GameSpy has posted an interview with Stormfront Studios' Devin St. Clair, the man in charge of character design on their upcoming Dungeons & Dragons title, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone. A quick snip:
Q: How do you make a magic-user that isn't an effeminate pansy?
A: Yeah, the caster in the cape can pose a problem. We originally took what I thought was an innovative approach to the sorcerer character where he looked completely out of stereotype. And I felt pretty strong about it just because ... well, because of how you phrased your question. But it didn't get the right response when people saw him so the long coat and staff came back to make the visual impression jive.
Illius is all about projectile magic, and at first that was all he was really good for -- just hang back and lob spells. Felt like weak sauce to quote J. Epps, our design director. So how do you make a magic-user that isn't an effeminate pansy? You let him crack some skulls with that staff of his, and he does! Up-close melee fighting with Illius turns out to be very satisfying and very different from the other characters. Besides, his backstory is that he is a knight from a family of knights. He can't help it if he's got the magic touch, but he ain't afraid to whoop some monster ass up close and personal.