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D&D 3E
Interesting and unusual character types 
15th-Dec-2005 10:10 am
Potter DnD
I notice a trend with a lot of D&D players, the longer they play. They start out doing the standard races, get bored with them, go through a phase of exotic characters (sometimes in an attempt to powergame, sometimes just looking for something new)-- minotaurs seem to be a popular choice in that regard. After that phase, they tend to settle down to making new and unique characters that have an lot of flavor behind them. It doesn't necessarily make the character very powerful-- in fact a lot of the time, I've seen players deliberately make the character less powerful because it fits better with the concept.

In that later category, I've got two concepts I'm really interested in playing, and I've seen many others that are fun. Here are my two:

An eco-terrorist druid. The character isn't stupid, so she doesn't go along and try to kill every lumberjack or cattleherd in existence; she picks her targets wisely. She's also high on the chaos factor, so, after the party has done everything they need to in the town, she may decide to prepare all 'Awaken' spells she can, and set the trees free. Or she may find the local sawmill and burn it down. The character would be aware of the need for party cohesiveness and wouldn't deliberately do things to screw the party over, but would certainly work towards the ideal of violently liberating plants and animals from under the yoke of humanity.

A wizard who doesn't appear to be a wizard. This evolved from a careful reading of the 3.5 rules for armor check penalty. Since a stilled spell isn't affected by the ACP, and neither are spells with no semantic components, this wizard would focus on those types of spells. He would also focus on spells that aren't obviously wizardy-- no fireballs or magic missles, but things like True Strike, Mage Armor, Bull's Strength, Charm Person, etc. would be his spells of choice. He would have to blow his first few feats on armor proficiency, martial weapon proficiency, and still spell. The wizard is trading some pretty powerful wizard spells for the sake of a little anonymity-- the mage is usually considered a big threat, and people go after him first, so he figures by appearing to be a roguish type, or some sort of weaker fighter, the enemy will think him less of a target, and allow him to be more effective.

I'm also in the process of trying to develop a paladin that doesn't act like a stereotypical paladin, but still maintains her calling in her own way. Does anyone else out there have some really interesting concepts that are a bit different than the normal, for flavor's sake? What are they like?
15th-Dec-2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
> Since a stilled spell isn't affected by the ACP, and neither are spells with no semantic components...

That's "somatic" components. Semantic components would require specific meanings, and I'm not sure how that would manifest. But it's an interesting idea.

Now that the pedantry is done with, I'd suggest enchantment and divination as being very useful for your wizard. Both are generally easy to disguise or perform in private ahead of time. And if you can see what's going to happen, and can make people do what you need, you might not need to perform any overt magic...
15th-Dec-2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
Slip of the fingers. This is what I get for posting at work. =)
15th-Dec-2005 05:40 pm (UTC)
He would have to blow his first few feats on armor proficiency, martial weapon proficiency, and still spell.

Eh. Not necessarily. If you're doing this from low level, take a level of fighter, or whatever your favorite, armor-using class may be (1st level or 2nd, your choice). Admittedly, you need Wizard or whatever-your-second-class is to be your racially favored class to avoid the XP penalty. You get Still spell and your weapons and armors at 2nd level.

At higher level, there are literally dozens upon dozens of PrCs that give arcane casters the ability to cast in armor.

15th-Dec-2005 05:58 pm (UTC) - Your paladin
If you watched the "Hellsing" anime, you've probably noticed a guy with two sharp blades(in hands) and thousands of blades (under jacket)
Anderson was his name?
A nice sample of non-stereotyped paladin =)
15th-Dec-2005 06:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know exactly what you mean! (And because I can very much relate, I will appologize ahead of time for the massive length that this reply will end up being).

First, as for your paladin, I once played a paladin of Nobanion, a lion-type god from Faerun. My paladin had red hair and a fiery temper. Her kind were known as lions and lionesses, not paladins and their set of oaths were based on the unity and honor in a group of lions. ... Okay, I pulled up my old notes. Her group was known as the Order of the Golden Claw. You can find the tenants here: http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/Transendence/message/32
((I think you can access that even if you aren't a member of the group? If not, I can copy and past them for anyone who wants to see them.))

Over all, however, my experience with Jessica, taught me that I am not a player of lawful characters. And I have known since shortly after I started playing D&D that my characters always tend the be the underdogs and the unaccepted. I have always looked at the "accepted" rules of who is good and evil and challenged them and my characters show that. Anyone else would say my characters are fucked up. I'd have to agree. I'll let you decide for yourself:

My current character, Adriel, is a demon-blooded half-drow urban druid/rogue/daggerspell shaper of Selune.


Yeah, told you. She takes from her mother, my first character. From Nyara, I learned that my favorite type of character is an outcast, unaccepted. One who prefers not to be seen, but is always searching for truth even as she seeks to protect those weaker than her. Specifically those who no one else believes in. Nyara was a hollow demon/half-drow shadowpriestess of Taldoth (or Selune, depending on the campaign setting). From Nyara, Adriel received the art of divine spellcasting and shapechanging (urban druid) and an affinity to shadows (rogue). Both Nyara and Adriel thought it was completely rediculous to assume that what a creature was determined its quality of character. Nyara was proof of that since she was a demon with a CG alignment (long story). As a shadowpriestess, Nyara also believed that shadows, as reflections of who we are, were not condemned to be forever evil simply because they are undead. Adriel has come to follow her mother's same beliefs.

Adriel has eyes and ears in most cities thanks to her network of street children (and the leadership feat). She gathers information and has the charisma to lead almost any army in the dalelands if she wanted to - even though she physicially looks like a half-blood of the hated drow. She couldn't care less what others think of her and does what she wants to do when she wants to do it. Those chaotic tendancies are tempered by a very strong loyalty to her friends. Just as she'll knowingly open a trapped door for no other reason than to see what it's hiding, she'll never flee when an ally, or anyone else, is in danger. Her motto is "curiosity killed the ally cat", but she is a slippery creature and always seems to get her companions and herself out of whatever trouble she gets them into.

Hmm, told you I'd babble. Sorry! But Adriel is very much my stereotype. Affinity to shadows and an imense flexibility given by spellcasting and shapechanging and a race that is not normally accepted by estemed society. By being one of the outcasts, my characters can defend the outcasts. That's what they do best.
15th-Dec-2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
My friend made a 5th level rogue. He played the rogue as a drug addicted theif, who upon seeing ther destruction of a town was visted by a god. He then started taking paladin levels.

His main mode of attack was throwing knives, a bow, and eventually an axe. He never wore greater then studed leather or a chain shirt. He was VERY chrismatic and kept hitting on all the girls, but was very chilverous about it. He also have a bluff check and a BUNCH of Hide and MS>
15th-Dec-2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
May Valence, Priestess of Zoamelgustar (name shamelessly stolen from Slayers, because I had another fake deity name that nobody could remember, so one day I just said Zoamelgustar out of frustration, it stuck).

A pious champion of her deity, she travelled the lands of Krynn tending to the wounded, slaying evil, and striking down monsters with a single blow of her ranseur.

Classes? Bard/War Chanter, with a GM exception to let her cast Cure spells as a bard in Krynn.

The party had no idea I was playing a bard, despite me going through the motions of all of the bard talents -- perform, use magic device, sleight of hand, diplomacy, bard song, bardic spells...

... until one of the players noticed that whenever I called for Zoamelgustar's Guidance, it was eerily similar to Inspire Courage.

She was a *beast*, too. Power Attack, Reckless Attack, and the -AC +Damage song from War Chanter (can't remember what it is, exactly).

She'd often go into battles and see her AC drop down to a score of 2 or 3, but would frequently strike foes for 30-40 damage a hit at level 9.

Poor, crazy May.

It was a really funny game, actually, because the two melee monsters were a bard and a wizard. The fighter, barbarian, real cleric, and rogue, all died horrible, goresplattered deaths against this huge abomination we fought, with only the bard (with 2 hp) and the wizard (with 1 hp) prevaling.

The GM tried to kill us with an acidic explosion when it died, but we both made the reflex saves and he rolled low (on 5d6, he got a 6), bringing me to -4 and the wizard, who had a ring of evasion, stayed at 0.

15th-Dec-2005 06:30 pm (UTC)
er, stayed at ONE.

... and then came the fateful day, where the GM couldn't decide what to use for a wandering monster encounter, and asked the fated question to a random passerby...

"Hey, Mike, pick a monster."

It was at that point that our party of stalwart adventurers was slaughtered by six battlebriars, who teamed up to grapple, render helpless, and coup de grace each of us in the combat.

15th-Dec-2005 09:07 pm (UTC)
*nods* I have done what you are doing, one as a player, the other as me just generating an NPC randomly.

The eco-terrorist is an amusing thing to play, I have to admit. Though it eventually will catch up to you in the end as it did me, it is one heck of a ride. Always make sure Move in Shadows and Hide are at a good level because you will be roguing like no tomorrow... In fact, if you do have an inkling to take another class besides a Druid, make it a Rogue. That will help out greatly... Also, aim for Leadership so you can form your own eco-terrorist group.

As far as the Wizard, it was more of a Sorcerer for me. I stated her out to level 20 and she was scary. Let me see if I can find the stats...

Lady Justine of the waves, Half-elf, Sor10;
"CR 10; Medium Humanoid; 5'/5';
HD 10d4+50; hp 106;
Init +4; Spd 35 ft/x4;
AC 18;
SV Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +6; AL LN;
Str 11(+0), Dex 18(+4), Con 20(+5), Int 12(+1), Wis 8(-1), Cha 18(+4);
Skills & Feats: .
Toughness, Maximize Spell, Armored Caster, Improved Toughness"

Lady Justine of the waves, Half-elf, Sor20;
"CR 20; Medium Humanoid; 5'/5';
HD 20d4+200; hp 306;
Init +3; Spd 35 ft/x4;
AC 19;
Atk +13/+8 One-handed (1d4+3,17-20/x2, Dagger +3, Keen bursting);
SV Fort +16, Ref +9, Will +11; AL LN;
Str 10(+0), Dex 17(+3), Con 31(+10), Int 13(+1), Wis 9(-1), Cha 26(+8);
Skills & Feats: Bluff¹ +20, Concentration¹ +33, Craft (Leatherworker) +12, Knowledge (arcana) +24, Spellcraft +26.
Leadership, Toughness, Craft Wondrous Item, Maximize Spell, Silent Spell, Armored Caster, Improved Toughness"

As you can see, she gets better and better every level. The toad familiar is at 153, one hell of a toad to kill I tell you that much. The Tank-erer is an awesome thing to behold, but it will take some schmoozing of the DM to do as two of these (Armored Caster, Improved Toughness) are not SRD material.

Good luck to you on this! I know the challenge of it all!
15th-Dec-2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
i used to play an ogre barbarian who thaught he was a thief . he was smart for an ogre (int 12) but terrably gullable . he believed he had a magik weapon that he called the staff of morphius which if he hit an unarmored peasant in the head with it would render him uncocouse.it was actually an adamantine tipped greatclub. he also had an ogrish style for all his rouge skills
ogre [pickpocket which was grab by the ankles and shake,ogre lockpicking was smash the door down. he would commanly announce to people they were being robbed by nortan of the heavy hand,,master thief, and generally noone argues with an ogre with a 19 intimidate.
when he would go into rage he would turn on the waterworks and cry like a pissed off 7 year old. hands down my all time favorate charictor
15th-Dec-2005 10:10 pm (UTC)
That's pretty awesome.
15th-Dec-2005 09:47 pm (UTC)
I second the suggestion of taking a level or two of fighter or cleric to make the wizard's life easier.

As for unusual paladins, I came up with a character conception I liked a lot, but havent gotten a chance to play yet:

Human Paladin with the "Reptilian" template from Savage Species. He's from the prehisotric past, when dragons ruled the earth and had cadres of reptilian servants. He was a servant of a gold dragon, who found himself in battle against the followers of the black dragon Troglos, and some magic effect went blooey, and he ended up ejected 10,000 yers into the future.

And he's depressed. The dragons are still around, but their reign on the world is broken. The lizard men, yuan-ti's and so on are just clinging to the edges of survival. All the "good" reptilians have vanished. And who's in their place?

Mammals. Oh, great. Chipper, whimsical, mammals. Elves finally made a bid for the forest, it would appear. And the humans, sigh, are running around so fast it's a wnder they don't kill themselves running into walls.

He's still Lawful Good. He still reveres Bahamut. But his patron gold dragon seems long gone, and he's on his own. He's kind of like a paladin/Eeyore.

And while he holds his own paladinic code of conduct, he doesn't try to impose it on mammals. "It's a saurian thing. You wouldn't understand."
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