Friday, September 5, 2014

Rebuilding for the 5th Edition: Medora

Okay, I'll be taking a character that went up to 20th level this time.  My Disciple of Medusa: Medora.

Medora was human up until about 10th level when the prestige class started kicking in. Which is the problem.

To start with, Medora was created with the intention of playtesting a prestige class I had based on discovering some of the pre-Greek history to the Perseus/Medusa myth.  Namely that Medusa was possibly grown out of an attempt to demonize a matriarchal religion by the extremely patriarchal Greeks.  I rigged up Medusa as a Neutral Goddess with followers from every alignment containing neutral in the name.  Since I'm ignoring alignment now, I'll just say that the Goddess herself was sort of a force of nature and that her followers were all over the map on morality.

The main problem is that I designed the prestige class so that it could be taken by any class of the time except Paladin, which was still limited to Lawful Good (or Chaotic Good if you had the Paladin of Freedom) and thus could not satisfy the Neutral requirement.

As such, a lot of the abilities she gained were somewhat situational and thematic. To summarize:

She had a familiar, a bat that eventually was improved to a dire bat. She took the Disciple ability that allowed her Disciple levels to continue to upgrade her familiar.

She reached 10th sorcerer and chose Effective Spell Level as an ability 3 times, making her the equivalent of a 13th level sorceress.

She had Darkvision, Scaly Hide giving her armor, Living Hair (tentacles rather than hair was automatic, snakes required an ability choice), Look of Stone (10 rounds/day, usable interspersed, 100 minute duration petrification, DC 20). Serpent's tongue, giving her bonus to some social skills.

She had a cure light wounds spell due to the Arcane Disciple feat giving her access to spells from the Healing domain.

When I first created her as a 1st level character, I knew that she was going to have limited spell levels, I focused on spells that buffed or used an attack roll rather than saving throws.  This is not so much a problem here.  Also, the end result had her with only four buffs: Fly, Haste, Expeditious Retreat and Enlarge Person.  A couple of debuff spells such as Curse of Impending Blades and Blindness/Deafness, a single scrying spell and lots and lots of elemental stuff, much related to acid such as caustic mire, vitriolic sphere, orb of acid and other such things, though also Stony Grasp.  Plus two teleportation spells, tactical teleportation and dimensional shuffle.

The two classes that are most appropriate for this character are:

Sorceress (which she was originally) and Warlock (pact with Medusa).  I had originally wanted to avoid the multiclass rules, but, as it turns out, they work really well to build this character.

Medora is going to be a Sorcerer/Warlock, and since Flesh to Stone is a 6th spell that Warlock only gets with the Incarnum ability, the divide will be Sorcerer 8 and Warlock 12

Starting from the 30 point array again: 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, I place her stats roughly according to the priorities apparent in her level 20 form:

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 11
Intelligence: 14
Wisdom: 13
Charisma: 15

I'll give her the alternate human method of 1 Feat, 1 Skill, +1 to 2 Ability scores.

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 11
Intelligence: 14
Wisdom: 14
Charisma: 16

I'll make her Feat: Magic Initiate - Wizard and give her Prestidigitation and True Strike as cantrips with Grease as the 1st Level spell.  I would have taken Cleric or Druid with Cure Wounds, but this feat doesn't specify it can be taken twice and the question "Doesn't he have to run through the Grease spell?" in the pivotal battle at the end of the first half of the campaign is far more iconic to Medora than her rarely used healing ability.

I'll leave the skill for later.

As to which class to start her at, she started as Sorcerer and became a Disciple later in the game, but in this case, I'm assuming that she's alternating and will start her as a Warlock first.  There isn't much difference save armor and weapon proficiencies, which you get for picking up Warlock later, and an extra 2 hit points to start off with over sorcerer.

Now, I'm assuming she's alternating, but I'm going to build by class...and I'll start with Warlock

The version of Medusa that I went with for the disciples was of a goddess of transformation, rebirth and death with lots of ties to nature.  But also largely a creature that does not directly involve itself in the world and whose followers are slowly transformed into something else.  Both Archfey and Great Old One fit. Great Old One has some spells that were part of Medora's arsenal, Evard's Tentacles and Blindness/Deafness, but the Pact features are less fitting.  So...I'll go with Archfey.

The Fey Presence feature especially matches the idea of gaze related magic that I want to focus on.

So, for features related to Archfey, Medora gets: Fey Presence, Misty Escape and Beguiling Defenses...and then stops because, of course, a level based system has a level cap and I'm rebuilding a 20th level character after all.

For Pact Boon at 3rd Level, she takes Pact of the Chain and takes a Bat familiar, Seras doesn't get to become a rideable Dire-Bat, but oh well.

By 12th level for Cantrips, she'll have 4 and will take: Friends, Eldritch Blast, Poison Spray and Blade Ward.

For spells, she will know 11, with 5th level her max.

1st Level - Expeditious Retreat, Hex, Protection from Evil and Good, Arms of Hadar
2nd Level - Cloud of Daggers, Hold Person
3rd Level - Fly, Hunger of Hadar
4th Level - Blight
5th Level - Scrying, Contact Other Plane

For Mystic Arcanum, she gets one Warlock 6th level spell that she can cast 1/day and there is no question as to what it is: Flesh to Stone.

For Invocations, she gets 6 and chooses: Beguiling Influence, Voice of the Chain Master, Devil's Sight, Master of Many Faces, Eldritch Sight and Minions of Chaos

As to Proficiencies: Light Armor, Simple Weapons
Saves: Wisdom and Charisma (which work the best here)

As to Skills, Medora had the following skills at 8 ranks or higher: Bluff, Concentration, Intimidation, Religion, Sense Motive, Spellcraft (Arcana was at 7).  That in mind, she gets Deception and Persuasion from Beguiling Influence, so she'll take Intimidation and Arcana from Warlock.

She still needs her human skill, so I'll add Insight through that.

She is also getting 3 Ability Score Improvements at 4, 8 and 12, so, that's going to Charisma +4 to 20 and then Dexterity +2 to 14.

Now, on to Sorcerer.

As an 8th Sorcerer, she'll be getting the Draconic Bloodline (it fits well with her growing more medusa-ish).  That gives her Dragon Ancestor and despite the fact that she was very clearly a good character, she was a rather grouchy character and her purplish scale tone and proclivity for acid leaves me to make her ancestry: Black.

She then gets Draconic Resilience and Elemental Affinity.  Since she's only 8th Sorcerer, she does not get wings, which is fine since she didn't have wings anyway and mostly made OTHER people Fly (hence the Fly spell).  Getting Draconic Presence would have been nice, but oh well.

She also gets Font of Magic with 8 Sorcery Points and 2 Metamagic options: Distant and Subtle will be those Metamagic abilities.

As an 8th Sorceress, she will get 5 cantrips and will know 9 spells.

Cantrips:  Acid Splash, Light, Dancing Lights, Mending and Message

1st Level - Chromatic Orb, Ray of Sickness, Fog Cloud
2nd Level - Enlarge/Reduce, Blindness/Deafness, Misty Step
3rd Level - Haste, Fear
4th Level - Ice Storm

She also gets two more Ability Score Improvements.  This will be Constitution +1, Intelligence +1 (just to match her prior stats) and the Feat Healer to preserve some of her past healing ability.

Now it comes to Background.  I like the idea of her as the Hermit background and that her great discovery was the existence of Medusa as a source of power. This gives her Medicine and Religion as skills as well as the Herbalism Kit which I will change to the Healer's Kit and one Language of her choice.

For languages she gets Common, Draconic from sorcerer, plus two more from Hermit and Human.  Originally, she had Common, Draconic and Sylvan.  I'll add in Orc because I seem to remember working with some orcs to raise a rebellion against the interdimensional gladiator ring that kidnapped us in the second half of the campaign.

So, her stats are as follows: (unfortunately, I have no picture of her)

Human Warlock 12/Sorcerer 8
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 15
Wisdom: 14
Charisma: 20

HP: 123
AC: 16

Proficiency Bonus: +6

Proficient Skills:
Intimidation (Warlock)
Arcana (Warlock)
Insight (Human)
Medicine (Hermit)
Religion (Hermit)
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence)
Deception (Beguiling Influence)

Proficient Weapons: Simple Weapons
Proficient Armor: Light Armor
Proficient Tools: Healer's Kit

Languages: Common, Draconic, Sylvan, Orc

Proficient Saves: Wisdom, Charisma

Pact Magic
Otherworldly Patron: Archfey: Medusa
Fey Presence
Misty Escape
Beguiling Defenses
Pact Boon: Pact of the Chain - Familiar: Fey Bat
Mystic Arcanum: Flesh to Stone

Font of Magic: Sorcery Points 8
Sorcerous Origin: Draconic Bloodline
Dragon Ancestor: Black
Draconic Resilience
Elemental Affinity
Metamagic: Distant and Subtle

Feats: Magic Initiate - Wizard, Healer

Sorcerer Spell Slots:
1st - 4
2nd - 3
3rd - 3
4th - 2

Warlock Spell Slots - 3
Spell Slot Level - 5th


Wizard(1st Level)
True Strike

Warlock(12th Level)
Eldritch Blast
Poison Spray
Blade Ward

Sorcerer(8th Level)
Acid Splash
Dancing Lights

Warlock Invocations
Beguiling Influence
Voice of the Chain Master
Devil's Sight
Master of Many Faces
Eldritch Sight
Minions of Chaos

Wizard Spell
1st Level - Grease (usable once per long rest outside of spell slots)

Warlock Spells

1st Level - Expeditious Retreat, Hex, Protection from Evil and Good, Arms of Hadar
2nd Level - Cloud of Daggers, Hold Person
3rd Level - Fly, Hunger of Hadar
4th Level - Blight
5th Level - Scrying, Contact Other Plane

Sorcerer Spells

1st Level - Chromatic Orb, Ray of Sickness, Fog Cloud
2nd Level - Enlarge/Reduce, Blindness/Deafness, Misty Step
3rd Level - Haste, Fear
4th Level - Ice Storm


Gladiator Bodysuit
Light Crossbow
17 bolts
Dancing Returning Short Spear +1
2 Scrolls Protection from Evil
Potion of Reraise
Ring of Protection +1
Hat of Disguise
Heward’s Handy Haversack
Bag of Tricks – Rust
Cloak of Charisma +4
Wand of Lightning (18 charges) 5d6, DC: 15
Blank Tome
1 bottle Retriever fluid
2 pens
Courtesan/Geisha Garb

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