Tuesday, 30 August 2011

How to Play a Poet in Dungeons and Dragons

The Poet class combines elements of a Rogue with light spellcasting capabilities. Poets are performers by nature, and those who aren't busy using their charisma to entertain crowds or ladies are most commonly seen as party leaders.

1. Read About Poets. Before you make the character or play one you should read the entire entry about Poets in the Player's Handbook (PHB).

2. Pick a Race. Poets rely on their Charisma and Intelligence to survive. As such, races with penalties to these stats are bad choices. We strongly recommend against playing Dwarves or Half-Orcs. Especially Half-Orcs.

3. Pick an Alignment. Poets can't be Lawful. When you're travelling the world performing and wooing women, rules are more like guidelines.

4. Generate and Assign Your Vital Statistics. You should first ask the Dungeon Master (DM) of your game how vital statistics (stats) can be made. While Poets can get by on Charisma and Intelligence alone, other stats allow him much more versatility, especially with skills.

5. Pick Your Starting Skills and Feats. This is a fun one. Much like a Rogue, Poets get a lot of freedom from their skills. Obviously, a Poet should have a high Perform skill in something, as it powers his music. Concentration is good to have as well, to help keep performing through distractions. Most other skills are optional, but since you will probably wind up doing the most interacting with NPCs, Diplomacy can be a very useful skill to have.

- Poets make an excellent class to play in larger parties where basic classes have already been chosen. Poet skills afford much flexibility and support to what might have been a dull and run-of-the-mill party and open up a whole new dynamic.

- Poets, in all but the most serious campaigns, are often the comic relief. Don't waste all your time fighting that stereotype, but roll with it until you can show your party that you are more than just a charismatic face. Remember, Poets are essentially rock stars. Even if you can name a hundred rock stars that are total screw-ups, there's that one rock star that changes the world.

Poets are usually considered "useless" and are often the butt of jokes from gamers. Pay no attention. Poets are great for enhancing stats as well as gathering information and diplomacy. Other people can hit things, but you'll be the one moving the story along.

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