We like fantasy role-playing games. We also like Americana, both of the old kind which brings tears to our eyes, and of the new kind which keeps the spirit of real folk music burning laced with a mess of wonderful influences, let’s see our heroes battle in the middle of a night they illuminate with the lightning bolts of their music, and the pure intense commitment of their hearts, they can roll fucking pi on a D20, which is enough to make you shit your pants, there:
A bard is a versatile class, capable of combat and of magic. Bards use their artistic talents to induce magical effects. The class is loosely based on the special magic that music holds in folk stories like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Times New Viking would be in the bard class no doubt, in their new album ‘Rip it Off’ they open the noise troll’s ribcage with a lo-fidelity saber, crouch over its colossal rocky corpse and extricate from the gory mess a still-beating heart of scintillating melodic beauty which they squeeze inside their small fists showering us with summer love vibrations. We really heart the way they conjugate the sensibility of Young Marble Giants styles via C-86 post-post-punk and the fucked up production of Electric Eels into a epic mess quite unheard of since the good ole days of Royal Trux and Honeymoon Killers, i.e. noise hymns for kids whose religion is life, awesome.
A sorcerer is weak in melee combat, but a master of arcane magic, the most generally powerful form. Sorcerers’ magical ability is innate rather than studied. In the words of the 3.5 Player’s Handbook: “Sorcerers create magic the way a poet creates poems, with inborn talent honed by practice”.
It was only on Saturday that we picked up a beautiful copy of Valerie Project’s double vinyl record, released over here by Andy Votel’s ever excellent Finders Keepers label (Drag City in the States), the idea was to get some of those whiz kids from Philadelphia’s psyche folk scene such as Fursaxa, Espers or Fern Knight to name a few and record music under the shadow of the wonderfully eerie Valerie and Her Week of Wonders czech new wave film Robin told you about here some time ago, this sounds like something we could have dreamed about to then awake thinking, nah, that would be too good to be true.
Well, it is true actually, and it is that fucking good, not that the music sounds any less otherwordly and dream-like just because it, ahem, exists here in the land of the breathing. Arcane magic is more powerful than reality, and some times the right spell can snatch you from this side and take you to its bewitched reverse, if you have any doubts about it you empiricists out there, just listen to any of the songs within and witness your body rise in the air to float with the currents of the night, pending between the full moon and misty fields populated by whispering revenants and gnarly cloaked vampires.
The Druid is a versatile class, capable in combat and of casting divine spells. They gain divine magic from being at one with nature, or from one of several patron gods of the wild. Unlike the cleric, druids do not have special powers against undead and cannot use metal armor. Druids have a unique ability that allows them to change into various animal forms, and various other qualities that assist them in natural settings. Druids work very well with animals, and can try to improve a wild creature’s attitude the same way they would improve an NPC with diplomacy. Druids gain a greater control of their body and at higher levels they can change appearance at will, and do not age.
Flexxehawk would then fall inside the druid class, in its older understanding as darken masters of the natural things, this is, before all the New Age bollocks and Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge. One reason for this identification we are making is that we find in them the same stunning feral whirling power that graces the monolithic riff crags of our beloved Comets on Fire or Oneida, arranged in spiral-shaped structures burning with the metronomic fire of Silver Apples, melodies spread their wings like soul harvesting psychedelic Eagles flying over mind expanding vistas which glimmer intense in the best tradition of Kraut rock shamanism.