The Dragonlance Nexus

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So, you want to play a kender wizard?

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Trampas Whiteman


Chuck was excited about his new Dragonlance game. Tony finally got Fridays off, Karen brought her new boyfriend Jeff, and Kenny was there to offer his unique flair into the game.

Chuck had everyone roll up characters using his new copy of Dragonlance Adventures 3rd Edition (DLA3e), which he downloaded off the Nexus. Tony rolled up a dwarf cleric, Karen rolled up a tinker gnome, and Jeff had a Knight of Solamnia. Kenny merely had a smirk on his face.

Chuck had learned from past games that one of Kenny's smirks meant trouble, so he asked Kenny what he was playing.

"I'm going to play a kender wizard!"

Introduction and Synopsis:

Many times in Dragonlance gaming, there is the one player who wants to play that kender wizard. Many times the other players will groan, and the DM just knows he has trouble on his hands.

Does this have to be the case, though? Can one play a successful Kender wizard? This article gives some tips and tricks on how to play a Kender wizard.

Not a typical Kender:

One of the key things to remember is that every Kender is not a "Tas clone". Often, it is the trap of players to try to emulate Tasslehoff when playing their Kender.

Kender who become wizards often feel apart from Kender society. They look at things through more thoughtful and insightful eyes. Certainly they still have the same sense of wonder, but it is directed more towards learning as much as they can about the world around them.

Becoming a wizard:

Certainly, this is the hardest part of playing a Kender wizard. How does the Kender learn magic in the first place? Certianly, no wizard in his right mind would teach a Kender magic!

Some Kender adventure with wizards, and study over their shoulders. When the wizard sleeps, the Kender stays awake at nights, thrilling to the adventure of learning magic. Other Kender may "borrow" a spellbook out of curiosity, and learn from it.

Learning the magic in the first place is one of the hardest parts of playing a Kender wizard. DM's may have players start their Kender out as rogues, then have them go on a quest in order to learn magic. After such time, the Kender could multi-class into the wizard class. The DM may wish to elect an XP penalty of 20% in the Kender's wizard class to represent how Kender are easily distracted.

Kender of High Sorcery:

Every wizard on the continent of Ansalon must eventually take the Test of High Sorcery once they are able to cast 2nd-level spells. The Test is often dangerous, and failure means death. How do Kender survive?

The answer is that most Kender don't. Often, Kender who even begin to learn magic rush into the test with the typical Kender fearlessness and are met with a typical Kender demise.

Only the very rare Kender, who pause and think before they act, survive the Test.

Aftermath of the Test of High Sorcery:

The Test also provides some interesting possibilities for both DM and player which can mold and shape the character. The Test often has effects on the character who takes the Test. Many times, the character comes away from the Test with physical scars or change, such as Justarius' limp leg or Raistlin's golden skin and hourglass eyes. Characters can also come away with emotional and psychological scars as well.

The rare Kender wizard who survives the Test often comes out of it losing his fearlessness. No longer is he easily distracted, as he now knows the power and dedication that is the calling of wizards. A Kender's wanderlust and curiosity sometimes becomes single-minded, focusing on learning all there is about magic. The DM may want to reward the Kender character with a higher Intelligence or Wisdom score.

Final Thoughts:

Playing a Kender wizard can be a rewarding experience. It is an opportunity to go beyond stereotypes and to make a truly unique Kender.

The author would like to thank Darthsylver from the Dragonlance Message Boards for inspiration on this article. Also to André La Roche for some technical points.

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This item has been published here with permission from the author(s) and may not be reproduced without permission. This is a fan submission and its contents are completely unofficial. Some characters, places, likenesses and other names may be copyright Wizards of the Coast.