Last week we touched on the different types of fighters that exist in the game environment, boiling them down to the attributes that suit them best. Last week I went over the classic physical attributes of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. This week I’ll be hitting the lesser-used attributes of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
There might be some who consider these attributes to be a little more esoteric when it comes to your fighters. A lot of us will use these as our dump stats, and when we roll a great set of attributes…but it has an 8 in it…we use one of these three for that 8. Usually, it’s Charisma, and we justify it by the fighter being rough around the edges and scarred from years of combat. That makes solid sense, as does the fighter who fights because he’s big on brawn and little in the brains department, or an otherwise smart character who has just had his bell rung too many times and it’s affecting his IQ.
However, there is a lot to be said for the thinking fighter, or the wise fighter, or the charismatic fighter. While they may not apply at all times to all situations, a crafty player can find ways to use her character’s abilities to the utmost.
The smart fighter is the tactician, the analyst, and the one who sees the battlefield in their mind as if they were looking at the battle field from the player’s point of view instead of the character’s view. Fighters that are overly intelligent are ruled almost completely by logic and check emotion at the door, making them extremely dangerous adversaries. They are the most likely to use combat maneuvers, waiting for the perfect time to strike or to lull the enemies into pressing themselves into an attack or ambush that was previously laid.
Sun Tsu is a wisdom based general. There is a fine line between wisdom and intelligence, and it goes beyond smarts and mental resolve. Wisdom is knowing how to use an enemies weaknesses against them, how to use the environment to your best advantage, and possibly how to win a fight without even noching an arrow or lifting a blade. Characters such as warrior monks often have high Wisdom, and, like their intelligence based brethren, they choose the best time to strike their enemies.
The Charisma based fighter is similar to the Constitution based fighter. If a fighter has a high charisma score, he better have something else in his bag of tricks to help back it up. The Charisma based fighter has the capacity to swing the tide of a fight without swinging a sword; they have the best chance to talk their way out of a fight, or talk themselves into one if need be. They are the smart-mouthed swashbucklers, the fast-talkers, and the smarmy charmers that can disarm with a smile and a wink. But, sometimes blades flash no matter how charming someone is, and they’d better be able to back it up.