The DM Stereotypes My Character

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I am playing a rogue (3.5e) and I have a rather long background (at least in comparison to the rest of the party) about how I procured my skills.  None of which was done doing things that a thief would do--however, I have been told that I am supposed to be a thief. 

Not any kind of thief, but the kind that joins the Thieves' Guild and ascends the ranks.  Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this?  I feel my character's personality is just being obliterated by this and I don't see how to resolve it.  

If I had been told that this was what was going to happen for playing a rogue, I would've gone with my original choice (of wizard).  The group requested I make a rogue, so I did just that (but he was an honorable rogue who only used his skills if it helped pursue justice) and now I'm getting railroaded into being a boring, stereotypical thief.  Does anyone have any advice at all?  
Play your character the way you want to play him.

Let your DM and fellow players know that your character is your character.  Not theirs.  If they want a stereotypical rogue affiliated with a Thieves Guild, et cetera and so forth, then they can roll up their own rogues and do that.  Unless playing against stereotype is somehow disrupting the game (which is highly unlikely), then they don't have a leg to stand on.
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I am playing a rogue (3.5e) and I have a rather long background (at least in comparison to the rest of the party) about how I procured my skills.  None of which was done doing things that a thief would do--however, I have been told that I am supposed to be a thief. 

Not any kind of thief, but the kind that joins the Thieves' Guild and ascends the ranks.  Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this?  I feel my character's personality is just being obliterated by this and I don't see how to resolve it.

The only person who can determine what kind of character you play is you. Neither the DM nor your fellow players can force you to be a thief if you had no intention of playing your rogue in such a way. Just tell them straight up that you disagree with their idea of how you should play your character. At the end of the day, if you cannot force them to play their PCs and the NPCs as you want, then they cannot try to coerce you into molding your rogue into the character they desire.

If I had been told that this was what was going to happen for playing a rogue, I would've gone with my original choice (of wizard).  The group requested I make a rogue, so I did just that (but he was an honorable rogue who only used his skills if it helped pursue justice) and now I'm getting railroaded into being a boring, stereotypical thief.  Does anyone have any advice at all?  

Play your rogue exactly as you had originally planned. If anyone gives you grief, tell them that it's not up to them.

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56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
56760448 wrote:
Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
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Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
Agree with the above.  Play your character how you want to play your character.  If he tries to force you into playing him in another fashion, simply say 'No'.  As a player of many a 'rogue-who-is-not-a-thief', I've been in your shoes.

I may be over-reacting, but I personally think this is a sign of a very, VERY bad DM.
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As said above.

Simply do what you wish, and if the DM tries to tell you otherwise, just get up and leave or explain to him that you are not the stereotype. Shove your backstory down his throat if you have to. I was in a similair situation when I was playing a True Good cleric in 3.5. Our thief had been poofing allot, and always coming back with allot of goods. While I didn't suspect the thief of murder, he kept his lips shut tight about where he got the goods, and personally I was a bi conserned. I tried to follow him, then the DM chimes in "You are good, you wouldn't suspect your fellow party of ill." Yeah, bullcrap. I'm good, but not stupid. I loved rubbing it in my DM's face when the thief turned around three days later and said "He may be good, but we aren't lifetime friends. He can always suspect me of whatever he wants, but being good just means he will not do certain things to me without a good reason. Paranoia is a Neutral Action."

Stereotypes kill the game, if your DM doesn't learn that, then it's his loss.
Agree with the above.  Play your character how you want to play your character.  If he tries to force you into playing him in another fashion, simply say 'No'.  As a player of many a 'rogue-who-is-not-a-thief', I've been in your shoes.

I may be over-reacting, but I personally think this is a sign of a very, VERY bad DM.


Oh, I'm going to second that opinion: It is bad DMing.

If a player takes the time to actually write a background that explains their skills, rather than fall back on "I'm Generic Rogue #40557", then the worst thing the DMing can do is to tell them to play a generic rogue.

Now, there are times when a DM might be in the right for 'encouraging' certain aspects of a character. For example, if the campaign is heavily focused on the thieves guild, and the DM is hoping the party rogue will act as a plot hook, that's understandable... But the DM should still be capable of adapting. If the DM is set on running a thieves' guild plot, perhaps he could start the campaign with a quest hook that leads into a mystery, the investigation of which leads the party to the thieves' guild, where the rogue might be encouraged to join to spy on the guild.

And if the party doesn't want anything to do with it? ...Then the DM needs to be prepared for that eventually, not force things to go his way. (Given, the above is all hypothetical.)
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Why does the Rogue always have to be the one in the thieves guild?  

Doesn't the thieves guild need strongarms to defend themselves/break kneecaps/etc.?  I imagine so, it's a pretty common trope in fictional thieves guilds.  How about the party fighter?

What about magic?  Certainly any form of magic is great for a thieves guild.  Illusions, divinations, if you can't come up with a hundred things a wizard can do for a band of thieves, you're not trying.   

Cleric?  Certainly there are gods dedicated to that sort of thing.  Maybe the thieves guild is devout, and actually all do worship a god that your party's cleric just happens to be related to.

Rangers?  They can swap nature for streetwise using options, and suddenly they become amazing scouts for thieves.

If your DM employs the "all members of the thieves guild are rogues, and all rogues are thieves," uh... yeah, probably a terrible DM. 
A rogue being a thief is pretty old school view.  Reminiscent of Od&d and Ad&d.  D&D has evolved a lot since those days and no doubt a significant reason why the thief was renamed the rogue.  People who want to play their rogue simply as a thief are more often than not a pain in the rear end to the rest of the group.  Rogues that contribute to the party are  a valuable commodity

They certainly are welcome to play their rogues any way they please., as you should be equally welcome to play your rogue as you see fit.  It may be that you are not compatible with this particular group.
Talk to the DM about the issue. Make sure you're both on the same page.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Put down the character sheet and the books. Your character has never read them. How would he describe himself?

That's how you present the character. His class is just part of the mechanics you use to realize the vision.

One of my characters is a dancer. With shortswords when appropriate. That's how he introduced himself to the party.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
As said above.

Simply do what you wish, and if the DM tries to tell you otherwise, just get up and leave or explain to him that you are not the stereotype. Shove your backstory down his throat if you have to. I was in a similair situation when I was playing a True Good cleric in 3.5. Our thief had been poofing allot, and always coming back with allot of goods. While I didn't suspect the thief of murder, he kept his lips shut tight about where he got the goods, and personally I was a bi conserned. I tried to follow him, then the DM chimes in "You are good, you wouldn't suspect your fellow party of ill." Yeah, bullcrap. I'm good, but not stupid. I loved rubbing it in my DM's face when the thief turned around three days later and said "He may be good, but we aren't lifetime friends. He can always suspect me of whatever he wants, but being good just means he will not do certain things to me without a good reason. Paranoia is a Neutral Action."

Stereotypes kill the game, if your DM doesn't learn that, then it's his loss.

I am with you. If the good priest suspects the rogue to be a thief, he was not only right to find out what was going on, but I'd say he was obligated. Turning your head while poor innocent people are being robbed of their livelihood is neutral at best and evil. Plus.. the last thing the priest needs to discover as he enters into the zombie-infested dungeon is that the thief swiped his holy symbol.

Amen to the "Yeah, bullcrap. I'm good, but not stupid." Priests are wise for a reason.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Talk to the DM about the issue. Make sure you're both on the same page.

A reasonable suggestion!
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Why does the Rogue always have to be the one in the thieves guild?  

Doesn't the thieves guild need strongarms to defend themselves/break kneecaps/etc.?  I imagine so, it's a pretty common trope in fictional thieves guilds.  How about the party fighter?

What about magic?  Certainly any form of magic is great for a thieves guild.  Illusions, divinations, if you can't come up with a hundred things a wizard can do for a band of thieves, you're not trying.   

Cleric?  Certainly there are gods dedicated to that sort of thing.  Maybe the thieves guild is devout, and actually all do worship a god that your party's cleric just happens to be related to.

Rangers?  They can swap nature for streetwise using options, and suddenly they become amazing scouts for thieves.

If your DM employs the "all members of the thieves guild are rogues, and all rogues are thieves," uh... yeah, probably a terrible DM. 

You ask the kind of questions that a good DM asks. Maybe you should DM, at least long enough for your DM to see how it might work. I like how you think outside the box.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
I am playing a rogue (3.5e) and I have a rather long background (at least in comparison to the rest of the party) about how I procured my skills.  None of which was done doing things that a thief would do--however, I have been told that I am supposed to be a thief. 

Not any kind of thief, but the kind that joins the Thieves' Guild and ascends the ranks.  Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this?  I feel my character's personality is just being obliterated by this and I don't see how to resolve it.

The only person who can determine what kind of character you play is you. Neither the DM nor your fellow players can force you to be a thief if you had no intention of playing your rogue in such a way. Just tell them straight up that you disagree with their idea of how you should play your character. At the end of the day, if you cannot force them to play their PCs and the NPCs as you want, then they cannot try to coerce you into molding your rogue into the character they desire.

If I had been told that this was what was going to happen for playing a rogue, I would've gone with my original choice (of wizard).  The group requested I make a rogue, so I did just that (but he was an honorable rogue who only used his skills if it helped pursue justice) and now I'm getting railroaded into being a boring, stereotypical thief.  Does anyone have any advice at all?  

Play your rogue exactly as you had originally planned. If anyone gives you grief, tell them that it's not up to them.


It may be that you haven't joined the guild and maybe you never will. It may be that the NPC thief guild WANTS you to join. Especially if the skills you are showing off are being used to picking pockets and other things that the local mafia might consider an intrusion into their turf.

If I was DM and felt this was the case, I might send a friendly non-guild NPC to tell you to watch your back on Blood street, then later send a friendly guild NPC to ask you to join. If that didn't work, a warning that you need to join or you're gonna have trouble. Then a thug might show up to tell you that you might want to leave town for health reasons or you could join his little 'health club'. If that didn't work, thug would come back and try to just beat you up, bringing as many heavies as needed. After that, they might have to get mean. That's how underground crime syndicates get it done.

But it sounds like you arent that kind of rogue. Have you written this background down or at least shared it with the DM? Some players assume that the power of being DM has made the DM all-knowing. This is not always the case.

EITHER WAY: Play him as you had planned. I wish my players put as much effort into their backgrounds.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
*Nods* I will do as y'all recommend and my next character will most certainly not be a rogue.  Perhaps I'll go with something less--easily stereotyped (like a wizard or bard).
*Nods* I will do as y'all recommend and my next character will most certainly not be a rogue.  Perhaps I'll go with something less--easily stereotyped (like a wizard or bard).



Wizards are bookworms with no physical ability, have zero social skills, who like to wear dresses (unless they're female, in which case they'll wear as little as legally possible).  They're native to lonely, dusty towers and magic academies.

And bards are foppish and spoony, sing silly songs that somehow grant bonuses, and are useless 5th wheels because that's how they were in every other edition, so why would 4th be any different?  Also they speak in rhyme on a dime.

Also, figthers are stupid, paladins are lawful stupid, clerics are healbots, warlocks are brooding anti-heroes that only make pacts with devils, and rangers are either Legolas or Drizzt clones.

Yeah...just about every class has its sterotypes.  Just stick to your guns.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Wizards are bookworms with no physical ability, have zero social skills, who like to wear dresses (unless they're female, in which case they'll wear as little as legally possible).  They're native to lonely, dusty towers and magic academies.


I played a wizard once. She was a young girl that learned things Man Was Not Meant to Know. Despite this, she wound up being the party's face by sheer force of personality (with the Skills to back it up)... And because the party, as a whole, was terrified of her.

She found a mentor in a Lich, despite how he used demons (Or devils, I get them mixed up on occasion) as minions. In fact, she used her knowledge of the Abyssal language and those social skills to gain favor with the Lich, by pointing out how his minions had been disparaging him, to his face, because he was unfamiliar with the language.

While not strong, she was not the "Oh no, save me, Fighter!" sort of wizard. When a hobgoblin bypassed the party Defenders to attack her... Well, rather than fall back and hope for rescue, she instead scoffed and declared her intent to kill them slowly, despite how she would've let them live if they hadn't attacked her. She lived up to the intent, in fact, which is the event that had the entire party scared of her. (Fun fact: Illusion spells are very applicable to combat.)

Oh, and she covered nearly every inch of skin on her. And I mean EVERY inch. In multiple layers.

And bards are foppish and spoony, sing silly songs that somehow grant bonuses, and are useless 5th wheels because that's how they were in every other edition, so why would 4th be any different?  Also they speak in rhyme on a dime.


...Now, in my experience, that's actually what bards are. I was in a group for a 2e campaign. The bard, despite having the most experienced player running him, used a sight range spell on a basilisk.

The party bard in the 4e campaign I'm running takes his powers' fluff text a bit too literally, to the point where he once mocked an enemy for fighting them every round and called the enemy a coward repeatedly. Despite the enemy in question 1. Being focused on mobility, but forced to fight in a tight hallway. 2. Fighting alone against the full party, without even being an Elite. 3. Banter earlier in the encounter, the enemy in question mentioned how he wished to rise through the ranks in the cult he was a member of, the cult the party was currently attacking. He later declares that he knows he'll never be in charge, but keeps fighting because he believes in their cause.

The bard then waited until AFTER the enemy had been beaten unconscious to compliment his bravery... I intend to have that bite him on the arse in adventure or two. (And to think, the players were wondering why more of their enemies didn't just surrender... When the PCs' response to enemies that displayed positive personality traits was "You're a coward! *bonk*")

I still like bards, though. I've just yet to see someone run them well.

Also, figthers are stupid, paladins are lawful stupid, clerics are healbots, warlocks are brooding anti-heroes that only make pacts with devils, and rangers are either Legolas or Drizzt clones.


I want to run a dwarf ranger some day. A sober dwarf ranger that has absolutely no problem going outside, thinks trees are great and loves sharing stories with the party elf.

Yeah...just about every class has its sterotypes.  Just stick to your guns.


Indeed! The guns must be stuck to... Okay, I admit, I'm making no sense. Let's try again:

It is an absolutely terrible idea to give up on something just because of one thickheaded jerk insisting his stereotype is right. If you back down, said jerk will never learn and continue living with a skull that can be used as an anvil.
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You might have liked the one-and-only 3e bard I played.  He didn't sing, dance, or any of that; his perform skill of choice was Oratory; he gave rousing dramatic speeches.  Careful spell selection followed, avoiding any 'goofy' spells, instead picking ones that were good for group tactics, buffing allies and weakening enemies.  He described himself as a 'student of military history and practitioner of tactical sorcery'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
You might have liked the one-and-only 3e bard I played.  He didn't sing, dance, or any of that; his perform skill of choice was Oratory; he gave rousing dramatic speeches.  Careful spell selection followed, avoiding any 'goofy' spells, instead picking ones that were good for group tactics, buffing allies and weakening enemies.  He described himself as a 'student of military history and practitioner of tactical sorcery'.


Those are also all the reasons I adore the Warlord.

By primary point through all of this is that D&D is a game about creativity and imagination. The characters that break convention or do something unexpected are often the most enjoyable and memorable aspect of any campaign. A year or two later, the antics of Generic Kleptomaniac Rogue #19058 are all going to blend together and feel disappointing. But the Rogue who slips away in the dead of night, sneaks into the selfish and corrupt mayor's home and sits him down to explain exactly how he could have killed him in his sleep, how he could easily justify killing him silently in the night, but that he won't, not this time, because he's giving the mayor a single chance to right the wrongs he's done? That's the guy who'll be remembered fondly for decades.
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
In the midst of all this sterotype-bashing, I feel like I must say that sterotypes are inherently bad.  Not at all.  You can indeed have very interesting, varied, and memorable characters are that complete cardboard cut-outs of their sterotype.  The thing to remember is that sterotypes, like all other types of tropes, are tools.  When used properly and with a clear purpose, they can be great inspiration.  When used like a clumsy bludgeoning instrument, not so much.

Whether you employ sterotypes or not, all that matters is that you are having fun with your character.  And if you're not, You're Doing It WrongTM.



And now back to your regularly scheduled thread.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
In the midst of all this sterotype-bashing, I feel like I must say that sterotypes are inherently bad.  Not at all.  You can indeed have very interesting, varied, and memorable characters are that complete cardboard cut-outs of their sterotype.  The thing to remember is that sterotypes, like all other types of tropes, are tools.  When used properly and with a clear purpose, they can be great inspiration.  When used like a clumsy bludgeoning instrument, not so much.

Whether you employ sterotypes or not, all that matters is that you are having fun with your character.  And if you're not, You're Doing It WrongTM.


Yes, but a DM that says "Shut up and play a stereotype!" is a very, very, very bad DM. The kind of DM you should tell to go play by himself, because you're going home.

...Possibly in less polite language, if you are so inclined. (I know I certainly wouldn't be polite if a DM was telling me to ditch my carefully crafted characterization in favor of a cardboard cut-out.)
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
In the midst of all this sterotype-bashing, I feel like I must say that sterotypes are inherently bad.  Not at all.  You can indeed have very interesting, varied, and memorable characters are that complete cardboard cut-outs of their sterotype.  The thing to remember is that sterotypes, like all other types of tropes, are tools.  When used properly and with a clear purpose, they can be great inspiration.  When used like a clumsy bludgeoning instrument, not so much.

Whether you employ sterotypes or not, all that matters is that you are having fun with your character.  And if you're not, You're Doing It WrongTM.


Yes, but a DM that says "Shut up and play a stereotype!" is a very, very, very bad DM. The kind of DM you should tell to go play by himself, because you're going home.


...which was exactly my point.  Not having fun => Doing It WrongTM

Just pointing out that sterotypes aren't inherently bad.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Yeah, stereotypes are fine if they're optional and you choose to utilize them of your own free will.  I encountered a game system not long ago where dwarves had a 'greed' mechanic, and orcs had a 'rage' mechanic which basically meant you had no choice but to be a greedy dwarf and a raging orc.

I can't decide if the game system enforcing that is more or less annoying than the DM trying to enforce it, though.

I'm already disinclined to play the Tolkien races ... this pretty much cemented me not playing one in that game system, ever.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
...which was exactly my point.  Not having fun => Doing It WrongTM

Just pointing out that sterotypes aren't inherently bad.


...Which I agree with entirely. I'm sorry if it came off differently, I was only trying to point out for the original poster (or anyone else reading) that in this case, where the the DM is forcing stereotypes on someone that doesn't want to play one, it is bad.

I really do apologize if I sounded needling or anything like that.
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
...which was exactly my point.  Not having fun => Doing It WrongTM

Just pointing out that sterotypes aren't inherently bad.


...Which I agree with entirely. I'm sorry if it came off differently, I was only trying to point out for the original poster (or anyone else reading) that in this case, where the the DM is forcing stereotypes on someone that doesn't want to play one, it is bad.

I really do apologize if I sounded needling or anything like that.


No problem.  Sometimes stuff gets lost in communication.  Silent medium and all of that.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
You want to not make waves?  At the end of your background add, "And then he joined a thieves guild because of the oppertunities hinted there."
You want to not make waves?  At the end of your background add, "And then he joined a thieves guild because of the oppertunities hinted there."



No, that should definitely happen.  The DM needs to pull his head out of his backside, not be placated.  This is a time when waves need to be made.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
You want to not make waves?  At the end of your background add, "And then he joined a thieves guild because of the oppertunities hinted there."



No, that should definitely happen.  The DM needs to pull his head out of his backside, not be placated.  This is a time when waves need to be made.


Indeed. If waves aren't made, if everyone just goes along with the DM when he's being stupid... He'll continue being stupid.
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
My Ideas for an Atypical Wizard and Bard

I figured for a wizard--I could be someone who's actually quite ignorant of how magic works.  Rather, they just get whispered the words to spells and told to use them by a symbiotic consciousness that took residence within his (or her) mind.  

As for a bard, I figure a morbid poet would be a bit interesting.  (S)he'd have Oratory-Specialization with a preference for any spells that do penalties on his adversaries.  (S)he'd always be giving long rants on the beauty of death and why it should be respected.
    
I had an idea for a wizard once who had no formal education; she scavenged a damaged spellbook off a body on a battlefield and simply did what the illustrations told her to do, and got results.  She had no idea how she was doing what she was doing, no idea on 'magical theory' or academia.  She just knew, make this gesture, say this word, something explodes.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Your first step in designing a character should be a character concept. Which MIGHT include a specific class, but not necessarily. Here are some of the very-starting-point concepts I've built on in the past few years:

* You know, a Tempest Fighter would make a pretty good striker. (This was before Dual Strike was modified to require two targets.)
* Rapunzel. The Pixar version with the 70-foot hair.
* Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio. (Currently playing this one on Saturdays - obviously one of them is a familiar or some sort of companion, but which one? Could be either.)
* Pacifist Wizard.

Obviously, the ones not game-mechanics-based developed the game-mechanic side. Less obviously, the ones that ARE game-mechanics-based developed a personality side. I can describe all of them except the Pacifist Wizard, in some detail, without revealing their class. Because their class is not WHO they are or WHAT they do; it is merely HOW. (The Tempest Fighter is, foremost, a dancer. He's also a former clothier. And a self-exiled nobleman who will not talk about that part of his past - won't even name what place he's from.)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
My Ideas for an Atypical Wizard and Bard

I figured for a wizard--I could be someone who's actually quite ignorant of how magic works.  Rather, they just get whispered the words to spells and told to use them by a symbiotic consciousness that took residence within his (or her) mind.  

As for a bard, I figure a morbid poet would be a bit interesting.  (S)he'd have Oratory-Specialization with a preference for any spells that do penalties on his adversaries.  (S)he'd always be giving long rants on the beauty of death and why it should be respected.
    

Baudelaire? Sylvia Plath?
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
*Nods* I will do as y'all recommend and my next character will most certainly not be a rogue.  Perhaps I'll go with something less--easily stereotyped (like a wizard or bard).



What would really frustrate me, is that they talked you into playing the rogue in the first place.  Then wanted to tell you what your backstory was too?
Easy solution is to choose Lawful Good as your allignment. You couldn't possibly join an illegal organization, nor could you steal, as both actions violate your alignment.
Easy solution is to choose Lawful Good as your allignment. You couldn't possibly join an illegal organization, nor could you steal, as both actions violate your alignment.


With the only exception being if this is a campaign set in Discworld's Ankh-Morpork. But I doubt that's the case, because a DM that would run that would be awesome.

But seriously, that might just cause the problem of the DM saying "No, choose a different alignment! You can't be lawful!" I mean, if the DM's going to declare all rogues are thieves...
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
Easy solution is to choose Lawful Good as your allignment. You couldn't possibly join an illegal organization, nor could you steal, as both actions violate your alignment.

If I'm Lawful Good, I'm not allowed to Sneak Attack (because it's "unethical").
Easy solution is to choose Lawful Good as your allignment. You couldn't possibly join an illegal organization, nor could you steal, as both actions violate your alignment.


Depends on the context.  I can easily see contexts in which joining illegal organization and stealing would still be lawful good.

As a counter example, joining an organization to overthrow an evil tyrant dictator and stealing back the royal treasures and plot-progressing McGuffins he claimed when he took power.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Easy solution is to choose Lawful Good as your allignment. You couldn't possibly join an illegal organization, nor could you steal, as both actions violate your alignment.

If I'm Lawful Good, I'm not allowed to Sneak Attack (because it's "unethical").



Uh, yeah you are.  Who in the world told you this?  Whoever it was, they're utterly and completely wrong.  Sneak Attack has no alignment descriptor, so it's not 'chaotic' or whatever.  Just rename it 'Precision Strike' or something if you feel the need to.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Easy solution is to choose Lawful Good as your allignment. You couldn't possibly join an illegal organization, nor could you steal, as both actions violate your alignment.

If I'm Lawful Good, I'm not allowed to Sneak Attack (because it's "unethical").


This is wrong for all the reasons Salla said.

And I now firmly believe that you have an objectively terrible DM. As in, they do not understand the game or the rules and simply enjoy emposing ridiculous penalties on players.
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
Talk to the DM about the issue. Make sure you're both on the same page.

I think the point of that post on sneak attack was not a particular rule, but that the DM is run rampant with railroading, and that there is no back story/class change or allignment adjustment that wouldn't be railroaded in one form or the other by a bad DM.
Easy solution is to choose Lawful Good as your allignment. You couldn't possibly join an illegal organization, nor could you steal, as both actions violate your alignment.

If I'm Lawful Good, I'm not allowed to Sneak Attack (because it's "unethical").



Wow.  I don't know what to say there.  Unethical and perhaps "less then honorable" are two different things.  Is attacking from behind unlawful?  Is it non-good somehow?  The fact is, that as long as the combat is not against the law (ie you're backstabbing someone walking down the street for no reason), dagger to the belly is just as ethical as a dagger to the spine.

Furthermore, you could argue that by attacking with surprise, your character will end the confrontation sooner, thus reducing the risks to innocents.  That makes your use of the sneak attack very ethical.

Lawful good should not have to mean lawful stupid.