According to the RPG Class Test, I’m a spellsword. Unsurprisingly, this is the character type that I always like to play. However, this isn’t because I’m playing me, but because I consider it to the the most sensible mixture of skills for a good self-sufficient adventurer.
RPGs usually involve killing lots of things, and you’d have to be an idiot not to have close combat skills in case an enemy gets too close, so a warrior class is a good basis. Going for a character with some intelligence, they’d probably pick a sword or dagger as the most refined of the melee weapons. Given the opportunity, it would be a good idea to pick up a few utility spells to give light, open boxes, teleport back to towns and so on. Given these basic parameters, you’re going to end up with a spellsword. That said, a rogue or ranger would also make a good stealth adventurer.
Oddly enough, it’s often not easy to play a spellsword character, as RPGs tend to reward characters for emphasising a single class or those multiclasses where the skills directly reinforce each other. This is most obvious in RPGs with large parties, where the party has a mixture of skills, but individuals can contribute most strongly if they focus on a narrow field. In single classes, skills seem to increase at a linear rate, and this mechanic escalates battles to an unbelievably epic level.
I think that it would make much more sense that everyone could easily pick up the basics of sword-fighting and casting simple magical cantrips, and get reaching higher skill levels would become exponentially harder. I don’t see why attributes are so often quantised either; surely this is a relic of old pen-and-paper RPGs. Sometimes I’ll post my more detailed thoughts on the direction that I believe RPG skill systems should be taking (hint: it’s closer to Oblivion than Neverwinter Nights).