Day 29 – The number you always seem to roll on a d20?
Hmm… to be honest, there isn’t one. The closest I can think of was when I was running my first Mutants and Masterminds game. I seemed to roll an inordinate number of ‘1’s during that campaign.
But aside from that, there’s nothing I’m conscious of.
My Beginners group on the other hand, they seem to have a weird 18 curse. Whenever it’s a group roll, someone will either roll an 18, or have a total of 18. It’s pretty freaky, and it didn’t take long to become a reoccurring joke of the group!
Strap yourselves in. This is a long one. (Hence also why it’s also a day late. Had a game on last night)
So, the character I will never play again is Corax. Sorta. See, there are actually two versions of Corax.
The first version was made for Baldur’s Gate, a half-elf fighter mage. Not my first character for that game, but the one I made once I understood how the game mechanics works. The idea was a character who primary uses their weapons skills to battle, with the occasionally fireball in case of emergencies. But because of how the armour and magic system interact (the heavier the armour, the greater the chance a spell fails) I wanted to equip them with a shield and light armour. Yet, I also wanted the character to have a ranged attack. A bow wouldn’t work. You can’t have a bow and a shield equipped at the same time. The only way to swap between them is to open the Inventory. Which unpauses the game. Good luck trying that in the middle of combat.
The solution? Throwing Axes. There’s even some in the game that return to your hand when thrown, in essence, unlimited ammo.
This version of Corax is one I would like to bring back some day. In fact, he’d work great as a 5th Edition Eldritch Knight, i.e. the Fighter class that gets some spells. Plus, they even get the ability to bond with a weapon, allowing them to summon it back to their hand. That even covers the returning throwing axe trick!
But then we have the other Corax *shudders* This was the very first character I made for the pen and paper game, DnD 3.5 edition. He was based on the BG version, but with some difference. Mostly due to another DnD RPG: Neverwinter Nights. In Neverwinter, there were some quests that were locked by class, or needing certain abilities such as casting spells. Not wishing to miss out on content, the character I made was a multiclass mishmash to try and cover as many of those quests as possible.
I took that attitude with me to the tabletop. Which, as experienced players now, was a mistake. TTRPG’s are not a single player game. It’s a group performance. But I was too dumb to realise that at the time, so I wanted my character to cover as many bases as possible. I also wanted to take the Dragon Diciple class for all it’s stat boost. Again, a holdover from Neverwinter, where there is a story where your gear gets stolen.
I said before it’s easy to mess up character development in 3.5 if you don’t know what you’re doing. Well, it’s even easier if you just THINK you know what you’re doing. First mistake, I started my build with Ranger, not Fighter. Why? Well, cause rangers are cool, which they are, and they get two-weapon fighting abilities. But… they’re not great for multiclassing. Nor are spell casters, so going into Sorcerer just gave me underpowered spells. Add in poor feat choices and yeah, Corax was crazy underpowered.
Of course, an underpowered character can still be fun if it’s a good character. But.. urgh, he was. The background for Corax was…. terrible. I’m kinda embarrassed posting this, but…
Okay, so… Corax had an evil dragon as one of his ancestors. Nothing wrong with that, it explains both Sorcerer and Dragon Disciple. Then I had him captured by evil cultists of the dragon, who wanted to awaken his dragon blood. Again, nothing wrong with that, if a bit clichéd.
THEN, the cult traps him, alone, if a frigging FLOATING CASTLE for TEN frigging years. Alone! They do nothing too him. And apparently, to explain why he’s a Ranger, the only things there were to talk to were ravens…. Yeah… Oh, and he just happened to find a bunch of throwing axes up there…. No idea why.
For the life of me I can’t remember how Corax escaped. I probably had a magic portal appear for no reason it was that bad.
Corax didn’t even see the end of that campaign. I got tired of playing him, so the cult eventually caught up with him and took him away. Can’t say I’m overly sorry. So yes, the Part-Dragon Ranger Corax is a character I will never play ever again.
The original Corax, the brave fighter-mage who met his fate when he encountered a random lone basilisk that was just chilling out on a castle balcony. Maybe one day he’ll see the light of day again.
Day 27 – A character I want to play in the future.
Sorry for the (yet another) delay. Yesterday was kinda crazy busy.
So, the character I most want to play. I mentioned it before in chatting about DnD, but here’s the official answer.
Nim, my half-elf monk. But, she’s not your ‘study in a monastery/martial artist’ monk. Instead, she’s a dancer, who uses her dance moves to fight in combat without ever losing her rhythm (In theory). She was born after her mother had an affair, which was rather obvious given both her parents were Elves, and after her younger sister was born, ran away from home thinking she was uncared for, and ended up joining an Entertainer’s Troupe. I haven’t fleshed out the backstory much more, as that will depend in what ever world she might end up in.
Her name was originally going to be Nimue. But, as I was coming up with the idea in my head, I had a pretty clear image in my mind how I wanted her to look. Only to realise the image was that of Din from the legend of Zelda games! So I shortened the name to ‘Nim’ to fit that more!
I was going to also mention Noi, a half-elvin Warlock, who I wanted to play since I first got the 5th ed books. However, one of my players in my Beginners’ game is wanting to try their hand at DMing (they grow up so fast *sniffs*). So it looks like Noi might get a chance to be played very soon.
I chose Noi over Nim because Nim requires… a bit of complex rules (multiclassing) a bit of rules tweaking (with a Drunken Master bonus that doesn’t work with the concept) and possible some house ruling to work properly. And that’s not something fair to spring on a new GM.
I expect the idea here is to answer with something practical and flexible, like a rope, or a bag of marbles or something. But for me, it’s a weapon, the elegant Rapier.
Partially, it’s because it’s a weapon very similar to the one used in fencing, a sport I used to do when I was younger. And partially because it’s a finesse weapon, so you can use your Dexterity instead of your Strength when wielding it. As it stands, it’s the most damaging of all the finesse weapons.
Now, most of the DnD game#s haven’t been that magic item heavy, so in some ways it’s like asking a player who only every plays Barbarians ‘what is your faviourate spell?’. But I’ve read though enough books to have some ideas, and from Ravnica, there’s the perfect item for me. Mizzium Aperatus.
A Mizzum Apperatus is a crazy mismatch of magic-tech that a magical character can wear, and use to cast spells. What makes it so much fun is that you can use it to try and cast a spell you don’t actually know. But, you have to pass a check, or you cast a random spell. Crazy magical fun all round. Now if only there was also a way to tie it into the Wild Surge table!
Pretty easy one this time, and some of you who remember earlier question may see this coming, but Cold! Sure, it’s pretty common and easily resisted, but thematically is a, excuse the pun, really cool energy type. And it covers the whole range from Water to Snow to Ice and many other things. And there is a lot you can do with it beyond just damage.
Hmm, this was a tricky one. Sure, I’ve monsters I’m not so keen on. But nothing really sprung to mind that I’d go ‘Oh no! Not THAT!’ After some more pondering, I thought that what I really hate in DnD is ‘Save or Die’ effects. Cause just one bad dice roll and you go from 110% to dead beyond recovery. Looking at you in particular, you basilisk hiding at the top of the tower in Baldur’s Gate. (For context, Baldur’s Gate does have Save or Die monsters, such as the Basilisk that turns you to stone. But, there are several ways to come back from the dead. EXCEPT for the main character, who if they die, game over. So… Instant death effects, coupled with a game over condition = not fun. And to make it worse, there are even some conversations that can instant kill a character. I lost an hour of play cause I didn’t except to instant die talking to someone.)
Sooooo…. In that vein…. I can’t remember this monster’s name. But it was from 3.5, one of the supplemental Monster Manuals. An undead creature that had died by drowning. I remember the last part because it had an Aura of Drowning. Fail one save, massive penalties. Fail two saves, unconscious. Fail three, instant death. This this almost wiped the whole party, and it wasn’t a fun fight at all.
KOBOLDS! Kobolds Kobolds Kobolds! I just love these cute little draconic beasties.
Those of you who remember my answer to favourite NPC probably saw this coming. But yes, Neverwinter Nights is the reason I started loving these little guys so much. Mainly for both their cunning and comedic effects.
Now individually, a little Kobold is no match for even the most green adventurer. And skilled adventures laugh at them. Thing is, if you play Kobold right, they shouldn’t. Mazes, traps, dirty tactics, jars of rot grubs falling on players. All these things are Kobold standard tactics. So if your players don’t take a Kobold threat seriously, you can teach even a skilled party to be very wary of the little buggers!
That’s cunning, and then you have comedic. Because of their traps, their cowardly personality, and just the way they talk and yip, Kobold are rife for anything from actual slapstick to very dark humour. You can play them seriously of course, but I feel they work best as an almost comic relief race. Even in a serious campaign, just a little silliness can help left the bleak mood for a little while.
I mentioned by in the undead question about Liches. Specifically, what I had in mind was the Dracolich. C’mon, a crazy powerful skeletal dragon with extra magic!
Butttttt…. In the same way it missed out on the slot there, as I thought more, again, the poor Dracolich was pipped at the post by another.
The Psudodragon. As the name implies, it’s not a true dragon. Though from all appearances it is one, aside from one detail. It is the size of (and has the personality of) a housecat. C’mon, a tiny, cute dragon you can keep as a pet! Adorable! It’s just a shame only certain Warlocks can get them as familiars in 5th Ed Dnd unless your GM is kind.
Hmmm… Well I plan to save my actual favourite monster in this category for the ‘Favourite Monster Overall’ question, and I talked about Hags before, so…
I like wolves, I like transformations, so combine the two is fun for me. Having said that, I don’t like how werewolves are always evil. I can understand for the unknowing werewolf who involuntary transforms, but once they have control of it, or are born to it, why need they be evil? Poor wolves have such an unfortunate rep being cast as evil all the time. And if you have a setting where wolves are evil but foxes are good (looking at you Narnia) that is utter bull*bleep*!
Anyway, back to werewolves. Like many of my favourites, there are lots of ways you can use them. There is the classic curse of lycanthropy, the feral tribe of shapeshifters, the hidden group wo enjoy their blessings, a group of noble warriors using it to protect the weak. Or even mixing up the different versions.