Corey and Lori's Quest Log

Corey and Lori’s Quest Log

Posts Tagged ‘Classes’

The Rogue – Hero on the Ropes

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Rogue Ninja Meep - FailOf all the classes that we don’t have at The School for Heroes, the Rogue is the most controversial. More commonly thought of as “criminal” – or at least slightly “naughty” – than as “hero”, Rogues often have a difficult public relations task. And that’s why there are No Rogues in The School for Heroes… that we admit to.

Some famous Rogue Heroes include James Bond, Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Robin Hood. Note that we only listed fictional ones. The real ones are too good at disguising their Roguishness. African and Native American mythology prominently feature “trickster gods” (Anansi the spider and Coyote) in devious roles. In the old Greek stories, Prometheus was a Rogue when he stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. So Rogues have been around for a long, long time.

So why don’t you hear anything about the virtues of Rogues. Maybe they just don’t want you to know. If they told you, they’d have to kill you.

Rogue? Hero? What?

Rogues know that when you do things “by the book,” you get mediocre results. They strive for exceptional results by breaking the book, tearing out the pages, and using them for something more practical, like ransom notes or toilet paper. They tend to do things indirectly, because direct action is too easily countered. And boring. Rogues have a problem with boredom.

Heroic Rogues go a step farther. They may break the rules – or even laws they consider stupid – but they always have a Heroic goal in mind. Spiderman isn’t concerned with reading criminals their Miranda Rights. He leaves that to the authorities… and stays away from those authorities himself.

Rogues are clever. They come up with original solutions to problems. More importantly, they respond quickly and will change their plans if things go wrong. In “Stone Soup,” a old Brothers Grimm fairy tale, there is the tale of three hungry travelers who wander into a strange village. The villagers are suspicious and leery of the strangers. However, the travelers convince the villagers that they are making a delicious soup out of nothing but water and stones, but that it just needs a little flavoring to be perfect. One by one, the villagers supply all the rest of the soup ingredients, and everyone has a wonderful feast together. The travelers are Rogues, but not bad people. In the end, everyone benefits from their charade. They are trickster heroes.

Rogues “live on the edge”, always in danger, so they learn ways to avoid the public spotlight and get out of trouble. That last attribute is one of the main traits that separate Rogues from Bards – Bards love the spotlight and feel safer in the light than in the shadows. Rogues love shadows.

Rogues are also surprisingly good listeners. They’ll listen at keyholes, at parties, or tap your phone line. . . (Well, maybe “good” listener isn’t the right word there.)

Trials of a Trickster

Rogues tend to be connivers, tricksters, and willing to flout any rule or law that gets in their way. That makes it very tempting for a Rogue to go from a clever solver-of-problems to a dirty, rotten scoundrel. And nobody likes a dirty, rotten scoundrel.

Rogues sometimes have trouble in social settings because they are so independent by nature. It’s easy for Rogues to become cynical and think that others are trying to take advantage of them. This is useful in business relationships, but tends to get in the way of real friendships. Rogues need to learn to separate professional paranoia from the need for trust in a relationship. Friends frown when they catch you reading their email.

Rogues, like Warriors, tend to be arrogant. They think they can get away with anything because they’ve managed just that in the past. Well, just as spies and Old West gunfighters tended to have short lives, so do Rogues that try to get away with too much, too often. Rogues have to decide when the payoffs justify sticking their necks out. If they choose poorly, the noose awaits. And, as we all know, no noose is good noose.

A Hard Way to Be a Hero

Yes, Rogues can be Heroes, but it isn’t an easy journey. They walk a treacherous tightrope of temptation above a ravening pack of pit bulls. Rogue Heroes must keep their feet on the path of the Greater Good. One false step, and they are destined to be doggie doo-doo.

Rogues have many talents they can use to do good. Because they don’t care if they get credit for their deeds, they can use others as their “front men” by convincing them that the Rogue’s plan is their own. They can find ways to help others when bureaucracies get in the way. And they can out-con the con-men.

All Rogues know that the End justifies the Means; the goal is to succeed. Rogue Heroes know which Ends are worth justifying. Remember, there’s no justice, there’s just us. So make your sneaky plans for your Roguish Good Deeds. We’re on to you, Rogue Hero, and you’re going to have to be awfully clever to be a Hero without getting caught at it!



The Art of War(riors)

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Patton MeepOn the surface, the brash, straight-forward Warrior seems like the easiest and most obvious character class to define. Examples of great Warriors abound – Genghis Khan, Caesar, Conan, Wolverine, Hagar the Horrible, Patton, Leonidas, and many others. (Okay, so some of these are greater than others.) We all know what a Warrior is and does…

Or do we?

When we think of a Warrior, it might be one of several images – the plate-armored “human tank,” the wild-eyed berserker, the big, dumb, fighter, or the calm strategist. Each serves an important role in battle, and each is a very different archetype. Here at the School, when we say Warrior, we mean Leader.

If you took the Hero Test and became a Warrior, you would rather do something than sit around. You crave excitement and adventure. You are decisive. Other people respect that and look to you for decisions and answers when the going gets tough. Our great Warrior heroes need the judgment of Right and Wrong and the heart and soul to choose the Right.


Back in October, we wrote an article called Tribal Lore about a book called Tribes: We need you to lead us by Seth Godin. The concepts are powerful for everyone, but Warriors especially should read the article and consider getting the book.

Seth says, “The first thing you need to know is that individuals have far more power than ever before in history.” You don’t need a title to be a leader. You just have to be passionate about an idea and willing to do the work to help it spread.

Creating and sustaining a tribe is about leadership. More than any other class, the Warriors have the decisiveness, the vision, and the passion to be leaders.

No Substitute for Hard Work

The Warrior class may have some of the most difficult and challenging assignments in The School for Heroes. That’s because Warriors thrive on challenge and they know how to overcome obstacles. They don’t think their way around it like the Wizards, and they don’t sneak past it the way a Rogue might.

To a Warrior, finding a way around an obstacle is avoidance. They aren’t afraid of hard work when the goal is worthwhile.

Warriors see a problem, face it, and overcome it. They know that a challenge postponed is ten times harder than one handled immediately.

How was the Great Wall of China built? Step by step and brick by brick. If a task seems overwhelming, the Warrior breaks it down into manageable pieces, makes a plan, and starts working on it one piece at a time. If the project is too big for one Hero, the Warrior delegates, leads, and finds the people to get the job done.

Are Warriors the Best of the Best, or What?

Warriors in the School are pretty hot stuff. They’re confident, healthy, decisive, and charismatic. Nobody’s perfect though. It’s easy to go from “decisive” to “reckless.” Warriors sometimes act without having all the data they need to succeed. Somewhere along the line, a successful Warrior needs to learn control and balance as well as authority and power.

One of the most important parts of the Warrior curriculum is learning how to lead. Warriors are natural leaders because other people tend to follow the one who has a plan. However, to stay a leader, Warriors need to learn to listen, to compromise, and above all, to keep going when times are tough.

We might not succeed at every plan, but failure makes us stronger. Some of the greatest successes in history have come after equally spectacular failures. Be willing to be wrong, and be willing to adapt when the first try fails. Nike had a slogan, “Second place is the first loser.” We hate that saying, but that message is different to a Warrior than to other people. Here’s what it says to a Warrior:

“Second place is the best motivation to win the next time.”

Learn from your failures and grow. Maybe you just need a little more work, and a little better plan, to be a winner. Second place is pretty damn good, but being a Warrior is about becoming the best. Cherish your seconds and thirds, then do what it takes to become first.

“Never give up, never surrender, full speed ahead.” – Galaxy Quest

We don’t make it easy on our Warriors. One of the first Warrior assignments is to create a daily workout regimen and report on their progress after a week of following it. No other class gets a rank 1 assignment that they have to spend at least a week on before they can report it as done. It can be very easy for a new Warrior to look at the assignments, think “This is too hard,” and give up.

Give up? Even think about giving up? That’s no Warrior attitude! If they assignments are tough, that’s because we know you’re tougher! By working through them, you will become stronger.

And we need your strength. We need Warriors to help lead us into the future. More importantly, the world needs Warrior Heroes who lead with a conscience. Be that leader. Be a Warrior!


Sun Tzu Quote