Quote: “We, who are about to die, salute you!”
De Vita Caesarum
- S. Strategic, versatile, succeeds with incomplete resources, handles changing constraints,
- W. Can step on convention, difficulty with specialized tasks, can be unruly with routine,
- O. Time-bound decision making, organizational change, Inflexible opponents.
- T. Indirect attacks, hostile patrons
Gladiators are masters of both stage and arena. They understand that everything is a tool to be used in battle, including their opponent and the spectators. They have an innate sense of their audience during their work and know that it is they who ultimately dictate the outcome.
Gladiators are extremely flexible in battle and can turn almost any combination of tools, teammates, or time to their advantage. The gladiator knows that one must make frequent sacrifices to win a war. They will calmly offer limb, comrade, and principle to the hungry throng in the stands. The arena is unforgiving and has no time for shed tears or bloody noses. The gladiator considers it all in a day’s work in service to her patrons.
Gladiators enjoy using unconventional weapons to position their opponents exactly where they want them. Nets and tridents become snares and levers to ensure that the gladiator is well positioned for the killing blow.
Gladiators know how to work a crowd because their continued “employment” depends on it. Like fortune, the crowd is a fickle friend and is only concerned with the gladiator’s latest victory. Gladiators are thrilled by the roar of the crowd and are able to get the best reaction from every swing. They can both draw out a fight or bring the battle to a quick end depending on what the crowd demands.
A gladiator never knows what the next fight will look like. The need to win regardless of the tools are available is paramount to her success. As a result, the gladiator has an ingrained ability to succeed with almost any combination of weapon, armor, or odds. She instantly calculates how best to use her given set of tools and thereby knows the tactics she must employ in the fight to win.
2. Maneuver Warfare Doctrine
Though the gladiator does not choose her terrain beforehand, she is adept at turning it to her advantage in a fight. Gladiators expand on their available tools by looking for arena hazards that they can use against their opponents. This may include pits, snares, hungry animals, or even other fighters. The gladiator will either distract her opponent or use her weapons to position the enemy exactly where she wants them in order to win.
The gladiator knows who pays the bills. Her editors (sponsors) fund the events, and the crowd is king. The gladiator knows how to make every strike, maneuver, and victory add to her reputation and whip the crowd into a frenzy. This energy is electric and further charges the gladiator’s efforts. Like her diplomatic counterpart, the bard, the gladiator’s relationship with an audience is symbiotic; the gladiator wins the crowd’s heart, and the crowd in turn makes the gladiator great.
4. Opportunistic Strike
Controlling their opponent’s movements and the arena obstacles are only part of the equation for gladiators. The gladiator uses these tactics to open her opponents to attacks of opportunity. An overextended swing or a misplaced step can give the gladiator just what she needs to win. Of course, winning is not the only objective. The gladiator will often use these opportunistic strikes to maim or disarm the opponent. The crowd decides when the fight is over and the gladiator will obey it’s command, often using one of these dramatic strikes to finish the match.
Gladiators freed from service make excellent trainers. They enjoy the challenge of molding raw talent into battle hardened spectacles. They are able to convey the lessons they learned to survive in the arena and can lead a troupe to the same level of success. Of course, gladiators are merciless in the training process. Students must be dedicated, focused, and have thick skins. The gladiator knows these are life-saving techniques and will expect students to take them as such.
Gladiators are a welcome addition to most organizations. Their tactical insight is highly prized as they are comfortable making quick decisions based on incomplete or unfair situations. Pragmatic by nature, gladiators understand that life is not fair, and rarely offers complete information or resources to get the job done. The gladiator doesn’t let this stand in her way.
In an organization, gladiators are likely to gravitate toward management roles. They are professional tacticians and familiar with using team strength to accomplish objectives. They are comfortable having candid conversations with staff regarding performance expectations and are comfortable firing staff as needed. Gladiators understand that whatever decisions they make are not personal; it is just what needs to be done in order to survive.
Gladiators know that their every move is carefully considered and observed by the crowd. As a result, they are comfortable with scrutiny. They welcome aggressive metrics and enjoy continually overcoming increasingly difficult challenges.
‘What have you done for me lately?’ Gladiators know that this maxim is the way of the world and would have it no other way. They won’t look to loyalty, past performance, or future potential to save themselves from the deadly fate of defeat; they will expect others to act the same way.
Gladiators make excellent salesmen, business developers, and managers. They are able to endear themselves to their employers and patrons by demonstrating decisive action. Through their results, gladiators are quick to show their clients the reason why they chose the gladiator’s company in the first place, and they will continue to go that extra mile to keep their client happy.
The only thing to be careful with working with gladiators is staff loyalty. It won’t take long for employees to catch on that their worth is measured by their current contribution by the gladiator. Few gravitate to this type of work environment willingly. Softer classes tend to find the pressure distracting, which may negatively affect their work quality and production capacity.
1. Army of One
Gladiators work exceptionally well alone. They are the most flexible martial class and need no special considerations to get their work done. Being a combat class means they may not have all the tools necessary to be successful in all encounters, but that won’t stop the gladiator from trying. They are dynamic, driven, and charming individuals; these qualities cover a wide range of needs and serve the gladiator well.
2. Against all Odds
Working alone, gladiators will take advantage of any weaknesses or inconsistencies they can find. They will be able to identify errors in reasoning, policy, or planning, and then use them to achieve their objectives. This makes them excellent at navigating around company red-tape and overcoming customer objections.
3. Combat Flourish
Gladiators will add flair to any work they do. They may solve problems in unexpected ways or go beyond the scope of the work to display their prowess. They will look for performance metrics that allow them to demonstrate their greatness. In this way, they grow their fame in the organization and with customers.
4. Risky Gambit
Gladiators know that time is of the essence in battle. They are comfortable making quick assessments and quick actions. This can make them appear to be reckless to other classes who don’t understand the gladiators’ insight. The gladiator will often take extreme chances in an organization or negotiation in order to give the greatest chances of success. Though risky, the gladiator is more successful than not in these exchanges.
The gladiator has seen it all. She has overcome amazing odds time and time again, so much so that she is almost never phased by combat. Gladiators are used to standing behind the gates of the arena and hearing the roar of the crowd and the dying screams of the combatants. The gladiator knows that she will face unexpected enemies and obstacles and that the odds will never be in her favor. This what the crowd expects and she will answer the challenge, unafraid.
Working in Groups
Gladiators are also excellent at coordinating groups of people to overcome objectives. Their careful consideration of other people’s abilities gives them insight on how to structure teams and coordinate battle tactics. Gladiator tactics will be decisive, hard-hitting, and brutal. The goal is winning the battle at all costs. Pyrrhic victories are common- after all, crowds love epic displays of valor.
2. Roll with it
Gladiators adjust quickly in combat and are not attached to battle plans, even their own. If resources or the team structure changes, the gladiator will adjust quickly. She will be able adapt to new constraints in resources and lead remaining team members to success. She will keep the current status of the team in mind and will leave wounded combatants behind if they can’t keep up. All that matters is victory and the roar of the crowd.
3. Win the Crowd
Gladiators exert their fullest strength when given an audience. The more spectators involved in the encounter, the more influence the gladiator will have. Gladiators tease the crowd and use this anticipation to drive excitement and gratification. Astute tacticians of human emotion, gladiators also use this enthusiasm to encourage their team and discourage others. Classes that enjoy the spotlight relish this feature in the gladiator.
4. Feigned Weakness
The gladiator is an expert in interpersonal combat. She will often feign a weakness in her technique in order to give the foe a false sense of confidence. She does this to test and bait opponents to discover their fighting style. In the workplace, this means the the gladiator will often take time to survey the terrain and its players before engaging. Once battle begins, they test their theories by underplaying their own ability. It is only when the opponent thinks they have the upper hand the gladiator reveals her true ability.
5. Mob Rule
Influencing the crowd is a powerful ability for the gladiator. The gladiator’s sway is so great that it may even overrule the company leadership at times. Highly valued customers may choose to back suggestions given to them by the gladiator and pressure the company to follow them. In this way, it is important to note that gladiator may directly work for the editor of the arena, but everyone is at the whim of the mob.
Management and Motivation
1. Thunderous Applause
Gladiators are excellent at presenting to clients and superiors. True performers, they put the best spin on the bad situations and make the good look great. Put a gladiator in front of your customer, shareholders, and superiors. Give her a support team to handle research and brainstorming, and set her loose to complete the project. She will handle the objections with true expertise and overcome them with style and panache. This class is the best of the martial classes when interacting with forces outside the company and at seeing the best possible return on invested time and money.
2. Opportunistic Strike
Gladiators are characters of action. They do not need a lot of time to make strategic decisions and will be anxious to get into battle. They enjoy finding a good solution now rather than waiting for the best solution later. Don’t trouble a gladiator with all the details or brainstorming sessions; all the minutia will not interest them in the slightest. When the choices have been whittled down to two or three, throw the gladiator into the fray and she will get quickly choose and apply it. Trust her keen intuition in battle and let her get to work.
3. Run the Race
The gladiator thrives on contest and measurement. Make sure to have lots of metrics against the gladiator can strive, and give her a way to show off her latest numbers. With every success, make sure to turn up the difficulty and increase the rewards, as gladiators become restless with static expectations. If she has topped out in a particular area, consider expanding or changing the battlefield in which the gladiator fights. The gladiator will enjoy the change and fight all the harder for it.
Gladiators perform at their best when being watched by an audience, a supervision which gives them the extra guile needed to make their skills click into place. Managers are wise to make sure that they check in on assignments frequently and give feedback, even if it is negative. The gladiator will appreciate it. If set on tasks in isolation and autonomy, the gladiator will tend to be a dedicated, but unfocused warrior. Put the gladiator in high visibility activities so she doesn’t have to act out to get your attention.
5. Sand in the eye
Like many a predator, the gladiator is a realist. She is not overly concerned about fair odds or fair tactics…either in her favor or against it. She will expect her opponent to do anything in order to win and will act in a likewise fashion. This means that gladiators are comfortable with any tactics that are technically allowed in the organization. They are able to determine when using them will be a net positive, and when such tactics should be avoided. This may be something to keep an eye on if the company has a particular way they wish to do business. The best thing about this quality, however, is that the gladiator will never cry foul when someone “cheats” them in an exchange; she will simply change tactics and overcome the obstacle.
The gates burst open and the combatants rushed into the arena. A wall of enthusiastic applause exploded from the stands as thousands of spectators stood, jumping, screaming with anticipation.
Elyona sprang into action, finding her first target and closing the distance between them at a sprint. She tucked her head and charged at the hulking armored figure, looking as though she might tackle the man. Thraxis smiled as he set himself for the charge. He outweighed her by more than two hundred pounds and knew he would crush her like an insect.
Swords pointing toward the shield like twin spear points, Elyonna feigned a leap. Thraxis leaned forward with his shield and swung his mace in a forceful arc, intent on catching Elyona in mid-air.
Suddenly, Elyona dropped to the ground and rolled. Thraxis overextended, leaning too far forward in anticipation of the impact. Elyona smoothly slid by and swung backward with one of her swords as she scudded narrowly around the mace.
Thraxis bellowed in pain as the sword found an opening in his armor and cut a deep path from the back of his armpit to the elbow. Blood gushed rhythmically out of the wound and he dropped the mace.
The crowd churned and roiled, spraying sweat, saliva and screaming profanities and cheers at the black figures in the sand.
Elyona finished her roll and ended on her feet. She waved broadly into the stands. A wave of adoration and elation rolled over her from the crowd.
Bokin quickly crossed to Elyona, taking advantage of her grandstanding with the crowd. Prevented from dealing the killing blow to Thraxis, she turned to face her new, nimble opponent.
The two locked in battle. Bokin’s trident darted and Elyona’s swords arced as the two tried to find an opening in each others defense. Time was running out. Every moment, the wounded Thraxis might land a blow from somewhere behind her.
Elyona lunged out again, much like she had done to Thraxis. Bokin was ready for her. Her lunge flew wide and she landed hard, prone on the sandy arena floor. The barbed net closed around her and she could feel the cruel spines dig deeper into her flesh. With a final burst of energy, she hurled one of her swords in Bokin’s direction.
Bokin smiled as the sword flew past him. “How careless. You can’t even hit the mark when your life depends on it.”
“Don’t say that I missed until you know what I was aiming at.” Elyona spat.
Uncomprehending, Bokin turned to see where the sword had gone. He whipped around just in time to see a lion leap free from his severed chain. It was the last thing Bokin saw. A short scream followed by wet noises played in the background as Elyona wiggled expertly out of the net and slung it across her back.
A muffled thudding of hooves warned at the last minute Elyona. She flung herself sideways, whipping the barbed net around her like a bullfighter. Curses rang out and shining metal sheared past her as Amares’s chariot thundered in an uncontrolled blur, the net tangled in his horses’ faces and hooves.
The distraction gave Elyona the only chance she needed. Drawing an oddly-shaped dagger from her boot, Elyona aimed and threw with the absent grace of an athlete. Her aim was good. The rider Amares toppled from his chariot and landed in an undignified sprawl on the bloodstained sand, silver helmet rolling away as though anxious to escape the scene.
Elyona whipped her head around, alert as a cheetah, and she minced across the sand, pausing only to scoop the helmet of fallen Amares and wave it triumphantly at the roiling masses.
The arena was now stained with the blood of Elyona’s enemies. The three were all mortally wounded, but she had not landed the killing blow. She turned to the crowd, this was their fight, and they would decide her victims fate.
“Friends! Are you entertained?” Elyona yelled to the teeming crowd. “What is your judgment? Short deaths, or a long ones for these that shall die?
The crowd’s excitement mounted into an unholy frenzy and they responded. Elyona smiled and obeyed…