Combat Pragmatist
rating: 0+x

"Yes, since you ask, it was me that killed the Master of the North Wind Dragon school. So what?"
"You must be really good at kung-fu!"
"Not really, I used a shotgun … do I look stupid?"

Basic Information

The combat pragmatist is someone for whom combat is mostly about winning rather than taking part - either on a personal or group scale. This has not been an entirely fashionable position for much of history - especially amongst those whose social status relies mainly on their "warrior" status - but is far more common amongst genuine professionals.

On the unit level, this is very much the appropriate approach for a modern, professional military leader - as this arcanist's infantry instructor put it "a desire for fair play in an infantry leader is best accompanied by a good letter writing style"1 - something that would horrify the cricket playing officer class of the world wars.

On a more prosaic level this can apply to the "dirty" hand-to-hand fighter, or just to someone who brings a gun to a knife fight2 (or, as in the flavour text, a fist fight).


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • This will play hob with anyone who believes in chivalry, but is an appropriate outlook for the man-at-arms or professional mercenary. George R. Martin fans should compare Bronn and Jaime Lannister.
  • A good way to give your PC a combat related negative reputation whilst maintaining their badass credentials.
  • The "Indiana Jones Shot" also applies here - one combatant puts on a display of skill at arms to challenge and/or intimidate the other … who simply responds by shooting him. This can be played out on the mass scale as well (recall The Last Samurai as the rebel's passage of arms is answered with a volley of minie balls…).
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License