Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Gorgon Archer - Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition - Character Advancement

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Character advancement in Dungeons and Dragons is done by accumulating experience points. Once you gain enough points you go up a level, which is done by applying another template based on the class you choose to advance, usually the same you started with though many campaigns allow you to take more than one class if you want to. Multi-classing is an important tool in creating unusual concepts, but I'm not going to need to do that with either of the two versions I did here.

The Gorgon Archer in Multiple Systems

This is looking at different ways to create the same character using different systems. I'm using my preferred test case character concept: the gorgon archer.

Why are these all the gorgon archer?

First, I like gorgons.

Second, the statement of "archer" implies that some level of martial capability is the primary focus of the character. Martial abilities only tend to get complex when they are a major facet of the character. Characters that have basic martial capabilities settle for the basic mechanics.

Third, gorgons are not a usual race and thus there will be less likely to be a built-in template to create them, forcing me to play around with the mechanics a bit to make things work which will prove a better test of the character creation mechanics.

Fourth, I like gorgons.

Fifth, there is a bit of magic involved and of a type that is not common. Even a little bit of magic can introduce a fair amount of challenging complexity to a character. In fact, minor magics are often more challenging to represent mechanically than great magics.

Sixth, I like gorgons.

Seventh, by using the same basic concept for each system, I can more easily see the impact that the character creation system has on the direction of the character. In many cases, the setting will also have an influence. D&D 5e, Hero System, Fate Core, Strands of Fate, and a few other such systems can all assume the same setting with different systems. L5R, 7th Sea, my Divine Blood setting, and other such world-specific systems have influence from a pre-set Lore. However, this is also useful as it lets me see how the character creation better models the desired themes of those settings.

And to finish the rather old joke I decided to unabashedly engage in: I like gorgons.

Now, in some settings, the presence of a gorgon won't make narrative sense. This would include the Legend of the Five Rings version below and, when I get around to it, any sort of Call of Cthulhu version of this character. For Star Trek, I was able to manage an alien race that sort of has the same visual cues, but even that's a bit off. The 7th Sea, on the other hand, is a gifted (or cursed depending on your perspective) human which is actually a bit closer to the actual myth of Medusa than the idea of a gorgon as a race.

In any case, I am going to be marking some of the versions as "Epitaphs" in the sense that they are referred to as gorgons or other monsters as a sort of title or insult rather than actually being one. The first of these epitaph versions is the L5R character, as even the Star Trek alien was close enough for my liking, but that will change.

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition - Character Creation

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition - Character Advancement

 

Hero System 6th Edition - Character Creation

Hero System 6th Edition - Character Advancement


Fate Core - Character Creation

Fate Core - Character Advancement


Monster of the Week - Character Creation

Monster of the Week - Character Advancement

 

Strands of Fate - Character Creation

Strands of Fate - Character Advancement

 

Legend of Five Rings 4th Edition - Character Creation (Epitaph)

Legend of Five Rings 4th Edition - Character Advancement (Epitaph)

 

7th Sea 2nd Edition - Character Creation

7th Sea 2nd Edition - Character Advancement  

 

Divine Blood RPG - Character Creation

Divine Blood RPG - Character Advancement 

 

Star Trek Adventures - Character Creation

Star Trek Adventures - Character Advancement

 

Shadowrun 5th Edition - Priority Chart Adept - Character Creation

Shadowrun 5th Edition - Life Module Adept - Character Creation

Shadowrun 5th Edition - Point Buy Bio-Samurai - Character Creation

Shadowrun 5th Edition - Character Advancement  

 

Beast: The Primordial - Character Creation

Beast: The Primordial - Character Advancement 

 

The One Ring - Character Creation (Epitaph)

The One Ring - Character Advancement (Epitaph) 

 

Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition - Character Creation (Epitaph)

Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition - Character Advancement (Epitaph)


City of Mist - Character Creation

City of Mist - Character Advancement

 

Chill 3rd Edition - Character Creation (Epitaph)

Chill 3rd Edition - Character Advancement (Epitaph)

 

Clockwork Dominion - Character Creation

Clockwork Dominion - Character Advancement


Masks - Character Creation

Masks - Character Advancement

Gorgon Archer - Fate Core - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Fate Core is one of the more recent incarnations of the basic FUDGE gaming system and while it has my favorite game play elements, its character generation is not exactly my favorite. I'll likely hit the other versions of Fate later. Fate Core is a sort of toolkit system that at its base level is best suited to pulp and adventure storylines where character competence is highlighted. There are a lot of different variations of Fate ranging from very rules light to very complex systems. Even within Fate Core, there are a lot of different variations with their own systems modeled to fit the desired story. There are five basic categories of character elements in Fate Core: Aspects, Skills, Stunts, Stress Tracks, and Refresh.

The central part of any Fate System are the Aspects, the Skills and Stunts were basically grown out of that core mechanic. Aspects are descriptive labels that indicate something about the character's personality, background, occupation, or any other thing about them. Aspects are actually used to label anything that is true about the game, the characters in it, the places where it is happening and so on. But we are focusing on Aspects as they relate to characters here. 

Gorgon Archer - Hero System 6th Edition - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Hero System is a point buy game and when you are creating characters, the GM usually sets some caps and limits based on the sort of game desired. Hero System is most well known for the Champions setting which is for superhero games. In this case, I am going to be making a standard heroic character which is 175 points with 50 points of complications. By comparison the standard Superhero game is 400 points with 75 points of complications. Given this is a heroic fantasy style character, I am not spending points on equipment which means that any gear she has is at the mercy of the GM's will. In general, a character only spends points on signature items and the spending of points tends to mean that you will get it back, or replace it with something similar, between scenarios.

There are a few different categories of things that can be purchased with these points. Characteristics which are the basic capabilities of a person such physical strength, mental resilience, and base combat capability. Skills which normally represent trained capabilities such as deduction, stealth, weapon skills, martial arts, persuasion, and so on. Powers which can be used to create a variety of things ranging from magic, psychic abilities, equipment, and exceptional skills. Prerequisites, which represent social things like contacts, allies, identities, money, property, and so on. Talents, which represent action movie type feats that are a bit north of everyday reality and a bit south of superheroes. As a note, Talents are basically powers pre-packaged at low levels so you can easily just add them to your character.

Gorgon Archer - Dungeons and Dragons 5e - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

For the purposes of examining character creation I'm going to do two versions here. One is going to only use official rules from printed books to approximate the content and the other will use my homebrew gorgon race (bottom of the linked page below the sorcerer heritage and spells).

Contrary to more normal approach of going for a little bit higher stats than the typical game, I'm going to use the default array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 as it represents a more pure analysis of the game. I will be using Feats when I look at advancement but as this post deals with 1st Level only, they won't be appearing here.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Brutal Bruiser (Goliath Primal Brawler)

So, since the ooze pact went over fairly well, I'm going to go ahead and toy around a bit with the Primal Brawler Path I made for the Barbarian. I touched on this a little bit with the roboticist warrior, which came out a bit like Taryon and Grog from Critical Role did the fusion dance and put on a girdle of femininity, but I think I'll go ahead and do a full build of this rather than a multi-class.

Some of the concept for this sort of character was filled by the third-party Pugilist class found on the Dungeon Master's Guild, but I still think that this Primal Path has a unique spin on things. The Pugilist is more akin to wrestlers and boxers who fight in front of a crowd. It had the same sort of focus on brutal, strength-based martial arts but it lacked that mythic quality I was looking for. It was more like Rocky than Beowulf. So I've kept to this build.

To begin with, I'm going to start with choosing a race and I think I'm going to go with goliath since I originally produced this Primal Path after watching a few episodes of Critical Role and encountering a Barbarian/Monk, something that didn't really synergize well but still spoke to a particular concept of character in fantasy and mythology. What interested me was that the PHB spoke about Barbarians beating people with their bear hands and yet there wasn't a punchy focus path for them. That said, at first level a barbarian with 16 to 17 Strength will deal 4 damage, 6 if raging, on a punch or kick. When you get to 20th level with max strength, that's 12 damage a punch, though it tends to lose out with the brutal critical.

Not sure how CR would have played with Grog doing something like this, and he was admittedly prone to punch things to death a lot. One thing is for certain, the Craven Edge and Sword of Kas things wouldn't have been as likely to happen, which would have been a shame, but still it's interesting to imagine a Grog that was more focused on casting Fist.

Slime-Touched (Half-Elf Slime Pact Warlock)

For whatever reason, the idea of a slime-person has been in my head recently and looking around to
do a theoretical in D&D I found a slimefolk race and an Oath of the Faceless Lord but I didn't really like either. The Oath of the Faceless Lord was far too specific for my tastes, and the slimefolk race looked a bit iffy. So I decided to work at making my own pact. One that was a bit more general in nature, and then I went and looked for some art and found this bit for the Legend of the Cryptids card game. I'm familiar with the art of this game, having followed a number of the artists, but not the game itself and I'm not certain what cryptid this picture is supposed to be since it was just marked as "slime girl adv" on pintrest. That said, I actually presume the warlock looks mostly normal unless using their powers or surviving a strike from an enemy.

Regardless, the Ooze Pact can be used to represent a pact with Jubilex as the other mechanics offered, or someone who was somehow infected with a slime or ooze infection and somehow, through magic or strength of will, managed to assimilate the ooze and make it part of themselves. Or, perhaps, inherited such a condition from someone else. This is different from a standard pact, but could present similar enough difficulties to fit the idea of a pact.

In this case, I'm assuming a half-elf that drank of tainted water and accidentally swallowed a bit of an ooze that began to eat them from within. However, by some ritual or magic, the half-elf has managed to make the ooze part of herself. I'm assuming she's half-moon-elf, accounting for the blue coloration.

For the Ooze Pact, here are the features:

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Valorous Vampire (Nobleblood Dhampir Valor Bard)


This is another theoretical inspired by a picture from Ina Wong on deviantart.com. I haven't looked to see what the backstory of the picture is, having been directly shown it by a friend on a chat server. It is quite a beautiful work as you can see.


Also, the artist is http://inawong.deviantart.com. She's an amazing artist and does do commissions if you are looking for a book cover or something similar.


As to the question of how to build this character, we have to look at the picture a bit. For one thing, the character is dressed only in what appears to be a nighty. This could mean that they were ambushed and had to defend themselves from the surprise, or it could mean that they eschew the use of armor. In either regard, the character's is clearly very skilled at combat. This makes my thoughts run toward Fighter, Barbarian, Blade-Warlock, Paladin, Kensai Monk, Valor-Bard, Blade-Bard, Ranger, Rogue, or even Bladesinger Wizard.

I am going to dismiss Rogue as there is a very in-your-face style to her attitude. While that doesn't necessarily leave Rogue out of the equation, it points more towards other styles of class. In addition, the yawning seems to give very much an impression of "This is boring. You're no challenge." Again, there are rogues that would fit this, but this feels more like a stand-up-front-and-take-it sort of character. For similar reasons, themes that don't necessarily conflict but don't point to them, I am going to remove Ranger and Bladesinger Wizard from the list of possibilities. Blade-Bard also gets dismissed as that is a path that operates using two-weapon fighting.

I've also already done a vampyr warrior using the undying warlock, twice in fact, and while this character would be significantly different from that one, I don't feel like revisiting that version of the undying warlock especially when I have so many warlocks at the time of this writing already. Similarly, while I've played paladins and monks who had similar attitudes to the one in the picture, it doesn't feel right either so I'm going to leave those off the list.

I'm leaning toward this as a sort of Dhampir Barbarian just for the amusing disconnect. That said, I already did the other Ina Wong picture I had built as a Barbarian as well. While the image of this character seems to be one of doesn't-get-hit rather than takes-a-licking, there's a couple of ways to account for that. Primarily this is because hit points are an abstract that also include some degree of dodging as well as the fact that this is a dhampir so it might just be the scars heal faster than they appear despite the HP dwindling. Though her clothes are not torn apart either, unless she started out the fight wearing more than that. But despite that bit of stream of consciousness, I'm going against barbarian because the lack of rage in her expression. While I've seen the rage represented as cold, pure focus or a supernatural invocation of power rather than actual anger, the bored expression counts against all of those.

Down to Fighter and Valor-Bard and I think, just because of that sheer force of "I'm bored." I'm going with the Valor-Bard. Also, I've done a fighter dhampir recently and while that was a gunslinger, I'd like to try something else here. This might seem to be slightly stepping away from the idea of martial excellence, but the Valor Bard sits on scale with several of the martial classes in terms of ability and one should remember that the large majority of the population are non-classed and have proficiency in only a few limited weapons and skills.

Similarly, I am going with a Nobleblood Dhampir here. As I'm getting the feeling she doesn't usually invoke much fear unless she wants to. For background, none really stand out for me. I'm torn between Noble and Entertainer. And I think I will go with Entertainer.

Angelic Roboticist Warrior (Scourge Aasimar Alchemist/Brawler Barbarian)

inawong.deviantart.com
This is another theoretical that was inspired by the picture it is posted with. In this case, the image is clearly more in the realm of a superhero or sci-fi sort of story, but I've been in a mood of theory-crafting and so, instead of pulling out Hero System or Fate or something else, I considered how to reproduce the image in D&D terms.

The art is a cover-art piece for a book by an author found here: https://www.amazon.com/Aer-ki-Jyr/e/B007R6913W

I'm not sure the author has posted the book for this picture yet, but they have a few other novels there.

In this case, I'm assuming the robot is something that comes with her due partially to her apparent attitude that she's unconcerned with it and more directing her attention to whoever is the point of view. For one thing, it presented an interesting complication. I considered doing it as a straight Artificer, and may still do so, but the fact is she looks like she's just about to come punch someone in the face with cosmic retribution rather than send the robot.

I considered the Sun Soul monk for the warrior aspect. The aurora certainly goes with that, but that could just as easily be the scourge aasimar's Radiant Consumption racial trait. I may do this as a pure Sun Soul later, but since I was already going multiclass, I decided I'm going to test out a theoretical with Barbarian path I've been toying with for an unarmed warrior type. In this regard I also considered the third party Pugilist, but that doesn't have an Unarmored Defense trait.

For this I am using a 30 point buy rather than an array.

News of other Battles - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Twenty-Seven


The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad

The Flame's wick guttering out;
With only a lingering ember below;
The heroes recovered from the bout;
And stood in the lava's glow.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Skydancer (Air Genasi Monk)

This is a theoretical inspired by a picture. Specifically the one I've posted here which seems to be a piece of art from the Pathfinder books. I found it while looking for art on djinn to post along with the ballad I wrote for what at the moment is the most recent session of my Princes of the Apocalypse campaign. There is not much in the way of a background idea for the character.

On first glance she seems rather punkish but that is succumbing to the norms of my culture and for all I know her style of dress here could be the standard for the culture she comes from. There is a necklace of prayer beads, a belly tattoo which likely has some sort of mystic significance and the foot wraps. She dresses for freedom of movement for the most part. I would assume the shawl she's wearing around her waist can be worn about the shoulders in the case of severe weather and hides her footwork in the current mode.

All that taken into account, I'm going to assume that she is a member of some sort of temple or the like. For background I am going to take the Far Traveler from Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Touched Hermit (Protector Aasimar Hunter)


This is a bit out of the ordinary in some ways. According to recent surveys, aasimar rangers are fairly rare. In any case, here is a character whose frequently harassed by their angelic guide and has taken to the wilds in an attempt to be away from the constant susurrus of voices both physical and mental. The idea being that they'd have to deal with less harassment from their guide if they aren't around other people to witness potential evil. This has worked to some regard. As a farther note, the setting I'm imagining this for doesn't trust celestials anymore than they do fiends, partially due to the fact that one of the major religious institutions is rather corrupt and would prefer to dictate to the people what they want the dogma to be rather than bend to what the actual gods state. As such, aasimar and many people with actual divine abilities or connections are decried as witches or frauds.


For this I am using a 30 pt pool since there are some stats I want a bit lower than average, namely the Charisma as this is not a character who appreciates the company of others. That said, even putting it at an 8 results in a 10 with the Aasimar Charisma bonus added in. As a further note, I am taking the Outlander rather than the Hermit background despite the way that I described the character in the title.

The Spared Sailor (Half-Elf Undying Warlock)

The basic concept here is a sailor who was caught in a storm and pulled under the waves but was spared drowning due to making a pact with some underwater entity. There's a couple of different ways to do go with this concept. The obvious one is to pick the Great Old One pact due to the connection to Cthulhu and other sort of entities. I another way I thought about this was using the Sea Sorcerer, but I wanted to focus on the idea that they were spared by a entity of death as well as the oceans. As such, I am using the Undying Pact of Warlock. The background is definitely going to be Sailor.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Changeling Imposter (Changeling Mastermind)

I am designing this character as one of two partners to the gorgon smuggler. The other is going to be a sailor though I haven't worked out the actual class yet. The main facet of this character is in that they fill in the roll of the social infiltrator alongside the smuggler's skills which are closer to the standard rogue despite being a fighter. I considered a couple of ways to do this, including bard but decided that I wanted to leave it as a rogue. Within that I considered the various archetypes and settled on Mastermind from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide due to the various intrigue and deceit related stuff it gets.


For background, I'm choosing Charlatan, which provides a couple of tool kits that the Mastermind is going to provide at 3rd level, per the normal standards on tools, I'll replace those with other tool kits.


For this I am using my typical theoretical 30 pt array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Royal Protector (Variant Human Banneret)

This is the fighter version of the bodyguard monk I created. As I moved on, I was a bit dissatisfied with the nature of the magical abilities overall for the bodyguard. I want the princess to have magic and the main character and a side-kick to have some racial magic, but otherwise I want the amount of magic to be rather low and the amount of casting the Shadow Monk had crossed the line of what I was happy with, which I was not expecting. That said, I'm not using actual stats for writing the characters, but I felt the concept veered off a bit. In any case, I am going to build this as a Banneret, aka a "Royal Purple Dragon Knight" out of the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide though Swashbuckler is another possibility.

Background is still going to be Courtier. I considered going with standard human instead of variant, but I want to give them that Sentinel Feat right off the bat.

Royal Bodyguard (Variant Human Shadow Monk)

This is connected to the same story idea that led to the scholarly princess I did just a little bit ago. I considered fighter, bard, rogue, and barbarian, but eventually settled on monk. To be honest, there isn't much territory that hasn't been covered in the terms of a royal protector. There have been big, brutish warriors, clever rogues, bards, sorcerers, priests, and disciplined warriors all used as royal protectors. Since I'm basically making a ninja here, that's been done as well. But still, I like the idea that the princess's bodyguard has a touch of magic the way she does. I haven't decided on the bodyguard's full relationship to the princess, but leaning toward protector and ward only.

For background, I am going to place them as a Courtier from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide and producing pretty much no other changes to it.

I may end up making the fighter or barbarian version of this character, because aside from some non-human characters, including the main-character that inspired the base story, I want there to be limited magic involved.

For this I am using my typical theoretical 30 pt array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

Scholarly Princess (Variant Human Cleric of Knowledge)

I had an idea for a character who was a sage that had a bit of magic to them but wasn't a full fledged caster. Mostly in relation a low magic story line I had in mind. I have more than occasionally used RPGs as ways of firming up ideas for stories. I considered several classes to help me model the character including bard, artificer, wizard, eldritch knight, arcane trickster, and even monk. I decided on the cleric in the interest of being a bit off normal and also because the cleric spells in general fit better with the style of magic I was thinking of.

This is not a naive princess. She has used smugglers to obtain exotic materials and has some experience with intrigue. For the Background, I am going with Noble, but replacing the tool and language with Alchemist Kit and Herbalism Kit.

For this I am using my typical theoretical 30 pt array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gorgon Smuggler (Gorgon Gunslinger)

I have played a bit with the gorgon sorcerous heritage I came up but I haven't really played around with the race I made and put on to the same page. So I've decided to do something here and, at the same time, decided to play around a little bit more with Matt Mercer's Gunslinger fighter archetype. So I have no particular character personality in mind here. I did go into the CoH character builder and create something that was a little bit de Rolo-ish.

I think I am going to go with the concept of the gorgon urchin that I used when I created the gorgon archer using Unearthed Arcana warlock stuff. To reiterate, the idea is that there is a sort of ghetto where adventurers, soldiers, priests, or whoever dumps the young monsters that they feel are innocent and thus not responsible for the terrors of the adults. The public image is that this is a safe place where the monsters will be protected and raised properly. The truth is that the individuals within it are frequently abused and taken advantage of. They are also typically not allowed to leave the borders of their sanctuary with the idea that it is for their own protection as if seen beyond the walls it will be assumed that they are monsters.

I already ran the archer as an urchin, so I think I want to twist this a little bit here. I would do them as a Folk Hero, but that's more geared toward a rural background and this is an urban one. For this case, I'm going with a Criminal background of a smuggler variety. The idea being that they smuggle things in and out through the city.

For this I am using a 30 pt spread instead of an array.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Yuan-Ti Bodyguard (Yuan-Ti Pureblood Kensai)

This was another concept that came up when I was rolling up random combinations of race, class, and background. As I recall, I had split that group up into four groups of three or so and one of those included the half-orc rogue noble and the yuan-ti fighter courtier. So I decided that the yuan-ti was some sort of bodyguard for the half-orc. However, like with the noble-born half-orc theoretical, I'm doing some changes here. Part of that is due to the fact that at the time I only have two monk theoreticals but I have five fighter theoreticals.

Also, I am well aware of the idea that yuan-ti are usually an evil race and don't particularly care. I had been rolling up at random and had come to the conclusion that the yuan-ti of that world fit some sort of warrior caste that protected the ruling body a la knights and samurai. Of course, in the long run that might have ended seeing a power shift into the hands of said warrior caste, as happened with a lot of different feudal cultures in real life, but, anyway, on to the theoretical. I vacillated between shifting the class to monk or ranger and eventually settled on monk because I want to play around a bit with the Kensai archetype.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Noble-Born Half-Orc (Half-Orc Mastermind)

This a character concept that was originally something that popped up when I was rolling up random combinations of race, class, and background. In the same batch there was a Changeling Barbarian Gladiator who was in a self-exile after some embarrassing event back home. When I was trying to figure out the half-orc noble thing, I somehow linked to the Changeling and the fact that Eberron Changelings can change so thoroughly that they can conceive/sire children as if they were the race they were shape-shifted into. This was changed over later when I carried over the character concept without bringing in the other characters.

The general concept is that the reason she is a half-orc is due to her parents experimenting with shapeshifting-aided roleplay. There are plenty of other origins that could produce a half-orc noble but this one does come with the idea of other nobles making constant snide remarks about either her parents' habits or else the possibility that there was some infidelity going on. In the course of this time growing up she learned to be more clever and agile than the average half-orc, eventually being tapped as an agent of the land.

The original background was a Noble, because that is what inspired this whole concept, but I think in the long run even though she is a noble, her overall background better fits Faction Agent or Spy. I'm settling on Faction Agent to represent her loyalty to nation.

Ship's Medic (Goliath Alchemist)

Suggested by a friend of mine, there is apparently an NPC that's going to be present on the ship our characters are imprisoned on. She specified the race, class and specialization, but she didn't specify backstory or personality. As I recall, we've been captured by a group analogous to the East India Company. I am going to go ahead and run the character as a sailor representing their position on a sky-ship. However, Goliath already gives Athletics as a skill, so I will be adding a different skill in for the background.

I am using the Artificer from Unearthed Arcana. I tried to download the version WotC put on the Dungeon Master's Guild, but every download I've done has come out a bit corrupted and won't open. I'm hoping they're essentially the same since the DMG entry is marked as the Unearthed Arcana Artificer class. 

For this I am using my typical theoretical 30 pt array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Satyr Enchantress (Variant Human Archfey Warlock)

Yes, her name is a horrible pun on Saturday.
This is another case where I am using a combination of class and race to represent the natural abilities of a magical creature. So this is less of a matter of having a pact than it is just not having the normal mortal perspective. That said, this also reminds me of a character I had and played just a very little bit in City of Heroes who was a woman which stumbled into a faerie glen and woke up in the morning as a satyr. Art of said character is what I choose for the art here.

In CoH, the character was an electricity / storm defender, but for this build I am leading more toward an idea of a playful enchantress. Thus her overall all strength will be more in the interaction parts of the game than the combat parts.

I have considered two potential races for this build. One of those was tiefling and the other was the variant human. My original thought was to go with tiefling because it has the appropriate appearance and with the Devil's Tongue option from Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, it does fit some of what a satyr would be. Then I started to think that if the race isn't really the race but just half of the combination to make the whole, then I could easily go with the variant human. This especially so given some of the feats I could take. A lot of GMs would insist that if I wanted horns and hooves, that I should take the tiefling class, but for my mind things like physical appearance and lifespan are more flavor issues that generally don't impact gameplay and thus can be changed as desired. Combined with the back story for the character art I chose, I've decided to go with the variant human. As a side note, this also means that I don't have Hellish Resistance or Darkvision. The Darkvision is not unfitting, but the Hellish Resistance isn't particularly on theme and makes another reason why going to human is a better fit. I also considered half-elf, but only briefly as the feat that comes with the variant human does a lot to fill in the character.

This means that I've somehow backended myself from recreating a satyr via other classes into having a person who was transformed into a satyr after spending a night partying with fae which I'm fine with. It would make the concept easier to fit into a standard D&D game and aside from arguing horns and hooves on a "human" as part of the pact, this is pretty fitting.

Arcane Templar (Scourge Aasimar Devotion Paladin)

This is based on a character that I haven't gotten to play in a campaign yet, as so many of my theoreticals are. In this case the character was originally an Arcane Templar, which was a variation of Magus from Pathfinder. The Magus class was an arcane caster that merged fighting arts with magic and used it to enhance their fighting skills. Arcane Templar further mixed in elements of Paladin borrowing some of the class features of that and altering them to fit the Magus class.

The character in question was an aasimar who could pass for human and had an uncommonly long life-span. By the time the campaign was supposed to start she was actually a great-grandmother despite still looking in her early 20s. Her grandchildren were running the family lands and she had decided to take up the call that had been interrupted in her youth when she was captured and tortured by a cult of some kind. She feels now that she has had plenty of time to recover and is questing to find the purpose the heavens have for her, and hoping she hasn't started too late. I was going to not mention this to the other players and hoped it would be sprung on them later when we were in the country my character hailed from.

I've considered a couple of different ways to model this character ranging from the bladesinger wizard tradition, re-worked to have a different fluff for the mechanics, the favored soul sorcerer, an arcana cleric, and a few other options. However, in the end, the paladin is the best fit for the templar's abilities.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dryad Warden (Wood Elf Primeval Guardian)

Huntress by chibi-oneechan.deviantart.com
The primeval guardian conclave for ranger put me off for a while until I realized that I could model a dryad using it. I am also going to do something unusual and choose something other than a bow for the dryad to use. At the moment I'm writing this, I'm not entirely sure what. I sort of want to save the bonus action for changing in and out of guardian mode, because the guardian mode is slow and if I'm doing melee I'll want to be able to switch a bit easier than normal. Probably a polearm of some sort which means she's going to be

To model the base capability of the dryad I decided to go for a Wood Elf. I considered the Eladrin, as it is the more fey-like of the races, but I don't really like the way it is built in Unearthed Arcana. I could use the DMG version, but the Wood Elf has racial abilities that benefit this concept, so that is what I am going to use.

Caretaker of the Forest (Firbolg Circle of the Moon)

Firbolgs are cast in 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons, in the recent Volo's Guide to Monsters, as stealthy and gentle giants who expend a great deal of effort to protect the lands in which they make their homes. Toward that end, I've decided to build a theoretical around the idea of a firbolg druid. When I settled down to which Circle to focus on, I considered the Shepherd, the Dream, and the Land first, but eventually decided that the Circle of the Moon would provide the best sort of stealth in the form of becoming an animal to watch those coming into the forests.

For background, I am going to go with the Hermit rather than the Outlander. As this seems more like someone who has been living on their own for quite a while, even separated from other firbolg somehow.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dwarven War-Sage (Mountain Dwarf Abjurer)


As I have said in a recent blog post, there is a reduced incentive for me to combine the dwarf race with anything that gains Martial Weapon Proficiency because of the perception that I am wasting points in doing so due to their being no consideration for the overlap of the racial proficiencies and class proficiencies. Similarly, the mountain dwarf subrace is even more incentive to avoid places where a class provides Light and Medium armor proficiency for the same reason. That said, this presents a lot of incentive for playing a dwarf of a class not normally associated with those skills.

In this case, I'm focusing on a Wizard.

Snow Priest - (Variant Human Nature Theurgist)


One weakness of the cleric class is that it focuses entirely on warrior clerics. There are several faiths in the various settings where the idea that most of the clergy is trained in use of armor and weapons is rather silly. For example, the priesthood of Sune, Sharess, and Deneir are much less likely to be stout warriors in addition to their faith. Even Ilmater's and Lathander's priests would be primarily those untrained in military arts. The typical Cleric class of D&D is something that could possibly turn up in every faith, given the need for protecting the faithful, but would only be common in the worship of figures like Torm, Tyr, St. Cuthbert, or Bane.

Further, the majority of fictional priests are of the robed non-combatant variety. Most of the time that you find battle priests it shows up in pieces of fiction directly inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. Even in settings that are directly inspired by D&D, such as Record of Lodoss War, you primarily find that priests are lightly armored, if at all, and wielding staves and their faith.

This matter is somewhat addressed by the Unearthed Arcana wizard tradition of the Theurgist with some notable difficulties. First, the Theurgist will never get the Turn Undead, Destroy Undead, and Divine Intervention capabilities. Second, the majority of their spell list still ends up being arcane in nature. This is fine if you're dealing with a wizard who also serves a god or philosophy, but comes out weird if you're trying to portray a priest who focuses on their faith to the exclusion of military training. Another option is the Favored Soul which faces even more difficulties for matching this character type and is also not the focus of the current theoretical build.

As a note, I allow Theurgists to add extra cleric spells if they first get their Domain Spells they currently have access to. For example, if you are a 4th level theurgist and have already taken the Domain spells you'd get at levels 2 and 3, then you can take other spells now. I also allow them to scribe spells from cleric scrolls once they have met this requirement. I make similar considerations for Clerics of the Arcana Domain regarding wizard spells. I assume any such spell either way would be connected to the primary stat of the relevant class.

Dungeons and Dragons Issues with Character Building

To start, I am going to say that while this post is going to focus on where D&D annoys me with how it builds characters, I still do like the game. The 5th edition has done the best job at being able to adapt to various play styles and allow for legitimate flexibility of build of any of the previous editions. These issues I find are ones other people will not care about but that's fine. Not every game is for every player and if the problems I have were addressed new problems would definitely rise up that other people have trouble with. That said, let's get on with it.

Cleric of the Forge (Hill Dwarf Forge Cleric)

This is going to be a little bit of a stereotypical character: the dwarven cleric of a forge god, but I want to create a cleric with a race that has a little bit more flexibility in terms of spending Ability Score Improvements so I can spend a couple of the early improvements on some particular feats. I had a couple of potential ideas of what to use, and I might do some of those others later, but first I'm going to do this version. I am going to stick with the normal array for this and I don't have a particular idea in mind for how to give this a new twist. It's just a little bit of investigation into what this will look like. For that matter, the two Feats I'm considering for this aren't particularly unique and are rather obvious for a cleric to use.

Air-Headed Healer (Drow Life Cleric)

Back when I was still playing Dungeons and Dragons Online, I for a time played a drow cleric
unimaginatively named Peenk (her hair was pink). She was mostly geared toward healing and obliterating undead. Her Wisdom and Charisma was quite high, as was her Strength, because I knew going in I wanted heavier armor, but her Intelligence was really low. This is the reason I'm not using the normal 10 to 15 array I normally use here, because I want to be able to get the lower intelligence. I could have gone with a normal, default array, but I just like the extra flexibility of the 30 pt array.

Due to being mostly focused on healing, I'm going to go with the Life Domain. There aren't any of the feats I used in 3.X to enhance the character's abilities regarding turning undead or healing, but that's fine. Note on the art, I don't currently have DDO uploaded and can't remember which of my turbine accounts has it. However, I do have Neverwinter Nights 2 and was thus able to reproduce something similar to what Peenk looked like. I actually have another Drow cleric who was a nature cleric and archer who has been recreated in the list of 5e recreations.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Vampiric Sniper (Dhampir Gunslinger)

This is based a bit on Seras Victoria from the anime Hellsing and I am going to be using Matthew Mercer's Gunslinger and Benjamin Huffman's Dhampir race to pull this off. To actually do Seras, I'd mix bits of Warlock, Barbarian, and Gunslinger, but for this I'm going to be focusing on doing a straight Gunslinger build.

There isn't much to say about this save that she's a vampire with a gun. I could try to completely recreate Seras's backstory and abilities, but she's rather more varied than D&D makes easy to represent with its system. In this case, I'm going to be focusing mostly on Dexterity and Wisdom with some Constitution as well. That said, if this were Hero System, I'd have her with some rather middling Dexterity but high Strength and Constitution. This is because in 6th edition Hero System the ability to hit is not directly tied to any of the characteristics but has to be bought separately.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Hobgoblin Sky Pirate III - (Hobgoblin Bard of Valor)


This is another direction that I had decided I might go with this concept. In fact, as I desired to play a full caster, this one was ahead of the barbarian on the list of likelihoods. In the end I settled on the sorcerer option one I finally created the actual character. In the end, I had decided the fact that I had previously played a bard (granted only as far as level 4) settled me on sorcerer. Though that doesn't really make much sense given I have also recently played a sorcerer. Both bard and sorcerer are versatile enough classes that one might play very differently from another. That said, I also was feeling stubbornly determined to make best use of the Martial Training racial trait by taking a class that did not normally have martial weapons or armor proficiency. This is also what set me against Cleric and Druid while the firm desire to use a greatsword a la the picture settled me against Rogue.

Hobgoblin Sky-Pirate II (Hobgoblin Storm Herald)

When I was considering classes for building the hobgoblin sky-pirate concept, I went through a
couple of different concepts for it. So I'm going to stat out a couple of those variants here. This concept was inspired by a combination of the Pathfinder art and the GM's description of the world. I had been thinking of wanting to play a character based on that art for a while already and the world description of islands floating in air with great moons orbiting the remains of shattered world sold me on the Sky Pirate idea.


I am going to start with a Storm Herald barbarian. The description of the world setting certainly inspired me to the idea of a storm theme early. Also there was Taliesin Jaffe's portrayal of a Storm Herald Pirate in the Stream of Annihilation that also sparked my interest. Contrary to the version that's going live, using the Storm Sorcerer, this one will go for the desert storm as the Throne Moon of Jakhan she hails from is heavily connected to the element of fire.


One of the deciding elements not to go this way with Vimi was that another player was also thinking of playing barbarian. Plus I really enjoy pushing the limits of a concept, so trying to make a survivable melee sorcerer was an interesting challenge. However, it's interesting to explore some of the other concepts I had for her.

Hobgoblin Sky Pirate - (Hobgoblin Storm Sorcerer)


I am partly doing this as a sort of plan for how to proceed with a character I will be playing fairly soon in a campaign based around flying, magical ships piloting between moons in orbit around the remains of a shattered world. Islands drifting within the air. The major civilizations being on the moons but with spotty settlements on the various islands here and there and lots of places with elemental portals.

Now, there's a couple of things I know, the first is that in the actual campaign we will have the ability to gain feats via training as rewards for gaining reputation and renown within various factions. The other is that I always end up deviating from plans. One thing to note is that if you go with a specialty in thunder and lightning, you're going to want to be closer to the combat than usual for sorcerers. A lot of thunder and lightning stuff, including every cantrip, is short range or melee in nature. The hobgoblin race also comes with some armor and weapon proficiencies. Not as much as the mountain dwarves, mind you, but enough to make melee a bit easier on the player.

As another note, for this campaign we're refluffing the crossbows as pistols and rifles. They're using the exact same stats, but just a flavor change. Also note, I'm away from the house and using the old PDF names for some of the Storm Sorcerer traits, these will be fixed if they're off when I get home.

For this I am using the 30 point buy were given for the campaign.

Vanifer Burns Out - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Twenty-Six




The Chapters and Cast of the Ballad

Within the bard's summoned shelter;
Time was taken to examine the haul;
In their place south of the smelter;
Though they had not time to see all.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Vimi Ajam - Hobgoblin Storm Sorcerer

Sorcerer Level 1

Background: Pirate

Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 15
Int: 14
Wis: 8
Cha: 15

HP: 8
AC: 12
Sorcerer Save DC: 12
Speed: 30ft

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Shiny Red Candy-Like Button - Airship Lost - Divine Blood Campaign - Third Session

[The camera screen shows a flickering blue light radiating off of the energy blade held by Lydia. The
image is shakily focused on the blade more than the various features of the walls around them. In the background, it is barely possible to catch the obvious signage in the Romanesque metal walls. The writing comes into focus enough to reveal an unknown set of syllables.]

So it's not a lightsaber, apparently. It's a "mana blade." It's still really cool. 

"Shouldn't you be filming the cages?"

What, Mr Darring? Oh, right. These things.

The Shiny Red Candy-Like Button - Airship Lost - Session Three Gameplay Notes



I ended up not compelling as many Aspects this session this time. This was the first Significant Milestone meaning that the party received 11 XP here. My original thought was that they would encounter some monsters rather than civilized people and then they would find enough stuff to scavenge to give their ship some decent navigation and ability to detect shards at range. Instead, they've come to the conclusion that this city-sized shard with an unknown number of supernatural predators would make a nice base of operations that they could fix and steer it around in their quest for home. So now they plan to use the Sol Suna for basically patrolling around the shard...once they make it safer to inhabit.

Kanti Messner - Changeling Bard of Lore

Character Journal Third Level Str: 12 Dex: 16 Con: 12 Int: 16 Wis: 16 Cha: 18 HP: 24 AC: 14 Bard Save: 14 Bardic Inspiration...

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