The perils of the support character #DnD #RPG

Viper was looking forward to the journey to the new lands. A chance to free new areas. To continue the hunt for this vile scum Armando. It would also be interesting to travel over the sea instead of trekking overland, even though the snake is not by nature a sea creature.

It was also pleasing to have the chance to do some good, to free the merchants of whatever perils were endangering the shipping lanes. And continue to prove the might of the Heroes of Clermont, if for no other reason than it helped to pay for the drinks and lodging wherever they went. Although celebrity was not exactly a thing sought by the Great Serpent,  the chance to do good will on behalf of the Great Serpent was welcome.

Fang was not pleased to be on the ship, finding a place to curl up and sleep the entire voyage if possible. Viper enjoyed the warmth of the sun after the treacherous journey down from the snowy mountains.  So he was on the deck when a great creature surged forth from the sea, grabbing the ship with 2 great tentacles. While it’s other arms sought to sweep the deck clear of any who dared attack the tentacles.

Viper tried to help cover Braveheart as he hacked at the tentacles. But the swaying of the deck caused his arrows to go awry, and then he was busy staving off the attacks of one of the vile sea creatures that had landed on the deck to prevent the heroes from attacking the large tentacles. He did what he did to counter the creature, and then stepped behind Elly when she came to fight as well.

He was buffeted repeatedly by the vast arms of the Kraken, but he stayed erect, trying to find a place to make himself helpful to those doing the hard work on the huge creature. He saw his chance when the sea creatures leader made himself visible, he cast a spell to make it impossible for it to hide behind it’s invisibility spells again. And then called upon the power of his quiver to send a deadly arrow into that leader.

In the end the attacks of Thorvald, Braveheart, Qualiki and Elly were enough to slay the giant creature and send it back to the ocean depths whence it came. Viper made certain that Fang was well and then did his best to care for the party members and the few sailors that the creature had not killed. He knew that this was not his best fight, his contributions were minimal, and realized that the open sea was not the place for a snake.

We went to Denver for our Pathfinder game on Sunday. It was a lot of fun, a giant, prolonged, difficult fight against a giant kraken and it’s Sahuagin allies. The party was hurt bad, no one escaped completely unscathed. Two party members were knocked unconscious at least once, as well as one animal companion. But in the end we were victorious, defeating all of the enemies.

But I was forced to ponder on the way home and the next day about what, if anything, my character could have done to be more helpful. I had run into two issues that plague role playing.  First, I do tend to create support characters rather than the top notch leaders of the pack. Second, as pointed out by AngryGM, Pathfinder is a system that rewards and to some extent forces some level of specialization as you rise in levels.

It is part of my personality to play the support character. That’s not a bad thing, someone has to be the party healer, scientist, scout etc. You cannot have an entire party of front line fighters, because who would fill and perform those other duties? So I don’t mind that so much.

But, we are playing Pathfinder and we all just moved to 10th level. And it is a pretty high powered game in general. We have some very powerful characters. But in this type of campaign and this system you end up pretty specialized in order to fulfill your role. Our front line fighters are really good at their jobs, but not so much with other stuff. Our sorcerer is very powerful as a sorcerer, but terrible at anything else. And our main healer is really good at that, but spends pretty much all his time just healing. And of course in my role as the Scout and stealth guy with missile weapon specialties I am really good, but I become useless in certain fights. Like this one, where there was no place to hide, and my arrows were barely able to hurt the bad guys.

It was a bit of a curse. I did take the time to point out to the GM that while I do not ask for special consideration to at least remember that there is a character who has a specialty that is rapidly becoming useless to the party. And would it hurt to toss in a few places where I could be of some use.

And that is the problem with running certain types of games. And why I prefer the more general systems like Savage Worlds and GURPS, where it is much harder to be so specialized. Or at least it felt that way to me.

Anyway we did have a great time with the game, and I just need an opportunity to make myself more useful. And maybe I need to work harder at asserting my characters abilities and use them when I get the chance.


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