The greatest advancement of the computer game is that every single little sub-possibility when it comes to character creation has a little box next to it that can be checked or unchecked at whim. Do you want to make a svirfneblin rogue? You can! Put him in a party with a half-elf paladin, a half-orc fighter/druid, and a dwarven kensai!

The main thing that I’ve noticed when creating computer game parties is that the temptation to create a svirfneblin rogue are just as great as when playing a tabletop game, but far more easily dismissed when you realize that you won’t be able to make a game out of making everybody else correct your pronunciation of “svirfneblin” (“svear-fne-blin” is, apparently, the canonical pronunciation).

But then, when you start to play, you realize that you should have gotten a bard because there are sweet bardic items that just lay fallow if you don’t have a bard in your party and that dual classing is the only way to go because it’s a computer game and your backstory that you spent three hours writing is pretty much useless. Also, there’s a sweet fighter/mage item and only fighter/mages can use it.

Temptations to create a specialized mage who specializes in offensive spells should be avoided given that you will find yourself needing an “identify” spell a lot more often than you’ll find yourself needing that fourth magic missile spell.

And you need to seriously tempter your clicking finger when rolling your character because a roll in the 70’s is good, a roll in the 80’s is great, but a roll in the 90’s is undone in an instant because you’ve just been doing the “click, click, click, click” thing for 20 minutes trying to get that ever-elusive roll that will let you have only one dump stat for your character instead of two (which, when you’re playing dual class, is the most important thing in the world).

And keep in mind: turn undead is useless.

So, with that said, you need:
A Paladin that specializes in sword/shield
A Fighter/Druid that specializes in club weapons
A Ranger that specializes in bows
A Cleric/Mage to be the Band-Aid box
A Cleric/Thief to be the other Band-Aid box
A Bard to keep those sweet, sweet magic items from going to waste

So… what are you playing?

(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913))

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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7 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. I mostly avoided multi-classing, finding that concentrating advancement in a single class produced a far more powerful character than would splitting XP between two classes:
    2 Fighter types: 1 fighter–the tank, and one ranger/paladin/dual-wielding or other odd specialization fighter.
    1 Cleric whose job was to stand on or near the front lines and absorb damage while also doing the usual healing and buffing.
    1 Rogue with a high dex for contributing ranged attacks during combat while also being able to perform the usual rogue-ish duties.
    1 Mage or Sorcerer, depending on whether the game in question is one allowing item creation or not.
    That leaves on slot for…whatever. But I’m betting if we were to look back at the parties I built for Icewind Dale, this spot was most likely taken up by another fighter-type.


  2. The new version of Factorio has come out, so I’m playing that right now. Its a really relaxing way to spend an afternoon – just set up factories to build ever-more complex components while working towards launching that rocket.


  3. I can’t play Icewind Dale (or IWD2). The music grabs my by the ears and I just sit and listen endlessly.

    Also the narration for the cut scenes in Icewind Dale Two are magical in some way. Something about the voice actress… I do not know what.


    • I snagged Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition yesterday. A bit of a time-sink away from the stupid bees.

      (BTW, how do you remove bees from a hive before removing the combs? Vacuum cleaner. Well, suction device that looks a lot like a car vaccum cleaner. Which apparently only moderately annoys the bees. They go into some bee box thingy, buzzing and annoyed. Thankfully, the hive only looks…largish not humongous.)


  4. I got the recently-released Terra Mystica for iOS yesterday (which I’d played a handful of times IRL) and have discovered that I’m apparently not very good at this game. So far they only have only “easy” AIs, but my two games against them have resulted in one close win and one not-at-all-close 3rd place.


  5. *shrugs* I know game designers. I know playtesters. *shrugs*
    “Why are you playing a party with zero non-mage characters?”
    “So you have one mandatory tank (aka The Player Character), and everyone else is not specialized in fighting?”


  6. I finally finished Pillars of Eternity. I backed in on Kickstarter, so I originally played in on release over 2 years ago, but fizzled out before the end of Act II. Not sure why I effectively bailed the first time. This time through, I played on a harder difficulty, so maybe it was lack of challenge. I’m looking forward to PoE2 now. Which, incidentally, is going to add multi-classing.

    I also picked up My Summer Car. It’s an early access game with no tutorials or defined goals. You begin with a note telling you to fix your dad’s old car and a completely disassembled car in the garage. There’s a bunch more to it than that, but I think the intent is for the player to try and figure things out for themselves.

    Car Mechanic Simulator did help prepare me, somewhat, for working on the car. Not a game I would have initially bought or thought I would like, but it came with a Humble Bundle I purchased and ended up really enjoying it.


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