Creating Believable Heroes From Popular Culture


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Hi,

I am sure all of you have heard at some point a discussion asking what level of wizard Gandalf is or something along that line. This is a thread for just that sort of question! My first discussion will be Xena, Warrior Princess.

From the canon in the television show, Xena is demonstrated to be capable of easily dispatching with minimal effort entire groups of presumably low-level NPC warriors. Despite seeing her commit various acts of daring-do, we are given some objective facts about her in the form of statements made by other characters in the series; for example, we know that she "has the strength of ten men". If we are to assume that the average man has a strength score between 8 and 10, it is easy to use the Carrying Capacity chart to determine what Xena's strength score must be. A light load for a person with 8 to 10 strength is between 26 and 33 lbs.; multiplying that by ten and following down the line, we are presented with strength scores that fall between 25 and 27 (representing a 266 lbs and 346 lbs light load respectively). If we compromise and assume a strength score of 26, we see that Xena has a +8 bonus to strength-based damage rolls which would allow her to, even with minimum damage, easily dispatch a 1st- or 2nd-level character in one or two strikes. As this is exactly what is displayed in the series, I suggest that Xena has the superhuman stength score of 26. The additional +8 to Attack rolls would also compliment her observed skill in various types of weapons.

This is all that I have time for right now, as I need to be on my way to class, but I would like to continue this discussion to flesh out Xena in terms of a Pathfinder statblock and then turn this thread over to the discussion of various other popular heroes.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One major thing you need to rememember.. Gandalf and Xena weren't dependent on good die rolls. Their successes and failures are scripted events. They were also creations of literary and visual media game mechanics are nothing but stripped down skeletons of what they are as characters. Also remember that descriptions of deeds tend to be pumped up by Bards seeking greater donations from an audience.

Also keep in mind that most such heroic characters are only creatable by either loading them with a christmas tree of items that wouldn't be represented in the actual material, or putting lots of other exceptions due to the character being a "divine being" "daughter of an immortal" etc.. etc.

A lot of the most touching parts of a campaign is finding out how human or mortal a character's heroes really are.

Grand Lodge

Take a look at E6. Heroic really works when mooks are and stay as level 1 or 2... Instead of having half the bar patrons jump to level 4 just because some 7th level PCs rode into town. The feats you get post level 6 will give your character a lot of flex.


LazarX wrote:


Also keep in mind that most such heroic characters are only creatable by either loading them with a christmas tree of items that wouldn't be represented in the actual material, or putting lots of other exceptions due to the character being a "divine being" "daughter of an immortal" etc.. etc.

Xena was clearly exceptional compared to the average Player Character in that she routinely clashed with gods and demigods on equal enough footing to come out of it just fine. She accomplishes this without any special items; none of her equipment or weapons are mentioned as being particularly special or magical in any way. She probably has very high base attributes for reasons that do not need to be explained in terms of how she got from some arbitrary starting set of numbers. I am looking to discuss numbers that accurately describe what she has done, not a way to build up to being Xena as a Player Character. If I were to ask how to statblock a monster from a TV show, you wouldn't reply with telling me how in order to develop a monster with that level of stats I would need to load him with unrealistic items, under the assumption that I'm starting with the blank template of a Player Character. That is what I am doing here: I am constructing a statblock for a thing—not building a Player Character to play in a campaign. If it helps you think of it better, consider Xena not to be a person or character but instead an encounter or monster. Now understand that I want the numbers which describe her in terms of game rules to reflect what she is observably capable of doing through the television series.

edit: As far as her special exceptions, Xena was noted as being a mortal, regular human; though, she was favored by Ares for a while so perhaps that contributed to her acquiring superhuman attribute scores. But that is beside the point: how she came to have them is irrelevant to the fact that Xena observably does have very high attribute scores. The goal of this discussion is to determine what they are through observation and reasoning, not to hypothesize on why she has them or to compare her to a Player Character.

Dark Archive

I'd make Xena level 20, probably a monk/fighter (or monk/ranger). I might reduce her CR by 1 because she doesn't carry magical items. She might also have Cavalier levels, due to her stint as a warlord and her prowess with a horse.

I may be biased, though, as she was my childhood hero.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
malebranche wrote:
I'd make Xena level 20, probably a monk/fighter (or monk/ranger). I might reduce her CR by 1 because she doesn't carry magical items.

The chakram is definitely an artifact, especially in the last seasons. Although the type of character she is could probably be more easily recreated in Earthdawn rather than D20 rules.

Liberty's Edge

"She has the strength of ten men" is not to be taken as a literal statement, but a figurative one.

I wouldn't put Xena at higher than level 8 or 10, probably Barbarian 6/Rogue 4.

And LazarX makes an excellent point that always gets lost in these debates. Literary and film characters do not roll dice, their success or failure is story driven.


Xenas skill in taking out wimpy minions could be power attack Wimpy equals low AC so she could dedicate some spare BAB to doing more damage, So Xena needed have a super good strength. She seems to be able to pound people pretty good and quickly so she likely has mobility and many other agile fighter type feats as well as a good BAB, I'm leaning towards her being in the 10-15th lv range. as for level spreads i can see.

Fighter/rogue cause xena cheapshots allot.

Fighter/monk cause of all the kung fu.

Or maybe all three classes.


clff rice wrote:


Fighter/rogue cause xena cheapshots allot.

Fighter/monk cause of all the kung fu.

Or maybe all three classes.

I was considering those two class combinations simply because it affords her more skill points to allocate to things that we know she can do. She has no problem with maintain balance on very precarious perches and doing all manner of agile maneuvering, so if not a class skill then at least she has invested considerable skill points and/or feats into Acrobatics. She has trained her horse to respond only to her commands and to the commands of those she specifies: we see in the episode "Callisto" that Argos does not respond to Callisto's verbal or physical commands and Xena explains why this is so. If we are to assume that Xena's horse is just a horse and not some magical beast or special companion, we must infer then that Xena is very good at training animals, so Handle Animal is also likely a heavily-invested skill. She displays knowledge of anatomy, pressure points and herbal medicine that to me indicate that she should have some ranks in Heal and perhaps also in Knowledge (nature). The more I think about this, the more I am thinking that perhaps she is a Ranger variant that instead of choosing between Archery and Two Weapon Fighting gives up those feat progressions for some sort of agile fighting feat progression.


She's a synthesist summoner; her eidolon is Zoe Bell (which she shares with Beatrix Kiddo).


I was thinking about this in regards to Buffy, who seems to have been artificially advanced to the point where she is a high level ranger with undead and evil outsiders as favored enemies, improved unarmed combat(if not a level in monk), and actually took the hunters bond related to improving the rest of your team. Either that or Xander Harris is an animal companion.


Yeah ranger could work for Xena. But she could just have a Trait that gives her handle animal or something lets not forget about that when stating someone. In pathfinder their background can totally make them work without class dipping for many skills.


sounds like i need to share an article...

http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/d&d-calibrating.html

Not mine, but he's pretty spot-on.


default wrote:

sounds like i need to share an article...

http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/d&d-calibrating.html

Not mine, but he's pretty spot-on.

Yeah this. The only 20th lv charcter from a media source that i can think of would be sauron. He's a high level cleric of morgoth or equivilent in his appearance in lord of the rings.


Brambleman wrote:
default wrote:

sounds like i need to share an article...

http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/d&d-calibrating.html

Not mine, but he's pretty spot-on.

Yeah this. The only 20th lv charcter from a media source that i can think of would be sauron. He's a high level cleric of morgoth or equivilent in his appearance in lord of the rings.

Voldemort is probably up there too. He casts Power Word: Kill to often to be anything but a level 19-20 wizard or sorceror. Probably a sorceror because he seems to have dumped intelligence.


voldemort is more likely using a setting-specific lower level version of the spell. in a campaign full of wizards, even if it only capped out at affecting someone with 50 HP, that would still be plenty. effects like finger of death would work too, doing enough damage that save or not would still work.

sauron? maybe a level 13 cleric, giving him access to forge ring to make his ring of invisibility. he can also include a Permanent Symbol of Scrying on it for 10000 gp

Shadow Lodge

default wrote:

voldemort is more likely using a setting-specific lower level version of the spell. in a campaign full of wizards, even if it only capped out at affecting someone with 50 HP, that would still be plenty. effects like finger of death would work too, doing enough damage that save or not would still work.

sauron? maybe a level 13 cleric, giving him access to forge ring to make his ring of invisibility. he can also include a Permanent Symbol of Scrying on it for 10000 gp

1. Harry Potter character are blatantly not prepared spellcasters. In fact, in any fiction that isn't written by Vance or based on D&D/PF/etc, you won't find prepared spellcasters.

2. The One Ring was quite definatively an artifact, and Sauron was a diety, full stop.


Kthulhu wrote:
In fact, in any fiction that isn't written by Vance or based on D&D/PF/etc, you won't find prepared spellcasters.

Well, except for John Bellairs' The Face in the Frost, and Zelazny's second "Amber" series, and a few others. Prepared casters are more rare, granted, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.


Kthulhu wrote:
default wrote:

voldemort is more likely using a setting-specific lower level version of the spell. in a campaign full of wizards, even if it only capped out at affecting someone with 50 HP, that would still be plenty. effects like finger of death would work too, doing enough damage that save or not would still work.

sauron? maybe a level 13 cleric, giving him access to forge ring to make his ring of invisibility. he can also include a Permanent Symbol of Scrying on it for 10000 gp

1. Harry Potter character are blatantly not prepared spellcasters. In fact, in any fiction that isn't written by Vance or based on D&D/PF/etc, you won't find prepared spellcasters.

2. The One Ring was quite definatively an artifact, and Sauron was a diety, full stop.

You never saw Harry Potter prepare his spells, but that doesn't mean he didn't, it could mean he simply did it off screen, also on Harry Potter, a spell could be cast straight from a spellbook.

In Narnia we also see spells cast straight from a spellbook by a nonspellcaster, unless there is something about Lucy Pevancie's past that we don't know about.


Here's a good one, whay about Peter Pan, is he an elf?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GM Weynolt wrote:
I was thinking about this in regards to Buffy, who seems to have been artificially advanced to the point where she is a high level ranger with undead and evil outsiders as favored enemies, improved unarmed combat(if not a level in monk), and actually took the hunters bond related to improving the rest of your team. Either that or Xander Harris is an animal companion.

As I understand it, or at least as it seems to me. D20 Modern was basically built around Buffy and the Scoobies. That would actually be a better core to build around that Pathfinder.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tom_Kalbfus wrote:
Here's a good one, whay about Peter Pan, is he an elf?

No... he's the boy who never grew up. (At least until he became Robin Williams :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

There are no pop culture characters with levels in the double digits. As LazarX said, they don't roll dice, so they don't have to be high level to survive high level challenges.


LazarX wrote:
Tom_Kalbfus wrote:
Here's a good one, whay about Peter Pan, is he an elf?
No... he's the boy who never grew up. (At least until he became Robin Williams :)

Robin Williams is a level 13 bard. I have spoken.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
There are no pop culture characters with levels in the double digits. As LazarX said, they don't roll dice, so they don't have to be high level to survive high level challenges.

Lies. See above.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ironicdisaster wrote:
Lies. See above.

Baseless assertions without a shred of support.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ironicdisaster wrote:
Lies. See above.
Baseless assertions without a shred of support.

I donno, after listening to a couple of his stand-ups I'd have to agree. :D

But seriously, if you (you reader not you TOZ) haven't read the D&D Calibrating article linked above, do so. I came across it a few weeks ago and showed it to a couple friends that are extremely knowledgeable gamers and had had significant problems with the d20 system over the years. The article helped them ferment the problems they had with the system, realize the problem was actually that a lot people think that to be "any good" you had to be in the high teens level wise, when the people are DMs/GMs it's doubly bad, and then realize that by using the article's logic, the system wasn't nearly as broken as they thought. They then proceeded to print out the article and beat a couple DMs/GMs senseless with it while chanting, "thou shalt not make farmers lvl 16!"


Kthulhu wrote:


2. The One Ring was quite definatively an artifact, and Sauron was a diety, full stop.

Well yes, but remember, sauron is at a fraction of his former strength. His achievements in the third age are doable by a leveled character, albeit a powerful one.

I am saying that sauron is the only example I can think of where you NEED to be at least close to 20th to make the character work.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think different game systems do different characters the best.

For Gandalf, MERPS has the flavor of Tolkien, nothing else comes close. Otherwise 4th Edition Invoker.

Buffy. D20 Modern, she's obviously a Strong Hero, Willow is a Smart Hero, and there are templates and PrC's that cover their evolution such as the magical tricks the latter eventually learns. Of course there's the Buffy RPG as well.

Xena..Fighter with some Ranger levels.
Gabrielle, Bard who eventually takes levels in Dramatic Swordsman :)

Both are probably better done in Earthdawn as Thread Magic handles character interaction with magic items like the chakram to more depth and variety than D20-based systems do.

Characters D20 does NOT do well.

Elric. he's a very accomplished mage, but D20 magic is simply out of synch with the style of the world of the Young Kingdoms, the latter is more Vancian than Vance.


i'll admit im not the most familiar with saurons full suite of abilities. anyone care to expand?

as far as harry potter, id probably call it wizards with the spell points option out of unearthed arcana. in that system you only need to prepare a spell once and cast out of your sp, meaning multiple castings of the same spell til you get too tired to concentrate properly (run out of sp)


default wrote:
i'll admit im not the most familiar with saurons full suite of abilities. anyone care to expand?

He breaks Finrod's glamor. He transforms himself into a magical beast, but loses in a fight with Huan and Luthien. He transforms himself into a vampire. He crafts what must be an artifact. He survives the sinking of Numenor. He must at some point create undead to earn the moniker Necromancer of Dol Guldor.

Losing to Huan and Luthien isn't much of a cap on his power. Luthien put Morgoth to sleep. In some renditions balrogs were put to sleep as well. She also transformed into a vampire and transformed Beren into a werewolf, the latter would require the polymorph spell. Based on duration she had to be using 3.5 divine metamagic or something equally cheesy. Or be well into the epic levels.

The One Ring has to be an artifact because it's absurdly powerful. It doesn't just grant invisibility. It allows the wearer to read the thoughts of anyone with a ring crafted by someone taught by its maker. It allows the wearer to at least influence anyone with a ring the maker helped craft. In D&D terms I'd say the wearer can cast divinations through the ring for the first group and enchantments for the second group. It's implied to have other powers, but they are never described.

Shadow Lodge

Don't forget that the One Ring also corrupts anyone who wears it other than Sauron.

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Xena is 20+ levels fighter/monk maybe with some Cavalier or Ranger thrown in. I have her statted up somewhere. Things I bore in mind:

1. Leadership feat. If Argo's NOT an animal companion (Cavalier or Ranger), she's definitely a follower, as she's not just an ordinary horse. Gabrielle of course is the cohort (around 15th level, monk 1/fighter/bard). Xena can raise an army incredibly quickly--able to raise a group of low level warrior followers.

2. Excels at unarmed combat, but can also use about any weapon she can pick up. Of course she's very good with a sword and her chakram (although that is also a magical artifact). Monk and fighter levels give her all the weapon proficiencies she needs to reflect her capability.

3. She has "gone ninja" and stealthed around with the best of them (like the time she covered herself in mud to sneak up on and assassinate Ming Tien)--also why she needs monk levels, for Stealth as a class skill. Also Acrobatics as a class skill, just look at her backflip. And of course she wears very minimal armor.

4. She often does the fighting thugs who've surrounded her in a circle. Either Whirlwind Attack or Great Cleave or both.

5. She has fought with two weapons several times and was good at it, so she's got the TWF feat. In general she has a crapton of feats, which is one of the reasons why you need her to be high level, just to be able to qualify for and complete various feat trees (but also because she can duke it out with gods--although there are a few episodes that imply Ares is her father, she's still at least mostly human).

6. There was one episode where she was chucking ki blasts at people, and an earlier one where she was levitating through meditation. She's got some ki mystic variant sort of monk archetype, although we only see these abilities in rare episodes because her alignment frequently slips from lawful (or something, just watch me lampshade, watch me!)

7. She's got at least one if not several ranks in the following: Appraise, Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Craft (Embroidery) ("I have many skills"), Disguise, Heal, Intimidate (and how!), Knowledge (Engineering), Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (Religion), Linguistics, Perception, Perform (Sing), Profession (Fisher), Ride, Sense Motive, Stealth, Survival, Swim. Hmm, maybe there's a Rogue level in there.

8. Original chakram was a + Something Distance Returning Chakram and could only be wielded by someone of Chaotic Alignment (see the Chakram episode for more info). The upgraded one (when the Chakram of Dark was fused with the Chakram of Light) can additionally split into a pair of weapons which function mechanically as starknives, and when thrown can split during flight and strike two targets before reuniting and returning to the thrower's hand.

9. OH, there's also the episode where she learns Amazon shamanism and enacts a ritual to enter the spirit world. So possibly a level of witch as well.

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I am forgetting something though.


The one ring contains a piece of the divine power that Morgoth passed to Sauron. This infusion of essence of sauron makes the ring a sort of intelligent magic item. Its main power is to dominate the other rings of power.

Shadow Lodge

DeathQuaker wrote:
stuff

I'd like to repudiate a bit of this....

2. I don't think she needs monk levels. And I dunno that the chakram really shows any power beyond returning...it doesn't scream artifact to me.

3. Having something as a class skill isn't necessary to be good at it like in 3.X. It's a slight bonus, yeah, but I still say Xena is a straight fighter. Admittedly, she's got a crapload of skill points and feats, but I really don't see any need for dips in other classes. Especially since fighters can be pretty damned good at unarmed combat themselves.

5. I don't really think that beating up a god alone in the Herc/Xena franchise means you're a high level...it just means you're competent, since nearly all of the gods portrayed do NOT manage competence. Some of them are a bit more competent at fighting than anything else, but that's not really saying much.

6. Meh...didn't see those. I'd call them more plot deux-ex-machina than level dips, though.

7. Like I said, a crapton of skill points. In fact, I'd say she probably has most of the non-specialized skills maxed out.

8. Didn't see that one either. Still doesn't scream artifact at me, though.

9. I'd say that sounds more like a one-off ritual type thing than a level dip in witch/sorcerer/whatever.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Xena is 20+ levels fighter/monk....

try reading that article again. "Good at it" is reletive.

A 1st level fighter with str 16 and no twf can pick up two short swords and be just as competent as your average mook of str 10 with his weapon. Add in wepon focus or a few levels of bab and you are now better than the mooks. All this while taking full twf penalties.

Being able to lead =/= Leadership Feat.
Fighting while surounded =/= Great cleave,
A single magical event requires no levels in anything. Especially if you can't do it consistently. That's a story event not a function of character.

The linked article explains it in more detail.


Kthulhu wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
stuff

I'd like to repudiate a bit of this....

3. Having something as a class skill isn't necessary to be good at it like in 3.X. It's a slight bonus, yeah, but I still say Xena is a straight fighter. Admittedly, she's got a crapload of skill points and feats, but I really don't see any need for dips in other classes. Especially since fighters can be pretty damned good at unarmed combat themselves.

The problem is that if she's a fighter she needs quite a few levels to put points in all those skills. Probably several to make up for them not being class skills.

Death Quaker counted 20 skills Xena has at least a point in. If she's a 13 int fighter she's at least level 7 by skills alone. If those are all ones. Acrobatics at least is either higher, a class skill, or has skill focus. One point in a cross class skill is pretty much insignificant though unless it's a trained only skill, so anything she's actually good at is either a class skill or has more than one point invested in.


Atarlost wrote:


Death Quaker counted 20 skills Xena has at least a point in. If she's a 13 int fighter she's at least level 7 by skills alone.

You mean lv 4. 2 from fighter, 1 human, 1 int, 1 favored class.

5 per level
So lv 4 is the minimum for 20 skills


So you can use some skills untrained. Just because she displays a skill don't mean she has ranks in it necessarily.

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Kthulhu wrote:
2. I don't think she needs monk levels.

Could you provide examples from the show as to why? She demonstrates a number of skills and abilities that are well represented by the monk class. Beyond the ones I already mentioned, slow fall comes to mind.

Quote:


5. I don't really think that beating up a god alone in the Herc/Xena franchise means you're a high level...it just means you're competent, since nearly all of the gods portrayed do NOT manage competence. Some of them are a bit more competent at fighting than anything else, but that's not really saying much.

I disagree. I think if you're capable of beating the God of War in combat, you're beyond competent -- and while Ares is impetuous, they show his own high level combat prowess in many episodes. He was most certainly not a pushover.

Quote:


6. Meh...didn't see those. I'd call them more plot deux-ex-machina than level dips, though.

If you didn't see the episodes--and there were a lot of them--you don't have the grounds to judge the character's abilities accurately.

Quote:


8. Didn't see that one either. Still doesn't scream artifact at me, though.

Again, if you didn't see the episode, then you have no idea what you're talking about. When somebody "unchosen" to pick up an item disintegrates said "unchosen" person, it's probably if not an artifact, at least a very powerful magic item. If you disagree, watch the episode, then get back to me.

Quote:


9. I'd say that sounds more like a one-off ritual type thing than a level dip in witch/sorcerer/whatever.

This is certainly possible (although her opponent Alti is DEFINITELY a high level witch). I was thinking of it from the perspective of spell-triggering, but the universe could use rituals as a way non magicians could cast spells, and this would work fine.

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clff rice wrote:
So you can use some skills untrained. Just because she displays a skill don't mean she has ranks in it necessarily.

Certainly true. Although the amount of prowess she displays in some areas (she invented CPR! ;) ) probably suggests TRAINING, e.g., ranks in a skill. :)


DeathQuaker wrote:
clff rice wrote:
So you can use some skills untrained. Just because she displays a skill don't mean she has ranks in it necessarily.
Certainly true. Although the amount of prowess she displays in some areas (she invented CPR! ;) ) probably suggests TRAINING, e.g., ranks in a skill. :)

It is a weird world she live in, nonhistorical Ancient Greece with crossbows and medeaval weapons, she lives at the same time as Aggamenon, Julius Ceasar, the Norse and Greek Gods coexisting at the same time. Topographically this world looks like Earth, but it is really a patchwork of historical and legendary Earths from different eras all sewn into some Frankenstein whole, but it has all the D&D archtypes in it, therefore Pathfinder friendly. Don't forget Artalicus the thief.

Liberty's Edge

I've seen every episode of Xena at least four or five times, own the whole series on DVD, and have stated Xena up in several game systems (2E, 3.5, GURPS, and HERO), and I think the idea that Xena is 20th level is absolutely ridiculous. 10th level, tops. I'd say 7th at the beginning of the series, and gaining half a level each season (making her 10th by the end of season 6).

And no way does she have levels in Monk. No way is Xena's alignment lawful. Are you kidding me? She's lawless (hah!).

ETA: I do agree that the Chakram is an artifact weapon though. Not a very powerful one, but a few episodes in the later seasons make it explicitly clear that the chakram is a unique magic weapon forged by the gods.


Early chacrum is probably a high level item Maybe even a minor artifact while the god killing one at the end of the series is definitely an artifact.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:
Certainly true. Although the amount of prowess she displays in some areas (she invented CPR! ;) ) probably suggests TRAINING, e.g., ranks in a skill. :)

Or she was written to succeed, not having to deal with die rolls.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Certainly true. Although the amount of prowess she displays in some areas (she invented CPR! ;) ) probably suggests TRAINING, e.g., ranks in a skill. :)
Or she was written to succeed, not having to deal with die rolls.

Sure, but by that argument any non-casting character could really be a level 1 commoner with a -10 point buy that just rolls natural twenties a lot.

The Exchange

default wrote:

voldemort is more likely using a setting-specific lower level version of the spell. in a campaign full of wizards, even if it only capped out at affecting someone with 50 HP, that would still be plenty. effects like finger of death would work too, doing enough damage that save or not would still work.

sauron? maybe a level 13 cleric, giving him access to forge ring to make his ring of invisibility. he can also include a Permanent Symbol of Scrying on it for 10000 gp

Voldemort would seem to have committed some considerable pointage to Charisma (or at least the appearance of charisma - given most folks committing crimes professed being under the influence of a quest/geas when killing in his name).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:
Sure, but by that argument any non-casting character could really be a level 1 commoner with a -10 point buy that just rolls natural twenties a lot.

What makes you think they're not? ;)

You should have left the natural twenties off, since they never roll dice.


yellowdingo wrote:
default wrote:

voldemort is more likely using a setting-specific lower level version of the spell. in a campaign full of wizards, even if it only capped out at affecting someone with 50 HP, that would still be plenty. effects like finger of death would work too, doing enough damage that save or not would still work.

sauron? maybe a level 13 cleric, giving him access to forge ring to make his ring of invisibility. he can also include a Permanent Symbol of Scrying on it for 10000 gp

Voldemort would seem to have committed some considerable pointage to Charisma (or at least the appearance of charisma - given most folks committing crimes professed being under the influence of a quest/geas when killing in his name).

Honestly If you were to do HP in d20 terms, I'm not entirely sure you almost wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel so to speak. Based (in my opinion and reading of the books/watching the movies) on what I know, there definately isn't any sort of vancian magic going on. If anything Everyone is a spontaneous caster and the amount of spells they can cast is directly related to some sort of stress or fatigue mechanic. If you think about it the setting supports the concept with spells that are hard for the characters to master at first (getting 1 or 2 casting of at best, during which they struggle) they eventually become easily cast staples (ie lower level so there are more slots). HP wizards also have the potential to create spells on the fly and learn any spell put in front of them... So they sort of have the best of both worlds. I think you'd need a specialized system for them if you wanted the magic to work as is on the movies/books. Voldemort for example throws around handfuls or more of PW:Kill or Finger of Deaths, and Geas/Quests. So either he is rediculously high level (epic+) so as to have so many, and/or his casting stat is incredibly high, or he has some specialized feats or abilities for extra spells or something. But the way the universe is displayed, casting a spell is as simple as knowing it and having the magical oomph to do it, so practically anyone could cast the Ole PW:Kill equivelent, and they weren't out of wizzard school yet....

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Gailbraithe wrote:
I've seen every episode of Xena at least four or five times, own the whole series on DVD, and have stated Xena up in several game systems (2E, 3.5, GURPS, and HERO), and I think the idea that Xena is 20th level is absolutely ridiculous. 10th level, tops. I'd say 7th at the beginning of the series, and gaining half a level each season (making her 10th by the end of season 6).

You are welcome in your belief that a mortal woman who slew the entire Greek pantheon (save two she intentionally spared)... and Grendel... and a host of other powerful mythical creatures... is only 10th level.

But I doubt you will ever be able to convince me of that.

I'll have to dig up my build when I have time, with notes that back up my rationale for the way I did it based on evidence from the series. I know a lot of my giving her high levels was reflecting the high number of attacks she has and giving her enough feats to reflect the combat styles she demonstrates in the show--it certainly wasn't arbitrary. It'll take some time so I'll make no promises.

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And no way does she have levels in Monk. No way is Xena's alignment lawful. Are you kidding me? She's lawless (hah!).

Maybe it was at one time, it doesn't have to be currently. :) And I can't think of a better way to reflect certain abilities she has.

Now, Lucy Lawless... SHE might only be a low level commoner/expert, but at least she has the spell-like ability fly. ;)

Enjoy your thread, gentlemen.

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