I learned this lesson in Azeroth. It wasn’t an issue of mounted combat, but the same principle applies.

“Hey,” said I to my guildmate, “Remember how I was a pretty OK bear tank back at low level?”

“Yeah,” he said, wariness in his voice. “That was 20 levels ago.”

“Well I was thinking. Couldn’t we queue faster if I went tank?”

“Dude, you’re a cat druid. Be a cat druid.”

“But it takes forever to queue DPS!”

“Do you even have tank gear?”

“Well no. But how hard could it be? Ima change specs real quick.”

My more-experienced buddy humored me. We signed up for some instance or other, and I charged gamely into the nearest group of mobs. I don’t think I have to belabor the results. Suffice it to say that the words “cancer” and “please kick” were being thrown around in chat. And I, being a very bad old bear, fully deserved the abuse.

By and large, RPGs of all stripes reward specialization. If you’re a grappling dude, you’re not going to be nearly as good at archery. When you’re an archer, you probably aren’t going to be as effective on the front lines. And when you’re a front line melee combatant, hopping on your newly-summoned mount and pretending to be a stick-and-move equestrian is going to result in disappointment.

This mess doesn’t just apply to martial characters either. I can remember a time when my poor sorcerer pal wanted to cast from a divine scroll back in Pathfinder.

“I have a few ranks in Use Magic Device. How hard could it be?”

See also disappointment. After a quick survey of the relevant rules and calculating the (absurdly high) DC, the injured party member remained thoroughly un-healed. The scroll in question remained stubbornly un-activated, and the Sorcerer asked if she could redistribute her UMD ranks.

So for today’s discussion, what do you say we talk about the poorly thought-out “respec moments” in your games? Have you ever tried a combat style that was better left to the professionals? Maybe you tried to pick up a little offensive magic only to realize your save DCs were abysmal. Perhaps unarmed striking turned out to be a waste of an action. Whatever your SNAFU, let’s hear about it down in the comments!


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