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
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.

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...

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