Jamus Hainard

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I am DMING a group through a special 20th level adventure consisting of many previous villains. One of their favorite villains was a Gnome Gunslinger who kind of became a recurring villain who hunted them down with his companion hunting dog. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on making a tough 20the level character to take them on. The weapon itself he will use is a custom weapon but I'm looking for ways to make him dish out as much damage as possible in short bursts. Any help would be appreciated. His stats will be straight 18s.


I am making a gnome ranger for my Saturday game and I've decided, after 10 years, to finally take a shot at a ranger. He isn't going to be a very physical ranger and will depend more on his gnomish equipment, traps, and animal companion to help him out.

Strength 10
Dexterity 13
Constitution 16
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 18
Charisma 15

As far as a direction I was thinking ranged since he will utilize crossbows and other ranged weapons. Character wise he's much more of a vocal protector of the woods and often will try to talk down a conflict over directly fighting. When it comes down to it it is more his alliance with nature and spurring them to greater deeds that is his method of combat.


So I'm trying to build a special villain for my group's inevitable session on Halloween and I like to make each session pretty scary on Halloween. As far as atmosphere goes I can handle it but I was wondering if anyone had any villain ideas for this session. I was thinking ofor something somewhat like a Hannibal Lector style wizard or sorcerer. The group is 11th level and have some decent magical items on their side so I know the disadvantage is in my court but I think we could collectively make a scary and efficient villain. Any help or ideas would be much appreciated.


I've recently decided to take a shot at the wizard cleric type Ecclesitheurge after DMing for about a year. I have many ideas for the class but I am a bit rusty at pure spellcasters. What would be some good feats and options to take for my Halfling Ecclesitheurge?

STATS
Strength: 9
Dexterity: 15
Constitution: 13
Intelligence: 15
Wisdom: 18
Charisma: 15

My plan is for him to be a priest of Shelyn with a couple halfling tricks up his sleeve. He primarily is going for buffs, healing, and possibly illusions.


I'm looking to make a dual katana swinging Halfling Samurai. I was thinking of going with someone who tends to run around the battlefield and hit multiple enemies with some lighter armor to allow the Dex bonuses to come out. Any ideas on what else to choose?

These are my stats and gold

Strength: 15
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 14
Intelligence: 8
Wisdom: 12
Charisma: 19
145 gold

He's not the most optimized but I don't mind having some weaknesses. I just lack much knowledge of good two Weapon fighting builds.


I am planning a small adventure for my current Pathfinder group that is going to delve a bit more into horror. They are currently running on a pretty standard fantasy style but they are soon going to take a ship to get to a neighboring city but it will be hit by a storm and they will be marooned on a deserted island, but it turns out it isn't so deserted after all. I plan on it being inhabited by this maniacal but cunning man I'm not giving an in-game name but for the sake of this post I'll just refer to him as Gnasher as the Feral Gnasher archetype gave me the idea for this character and adventure.

Initially I want the group to seem pretty set but simply low on supplies. None of the characters are a ranger or druid so their survival checks are not as good as they could be. The first day will be relatively normal but when night falls they start to get a sense of being watched and possibly hear some strange noises. The Gnasher will observe them for two days before he starts setting up traps for them all over his island by water and food sources. I want him to barely be seen but when they do see him it will be terrifying. Now what I need is help on how to make him a hunter and I admit I am not well versed in hunter or ranger type characters.

For now my idea was to have the Feral Gnasher archetype as his main class but I want to add something to really give him an edge in the stealth and traps department. He doesn't wear armor as he doesn't have any for being stranded on that island for an unknown how many years or decades but he does have a weapon. His weapon is statistically a great club that was fashioned out of iron and seemingly appears to have originally been meant to be a sword or large machete but is now so blunt that it can do nothing but smash and occasionally stab. It will be a magical great club that has been stained with the blood of so many adventuring castaways that it has become a cursed magical item for anyone but Gnasher. Gnasher is also absolutely insane and absolutely feral but he is also extraordinarily cunning. He has had to survive on this island for a long time and has had more than his share of experience hunting and murdering castaways, including adventurers.

However the party has a paladin, a fighter, and a pretty hardy gnome alchemist so he won't likely be taking them on directly and that is where I need the help. The party is around level 9 and I'm making this guy about a level 12. His style of combat will be very hit and run on isolated or sleeping players but he has a colossal amount of hit points which make him very difficult to take down before he vanishes into the shadows with another corpse in hand for dinner. I have the Feral Gnasher idea pretty well set as this guy is a cannibal but I really could use advice on the other class, again preferably something stealth and trap based so he can split the party up or trap someone and force the party to look for them. The odds are kind of in the party's favor and I want a smart villain that can even the odds in devious and horrifying ways. I'm not against giving the Gnasher more magical abilities but I'd prefer it to be a tainted kind of magic that has been earned through insanity and eating magical beings like Sorcerers or Clerics.


My most recent group has proved to have some of the most entertaining and creative minds for character concepts I've come across in a long time and it got me thinking. What are the most memorable Characters or even NPCs that you've come across your table top?

The two characters that come to mind in my current group are Reiner Reichart the Half Giant Fighter and Lock the Ranger. Reiner is a Half Giant who does not realize he is a Half Giant and was raised by dairy farmers. He lacks any formal education and rarely is able to contribute to many conversations but he just proves so lovable such as believing his sizero is attributed to his having a glass of milk every day. He has a large cow named Bessie he takes care of and has a cow skin cloak over his armor. My favorite role playing moments with him are his atrocious memory and severe tunnel vision. For the first three adventures he didn't realize the group was the same set of people and that they were working together.

My second favorite character was Lock the Elven Ranger with a poor sense of direction. His player requested that survival not be a class skill for him and we incorporated a d100 percentile for which direction he thought was what and it has led to both stupid and awesome results. Once they were tracking a band of gnome gypsies but Lock mistook a two wheeled wagon for the four wheeled wagons the gnomes used and took the fifty miles in the wrong direction. This led them straight to a secret hideaway that an evil merchant was using to raid poor farmers and funeral processions for loot.

An honorable mention will be the Gnome Oracle Keno who had the Metal mystery. His origin was that he awoke in an Orcish temple with a tattoo burned into his forehead. When they tried to kill him he killed them back and found he was capable of crafting marvelous and exotic weapons without any understanding of how he knows. He kept his face concealed behind a metal mask with only two eye slits and eventually joined the party to find out what happened to him. He eventually formed a bit of a rivalry with the dwarven cleric as to who made the better weapons and armor and soon the whole party was armed to the teeth in custom made magic swag.

What are some of the most memorable Characters you've come across?


Weirdo wrote:

Abjuration is solid. I'd also consider Illusion and Transmutation (for buffing allies rather than yourself in this case).

What level are you starting at?

Starting at level 7. I was the DM for a while but I'm taking a small break to play as another DMs for a bit. Abjuration was catching my eye a lot.


I'm playing for the first time in a while and the Occultist class is very intriguing. I love the idea of someone using items specifically to harness their powers. My character concept is more of a gentleman then a fighter who is trying to find his sister, who has been turned into a lich, and has resorted to the occult to help him find and put her to rest. He won't be wearing armor other than maybe an armored coat and his only melee weapon is a cane sword that he really doesn't know how to use, just good to always have the option. I was looking at the implement schools and have four options. One needs to be divination since he's using it to find his sister but I have three open options. He has a 19 Intelligence but his physical stats aren't anything to write home about so up close and personal won't really work for him. What would be some good options for the other three implement schools if anyone has any suggestions. I was thinking Necromancy and Abjuration but I'll take any better ideas.


QuidEst wrote:

Remember that the controlled minion's allies can still use sense motive (DC 25, so it'll only work occasionally).

Also... "A clever recipient can subvert some instructions." I'd save this for occasional use, but fetch the item with a bunch of sepia snake sigils, or stab somebody for nonlethal (depending on wording). Don't do it every time unless the target is expressly clever or the wording particularly loose, but it's good to throw in now and then.

What is likely getting overlooked is that casting is noticeable. Charm Person almost requires the target to be alone in social situations, otherwise people realize you're going around messing with people's heads.

Are folks having fun? If so, try to roll with it. Have a competing Mesmerist (or Bard/Sorcerer/Psychic etc.) show up trying to poach territory. Throw in a Psychic with the psychedelia discipline to force saves after each mind-affecting spell. Give other party members a chance to do some thug work, keeping rivals out.

Ultimately, the question is why aren't more enchanters doing this? The two handy answers are that there are unforeseen consequences, or that they ARE doing this, and the Mesmerist is eventually going to run into bigger fish.

If the party was having fun I'd totally roll with it. What he's doing is very smart and I'm shocked I never thought of it myself. However the rest of the party is kind of becoming secondary as he's kind of amassing his own little empire and it's starting to high jack the campaign. Their discontent with the situation is becoming more prevalent and they are getting more restless and reckless as he sends out more thralls. I thought maybe gangs were figuring out what he was doing to their guys and just assault the tavern the party is staying at "Chinese ax gang style" to take him out with a massive combat.


Kurald Galain wrote:

Well, having "a swarm" of enemies is a good idea in general; there are numerous classes and builds that will make mincemeat out of a solo boss monster. Even without hypno stare, it should be expected as tactics for any support caster to cripple enemies with spells like Hold Person or Glitterdust or Hideous Laughter or whatnot; that's why these spells exist.

A support caster is very much a force multiplier. The counter for that is increasing the number of enemies, and in fact this will probably make the entire team feel more heroic.

Regarding lesser geas, well, why would a random henchman or minion be successful in fetching or killing what they need? I suggest having a couple of these henchmen die from hazards or traps, then have the local villagers point out that mesmy isn't much of a hero by just sitting around and ordering other people to their deaths.

Oh I have plenty of enemies. The main problem seems to be that the mesmerist negates combat entirely and tends to send his thralls through enemy lines to take out the helpless leader or acquire what is needed and cause disarray. It's smart but, yeah, not exactly heroic. I'll probably use those methods against him and have people grow untrusting of such a person. If anything he may make a good villain in the future. I do admit I tend to gave a bit mpre Game of THRONES feel to my games so tactics are usually more rewarding in the long term and I tend to not use enough monsters. I should implement them more. I've been lacking in traps and stuff behind enemy lines to stop the thralls as well. All great ideas so thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.


Blake's Tiger wrote:

Are you playing commercial adventures or your own creations? How many players are there? What level characters? Is the Mesmerist synergizing particularly well with another class?

I have a couple Mesmerist NPC villains; they aren't particularly unstoppable alone, but do make the minions tougher.

It's my own adventure and they recently hit level 7. Depending on schedules there can be either 4 or 5 players. He's using his Hypnotic Stare a great deal to shrivel up the will saves of major NPCs and then typically follows up with hold person or blindness to cripple them before letting the rest of the group to finish them off. However it got really bad when he got his hand on Lesser Geas and now he mostly just cripples a henchman or monion and just has them fetch what they need or or kill the target while they sleep. His high charisma also has given him a good deal of NPC allies to watch his back while the rest of the group waits at the bar for him to return and he charms his way into almost anything. I feel I am missing something that the player could be fudging to his advantage so it likely is my own fault this has happened.


I've come into a bit of a problem with one of my players and his mesmerist. While I had breezed over the occult classes I didn't see how powerful the mesmerist could be. He has walked through most challenges simply with his Hypnotic Stare and cripples most bosses I've put them against. He's starting to get a bit arrogant and reckless as little has been able to stop him outside of a swarm of enemies. Anyone have any advice on matching the mesmerist without looking like a jerk? I don't want to just kill the mesmerist but find ways to even out or properly counter his abilities as he has been high jacking most missions from the group.


We all know the awesome wizards, the nifty rogue, and the night incorruptible Paladin but what about the fighters? Most times they have little else than their weapons and armor to try and save the day but they always seem to leave quite an impression when in the hands of an expert player. What are some of the coolest Fighters you've come across in your games? Obviously this can include favorite archetypes and the like.


jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

There's also a bit of an issue of "wasted stats". If you're building a Halfling Fighter to be, basically, the same as a Human Fighter, you're probably:

1.) Wearing Full Plate
2.) Dumping Charisma

So you have a race that gives you +2 Dexterity (absolutely worthless to you with a whopping +1 Dex limit) and +2 Charisma (a stat you care nothing about).

That ON TOP OF:

1.) A Str penalty (-1 damage) [Technically, really, -2 damage since you don't get a Str BONUS either. -3 because of 2-Handing)
2.) a CMD penalty
3.) Lower damage dice (depending on the weapon of choice, anywhere between 1-2 damage less on average, and a lower minimum damage as well in the case of the Greatsword)
4.) Difficulty of gaining Reach
5.) Turtle-like speed (20 feet a move is already frustrating, lowering that to 15 is excruciating)

The Small sized melee build then, generally, suffers the Death of a Thousand Cuts. It's not any one big thing, and it isn't TERRIBLE, but all the tiny little things add up in the back of your head quite quickly until you start wondering why you're bothering. Because there are very few (if any) character concepts you can execute with a Halfling that you can't with a Human...so you're hindering yourself for basically no reason.

That's part of the race. They have disadvantages. If I wanted to play a min-maxed fighter build then I wouldn't be choosing a Halfling. I'm playing the race and class because I want to make a character who has to overcome certain obstacles and learn to be more creative about how to achieve victory. He doesn't do things as well as other fighters but he has his own advantages. He doesn't move as quickly but its hard argue his proficiency at holding off a hoard of enemies in a narrow tunnel. He doesn't hit as hard but he has enough charisma to utilize some successful intimidate or diplomacy rolls to possibly shift the course of battle. I've never said a Halfling Fighter is as good as a human fighter in terms of
...

I guess my problem is that it isn't done respectfully and it happens constantly. Also my characters in many ways proved to be by no means a weakness. I've hit the hardest and beaten the most enemies in a combat but they continue to jest and insult. This obviously isn't everyone I've played with but the number is shocking. I've dealt with it best I could but at times I had to leave because it was getting abusive.


jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
j b 200 wrote:

Because you have to be 1000% optimized to even bother showing up each week and that average dpr of 11 instead of 13 is a bridge too far.

Really, you expect me to roll a d6 for damage? I mean you already can't hit anything if your starting Str is below a 20 right?

I have never had any problems with damage output past level 3. My Gnome barbarian was actually the hardest hitting member in the group. But besides that, if your character is worth only what he can dish out damage wise then I feel it's not a very interesting character. A small fighter who is creative can easily beat out any number of "Kick Door Fight Orc" human or orc warriors.
Are you the guy that shows up to practically ever new game with a small race character?

Not every game. My current character is a Human Occultist. Halflings were just my main race for a long time.


Athaleon wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.
For you
Bane?
You caught me!

Was getting caught part of your plan?

** spoiler omitted **

I rolled a 1


Artifix wrote:
I thought this thread was supposed to be about the small characters you broke the mold with. Not an argument of why you should or shouldn't play small martial characters.

I'd love to hear about those characters


Athaleon wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.
For you
Bane?

You caught me!


Sundakan wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:


I wish you guys would quit using the same excuses. You list your math and when the aspect of character building instead of class building is brought up you just fallback on people as being a~+#@++s. I want to know why be a@%*&~%s in the first place? Are they afraid of being shown up by someone who doesn't care about making the best build and proving number crunching is not the reason this game was made? Do you feel that if you have every statically advantage then it permits you to avoid playing smart and instead stride in without a care in the world and hack your way to a hollow 20th level? Choose to play that way but keep it to yourselves.

ME wrote:
This ubiquitous hostile narrative of "Anyone who doesn't like doing the thing I like is a dirty min-maxing game ruiner" is tiresome and frankly stupid.

*Beats head against wall*

At least it's less repetitive than hearing this same dreck over and over.

Then leave.


Athaleon wrote:
"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.

For you


Sundakan wrote:
Majuba wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
I cannot possibly roll my eyes hard enough. The question you asked was "Why don't people like to play Small sized melee types?"
See... he didn't. He asked why people put down the players/characters that play/are small-sized melee types.

That's one facet of a larger discussion, yes. That bit has the simpler answer, and it's broadly applicable.

Q: Why do people make fun of other people for their chosen playstyle?
A: Because people are a$@$*+$s.

You read between the lines at statements like this:

Quote:
why wouldn't a Halfling take up a longsword, throw on some chainmail, and try to become a knight or sellsword.
Quote:
taking something that shouldn't work and let it go. Was he dealing as much damage as a Human or if he would have chosen a ranged build? No, but this was far better in my mind.

And it's pretty clear that from the start this was a discussion of why Small races aren't popular to play as Fighters or other melee sorts. Which is, regardless, a more interesting discussion to have than "Why do people make fun of me for playing Small characters", which as we've established is "Because people are a%~#+@~s".

I wish you guys would quit using the same excuses. You list your math and when the aspect of character building instead of class building is brought up you just fallback on people as being a!$~!!&s. I want to know why be a#%#*$&s in the first place? Are they afraid of being shown up by someone who doesn't care about making the best build and proving number crunching is not the reason this game was made? Do you feel that if you have every statically advantage then it permits you to avoid playing smart and instead stride in without a care in the world and hack your way to a hollow 20th level? Choose to play that way but keep it to yourselves.


Sundakan wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:


That's part of the race. They have disadvantages. If I wanted to play a min-maxed fighter build then I wouldn't be choosing a Halfling.

I cannot possibly roll my eyes hard enough. The question you asked was "Why don't people like to play Small sized melee types?".

I pointed out several mechanical reasons, in addition to Small size almost never being a thematic necessity.

Nobody is asking you to min-max. Nobody is asking you to stop playing your Halfling. Nobody (or at least I didn't) is even saying it's a BAD CHOICE, just that it's sub-optimal enough in enough tiny ways to make it undesirable to anyone who doesn't want to do it for purely thematic reasons.

This ubiquitous hostile narrative of "Anyone who doesn't like doing the thing I like is a dirty min-maxing game ruiner" is tiresome and frankly stupid.

Take the answer given, or leave it. Arguing "But but but it has these OTHER mechanical advantages that are sometimes useful" is both needlessly argumentative, and reeeeeally hypocritical when you're looking down on people for NOT choosing one because of different mechanical advantages.

A lot of people aren't a fan of this race for this particular party role. Get over it.

Majuba wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

If you're building a Halfling Fighter to be, basically, the same as a Human Fighter, you're probably:

1.) Wearing Full Plate

So you have a race that gives you +2 Dexterity (absolutely worthless to you with a whopping +1 Dex limit)

+1 Dex limit would impact a halfling fighter for probably a maximum of *one* level, 2nd. They can't afford it at first level (maybe not even 2nd), and by 3rd they have armor training. 15 Dex (costing only 3 points for those not rolling stats) would be a perfect spot for a halfling fighter. Also giving them prereqs for TWF if they choose to pick it up later (even if just for Shield slamming).

That double-stacks with the size bonus to AC. Halfling fighters may do two less damage per hit, but they

...

I don't have a problem with people not liking Halfings or not liking the mechanics behind utilizing small sized melee classes, I have a problem with people giving the eye rolling every time I show up with one and give shit about it with every round of combat. This is not restricted to a single group, it has happened constantly. This thread also wasn't about why people don't mechanically like small fighters it's why we get crap for it every time. It's not your character so quit being self righteous in your own way by looking down ours.


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Sundakan wrote:

There's also a bit of an issue of "wasted stats". If you're building a Halfling Fighter to be, basically, the same as a Human Fighter, you're probably:

1.) Wearing Full Plate
2.) Dumping Charisma

So you have a race that gives you +2 Dexterity (absolutely worthless to you with a whopping +1 Dex limit) and +2 Charisma (a stat you care nothing about).

That ON TOP OF:

1.) A Str penalty (-1 damage) [Technically, really, -2 damage since you don't get a Str BONUS either. -3 because of 2-Handing)
2.) a CMD penalty
3.) Lower damage dice (depending on the weapon of choice, anywhere between 1-2 damage less on average, and a lower minimum damage as well in the case of the Greatsword)
4.) Difficulty of gaining Reach
5.) Turtle-like speed (20 feet a move is already frustrating, lowering that to 15 is excruciating)

The Small sized melee build then, generally, suffers the Death of a Thousand Cuts. It's not any one big thing, and it isn't TERRIBLE, but all the tiny little things add up in the back of your head quite quickly until you start wondering why you're bothering. Because there are very few (if any) character concepts you can execute with a Halfling that you can't with a Human...so you're hindering yourself for basically no reason.

That's part of the race. They have disadvantages. If I wanted to play a min-maxed fighter build then I wouldn't be choosing a Halfling. I'm playing the race and class because I want to make a character who has to overcome certain obstacles and learn to be more creative about how to achieve victory. He doesn't do things as well as other fighters but he has his own advantages. He doesn't move as quickly but its hard argue his proficiency at holding off a hoard of enemies in a narrow tunnel. He doesn't hit as hard but he has enough charisma to utilize some successful intimidate or diplomacy rolls to possibly shift the course of battle. I've never said a Halfling Fighter is as good as a human fighter in terms of a fighter, but they can easily keep up and at times outperform the classical builds because of their adaptability and unique ways of confronting certain situations.


As a massive fan of Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu, I have often found myself in the middle of a Pathfinder session shifting the overall mood to something more horror based than swords and sorcery. Thankfully I have some players who love adding scares and really dark tones to the adventure.

A great example has been when the group I was DMing entered a village called Ambertown and found that all of the inhabitants were almost sickeningly nice. Uncomfortable with such niceties, the group went out to cause a little trouble. However it seemed like it was impossible for them to get into trouble or be attacked by anyone with all of their attempts thwarted easily. The barbarian tried to throw a bottle of scotch at the bartender but he simply caught it on an attack roll of 23 and placed it back on the shelf before returning the barbarian's silver that he had paid it for. Eventually the group was plotting to burn down the village tavern as their paranoia increased after one of the bar boys who was nothing but smiles whispered to them to leave as quickly as they can. Almost immediately after this, the bar boy was led away by guards and they were too freaked out to even try to fight the guards. The adventure eventually developed into a scare riddled campaign as they tried to find a way out of Ambertown as leaving the village only led them back to it an hour later no matter what direction they left in. They really worked their detective skills and found themselves infiltrating the mayor's house and trekking through the home of the local undertaker. They eventually managed to escape through a powerful Gate spell that the wizard had to make harnessing powerful artifacts found around the village after the only combat of the entire adventure against a few of the local priests and villagers had killed three of the players. Since then, the village of Ambertown always makes the group skeevy and they have actively avoided any hints of the village returning or quickly leave when they see some of the smiles that echo the smiles of the citizens of Ambertown.

Have any of you ever found yourself shifting your DnD game to something more horror based midway through?


j b 200 wrote:

Because you have to be 1000% optimized to even bother showing up each week and that average dpr of 11 instead of 13 is a bridge too far.

Really, you expect me to roll a d6 for damage? I mean you already can't hit anything if your starting Str is below a 20 right?

I have never had any problems with damage output past level 3. My Gnome barbarian was actually the hardest hitting member in the group. But besides that, if your character is worth only what he can dish out damage wise then I feel it's not a very interesting character. A small fighter who is creative can easily beat out any number of "Kick Door Fight Orc" human or orc warriors.


Blacksteel wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
For as long as I have played RPG's, I have always come across people who are almost insulted by the mere thought of a Halfling taking a melee combat role. It's almost as bad as the paladin hate I have seen from so many people. You put a longsword in a Halfling's hands and next thing you know everyone is laughing at him, giving him stupid nicknames, and even kicking him as if to prove to him he can't keep up. Then they get shocked and offended when said Halfling sticks a knife in their knee.
Never let someone else tell you how to play your character. Why are you playing with people who think this is cool?

I was playing with some people I hadn't met before. My usual group are totally accepting of my small characters and they have backed me up when new players have come in and rolled their eyes at my Halfling fighter or Gnome Barbarian. They just find it useless because it isn't fully optimized and they have reduced cool characters to numbers which is what frustrates me the most. My Gnome Barbarian, Obie, wrestled and hogtied a Bugbear with his bare hands. I presented the captive to the party and the response was lukewarm at best. I couldn't understand it.


Bards have always come across as a perfect class for villains. The natural direction for a bard is someone who can convince a great deal of people to their side or obey their commands through both innate charisma and magical influence. A bad guy with dozens of faithful minions to throw at you seems harmless enough until he takes a simple farmer and buffs him with spells and song to create a sort of horrible champion of his cause.

A good example of this was I was playing with some friends and we came across a massive tavern that had its own walls. This place was almost its own complex which could survive without aid for years. It stood alone in the middle of nowhere and was a great resting spot for weary travelers and the like. We were tired and yearning for some food and a bed when we came across some bards who were a little too enticing with their music for our taste. The wizard detected some extremely powerful enchantments in their music, more than it should be, and the barbarian decided to call them out on it. Little good it did for us. The people who had been charmed and controlled by these bards for so long became diehard loyalists and were all too willing to comply with the bards' orders to kill us. We ran and eventually lost them but were trapped in the giant tavern castle with a population out to see us dead. We had to utilize every trick in the book from our rogue making disguises for us to our own bard battling one of the bad bards with the only use of Countersong I've ever seen in DnD. It was tense and exciting with surprisingly little combat. We escaped the tavern after a six session escape mission including four separate escape plans. We alerted the authorites of the neighboring city and when the constables arrived at the tavern castle, it was abandoned. We still are trying to find these three bards. It was both adventurous but also slightly "Amnesia" or "Call of Cthulhu" like with us sneaking in the shadows to avoid these obsessed followers.

Does anyone else have examples of Bards playing a villain in their campaign? Always good to share ideas.


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For as long as I have played RPG's, I have always come across people who are almost insulted by the mere thought of a Halfling taking a melee combat role. It's almost as bad as the paladin hate I have seen from so many people. You put a longsword in a Halfling's hands and next thing you know everyone is laughing at him, giving him stupid nicknames, and even kicking him as if to prove to him he can't keep up. Then they get shocked and offended when said Halfling sticks a knife in their knee.

We all know Halflings are astounding rogues, bards, and even spellcasters but those can become so boring. Sure we all know the witty and charismatic Halfling with a heart of gold almost as full as his coin purse. If we look at the Halfling race as a whole, we are missing out on some crucial character opportunities. Halflings are innately lucky and as such they tend to be braver to the point of being considered suicidal at times. Why wouldn't a Halfling take up a longsword, throw on some chainmail, and try to become a knight or sellsword.

One of my favorite characters to DM was my friend Ian made a Goblin Paladin of Iomadae The character, Sir Boogoo Raven-Blade, was such a hilarious clash of race and class that melded into a beautiful character who retired at level 19. Seeing a little ugly Goblin Paladin scavenging in junk piles for scraps of metal and cloth to repair his homemade armor and sword after taking down a few Orc Bloodragers made him truly memorable. His mighty dogslicer, named Scrap, cut down wizards and barbarians, Giants and Kobolds. He never used bows or fire as he thought they were cowardly weapons that made his people weak and as he got higher in level he actually started a small knight school for Goblins who wanted to become more than what their race was expected. He actually became a very respected and reputable warrior/teacher. This is just one example of taking something that shouldn't work and let it go. Was he dealing as much damage as a Human or if he would have chosen a ranged build? No, but this was far better in my mind.

Do any of you have small race warriors who took on the stereotype that they cannot be given a sword or axe without hurting themselves? Who were your favorite PC's or NPC's?