While Kantrilla and I were a good team, we weren’t a balanced or full team by ourselves. One melee fighter and one healer weren’t suited for any situation. Even if we considered my ability to use ranged weapons, it wasn’t enough. If I thought about parties from RPGs I had played, we would want at least a tank and a magic user.
A tank was the kind of person who could soak up large amounts of damage. That was a bit more tricky to find in something real… because even though there were gamelike stats, this wasn’t a game. It couldn’t be guaranteed that the tank could get people to attack them, though there were apparently some skills that helped. Of course, they could also physically interpose themselves in front of attacks, though this meant they had to be able to resist whatever attacks were coming. Moving in the way of an enemy also meant moving in the way of a friend, which could ruin their attacks as well. In addition, if all the person could do was wear armor and take hits, nobody would bother to attack them. At the very least they had to be able to harass enemies and make them worried about what would happen if they ignored the person. Thus, the idea of ‘tank’ became more ‘heavily armored melee fighter’. They would be able to take a few hits on purpose and hopefully damage an enemy in the opportunity created. At the very least, we needed another frontline fighter that I could work with to avoid getting swarmed. I could also wear heavy armor, and I would once I had the money, but without being able to distribute points to Toughness or Constitution I wouldn’t want to take any hits even to make an opportunity.
A magic user was useful for one reason- a well placed spell could instantly defeat an enemy or group of enemies. The only problem was they took time to cast powerful spells, and by then the enemies were already too close to properly target while keeping allies safe. Of course, there were spells that were still useful in those situations, or if the front line could block a crowded hallway from a swarm of enemies. The other option was if the casters got to start off the battle with magic, in which case it sometimes was finished. For that, they would need scouts to inform them of enemy locations… and other help to pick off any enemies who survived. After using a big spell, they might need to rest for a few minutes before they could do it again. Usually, their strength was conserved for important or more difficult fights.
Thinking about that brought to mind another position that would be useful- a scout. Knowing what monsters were coming was very useful, especially since they could be completely avoided if they were too dangerous. After all, if my life was on the line I wouldn’t mind missing out on a bit of profit for a significantly reduced chance of being injured or dying. A scout would also fulfill some other role, usually a melee or ranged fighter. While I had awareness, I didn’t really qualify as a scout except in cases of emergency.
While we had a number of requirements for party members,I didn’t think it would actually be too hard to fulfil. Kantrilla was a cleric- and healers were highly prized. We could probably find an already existing party and join them. Nobody would mind having more frontline fighters, and since I came with a cleric I would at least be given a chance to prove my worth- because I still didn’t look strong.
Kantrilla and I looked at the party recruitment boards. They were an easier way to find people than just yelling across a room or asking around. We could either find a B or possibly C rank group to join, or place something indicating who we were and what kind of party we wanted to join. More people was usually better, because the reduced risk and increased combat speed of more party members would result in higher profits overall. The only limit came when there weren’t enough monsters to hunt in the wild or the party was too big to comfortable travel in a dungeon. Of course, the members had to be somewhat similar in strength as well. Either way, even a party who didn’t strictly need more members might decide to see if we wanted to join.
My eyes flickered across the recruitment board. At first I spotted a large number of D rank or higher adventurers. That didn’t mean there weren’t plenty of people more our level, just that it was easy to find things I didn’t want first. It was like how you always found something lost in the very last place you could fathom to look. Chances were, if you didn’t find it you could have thought of one more place to look, but you wouldn’t since you found it. Finally, my eyes started finding a few parties of the right level. They were looking for scouts, magic users, healers… not so many people like me, but a few.
There were a good number of people everywhere in the guild in the morning, so I didn’t really take notice of one more person nearby until he started talking to Kantrilla. “Hello miss. Are you a cleric?” Kantrilla was wearing traditional clerical garb, so it wasn’t really a question so much as a politeness.
“Oh, yes!” Kantrilla nodded.
The man smiled, “That’s wonderful. I run a high D-rank party, and we could use another cleric. Are you interested in joining?” Despite the man’s pleasant demeanor, I didn’t like him. Maybe I was just jealous. Maybe it was because I was being ignored… or maybe it was because he was enough older than us that it seemed strange. He was in his 30’s, and while age differences weren’t too uncommon in adventuring parties, 10 or more years of difference was rather much.
Kantrilla smiled, “Thank you for the offer, but I’m B rank. I’d rather join a party more my level.”
“Are you sure? We really could use you.”
Kantrilla glanced at me, and I shook my head. “No, thank you.”
The man frowned, and his voice took on a different tone. “Listen here-” He reached his hand out and placed it on Kantrilla’s shoulder. She immediately looked uncomfortable.
Before the man could finish what he was saying, I grabbed his wrist and pulled it away, “Hands off.”
The man turned to me. “This is a private conversation, buddy. Don’t butt in.”
I looked up, straight into his eyes. It was hard to be intimidating at my height, but I tried my hardest. “That’s my friend. Hands off.”