Considerations for Kender

Bear in mind that most of this comes from speculation. I lack any real experience in properly using a kender, and have only rarely been teamed up with one. Yet, this would be how I would expect them to behave.

Kender are the thief class of BR. As such, their main strength lies not in open combat, but inflicting harm on them with style and stealth. Their steal skill can be used to obtain some equipment without even needing to fight the mob at all! Of course, killing the mob provides experience and allows the item to repop. Their combat prowess revolves around the backstab skill, wich of all non-hero mortals only the kender posess. Most of their other abilities seem to be made to either make the most of a backstab, increase survival after the backstab has been made in the ensuing battle, or supplement the thieving skill. They make modest tanks, although not nearly as well as the true combat classes or illithids. The shock damage inflicted by backstab and circle however is unsurpassed, being in a lot of cases able to decimate an enemy to a fraction of its health, making it easy to finish him off.

Weapons policy: Since backstab is vital for a kender's success in combat, the primary wield should at all times be a piercing weapon, like a short sword, spear, pike, dagger or knife. on this weapon, modified damage should be as high as possible, the backstab modifier greatly outranking any to hit and damage bonuses a weaker weapon might posess. The weapon should of course be enchanted, and also enchanted replacements should be kept when taint becomes available. The secondary wield, which in normal combat will give up to 2 extra attacks, should be maximized for hit and damage bonuses, making the backstab as deadly as possible. Remember, a kender revolves around the backstab, it should therefore do the absolute maximum of damage that can be amassed.

Armor policy: Once again, get that backstab up as much as possible. Equipment should therefore be selected on having as much in the way of to hit and damage as possible, at the expense of AC or even stats, hitpoints, mana or movement! A good backstab will leave an opponent near death, making finishing up easy. A bad one will mean a long and demanding fight, which most likely results in the kender needing to flee. Everything besides bonuses is therefore far less relevant in the kender's case.

Grouping considerations: Kender are a support class that is normally compelled to fight in the front rank. It should therefore team up either with another kender (wich enables them to daisy chain circles) a dwarf or avian (who can rescue) or a human (who has sufficient damage output to finish the mob off before the situation becomes critical and can heal the kender afterwards) A kender will typically initiate combat with the backstab, the most powerful combat initiator in the game. After this he will, usually wait for a rescue (or a circle from another kender) before using his circle skill to backstab again. When this works well, almost any mob can be finished off in no time flat, making kender teamups among the most powerful in the MUD.

Most prominent weakness: Kender are totally dependent on a sucessful backstab. They lack the normal combat damage output or the endurance to stand their ground for very long in conventional combat. This usually compels them to flee when fighting solo and their backstab fails.

Kender will only very late (and OoG) get supportive combat skills. This makes the beginning kender highly dependent on wands and staves in order to be able to do at least something. Normally the wand or staff is used right after dirtkick has blinded the opponent and poison has made him even more vulnerable. Outside of combat, kender are extremely free in their movements, the picklock skill allowing them to open doors and chests without keys. Hide should be used whenever possible. successfull use normally allows you one free action, possibly another if your presence was not broadcasted by what you did. Keep in mind that detect hidden is much more rare than detect invis. This and the surprise advantage sneak gives you will let you get by a lot of mobs without ever needing to resort to combat!