Fighter Class Color Guide | Color Pie System
The fighter is the original heroic archetype. Not just in Dungeons and Dragons but in litterateur, film, games and movies. The concept of a person who fights for what they believe in with nothing more than a trusted blade and their own skill is a story as old as time. In this article we will be diving deep into this iconic class, all with the intention of making you a better role player through the use of the class color system. A system not just designed to help you build characters but to play them as well.
If you are new to the class color system then don't worry its easy to follow along. First we will discuss the core color of the class, then I will craft three potential characters and explain why I chose their set of colors, finally I will go over each color and how it's expressed through the fighter class. With these tools I am confident that the next fighter you create will be far more robust and interesting. Alright gather you weapons and prepare your next action, let's begin with the core color of the fighter.
The fighter is a class whose focus is their martial prowess and how their skill-set can be utilized to achieve their goals. They aren't just some simple city guard or soldier, but rather someone whose prowess has allowed them to rise above such a paltry station. What is interesting as well is that combat is a skill that is part training and part experience, you can't learn to be a fighter solely from reading a book or hitting dummies, you have to test your blade. I think this does make the fighter unique from classes such as the wizard or the bard, in that those classes can gain power purely from study and practice, while the fighter must bloody its blade. Next thing to understand about the fighter is that its martial ability does not dictate the person they are, or their motivations, but rather it is the inverse.
What I mean is that the character isn't the way they are because they are a fighter, instead they are a fighter because of the way they are. Most classes imprint themselves quite heavily onto your character but really the Fighter can range so drastically in motivations that its not bound by its class. To truly understand what I mean we must continue on by looking to the core color of the class chosen by wizards of the coast. Remember the core colors is the color you will most often associate with the class and will tell us a lot about their core motivations.
Pulling up the card we see that they have chosen White Red and while these are great colors for a fighter I would not agree with their use as a core color, in fact I am about to do something I rarely do, and that is not only disagree with wizards of the coast but state that the fighter should not have a core color. You see the fighter very well can represent each color equally because of what drives the class and that is the character behind it. The fighter is in many ways an extension of your character and not the reason for its being. They could be someone who fights for honor and a better world, or they could just as well be a character whose intentions are selfish with a simple desire to take what they want. They can be wild and violent or they could be somber and reserved. There is no inherent motivations or temperaments defined by the class itself.
What I have said so far may make you feel like you are provided no direction, but this is actually the beautiful thing about the class, because it frees you up to create. Instead of making your character the way they are because of the class you instead craft a character who chose to be a fighter because of the way they are, even if their surrounds have placed them into this class. With this in mind I will build three characters for you, that way you can have some examples to work from that feature a range of personalities. Remember though stay until the end as at that point we I will discuss each color in context of the class, that way you can build your own.
In a small town rarely shown on any map lived a child who only seemed to draw attention from bullies. They always felt inadequate and weak, never able to truly stand up for themselves. This continued on until their teenage years, but a fire was beginning to grow inside them. They were no longer sad when thinking about their place but rather angry. They were tired of being pushed around and forgotten. As soon as they were of age they left to join the kings army, as they felt this was their only opportunity to become stronger and to prove themselves. They left town with no fanfare, not even their parents cared that they left. The army was hard at first, but they took their new life as a way to start over and instead of allowing themselves to be walked over they replied with anger. At first they were beaten for standing up but eventually, through training and experience, they began to win fights.
This built up their confidence and they concentrated with everything they had into learning everything they could. From blade and fist to bow and spear they worked at it every day. Soon no one crossed their path with ill intentions. The stronger and more skilled they got the more their confidence grew and the ways in which people were cautious in their presence gave them a rush. Months had passed, winter had come and went, and with spring the war horns were sounded. It was here where everything changed. They put their skills truly to the test and experienced their first kill. The day was won but they once again felt inadequate.
So once back at camp they spent as little time recouping as they could and went right back to training. Then the horn would be called and another battle would take place. This time they were ready and in that day they made a hero of themselves. Two years would go by in this way, until finally the war, in which he still barely knew the cause of, was over. What to do now, they thought to themselves. Should I return home and become a farmer or should I see what else is out there for me? What new strength I could gain, what new ways I could prove myself?
Their hands calloused and stained could no longer hold a tool, or embrace with a hug, no they were forged to hold a blade, to fight. For this character I created them with Black and Red in mind. That desire for more power, to prove ones self is all to Black. The Rage and the motivating emotions coming from their Red side. These color do not denote someone who is blood thirsty no, but rather someone whose emotions drove them into the frantic need to be the one who dictates their life and in their mind only through the gaining of more strength and recognition can they be the person they wanted to be. To drive themselves as far away from that scared weak child that they could. For our next character I will be dropping both of these colors and instead craft one using White Blue and Green to create a totally different fighter.
WHITE BLUE GREEN
In complete contrast this character grew up in a place of privilege and prestige, part of a long lineage whose name was known across the region. This family prided themselves on creating some of the greatest generals and battle-masters known through the land. In order to keep their position of prominence and neutrality they would send their sons and daughters to become advisors of lords throughout the land. This of course has caused siblings to work against one another but they are trained to always put their job first. For over three hundred years this has has gone on and the family has remained a name said in reverence. This is the upbringing our character finds themselves in. Trained in all things of war in an academic manor, they are a skilled fighter and tactician.
When it comes time to be sent to a lord as an advisor this character begins to have second thoughts. They were a person with a kind heart, a hero deep down. They above all else wanted to use their training to help people but felt that simply advising a lord in the ways of war would do little else but bring suffering to the common people and that was not the life they wanted to live or the person they wished to become. On the other hand they adored their families legacy, steeped in tradition, and wore their crest with pride. On the night before they were to leave they spoke with their mother about how they felt. Their mother listened but told them in the end that they had a duty and that by sending a child to each king they were indeed helping keep balance, no one king would have a dire advantage and that in the end duty was stronger than any personal desire. Our character thought about their place all night and knew they were trained and raised with this inevitability in mind and so they left to fulfill their legacy.
The next day while they were on their way to meet with the king of the west they encountered a village and decided to rest, as the sun wouldn't stand in the sky much longer. While at the inn they didn't get much rest, as they stood out among the farmers and merchants. The villagers told them of the raids that had taken place against their village and how the king refused to send soldiers to deal with the bandit camp. Our character listened but knew it was not their place to get involved. That is until they spent the entire night thinking of ways that they could help, and of how they could not move on knowing this was happening.
So the next day they spoke with the village elder and gathered ten of the most capable men and set out to put a stop to this. With this small contingent our character was able to put all of their training to the test and removed the bandit problem. They felt so good about helping those in need, and knew that this was their destiny. Much to the ire of the king of the west and their family our character sent a letter stating they would not be joining the king and instead would set out to find others they could help. They feared what their decision would mean for them and their family but they knew they had to put their abilities to good use, and serving some king was not the way.
For this character I went with Bant and the correlation to each color is fairly evident. For one we have White, this represents the characters desire to help those that cannot help themselves, and to cast of their duty in a form of self sacrifice in order to do what is right. Then we have Blue which reflects their deep training and tactful mindset. They are a type of fighter who takes on the ways of battle in a scholarly manor. Finally we have Green which in this instance is the deep traditions that define them. Sure in the end they reject their born purpose but that is not because they hate their families traditions, no they are proud of their lineage but they do feel like their true purpose is elsewhere. With this character covered I would like to create one more example, and to do so we will drop both blue and green and add in black.
Raised far from any normal situation a child might endure was our white black character. They were taught in the way of the samurai from the moment they could speak, they held a blade before they could walk, and they drew blood before they hit puberty. Trained and raised to be nothing more than a tool of their Daimyo our character was cold and efficient. They never questioned their mission or place in life. They would go out and kill those they were ordered to kill, go back to the castle they called home and would wait for their next command. This lasted for many years but as the years dragged on the Daimyo grew more and more paranoid and thus the missions became less and less about killing other warriors and more about killing those that threatened their position. Then one night at the age of twenty five our character was sent on a mission that would change their life forever.
An up and coming family would be the target of the nights mission. Our character cut their way through every samurai in their path but once at the door and looking down at a scared family our character stopped for the first time in their life. The children weeping, the parents holding them, tight. This character caught a reflection of themselves as they walked forward and for the first time truly saw themselves and didn't like what they saw. So for the first time in their life they did not complete their mission but ran far away. Years have passed and our character wanders, taking small jobs for those in need, only taking as much payment as will sustain them.
They look to right the wrongs of who they were, all while their past never seems to let go. For this character I wanted to use White and Black to showcase a fighter whose inner mind is conflicted. On one hand they are trying to find a better path and do better for others but cannot deny who they are. They feel rotten from the inside, a demon deep within, represented by their Black side. Part of themselves feels comfortable reverting back to their deadly past while they want their future to be brighter and so they struggle to become a hero rather than a villain.
Now that you have seen the color pie applied to three potential characters its time we discuss how each of the colors can be applied in the context of the fighter that way you can have a better idea of how to apply the colors to a character of your very own. Like I said at the top the fighter is a unique class in that it really doesn't effect the colors as much as the colors effect the class. That said there are reasons why our character fights so lets dive into that. To start lets discuss white.
In the case of the fighter white can represent the fighter who is selfless, one who raises its blade for others, and uses their skill to defend the weak. In another way it can a fighter who is closer to a knight, one who is part of some order of warriors that defend a crown or country. In the end White will be the color that places the intentions of this fighter into the hands of others. Next we have Blue, a blue aligned fighter is one that practices the blade and everything to do with war and combat in an academic way. They see combat as something to be learned, and understood, a problem that can be solved with more training and studying. They might seek out different styles and weapons in order to constantly have something new to master.
Next is Black, a color that is present in a fighter who uses their skills to take what they wish from this life, they want glory and the recognition. They are adventurers that seek out treasure and want their name spoken of in reverence across the land. This can be a heroic trait if not taken to far. In another way Black can represent a deadly and brutal way of fighting, a character who does not mind getting their blade bloody. When we apply red to the fighter something interesting happens, its martial ability in many ways becomes a form of self expression. Whether it be the through rage, or simply passion, the Red aligned fighter feels like their blade is a part of them and how they express themselves.
Finally we have Green, in the case of this color we would tie it to themes of tradition when speaking of the fighter. Typically we see long lineages of a particular way of fighting passed down through many generations. This fighter is carrying on this tradition as a form of duty, or purpose. As you can see the Fighter is a rather dynamic class, one that is rather open in how it can be expressed. This can be a beautiful thing, in that you are free to explore a wide variation of fighters. So go out craft that fighter which reflect the kind of hero or villain you wish to become.
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