Archive for the Characters Category

Stupid, Reckless & Overwhelmed: Next

Posted in Characters on May 8, 2013 by Carl

Here’s what I have so far on the SR&O conversions from 4E to Next. As there are fewer levels in Next (20 compared to 4E’s 30) everyone goes down a couple of levels to compensate. No magic items yet.

Everyone is going to look pretty different; the goal is to try and keep the core of the character alive rather than replicate powers and abilities directly. Your thoughts are welcome on how you think these are working and what you would like to see change.

Brother Bryn

Artheon

Habbakuk

Thovar

Brick

Erkeon

Apocalypsia

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D&D Next Playtest: Levelling Up

Posted in Characters on November 18, 2012 by Carl

Normally I’d leave things until an extended rest to level up, but as this is a playtest it’s best to keep things moving. So everyone goes to Level 2. As packet 5 is available I decide we may as well use it, and spend some time levelling everyone’s character in order to get familiar with the various class and race mechanics, and to get a good handle on what has changed. Quite a bit, as it turns out. Most significantly;

  • The rogue now has the expertise die mechanic, and Sneak Attack is slightly nerfed
  • The archer loses his twin strike ability
  • The wizard loses Ghost Sound, and Magic Missile is now a level 1 spell, doing more damage.
  • There is no Sorcerer class.

I’ve tried to go for a pretty minimalist character sheet layout. See what you think:

https://carlillustration.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/121117-barda-l22.doc

https://carlillustration.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/121117-morrin-l22.doc

https://carlillustration.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/121117-rufus-l22.doc

https://carlillustration.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/121117-sabriel-l22.doc

https://carlillustration.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/121117-thrice-l22.doc

Note to players: I’ve selected stuff for you when levelling up and recreating the characters from the last set of pregens. I’ve also used half HD value when adding level up HP. If you want to change anything I’ve done or take your chances on a die roll for HP you can do that.  I’ve not worked on Todd yet. Stefan, if you can email me a .doc version of him, or add him to this post, that’s fine. If not let me know and I’ll create his sheet.

As I mentioned on Friday, I won’t be available for the next two weeks.

CASE FILE XB300-Erk’eon

Posted in Characters on February 25, 2012 by Carl

Brief introduction to Devas. Devas are immortal souls who have left heaven for [Censured] some long forgotten reason, now to reside in a demihuman body. When they die they are reincarnated somewhere sacred as full adults, with only faint memories of their former lives. They are usually solitary loners, walking among the other races to fulfil whatever goals they have.

———————–

Age of the grey stallion, day 1

You do not have clearance to read this section.

———————–

Age of the silver wombat, day 1973

Erk’eon is a member of a small covenant of 5 Devas who meet up about once every decade or so to discuss how work in their common goal progresses. Their common goal being nothing less than world wide peace among all living creatures. To delve deeper in to the mad plans of these arrogant lesser beings please refer to “CASE FILE VR198-Covenant of eternal unity”.

We have had Erk’eon under closer scrutiny for several millennia now. Since he joined the Covenant of Eternal Unity (please refer to separate CASE FILE) he has become a leading scholar on theocracy and divinities in 4 different incarnations, and we can only be content that his current incarnation hasnt found the link to his previous works. His current incarnation is under the delusion that the Gods (good as evil) are the direct cause of all strife in the mortal world, and if he can broker an unlikely peace between the gods he will end conflicts and wars.

We have taken steps (see “CASE FILE XA299-Erk’eon” and “CASE FILE XA-300-Erk’Eon”) and instructed Pelor to make him a saint. This should prevent him from outright war on heaven and sow confusion and doubt in his own mind. Preliminary reports tells us that the plan is fully functional and Erk’eon has taken up the mantle and started to seek out undead infested shrines to find out more of Pelors Prophesies. This should keep him far away from the holy temples where he might encounter some of his older scriptures.

-Watcher XX8

———————–

Age of the silver wombat, day 2401

A lesser agent revealed itself to Erk’eon yesterday. We have yet to discover who sent it, but a higher divinity was involved. It sent Erk’eon on a fools errand to an old abandoned shrine, agents tells us the shrine site is empty. We do not yet know why he has been sent there.

-Watcher XX8

———————–

Age of the silver wombat, day 2403

Someone has screwed up! The shrine was not abandoned but occupied by a hobgoblin priest performing rituals to Tiamat. Upon seeing Erk’eon the goblin congregation drew weapons and charged. We might have a problem as the Sainthood posed upon him seems to have granted him unforeseen powers. He slew them all and desecrated the temple. More info can be found in “CASE FILE FFS974-Where the fuck did those goblins come from”

-Watcher XX8

———————–

Age of the silver wombat, day 2410

Assets dispatched to assassinate the troublesome Erk’eon whom might have cost me my promotion, those goblins still had work to do!

-Watcher XX8

———————–

Age of the Silver Wombat, day 2411

Watcher XX8 dismissed from Erk’eon case. Case closed and dominion over fate of Erk’eon granted to [censured], may the gods protect him.

-Arch-Angel Gordiar

……………………………………………………….

3 weeks ago

A bit of dead zombie hangs off the mace still as Erk’eon tries to put it away, but he is far too busy observing the small alter in front of him. He wonders why this alter to a sun god has been stowed away so deep in a cellar, and shakes the zombie skin off his shining weapon. It seems there is a scroll tucked away in one of the recesses. He shakes the dead spiders off, unrolls and reads. This is what he reads:

Age of the grey stalion, the third of days

And then thou foundesth me oh Erk’eon, and long hath I thee awaited. Thine quest is nigh end and thine brother in knowing Artheon awaits. Findesth thine way to Brindol. There to make the peace as it is fitting. Knowesth that not all is…

The rest of the scroll has been eaten by rats

Then Erk’eon sets out and rides towards Brindol.

Character Spotlight: Thovar Axebeard

Posted in Characters on August 20, 2011 by Carl

Thovar Axebeard is a noble born Dwarf from the mountain kingdom of Gulgarkitosh. His Uncle is Prince Gotork, but his father is a lesser noble called Tringkor the Shameless.

Thovar was raised as a warrior in the fearsome Gulgarkitosh clan. Had things gone to plan, Thovar might even be a warlord or chieftan by now, but alas, things do not always go to plan…

Thovar had discovered a nafarious plot to undermine his kingdom. Prince Gotork (spit on his grave) had been making deals with a rival goblin kingdom in order to gain more power in his quest for the throne of Gulgarkitosh. The Prince, it seems, had been trading dwarven armour and weapons in order to convince the goblins into staging an attack that would make Prince Gotork appear to be victorious – therefore winning his favour with the elder council and King Gulgar. Thovar learned of the plot innocently enough, by rifling through his uncle’s chest looking for a match to light his pipe. He discovered documents that proved his uncle’s guilt and gave details of the plans and his correspondence with the goblins.

Thovar confronted his Uncle immediately (as he was caught red-handed rifiling through the papers). Prince Gotork attacked Thovar immediately – fighting ferociously to save his crown and keep his evil deeds hidden. Thovar killed his Prince Gotork with his bare hands – and was again found red-handed over his uncle’s body by the princes’ attendant. Needless to say – it appeared that Thovar murdered his uncle in cold blood and Thovar fled, attempting to seek help, and regain his honour.

Before Thovar could find his family and friends the alarm had been raised and the accusations had flown throughout the kingdom. Thovar was as good as dead and the shame that fell on the Family broke his heart and crushed his will to live. Thovar left the mountain Kingdom in the dead of night following the death of Gotork. He vowed never to return unless he could prove his innocence somehow. Instead he would seek to expunge the dishonour befallen his family by seeking the most glorious death possible, vanquishing evil and seeking out the foes most worthy of his blade and his life.

Character Spotlight: Artheon Kel-Ashra

Posted in Characters on August 20, 2011 by Carl

In this lifetime, Artheon has spent years studying the intelligent races of the world to try and understand their cultures and soceities in the hope of bringing reason to the cycle of peace and wars that have coursed through centuries.

He has spent most of his life travelling through cities and towns, visting temples, listening to stories and legends (some of which nudge an ever distant memory), witnessed great kings and seen the decline of failed dynasties. He has visited the halls of the dwarves, the forests of the elves, the clans of orcs and hobgoblins. Whilst not every location has been friendly towards his aims, they have each given him an insight to build upon the larger picture for the purpose of life.

Always an outsider though where ever he may wander due to his appearance clearly marking his Deva background, Artheon is no stranger to violence, frequently being set upon by those who are afraid of what he is to those who are all to those familiar with what his racial history is. However, his travels and studys have allowed his to bring the arcane forces to play upon the weaknesses of the minds he has studied.

Whilst Artheon regrets such instances, he cannot allow the will of those who do not understand his purpose to attempt to block him and will do what he must to prevent it.

Artheon is well aware of how daunting his appearance gives to the most of the mortals who have never seen a being such as himself. To better allow himself to remain undisturbed, he has given to covering most of his skin during his travels, only disrobing when in private. He covers his head with a headscarf that keep only his eyes visible.

He keeps quiet most of the time as he travels, contemplating different ideas within his mind but is open to conversation with others. He has the makings of a sense of humour, no doubt rubbing off on to him with his mixture of life, but is still lacking. He is quick of thinking and uses his knowledge of cultures to draw him out of situations or, better yet, not get in to them in the first place. He will however, not lie if required and sticks rigidly to the morale code of his race, not daring to let his quest for knowledge besmirch his soul. This in mind, he is ruthless against agents of evil or those who obstruct his path.

Artheon has found himself near Brindol during his travels and has heard tales of a group of heroes sacrificing their well being for the good of the people to fend of a growing evil. This fresh tales are ones he has not heard before and has actively seeked out the party and observed their actions from afar. However, rising curiosity has got the better of him and he wishes to know more about these seemingly paragons of good, find out what drives them in their quest and what keeps their trust between each other. Perhaps in doing so, Artheon will get closer to the answers he so desperately seeks.

Character Spotlight: Jerell Sorn (R.I.P.)

Posted in Characters on July 15, 2011 by Carl

And so, with a gnashing of troll teeth, did our brother Jerell slip from this mortal plane. Let us commend the soul of Jerell Sorn unto the tender mercy of the Raven Queen’s wings. He got what we all get; a lifetime.

We therefore commit his body to the flames; ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the afterlife eternal in Letherna, wherein the Raven Queen dwells.

Let us speak words of remembrance in honour of our fallen friend.

Character Spotlight: Brother Bryn

Posted in Characters on September 21, 2010 by Carl

Name: Brother Bryn

Concept: Self flagellating fanatical and puritanical paladin of Pelor

Motivations: Teach the weak to defend themselves

Physical description:

Beaten down appearance. Homely features with smallpox scars. Broken nose and cauliflower ears.  White patch in hair due to large underlying scar. Build shows signs of malnutrion in childhood.

However he is clearly powerfully animated with a higher purpose (high Cha) and has an almost tangible holy aura. This makes most people feel quite uncomfortable and people have trouble meeting his unblinking gaze.

He wears cheap peasant garments with armour that looks crudely forged. He carries a large whitewashed tower shield beautifully painted with a motif showing rays of light shining from a lantern.

Background:

Bryn (he can’t remember his family name), was born to a family of poor farmers who were part of a failing community farming in a valley in the wilderness north of Elsir Vale. Although once thriving  this community was gradually collapsing. Over the last decade constant lizardman raids had eroded the population and resources to the point of collapse. Originally the lizardman raids were just a nuisance, but gradually the outlying farms were overrun and the population declined. Not only did the ability of the community to protect itself diminish but the raids fell more often on each farm.

Bryn’s earliest memory is of his parents trying to plough a field with his father hitched to a plough after their horse was stolen. As things became critical with everyone half starved and exhausted from overwork a smallpox epidemic struck. All of Bryn’s family died as did all but a few dozen people. Although they didn’t know the disease was spread by blankets taken from another village wiped out by smallpox, and sold on by an unscruplous trader. Bryn now sees a divine hand in his survival, unlikely as it was, him being weaker and smaller than his brothers and sisters.

The few dozen survivors abandoned their village, gathered what possessions they could and set out across the wilderness to the nearest city, Dennovar. After several weeks of travel, battling terrible weather they got within sight of the city only to be attacked by a hobgoblin slaver gang known as the BloodReavers. The few adults left were killed and all the children captured except for Bryn who looking so weak and sickly was judged to not be worth the trouble.

Bryn made his way into the city to find it flooded with refugees from the north following Lady Yisel Bristeir’s catastrophic attempts to cleanse the area of monstrous races. The city was hopeless overcrowded and Lady Yisel had no ability to feed the refugees even had she cared about the commoners.

Bryn would have soon died, either of starvation or murdered by the desperate criminal gangs that ruled the refugee camps had he not been adopted by an elderly street artist called Carrick. Dirt poor himself he had been a sign painter with his own shop until he got into debt with unscrupulous money lenders. Now he scraped a living drawing pictures on the flagstones of the town squares with chalk or charcoal for a few copper coins from wealthier passer-bys. Despite their desperate poverty Bryn was happy as Carrick’s apprentice, carrying his few possessions and completing the drawings when Carrick’s arthritis was bad. Carrick became a substitute for his family which Bryn barely remembered. Carrick was kindly soul who’s only weakness was an inability to manage his money. This got the pair into trouble time and time again as Carrick spent their few coins on new chalks rather than paying ‘tax’ to the criminal gangs. Both of the pair endured many beating from this cause.

Everyone said that when Carrick met his end it would be at the hands of the gangs but actually it was at the hands of the Dennovar Blades, the city’s standing army. Lady Yisel, becoming more and more annoyed at the refugees and beggars filling her city turned to the Merchant Council. High Councilor Nindel Thorn, sensing an opportunity to seize de facto power, took control of the Blades and ordered them to round up the refugees and use them as slave labour to improve the city’s fortifications. Carrick was working on a large picture of the Cathedral of Bahamut in main square when a company of Dennovar Blades swept in and started herding people into slave cages. The terrified refugees stampeded and several soldiers were trampled. The rest overreacted and waded in with drawn swords. Carrick was cut down pleading with a trooper not to tread on his picture. Bryn tried to flee but was cut in the head and left bleeding. He was one of the lucky ones. A passing priest of Pelor came upon the scene of the massacre just as the troopers were finishing off the wounded. He didn’t do anything but his presence made the troopers pause before murdering the defenseless.

Those refugees left alive were taken to work on the fortifications, doing hard physical work all day with no protection from the elements [Endurance Trained]. Many died of exhaustion or exposure. Bryn was lucky in that his small size was an advantage. A fixed weight of rations were given out to each worker no matter what their size. This meant that the larger slaves that needed more calories starved much more quickly.

Eventually the raids ended and Lady Yisel, unwilling to continue paying the high rates of the dwarven stone masons of the Hammerfist Holds, gave up on the project. The surviving slaves were freed but lacking the funds to support themselves were all immediately arrested for vagrancy and sent to the workhouses.

Bryn expected he would spend the rest of his life labouring for the Merchant Council when a missionary priest of Pelor game to the workhouse to preach. The inmates who were either spiritually dead ex-slaves, criminals, or drunks had little interest in sermons about how Pelor loved them, but for Bryn it was a window onto a different world. He had never before even set foot in a temple let alone heard a priest speak. In his experience the gods were only for the rich who could pay for donations, but here was someone teaching that there was a god who not only cared about the poor but was actively trying to help them. A group of drunks got tired of heckling and climbed on stage to rough up the priest. Everything in Bryn’s life had taught him to keep his head down and not get involved, but something made him jump onto the stage, possibly that the elderly priest reminded him of Carrick. Something had snapped inside him and he broke a chair over one from behind and had choked a second unconscious before the others set on him and beat him senseless.

When Bryn came to he was expecting to be in the jail but instead he found himself in a room in the monastery of Pelor. The priest had paid off his debts as his way of saying thank you. Bryn was allowed to stay in the monastery while his broken ribs healed. The priests were surprised and pleased that he attended every service, with more enthusiasm than most of the monks. Eventually when his injuries healed they offered to let him join as an initiate, which Bryn gratefully accepted. The spartan life of a monk was unimaginable luxury compared to the workhouse and all day working in the fields was no hardship compared to carrying rocks for the city’s fortifications. With the fanatical enthusiasm of the new convert he unquestioningly soaked up the priests teachings [Religion Trained]. Soon he was promoted and was accompanying the priest on further trips to gain recruits from the workhouses and from the street people. The priests found he had no aptitude for public speaking but had a knack for understanding what made people tick [Insight trained]. With Bryn helping the order soon had many more recruits.

What Bryn had no way of knowing was that the monastery was an extreme sect that had interpreted the word of Pelor quite differently to the mainstream of the religion. This sect was called “The Lantern of the White Light” after a parable in which Pelor was likened to a lantern that illuminated the world denying evil a place to hide. The core tenet of the faith was that the weak must be taught to protect themselves. They preached that evil stalked the world in various guises and that it preyed on the helpless. Therefore the only way to defeat it was to ensure that everyone with no exception was ready to fight it. If the agents of good were few it did not matter how powerful they were because evil would simply thrive wherever they were not.

The monks were required to complete martial training, and many were competent warriors but more important was considered the ability to endure. It was expected that evil would be stronger, quicker and more skilled. However the religion taught that the faithful could defeat this by willpower and endurance. The weak were many and therefore if they were taught the courage to fight then evil would always be outnumbered.

In this Bryn had an advantage. Although he tried to learn the skills of a warrior he was never more than passable, but his life had given him a order of magnitude more beatings than most soldiers. He had an indifference to hardship supplemented by a fanatic’s courage.

After completing his training Bryn was sent into the world to do Pelor’s work. The White Light sought out the weak, peasant farmers, the underclass of the cities and slaves. Bryn and a group of paladins were sent out to the borderlands north of Talar where they stayed with peasant farmers terrorised by non-human raiders and their own rapacious lords. They tried to teach them to stand together and help each other, by preaching the White Light’s version of the path of Pelor. More importantly they taught them practical ways to fight back against evil. This included basic weapon training, how to convert farming implements into weapons, how to fortify farms, how to ambush bandits and raiders and track them to their lairs. Unfortunately this didn’t go down well with the authorities, to the peasants (and Bryn) there was no difference between tax collectors and bandits as both came and took their meagre possessions. Similarly there was little difference between nobles and non-humans, both lived in a different world and seemed to constantly devise new ways to make the peasants suffer.

Within a month of the arrival of Bryn and his order, the area flared up in a peasant revolt. Tax collectors were ‘arrested’ and hanged in commoners courts, the local lord’s men were lured into ambushes and his castle under effective siege. The elderly lord Nesten fought back by hiring a company of foreign mercenaries, but this army found every farm a stronghold held by peasants who refused to surrender. The mercenaries used to chivalrous fighting against other professional soldiers, found it unnerving to fight peasants where woman and children fought alongside the men. After losing two dozen men in an assault on a farm held by six men and seven women and a dozen children, the mercenaries quit and returned home.

Lord Nesten fled to Brindol where he tried to petition a wealthy relative, Lady Verrasa Kaal, for help but Lady Kaal, being a canny operator (and knowing incompetence when he saw it) used her considerable influence to have the man’s title removed. This and a reduction in taxes served to calm the revolt and bring the peasants out of the forests and back to their fields, stabilizing numerous revenue streams. Lady Kaal however sent her spies into the area and soon found the reason for the revolt. Unable to act openly against the order, protected as it was by the Church of Pelor and their political connections, she took out a contract with a clan of hobgoblin assassins, the DoomSworn.

One night on the dark of the moon, this clan assaulted the order’s fortress monastery to kill everyone they could find. Fortunately Pelor had appeared to the elderly abbot the night before and warned him that the final battle between good and evil was imminent. This caused the abbot to send the monks to the four corners of the land to find the weak and help them prepare. When the assassins came over the walls with their poisoned weapons, they found only the old man waiting with fifty casks of naphtha and a torch.

Now the order are scattered to the four winds, hiding, preaching and trying to make people prepare for the final battle they believe is coming. They have many enemies, the survivors of the assassin clan, Lady Kaal’s agents, local law enforcement not to mention the local priests of the mainstream church of Pelor. However they endure and their movement continues to attract followers, so perhaps Pelor is protecting them.