Monday, December 18, 2017

Against the Ropes - Crossroads Campaign Session 1

Jones caught up with me a few days later at Kintaro's Emporium. He had just a barrel of bullets there which I usually came through to look for functional ammunition. It's sort of like heading down to the game shop and filtering through their Magic singles for the cards you needed for a deck. Fortunately for me, I had always opted for the most simple gun to maintain and load while I lived on Earth, and there's usually enough bullets for my revolver that I can last quite a while. If a cult is building up, though, I might need to start looking into smithing my own ammo.

A Late Client - The Crossroads Campaign Prologue

The City is an amalgam of multiple cities from all over reality. It's an uncoordinated mess of rammed together features from cities past, present, and future. Out of all of Nowhere, it is probably the most stable location. That's because it's the most populated. All those people dwelling in it makes it easier to keep locations within a good reference to each other. Even then, however, some locations can be unhitched from each other. There's always a store or building that most people don't notice and, after sometime, it might just get moved out of the street and replaced with something else. Entire neighborhoods might shift and rotate while the residents go about their daily lives blissfully ignorant.  The City is part of Nowhere, it is a place to lose yourself, whether you want to or not, and it resists all of our attempts to tame it into something predictable.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Kanti Messner - Changeling Bard of Lore - Deva of Istryx

Character Journal

Sixth Level

Str: 12
Dex: 16
Con: 12
Int: 16
Wis: 16
Cha: 18

HP: 51
AC: 16
Bard Save: 15
Bardic Inspiration: 4d8
Speed: 30 ft

Proficiency Bonus: +3

Religion: Catholic, Patron Saint: Brigid

Height: Variable
Weight: Variable
Hair Color: Variable
Eye Color: Variable


Deva of Istryx
Immune to Aging
Planar Shift only as Ritual
Resistance to Necrotic and Radiant

Languages: Common, Draconic, Sylvan, Primordial, (Also allowed for background reasons but unlikely to come up in the game, German-Native, English, Latin, Sanskrit, Ancient Greek)

Background: Far Traveler (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide)

The Cases of Kanti Messner

The homeworld of Kanti Messner is one very like to our own. The continents and maps are familiar with names such as England and Germany and devices like modems, smartphones, and airplanes. The main difference is that there are beings other humans in this world. Elves, orcs, goblins, and other beings dwell within this realm going about their business invisible to the rest of the world who mostly only see just another person.This realm exists at the core of a Charbydis like influx of energy that occasionally swirls down into the realm, preventing all exit and sometimes pushes outward making it nearly impossible to get in.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dreams of Corruption and Pursuit - Set 2: Enter the Sandman - City of Mists

There always seems to be snow in The City. Winter is the only season that really seems to imprint itself on the mind when you live here. Snow flutters in the air almost constantly even if there's none on the ground. Everybody walks around in long coats and scarves bundled up against the chill, hats with wide brims pulled low to keep the flittering flakes out of their eyes.

Colors are mostly dark. Thick cotton blacks, woolen browns, and cashmere greys that suck up as much heat as possible from the thin sunlight. A harsh neon glow touches everything and leeches the life from the world until it resembles a faded photograph. Occasionally, some spot of bright color stands out starkly from the muted surroundings. A spot of vibrant blood on a bleached handkerchief.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Uncounted Calamities - Airship Lost - Sessions Four and Five

[The camera comes on viewing Aeryn Lee's cheerful face as she walks around the corridors of the

So, it's been about two or three days since we came here. Maybe four. Hard to say, it's always sort of the same right now. But look at that.

[The camera pans about to view the outside of the ship where it is half in and half out of the atmosphere of the shard below. The result is a sky that is broken between the familiar blue of an Earth like space and the endless grey nothing of the void. The camera swings back around to Aeryn.]

It's a little bit intense and so far a lot of people haven't realized we're not on Earth anymore. I guess it's sort of like that old song goes, "The Nile isn't just a river in Egypt." Or is that a saying. Well, anyway, people still think we're over Australia or something.

Oh, speaking of Egypt, I have to show you this.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Uncounted Calamities - Airship Lost - Session Four and Five Gameplay Discussion

The characters set about preparing to make the shard habitable and safe, but first it's time to clean up a little bit of a mess made in the first session.

Session Five Game Mat

Session Four Game Mat
Back to the Airship Lost indexAeryn Lee's Travel Log - Yukimura Amaya's Perspective

As a note, I have waited way too long before writing this report. Also note that I have had two sessions since the last time I wrote a report. I may have some difficulty remembering all the Aspects used. We've had some various difficulties including the fact that one player got a new job and Daylight Savings hit both America and Australia but not in the same way, making it difficult for everybody to be on at together at what would be a reasonable time. As such, we've lost Detective Reynolds from the cast, at least as a PC. That said, I was happy with how the adventure came together overall. I'm still wondering if I may have brought Yakyou in too early, but this presented a useful thing to do when we had two people missing for session four.

As a note, I should probably have hit more mental attacks in this one to account for the weirdness that a lot of people had to deal with.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Gorgon Archer's Teammates - Masks

I probably won't do this for every character but I may go back and do it for the Gorgon examples for Monster of the Week, City of Mist, 7th Sea, and a few other games with a heavy team interaction focus. I'm not going to do the full simulation but I will show their beginning and ending states. They all will get 12 improvements on the idea that Vermin may have joined late but may also have had worse luck on the rolls or produced more Potential in some other way. It just makes things easier.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Masks - Character Advancement

Advancement, or development, in Masks is interesting. One the one hand the most obvious method of development functions pretty much identically to how Advancement works in Monster of the Week. On a roll of 6 or less, you gain experience, referred to as Potential, in addition, some moves well allow you to gain Potential in other ways. After gaining five Potential you reset your Potential to zero and then take an improvement from your Playbooks list. Except for the fact that changing a playbook does not refresh the advanced improvements you unlock (only the basic improvements for each playbook unlock), this is similar to Monster of the Week.

Gorgon Archer - Masks - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Masks is the third Powered by the Apocalypse game to show up in these examinations. It is a recent game that cuts closer to the original model of PbtA similar to Monster of the Week. However there are a few differences in place. As to the genre Masks is focused on, it is meant to reproduce the sort of stories seen in Young Justice, Avengers Academy, or Teen Titans. These are mostly serious stories that often deal with heavy subject matter spiced here and there with regular bits of comedy to lighten the drama. The characters are mostly young superheroes ranging from mid-teens up to early twenties. A lot of the mechanics of the game are meant to deal with that search for identity that dominates the transition period between child and adult.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Clockwork Dominion - Character Advancement

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Characters advance by the acquisition of Experience Points which are spent on increasing stats with an escalating sequence of costs. The game presents several options for how to award experience points but suggest an average of 2 to 4 experience points per session. One option is for everyone to gain an set reward for every session, referred to as an Installment in the vein of old Victorian serials. This set reward is in addition to any circumstances, such as acquiring a permanent Liability in game play, that might also grant Experience Points.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Clockwork Dominion - Character Creation Analysis

Clockwork Dominion is a recent game put out by an independent group called Reliquary Games. The small group of designers have a small laundry list of degrees including theology, history, and other such things, making this one of the most thoroughly researched games I know of. On level with Nephilim or Pendragon though fortunately without the many layers of complexity those games suffer from. The game is meant to represent a steampunk setting with zeppelins, magic, and steam-powered technology and it does a good job. Among other things, the designers looked up real-life gadgets and oddities that occurred with the Victorian period and postulated one or two steps past that. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Chill 3rd Edition - Character Advancement

As with the character creation, the character advancement of the game has not changed much from it's second edition. You still advance primarily by acquiring and spending experience, referred to as Development Points. However, there are two other methods of advancement. One, as stated, was the ability to take a new Takeaway after each case. This would be a particular memory or incident that occurred to you on the case which can be used by you to draw on later to your benefit. The other is the ability to change your Drive if both you and your GM agree that your character has outlived their original Drive.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Chill 3rd Edition - Character Creation Analysis

Chill is a game that I have a fair amount of nostalgia for even though I have never played more than a single scenario. It was the first time I really ran a successful roleplaying game scenario rather than just a succession of combat scenes and also featured a moment of an actual scare. My brother, some friends, and I were playing at night when we were in our mid-teens and I was running the haunting scenario in the second edition core book. We had some tension building and our dog started banging her tail against the glass door scaring the hell out of us for about five seconds or so. This game also represents the first time I started using the official mechanics recreate a concept that was not originally intended by the creators. In this case, I used the "Multiple Personality" disadvantage to create a heroic werewolf. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Dreams of Corruption and Pursuit - Set 1: Boulevard of Broken Dreams - City of Mists

At what point do nightmares stop being nightmares and start being just a fact of life? I don't know why I'm asking you, but I don't know why I ask you anything.

Just to have a way to clear the air, I guess. That's what the psychologists would say.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Gorgon Archer - City of Mist - Character Advancement

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Warning: I made a mistake on gaining Build-Up which has caused each instance of Build-Up gained below short by 1. I accounted for this and it luckily didn't change the simulation.

One of the first things that City of Mist's rulebook points out when you get to the section on character advancement is that the advancement of the game is largely player-driven. On the one hand, point buy games have been doing this for three decades and descriptive character creation games like Fate and other Powered by the Apocalypse games have similarly been granting players control of the trajectory of their character. So this is not actually terribly unique, but City of Mist has very interesting mechanics in play that cause the development of a character's narrative to dovetail with the development of their character mechanics that are unique.

Gorgon Archer - City of Mist - Character Creation Analysis

Character creation in City of Mist has one stand out component that should be mentioned. There are no numbers involved in your character description. You don't have stats like Strength or Intelligence. Instead you have what the game calls Themes. Each of these Themes represents an important facet of your character and comes with a number of Power Tags representing characteristics that fall within that Theme. There are four Themes to each character and each Theme starts with three Power Tags and one Weakness. Plus, a starting character starts with an extra Tag and an extra Weakness on one of their Themes.

Gorgon Archer - Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition - Character Advancement

Character advancement in Call of Cthulhu is accomplished by the use of skills. When you succeed at a skill in a particular adventure then you gain a check mark against that skill. At the end of the adventure, you will make a roll against that skill. If you roll higher than your percentage then you have learned something new and increase the percentage by 1d10. If you roll lower or equal to your percentage then the success falls within something you already knew and you do not improve.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

I shall start off noting three things. The first is that I do not own the most recent edition of Call of Cthulhu (7th) and I've heard that it is the first edition to make some significant changes to the way the game works. Having not seen it, I can't say for sure what those changes would be. "Significant changes" in the context of a game as solid and stable as Call of Cthulhu has been for 35 years could be quite minor in comparison to the sort of changes seen in Dungeons and Dragons in that same period of time. The second thing is that Call of Cthulhu, barring some point buy mechanic in 7th edition, is not a game that is particularly conducive to creating a concept before you sit down to play. You roll for your stats in this game and as such your dice rolls are going to heavily influence the sort of character that you will be creating. The last is that this is, again, a character where the term "gorgon archer" is going to be used as an epitaph or guideline rather than a literal truth. Non-humans in Call of Cthulhu are bad juju and they are not for the players to portray.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gorgon Archer - The One Ring - Character Advancement

Advancement in The One Ring is done by acquisition of two types of experience points. There are Advancement Points and Experience Points. Advancement Points are used to improve Common Skills while Experience Points are used to improve Valor, Wisdom, and Weapon Skills. Basic Attributes do not often improve though there are some Virtues that can affect those. These are acquired in two ways. 

Gorgon Archer - The One Ring - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

As with the Legend of Five Rings character, this is going to be a gorgon in terms of a title, insult, or epitaph. As such we're going to be having a woman that lives on the edges of the wild and is an outsider for some reason or another. I only have the core book and Rivendell for character options. The Rivendell book has the Dunadan and Noldor options.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Beast: The Primordial - Character Advancement

Storyteller was one of the first games that combined the scaling experience point requirements of Dungeons and Dragons with the point buy systems like Hero System. Where as in Hero System the first improvement will cost the same as the second, third, fourth, and onward improvements (unless a limit or advantage was specifically attached to that improvement), in Storyteller systems each increasing rank in skills, attributes, and other abilities is more costly than the last. This has been a structure that has been duplicated in a number of different games including Shadowrun, Legend of the Five Rings, and 7th Sea. When it was originally going by the New World of Darkness, Chronicles of Darkness also followed this method but then came the God-Machine rules which came just before the rebranding.

Gorgon Archer - Beast: The Primordial - Character Creation Analysis

Beast is one of the more recent splatbooks put out by Onyx Path for their Chronicles of Darkness line. For those that are unfamiliar, Chronicles of Darkness is the rebranded line of games that used to be known as the New World of Darkness including Vampire the Requiem and Werewolf the Forsaken. With the return of their original line of World of Darkness into print due to customer demand, they changed the name of their newer line to make it easier to differentiate. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Starter Kitting Divine Blood

Geek and Sundry has recently started a new show called Starter Kit which they produce on their Alpha channel. The premise is to run a short adventure for a game to serve as an introduction into how the game is played. They start with character creation and move onward to running through the adventure. The players they use are mostly new to roleplaying games with one or two players who are more experienced with RPGs in general but perhaps not the game being featured specifically. They started with Dungeons and Dragons, of course, and have since moved on to 7th Sea. Their forums are already taking suggestions for future features.

Being the developer of an small roleplaying game, I've given some consideration to how I might set up such a show. Of course, there's no reason I might appear on the show. I've sold perhaps three hundred copies of the game to date and while I've heard from a few people about their campaigns, I'm hardly a well-known or popular game, but it is an interesting thought process none-the-less.

That said, you are likely to find at least some of the mechanics of my game show up on the Starter Kit as my game is a variation of Fate and I am sure that we'll see Fate at some point or another. Most of my gameplay is taken from Fate Core with a few things here and there from Strands of Fate. On the other hand the character creation is almost entirely based on Strands of Fate.

Gorgon Archer - Shadowrun 5th Edition: Point Buy Method - Character Creation Analysis

I wasn't going to do this method of character creation and just leave the Priority Chart and the Life Modules as the methods to examine for Shadowrun until I realized how much the advancement would have changed if I had been dealing with a gorgon who had been a street-samurai. As such, I am going to go ahead and do this. I am also now noticing that there is a 4th method of character creation that I might end up doing by creating a mage so we can have a Shadowrun gorgon with actual petrification abilities.

Gorgon Archer - Shadowrun 5th Edition - Character Advancement

Character advancement in Shadowrun is based mostly on the acquisition of experience which is named Karma. However, with cyberware, the acquisition of money can lead to improvements to your base character as well. Karma is rewarded at the end of a run. This means that a run that lasts multiple sessions might only last through two or more sessions, though that should be the exception. There should also be a distinction between a run and a job. A single large job might be broken down into several component runs, for example.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Shadowrun 5th Edition: Life Modules - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

I was going to just stick to the default version of character creation for Shadowrun, but I decided that the Life Modules version would be interesting to run as well. Shadowrun is interesting as a game in the way that has three very distinct from each other character creation methods. In this case we're going to be focused on the Life Modules optional method.

Gorgon Archer - Shadowrun 5th Edition: Priority Chart - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Shadowrun is a game that has been around since 1989, only a couple of years before Vampire the Masquerade came out. There were a number of games coming out at that period that were aiming at a grimmer and grittier sort of setting. It merged two genres that at the time were considered something that just didn't fit together: cyberpunk and Tolkien-style fantasy.

Gorgon Archer - Star Trek Adventures - Character Advancement

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Star Trek Adventures uses a Milestone based advancement method that will be immediately familiar to anybody who has played Fate Core. As with Fate, there are three tiers of Milestone: Normal Milestones, Spotlight Milestones, and Arc Milestones. Similarly, they each have a list of benefits that they provide and which stack with each other. A Spotlight Milestone includes a Normal Milestone and then some, for instance. However, while the basic structure is almost exactly the same, Star Trek Adventures substantially alters the execution of this advancement mechanic in some very interesting ways.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Star Trek Adventures - Character Creation Analysis

This is a game where there aren't any actual gorgons in the setting. There is a species referred to as the Medusans named due to the fact that their appearance can drive people mad, but they are a non-corporeal, telepathic race and thus don't really match the idea of the gorgon I've been operating with. That said, there is a wide variety of species within the Star Trek universe, and a species with tendril hair is not far out of the possibility. While there are no particular species for that, the game does allow for a GM and a player creating their own species.

Gorgon Archer - Divine Blood - Character Advancement

Divine Blood advances by the acquisition of experience points as with Strands of Fate, but the way those points are acquired is more similar to how you would advance in Fate Core. I make use of Milestone advancement with the same basic criteria and names as you find in Fate Core. However, instead of the benefits Fate Core would provide you the reward is experience points. A Minor Milestone grants 1 XP, a Significant Milestone grants 11 XP, and a Major Milestone grants 26 XP. These amounts were chosen by looking at what the Fate Core milestones granted as a benefit and then modeling that in the Strands of Fate point buy.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Divine Blood - Character Creation Explanation

I'm not going to call this an analysis because it is revolving around my own game. The basics of the game are very much the same as Strands of Fate, however, I have used specific alterations to the basic structure and the way Power Advantages work. The primary differences between Divine Blood RPG and Strands of Fate is in the gameplay which is very much drawn from Fate Core. While Strands of Fate tends to weigh the importance of numerical bonuses a lot heavier than most Fate games, Divine Blood RPG as I conceived it goes back to using the Aspects as the primary context for viewing the character while still weighing objective stats higher than Fate Core would. So, on to the differences between default Strands of Fate and Divine Blood RPG.

Gorgon Archer - 7th Sea - Character Advancement

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Character advancement in 7th Sea is based entirely on completing stories. This includes your Hero Story itself and the Gamemaster Stories created for the group as a whole to follow. The difference is that the reward of a Gamemaster's Story isn't set when it is created. Instead, once a band has completed a story they get to choose one of the advancements available to a Hero Story. 

Gorgon Archer - 7th Sea - Character Creation Analysis

This will be an interesting analysis as I have only recently acquired this game. As I've said elsewhere, the gorgon archer, or just the gorgon in general, is one of the first character concepts I toy with in a new game and one of the ways I learn a new game is to toy with creating a new character. Now the setting in question doesn't really give itself toward playing an actual snakes for hair gorgon, but we can build a character around the idea of an epitaph as we did when we made the Snake Clan archer in L5R. That said, we're going to have a character with a touch of magic but still mostly focused around the archery. (I type this and then find a way to do it anyway)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Legend of Five Rings 4th Edition - Character Advancement

As with Hero System and Strands of Fate, characters in The Legend of Five Rings gain experience points as they progress. The standard metric for awarding experience is 1 XP for the session, 1 XP for roleplaying well, 1 to 2 XP for accomplishments in game, and 1 XP for each session where they roleplayed out their weaknesses well on top of general roleplaying. These XP spend exactly like they do in character creation. Glory, Honor, and Status will also fluctuate over the course of the game and it is possible that players might acquire some Advantages and Disadvantages through play as well. 

Gorgon Archer - Legend of Five Rings 4th Edition - Character Creation Analysis

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Legend of Five Rings is decidedly focused on the activities of humans. There is a species of rather reserved snake-people that are, more or less, recognized as good spirits, but I do not have statistics for them and while some have married into humanity, this has resulted in having humans with a little bit extra to explain some clan benefit. All that said, there is an analogous situation that we could draw on for the character concept as there was a minor clan referred to as the Snake Clan which was focused on hunting creatures of blood magic until they were infiltrated and corrupted so thoroughly that the Phoenix Clan had to step in and destroy them all. The survivors of the Snake Clan have been trouble-makers ever sense. An uncorrupted scion of the Snake Clan would present an analogous situation to the isolated gorgon of the other examples.

Gorgon Archer - Strands of Fate - Character Advancement

Strands of Fate uses experience points instead of milestones to guide its character advancement. The average is supposed to be about 3 pts per session and increasing that up or down based on the events of the session and how fast the GM wants to see things advance. You spend these experience points to gain certain benefits including swapping out Abilities, Advantages, or Aspects; buying new ones, increasing Refresh and so on. 

Gorgon Archer - Strands of Fate - Character Creation Analysis

I have done a discussion of the differences between Fate Core and Strands of Fate in the past and I have linked that though it by now is far out of date with my current perspective on the two games. I have considered a couple of things about this because Strands of Fate character creation is the foundation of my own Divine Blood RPG though I have used a specific set of options and dropped some standard rules for that. In the end, I have decided to start with the basic Strands of Fate book rather than the options I prefer to customize it with out of my own design or via the Strands of Power sourcebook. I will then later do a gorgon archer with my own Divine Blood RPG which will also stand for one of the ways you can develop Strands into your own thing.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Monster of the Week - Character Advancement

Advancement in Monster of the Week is done by gaining, or marking, experience as with Hero System and D&D but the manner in which that experience is gained is significantly different than with those two systems. In Monster of the Week you mark experience whenever you fail a roll which is a common but not universal experience gain mechanic in PbtA games. If you look at the character creation page you might also have another method some characters gain experience as many of the playbooks have a move where the character can gain experience when their personalities or backstory causes difficulty in the ongoing hunt.

Gorgon Archer - Monster of the Week - Character Creation Analysis

Monster of the Week is a Powered by the Apocalypse game, meaning it uses the same basic system created for the Apocalypse World game system. There are a couple of features of these sorts of games. One of those is that creation of the world is done simultaneously with play and the GM is encouraged to ask players to fill in some of the details about what is in the world. This generally begins with character creation but continues through play. In this regard it is not too different from Hero System or Fate style games, both of which give the player the option to create world elements when they craft their character. For example, even creating a gorgon archer in these systems adds the existence of gorgons to the lore of the setting.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Fate Core - Character Advancement

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Advancement in Fate Core is centered around Milestones. There are three kinds of Milestones: Minor Milestones, Significant Milestones, and Major Milestones. Whenever one of these milestones is achieved it allows the players increase or alter their character in different ways. In general, you get a Minor Milestone at the end of every session or make major progress on the current scenario; you get a Significant Milestone at the end of every scenario or make major progress on the story arc; Major Milestones are reserved for the end of a story arc or for those sessions that result in major upheavals to the world as it relates to the game. Major upheavals would be things like the defeat of a major recurring villain, the collapse of major institutions within the setting, a sudden increase of scope bringing the campaign from a local to a regional level, or anything else that causes a serious change to the face of the game world.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Hero System 6th Edition - Character Advancement

Character Creation and the Gorgon Archer

Similar to Dungeons and Dragons, Hero System characters advance based on acquiring experience points. However, where as in D&D experience slowly accumulates and is used as a determiner for when a particular threshold is reached to trigger a new level, Hero System characters can choose to spend the points as they come in. There is usually a place on the official character sheets to keep track of how much experience has been spent as time goes on so that you can do a cost check further on and tell whether the character has too many or too few points (it does occasionally happen that points get lost in the shuffle).

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



Powered by the Apocalypse


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

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


7th Sea 2nd Edition - Character Creation

7th Sea 2nd Edition - 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 (Epithet)

The One Ring - Character Advancement (Epithet)


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

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


Chill 3rd Edition - Character Creation (Epithet)

Chill 3rd Edition - Character Advancement (Epithet)


Clockwork Dominion - Character Creation

Clockwork Dominion - Character Advancement

Genesys - Character Creation

Genesys - Character Advancement


Scion 2nd Edition - Pre-Release Backer Rules - Character Creation

Scion 2nd Edition - Pre-Release Backer Rules - Character Advancement (Errors in Simulation)



Legend of Five Rings 5e - Character Creation 

Legend of Five Rings 5e - Character Advancement


Savage Worlds: Adventurer's Edition - Character Creation

Savage Worlds: Adventurer's Edition - 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 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 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)
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:

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
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.

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