Greatest Hits 2012: What Your Weapon Says About Your Character

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on December 28, 2012

While the Dungeon’s Master team enjoys some well-deserved vacation time, we’re breaking out the greatest hits and shining a spotlight on a few of our favourite articles from 2012. We’ve searched for hidden gems that our newer readers might have missed and our long-time readers will enjoy reading again. Enjoy a second look at these greatest hits from Dungeon’s Master.

Considering how common laughter is at the gaming table I’ve found that writing humourous articles is really difficult. Instead of going for outright funny ha-ha, I’ve had a lot more success writing observational pieces that demonstrate wit and focus on shared experiences most gamers will relate to and chuckle. In that vein I put together this article on the correlation between weapons and character personalities.

This is clearly a light-hearted piece that may seem a bit silly and simplistic at first glance. However, I’ll bet that by the time you get to the end you’ll agree with many of my observations and see the personality of some of your own PCs accurately paired to their weapon of choice. Think about this the next time you equip a character.

In the original article I asked our readers to add to my list of weapons. Here are some of their contributions. If you’ve got another one please add it to the comments below.

  • Rapier – You have a piercing wit as well as the sword. You also have a flair for the dramatic. (Al)
  • Flail – You enjoy making a mess of things, twisting people’s words or just tripping them up. (Eamon)
  • Tome – You possess a lot of power, but that power is a heavy burden. You have difficulty relating to others because you spend so much of your time inwardly focused. (dmscorpio)
  • Sling – You’re a child at heart, though maybe not so innocent. You try to get your way, and complain or lash out if you don’t. (Zeroarmada)

From March 21, 2012, Dungeon’s Master once again presents: What Your Weapon Says About Your Character.

“The clothes make the man.” It’s a pretty common expression. It quite literally means that you can draw a conclusion, and usually a fairly accurate conclusion, about a person’s personality just based on what they’re wearing. In D&D, the type of clothes (or armor) a person wears will usually indicate with great accuracy what class he is but it’s less likely to accurately indicate what kind of a man he is – for that you have to look at his weapon.

During character creation most players I’ve gamed with will equip their character before they determine his personality. I know that’s how I usually do it. But I’ve noticed over the years that the personality of a PC is very often directly related to the type of weapon he carries. It’s like the weapon imprints a specific personality type on the characters wielding them.

So I’ve put together a list of my observations. This is simply my first-hand account of how I see things. It’s not based on any scientific method or precise sampling, it’s just what I’ve seen over and over again in the many years that I’ve played D&D. I think that despite my rather loose methodology the results are surprisingly accurate.

If you think I’ve really missed the mark on any of these I encourage you to leave your feedback in the comments section below. I also welcome new additions to the list. After all, there are a lot of weapons in D&D and my list just scratches the surface.

Sharp Weapons

  • Dagger – A simple weapon for simple characters. As one of the cheapest weapons it’s often favoured by those who can’t afford anything better. If you use a dagger it’s because you like getting your hands dirty and prefer to get up close and personal.
  • Long Sword – By selecting the most common sword on the market you announce that you’re practical and logic. You prefer to take the tried and true path. You believe that if something works, there’s no reason to change it.
  • Short Sword – It’s rare for a character to use a short sword in one hand and nothing else in the other. You’re always trying to do many things simultaneously because you like to keep both hands busy all the time.
  • Scimitar – Since most choose the scimitar because of its high crit property, that suggests that you’re an optimist who’s willing to take chances. As a glass half full kind of guy, you strive to see the best in everyone.
  • Greatsword – Two hands on your sword at all times means that you’re focused. When a situation or problem comes up you want to do it right and you certainly only want to do it once.
  • Bastard Sword – If you use the bastard sword with two hands then you likely share a lot in common with the adventurer who wields a greatsword. If you wield the bastard sword with one hand then you’re a show off who wants to be the centre of attention.
  • Axe – You dislike subterfuge and prefer to cut to the heart of problems. You likely get along well with those who wield hammers.
  • Pole Arm – Clearly the size of your weapon is just your way of compensating for other shortcomings.

Blunt Weapons

  • Club – Your weapon if choice is a big piece of wood. You clearly don’t care what others think of you. You have a sense of adventure boarding on chaotic tendencies and will happily accept almost any challenge.
  • Hammer – You lack finesses. You’re thick-headed and like to tackle problem directly and head on. You and the axe wielders generally have a lot in common.
  • Mace – When it came to choosing a weapon you just wanted something heavy that you can smash with. This suggests that you’re opportunistic and rarely plan ahead.
  • Quarterstaff – You call a long branch you likely found in the woods your weapon (or implement). You’re cheap. You never pay for a round. You’re likely frail and probably use the quarterstaff as a walking stick as often as a weapon.
  • Fist – You don’t like to rely on others for anything. You want to handle all problems by yourself so that you know it’s done right. You’re not a good team player and have trust issues.

Ranged Weapons

  • Bow – You don’t like people or gatherings. You’re not interested in meeting anyone new. You prefer that strangers keep their distance.
  • Crossbow – You are the ultimate expression of the lazy adventurer. All you have to do is point and shoot, the weapon does all the real work. This weapon is favoured by overweight adventurers and old ladies.

Implements

  • Holy Symbol – You’re exceptionally needy. You prefer to let someone else, someone in authority, make the hard calls. Once someone sets a plan in motion you’re the first in line to support them and make sure everyone else does too. You’re a yes-man.
  • Orb – You have a short attention span and like shiny things. You’re easily distracted.
  • Wand – You’ve lived a privileged life, you’re soft and consider yourself better than others, but you likely lack the confidence to tell your companions that this is how you view them.


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