It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Sometimes, characters don't have the physical strength of the Lightning Bruiser
, nor the toughness of the Mighty Glacier
or even the magic abilities of the Squishy Wizard
and White Mage
. Maybe they have the speed of the Fragile Speedster
, but sometimes not even that. Oh, what is a Tag Along Kid
to do in order to be actually helpful then?
Well, if that is your problem, why not become an Item Caddy
? This character role specializes in using and obtaining items and money more efficiently than most. How do they do that, you may ask? Well, they quite often have at least one of these four abilities:
- Item Splitting: When this type of Item Caddy uses an item, it affects several targets instead of just one, even though only a single item is used.
- Free Item: When this certain Item Caddy uses an item, he doesn't consume it. This essentially makes said item inexhaustible.
- Exclusive Items: Certain items can only be used by the Item Caddy. Nobody else can use those items.
- Drop Rate Up: Some Item Caddies get passive abilities that up the amount of money earned, rate of items gained, etc.
Item Caddies sometimes get a stealing ability
, just in case they run out of items.
See also Quirky Bard
, which this character sometimes mixes with.
May relate to Gadgeteer Genius
- Jeff (a quasi-Mad Scientist) from Earthbound. In fact, he's the only one who could use the shatteringly powerful Bottle Rocket items, as well as use (and make) other useful things like the Defense Shower or Shield Killer.
- Likewise, Lloyd/Loid/Roid from Mother. He and Jeff both use special attack items in exchange for not having any PSI abilities like the other party members.
- Boney takes up this role in Mother 3. While the other party members have useful abilities, Boney is stuck with only able to use his Enemy Scan. On top of that, while fast, his attack power starts to pale in comparison to Duster and Lucas at mid-game, so naturally, he's the best user of the usable rockets and bombs that you'll pick up. In addition, he can't equip as many items as the others, so his inventory will have more space in it.
- Itty Bitty the shopkeeper from Kid Radd. He was a shopkeeper in his original game, and thus has access to Hammerspace (where else is he going to keep all of those potions?) and an infinite supply of every item he sold (which include an airship).
- The Final Fantasy series do this a lot.
- Another variant of item-depending class is the ability to throw weapons or money at the enemy. The former is usually given to Ninjas, the latter varies more (the Tactics Advance series gave it to the Juggler, Final Fantasy V gave it to the Samurai class, because... Samurai are aristocrats? Or something?).
- Scholars from Final Fantasy III are a mix of these and spellcasters being able to use both black and white magic, but their primary strength is their ability to double the effectiveness of both healing and attack items.
- Edward in Final Fantasy IV has a bit of this with Salve, an ability that splits a potion among the party. In the DS remake, it was upgraded, allowing him to use five of the same item, so as to use one on everyone in the party. This includes higher-level Potions, status-clearing items, and Phoenix Down. The sequel gives him an Item Amplifier ring that lets him outpace a White Mage in healing ability provided you have the cash.
- The Chemist class from Final Fantasy V. They have a Mix ability that lets them combine various items to create some seriously powerful effects, and they come with the passive ability Pharmacology, which doubles the effectiveness of items they use.
- Rikku in Final Fantasy X and the Alchemist job in Final Fantasy X-2., a combination of exclusive and stealing. One weapon skill doubles item effects. Another skill allows the use of potions, eventually even very powerful ones, without using them from the inventory.
- Larsa a Guest Star Party Member in Final Fantasy XII has a gambit that has him use free Hi-Potions and X-Potions on the party when their HP drops below a certain threshold making him a very useful Combat Medic and Crutch Character due to the instant effect items have over magic.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics, you have to learn a separate Chemist ability for each type of item and equip the Item command. Of course, considering the strength of items in the game...
- All characters innately possess the Item command in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, but it has to be equipped in the secondary class slot to be used.
- Alchemists and Rangers in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. Both have other abilities but can learn a passive skill to double the effects of items. Alchemists also get the Item Command for free, while Rangers enter Game Breaker territory with Mirror Item, which reverses an item effect on an enemy (those potions that heal 200 hp? Now a nearly unmissable 400 damage attack).
- Salve-Makers in the all-but-in-name Spin-Off Bravely Default entirely revolve around this, relying on items to attack and heal. They can be as helpful healers as White Mages, and aren't too shabby when it comes to dealing damage either (as long as they use items, at least, for their other stats are rather subpar).
- The Thief class in the Disgaea series isn't particularly good in any regard other then speed, but nonetheless ends up on the main team of most players, due to being much better at stealing then any other class. They can also receive better items from treasure chests starting from Disgaea 3.
- In Disgaea 2, archers had the unique ability that enemies they killed had a 30% chance of turning into treasure chests.
- Also in Disgaea 3 is the Gunslinger class, whose abilities revolve almost entirely around granting you more rewards, either through larger bonus gauge increases, more money from defeated enemies, and a chance to create a treasure chest when defeating enemies. Her Distaff Counterpart has abilities that are geared towards improving damage, but statistically, the two are virtually identical.
- Virginia in Wild ARMs 3, while not a particularly strong fighter, gets this because she's so damn good at using items due to her "Mystic" ability, which lets her make an item hit multiple targets instead of just one, or in the case of certain plot items, cast spells embedded in them for free. Given that she's fast to boot, means she's always ready for a quick heal/revive to kick off a round. She also keeps the elemental gems from being Too Awesome to Use (or makes them even better Vendor Trash).
- Arguably, Midna in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Link's definitely not carrying all his junk, and Midna is seen to teleport the Ordon sword and shield away when you go into Faron Woods' Twilight.
- Pokémon that have the Pickup ability can get free items at a random chance after battles and are also generally capable of learning Thief or Covet, which allows them to steal items. They tend to not be good for much else, due to frequently being Com Mons.
- The Hireling in the Munchkin card game. He can't help in combat normally, but he can carry around an extra big item for the player, and can use the siege engine in battle if you have it.
- In the Munchkin RPG, Star Munchkin edition, the "Big Hairy Alien" hireling is noted as making a great item caddy. They have four arms, can exchange items with you and reload weapons (whoever's holding them) as free actions, and carry enormous loads.
- Merlinus' entire point of existence in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword is to be your army's item caddy. He starts off as an immobile tent on the field where you can drop off or pick up items between your character and collective inventory. Later on, he gets an upgrade that allows him to freely move around the map.
- Merlinus was also an item caddy in Fire Emblem: Sword of Seals, only he started out in his cart form rather than needing to promote into it. He wasn't as useful, though, due to the fact that items could be sent to him regardless of whether or not he was on the map, he took up a slot in your army, and he didn't level up every chapter the way he did in Blazing Sword.
- The Laguz from the Fire Emblem Tellius games are also Item Caddies in a way. The only items they can actually use are healing items (and special offensive "cards" in Radiant Dawn), while they use their transformations and natural abilities to contribute to the fight. They can use their item slots to carry backup weapons and items for other units, or to unload any treasures that your Beorc (human) characters pick up.
- In several games in the series (such as Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones), the supply convoy actually travels with your main character instead of being a separate unit. While this is certainly more convenient than having the convoy be an immobile tent or inaccessible in battle, it can still cause problems if the main character is underleveled or just weak in general.
- In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, the Eberron setting's Artificer class is all about this. They can craft items cheaply (and without knowing the spells normally required to do so), spend multiple uses of a charged item at once to increase its power, temporarily turn any item into a magic item, or change the effects of magic items. They also get some abilities for healing/damaging Constructs - the setting also introduces a Construct race who can treat parts of his body as magic items, meaning that these will see plenty of use. It's generally considered one of the most powerful classes in the game, if one of the most difficult to play.
- Dawn of War 2 has the tactical marine squad lead by Tarkus. Compared to the other squads at your disposal, they are basically middle of the road units (until Tarkus gains the temporary invincibility ability virtually required to win anything on Primarch difficulty) but their main advantage is the huge number of accessory slots they possess. Thus Tarkus is usually the one toting the medkits, grenades and other sundry expendables in many missions.
- In Warhammer Fantasy Battles, scrollcaddies are a common use of low level wizards who just walk around ready to dispell enemy spells.
- In Front Mission, any Wanzers dedicated to carrying items are these, particularly in 3 since no repair-type backpacks exist at that game. In 4, the Resistance Army in Darril's storyline also features one item-carrying "medic" that some stages provide you with.
- In Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, one of the New Game+ builds is a Thief type. You gain an incredibly high Luck Stat and not much else, so you will be buried in stockpiled items from fallen enemies, which you'll spam constantly in order to survive.
- In Dokapon Kingdom, both the basic Magician class and the Alchemist class have aspects of this. Basic Magicians can carry a lot of Overworld Spells (which are essentially items, they just have their own inventory space) and get a bonus when using them. Alchemists can double items, even if their inventory is lacking. Multiple copies of an item that lets you steal an opponent's town? Yes please!
- Resident Evil Outbreak has backpacker Yoko Suzuki. Slow as molasses and is injured by light breezes, but she can carry twice the items, be they weapons, herbs, or keys.
- Fallout 2 has Lenny, a ghoul with an alrightish skill with submachineguns, which can be rather expensive to keep stocked if fired on auto all the time, or really weak if they're not. However, he can carry a lot of stuff. So if you get the Magnetic Personality Perk you can get him along to hold the ammo for guys like Marcus. See also a glitch that could cause the boot of the car you spend a long quest-chain getting to work to follow you around the map; it was implemented as a member of your party that can't ordinarily move and has no stats, making it a weird sort of meta-example.
- Fallout: New Vegas has Raul, and ex-vaquero ghoul whose bonus perk slows the rate at which your weapons deteriorate, meaning they can last longer before breaking. Finishing his personal quest either slows that further, or boosts his fire-rate with lever-action weapons, making him more a hybrid.
- Luke in Eternal Eyes. He has no magic to speak of, but he's the only one who can use items (some of which have the same effects as spells). He's also the only one who can use Jewels in battle, which also act spell-like, but can also be used to lay traps.
- In an interesting take on this trope, Pichu in Super Smash Bros. Melee was designed specifically with items in mind. His extreme speed would allow him to capitalize on item drops to gain the upper hand. Unfortunately for him, tournament rules largely ban items, sending him to the bottom of the tier list.
- Repede from Tales of Vesperia gets many skills that are based around improving items, such as decreasing the cooldown between uses and the ability to steal from enemies. While some of these skills can be learned by other characters, several are exclusive to him, and he tends to learn the ones that are shared earlier than anyone else. All of this is a little odd when considering that he's a dog (Which does get lampshaded by the party in a skit, where they complain about the items getting covered in drool when he uses them).
- Leia from Tales of Xillia similarly gets a multitude of item boosting skills, which makes her the best character for topping off the party in a pinch if her healing spells aren't enough.
- The SaGa series has its share of this trope since it often has unique races rather than classes.
- Makai Toshi SaGa humans are literal item caddies. They often are inferior to Mutants and Monsters since they lack group attacks. However they can carry 8 pieces of equipment in a game where the common item inventory is just 16.
- The Robots of SaGa 2 automatically halve the number of remaining uses of an item they receive, but when they heal at the inn, the uses heal back up to that half level.
- Cyborgs in SaGa 3 like Robots from before base their stats off the equipment they are using. They lack an attack proficiency but they are often the fastest characters in game. This makes them very useful to use fill any roll during the battle round.
- The Atelier series, being based on alchemists, has quite a lot of this
- Klein from Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana has terrible Stat growth and no direct offensive skill except a very weak physical attack. He is also the only one who can use Mana Items, or even Synthesize them mid-battle. All his skills are also directed at strengthening the power of the items.
- In its chronological prequel, Atelier Iris 2 the Azoth of Destiny, Felt can also synthesize items mid-battle, but otherwise he is a perfectly fine fighter and has no item-related skills. On the other hand, your last party member Viese plays this trope straighter, getting a few of Klein's item related skils.
- In Atelier Rorona The Alchemist of Arland, main character Rorona is the only one who can use items at all.
- In Atelier Totori The Adventurer of Arland, again, only Totori and her mentor Rorona can use items. Totori plays this trope straighter, though, as she has a skill called Duplicate, which allows her to use items without actually spending it, but at only 80% power. It's her only skill in the game.
- Gadgeteers from Wild ARMs XF. They're the only class in the game that are able to use healing items to others, and the ones who master the whole class also gets an access to "High-Class" or advanced items.