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.

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 th...

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