"Why do you practice every day?" Phineas asked from the bench.
"Why do you take a whetstone to your blade?" Korak replied.
"So it stays sharp," Phineas said.
Korak nodded, took a firm grip on his sword, and went through the form again.
|Practice makes permanent.|
What Do Your Warriors Do To Get Ready?
Mechanically speaking, we're used to the spellcasters needing to go through a morning routine to get their mojo flowing. Wizards have to spend an hour with their spell book, memorizing the magic they plan to use that day. Clerics and druids have to pray, going through whatever rituals they have to be granted their divine powers. Bards have to tune up, and sorcerers have to go through a 15-minute routine to get into the right frame of mind to access their powers.
But what about your bruisers, enforcers, swordsmen, and spear fighters? Do they do anything?
Mechanically, no. By the rules, fighters, barbarians, rangers, slayers, monks, brawlers, and all the other martial classes can be woken up in the middle of the night, and they're ready to rock. That's one of the inherent advantages of those classes.
But since you have the time to wait for the spellcasters to limber up anyway, why not ask how the martial characters keep in fighting form?
As a for instance, does the brawler wake up early, and go through a warm-up routine? Planks, push-ups, shadow boxing, and maybe some pull-ups on a tree branch? Does the fighter spar with the ranger, the two of them ducking and weaving as they swing practice swords, or just stout sticks instead of steel? Does the barbarian take a certain number of swings with his ax every morning, first with the right hand, then the left, re-acquainting his grip with the weapon now that he's awake? Does the monk go through a series of yoga poses to awaken her ki, and ensure that her body is in proper, working order?
As I mentioned in What Does Your Spell Preparation Look Like?, the way your character prepares says something about them. Are you measured, going through routine to wake up the muscle memory you spent a lifetime imbuing into your body? Or do you prefer simulated combat, sparring against an opponent, or your shadow, as a way to trick your instincts in order to stay sharp? Do you warm-up in armor, or do you limber up before you put on the full weight of your gear? Or are you one of those people who rolls out of bed, tosses their hair out of their eyes, and relies on your lifetime of experience to see you through the next challenge?
It might not be a huge part of your character, and it might fade into the background in time. But it is worth thinking about what your martial character's preparation says about them, and what those who watch will learn about the way they were trained.
That's all for this week's Fluff post. Hopefully you all enjoyed it, and it got the gears grinding in your heads. If you want to make sure you don't miss any of my updates, then follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Lastly, if you'd like to help keep this blog going, stop by The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a patron today. All I ask is $1 a month to help me keep creating content, and in return you'll get both my gratitude, and a lot of sweet gaming swag as a thank you.