Dear Sir Digimus,

I was in Quifim and joined with a party that had two Red Mages. We were doing well, but the Red Mages were constantly arguing about what is a better sub job, and how much the other’s sucked. I’ve never really heard this argument before, and I and the rest of the party just wanted both of them to shut up. But now I have to ask! Is this a big deal with Red Mages, and was this the best time to argue about it? I mean what if we got killed? Why do they think that this is the best freaking time to worry abou that? I thought they both were okay players and no one in the party died, and that’s more important to me.

Thanks…David Arrington

Dear David,

First, to address your and other writers’ concerns let me say this: I will only ever edit your letters to me should they contain language which others may find offensive. Surely you can come up with better insults or expressions of anger than that expressed in only one word. *chuckles* Okay, with that out of the way, let’s address your question…

It is most regrettable to hear my Red Mage brethren continue to argue about this, but yes, it is a quite heated debate. It has spread to outside the Red Mage schools and amongst other adventurers. The arguing about such things is laughable to me, but my reasons or ideals dictate a different path I follow. It’s funny to imagine my Red Mage brethren in their venerable years sitting in cushy chairs around a fire still trying to verbally prove one point or the other. You are indeed quite right in that they had no reason to bring it up in a party setting. There are better suited forums for such conversations.

So you know, Red Mages have been arguing about this as long as I started on the path to become one. Even my teacher would quite frequently get into debates with other teachers. It often ended in sparring matches to prove who or what was best. In fact, I think they have become the ‘old men in the cushy chairs’ now. Of course, I think that old men make us younger ones fight over something because they no longer can. Then they sit back and relax while we fight it out; laughing to each other over a game of Tetra Master. But, that is neither here nor there. Back to the point… most people know we are often called the “Jack of All Trades.” We don’t really have one specific role in a party setting as far as I and others are concerned. Well… other than to make sure the enemy is weakened, as we excel at that school of magic. Oh yes, we are also known throughout the lands for our Refresh spell (which other mages say they can’t live without…) and our attack enhancement spells. I almost forgot to mention those, so sue me. Anyway… the point is, in the time between the need for such spells we can heal, but not as well as a White Mage; we can cast elemental magic, but not as well as a Black Mage; we can attack with a sword, but not as well as a Warrior. In a worst case scenario, should one of the three jobs mentioned above be unable to fulfill their duty, we can help pick up the slack. So, with this repertoire in mind, what do we then say is the best secondary job for us?

There is no right answer to this question, for in my opinion there is no ‘best’ secondary job for a Red Mage. Before you should resort to violent and angry correspondence, please hear me out. Should I decide to learn the ways of the fighter: I would swing my sword with greater vigor and cause more damage to my enemy, and surely my enhancement spells would aid that cause. Should I choose to learn the ways of another mage job: I would have access to greater healing or damaging spells, and a larger pool of mana to draw from. As you can see (and probably know) each of the other jobs offers some type of bonus to our already existing one-third strengths. Even if this is not directly related to our job, such as the examples above (i.e. Warrior, Black Mage, White Mage) there are skills and talents available which can be quite useful. To that end, we (Red Mages) are in the sort of unique position to be able to choose almost any of the other jobs as our secondary. I think the ‘trick’, as it were, is to learn to hone the proper abilities of that second job to aid your first.

I would also add that, in the end, the best secondary job is the one that the adventurer most enjoys. I think that this mindset has been lost nowadays. Frankly, I don’t care what these ‘scientists’ and their ‘data’ say about what is the most ‘efficient’ way for me to adventure. Maybe I am just a bit old fashioned, but where I was raised, adventuring was about the thrill of the adventure, not how quickly I was able to obtain pre-set goals. Sadly, many of those who would share my opinion are often shunned and not invited into adventuring parties, which only hurts the enjoyment of the adventure for everyone. It is a shame that those who don’t “follow the trend” are so prejudged.

It goes without saying that people often pose the question of what secondary job I will be into my late years, and to be honest, I don’t know. (Or perhaps I’m just not going to tell you! HA!) The ways of the Thief have been particularly kind to me in my younger years thus far, and the ways of the Summoner have caught my interest as a possibility for my later years. But, who is to say that we shall be limited to these jobs as times go by? Who is to say that another school will not reveal themselves to us after being dormant for so long, and offer to teach us their ways? So, to those who pose this question I say, “Maybe I’ll just learn them all, and be a Renaissance Man for the ages.” *chuckles*

-Sir Digimus

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