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Field Notes

High and Mighty

Roles Amongst Roles: Part 2

What adventuring party doesn’t include the muscly tough whose feats of strength are unparalleled? Who doesn’t love rooting for a character who keeps getting back up no matter how many times they get knocked down? Why is this person staring at me while pressing their fingers against their temples and does anyone else suddenly taste purple? In this article we’ll examine the Mighty attribute in OSR+. Beyond representing pure brute strength, Mighty also encompasses the concepts of both physical and mental fortitude. In this sense, if we were to use D&D 5e terms, we could say it also embodies aspects from the Constitution and Charisma abilities.

What Mighty Brings to the Table

Mighty affects a character in several different ways. Besides allowing a character to either steel oneself or just use brute strength to overcome obstacles, it has several mechanical applications which lend themselves to greater durability. Not only does Mighty give a character more base HP, but it also allows access to higher tiers of armor, and to a slightly lesser extent, shields.

From a utility standpoint, Mighty allows characters to manipulate the world around them through acts of strength, push agendas via persuasion, endure the rigors of a cruel world, and allow more items to be carried upon their person. But it is in combat where Mighty truly shines. In addition to the aforementioned "tankiness" that it can bring, Mighty lends itself to powerful weapons and even unarmed attacks, and the type of magic called Psionics.

Using Skills

There are three non-weapon skills used in exploration and social play associated with Mighty: Athletics, Influence, Survival; one Arcana skill for spellcasting: Psionics; and a whopping six weapon skills: Blunt, Edged, Heavy, Flexible, Reach, and Hand-to-Hand.

In-Combat Uses

When a character is skilled in a weapon, they not only get to add a +2 to their attack roll when using said weapon, but are also able to unlock its tactic. Tactics have many strategic applications, but that will be a topic for another article.

Much like weapons, the use of the Psionics skill in combat is pretty cut and dry in that it also adds a +2 to both offensive and defensive rolls involving Psionic magic. However, it might not be readily apparent that it can also be used to add a +2 when attacking or parrying with your maleficence, since you use your Smart attribute to do so.

As for the three non-weapon skills, although they will most likely get more mileage out-of-combat, they can still be useful once initiative is rolled. Some examples include:

  • Wall jumping to reach a lofty enemy (Athletics)
  • Commanding an opposing force to stand down (Influence)
  • Stabilizing a downed comrade (Survival).

Athletics in particular can be extremely useful in combat, as it adds a +2 when parrying with your shield.

Out-of-Combat Uses

The three non-weapon Mighty skills are very obvious in their uses when in comes to actions made out-of-combat: Athletics aids a character in performing death-defying stunts and acts of superhuman strength; Influence bends opponents wills and rallies your compatriots' spirits; Survival allows for greater outcomes when faced with the harsh realities of the natural world. In a similar vein, the skill Psionics bolsters a psychic spellcaster as they try to manipulate reality to their will.

But what of weapon skills? How can they be applied to situations outside of the purview of battle? Here things get a bit trickier. Players can work with their GM to imagine how such skills could be used to accomplish certain goals outside of skirmishes. I fully intend to dig into this topic in the future, but in the meantime, here are out-of-combat usage ideas for each of the six weapon skills:

  • Blunt: Slamming a metal object to create a loud noise as a distraction.
  • Edged: Clearing obstructions such as vines, thick webbing, or cables.
  • Flexible: Crossing chasms a la Indiana Jones.
  • Heavy: Opening locked doors or felling trees.
  • Reach: Knocking down an object suspended from above.
  • Unarmed: Restraining a target without causing physical harm.

Building Mighty Heroes

Now that we've established that Mighty is for more than just smashing, let's look at a few character concepts revolving around all things Mighty. (But mostly smashing.)

Each of these builds will focus on one specific allocation of attributes, as well as represent each of the seven classes that gain extra benefits through Mighty. Skills are for the most part chosen with a consideration for combat, unless otherwise stated.

Ultimately, the purpose of these examples is to stir the imagination by offering templates for character concepts. The following builds were compiled by not only looking for synergies between origins, classes, kits, skills, and gear loadouts, but to showcase a diverse representation within each of these categories.

In most cases, thematic decisions outweigh those that would lead to more optimization. Would The Warlord be better suited as a Fighter that can make two attacks, than a Paladin? Possibly. But is it cooler to think of a terrifying figure on the field of battle wielding a gigantic weapon crackling with a maleficence? Most definitely.

Character Concepts

Do you want to be a badass out of the gate? Well, here’s the build for you. You’re wearing heavy armor, sporting a body shield, and whacking away at peeps with a 5 damage weapon at +8 to hit. Oh, did I forget to mention that you can counter attack if you successfully parry an attack (which you have advantage on) as long as you have MP?

This counterattack is made at disadvantage, as per the kit, but you're a mf'ing Daemon and your origin's talent cancels that out. Still, you need to have some iota of MP for this ability to work. But wait! You’re starting with 9 MP, and your only expenditure is a wonderful ability to gain advantage on defense checks when you choose not to parry (or are unable to), which will only cost you 2 MP, allowing for four uses per day and still leaving one in yer pocket. AND YOU HAVE F'N WINGS!!!

The Warlord is truly an intimidating presence. The Blackguard kit's passive effect (disadvantage on all attacks made against you) combined with a solid defense of 6 (4 Deft + Reflexes) makes you difficult to hit. And even if the enemy does get a piece of you, they'll still need to break down your armor before getting near your 9 HP.

All the while, you’ll be clobbering them with your Heavy weapon infused with the maleficence of your choice. And if that wasn't enough, you should still have plenty of MP to attempt to Command your opponents or even heal yourself. Diabolical.

The name of the game here is persistence and presence. The Commander boasts a wide array of skills. Even though a Buckler isn't needed due to Reflexes, he brings one into battle to open up the possibility of disarming an enemy with a shield parry. When not playing defensively, he rings bells with her Blunt weapon, all the while inspiring those who fight alongside him.

Should hiw foes somehow actually wound her despite his Heavy armor and 6 HP, his Tarth talent will keep him on his feet as further inspiration to all.

The Protector is a true tank: With 2 soak, the highest possible AP (15), and a defense of 7, it will take a literal army to take them down. But that's only the beginning as they also come equipped with two chances to parry with their shield from the Fighter's technique, at a +7, thanks to their Mighty and Athletics skills.

When the world begins to fall apart, The Survivalist takes it in stride. Clad in Heavy armor and donning a Tower shield, unwitting opponents might wonder how this beast of a fellow will cause them harm.

Thanks to the Scoundrel kit, he's able to administer beatdowns with nothing but his gigantic shield. And should things get a bit dicey, the Survivalist has options to elude his opponents: the Ranger technique (always having one Cheap supply) combined with the Scoundrel's ability to use said Cheap supply to disappear in plain sight, make it difficult to track him down, especially if he's on his home turf.

Much like The Survivalist, The Bruiser steps into the arena heavily armored, but not necessarily armed.

Unlike his outdoors counterpart, this fella doesn't need any dubious tactics at all: his force comes from his extensive training in Hand-to-Hand combat. His Daemon talent not only gives him mobility through his wings, but his advantage on Mighty checks affords him opportunities to chain attacks by rolling a 5 or 6, thanks to the Monk kit.

Don't forget to embrace your inner Daredevil, too. Take advantage (literally) on difficult non-combat rolls up to four times a day.

Want to have your cake and eat it too? Then try out The Mind-Bender. Thanks to the combination of the High Person origin and Iconoclast kit, she can retain advantage on maleficence attacks while not conferring disadvantage when using your Psionic spells.

Furthermore, you start with a generous 11 MP, which is unusual for any build outside of those taking the Mage class with 6 Smart.

Although not as Mighty-focused as the other examples given here, I felt it necessary to include this build as it combines several Mighty perks into a neat little package.

Thanks to his 4 Mighty and the Battlemage kit, The Mighty, Mighty Bard-Tone is able to wear Medium armor and carry a Buckler, allowing them to get up close and personal in the fray. On top of that, they are able to make an extra attack with their Flexible weapon once per turn, provided they cast first. This allows them to potentially restrain their target in the process. The combination of Psionic spells (which are typically about control) and the Spellsing technique (which grants a +2 to allies) allows them to be masters of control.


The Mighty attribute can mean a lot more than just being all big and burly, but it still focuses very much on interacting with the physical world, whether it be through the sharpness of mind, the indomitability of spirit, or just raw, bestial power.

When playing a Mighty hero, you'll find that although there is still room for nuance, subtlety will rarely be your forte. And that's okay! Once you get your hands dirty, there are very few problems you won't have the vigor to see through.

And if all else fails... smash!

More in Roles Amongst Rolls...


If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

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High and Mighty

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