On Multi-Classing in Life

In this great RPG we call Life, I multi-classed Parent/Academic/Programmer/Manager/Writer. I lost my save vs Melancholic Pensiveness, and so, this post.

Parent (Cleric): I’ve poured a lot blood and spirit into the Parent class. It’s always been my default, the one that took priority before all others. Pouring points into it slowed my advancement in other classes (especially starting at 22), but my two compassionate, curious, self-aware kids are my greatest life successes and most precious treasures. I suppose that my leveling will slow way down once my youngest leaves for Swarthmore College in a few months.

Academic (Wizard): This was a dream through all of my twenties, but in retrospect it’s clear that a powerful geas was cast upon me. In my Poli Sci PhD program, I spent a bunch of points on the least useful skills, like Unfundable Interest and Absentee Advisor. Then I was distracted for a semester by the MBA specialization. Later I was accepted into the Stanford School of Graduate Wizardry, but my then spouse got into a competing school hundreds of miles away. Finally, family illness killed my consolation master’s thesis, sending me into depression and out of this class.

Programmer (Rogue): Pragmatist for hire. I took a lot of levels in this class (and many ranks in Databases) mainly so that I could support my advancement in the Parent and Academic classes. Eventually, my guild thought that I should invest in Manager.

Manager (Bard): My current career class. Jack of many trades, master of none, distributing points like I’m a dealer at a Texas hold’em table with a lot of players (to horribly mix multiple game metaphors). I have the least experience in the class I’m focusing in, and I feel insecure that any adventuring party will want to keep me or include me.

Writer (Sorcerer): Finally, the Writer. This is the class that brings me the most fulfillment. It’s in my blood. It’s how I define myself. Those nearest and dearest to me are consumed by similar creative powers and destructive tendencies. I dream of reaching epic class like Neil Gaiman, or deification, like Ursula K. Le Guin. In spite of all this, I assign experience first to Parent and Manager. Duty to others, and survival, right? My progress in Writer is frustrating in how slow it is. I’ve achieved Workshop Graduate but I wonder if I’ll ever reach SFWA Member, let alone I Make Enough From My Writing to Pay Rent.

Anyhow, I find it helpful, if not hopeful, to think about Writer as something in which I need to invest points, aka time and energy. Like any metaphor, it breaks down if examined too closely, but I realize that if I want to level up as a Writer, I need to pour more of myself into it.

Any thoughts?

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  • Steven M. Long

    I’m assuming that you’re a half-elf, in order to maintain all those classes at the same time (yes, I’m a fossil, making a 1st edition AD&D joke!).

    • Remy Nakamura

      Yeah, I actually had to choose an edition before I began writing this post!

  • Wendy N. Wagner

    Can a halfling do all of this? I think I might need some enchanted gear to keep leveling up in ANY of my classes.
    Sincerely,
    Struggling Cleric/Bard/Sorcerer with 2 Familiars

    • Remy Nakamura

      Wendy, you’re higher level than you realize, in all the classes! Plus your familiars are super cute. 🙂