Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
Over the next 6 weeks, with a little time out for the holiday blog, we will look at each of the five four schools in the School for Heroes. Today we begin with the Wizard class, our largest class in both enrollees and level 1 Initiates who have completed their mission statements. In the following weeks, we will explore Paladins, Rogues, disbarred Bards, true Bards, and finally Warriors.
The Wonderful Wizards of Odds
There are a few reasons for the popularity of the Wizard class. One is self-selection – Many of the first people to find this site are role-playing game players, and you’re all pretty computer literate to be here at all. A lot of Wizards fit that profile.
Another possible reason is tester bias – The hero test was created mostly by Corey, a notorious Wizard, and the rest by Lori, who is undoubtedly a Paladin. It would not surprise us if we’ve unconsciously made the Wizard and Paladin answers sound more desirable than some of the other choices. We have in fact recently fine-tuned the hero test to balance the weighting a little; it is now slightly easier to qualify as a Warrior, for example. We hope to see more students choose the difficult, challenging path of the Warrior over the coming months.
What Is a Wizard?
From the Wizard Lore page:
You’re intelligent, educated, and just a bit superior to everyone you know… For you, learning is a joy, and knowledge is the greatest treasure.
There are a lot of really good things about being a Wizard. Wizards are great at defining and solving problems. They often have great insight into the heart of a problem that they can use to come up with a good solution. Contrast this with a Rogue, who is also good at solving problems, but generally by finding a way to work around or avoid the problem entirely. Wizard solutions tend to be clean, thorough, and permanent.
Another Wizard strength is “seeing the big picture.” Where a Warrior might just attack a problem head-on, sometimes the Wizard can see that what appears to be a problem is really just a symptom of a problem somewhere else. It’s like the old saying about, “Teach a man to fish.” A Paladin is likely to see a hungry man and feed him. The Wizard might be the one to see that training and knowledge are worth more than food to the man with no resources.
Wow, I’m Brilliant! Is There a Downside?
As with every class, the profile of the typical Wizard suggests both strengths and flaws. Consider that “just a bit superior” part, for example – The good side is that Wizards are very smart and know it. The bad side is that sometimes they get a bit arrogant about it and don’t listen to others as well as they might. Despite their love for knowledge, Wizards sometimes fail to learn because they are too busy imparting their wisdom to others. They can also be a little lazy about finishing projects once they’ve worked out the theory of how to do it. It’s like this…
The Mathematician Joke
A physicist, a mathematician, and an engineer met at a conference, had a few drinks, and stayed up really late. This was back in the days when even highly intelligent people liked to smoke, and they’d been smoking cigars. The engineer got back to her room, tossed the cigar into the trash can, and fell into bed. An hour later, she woke up and realized she’d started a small fire. So she dumped the trash can into the bathtub, turned on the water, and the fire was soon out.
Meanwhile, the physicist had the same unfortunate circumstance. Acting quickly, he measured the trash can and flame height, did a few calculations on a hotel notepad, and poured exactly 7/8 of a glass of water on the fire, just enough to put it out. In minutes, he was back in bed snoring.
The mathematician, having had some physics and engineering training as well, was equally up to the problem. He made some measurements, did a few calculations, determined that it would take just 7/8 of a glass of water, plus or minus 5%, to put out the fire. “Problem solved,” he thought, and went back to bed.
Ways of the Wizards
Wizards are sometimes like mathematicians. They’re great at analyzing problems and coming up with solutions, but not always quite as good at applying and following through on them. Unfortunately, this flaw is compounded by the tendency of many Wizards to be loners. A Wizard is strongest when working with a team of other people with complementary skills. The School for Heroes can help you build those relationships with Heroes-in-training in all the classes. It can also be very helpful – and fun – having other Wizards to talk to.
So, from one Wizard to another… Let’s work together to learn, to teach, to improve ourselves, and to make the world a better place through the application of insight and knowledge. It’s so much easier and more fun to do it together than alone.