The Gassy Gnoll: Social Perils

This may come as a shock, but this old Gassy Gnoll isn’t the most social of beasts. Occasional flatulence aside, these fuzzy canine wiles only get me so far. You wouldn’t think that a pack-beast like myself would prefer a more feline, solitary existence, but there it is.

In all seriousness, I am an introvert and though I can be social, I find that large groups of people simply exhaust me at times. Small groups work best (sort of like a gaming group of 4-5 people) for me. And I have to wonder how many characters suffer from introvert or extrovert issues.

Let’s walk through some of the classic roles, shall we? What happens if each of the following characters is forced to attend a big social event…

Though some fighters may in fact become socialites as they gain power, titles, and lands, a traditional fighter in attire – armor, longsword, and shield – doesn’t really fit into your average soirée. Some fighters such as barbarians may react poorly to being approached at all, while others such as rangers might simply retreat from the affair entirely. Other fighters such as cavaliers might feel right at home chatting with nobles and ladies in waiting.

Clerics on the other hand typically thrive in social situations, tending to their flocks and spreading the word far and wide. Pressing the flesh for your usual priest in a high-profile party wouldn’t be all that unusual. Again however, there may be some clerics – monks, ascetic priests, and others – who would just as soon endure self-flagellation as enter a crowded social arena.

What about your average wizard? Most wizards I’ve encountered in years of gaming would rather pore over old books, experiment with new reagents, or even discuss mystical secrets with unpleasant dimensional beings than waste time talking to the jovial, clueless elite. If forced to attend, I’d expect that they would behave something like Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory – being honest to a fault.

And then there are the thieves of the world which are likely already cruising the room lifting jewelry, priceless art, and heavy purses from the rich denizens prowling the party floor. Not all thieves will be at home there – some will prefer working the streets, high-profile robberies, or simply looting dungeons deep and unexplored.

Ultimately any of these may be an introvert or an extrovert – it depends on the character more than the class. But some of them are probably more suited to spending quality alone time than others.

How about you? Have you turned any of these stereotypes on their heads? Though stereotypes may be the basis for a new character, sometimes it’s fun to reverse things… A wizard who’s also a social butterfly? A cleric afraid to touch people. A reluctant thief?

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