Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Legend of Five Rings - Theoretical Character - Blind Beauty Rebuild

This is a rebuild of my overlooked Crab Clan woman using the most recent version of the setting by Fantasy Flight Games. I am only going to rebuild only one version of her, and actually going to take a mix of schools that didn't appear on the original version. Now, one of the most interesting things about this new edition is that they've integrated the Twenty Questions with the mechanics of character creation. The twenty questions have always been there, but in prior editions they've been primarily roleplaying tools.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Summoner of Animal Spirits (Variant Human Druid of the Shepherd Circle)

For this theoretical build based on this character, I am going to build a character based on this picture here. For now I'm going to use a somewhat straightforward build in the form of a Druid of the Shepherd Circle.

As for race, I am going to go with the Variant Human.

This isn't the first time I've used druid to do a mystic of vaguely Asian flavor and I'd like to note again that there's nothing really in this picture that seems to be coming out of folklore anymore than that Robin Hood movies are representative of real English history.

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

1st Level Variant Human Druid
Str: 10
Dex: 14
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 16
Cha: 12

HP: 10
AC: 13
Save DC: 13
Speed: 30 ft

Proficiency Bonus: +2

Friday, November 9, 2018

Let's Die in Call of Cthulhu Characters - Trail of Cthulhu Version

This is just a bunch of characters based on those played by the members of Kikoskia's roleplaying group that posts episodes on his YouTube channel. I guessing at a lot of stuff here since I don't have their character sheets and to represent the limits of 6th edition characters I'm using the low Ability point pools as suggested in Trail of Cthulhu for people that want less competent characters than usually. 

I won't go over the differences between Trail of Cthulhu and Call of Cthulhu here. I did do some discussion of GUMSHOE system when I did a one-shot using that system a couple of years back. Though I will add that the system assumes sessions of 3-4 hours in length and gives 2 Build Points for each such session at the end of each case. And sense even 1 point of an Investigative Ability is a tremendous amount of expertise, I might not add Cthulhu Mythos at places you'd expect me to.

I will note that Stability more represents the obvious degradation of a person's mental state. Sanity represents the slow divorce between the character and normal human perception. A cult leader or serial killer with an outward charming demeanor might have high Stability or low or 0 Sanity. I'm guessing at Pillars of Sanity but not Sources of Stability.

There are some weird character creation spending points. Each point of Fleeing past double your Athletics is half-cost. Occupational Abilities are half cost. You can trade General Abilities and Investigative Ability points with other players at a rate of 3 General Points to 1 Investigative point. Each Occupation has a base Credit Rating base value having low Credit Rating may actually be beneficial for interacting people at the same Credit Rating as you. I used the low-powered point buy pools meant to be closer to the doomed protagonists of most Cthulhu mythos stories.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Dreams from the Depths - Crossroads Campaign - Sessions 20-22

We have come to some interesting discoveries with the wrapping up of this first mission of ours on Opali. I was unfortunately quite busy with a number of things of late so I have been lax in updating my journal. As a result, there may be rather less detail than is normally the case. Looking to my last entry I see I stopped with the apprehension of the doppleganger we found impersonating Miss Loopmottin Daergal. We discussed matters with the police and arranged for means of keeping the thing confined, warning them against its telepathic abilities and the like. To make sure nothing was overlooked, we went back to the G.A.P. offices and Kelmar apparently noticed the presence of the real Loopmottin Daergal's ghost. 

According to her, relayed by Kelmar, she'd been trying to get people to notice the imposter for months and the only thing she'd been able to do is stir up a particular lunatic. And that gave us a link to our lovely little vigilante, the Haberdashing who turns out to be an eccentric middle-aged goblin who is the last scion of a wealthy family and operates out of a cavern that is underneath his mansion. And his name is Brewswine.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Company of the Marsh Bell - One Ring Theoretical Fellowship

The Company of the Marsh Bell is going to be my first theoretical company built for One Ring. As the name suggests, my assumption is that the Marsh Bell adventure in the core rule book would be their first adventure together. The members of this company include:

To start with, I am going to build a Magical Item Index as suggested in the Rivendell supplement. These are things that to be given on the chance that a character finds a magic item in a horde. My assumption isn't that the characters would end up with all three of the items made for them, just that it's a good idea to have a range of items so that if and when they get an item, then an item fitting the players' desires and the narrative needs can be chosen. As a note, dragons are not an option for bane weapons.

  • Famous Weapons and Armor
    • Angwiel
      • Ungwegla, Web-Forsaken, an Elf-Crafted Spear
        • Bane: Spiders
        • Luminescence 
        • Superior Grievous
        • Fell
      • Coat of Alphiel, an Elf-crafted coat of mail warded against spiders
        • Bane: Spiders
        • Ancient Cunning Make
        • Close Fitting
        • Warding-Spell
      • Shield of the Woodland Realm
        • Cunning Make
        • Superior Reinforced
        • Cunning Make
    • Berwen
      • Ringing Steel, a dwarven made sword.
        • Flame of Hope
        • Keen
        • Fell
      • Mithril Coat, a dwarven crafted coat of mail
        • Ancient Cunning Make
        • Mithral Armor
        • Ancient Close-Fitting 
      • The Heir's Hope, a numenorean dagger made for the child of a king.
        • Bane: Orcs, Undead
        • Raging
        • Superior Fell
        • Foe-Slaying
    • Evoric
      • Axe of the Mountains, dwarven crafted long-handled axe gifted to the northman in past ages.
        • Superior Keen
        • Fell
        • Grevious
      • Helm of the Hunt, an ancient helm crafted from the skin of a cursed wolf.
        • Bane: Wolves
        • Ancient Close-Fitting
        • Ancient Cunning Make
        • Warding-Spell
      • Shield of the North, an ancient shield of unknown make
        • Superior Reinforced
        • Cunning Make
        • Cunning Make
    • Holma
      • Bow of Old Dale, a bow of dwarven make given to a past hero of Dale.
        • Sure Shot 
        • Superior Keen
        • Superior Fell
      • Mail of the Ancient Heath, a coat of mail crafted to face the ancient drakes.
        • Ancient Cunning Make
        • Mithril Armor
        • Rune-Scored Armor
      • Drake-Helm, dwarven crafted helm made from the bones of a dragon.
        • Ancient Close-Fitting
        • Ancient Cunning Make
    • Lófar
      • Mattock of the Old Kingdoms, dwarven crafted mattock.
        • Grevious
        • Superior Keen
        • Fell
      • Armor of the Old Kings, a hauberk of mithril meant for old dwarven heroes.
        • Ancient Cunning Make
        • Mithral Armor
        • Ancient Close-Fitting
      • Troll-breaker, a Numenorean axe meant to slay trolls.
        • Bane: Trolls, Orcs
        • Keen
        • Superior Grevious
        • Foe-Slaying
    • Meliot 
      • Axe of the Forester, a Numenorean axe made to fight horrors of dark forests.
        • Bane: Wolves, Undead
        • Foe-Slaying
        • Keen
        • Raging
      •  Princeling's Hide, a Numenorean mail shirt made to protect them from the worst.
        • Bane: Undead, Evil Men
        • Ancient Cunning Make
        • Ancient Close Fitting
        • Warding Spell
      • Shield of the North Downs, a shield crafted in the long years for the captain of the hobbits who aided Arnor.
        • Superior Reinforced
        • Rune-Scored Shield
  • Wondrous Artifacts 
    • Minor Artifacts: Assume one Artifact for each of the Common Skills Blessing that skill
    • Major Artifacts:
      • A wondrous cloak that grants a Blessing to Battle and Stealth.
      • A ring of mithril that gives a Greater Blessing to Craft.
      • A ring of crystal that gives a Blessing to Song and Persuade.
      • A bottle of crystal that gives a Greater Blessing to Healing.
      • A beautiful belt that gives a Blessing to Inspire and Athletics.
      • An ash staff that gives a Greater Blessing to Explore.
      • A ring giving a Blessing to Search and Craft.
      • A mirror that gives a Greater Blessing to Lore.
      • A collar of wood that gives a Blessing to Awareness and Hunting.
      • A circlet that gives a Greater Blessing to Insight.
      • A strange ring that gives a Blessing to Persuade and Riddle.
      • A harp that gives a Greater Blessing to Song.
And later, I will start to look into considering adventures.

Mirkwood Soldier - The One Ring Theoretical - Company of the Marsh Bell

More Pathfinder art.
For the sixth member of the Company of the Marsh Bell I have decided to use an Elf of Mirkwood. This is going to be a warrior and contrary to the movies, that means a spear. Especially in Lord of the Rings, the elves much more known for the quality of their spearmen than anything else. Of course, the Mirkwood Elves stand out from their kin for their fame as bowmen, but even with them, their warriors primarily use spears.

The initial benefits of being a Silvan Elf includes the Cultural Blessing of Folk of the Dusk which means that while the elf is in the forest, underground, or it is night, then when they spend Hope to give an Attribute Bonus it uses their favored score for all Common Skills. That's actually quite nice. As to Skills, Lore and Athletics are both good but neither is favored. Awe, Stealth, Song, Battle, and Awareness are all decent with Awareness being Favored. They have basic skills in Hunting and Healing. The Woodland Realm is a Martial Culture.

This comes to the weapon skills. The first of the two lines we have a choice between is skill with all Spears as well as skill with the Sword and the Dagger. The second is favored skill with the Bow, skill with the Sword and Dagger. As I said earlier, we're going for the spears here.

Woodman Healer - The One Ring Theoretical - Company of the Marsh Bell

So for the next character, we're going to look at a young Woodmen who has gone out into the world to seek his fortune in this promising time of glory and prosperity. I don't have much in the way of a concept of his skills yet, but we'll see what happens. Eventually I see him picking up the Staunching Song and being something of a healer, but we'll see what happens.

As to the culture, Woodmen get the Cultural Blessing of Woodcrafty which means that when they're in a forested area they use their Favored Wits for their Parry instead of their Basic Wits. As for starting skills, Woodmen have good Explore and Healing, with Healing being favored. They have decent Athletics, Stealth, Awareness, and Hunting. They basic skills in Inspire, Song, Craft, Riddle, and Battle. Woodmen are a Frugal culture.

On the choice of weapon sets we have the choice between skill with all Bows, the Long-Hafted Axe, and Dagger; or Favored skill with the Long-Hafted Axe and skill with Spear and Dagger. We have a couple of good archers in the party already so I am going to move that to the Long-Hafted Axe skill.

For starting traits, the Woodmen have the following six to choose from: Anduin-Lore, Beast-Lore, Fishing, Herb-Lore, Leechcraft, and Mirkwood Lore. For that I think I will do Leechcraft due to looking ahead towards more healer stuff and Mirkwood Lore just for survival purposes. Mirkwood is an extremely useful trait to have when you're looking at adventuring in the Wilderland.

Lake-Town Dragon-Foe - The One Ring Theoretical - Company of the Marsh Bell

Plated armor like that isn't really in Middle Earth
The Lake-Town culture is close cousin to the Barding culture and can be found in the Lake-Town Guide. They use similar names but their mechanical benefits are mostly different. Unlike usual for me, I am playing into the stereotypes for the culture by making her an archer. I also did an image search to decide whether her gender and found a really nice picture that isn't quite the right sort of armor and such, but still looks quite nice, so I went with it.

For the culture, we start with the Cultural Blessing of Tenacious. This gives her extra experience if she fails rolls that are exceptionally important representing how the Lake-Town folk persevere in the face of tragedy and learn from it. The Lake-Town folk are unusual for cultures in that they don't have any skill rated at 3 to start. Their Riddle, Athletics, Travel, Insight, Healing, Courtesy, Song, Craft, and Persuade are all decent, with Persuade being favored. Awareness and Battle are basically skilled. The Lake-Town is a Prosperous culture.

For the first choice we have the choice between the line of favored Great Bow 2, Sword 1, and Dagger 1 or Sword 2, Bow 1, and Dagger 1. With the focus on being an archer, I am going to go for the Great Bow line.

This comes to the choice on specialties. Lake-Town have the following to choose from: Boating, Fishing, Swimming, Minstrelsy, Trading, and Swimming. I am going to take Boating and Swimming. Boating is frequently useful in adventures around Wilderland due to the number of adventures that take place in proximity to the River Anduin, the River Running, or the Forest River. Swimming just plays on top of that and may help to cover for emergency situations.

Dunadan Minstrel - The One Ring Theoretical - Company of the Marsh Bell

Dunadain bear a special note in that they are stronger than average culture and as a result their experience point costs are higher once the game begins. This does not affect the character creation however so let's get on to things. I like making characters a bit off the standard stereotype of a culture so I am going to make a character that is a bit more whimsical than the average ranger of the north. She is still a ranger, but she doesn't have the same burning drive that other rangers might and might fit in better with other people.

As to the hard starting things, we get the Ranger of the North cultural blessing which is Foresight of their Kindred. This grants the character an extra trait that can be used for one session out of an Adventuring Phase and recovers at the end of the adventure when you have a Fellowship Phase. So with our ranger's prophetic nature noted down let's move on. Rangers have good Awareness but it is not favored. They are decent at Stealth, Explore, Hunting, and Travel which is the favored trait of the culture. Then we have base skill in a lot of different skills: Athletics, Song, Insight, Healing, Courtesy, Battle, Persuade, and Search. The Rangers of the North are a Martial culture.

Now on to the first choice, weapons. Dunadain have two weapon tracks like all cultures, but their weapon tracks are a bit longer than others. We have the choice between having skill in all swords, favored skill in spear, plus skill in bow and dagger; or favored skill in Long Sword, skill with all bows, and skill in spear and dagger. I like spears and the focus on the long sword seems like much more focus on martial natures than normal, so we're going to go with that track.

Dwarven Historian - The One Ring theoretical - Company of the Marsh Bell

Scholarly pursuits are not what dwarves are known for, it's not hard to make a dwarven scholar. We don't see much in the way of scholars in the few dwarves we see, Balin is likely the best example of it. That said, let's get started.

Dwarves start with relatively few skills but more of them at higher level. In this case, good capabilities in Travel, Craft, and Search with Craft being favored. They have decent skill with Riddle, Inspire, and Explore. They have some basic skill in Song and Battle. Their cultural blessing is Redoubtable allowing them to hold great loads. The Dwarves of Erebor are a Rich culture.

So now we come to the choice of weapons. Both lines of weapons give Short Sword 1 and Dagger 1 but the choice is between skill in all Axes or favored skill with a Mattock. I'm already eyeing a particular background so I think I'm going to pick up the line with favored Mattock skill. Plus, it's Middle Earth and while axes are iconic to dwarves, the average soldier drafted from the miners will use a mattock rather than an axe. So there we go.

Buckland Forester - The One Ring Theoretical - Company of the Marsh Bell

This is going to be something of a challenge. Hobbits of the Shire, as compared to the other cultures
Pathfinder halfling art, but good enough.
hobbits do not have the best stats to be fighters off the bat. Pippin and Meriadoc manage it quite well, both achieving some laudable achievements, including Pippin killing a troll chief on his own, over the course of Lord of the Rings and even Bilbo, who was more of a burglar, managed to slay hundreds of spiders in his adventure. However, they all came into that capability later in their story.

So to start we have the basic culture attributes of a Hobbit of the Shire. This is the starting selection of common skills, favored Stealth, good Courtesy score; decent scores in Awareness, Song, Search, Persuasion, and Riddle; and some capability in Travel and Insight. There's also the Hobbit cultural blessing of Hobbit Sense. After noting all that, we get to the choices. Hobbits of the Shire are a Prosperous culture.

The first choices we get are between the two sets of weapon skills. The choice here is between favored bows and favored short sword. The safe choice is to go bows since this hobbit isn't going to have much endurance to start and staying off the front lines is a good idea. I could pick up short sword later as favored skill and I think I'll go with that option. I'll go with the bows for now and build up melee ability as we go along.

This comes to the next choice which is to choose two traits from the starting list of options. We have six options: Cooking, Gardening, Herb-Lore, Smoking, Story-Telling, and Tunneling. None of these are particularly warrior oriented. Tunneling will be of use in underground situations so that goes in. Now as to the others, the two I am looking at three. Herb-lore is useful for finding antidotes or medicinal herbs as well as identifying poisons. Story-telling can be used to remember bits of old battles and stratagems or to share tales with other folk. Smoking is another trait that can be used for communing with people and the smoke can also be used to find hidden passages or other such things. I think I'm going with the Story-Telling option there.

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