How could I have known the mirror was magical? All I did was check my face, smile, and say the phrase so many say before mirrors, “C’est pas mauvais…” And suddenly, everything became très, très mauvais. Out from the mirror sprang strange beings, blue of skin and dressed in military uniforms, marching in single file, and each of them greeting me with a hello, and the heartiest of thanks for lending them such crucial aid in what they called ‘the Great Invasion!’ What could I do? How could I remedy the horror I had unleashed?
Then it struck me: as I had invited them in, they were my guests. As their host, the least I owed them was a cup of hot tea, and surely, were I to insist, they would have to stop and accept it from my hand, allowing me to be a good host. And, fortunately, I had a very, very small kettle in which to brew such a great quantity of tea. I called my brother, sending him to town “for tea leaves”… and, of course, with a message for the town guard.
Today we call someone silly if we think they’re foolish, but the original root word, “sælig,” suggested a kind of simplicity that was holy and blessed—sort of the Fool of the Tarot deck (and a lot of stories), in other words. The Alice class is the living embodiment of the link between those two ideas. Well, that plus being Unluckily Lucky, and a Weirdness Magnet.
The Alice character is basically the normal person who somehow ignorantly, cluelessly stumbles into adventure… and then somehow survives, and survives, and survives through a mixture of serendipity, luck, stubbornness, and cleverness.
Alice in Wonderland is the namesake, but Bilbo Baggins, everyone who survives Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, many a Vonnegut character, and your occasional foreigner in Korea all fit the archetype. Alices can be of either sex (they’re called Alistairs when they’re male), and have their own class skills, though they’re essentially Specialists with the thief skills replaced with a bunch of luck/coincidence skills.
While we’ll be using the original system for the Alice class (created by Zak S. and published in A Red and Pleasant Land), I prefer not to post the pages from that publicly here as it’s copyrighted material. (I’ll get a copy of the class info to anyone interested in playing an Alice, though.) However, Zak S. (the creator of the class) has posted a writeup of the class on his D&D blog, so check it out if you want to play an Alice.
Randomness! Chaos! Good luck! Strange coincidence! Oh, and rabbit holes that go terrifyingly deep…
If you care about balance (and your chances of survival), you’ll probably want to limit your party to one Alice character at a time. But, eh, we can talk about it.