An Edgy Trope

June 21, 2019

You’ve jumped onboard a new campaign for Dungeons & Dragons. You’ve got your dice and books, now all you need is a brand new character. While rolling your stats is an essential start, what truly makes a game interesting is the characters inhabiting that world – including the players. As a game spanning decades worth of editions and players, certain character types are more common than others and it’s up to the player to make tropes interesting.

In this particular entry, we’ll focus on everyone’s favorite default –  the Dark and Edgy Edgelord.

Usually seen as a new player’s first pick, it’s a popular choice for those wanting to explore a darker story with a character that can let out some aggression on both enemies and party members. That being said, it’s a trope for a reason.

The Edgelord has lost his home. His parents, entire family – murdered. House – burned to the ground. Lover – once a solace, now also dead as a doornail. These tragedies have colored his view of the world and he can no longer trust anything or anyone that isn’t a mug of ale or a darkened corner or the room. The new adventurers are noisy but they’re on the trail of adventure and gold so he supposes he can go along with it

It’s not the worst trope but despite all the backstory, there’s very little for the Dungeon Master (DM) to actually work off of. There are no living ties to any city or other locale – while there might be a place to avoid, there’s nothing else to really tie them into the world itself. In cases like this, the Edgelord should have some sort of work contact – no one can truly work alone, as much as they want to. They may be in debt to these work contacts or have them as one of their very few and trusted friends. At the very least, it gives the DM a starting point to building up more NPCs and tying your character into the world you’re playing in

One also has to be careful of their attitude. Your traditional Edgelord doesn’t trust anyone and the most common mistake with this character is that the player never makes room for eventual trust in their own party. The growth of a character is the most important (or at least the most fun) part of a campaign and it makes little sense for someone to be traveling with a group they don’t even remotely trust. While they may have other motives to be following the group such as gold, adventure, or weird suspicions, being able to trust the group in some way helps a great deal and allows other players develop a connection to your character as well.

Keep this all in mind when making your dark and brooding adventurer – it’s a thin line to cross from boring and overdone to interesting and fun.

Jess P

Jess is a barrister at Mayfair. An avid gamer at heart, anything on the table or a screen is fair play. When not playing or working, Jess crafts in her spare time or writes up homebrew campaigns for DnD 5E. She mothers two cats, Elvira and Blitzen, with her girlfriend. Her favorite games include Pandemic, Unlock! Escape Adventures, Viticulture, and Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.

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