You guys ever play Chrono Trigger? There’s this great moment where a treacherous king KO’s the party and throws them into a dungeon. What follows is the standard escape from jail scenario. But what’s interesting for our purposes is the fate of the party’s gear. When the gang wakes up, everybody’s stuff is gone! No weapons, no items, no money. That means you’re doomed to trickery and stealth to effect your escape. Unless of course your put Ayla in the party. As a cavewoman from the year 65,000,000 B.C., Ayla don’t need no gear to trash prison guards and assorted mooks. She’s got her mitts, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Clearly, not all fighters are so lucky. This fact was brought home to me when I last rolled up an occultist. If you’re not familiar, the class is all about attuning to “implements,” items that allow you to focus your power and produce psychic effects. I enjoyed the adaptability of the class, but I didn’t love the paranoia it engendered. You see, when you’ve got the entirety of your battlefield prowess bound up in an antique polearm and a tatty old cloak, the word “sunder” is liable to leave your running for the hills. I mean, without my stuff, I’m just a half-elf with a morbid streak and an unhealthy number of ranks in Knowledge (history)!

As I look back at my time as a Dr. Orpheus knockoff, I’m beginning to suspect that my paranoia was misplaced. I mean, what happens to a greatsweapon barbarian without a greatweapon? Where is the wizard without his books? The cleric without her focus? Unless you write “sorcerer” or “monk” on your character sheet, you’re more than likely dependent on some kind of prized possession to be effective.

We touched on this idea back in “Alarming,” and many of you guys had novel strategies for ensuring that you were never without your font of power (a spellbook in that case). But for today’s discussion, what do you say we try a thought experiment? All of those contingency plans have failed, and you find yourself without your bow/book/focus/whatever. What’s your backup plan? If you’ve been knocked out Chrono Trigger style and wake up without your kit, how do you go about MacGyvering an escape? How do you prove that you’re more of a hero than any other mook (or raccoon!) that happens to hold a fancy magic sword?


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