The Life Cycle of a Fighter

I thought I might share my musings on the average and not so average ways that the different classes might make their way through life, beginning with the Fighter.

By ma-ko


Baby fighters are usually chunkier, exiting the womb with much force and immediate powerful crying. The infant fighter will usually find something to swing around as if it were a weapon almost immediately. Even as young children, they delight in nothing more than knocking over objects, throwing food, and wrestling small animals. Their first words are always less words and more battle-cries. They are often slower to speak and formulate thoughts beyond incoherent violence, and even then incoherent violence is their base state.


Most child fighters are the bullies on the playground, using their superior muscle to take wizard children's lunches and candies. Fighter children will often delight in finding good sticks for pretend swordfights and engage in endless battles with other children who will also likely grow into fighters, though those that will actually make it to level 1 will easily rise to the top as leaders and battle tacticians, drawing up plans with crayons and equipping their troops with bucket helms and slingshots, creating buckets of sand to top the walls of tree forts as anti-siege weapons, and tying together tree branches to form ladders to invade the forts of others.

Sports will be their domain and all future thieves, wizards, and even most clerics will be ground into the mud when forced by their parents to play Bludgeon Ball. Fighter dads at this age will usually hospitalize referees for a bad call.


Teenage fighters are jocks. Of that there can be no doubt. They have masters sports, get mad bard girl puss, and even seduce future clerics. All of them are members of their school's chapter of the Future Fodder Friends and they twirl their fake swords like nobody's business. Ironically, though they detest nerdery of all kinds, pushing adolescent wizards into their lockers and giving thieves swirlies, they are incredibly nerdy about military tactics, sport strategy, and weapon kinds. A young fighter destined for the upper levels can name polearms Gygax wouldn't even know.

To be honest, most truly heroic fighters at this age or younger have their villages burned and are sent into slavery to go on lifelong revenge quests that will rocket their name into stardom, or they have already joined the ranks of their local despot's army and made their way to Private First Class.

Early Adulthood

Fighters will usually go straight into their father's business as a butcher, blacksmith, woodcutter, or squire. Those that pursue higher education do so by way of an officer's academy or a tutor for the more well off.

Not too long into early adulthood, most successful fighters will begin on the path of adventure quite early. Their power, especially when they are young and foolish, comes from their youthful strength so a fighter capable of surviving the lower levels has likely started his career early, by choice or otherwise.

A young fighter at this age is often the only one foolish enough to stand up and volunteer to go slay some beast which is haunting their village. Those that make it to level 1 will be successful in their hunt, locking eyes with a powerful predator as they die and feeling a kindred spirit in the wildness and sheer power of the thing they have destroyed. This melancholy will mark them in their quiet moments, and the creature's eyes will burn behind their's in moments of furious battle.

Fighters at this age might find an ancient sword while exploring a hidden cave or ruin and in that place pul forth their first and most beloved implement of violence, perhaps unwittingly inviting in the spirit of a long-dead fighter who will bolster them as they grow into their power. This might also mark them as the true heir to some kingdom or the chosen one in some prophecy.

Adulthood: Levels 1-10

The beginning of a Fighter's career mostly involves dying in a dungeon to a skeleton for a meager chance of reward. Barring that, it is almost dying to skeletons in a dungeon for a meager chance of reward.

Fighters at this level desire nothing else than to discover a magic sword that can carry them through the early to mid-levels and add some flavor to their otherwise bland class. Hopefully, this sword will be intelligent and have a funny accent that the DM can talk in so they feel like they have a friend that they can kill people with which is the true dream of all fighters who are truly quite lonely at heart. It would be their greatest erotic fantasy to find a sword whose mind is their preferred gender which they can slowly fall in love with as they bathe in the blood of their enemies together.

At some point in here, a fighter can usually get themselves a fort of some kind and begin to order peasants around, another quite erotic fantasy for most fighters. To equip their castle with hot cauldrons of boiling oil, teasing trebuchets, bulging ballistas, and sensuously positioned arrow slits will give fighters of any gender a massive boner.

Mid Adulthood: The Upper Levels and Domain Play

Fighters in the latter stages of their active adventuring career begin to take on greater threats. Slaying dragons and liches become more of a possibility and these threats can even become dull after a while. They've usually already killed the subject of their lifelong vendetta, slain a dark lord or two, and even deposed a local tyrant. Fighters afflicted with such boredom can do a few things.

They could follow through with their predisposition to dominate to become the new tyrant, er I mean just monarch of some small fiefdom, perhaps expanding this into a great kingdom or even an empire or even an eternal empire, spreading over the globe and even to the stars and the planes beyond, bringing a never-ending tide of blood to the limitless cosmos for ALL TIME! SLAY THE GODS AND SHATTER THEIR THRONES! BUILD A NEW SEAT FROM THEIR CORPSES AND RULE FROM THE CENTER OF TIME!


Or they could go into business. Fighters are often the more pragmatically minded of their parties and make great administrators. They might grow an adventuring company into a massive corporate entity with several franchises around the plane and beyond! BUY OUT ALL THE GOD'S SHARES AND RULE AS THE CEO OF ALL CREATION!

Sorry sorry... hold on...

Another thing an upper-level fighter might do is they might take their adventure to new heights. Why not hop aboard a Spell-Jammer ship to fly among the higher spheres. Take your sword to deep heaven to confront unknown dangers and pursue even more deadly prey. Go to the future and become equipped with cybernetic enhancements and patrol the streets of tomorrow with the iron fist of the law. Raid Hell and let loose all the souls trapped there for a laugh. Fight among the corpses of primordial gods in cities of psychic energy ruled by lich-queens. Plumb the deepest depths of the earth where no man has seen. Or you could always... yep... here I go again...


Most routes return there, as you might have guessed by now.

Old Age and Afterlife

Fighters that have not usurped the gods find themselves in a couple of positions.

In their old age, they have retired to a remote place to find peace and make an end of the bloodletting they have unleashed all of their lives. Some find peace. Others are driven mad. Peace is often deadly to those whose lives are war. Mental stress, post-traumatic stress syndrome, nightmares of the screaming of the dead and dying, they catch up to one.

Many in such a condition will find themselves coerced to leave retirement, to pick up the sword one last time, for one last glorious battle, and though they will resist, for most, they will want nothing more. Others will be called upon to train another, a promising and persistent student who will do anything to reach their potential. They will resist, turn them away for a while. Its best not to appear desperate, but a fighter will never truly turn down the opportunity to pass down their knowledge.

Other fighters will die peacefully as kings, leaving behind a great lineage of children to carry on their glory to the ages to come. They will be buried or burned with their swords and go on to the halls of their ancestors to the sound of the pipe and drum.

For others, the work is never done. As possessed suits of armor, they will guard dungeons to test the next generation. Their favorite swords will be possessed by their spirits and they will carry on through new wielders who they will possess in turn. This is how many an adventure corporation CEO will continue to attend board meetings, through being held by a designated handler to possess them and keep abreast of changes in the market.

Other's ghosts will go on to help train and encourage young chosen ones. Or they might possess a mighty beast who will be unleashed in the world in all their marvelous wildness only to be slain and live on in another young hero, or find some part of themselves in a sword sitting amongst ancient ruins, recovered by an eager youth with dreams in his eyes.

Then it is time to begin again. The fight never ends. For it is not against mere opponents nor purely for wealth or glory, but the Fighter fights against stagnation. The Fighter fights because in fighting, they resist everything that would chain the human spirit and say that in some way its future is limited. They do not fight to run away but they fight towards something that not even they know, but that burns in their breasts when they hear the call of a horn, when they charge with courage against overwhelming odds, when they face off against monstrosities they can hardly understand, it is that bright fire that calls them to that distant shore where their fathers rest, to that new horizon where they shall find life unbound.


  1. I'm surprised you didn't mention the intra-class distinctions between Fighters, such as how the Fighter children from wealthier backgrounds go on to become Warlords, Samurai or Cavaliers while the poorer Fighters end up becoming Swashbucklers, Slayers or Wrestlers. I feel like you have hurt your own analysis by excluding the socioeconomic axis to this class.

    1. I think you are right that there would be much to say indeed if I were to truly attempt to undertake the task of how different socioeconomic classes contribute tot he rpg classes. I decided to stick with the fairly bog standard Fighter such as one might find BX, Lamentations, and so on. Subclasses in such games do not often exist. The other thing about the difference of economics and noble birth is that many Fighters would simply never be Fighters in the sense of becoming adventurers if they were from a higher economic class. Noble born and wealthy born people would not have any reason to descend down into dungeons to stake their life for the potential for treasure. Rather they would be leading military campaigns or fencing for fun.

      I decided to rather stick to my vision for the regular Fighter, typically a peasant who or someone who has lived in poverty, so that there is ample reason to risk everything to rise in status.


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