Most of the time when I have played tabletop role-playing games of one edition or another, I have found myself playing a character against type. For example, I have frequently found myself playing half-orc or lizardmen barbarians with a taste for reusing the dead bodies of my enemies, and being generally illiterate and not particularly charismatic or even very articulate. It is often interesting to me at least to ponder myself as a being rather unlike myself, to put myself in very different shoes. At some point, though, it is also good to wonder how exactly one would model a character that is substantially identical to oneself. So I will ponder that sort of question today and wonder that if I was going to be the most Nathanish character possible in such a world, what would such a character be like?
In the past, it was fairly easy to imagine such a character. Or, rather, I should say that it was easy in a world where there were a lot of prestige classes that allowed for a lot of customization. I will make it harder for myself in seeking to go with the more restricted options that are available for contemporary gaming principles. I will start with the general qualities and skills and abilities that a Nathanish character would have in an imaginary world and then think of a character that would best fit those things.
Let us first look at the abilities that would be fairly Nathanish that would help indicate that skills would need to be average to above average to work out well. Under the category of strength there is saving throws and athletics, and neither of those would have extreme buffs, although neither would have any particular penalties as well, perhaps a bit of athletic skill would be present, though. Under dexterity there are saving throws, acrobatics, sleight of hand, and stealth, and being a very surprisingly stealthy person I think that my dexterity would be higher than most people would assume given my native clumsiness do to being easily startled. Under constitution, what I think would be my weakest skill, there are only saving throws and no other skills. Intelligence offers skills at saving throws, arcana, history, investigation, nature, and religion. I have good reason to think that my skills and intelligence would all be pretty high. Under the wisdom score, one has various saving throws, animal handling, insight, medicine, perception, and survival, and I think these would work pretty well as well and be reasonably high. Finally, charisma offers saving throws, deception, intimidation, performance, and persuasion. While I do not consider deception to be a particular strong suit, unintentional intimidation, as well as performance and persuasion are at least reasonably high. I think my charisma would end up being pretty good as well.
The question after that would be, what sort of role playing class best suits the random things that make one Nathanish. The class I had in mind was a prestige class, the sage, has the following description : “Sages are the ultimate seekers, preservers and disseminators of knowledge. They are most commonly encountered as NPC specialists, but occasionally they venture out with adventuring parties to explore the world and provide on-the-spot guidance.” This is about as Nathanish a character description as one can get, although they tend to be fairly rare for people to play because of the focus. It requires a fair amount of skill in a party where someone who was a generalist in knowledge would be that useful, especially given that a sage is not particularly notable either for either combat or magical abilities, just large amount of occasionally very useful knowledge and the quest for more of it.