Do people actually play the Prankster archetype?


Says it right on the tin.

I've heard this argument a lot that the purpose of gnomes or whatever is the "Prankster". Which, while is an archetype... it's one I've never seen executed.

Among other things, I would expect "Prankster" To be really difficult to do without making your fellow players want to stab you in the face with a hammer. How do you "prank" them? And, while you're spending so much time pranking them, aren't they busy with the, well, adventure?

I would expect it to come down to:

"Ha ha I put glue in your boots." "Great. But we need you killing this bugbear with us."


"Ha ha, I replaced the holy water in your vials with water." "... when I come back as a wraith spawn, I'm eating you first."

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First Post
I saw it played to perfection. The player was a prankster but genuinely good person in RL so he knew how to do it.

The character was always looking for an opportunity to pull a prank. The player who frequently missed was an easy target, but everyone fell prey to his pranks at least once. The character wasn't a problem in the party because he was very honorable and would happily pay to unto the damage caused by his pranks.

I enjoyed having this player in the game. It definitely added an something different to the game and the group. As long as you don't go messing with things that are really important (in RL and in game) pranks can be a lot of fun for all involved, I think.


First Post
My gaming group has multiple players that play 'pranks' but mostly on the NPC's in the game. I think it can work as long as the players aren't being too detrimental to each other, specially if people aren't taking the game too seriously.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
My gnome illusionist/bard/gnome paragon is a trickster and, I think, a pretty good one. When the Ptolus: The Tenth story hour gets rolling again, check it out.

He doesn't pull stupid slapstick stuff on the other party members, for the most part. He thwarts them when he disagrees with them (but ALWAYS by accident, of course), uses things like a Zone of Truth to blurt out all sorts of uncomfortable truths (of course, he saved against the effect, but they would be disappointed if he didn't go along with it), teases the serious ones unmercifully and, oh, is currently posing as the ghost of a dead party member and sending them all notes from beyond the grave, since they're more likely to listen to her than to him.

EDIT: Of course, he also allegedly helped a gnome NPC suspect get away (they're all members of a special unit of the Ptolus City Watch) after allegedly stealing the suspect's hat of disguise. Not that there's any proof of these scurrilous allegations, of course. And imperial law is really not in synch with gnomish values, and the punishments are way too severe for perfectly innocent misunderstandings ...
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First Post
It can definitely be done well, but a lot of time the "prankster" archetype is used by someone whose real joy is to destroy campaigns. I've, unfortunately, known several people whose main joy in gaming seems to be to destroy games. And usually they're hyper-protective and think everyone is trying to do the same to their own games if they DM.

Perhaps by chance, perhaps not... every one of them has really really liked playing kender.


First Post
I've seen it being played a few times but never in D&D, so far.

E.g. 'Das Schwarze Auge' has some excellent support for that kind of character: The 'Schelm' character class has a whole list of spells dedicated to that kind of thing. I've also seen them in Earthdawn, Runequest, and Ars Magica.

Eric Tolle

First Post
I've only seen it done a couple times where it was actually enjoyable for the other players. Usually though, the prankster targets either the other player characters in order to annoy the players, or he targets the NPCs in order to cripple the mood of the game.

So, it can be done well, but usually when I hear the term, my guard goes up, and I get ready for the game to end prematurely.

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