An adventure is nothing without an Adventurer!
Hail and well met! I am Passander Wandzilak, the greatest traveling wizard of the land! Today, we shall be discussing roles within the adventuring party. Let me begin by thanking you for joining me on this wonderful journey we are about to undertake. I do hope you have not traveled too far to join me, if you have; the ale is on me!
“Excuse me waitress, will you bring this patron a round of your finest please!”
“Let us begin.”
First, we must establish what roles actually make up a band of heroes. Then, we must discuss their purpose for joining together. Being, an adventurer yourself, you must have your own ideas. If you can, toss those aside for a moment and follow me down this purple worm hole. I only jest! There is no purple worm nearby. If you have questions, please save them for the end of our discussion.
“Hmm, now that I think about it, we should analyze the purpose of the party forming before diving into what roles make up the party itself. Yes, yes, I like that!”
“Thus we begin our thought adventure!”
So, generally speaking, an adventuring party is a group of individuals who have left the comforts of their past lives and come together for a common goal. This goal could be exploring the land surrounding their home, delving deep into the ground below or possibly high in the sky, or something a little more somber such as a very tragic experience to a loved one. Whatever the reason, these heroes have joined together to pursuit a life full of adventures.
They could be a small group which has taken up arms and found themselves on a long path well beyond what they set out originally to do. Mayhaps the intentions of the heroes are to seek out fortune and glory then spend their hard earned treasures at the nearest point of civilization sharing tales of their heroic deeds with anyone willing to listen.
Or, maybe this band of selfless heroes heard about an evil hag hidden deep within a darkened wood or a nearby town is experiencing goblin infestations of their copper mines and these new found heroes have chosen to take up the mantle to defeat the hag, or aid the town.
Maybe, their journey is extremely perilous and their return is unknown, whatever the reasons are, these campaigners have taken up a life of danger filled with wondrous adventure.
Now, let us examine the roles associated with an adventuring party. Let me be clear, these are not engraved in stone tablets; they are just how I, Passander Wandzilak see them!
“I do have a vast history of adventuring to base my musing upon!”
There are many roles within an adventuring party. There is the party leader, the treasurer, the diplomat (not always the leader), the explorer, and the healer. This last one is the easiest to explain, well maybe. We shall see. Therefore we will save it for last. The qualities for each of these roles vary in degree, but sometimes overlap depending on the situation. I am going to speak in broad terms and speculate some.
This role must be someone who everyone in the group trusts with their lives, their opinions, their secrets (maybe), and his or her ability to lead the rest of the group through dangerous situations. This role does not require someone to be truly charismatic, just that they know how to use their skills when they are needed. This individual must be trust worthy and steadfast in their decisions as well. A proper functioning and successful adventuring group cannot operate if their leader is someone who constantly second guesses themselves.
Their leader should be honorable, brave, and a straight shooter, someone who is willing to share the good news, and the bad as well. They must also be a person who will not shy away from criticism either.
A good party leader should be a well-rounded person of character. Anything less can cause great mishaps within the party. I have actually traveled with both ends of the spectrum. I shall share an example with you now.
My first adventuring troupe had a terrible leader, who will remain unnamed. She was a fierce warrior, and brave. She as highly skilled in many forms of combat, however, her flaw as a leader was that she was too proud. She would speak when she needed to listen, and did not take advice very well. One of my first compatriots tried to offer her advice on tactics when we were about to attack a gnoll camp. Unfortunately, my compatriot did not survive to actually get to share her thoughts. After that, we each went our separate ways.
“A good leader must know when to listen, and when to take action.”
Years later, I ran into my old party leader, she carried herself confidently. As we passed in the market, I noticed she carried herself with confidence. Later I heard she had made a decent name for herself as a protector of that town and many spoke highly of her. I believe, and I am hoping that she learned from her critical error all those years ago on the grassy hills just east of The Dales, before they turned into the mountains of Yll’Radesh.
My point is, it takes more than a shiny suit of armor and a great sword to lead a party. There is a set of skills one can only acquire through trial and error alongside a lifetime experience. A life of adventuring is one where those errors can result in the death of a good friend.
“So be wary my friends, for the life of an adventurer is not for the weak of heart, nor for the dim witted, though some have tried, and failed. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes, grow, and become the great adventurer you want to be!”
By Daniel Colby, tale spinner at Jetpack7 publishing.
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