Holy Crap, I’m a Paladin

In the last couple years I’ve reintroduced myself to Dungeons & Dragons, in particular the 4th edition, after listening to Wil Wheaton and Tycho & Gabe go adventuring. Part of that reintroduction, and part of what I enjoy about RPGs in the first place, is acquiring several tomes of knowledge. One of which, D&D Player’s Strategy Guide, has a quiz on page 15 titled What Class Are You?.

Over the years I have played warriors (including fighters, barbarians, a paladin, and a ranger), rogues (including a fighter/thief/magic user and a bard), priests (including a monk and a druid), and wizards (including mages, sorcerers, and an illusionist). As I have also played a multitude of races and genders, I took the quiz simply out of curiosity. I assumed that I had a good understanding of myself as a role-player and expected no surprises.

I was quite wrong.

The overwhelming winner was paladin, of all classes. Yes, I have played a paladin before, but I’ve also played an elven princess and I’m neither an elf nor a princess. (Well, not much of a princess.) While I self-identify as a good person (and have been called Flanders before) I am more chaotic good than lawful good and was never particularly drawn to the classic, Lawful Stupid interpretation of paladins. To be fair, my paladin, Sir Balin, was both very lawful and very stupid. For example, despite the campaign being on the opposite side of character mutilation from Tunnels & Trolls, Sir Balin managed to lose his right hand to a blade trap whilst trying to loot a magic long sword.

My surprise resulted from weighting being both irreligious and a spirit-of-the-law rather than a letter-of-the-law bloke heavier than my instincts to get between danger and my party and to beat the Scheiße out of those as need it. Case in point: at the end of the championship game, my flag football team of nerds was ahead and running out the clock against the team of jocks when our quarterback, and my roommate, decided to fake taking a knee and run the ball. Their whole team chased him down and encircled him, replete with shouting and shoving. My instinctive response was to charge to his aid. (He swears I bellowed but I beg to differ. I’m surprisingly stealthy.) I broke into the circle and put myself between him and the crazy dude with the cast on his arm. Who promptly smacked me upside the head with said cast. (As an aside, when I didn’t react at all to the blow, let alone drop from it, the crazy dude became a lot less crazy in short order.)

Even though it provided me an opportunity to ham it up with a Dudley Do-Right-style character who sings “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” as he rides his charger, the classic interpretation of paladin fits me liked borrowed armor. But it turns out that a modern interpretation, a la Mal, fits me like a glove.

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2 Responses

  1. […] due to being (however unwittingly) a paladin I can be a bit, as someone once put it so eloquently, militantly defensive. My instinct is to […]

  2. […] can be perhaps too willing to take a beating. I am also susceptible to worrying. So it comes as no surprise that I am anxious that I take damage […]

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