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Minor addition too Kalder.
'... Kalder wields a staff made from what appears to be heavily burnt wood. It's very solid, despite it's appearance, and touching it sends a shock up ones arm. Apparently the staff was a small a tree that had been struck by lightning, smoothed down. If Kalder is to be believed that is. The end is twisted and gnarled though and the wood is burnt. It'd be hard to recreate that effect. Fittingly he wields it in his burnt right hand most of the time.'
Cause he's a wizard and needs a staff.
And here is my submission! Meet Kalder. About the only thing I need to decide on is his last name. Will probably delve deeper into Captain Dagar in the future but for now I felt more inspired to write about how he came to be who he is.
Kalder is a half elf man of small, lean stature, with black hair neatly bound by a leather strap and a beard bound by beads. He wears simple, light garb meant to keep him warm on colder days and easily divested on the warmer ones. As of recently he has taken to wearing a long green cloak sized for someone a foot taller then him. It's tail trails at his feet and it's sleeves require being rolled up.
One hotter days one can see his bare torso. Modesty had long since been lost, at least in regards to shirts. He has lean muscle hardly fit for lifting but definitely capable of quick and deft movements. Across his entire form are a series of tattoos. Some seem like gibberish while others clearly depict sea beasts. His right arm his, from the shoulder down, covered in burn scars. Despite this he seems to use it with little trouble though he'll complain about mild discomfort as a storm nears, even while looking at the air with anticipation.
There was a time when I hated the ocean. It sounds strange now... well... not that strange I suppose. I mean, I've dealt with storms, shipwrecks and now well... this... but... it's not the same.
When I was a kid life was good. A lot of people will roll their eyes at that but it isn't always the case, so it's important to note here. I had a mother and a father and both were in love and happy. When they had me, they loved me too. We were a family. We mattered to each other. Life... Life was good.
My mother was a human. She worked at a tavern for a living. I never had a chance to worry about all those stories you might here about a tavern. This one was run by an elf named Farinf and Farinf was a woman you did not mess with. She was nearly half as tall as my mother and probably weighed little more then I did when I was a kid but customers simply didn't get handsy with her employees. And when they tried? I don't know actually. My mothered covered my eyes the only time it happened. The guy wasn't there when she let up anymore.
Then there was my father. He was an elf. His job was... strange. He was a guard, you see. A very skilled one. He took jobs on ships protecting traders, merchants and valuable goods from the threats that roamed the waters. He had been working for decades and had earned a reputation as a man who got the job done. So he didn't have to take jobs often. He'd take one, be gone for three months, and then for the next nine he'd be back home and we'd still be living a comfortable life.
My mother... She used to say that- ZAAAAP!
"Ow!" Kalder looked up from his journal and around. His eyes quickly found the source of the pain. The broiling miniature thunder cloud about the size of his head floated three feet above and behind him. His eyes narrowed in agitation. "What do you want?"
The cloud twisted and turned, crackling twice and creating a great deal of noise that sounded like winds of a storm... only miniature. It was both adorable, which Kalder had long since grown inured to, and in a way beautiful. What it actually meant however was for from it. Kalder's eyes narrowed further at the storm cloud and then he looked around. The ocean was strangely calm wherever he had ended up. That was both a blessing and a curse.
With no wind to speak of Kalder was forced to expend energy to conjure his own. It also made it less likely that his familiar would be able to bring any birds for him to eat. They avoided dead zones like this where there was no lift for them to glide on. The half elf had taken up his journal in the hopes of distracting himself from these facts but dragged out of the story he had been writing brought him back to the pain he felt in his stomach as well.
"I don't know what you want me to do. It's not like I need the ink for spells or anything! And I can't conjure food out of thin air like some priest. There are limits. Now let me starve to death in peace."
Kalder glared at the cloud and then turned his eyes back to the page. It was likely no one would find this journal but it was a distraction for him more then anything else. In fact, given some of what he'd write down he'd probably burn it if he had the chance. But for now...
"Now where... right... I was..."
... My mother used to say that she knew father- ZAP!
"Gods damn it, WHAT?!" Kalder spun to look at the cloud and then his eyes widened when he saw what was coming up behind it. "No. No no no. Noooo."
Speeding toward him was a very large wave. His spell was filling his meager sail but it would be hard pressed to quicken his pace enough to get out of it's way. Rather then attempt that he quickly spun about the small rigging to straighten his path with the wave. Then he grabbed on tight. It was around this time that he noticed something else about the wave. The rest of the sea was still dead and there was no air to speak of other then his own. So what was causing the wave? His eyes widened at the answer.
"NooooOOOOOO!" He cried out as the wave and the being causing it moved beneath his ship, lifting it up roughly and with the sound of cracking wood. Almost immediately Kalder began casting a mend spell to hold it together with one hand but the other was firmly needed on the side to keep himself from being thrown off. Beneath he could feel as much as hear the sound of the massive beast humming. Like clap of thunder that just didn't end. As his ship, hardly more then a life boat made for four with a sail, moved over the edge he heard a SNAP from the direction of the mast.
His eyes widened and he turned to direct his spell toward it but... it was too late. The mast was gone, thrown somewhere he could not even see. He cursed, managing to work several in between the words of power that kept his boat together, while he slowly sank back into the dead ocean. The massive beast, easily thirty feet high at least, continued on without even seemingly noticing him.
It didn't matter though. His last chance had just flown away. His mind raced with different possibilities, including summoning elementals to drag him, but he couldn't sustain a connection with the plane of water long enough to make a difference. This... this was it.
Kalder reached for his book, sighing as he did. A more gentle zap game but the half elf simply shrugged it off with a word that sounded like a click. He couldn't actually recreate the language the storm elemental spoke but the closest approximation still let them communicate just fine. The storm cloud flashed twice as the elemental pondered the answer and then it slowly flew away.
The half elf eyes turned back to the paper, the weight and worry gone from his shoulder. He knew how his story ended now.
My mother always said that she knew my father loved her more then the ocean because he always came back. I think the love was a bit closer to equal, he simply knew that the ocean would always be waiting for him while his shorter lived wife only had so many years left. It is strange then that despite his many years still left on this world he was the first to die.
It happened on one of his jobs. It was around that time when mother would need to pick up an extra shift here or there to keep up. She did so happily to keep father around longer but with a simple visit to the docks he could get a down payment that would cover us for months and he knew it. So, despite her best efforts, my father found another job and left. Goodbyes were sweet and hopes were high. We were all happy after all. We all had love for each other.
The months passed as they did, without word or peep, and my mother, despite having the money father had been paid up front, decided to take extra shifts anyway. I imagine her goal was to have some extra coin the next time father returned with the hope that she could get him to stay longer. It was a good idea and I was old enough at this point to happily approve of more time with my dad. I ended up joining her on some of the later nights at the tavern. It was around here that Farinf had to deal with a rowdy guest. A sailor. My mother had caught his eye. Thanks to her boss, mother wasn't bothered again, and life went on. It was only notable because of something he had said. Something about a trader ship not making it back.
Mother worried little though. Or she simply didn't let it show while I was around. Three months came and hopes were high that we would see my father again soon. And then three months passed. At first we rationalized it. He had been late before. It happened. It was the nature of the job. Perhaps a storm had knocked them off course or a fight had damaged the vessel and it needed a few repairs. But the excuses grew thinner and thinner as no word came and no sign of my father appeared. By the end of six months we knew.
The funeral was a small one. Without a body, mother simply purchased a marker near the ocean in his name. Farinf. A few of the other workers. A friend or two of fathers, mercenaries themselves. And the ocean. The damnable ocean. I was old enough to understand that my father had been taken by it and the beauty of it that I had once admired now seemed cold and indifferent. This is where the seed was planted by mothers words. 'I couldn't win. Not against the ocean. Not in the end.'
Life went on though. It seemed so strange that it should do so now that father was dead but it did and in time I learned to go on too. Mother was stuck picking up about twice as many shifts as she had before. We weren't in any trouble, she owned the home and had no debt to speak of, but she seemed... Insistent on having funds squirreled away. She never touched the amount my father had gotten and she kept building it up little by little.
I understand now that I wasn't the only one who had lost a bit of naivete with my fathers death. My mother wanted to make sure that if anything happened to her my needs would be seen too. It was clear that I was aging... slower then a human. Faster then an elf though.
When I was finally old enough to take an apprenticeship I was more then ready for it. For the three years before I had studied and learned everything I could of the different crafts and finally settled my dream on the loftiest of them all. I wanted to be a wizard. I had no idea the cost involved, but with my mind made up my mother was more then happy to see to it that I had a good master to teach me. She was so proud when I qualified too! The look her eyes alone was enough to keep me going but I found that I loved the math and the work.
My apprenticeship would last ten years. Three more then was normal, to be certain. Despite my early, brilliant performance and my quick grasp of the fundamentals I ran into a bit of a block. I knew the math, the words, the gestures and the results that I should get but whenever I tried for something beyond a simple cantrip I would stumble and nothing would happen.
In those ten years I would also lose my mother. Not to any natural disaster. She had lived a good life, after all, a full life to sixty seven. She passed away in her sleep. It didn't make a difference. It was just as hard to lose her as it had been to lose father. I had her buried next to fathers marker where I knew she would want to rest. And then I spent the last three years of my apprenticeship paying fees with what she had left to me.
Life got... harder as the end of my funds came near. It became clear that I wouldn't be able to continue my studies unless I found either a patron, unlikely with my poor skills, or a job. But no one wanted an apprentice wizard. Not even guild certified yet, I got turned down everywhere I went, even if I could do what was asked of me. I became desperate. I had a need to get better, to continue studying, and baser needs such as for food and clothing. Finally I went to the only place that might risk taking someone like me. My luck. My damned luck. I found a job.
On a ship.
The ship already had a wizard. They didn't need me to fill their sails with wind or defend against other ships, monsters and mages. They needed someone to help the ships carpenter, the man in charge of working on the vessel. He would craft and I would maintain. My job was almost endless with all the many things that broke. Sometimes, even to this day, I think some of the sailors were having their fun with me though not in front of the captains eyes.
But it paid. And I got an offer to return. The carpenter thought me 'better then most' since I 'kept my trap shut and asked only what needed asking'. Rather then decline, as I was want to do, I tentatively accepted. I needed more gold after all. I had barely enough to buy new clothing and the newest book on magical theory.
Outside the job I... cared little for the day to day life on the ship. On the ocean. I spent all my time working on my studies and ignoring the rolling of the waves beneath us or the constant billow of air filling our sails. I had little communication with the ships actual wizard as well. He was an older human man who seemed uninterested in talking about theories or spellcrafting. Instead he spent most of the time watching the sky while playing with a stone in his hand. I let him be.
Then on the fourth trip, what was to be my last for the season, the storm struck. It came on suddenly and without warning. The only person not in a near panic state was the wizard. His eyes were a light and his hands were raised. Every time a bolt of lightning came close to striking our vessel he unleashed one of his at it, channeling into into the ocean instead. I marveled at the man even as I worked tirelessly myself to keep the ship afloat.
Some people assume that the simplest spells don't take any effort to cast but the truth is they take minimal effort, such that we could cast it many times a day without er. The problem comes when you're doing it for hours on end, every few seconds repeating the incantation. My stamina had improved but even my throat began to gave out while my muscles seemed to sag. Then he walked over to me. I looked up uncertainly at the old man, who was studying me. The lightning had abated for the moment and he seemed to be maintaining some sort of spell to calm the winds a bit.
Then he reached down, grabbed me and hauled me toward the front of the ship. Then he pointed to the sky. “I'm empty. Your turn whelp.”
I stared at him numbly for a moment and then up too the skies. Then back down to him with anger. I yelled at him, demanding he release my shoulder and let me get back to work, but he held firm and pointed at the sky once more. It rumbled ominously. Finally I told him the truth. That I was a failure as a wizard. That I couldn't cast something as simple as the spell to fill a winds sails. That I... that I...
And he laughed... and laughed... and then pointed to the sky one last time. I didn't have a chance. The moment he pointed, lightning struck, alighting his finger, him and then me. For a brief moment I thought... this was it. This was how I was going to die. But then I realized that I was... still thinking. The lightning danced across both our skins, now thin sparks, but I was still thinking and unharmed. In fact... As I thought about it I realized I was thinking more clearly then I had been a moment ago. I felt... rejuvenated. No, better.
I turned to the sky as it rumbled again and light flashed and I knew exactly what to do. I had seen it. It was math as I had known it but with the element it had been missing all this time. I reached out toward the sky as lightning crackled downward and with a surprised yelp I unleashed my own. It wasn't as impressive as the old mans power but it did the job. And I am not ashamed to say that in that moment I could have cared less if the ship had actually been struck. I had just cast a spell of the third level. A spell far beyond my supposed grasp. I had known the theory for ages, the formula, but the lightning had... it had...
Burned me. Badly. And the old man too. Turns out I was in shock. And remained so for another hour as the storm finally began to calm why I defended it from an errant lightning bolt here or there. Then I passed out. When I woke we had made for safe harbor for more extensive repairs then could be managed by a cantrip and a carpenter without supplies. I was in the towns clinic being seen to by a priest. My arm was... ruined. And the human wizard who had been struck along side me? Dead. His heart stopped.
I felt sadness. On the same day I had been inspired the man who had helped it come about had been killed because I couldn't understand, couldn't wrap my head around it in time. My first failure. I was determined to make it my only though. And despite myself the ocean... it had earned my respect. I still didn't like it but...
The ship needed a wizard to get back. The town had none. They were uncertain at first if I could be of any help but when I demonstrated my new understanding of the mystic arts they were happy. I got cheers. Congratulations. Gratitude. Even from those that had teased me before or purposefully dented a part of the ship to cause trouble. I was one of them. Had been for a while but hadn't noticed. And suddenly I felt less lonely.
We returned without more fatalities. We got struck by another, lesser storm but it was an easy matter for me to calm and defend against. Back at the guild I surprised my master with my own sudden mastery of magic, so much so that he ended up calling Archmage Wesley Giles to make sure I hadn't made some pact with a demon or devil for my knowledge. The man... was... intense. The questioning was thorough. Any my thoroughly burned and ravaged arm was enough proof to tip the scales. When I showed him that he asked what had changed. And I told him.
All these years I had been trying to move energy without an understanding of how energy moves. I hadn't even realized because I managed with cantrips just fine, it seemed. But the truth was that even they had been lacking. When I was struck by the bolt of lightning though I had an epiphany. For a brief moment I understood energy in a way I don't think could even be explained. It all came so easy after that.
Though I had shown mastery of a spell of the third level I still had a lot to learn. The Archmage did not end my Apprenticeship there. I was put through rigorous trials and training at that point. But now I progressed rapidly again. It hearkened back to my first days when theory had been what I devoured and learned. Suddenly none of what my master could throw at me was enough. I no longer needed the books. I understood now too why that old man stared up at the sky. I can feel the energy in the air.
My apprentice ship lasted another six months. Then I was guild certified. My first job? On a ship. Six months away from the ocean had... given me perspective. I missed the wild rocking of the vessel... I missed the smell of salt always in the air... I even missed the camaraderie I had shared with the jerks I had befriended on my last ship. Without realizing it, I had let a piece of the love my father had felt for the ocean grow inside me.
I found a vessel, I made friends, even a few enemies in some pirates I helped chased off, and I lived comfortably whenever I came home. I was never home for long though. The ocean called to me. Life was good. Until it wasn't. Remember those pirates I mentioned? Well, one in particular, a Donald Dagar, had a grudge to settle. He had attacked a ship I was on and I had blown a hole in his. He found where I lived, snuck into my home in the dead of knight, and press ganged me into becoming a slave on his ship. When I wasn't scrubbing the floors I was kept in my cell. My possessions, including my spellbook, where kept far away from me.
Fortunately he didn't know that I wasn't alone. Captain Dagar had made an error. Zip, an elemental from the plane of air, a being composed of moisture and energy, was my familiar. I had summoned him to serve as a scout and confidant. And though he has a bit of an attitude he is my friend. He found me through our bond and tireless searching. It took him months but... He found me. And then he got me back my spellbook. He doesn't have hands but that doesn't stop him from picking things up when he wants too.
With my spellbook in hand, and a coat I stole from my jailor four sizes too big for me, I wreaked havoc on the ship. It was simple enough to press gang a dozen water elementals and start causing a ruckus. While they distracted the many, many armed pirates I snuck aboard one of the ships fishing boats. It was made just large enough for four to carry and would often go out for a week at a time and return with a great deal of fish. Because of that it needed a sail and because of that I had my getaway. From there it was a simple matter of calming the wind around the pirates sails, leaving them dead in the water for a few hours, while I used the same spell to redirect the wind into mine.
I made my getaway.
And so here I am, free as a bird with not a single bird in sight. I sit here in the same boat I escaped from, my mast missing, and with no gear to navigate. I am dead in the water. And this story ends on a-
“Damn it Zip, WHAT?!” I turned about to look at the cloud, then moved to follow where it's cloudy tendril pointed. The water around me was no longer dead it seemed. The wind had picked up. Without a sail it didn't matter but... but... “A ship? Out here? It looks like a wreck but I think I can... yes there are people on it. Quick Zip, go get their attention! Do whatever you have too just make sure they stop for me. I'm going to prepare a few spells in case they need convincing.”
Mechanically it'd be an Archer fighter using a longbow and Battlemaster Archetype. In game, it'd be a character toying with a simplistic musket. Extra attacks and damage come not so much from knowing where to hit as improving the weapon.
I don't know if that would fit though since Firearms weren't a thing until later in the Forgotten Realms setting, if I recall correctly.
Actually, looking real close, I think I know exactly what I want to do. Reflavor the warlock mostly as I mentioned above, as a smiting follower of a god. I'm thinking... a follower of Selune, where he's tossing about shafts of moonbeams instead of eldritch blasts. Thinking what exactly I can do with it but for now that should be good. Need to crash. Will work on it tomorrow!
I'm going to throw my interest in this as well. I made a character for a 5e recently that I ended up loving but didn't get to play, but before I submit it will need a completely new background (or at least a heavily edited one) and I want to make sure there's not a different choice I'd prefer playing in this setting.
How long of a background would you prefer? Level 1 does preclude heavily experienced characters but there are many things that can set an adventurer into motion. And how heavily can we reflavor something? For Pathfiinder I've gone as far as making an 'Alchemist' and his 'Bombs' be a lightly armored cleric of a sun god who through lances of fire and positive energy around, while his extracts and the time needed to prepare them became prayers and runes.
3d6 ⇒ (5, 5, 5) = 15
2d6 ⇒ (5, 3) = 8
I'm thinking of crafting a barbarian/druid with a bear companion he's rearing himself. Eventually he might just start turning into a bear too. The one Archetype I'd pick is Invulnerable Rager, this guy will be tough! And the 4 RP will go toward removing that minus to charisma. He's good with animals at least.
You would think with all the monsters in the world there would be room for a few that just didn't feel like being monsters. You would be wrong of course. The world is a cruel place. It is a place where a family can leave their cursed red skinned child out in the wild. It is a place where that child could be expected to leave off and die alone, cold and starving. It is a place where this is well and good.
Thankfully it is also a place where little s%%+s like me can get lucky. The world might be cruel but sometimes that's just in it's sense of humor. It's not hard to guess from my appearance that I was that child. I mean, who could blame my family really? Red skin, horns and a tail? I'd leave me out in the woods to starve to death too. Or get eaten by wolves. But as I'm here talking to you we can both me certain that neither happened, yeah?
How did I survive? Well, it involves a pack of wolves, an insane elf, a god... and a few more ales too loosen my lips.
The Crimson Hunter:
I was found by a pack of wolves. No, really! No they didn't raise me! What are you daft? The elf that ran with them did. He was a strange sort. Always looking out as if expecting trouble. To be fair, as old as he was I guess it's just natural. He wasn't an ordinary elf either I think. He had yellow eyes for one. Looked far too much like the wolves for my taste.
Guar was his name. He was a... wanderer of sorts. Never stayed in one place for long. Took me nearly fifteen years to puzzle out why. Crazy bastard was careful. Not careful enough but... that's another story. He found me there, crying like the babe I was, and something in his cold, crazy heart took pity on me. Or, more likely, the wolves made him do it. They were smart. And despite what I said they did help a bit with raising me.
My younger years were interesting. Half the time I was on one of the wolves backs and the other half I was in the arms of a man who never really stopped moving. I got used to it. Picked it up myself. Hard to sit still even after so many years. When I got old enough to walk I had to learn to run. When I was old enough to keep up, I had to build the muscle to do it every day.
And when I could catch my own food? Well... you get the idea.
It was a harsh life but it was a life. And it was the only one I knew so I didn't even think to complain. I learned to speak with Gaur... slowly. He spoke a lot of languages but rarely stuck to one in a conversation.
Then came the day that I was to be an adult. Not by societies standards. By Gaur's. I could take care of myself. I could hunt, speak, and even fight if need be. So he left. But not before giving me a... gift. A ritual you see. One that had to be done on the night of the full moon.
Ah! I see the look in your eyes. You've probably guessed what he did. Or something close. No, he wasn't a werewolf. Not completely. What he was... was different. He used his magic on me... he... twisted me into a form that seemed fitting. And then he left me there... just like my folks did. Only he didn't expect me to die. He expected me to live on.
So I did.
Not for him of course. For me. I went to a settlement, scared a few people with my visage, and ended up learning what it meant to be a 'damned' tiefling in this world. From there it was all roses and butterflies. A happy ending if there ever was one. I learned to control the magic he instilled in me, to keep it tethered. I learned to control my own nature as well. My inherent... Destructive capabilities. The trick is not to wield it myself. I imbue it in this here wand and let it do the magic for me.
Then, when I was strong enough, I tracked Guar down and killed him. He was the first of many. Bastards the lot of them. But none of them boring! That's what I enjoy. A challenge! A hunt!
Oh don't give me that look. They were all monsters like Guar. Cultists, murderers, and sometimes literal monsters the likes of which you could hardly imagine. But those are all tales for another time...
Unless you intend to refill my glass?
The character will be a Lawful Neutral Hunter... of sorts. He's a mercenary sort but not a bad guy. He won't try and rob or steal, he has his code that he sticks too, and to those who have earned his friendship he is loyal to the end.
He might even go out of his way to help someone but then he might also try and get a little reward for it after the fact. He enjoys challenges though. The more dangerous the challenge the better. And if it means putting bastards and monsters in the ground... well then that's just a bonus he is more then happy to live with.\
I see him as a fast talking sort with a lot of skills and maybe only a little focus. He knows he's dangerous but he also knows that he's not exactly solid. He can patient as a hunter. And even crafty. When not on the job he's liable to joke with friends, reminisce or try and earn a few free drinks with his stories.
He'll be 10 levels of Gunslinger (Wandslinger) from the spheres of power and 10 levels of Bard (archaelogist) using the spheres of power magic. He was cursed with lycanthropy (of a kind. I'm not a fan of wild magic, so instead I'm not taking any benefit from the tradition, and simply taking just the restriction that alteration magic work for him.) Unlike his mentor his original form was very Owl like. Now a days he's pushed his magic a bit ahead for more versatility, though he still tends to fall back on his wings in a fight.
The Wandslinger aspect will never rock the boat as far as damage goes but it's consistency (touch attacks) will mean he's never dealing with those sad misses either. Or rarely, at least. Still haven't decided all of his Spheres yet though.
Given the nature of the campaign, do you still want things like allies and enemies written up?
Wealth: 2d4 ⇒ (4, 4) = 8
So I had this idea and just basically ran with it from beginning to end. Took a while to track down a 5e reference book. I've played the system once before but unfortunately had to stop. (Had a bard duelist in that one who was so much fun!)
Here is Zeek, an Aarakocra Barbarian. I went with the Defeat the Skyriders option but with a twist. Zeek can already fly! And naturally he's a Barbarian with the Eagle totem. Could not resist that. He'll be ducking in and out of combat when he can but that doesn't mean he can't stand his ground if he needs too.
He won't be as strong as a race with strength as a bonus, but the whole culture just speaks to undisciplined warriors, and the moment I saw the eagle totem I knew what I had to do. Outside of combat I see him as a scout and hunter. Especially thanks to his background. He can provide for the group in lots of areas!
NG Aarakocra Barbarian (Totem Warrior)
PERSONALITY & BACKGROUND
His high wisdom does mean he'll likely learn in time, with help, so I may end up having to trade this flaw out for another flaw. Or it might come to represent a more natural sort of intuition that doesn't translate to socializing.
Chaos. Nothing but chaos. This is the last memory Zeek has of Zeek's clan. It came so quick, like a storm of blades and monsters. Then he was falling. The Fall. The End. The Ground.
How Zeek survived he knows not. The ceiling should have killed him. The Fall should have killed him. The hay could not save him. And yet... it did. With some help from those who owned it.
Zeek will start at the beginning. Before... before the Fall. Before the End.
Zeek was flying with his tribe, hunting for food. We had learned to avoid taking from the ground folk. They got angry when we did. Came at Zeek and his family with bows. It was strange how they 'herded' these creatures but we learned to watch for the signs and in the end there was plenty for all in this land.
This day, the Hunters flew. We needed more meat for the young ones who could not fly. Zeek had hunted before but never for so many. Then they came. One moment the skies belonged to Zeek and the birds. Then there were... Others. Creatures like the Pony's that the ground folk road but with wings. Atop their back rode ground folk in metal and carrying metal.
We tried to fly around but they gave chase. The Hunters were not to be hunted. We spun about to deal with these would be hunters, but found our simple wooden spears ineffective against their metal. Their mounts even wore it. It slowed them but the advantage it gave was undeniable.
Zeek Fell. His Tribe Fell. Then there was blackness. Then pain.
Pain meant life. Zeek survived! Only Zeek survived...
The Barn. The hole in it was Zeek Falling. The Ground Folk... They found Zeek... and they took him in. They healed him, though it took many months for his wings to recover. Zeek knew pain... Many pains. Word of other Hunters found. None alive. All dead. The tribe must know. Zeek worked hard to regain his strength. The Ground Folk, so kind, helped him.
Reluctant but needful, Zeek left Ground Folk and returned to nest. All dead. Feathers found. Hair found... Metal found. The would be Hunters. Ground Folk that Flew. They had tracked Hunters back to Zeeks nest and... and...
Zeek felt anger. Such anger. And pain. Such pain. Alone, he flew, wishing to Fall. Without realizing he flew to the Barn. The Ground Folk were still there. Hearing Zeeks tale, they wept with Zeek, and offered him a new nest in the Barn.
In return, Zeek hunted for them, for his new tribe, the Ground Folk tribe known as the Daawsun family. He earned his keep. He learned the land. And he grew happy again.
Then they came. The Ground Folk that Flew. The Daawsun hatchlings called them... Feathergale Knights.
Anger. Such Anger. Zeek flew as they landed. Waited for them to separate. Watched as they came to each farm in the area to take, to kill. One by one Zeek killed the Knights. His talons tore their throats. Then his hands took their weapons and he used those to pierce their metal.
Three died. Most escaped. Zeek intends to follow. The Daawsun family says Zeek should not, should stay and hide. Zeek cannot. His new tribe was attacked. He must... Must protect them. Now he has a metal disk and metal weapons too.
No more family will Fall.
Ahh. In that case.
'You look ridiculous':
The night was young still when he opened the door to his room. The soft squeak of the hinges told Oren he would need to oil the door again a moment before he recalled that it was no longer his responsibility. For some reason that hurt more then the goodbyes had. He let it shut behind him, the creaking of wood and gentle scrape of metal bringing back all the memories of when he had opened that door.
In particular the first time had been memorable. Back when...
He shook his head slowly and moved too the cabinet in the corner of his room. These hinges squeaked as well but the sound brought no memories. He hadn't opened these doors more then a dozen times in over twenty years after all. Hadn't needed to with what little happened in this small village.
The knock came at the door just as he lit a candle on his desk to get a closer look at the closets contents. Oren didn't need too guess or ask about who it was. Only one person in this house could move that quietly. "Yes Samantha?" He asked softly, a bit bemused.
"May I come in Father?" Her voice confirmed what he already knew. It sounded a little more raw then normal though. She had probably been crying. Oren didn't blame her. The night he had made this decision he had cried too, for a good many reasons.
"I'm getting changed." He replied. "I'll be out in a few minutes if it can wait."
There was a pause. His daughter was rarely hesitant so he guessed that she was actually weighing the choice. "No... this is fine. I just... wanted to make sure there was nothing... Nothing we could do to convince you too stay."
He smiled. Her words carried no fear. There was hope and determination mixed with understanding. She paused to find the right words, not out of any uncertainty. Oren knew all of this because of his time with her. His analytical skills required more then words that and even her voice was muffled through the thick wooden door.
By the light of the candle he began laying out his most valuable possession on his bed. It was an item that had long since lost any real meaning to him. "Unfortunately not." He said, his voice solemn but his smile proud. He knew she wouldn't have given up so easily. Oren also knew that she would accept his choice.
He heard her sigh. "I just can't believe that after all this time you're going to dress up in that ridiculous armor and go off adventuring. You have a family. Responsibility."
Oren grinned as he began his preparations. "Are you trying to tell me that you and George can't handle the farm on your own? I always knew that son in law wasn't good enough for you." The words were said in good humor and they rang as such. Oren had long since found the truth in them to be false. They still came in use sometimes though.
"We can handle just fine! But we have children of our own now, father. What are they going to say when they wake up tomorrow and realize your goodbye wasn't a bad dream? And so soon after mothers passing?" Her voice came back sharper then she had probably intended. Samantha was a strong woman but she rarely meant harm... when she was speaking to those she cared about.
Oren for his part laughed, though inwardly the pain of his most recent memory came quickly to the forefront of his mind. It wasn't the most recent thing he had experienced but it seemed like new memories that came after were... distant. Grey. Unreal. "You will tell them whatever you and George decide to tell them. I am certain no matter what I say you two will find your own way of helping them through it."
Samantha huffed behind the door as Oren felt the weight settle on his shoulders. With the last piece in place he moved to grab his bag, which had been packed for a week now, and then stepped toward his door. He stopped short of opening it when he heard his daughters form settle against it. "Father... do you... really have to go?"
His hand, halfway toward the wooden door, fell back to his side and he looked down. For a good five minutes there was silence. Just as Oren had given her time to gather her thoughts Samantha patiently waited for his response. "I have... so many memories in this home. Every day... well, aside from those where I awoke in the barn, I woke up beside your mother. Her smile was the first thing, even before the suns light, that I took in. Her voice, complaining as I rose far too earlier for her tastes, always gave me the courage too stand up and greet the day. Especially during the harder times."
Now Samantha's voice was not the only one that was raw. Oren took a deep breath and continued. "Now... There is only one thing I see every time I open my eyes in this bed. I... can't escape it here. She..." He paused... and not to gather the right word. His daughter would have been ashamed of him if it had been for any other reason. "I wake up and I see her there, laying so still. I reach out... and she is cold to my touch. This... is what I wake to every morning Samantha. I... Can't face that anymore. I'm not... not strong enough."
For another two minutes there was silence and then Samantha opened the door of her own accord. Standing before her was her father in full plated armor made just for him. It's surface no longer shone like silver and nothing about it reflected back to her her face. But it was in good condition, remarkably so for its many years remaining untouched even by the light of the sun. And her father, standing tall, always tall, weeping before her.
Without hesitation she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around his form. They didn't quite reach but she had some of her fathers blood in her and they did better then most would. Oren responded in kind, carefully, and leaned down to kiss her head. In a soft voice, sharing briefly the weariness he felt, Oren asked, "So... how do I look?"
Samantha tried and failed to suppress the laugh. "As ridiculous as the last time you war it, father." The words were biting but the tone and the context rang with something kinder. The last time she had seen him wearing this armor she had been ten years old. She had been in awe of the simple father turned deadly warrior and had said something to that affect, admittedly with the words of a child.
'I bet you could fight a dragon!'
'No one beats dragons!'
The memory was strong enough that he heard his daughter complain before he realized he had started to squeeze her a bit too tightly. Carefully he let go and looked down at her. "It's more then that." He said. Oren had been unsure if he would share this but with his daughters reaction it seemed too be to close to a lie not too. "I... hear it. The road calls to me. It hasn't done that since I met your mother. I think... I want to."
Samantha look resigned when she finally gave the nod. "Just promise you'll stay safe."
"No." He replied with a smirk.
Oren could see her lips tighten in mock anger. "Then promise you'll give as good as you get. And that you'll write when you can."
"That I can do." Oren said with a laugh and another quick hug.
Then it was goodbyes again. Even his son in law greeted him at the door for a shake and a nod. His front door didn't squeak like his bedroom door had but Oren felt the memories all the same welling up inside. It got a little dimmer though when his feet finally stepped onto the dirt road.
I agree. It wouldn't really be a drawback if none of Oren's skills were affected. And the Family Ties drawback really fits with what him. Sure, he's adventuring now, the 'last adventure' for him as it were, but he still loves his family.
I suppose my last question would be if a writing sample of some kind would be okay? I tried to practice brevity with my background and the like but it doesn't quite show off my writing chops the way an actual post might, even if it'd be a solo post.
Awesome. Hrrrm... I'm thinking of taking the family ties drawback. I like the idea that he could be hundreds of miles away and get a letter that has him worrying. The problem is that a lot of the wisdom or charisma based skill checks are now intelligence skill checks for him.
Can we hand wave that and say they still count as Wisdom or Charisma based skill checks for the purpose of getting the penalties? And what sort of requests would they generally make under your direction? I'd say the only one he couldn't do is 'come home' (ignoring the obvious meta reasons) since one of the reasons he left was that he couldn't be in his home anymore as it made him too sad. Actually I could see that being the first letter he gets, maybe from his grandchildren...
Look just under the main archetype block. They have both.
And so they do! Man I was tired to have missed that. My thanks. I think I'll be changing what my guy can do then. I like the idea that he picked up a few magical tricks.
He gets divination automatically... and I think I'll get Life now as well and focus mostly on those two.
It's not so much avoiding magic either so much as I can't afford the book the rules you'd prefer to use are contained with in at the moment. Unless I missed something with my sleep addled mind all the links I found lead too stores where the new rules cost a bit of cash. I don't mind, it's been a long while since I've played something purely (or mostly) martial and physical.
Too be fair, the concept leaned far more heavily toward trolling enemies trying to murder it, but you do raise a good point. I'll look into some of those skill based classes to see what I might enjoy with them. Investigator always seemed to lack in combat capability but now with the gestalt that won't be an issue...
Interestingly enough I don't know if I'd prefer Warder over Fighter either. The Warder gives a lot more versatility, admittedly, and the marking is hard to resist. I will miss that fancy DR though.
See a lot of magic and a few faith made characters. I think I'll be going with a more martially inclined concept. That works out well since I don't have access to sphere magic, though the idea of exploring it does seem intriguing.
I went through a great many varied ideas and ended up deciding on a simple concept that would make use of something not present in most games. The option of path of war and my particular favorite, the Warder. I've always enjoyed playing tough characters and being able to play one who can mark targets is interesting to me.
Did end up with a few questions though.
The first relates to the character. Before me I have two characters to pick from for my submission, largely depending on what you'd prefer.
My first pick would be an older man, a father and a farmer who has seen his wife pass away, and whose children have long since taken over the farm. He is more then this though. Before finding love and a home to call his own he was a soldier, inspired by tragedy too seek out justice. Before that, a farmers son who lost his home and family to bandits. With his wife passed and his children now settling on grand children, this old man wishes to start traveling the world again this time without as many sworn oaths to tie him down.
The second is his grandson, inspired by stories of war despite the old mans warning that it is not nearly so glorious as it might seem. This son would go out to seek his own adventure using the training his Grandfather gave him.
I'd prefer the first simply because I've never had the chance to play an older character but I don't know if that might bother you. Thoughts?
The second relates to the build I had in mind. I've already got the basics of it in my head but I admit that some things may or may not be too powerful for what you have in mind. I'd prefer scaling to what you want rather then guess.
The mechanics of my character is a Fighter (Armor Master)/Warder (Zweihander Sentinel)
The armor master aspect was what first started this concept. It, combined with one of pathfinders newer feats (Advanced Armor Training), means that at lvl 3 my guy will have a DR 1/- while in armor and at lvl 5 DR 4/- everything. The durability allows him to play the Warden quite effectively without any magical healing and it's pure martial, which I liked.
The second aspect is two-fold. First there is a Warden Maneuver called Iron Shell. It's a decently potent ability allowing you to make an attack roll (adding your shield modifier) too defend against an enemy's attack. If the roll I make is higher, the attack is blocked. It can do one ranged or melee attack so long as it's not a spell and has the limitations all Maneuvers do for usage.
Before I ever learned about this ability though I had planned on using the Improved Unarmed Damage bonus you gave to get Snake Style, a feat with similar abilities that lets you make a sense motive check instead, with the idea that you're dodging. It's limitations are a bit fewer in number, though it is a feat so that's too be expected. It can work on any melee/ranged attacks, including ray and touch spells, though for obvious reasons not area spells. And it can be done once a round at the cost of my next rounds swift action.
Either of these abilities are decently powerful. Both might be too powerful for your tastes though. If I had the choice I'd probably go with snake style and choose another Maneuver but I accept that the Dm's choice here comes first. Edit: I found a second maneuver that uses sense motive my character would have access too. I am almost certain that being able to stop up to 3 attacks a round without damage would be broken. XD Just thought I'd note that Path of War seems to like the idea as well, for humors sake.
And the final aspect (I swear) is simply put a standard trip/lockdown character. Since the Warden gets some bonuses too AoO's and can extend their reach for them as a full round action when recovering manuvers, it can get a bit harry. That said, I do intend to avoid taking any feats that extend my reach beyond the weapons standard so most of the time it would be limited to the normal reach of the scythe my character would be wielding.
All of this can be achieved at the starting level you gave us. For the future of the character I imagine just picking choices that fortify his strengths or plug up his weaknesses.
It's a solid character with a few weaknesses that a DM could use to help make him manageable (He's got no touch AC or reflex and his Will save is average at best. XD) But it is a solid build thanks to Gestalt and I wanted to run it by you to see what you thought of it's mechanics.
That should about cover what I need for the initial creation. Beyond that it's a matter of writing him up. Thank you for taking the time to read all that.
Starting details? As someone who actually doesn't know anything about the content you speak of, Mr. the Cat, I admit that my suggestion might seem far fetched or obvious.
It sounds like you've got the perfect setting for a number of different stories.
There is the Gate cities, which could face problems to foreigners and people traveling to them for the first time that would seem really weird. The monsters we can't dream of for instance could be something they had to deal with daily, creating a need for adventurer's to go out and strike back while also allowing them to have some adventure's within the cities as well.
It could be opposite though. These gate cities are very good at staying out of the mysterious lands beyond their gates because of the dangers involved. Everyone knows there's some ancient riches to behold but the myths and legends of the land have become a cultural inheritance, passed down and growing from one generation to the next, each story emphasizing how dangerous it is. Right up until one slightly crazed merchant with a -lot- of wealth and some 'secret intel' about the location of this lost city or that lost artifact comes around and starts an expedition. A very well funded one, not for the faint of heart, allowing for a more... savage game where it's about the mysteries of the land?
It could be a combination, starting with the former, a defense of the city against some of the dangers, and slowly leading to the latter. The city has been defended and the locals are much safer then they have been for generations thanks to the proud heroes. But now one local in particular wants to venture forth on an expedition?
Again, these are ideas I had without researching the setting at all, so they might not fit in the least. If that's the case, I do apologize for wasting your time Mr. the Cat.
I love the series as well. It's actually one of my favorite, and not just because of how reliable he is with getting them out every year. XD
I've got another concept. I didn't even think of it until now, but it's one that I've loved for a while cause it's based off my first DnD character ever. Sort of. XD I'd honestly have just as much fun playing him as I would Susan so I'm going to give you a brief summary of him too. Each summary is going over a defining moment of the character. Susans was definitely not her whole story just as this wasn't isn't Grey's.
It doesn't make sense. He kept telling himself that as he poured over his research, looking for clues. It should have worked. The formulae, it was perfect! His eyes, cold small things behind classes, shifted back and forth swiftly as they sorted through the various calculations before him.
What went wrong?
The young man, his countenance placing him no older then twenty eight, turns toward the body on the bed. His dear wife, Abigail. The only woman, the only person, to ever make him feel anything beyond bored and dull. So intelligent, so kind, she made him better just by being.
She's dead because of you.
"NO!" He roars, sweeping the contents of his desk off the table. They clattered to the floor loudly, some beakers breaking while the papers scatter.
Your cure didn't work.
"It should have! Would have, had I the time. A subject too test it on. But no, she wouldn't want that."
Does it matter what she wants? She's dead. Because of you. Those cold eyes narrow as he looks up and across the room to his mirror. His reflection there. The other self he was arguing with, but a figment of his imagination. He could see himself saying all of these things. "You weren't smart enough, weren't fast enough, weren't strong enough. If you had been able to take that beast in, you would have had all you needed!"
He glared at the mirror, at himself, and tossed one of his books at it. Then he then turned away from the shattered reflection and moved to the bedside of his beloved wife. Abigail. He knelt beside her and a smile crossed his lips as he held her hand. Until he realized just how cold it was. As cold as it had been the last time he had touched it. His smile faltered. His words came out broken, threatening tears that would never come. "It's okay Abby, it's okay... I'll find a cure yet. I'll save you."
You're too late... she's dead...
But the Doctor Grey refused to here it. He was a genius, a marvel of the medical community. He could do with science what even some clerics could not achieve with magic! He would save her. He had too. Otherwise, what was the point in living?
He stared at the body, holding the hand, feeling his world slowly fall away. Grey stayed there for several long minutes, unable to do anything else. His eyes fell to the mark on her arm out of habit, the mark that had started it all. The mark created by the dark creature that had bitten her that fateful night, weeks ago.
He studied that mark with a calculated look and a cold determination filled his eyes. Colder even then the corpse of his wife, who had died not a few hours before. The tears never came.
What was the point of living without Abigail, he had asked?
A week later the Doctor's shop was closed and he had left town. A month went by before anyone heard of him. 'Conspiracy Hunting' they called it. Chasing after shadows. No one wanted to accept the truth, that he was really hunting monsters, studying them. They dismissed rumors of such and decided to believe the best. He found a farm to live on and another wife to make him happy.
Mechanically he's a frontliner to help protect all the gun users. He'll be focusing on Physical combat and probably going Master Chymist at higher levels. In combat, his mutagen will change him quite drastically, creating an amalgamation of the horrible things that go bump in the night. The base form looks very much like a werewolf, the creature that killed his wife, who was too weak to even change form. As he grows in level it might gain scales or other nasty bits that will make his visage all the more horrifying.
Out of combat, Doctor Grey will have plenty of unique skills he can call to the fore. He'll have high knowledge skills with a very good intelligence score, the ability to stabilize others, and can even provide potions on request at cheap costs; making him a pretty good support addition to the group. He can also use wands, so giving him a Wand of Cure Light Wounds means he can serve as a healer out of combat as well. And he still has a decent perception and Stealth score, making him a unique case of being capable of scouting and frontlining.
Hrm... With this many gun users I think I'll go a different route. I have another character that works perfectly with the setting. Indeed... he'll work perfectly... I'll have him up tomorrow! Hopefully done by Monday.
Oooh, Monday. That will give me time to flesh things out. Already made a character, it's just putting her down to paper and flesing out the details.
Basics for your perusal/commentary while I write long-hand the concept.
Susan was raised by a street gang. I know what you're thinking, and you're probably right. She's not the nicest person because of it. Rude, loud-mouthed and blunt; Susan manages to piss of more people then she actually hurts because of her stubborn nature. But she's not as cruel as some might think. No heart of gold, this one. Donating to charities is for those who can afford it and tending to the injured is best left to those who know how. No, Susan's good at only a couple things, really. That's hunting and killing.
One would think that would leave a limited number of jobs, as she only has two skills, but you'd be surprised at the variety of way's each skill could apply. For instance, there's killing things before they notice you, hunting things you don't want to know are hunting you, hunting things that don't want to be found, and so on and so forth. But how did a simple street urchin and not-so-good pickpocket go on to lead such a life?
Well, she'll tell you it's none of your damn business and another thing, shut your mouth before she shuts it for you. I'll be a bit more informative.
There are things on the streets, you know. In the shadows. In the corners that you don't want to look at, those alley ways that you cross the street to avoid. Creatures people don't want to see or even acknowledge, creatures the guards can't handle that are just fine hunting the wayward and leaving the majority alone. Being born on the street, you learn to avoid these things, lest you attract their attention. They're predators, usually, and will pick off the weak, sick and lonely. Let them and survive, is your motto.
Susan's gang was not so lucky, for some of these creatures hunt for sport rather then nourishment. The Blackpowder gang they were called. Why? Guns might be common for those with cash but for the poor gangs on the street's they're about as rare as magic. But this gang had acquired a gun. A single, battered musket. But a gun nonetheless. And with it they carved themselves a little slice of heaven in the dark corners that people don't care to acknowledge.
Until it came. One night, Susan awoke to the smell of copper, strong and painful to inhale. Her eyes, bleary, opened to the sight that would forever be imprinted on her mind. Despite that, even now, she could not describe what it was. A beast of darkness and shadows, it's form twisting with every telling of this tale. It stood over the bodies of her friends, her family, having killed all but her. It's eyes watched her knowingly and it's mouth twisted into a cruel smile.
It had eaten. Now it wanted some fun. It's too bad Susan was never good at accomodating others. Her eyes didn't move, because she knew where it was. Her gang had been drilled on it since day one, just in case a rival gang came while they slept. She dove for the hidden gun. The creature, confused, hesitated a single moment. That was all Susan needed. In one loud crack of thunder, the nightmare was over.
No... No it wasn't. Susan was too old too pretend it was over. She was too old to pretend the guards would care about the dead beast or the dead children. She was too old for such fantasies. The next day, that small corner that had belonged to her gang was empty of life and the one thing that gang prized almost as much as each other. The gun.
Mechanically she's going to be 5 levels of gunslinger (musket master), then everything else will be rogue. She's spent most of her life learning to hunt down dark creatures. She knows a little of everything, when it comes to such monsters, and a lot about how to kill them. Usually though she just relies on her Musket. Despite the fact that it's an older model she has yet to, nor will she ever, trade it for something better. She's gone the extra mile to fix it and upgrade it so it can keep serving her well.
Thanks to one such upgrade, a Distance enchantment, she's pretty effective at long range. In combat she'll likely climb to the rooftops to avoid trouble and fill enemies with lead.
Out of combat she's going to have a lot of points in knowledge skills, especially lvl 6+ when she starts getting rogue amounts of skill points. She'll also be heavily invested in stealth, climb, perception and sense motive; basically things she'll need to be an effective investigator. She'll probably end up picking other things up too, like lockpicking and what not.
If you have any questions feel free! I'd actually encourage them because they'll help me flesh her out. I should be clear, this will most likely just be a summary of her backstory. I tend to write a lot because I enjoy writing in general. Hopefully you like reading. XD
As far as posting goes I'm pretty solid. That'll change a little when I get a job, again, but even then I'll be able to handle once a day with ease. The only day that might not be the case is Sunday, a day where I play my only real-time DnD game. Even then I can get a post in before/after, it's just more about timing.
Edit: Was thinking about it. lvl 6+ might be inquisitor multi-classing instead, choose a god that likes hunting evil things. That class is pretty good about knowledge and stuff. Rogue or inquisitor. Doesn't change the opening 5 levels of pure gunslinger. Might actually let her character decide. She might decide to go inquisitor if she meets a priest that's particularly helpful and they lead her down the path.
Edit 2: The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of her becoming an Inquisitor. It just fits the setting, using knowledge and what not to hunt down creatures. Mechanically it works out pretty well too! I'm thinking it will be explained in her extended background. I might even shift one of her levels to Inquisitor and make 6th lvl the last gunslinger level. -nods- Already have ideas. I love it when characters surprise you and I haven't even started playing this one. XD Your thoughts on this would be appreciated!
In this case, I'm speaking specifically of a Paladin with the Power of Faith and a Skald who is using his Raging Song. Unlike the bard, which is a flat bonus, the Skald increases Str and Con by +2, and AC is decreased by -1. The power of Faith ability from the paladin is more in line with the bard, giving a flat +1 bonus to attack and damage, as well as a +1 to AC. Both can do more but this is the focus of the discussion. So too clarify...
Skald- Raging Song
The question is, what happens if both are up at the same time, in regards to the AC of those affected? Since they are both morale bonuses they would not stack (And thus not cancel out? I'm not certain). So mechanically, by those rules of stacking, a player gets one of them. Does it default to the better? The worse? If so, where does it say so?
Str - 8
-whistles innocently- Feel free to ignore me. Not sure if you guys are actually using this thread or not, but on the off chance that I get in, I want to have the guy all made so I don't slow anything down. (Not actually assuming I'm getting in, I just like doing math and junk for characters, so I'd likely make the guy anyway just for funsies. XD)
I saw! It seemed you guys were worried about getting a divine caster before a GM and then having him lose interest. I've got a lot of patience for good games. (Waited almost a year for one game before it finally became clear the DM wasn't interested in it anymore.) Anyway, I have been dying to play both this adventure path and a Fiendish Vessel cleric, and I like lots of detail with my writing. If you guys want feel free to check me out in any of the three games I'm in.. also apologies if this is too forward. XD Saw a chance and had to jump on it.
As a heads up, I am not trying to interrupt the search or anything. I noticed you guys don't have a divine caster, and the Way of the Wicked path opens up one of my favorite archetypes. Fiendish Vessel. If you guys start recruiting feel free to drop me a message or something! (Also, I think I know one of you. DM Omen is running a homebrew set game I'm in! Granted, it might not be a good thing that he knows me, but I don't think I've inspired him to homicidal rage yet!)
Ah, I should probably point out that from level 4 to level 20, Joe will be full Cleric (Crusader). She'll get every spell level a cleric does, but three levels behind. She'll actually be ahead of the Warpriest in a few levels though. And with her Wisdom as high as it is, the Crusader archetype doesn't cripple her spellcasting, it just makes it a little weaker.
I recognize that spellcasting is that much better, which is why I plan to stay cleric from level 4+ with this character if I ever have to use her. Heck, she was made specifically because the group will need a full divine caster. I just wanted her to be competent at other things too, for those fights when Banishing won't work and so on, and to allow some of her spell slots to remain open (and thus available for filling up by need rather then every morning.) Not to mention I don't have the experience to play a full caster that can do nothing else, especially at higher levels, so this will let me get my toes wet.
There are probably dozen's of ways to do the idea that the title alludes too, some of them not even using cleric levels. With the new Warpriest class this is especially true. Fact is, I really dislike the Warpriest, but that's not what I'm here to talk about. What I'm here to talk about is levels I have no experience in (7+).
Mechanically speaking, I know how to make a character up to level 6 and how they'll fair against poor odds and really dangerous monsters, but beyond that I have no game experience, and just running the number's isn't quite the same.
Here is my Johanna 'Joe' Ironheart
Mechanically she was built to be able to have the full cleric spell casting experience, while also being really bad ass when it comes too using a bow. Why? Honestly for several reasons. I'd like the message boards to check her out and give suggestions.
As a summary for my intentions, I intend to spend the attribute point at level 8 increasing her strength to 16, and then from there focusing on her wisdom. She's a follow of Erastil with Guided Hand, so not only does increasing her Wisdom give her a bonus to her spells, spell slots, etc. It also increases her attack bonus.
At this point, the only feats I have planned in the future are Clustered Shot at 9, Weapon Specialization and Point Blank Master at 13, and Greater Weapon Focus when I'm able. Otherwise, feat suggestions (anything but summoning abilities, as its a PbP game and we don't want to slow the game down) are welcome, as are magic item suggestions and spells.
Things I don't want to change, but still want the opinion about, are her current class choices, archetype choices and how well a character like this will play at higher levels. Will she continue to kick ass (if not quite as much as a full born fighter Archer) at higher levels? Will her spell casting later become her focus, but her archery will still give her something to fall back on? Or is the archer concept completely pointless?
Oh my god, yes! Wait, maybe?
Although I'd honestly have a lot of questions to ask... Is it too late to get a hat in the ring? I've done the whole 'find something at the last minute, post a character I'm excited about, never get looked at' thing before and it'd kinda stink considering how much I love settings like this. XD
Edit: Sorry, finally finished reading the opening post. I have time, I think, but not much. And it seems like you do pick over the course of the recruitment. Well, I'll still work something up! I do like this setting and the opening post had plenty of details.
Mechanically mythic can be a lot of fun to play with, but it'd be about the story aspect for me. Even a couple levels of mythic would deserve something epic, like saving a god or stopping an evil god, or even being chosen to face an evil god for past deeds by gods and blah blah etc other ideas etc. If we weave it into the story right, I'd be all for it. If not, we're already gestalt so that already gave us a lot of fun options, and I'd prefer it to not just be a mechanical thing.
Dag might not be too keen on meeting someone that gave up the worship of the Three, considering he's a Ranger of old angry face himself, but he wouldn't hold it against them if they were good people. He's got a cha of 7 though and ontop of being ugly as sin, he's not very good at socializing. Blunt and direct. If that wouldn't turn someone like Mori away, then its possible they could be drinking buds.
Hrm... The only problem I see is that Besarana wasn't meant to be that connected. She knew a couple of people to get Dag a job, but by and large she's just a regular citizen of the port who has a soft spot for people with half-blood or diverse nature's thanks to the trouble she's gone through because of hers. She's the kind of character that can help someone integrate into the port and while she might be connected -in- the port to a fair degree thats kind of the idea I was going with. The DM might have other plans for her of course, but... If I may suggest, Captain Taylor would likely be a much better candidate as far as helping someone, especially when it comes to dealing with pirates.
Other then that, it depends on the time frame. Dag was brought to the port about six years ago, so if Mori was saved before that, it's possible Dag met her when he was brought in every once in a while. If it was after and Mori spent any length of time at the Salty Siren, she'd definitely have met him. He used to live there, still lives nearby, and visits every night he's in port.
He's certain Alar and himself can both defend against regular folk and maybe even an adventurer or two. Veren was a Hellknight, someone who has skill fighting outsiders, and he wanted to take Bart and Alar to a house of people who are known for seeking knowledge and probably know a great deal about trapping dangerous beings that have that knowledge. Its a difference in scale, if that makes any sense.
Ontop of that, he'll probably be lying his butt off with Alar's origins at first. Hr'll probably claim that Alar is just a special type of creature he learned how to summon, nothing special from the stars. When he learns to trust the group he'll be a lot more open about what Alar is.
And he'll have to get over his fears eventually either way.
I just realized that was probably over 20 paragraphs... Sorry. XD I was basically just pushing through at the end because I need to sleep for work in the morning. Oh, and my times!
I am in North Dakota so... I'm on... Central Time Zone. I think I'm always behind Eastern by an hour. I'll be working 3 PM - 11 PM shortly, so I can reply any time before and after, and I'll only be working about 4 shifts a week so a little less then half the time I can post during that time too. I can honestly write as many posts as will work in a day, but consider it a min of 2 or 3 if the pace continues. There will be some days where this isn't the case of course but I'll give advance ahead of time if I can.
He never knew his mother. This might come as a surprise to the more civilized folk, especially those like the preachers and the priests of the goodly gods, but for his tribe and for many tribes this was as it should be. It wasn't because they didn't value children, have family units of a kind or even because of women's roles within the tribe. Children were the lifeblood, the future. Families were born and though ceremonies were less ostentatious, they were just as celebrated so that the Three might bless a union, and women could lead just as well as men in their eyes. In fact, it was a woman who lead the tribe, and it was a woman that ordered his death when he was born.
He never liked her.
He was born a Dajobasu. He was told that it was the pleas of his mother who saved him. The tribe was remote, far off from the troubles of colonists. But pirates loved to come to such islands in order to make bases far away from authority. They were in desperate need of warriors, and though Dajobasu were hated by the Tulita for the one that created the race, their fighting prowess was well documented. Dag was saved on the condition that he would not be raised as a child, but as a warrior. On his second year he would be taken from one of the 'nurse maids' of the tribe and handed over to the care of a warrior.
He never knew his father either, though he suspected the one they gave him to, to be trained by, was him. Who else would be so filled with shame and anger by a child as to do the things that man did to Dagoresh? It was training, but it was more brutal then anything the Tulita would subject to even their strongest warriors. The reasoning was this. Should he not survive, he could not possibly be the champion they needed. And so the elder allowed it, and when he turned five his training began.
By the age of ten, he knew how to kill a man, and could easily do so. Despite the fact that he was obviously becoming -exactly- what they wanted him to be, he was hated and derided for his appearance, though he never chose to be born this way, but instead of fighting against it he let the rage inside him build. He took the name they gave him, Dagoresh Telarawr, as -his- name. He knew the meaning. Dagger Mouth. But he took it and used it to fuel his hate, and whenever anyone called him that, he simply pushed that anger deep inside.
At one point, he came across a very large turtle during the few days he had away from his training a month. The turtle was clearly injured, his shell cracked by something, though what he couldn't be certain. He knew exactly what the turtle was to his people. Though they didn't expect their gods to care, they would not have a Dajobasu insult their gods. Ten years of mistreatment and anger had been built up within the young child, and for a moment he very nearly started down the path that would lead him to the progenitor of his race.
Hunger flashed in his eyes as he stepped forward to devour the sacred creature... and then he saw its eyes. And the anger fell away. Would he truly kill this creature simply for what it was born as? Cause it pain because it was a turtle? It wasn't the turtles fault fault that his people were cruel toward him.
Dagoresh Telarawr became Dag that day. For the next week, he stayed away from the village, tending to the turtles wounds with the local herbs and a little of his own supply of medicine. He knew well how to treat injuries, having needed to learn long ago to treat his own. Dag cared for the turtle, fed it, and even began trying to fashion something to cover the vulnerable spot in the creatures armor.
He was nearly finished when his father found him, having been sent by the leader of their tribe to 'deal with his responsibility'. The man was livid, so much so that he very nearly killed Dag for becoming distract and shaming him further within his tribe. The turtle stepped in between them, taking the blow and then striking out at the man. The creature didn't seem to care what Dag was. Dag was the one that had protected him from predators. Dag was the one that had healed him.
The turtle crushed the warriors arm, leaving a mark for all to see that none could mistake. The three returned to the village, the turtle following Dag, and the warrior recounted his story to the village leader. He told the truth, the entire truth, feeling the sacred creatures eyes upon him. The tribe was in an uproar, demanding he take it back, but the leader saw the danger in this. Turtles, all turtles, were avatars of Tumatenga, Grandfather Turtle. This was known. To defy one was to defy Old Angry Face himself.
Dag was given... better treatment from that day on, though whether it was because of his good deed or because Snappy, the turtle he had saved, never left his side was uncertain. In the days to come, Dag would realize the change that had over taken him. He didn't care. He kept his name, but changed what he asked people to call him slightly. He did not want to forget the past, to forget his mistake, but he also didn't want to let it hang over him eternally. He would not let other peoples anger decide for him what he would be.
Dagoresh Telarawr had become Dag over a week and a half before he ever told someone to call him that, but he only realized it after time and patience.
Snappy taught him a great deal without ever needing to say a word. It was never really certain if the turtle was more then what he appeared or not but Dag could care less. He came to love the creature and even learned to fight beside him, using the great mass and surprisingly fast strikes to confuse and delay opponents until he could get in close.
By the age of 15, Dag stood at 7'4 and weighed nearly three hundred pounds. His greenish, scaled body was layered with many scars and his tail, short as it was, was missing its tip. And he was respected, if not liked, by his tribe as a champion and defender. By the age of twenty, he had even built a simple home closer to the beach, away from the tribe and closer to the shore that the various roaming bands of pirates often landed on. He was happy. Not because the tribe treated him better, but because he had found a way to be happy with the life he had. He paid respect to all the three gods, but in particular he worshiped Tumatenga for what the deity had granted him.
It was at the age of 22 that Dag's life would change and he would lose his only real friend. Pirates came to the shores of the small, remote island. Pirates attacked the tribe, knowing exactly where they were. And when Dag came out to fight, Snappy by his side, the pirates slew the turtle and injured him enough to subdue him with some sort of metal sticks that exploded with fire.
Some of the tribe bowed down to the invaders, believing they represented the wrath of Pele. But Dag fought bravely, knowing that it was simply another weapon they used, and slew several of them before he was finally brought down.
When he awoke, his injuries were healed and he was in the cargo hold of one of the vessels the invaders often used. Even in the cage his wrists were bound behind his back with leather and chains, a collar resided around his neck, and two shackles bound his legs. They were taking no chances with the monster that had killed so many.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Dag would hear of his fellow tribesman, kept in a separate hold meant for slaves rather then cargo, succumbing to sickness and eventually dying. Of the slaves they had captured, only he was hearty enough to resist the knew ailments the pirates brought with them. He would learn through idle chatter that it was a grand plan that had fallen through, but still left the pirates with a base and a slave for heavy lifting.
He would learn what they meant by that after a month, when he was forced to, in chains, do anything that required more then a single man. He was whipped constantly to make him move faster and he earned new scars trying to resist nearly daily. This lasted so long, Dag couldn't keep track of the days or the weeks. But he was not alone. Though Snappy was dead, Dag still prayed to Tumatenga, believing Old Angry face would watch after snappy.
It was near the end of his days aboard the ship, though Dag had no way of knowing this, that one other cargo was brought aboard. A creature he had never seen before. It looked like the crocodile his features so mimicked, but it walked on two legs instead of four and had two stubby arms in its place and smooth scales rather then ridged ones.
As he was want to do, Dag befriended the creature. It was so small then, barely four feet long counting the tail and seemingly very fragile. It was adorable, in his eyes, while the pirates seemed to fear it or pretend not to. Dag could smell the difference though. They all knew something about this creature he did not and they were desperate to get it to the 'buyer' they kept speaking of, smuggling it through port authorities.
Unfortunately their fancy metal sticks did not protect them. Well, they might have, but from what Dag learned of the day he freed himself and Stumpy, the other guy brought bigger sticks. The biggest in fact. Cannons.
The captain himself was in the hold inspecting their precious cargo... Stumpy, not Dag. He was giving his men careful instructions when thunder peeled across the ocean and the ship rocked back and forth, as if Old Angry face himself had slammed into the bow. The captain stumbled and Dag saw his chance. He broke the metal binding his wrists behind him with one rage filled surge of effort and moved forward with blinding speed. His thick arms reached through the bars of the cage and grabbed the captain. His neck snapped rather easily. Then he dragged the body through the bars, breaking as many bones as he needed to do so.
The other three in the room watched with horror. And then one asked, "Didn't... the captain... have his keys?"
The three looked at each other. And then Dag used the keys he had seen used a hundred times before to undo the cage door. The shackles around his legs were already broken. The three tried to run, but Dag learned many things that day. For instance, Pirate Captains have very nice swords.
The Falchion cut them down as easily as if it had been a God-blessed spear. Dag turned to Stumpy and calmed the critter down, promising to return shortly, and as the ship rocked and reeled again from another explosion, Dag went up top onto the deck of the ship.
When the authorities finally boarded the ship, the only one's left alive were Dag and Stumpy, the former standing between the latter and the attackers. It took several long attempts for them to communicate, but Dag was no fool. He had managed to pick up on the basics of the pirate language and was able to reply back in simple, short and terse sentences. He told them he had been a slave and he had freed himself, then slew the pirates while the authorities vessel closed in. He told them he would rather die then be a slave again, but he meant no harm to them.
The captain of the ship that had attacked the pirates was feeling particularly grateful to Dag for sparing his men the need to fight what would have been a bloody battle. He offered the creature passage in return for fighting for them on three more hunts. He would bring Dag to a place called Port Shaw with a handful of gold after they were done.
Dag knew the basic idea of currency. His tribe had never used it, but he had been on the pirate ship long enough to know that there was more to it then give gold and get stuff. He was also slyer then his appearance let on. He began bartering. Two hunts, and the captain would also teach him to read and speak the language, and would teach him the basics of this 'Port Shaw'. The captain was surprised, but instead of being angry at the suggestion he threw back five hunts and he would teach the man how to speak.
They bartered for an hour before finally settling on six hunts, everything Dag had asked for, and that Dag could keep some of the gold, the pirate captains weapon, and Stumpy.
Captain Taylor was not particularly happy about the last being aboard but Dag had been able to convince him he had the creature under control. Dag boarded Taylors ship and fulfilled his obligation to the fullest. He also learned rapidly, devouring the common language and then any book the captain had aboard. Not... not literally. He just learned how to read very fast.
When he was finally put off at Port Shaw, he had a purse full of gold numbering in the thousands, a brilliant magical blade, a new friend, new knowledge and absolutely no idea what he was going to do. It was only thanks to Taylor that Dag knew to look for a particular inn, the Salty Siren. Within resided two people that would help him... adjust.
The owner of the place was a woman by the name of Besarana, someone of both Colonial and Tulita descent. The Bartender was a half-orc named Jared, a man nearly as large as Dag and with skin far brighter and greener. Dag immediately sensed a theme as he entered the inn, but the pair proved to be just as helpful as Captain Taylor promised once he gave them the mans name.
They started by grilling him. Intensely. They were surprised with how fluidly he spoke the common language, and though his horrific appearance and direct manner wasn't exactly charming, they understood he wasn't any threat to them. They asked for his story and listened intently when he spoke, probably looking for any lies. When they tried to brush off his own inquisitiveness as to the nature of the questions, he could smell their deceit on them and called them out on it.
It was intense for a few moments, but then Jared made a joke, and they were all laughing. Dag would learn each of their stories in turn and as a good friend would, he would keep them to himself. Things weren't always perfect of course. He and Beserana fought as often as they got along, but Jared was always able to calm them down.
Besarana and Jared both knew what it was like to be outcasts, and while they admitted that Dag was a... severe case, they knew what sort of trouble came with the life. They eventually found a place for him in the Port as a guide and a bodyguard.
With a little study, he knew the region well, and could lead a group through any of the island with little trouble. What trouble he did meet he could easily deal with too. Dag began making gold and a name for himself. And he had friends. Dag never learned to like beer, but Jared and he spoke often at the bar during the Salty Siren's later hours. And Besarana put him up for rent and defended anyone that tried to have the Dajobas kicked out. In return, Dag paid his rent on time every month and helped Jared with some of the more... difficult groups of drunks.
Dag has been in Port Shaw for five years now, and while he can only guess his age within a few months of any sort of accuracy, he believes he has finally found a home. In that time, Stumpy has grown, and Dag has moved out of the Salty Siren to a nearby apartment. When he's in the port and not on a job, he visits every night after bar rush.
He has a home now and friends, and every night he thanks Old Angry Face for showing him the truth of things all those years ago. In recent days, the Grandfather turtle has even started to reply in... subtle ways. A dream awoke Dag one night to the possibility of something... more. He went outside to the sea and cast his very first spell, feeling Tumatenga's power flow through him. It was a simple thing, so very simple... and so perfect.
Please comment and ask any questions that come to mind! If anything needs to be changed I'd be more then happy to do so as well. I haven't really touched on his tribe that much, but the fact is that they were wiped out, and he's a bit more divorced from their traditions then I originally planned. I think its actually a good thing though. Snappy was born from inspiration while I wrote, and I like the idea that his ranger spells are granted to him by Tumatenga.
Mechanically Dag will be an Invulnerable Barbarian on one side and a straight Ranger on the other. The idea is that he's a beat stick that can take a licking and he knows how to survive, track, and even guide others through the dangerous jungles, so his purpose is beyond just combat. Eventually Stumpy will be right along side him too, in both skills and combat. I'll be working on transferring the mechanics to the correct format on this site tomorrow after work!