The rogues I tend to envision myself as in any RPG-style situation are usually more thief-bard-scout hybrids than the more cutthroat assassin-types that seem to be so popular in games like World of Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed. Don’t get me wrong, I see the use for those kinds of rogues, but they just don’t hold any kind of appeal for me personally. I’m not the kind of person who will casually decide to end someone’s life in any situation, even a fictitious one, though I will readily pick someone’s pockets if I feel they’re a jerk who deserves to get taken down a peg.
Rogues are often considered a cowardly lot, the kinds of people who take the easy way out, who would rather backstab than fight hand to hand in a fair fight, and who would just as soon avoid a fight altogether if they can still make off with the prize. It’s the whole “easy way out” aspect to the rogue persona that probably dominates the one who collides with my inner paladin so regularly. You saw in my previous post how the rogue tried to influence me to keep a library item when I shouldn’t have done so. He wasn’t advocating that I directly harm anyone–I don’t think I could keep the counsel or company of anyone who did, real or otherwise–just that I benefit myself for a little while longer, and flout those silly rules for a bit. That’s all.
And the thing is, I often wonder if the rogue has been the guiding light for the larger part of my adult life so far. He’s been pretty damn persuasive over the years, in quite a few ways:
- He’s convinced me to sleep in rather than get up early and eat breakfast before I begin my regular days;
- He’s persuaded me to continue to eat foods and indulge in habits that have likely been detrimental to my health over time; and
- He’s even gotten me to back out of commitments I’d previously made (to go across town and hang out with a friend or friends), even if I hadn’t originally wanted to do them, simply by reminding me how little I’d enjoy myself if I followed through.
It’s been easy for me to listen to the rogue, because for the most part I’ve had little fallout from taking his advice. I’m graced with a thin-wiry build that hasn’t really changed (much) over the years, despite what I may choose to eat; I’ve never felt significantly bad when I skipped breakfast; and my friends have always been understanding when I’ve asked to bail on them once in a while. I’ve been able to glide through a lot of these things, and the rogue has blithely enabled this. Hell, he even tried to get me not to write this post just now, suggesting I just play video games to unwind.
The thing is, time has passed, and that tends to make fools of us all.
My numbers from my doctor have steadily worsened over the years. I’ve noticed I’m nowhere near as firm as I used to be, and I’ve even gained a little weight, even if my overall frame hasn’t changed. I’m hovering at alarming numbers for cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels, and was recently diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. And I’ve come to realize that when I don’t see my friends for long enough, those relationships can wither away and die.
Never fear. I’ve taken steps to correct these things, but it’s a daily struggle. The rogue continues to hold sway, suggesting I occasionally take the day off from my exercise regiment, or to maybe nibble on that delicious looking donut just this once. Nowadays I can resist him and do, but sometimes I still succumb to his clarion call.
Because at the end of the day, the rogue isn’t a bad persona. He bends or ignores the rules because sometimes, the rules are stupid. And what he’s advocating for is for me to enjoy life to the fullest extent possible, which I’m sure is a thing we as people can always get behind. Sometimes the rogue has gotten me to ignore the rules about print card procedures at the library, and just print a page (or three) for free for an individual who just needs the print, now, so they can get to a job interview on time. Sometimes my paladin-esque instincts have gotten in the way of this, and sometimes I want to kick myself for it. That’s where the rogue’s strengths shine.
He is noble, in his own way. Which is why, even if his influence is waning these days, he’ll never fully go away. He understands life, and living, and the people who do it way more than the paladin who believes in rules, and service to a higher purpose. That’s why they’ll both always be here.
And that’s why, at least once in a while, the rogue will get the win.