and more or less complete lack of choices, even in 3.5. And the fact that they are thematically awkward, an “oriental mystical warrior” in a setting that is very western european (I actually like the Oathsworn class from Arcana Unearthed much better. It’s essentially the D&D Monk, but it’s thematically versatile and a bit more interesting, never mind more in line with my vision for what I wanted my character to be like, which is more a Thomas Covenant Bloodguard). But I digress. The problem with Makai is that he is an individualist, in a game which largely emphasizes team play. He’s most effective when working alone, not burdened by slow, clumsy, armored characters, and this is just not really what D&D is about; the part he plays in the party is one of the Fighter, and as a Fighter he’s solid but it’s not playing to his strengths.
So despite my fondness for the character, I’m thinking about trading him in. Maybe for a Paladin or Bard. Bard especially is a class I really want to like (especially given the aforementioned lack of social skills), but their skill point acquisition seems skimpy for a generally weak class, and many of their song abilities seem rather gamey. It’s too bad the core classes in D&D are neither flexible nor often very inspiring. What I’d really like is a lightly-armored, “desert/steppe” warrior-type, one who fights with stealth and speed since heavy equipment is impractical to lug around in the desert, but this vision is basically impossible to realize in D&D. Instead I may go for a slightly psychotic Gnome Fighter. It’s not like the “slightly psychotic” character type is overused in D&D or anything.