Since people really seemed to like the saga of Olaf Olafson, I’m gonna tell you guys about one of my own characters, Brenan the Punch Wizard.
My friend was running a Dragonlance game back in college, and I jumped at the chance to not have to DM for once. I ended up rolling up a Neutral Good farmboy mage whose proclivity for magic was discovered relatively late (like… late teens) and so compared to the other wizards he was a total hayseed who knew fuckall about the theory of magic. His familiar was an his old farm dog ffs. An Australian Shepherd with a red neckercheif.
Well, he passed his test and became a White Robes mage (as you do when you’re not a shithead) and started going on more frequent adventures. Brenan quickly established himself as a pretty excellent hard-counter to enemy meatheads, with his suite of nonlethal spells targeting their usually weaker Will save. He was a good kid. He really didn’t want to kill anybody. We took a lot of prisoners with Brenan around.
Eventually, though, we started running into the Plot, which meant- among other things -running into a lot of Evil Wizards. Their Will saves were usually pretty damn high and so there was little chance of catching them with Sleep or Charm Person or the like. But almost all the spells that targeted their Fort save were kinda brutal, and the Reflex saves weren’t much better. He could counter-spell them sometimes, but not always, and it didn’t solve the problem, really. Just put the onus of murder on our Solamnic knight, running up and stabbing the cackling Black Robes with a huge fuckoff sword. That wasn’t very satisfactory, either. What’s a near-pacifist to do? Fireball?
Finger of Death? It was a dilemma.
Until Brenan picked up a null-magic zone spell. I can’t remember the name of it. But you cast it, and for a fairly sizable area, nobody could cast any spells. The enemy mages and clerics would start to fret, but they felt secure at least that Brenan was equally screwed.
Only, he was a farm boy. With a Str of 16 and a feat in Unarmed combat.
By the time that campaign ended, Brenan had personally captured over a dozen renegade Black Robes and dragged them back to the Tower for judgment. They hated and feared him- most of all because he didn’t even have the decency to kill them. No- every last one of the world-bending megalomaniacal sorcerers he defeated had to live with the knowledge that they’d been beaten by a farm boy prodigy and his mean right hook.