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How Would You Play This Array?


The character concept is a relatively dexterous chap who is equally comfortable with a pair of matched short swords as he is with the greatsword strapped on his back. When the situation calls for it, he'll go with one short sword and a heavy shield. Remember Robert Di Niro's character from Ronin? He's the guy who said "it's all a tool box; you use the right tool for the job." That's the kind of non-specialist I'm going for.

So with that in mind, how would you play these stats?

STR: 20
DEX: 15
CON: 14
INT: 8
WIS: 10
CHA: 8

/ yes - I am aware that the Di Niro character almost certainly had a higher INT and CHA and lower STR. That character is not a medieval sword combatant either.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Specializing in 3 melee styles is quite feat heavy (at least the TWF part of it). Otherwise Power Attack always works, and you don't really need feats to sword and board. It doesn't really give you the toolkit you might be imagining though. And the expenses in magic weapons make me shudder.

More of a weapon toolkit approach would be a switch hitter that is good with a melee weapon, as well as a ranged weapon (bows/thrown weapons). Mind that magic thrown weapons are also pricey, so the bow would be a more cost-effective choice.

And if you want a combat toolkit in general, check out alchemical items like tanglefoot bags and thunderstones and such.

Edit: I hope this post helps. If your character concept is specifically about those three weapon styles rather than a mechanically adaptable toolkit, you'll want to go Fighter or Ranger for the feats. Actually, if you go for a switch hitter, Fighter and Ranger are still the classes of choice.

I'm not so much concerned with Feats as I am with personality. INT isn't so low, but the PC is no genius. CHA is the same deal, he's not Prince Charming by any stretch. This guy is however a fine physical specimen. He's as strong as they come, has good hands and is as healthy as a horse.

Do I play him as your typical jock? In that case, Ram from Heathers comes to mind. 'Course he seems kind of like a one-track mind kind of guy.

/ on Feats - I plan on investing in TWF and taking it as far as the improved version. As a Fighter, I think I can sacrifice 2 Feats. Double Slice might make it 3 Feats.

You seem to already know pretty much exactly what you're doing... what exactly do you need advice on?

If you're asking whether it's OK to play a character with an 8 int and 8 cha as being personable and intelligent, then I think most people would say go for it. Just because your stats say one thing doesn't mean you have to constrain your roleplay to being the graceless oaf.

RumpinRufus wrote:

You seem to already know pretty much exactly what you're doing... what exactly do you need advice on?

If you're asking whether it's OK to play a character with an 8 int and 8 cha as being personable and intelligent, then I think most people would say go for it. Just because your stats say one thing doesn't mean you have to constrain your roleplay to being the graceless oaf.

Graceless Oaf is certainly appropriate, but I'm looking for ideas and suggestions other than that over-played shtick. How else can you portray these stats?

Shadow Lodge

I have a low charisma character that loves to talk and is actually pretty good at it. Problem is he tends to end great speeches and perfect moments with ill timed/inappropriate jokes. He has like 7 ranks in diplomacy giving him a 6. He almost never succeeds.

As to int just have him not know about the world. it isn't that he is stupid its that he isn't educated. have him always ask questions that everyone else would know. "Whats a dragon?" "How do you read this map?" "What's a House Crest?" Then he knows. have him slowly take ranks in knowledges that you can roll (and almost never succeed in) because of whats he has leaned.


Grumpy and keeps to himself maybe? I tend to gravitate towards martial characters with CHA as the dump stat and INT is typically 10 - 12. Personally I can't fathom playing with only 2 skill points per level (did it once and was bored stuff out of combat) - but to each their own... That, as much as anything should accurately portray the INT of the character...

Less intelligent people don't necessarily have fewer ideas then highly intelligent people, they probably have fewer good ideas though.

2 skill points is indeed impairing because it means that I'll take 4 levels (give or take) just to get one rank in each of the class skills. That's the mechanics of it. The fluff can be lots of different things. I suppose he could just be very fitness minded and not terribly interested in the party details. That could lead to lots of surprises (like when he learns about deals second hand, that he might not be 100% happy with.)

How about playing him as the simple, content type? Someone who isn't overly complicated, who is wise enough to know that many things are going to fly right over his head, and is comfortable with that, so long as he can still get by. He has friends he can depend on, his trusty assortment of pointy things for whatever obstacles may come his way, and enough coin in his pocket to keep the ale flowing when the party is in town. Life is good, man.

There always comes a point in a game when the more intelligent characters are at their lowest, stressed out about their latest quest, their odds of beating the BBEG, whether they can afford that enchantment they've been saving up for, whether they can trust the informant who gave them these directions, and all that other complicated stuff - and then they look at the party fighter who's just standing there with the most placid expression on his face, waiting for his cue to bash some heads. And they all have to wonder - maybe he's the real smart one in the party. He looks like he's got it all figured out.

And if you're really willing to go to the mat for a fun concept, I highly suggest blowing half your skill ranks on a single incredibly esoteric skill, like an obscure Profession, and quietly work it into your background, ideally without letting any of the other players know. The vast majority of time it will be a complete waste, but man, if a situation ever comes up in game where the kinda dumb oaf of the party can suddenly interject with an impossibly obscure piece of trivia that is actually applicable to whatever conundrum the party is facing at the time, it's sure to be one of the most memorable moments of the campaign.

I think a 'one track mind' would really fit this well. When conversation changes, he'll interrupt till he's satisfied on the current topic.

He may not be stupid, but it does take him a touch longer to figure things out, and with cha 8, he might lack the social skill to bring the conversation back gently.

@ Chris P. Bacon - thank you! That was precisely the kind of input I was looking for. I really like the idea of this guy just waking up and saying "I'm still breathing so it must be a good day." That makes him rather a bit like Deets from Lonesome Dove - he serves cheerfully and never shirks a duty. He'd totally need to latch on to smarter party member, though that person would have to be honorable (harsh frontier justice would go unquestioned of course.)

I could also see him with a dogeared manual detailing the art of war or some such. He'd of course focus on the early chapters of the book that detailed physical education and maintenance of the body-temple. 1 skill point every level could easily go into that kind of study. Heck, eventually he might quote something useful from the thing (at higher levels.)

Weables - no he's not stupid, his mind just works in a completely different way.

BRAINSTORM - as I was thinking about Lonesome Dove and Deets it occurred to me that he was first and foremost a Ranger. Deets, like all the (Texas) Rangers, was a decent combatant but his real gift was tracking (WIS). He's also a very simple man who recognized Call as a man of his word and so served loyally.

That's a pretty cool character concept and it works nicely with Bacon's ideas.

So here are some TWF Ranger stats

STR: 20
DEX: 12 (love ditching TWF prereqs)
CON: 14
INT: 8
WIS: 14
CHA: 8

Now he's got skill points and he still has his assortment of pointy things to help him get through the day.

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