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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreatWyrmGold's Avatar

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    Default Character-Based Story-Driven Game

    Introduction: Or, GWG rambles about some lit-class stuff that most people won't care about

    I've been wanting to do some play-by-post (for a variety of reasons, including wanting to hone/de-rust my writing skills), and have decided I'm comfortable with running a game. The problem was, I don't have any specific ideas that I think are simultaneously enough to be worth building an entire campaign on top of and small enough in scope that I'm confident in my ability to keep DMing it. But then I remembered an idea I'd been thinking of for a while.

    Normally, a DM designs a campaign, keeps the details of the plot secret (for obvious reasons), lets the players slap whatever characters they think sound cool in a vacuum, and hopes the story and characters will mesh into a cohesive whole by simple virtue of being put together. That's not how good stories are written; the characters need to fit the story, the story needs to fit the characters, and both need to fit with the themes to build some kind of coherent whole. Or at the very least, the protagonists, antagonists, and side characters all need to have some kind of throughline. Darth Vader works as Luke's father and the Emperor's right hand in a way that the Joker or Tywin Lannister never could, even though all three are great villains in the right context.

    So my idea is simple: Gather a bunch of characters, see what dramatic throughlines I can draw through them, and write a story based around that. Make that story, built to the characters, into a series of adventures and make sure the dramatic arcs all make sense and put a resolution for each character right at the climax, and start everything up.

    Foreword: Or, What do I do now?

    You probably have a character for some RPG (whether tabletop, play-by-post, or something else entirely) who never got a resolution you wanted. Maybe the campaign couldn't fit a resolution to their central conflict into its dungeon-crawling schedule; maybe the campaign crashed and burned after three sessions due to scheduling issues; maybe you just caught a crossbow bolt to the temple and never got to explore the character's depth. This is a good tie to bring back that character! (Or write another one, I'm not your boss.)
    There are only three things you need to post right now if you think this sounds like an interesting idea.
    First, you need a character description. I'm not going to make a form for you to fill out; just include anything that seems important to you. If your character's race or class doesn't matter to their core concept, don't list it; if you think their favorite play does matter, include it.
    Second, you need a backstory. The character description lets me know who your character is; the backstory lets me know why they are that way. It can be as long or short as you want, and include as many extraneous details as you feel like including.
    Finally, you need a system vote. I'm willing to run D&D 3.5, D&D 5e, and first-edition Pathfinder (or GURPS, on the off chance that enough people on this D&D forum want to play not-D&D and I won't need to teach the system to one recalcitrant grognard on the fly). The reason for this is simple...I know those systems well enough to feel comfortable DMing them, unlike e.g. 4e or PF2.

    Once I have a decent cast of characters and an idea where the story could go, I'll let those players know in-thread and start working out details. Once the details are worked out, I'll start up the IC and OOC threads where we can introduce our cast of characters, finalize character creation, and otherwise get our ducks in a row.

    Spoiler: PBP Questionnaire
    Show
    Medium: Play-by-post
    System: TBD
    Player Count: TBD—probably 3-6
    Style of Play: Story-based
    Allowed Content: All first-party content from either WotC or Paizo, depending on what game we play; homebrew may be allowed at DM discretion, if you can justify its importance to your character on a narrative level (e.g, explain why a comparable first-party option is insufficient in representing your character).

    Character Creation:
    • Backstory: Absolutely required
    • Experience: 1st level
    • Wealth: Standard
    • Ability Scores: Point-buy, with the number of points being dependent on the system
    • Hitpoints/Health: Average
    • Alignment: Whatever suits your character


    Other Notes: Bring in any character you wrote up and really want to play. I'll be picking a handful of characters who seem like I can write a compelling story with a consistent theme for.
    Having a distinct motivation or goal matters more than a detailed backstory; just generically wanting adventure or wealth or whatever a la standard D&D is sufficient for a normal game, but it's not much to build an actual story out of. Which isn't to say that "Wanting adventure/wealth/etc" is a point against prospective characters, and far from it; you just need more motivation than that. (And on a related note, I do need enough backstory to understand where your character came from, and ideally some element I can tie into the central theme.)
    I'm going to try to check in and update every day, and I'd like you to do the same, but real life intervenes at the worst of times. If you're going to be away for more than a couple of days, please let us know ahead of time; if nothing's happening in the game, feel free to talk about whatever in the OOC thread. If I don't hear from one player in a while, I'll temporarily add an N to the absent PC; worst-case scenario (ie, player drops out completely), I'll ask around for a new player.



    EDIT: I have a sufficient number of applications, and need to start planning around what I have. I'm sorry, but I will not be accepting further character applications from anyone who hasn't at least posted in this thread yet.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2019-08-31 at 09:12 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    I have two characters that I put a lot of effort into backstories (at least it was a lot of effort from my perspective backstory is not my best strength), but the campaigns never went very far.
    PF 1e or D&D 5e are both good with me.

    Alara has made it into several campaigns built into several classes that all ended up falling apart because one player drops then the GM gives up. I prefer to set her up as a homebrew shapeshifter archetype/class that is converted from some content in D&D 3.5.
    Spoiler: Alara
    Show
    10 Minute Backstory
    Step 1: Write at least five things about your character’s concept and background, things that you think are the most essential parts of your character.
    - Alara was raised by a hermit in the depths of the forest, and trained in the ways of the woodlands, the sword and the bow, and the use of herbs. She was never told of her heritage, if any, perhaps the old man did not actually know. When she was a young teenager they were attacked by some monsters. They were able to defeat them but the hermit took a mortal wound that Alara was unable to heal.
    - Spent a few years in the city of Forndell improving her skills. The city is located in the narrow temperate Ravenwood forest that is sandwiched between the coast of the gulf of Mornanén and the Bluestone mountains. It is inhabited primarily by wood elves although there are some human fishing villages on the coast and some small dwarven mining outposts in the mountains which have copper deposits.
    - Eventually she left the city and set off as a wandering apolicary looking for new and different reagents to work with. After a while she came upon a wandering mercenary group that had a use for her services.
    - Alara is still rather young, for an elf, however she is a capable fighter. Having grown up in the remote depths of the woodlands Alara was raised with a strong work ethic because if you did not work, you did not eat. The forest is bountiful if you know where to look, but it is also unforgiving. She prefers action over talk and takes her duties very seriously.
    - Alara was empowered by Arasdoronen the great spirit of woodlands. Arasdoronen appears as a enormous powerfully built elk with antlers that are branches of an oak tree adorned with leaves that change with the seasons and green fur that looks like course moss. The domains are Life, Light, Nature, and Tempest.

    Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game.
    - N/A
    - Discover a new medicinal herb.

    Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves them but that they are not actually aware of yet.
    - Known: Alara blames herself for not being able to save her mentor, it is part of what drives her to study the healing arts.
    - Unaware: Alara is the last living member of a once powerful noble family. The hermit was the family’s master-at-arms.

    Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance, or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well.
    - Friend: Slate the dwarf. They defended a trade caravan from a small orc raiding party.
    - Friend: Thula the witch. Continued Alara’s education of herbalism and healing.
    - Enemy: Bambi the barbarian. Much like the cowboy named Sue he is very sensitive about his name.

    Step 5: Describe three memories, mannerisms, or quirks that your character has. They do not have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.
    - Money is nice, but she joined the mercenary group to help people.
    - All people, rich or poor, deserve respect.
    - Likes to take samples of interesting flora and fauna.

    Zhanty has the best developed backstory I have ever written for a character, she is from a Star Wars campaign, but the bulk of the backstory can be re-flavored to a fantasy setting. I would just have to figure out what class she would be.

    Spoiler: Zhanty
    Show
    Zhanty’s earliest memories are of being a slave in a mining colony on some obscure planet in the outer rim that she does not care to remember. It was always cold and gloomy, the sun rarely broke through the clouds, and it was frequently raining. She was the only cathar in the slave pens, never found out what happened to her parents, a Twi’lek slave named Oola and her son Ilar were the closest thing she had to family.

    On one day that started much the same as the rest, a large force of ships descended on the small city and a battle broke out, over what she will never really know, who tells the slaves about such things. The slave control system was destroyed in the fighting and they made a break for it. They managed to make it to a ship and Oola urged Zhanty and Ilar to hide and went to draw some pursuers away, that was the last time they saw her. The ship flead the planet deep into Hutt space.

    They were discovered on the ship, the captain was not so cruel to space them, but did not show them any favors. They spent the trip scrubbing bulkheads until they were kicked off in a spaceport on Affavan with 10 credits each.

    Life as a slave was comfortable compared to life as a street rat. Never knowing where the next meal might be coming from. Always on the run from slavers, gangs, and worse. Eventually they were run into a corner where the only way out was to fight, turns out Zhanty has a talent for it, ended up tearing some punks throat out with her claws. Ilar wasn’t so lucky, took a stab wound to the stomach, slow painful death.

    A wanderer came through town, looked like an easy mark. Turns out that he was some sort of warrior monk, had Zhanty pinned to the ground in a heartbeat. She struggles like a wild animal until he told her to relax and a weird feeling came over her. For a second she did, then came to her senses and continues to struggle. The man hit her on the back of her neck and she fell unconscious.

    She woke up bound and gagged with the man watching her while drinking tea. It took awhile for him to convince her that he meant her not harm, but eventually she was willing to listen to what he had to say. His name was X’lor Elgrin and he told her of the Force and how he feels in her the potential to use it. Seemed too good to be true, life had brought her nothing but hardship. However she eventually got it into her fuzzy little head that this crazy old man might at least be her way off this rock, and good for a few meals, so she agreed to tag along and see what this training was about.

    It took weeks of training for her to learn to how to relax enough before something clicked, and it was like a whole new reality was unlocked, turns out that the old man was not crazy. Seeing that the Force was actually there and not some stage trick she threw herself into the training for real, not just milking the mans hospitality. Beyond Jedi training he also taught her some basic knowledge like math and how to read. Her natural fighting instincts with her claws lead to an aptitude towards a dual saber fighting style.

    Eventually the Empire caught up with them. They were outmatched and outgunned and the fight came to an end when she saw Elgrin fall from a cliff. Her despair was palpable, losing the closest thing to a father figure in her life, she lost it and tore into the forces with a savage furocity. She managed to take out several Troopers with nothing but her claws before the Inquisitors restrained her. Being first and foremost a survivor she agreed to join the empire rather than face execution, and in the state of raw exposed emotions it did not take much to give her the first nudge towards the dark side.

    In order to be accepted as a dark side adept Zhanty has to complete several tests designed to push her firmly down the path of the dark side. The memories of these tests will haunt her for the rest of her life.

    After completing the tests she was sent to Arkanis Academy for basic military training and to fill in the gaps in her education. When her natural aptitude for dual wielding became apparent she was entered into the Saber Guard program where she learned to fight with two lightsabers while wearing armor.

    Upon completion of her training the empire started sending her on missions, basic stuff at first but after a few years she was called upon to hunt down a surviving Jedi. After several weeks of tracking down leeds they finally confronted the Jedi. The Jedi turned out to be none other that her former master. They are alone for only a few seconds before the rest of the team show up. She is paralyzed by the revelation and does not know what to do. Elgrin has sadness in his eyes upon seeing what Zhanty has become but he gives her a soft smile and impales himself on her blade and collapses before his body vanishes.

    Zhanty howled in anguish, luckily the other members of the party think that she is merely pissed off that the Jedi gave up without a fight. While searching the robes she finds a data card with her name on it and manages to palm it without the others noticing. It contains a recorded message.

    In the message her master apologizes for everything that has happened. He felt her presence in a near miss with the tracking party and knew it probably was not going to be too long until they caught up with him so he prepared himself so that he could confront her on his terms. Along with the recorded hologram are instructions on how to resume her former line of training with the force. This was enough for her to regret falling so for into the dark side of the force and gives her the resolve to try to turn her life around.

    Personality Notes
    - She has lost everyone she has ever cared about, Zhanty avoids personal relationships.
    - She has spent many nights with an empty stomach when she was young, she now always has a few ration packs on her at all times.
    - She despises slavery.
    - Typically in the vanguard, rather than the rear.
    Last edited by Izzarra; 2019-08-25 at 03:03 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    An Amy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Yes, this seems so interesting to have a story crafted from the characters instead of feeling like having to create a new character every time there's a module or something run. Great concept!

    I have a few characters that never end up having satisfactory stories run for them or campaigns that get going beyond the first encounter, but I definitely have one that time and time again I've tried to run in a campaign and it always ends up falling apart. That would be...

    Laurel
    She's a shapeshifter of sorts, an assassin that is able to take the form other female humanoids. She was one of many homeless roofrats in a port city. The children tended to live on the roofs, thus the nickname for them. She was saved by a monk who possessed a dark power by infusing it into her and merging her with another girl who had died during gang violence in the area. He took her and trained her to become an assassin to help him reshape the world and eliminate its corrupt elements. Her story always has been about the moments when she is either still working fully under him or just starting to question his motivations and his ultimate goal. At fist she is incredibly grateful and fearful of this large figure who is her master, and her upbringing under him was not doting or heartwarming, to say the least. It was a continuance of her life thus far, a struggle though in a different form than before. She fought hard for her master's attention and his admiration feeling that these were the most important things for her. She threw herself fully behind his ideology that the world was corrupt and that it needed culling to restore it back to peaceful times. Yet pushed herself to remove any signs of weaknesses and to show that such weaknesses in others is only there to be exploited. It was victim blaming, that the weak were in some ways responsible for the rise of the corrupt. It would be decades later before she questioned her master's ideologies and eventually turn against them.

    Mechanics-wise, she's been given various templates or custom races by the DMs who've run the games where she's been included. Half-doppleganger or a changeling with some variations is the most popular for her. The main thing about her is that she doesn't have a base form and has no memory of what she used to look like, just only that she was a human child before. She's usually been a mix of monk and rogue. (I've tried her in a solo campaign on these boards as a rogue|swashbuckler gestalt).

    Lielta
    A character I created for a solo campaign here and elsewhere in a party a couple times that never got too far. What I liked about her is the purposeful naivety that I built into her backstory. A girl from a village near some druids, she spent more time with the druids than she did with her own village. The villagers and the druids have a very amicable relationship anyway, so she wasn't too out of the ordinary in that regard. She ends up wanting to fully become a druid and partakes in a journey, a tradition for those in her area, where she travels the world and seeks out their place and where they feel they have the most agency. She's supposed to return with wisdom gained from her travels or at least return to declare she'll leave once more to help where she's most needed. She's a bubbly personality that loves people and cultures and thus gravitates toward cities, feeling that her best talents would be encouraging and facilitating peaceful coexistence between the urban and natural worlds. Mechanics for her are simple: a druid. Variations of this character involve Isara, a shapeshifting druid (PHB2 variant) who has settled in a large city and works with the locals as a kind of vigilante, but the backstories and personalities are similar. Came from a village where the unity with the surrounding natural world was very high and makes it a sort of mission to being that about in more places.

    System
    I'm truly only familiar with D&D 3.5 and somewhat with Pathfinder 1, enough there to be a player.

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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Oooh, I've got a character I've tried to play twice so far, before both games died.

    He's a pretty typical swashbuckler type. Got a huge loan(100,000+ gold) to buy a ship and crew so he could satisfy his wanderlust, planning to use the gains from his adventure to pay it back. Unfortunately, he woke up from a night of too much partying to find the ship and crew completely gone, leaving him with nothing but massive debt and what equipment he had on him.

    I will do a proper write up later, but that's the gist of it. We can tweak bits of it if necessary. Let me know if that's not enough of a goal/motivation.

    Here's a light description of him, physically:
    Zak Drake is of average height and wiry build, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a short cropped beard. Heavily tanned from years spent on deck, he appears mostly average in every way, except for the large bronze draconic wings and tail sprouting from his back.

    I know that's not very much, but I do have more to add. I'm just tired and can't bring myself to do a whole write up for him right now, and I can't copy and paste his old backstory, because that was a super high level game.

    I'll put my vote in for either 3.5e. I don't think he can be built in 5e or with strictly pathfinder material, so I don't think I can play if one of those is the chosen system. Building him could be a bit hard, since both the times I played him were gestalt situations, but I think I can do it single tracked, as long as low-op is ok.

    Here are his old sheets, the last page on each can give you a decent enough idea until I can write something for this game.

    First Game this was a low level half-gestalt.

    Second Game this was a high level tristalt, with homebrew material to boot. This is his final form, essentially.
    Last edited by Stevesciguy; 2019-08-25 at 05:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    I have a few that never got around to living out a full career. Some err on the darker sides of alignment, not sure if they would play well with others in all situations. Would dm think that would be acceptable, or should I let them stay in the long sleep?

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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Just as I'm ready to write up this post, I notice a new submission. I like this problem.


    I've made notes on the backstories and whatnot and I have some questions/suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Izzarra View Post
    Alara
    I'd like if Alara's relationships to the people in her backstory were elaborated on. What lessons did she learn from the hermit-at-arms? (Also, what's his name?) Why did Slate and Alara stick together after fighting together? Is Thula a "replacement" for Alara's adoptive father, just a friend she trades notes with, or something else/in between? Why are Alara and Bambi enemies?

    Quote Originally Posted by An Amy View Post
    Laurel
    I like this character, though I'd want to add a line or two to the end of the backstory that separates her from her mentor to push her towards leaving her normal life (to find her mentor). My only question is if she knew the girl she was merged with, or if she was just a random corpse.

    Lielta
    The reason Lielta wants to go out and adventure needs to be specified. Is she looking for something in particular, is she just trying to "graduate" to druid-hood, something else? And why does she want to become a druid instead of just continuing to know the druids like she has?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevesciguy View Post
    Zak Drake
    glances at avatar Should be easy to remember which character you're playing.
    I'd like a little more specificity to the wanderlust, or something specific to complement it. Both "I want to see the world" and "I need to pay off a big debt" are good reasons to do something, but on their own aren't good reasons to do any specific thing.
    Also, do you mind if I ask why you don't think he would work outside of 3.5? Pathfinder and 5e both have draconic races, and Pathfinder at least has an explicit swashbuckling class.


    Quote Originally Posted by Buufreak View Post
    I have a few that never got around to living out a full career. Some err on the darker sides of alignment, not sure if they would play well with others in all situations. Would dm think that would be acceptable, or should I let them stay in the long sleep?
    The devil's in the details. Are we talking Dungeon Crawlin' Fools's apathetically sadistic Belkar, or Utterly Dwarfed's relatively loyal and pragmatically restrained Belkar? The latter could work (especially if I picked some of the other heroes who are far from paragons themselves), the first definitely wouldn't.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I like this character, though I'd want to add a line or two to the end of the backstory that separates her from her mentor to push her towards leaving her normal life (to find her mentor). My only question is if she knew the girl she was merged with, or if she was just a random corpse.


    The reason Lielta wants to go out and adventure needs to be specified. Is she looking for something in particular, is she just trying to "graduate" to druid-hood, something else? And why does she want to become a druid instead of just continuing to know the druids like she has?
    For Laurel, I'm not sure I understand the request. Something that is the reason she separates from her mentor for the start of the her re-invention from LE to NG? She knew the girl though they were not necessarily friends, but the girl was still dead. In fact they were enemies, in a way, but during the gang fight they were both trying to help each other escape. It was out of necessity but it also highlighted that the orphans still watched out for each other even if they didn't like each other. There was an US vs THEM mentality with the orphans, viewing everyone below as THEM. So, shorter answer, yes she knew the girl she was merged with. In one version of her story her master put a shard of some crystal in her chest (without the other girl), and in another the crystal was stabbed through the other girl's body and into Laurel, kind like hemalurgy from Mistborn.

    Lielta was graduating into druid-hood, a tradition before being fully accepted into a group. But she's in love with the idea of journeying as she's always wanted to, despite how her father died. She did grow up isolated from most of the world and clung to every tall tale and juicy gossip from surrounding villages and visiting merchants. She was raised by her aunt because her mother died and her father never returned after a trip helping guard a merchant wagon, prompting her aunt to be anti-going-somewhere-else. He's presumed dead. She spent a lot of time among the druids, visited them often and helped the people of her village with any knowledge acquired. Some of the village did study with the druids on things, but she was the first in a long time that wanted to actually become one. It is part admiration of them and their way of life. Despite having lost both her parents, Lielta was generally a happy child.

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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by An Amy View Post
    For Laurel, I'm not sure I understand the request. Something that is the reason she separates from her mentor for the start of the her re-invention from LE to NG?
    Oh, I thought that part was just talking about her potential to reinvent herself, not a reinvention that had already happened. My bad.
    I was just saying "I'd start the game after they've been separated, both as a clear inciting incident and to give her a specific goal (finding her mentor)".

    I like the information about the orphans and stuff. It helps me understand who she was before her transformation.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Oh, I thought that part was just talking about her potential to reinvent herself, not a reinvention that had already happened. My bad.
    I was just saying "I'd start the game after they've been separated, both as a clear inciting incident and to give her a specific goal (finding her mentor)".

    I like the information about the orphans and stuff. It helps me understand who she was before her transformation.
    Ah, I see. Well her history is Orphan > Saved by Mentor > Raised by Mentor/Master to become assassin > Goes on lots of missions > at some point takes on a mission that changes her views turning her against her master
    Two instances have her changing her views. When she takes over someone's form, she has to hold their body for a little bit. It's pragmatic (at least she tells herself) that it's easier to do so if they are dead. Plus she can absorb memories and thoughts, which is also easier if the person is dead, no resistance. In one instance she does this to a rather innocent girl. Normally Laurel fools herself into thinking she's killing people that won't be missed, that weren't liked much and people that others won't really scrutinize when Laurel assumes their identities. For this one girl, she was very well liked, loved even by her people and a somewhat tragic bride-to-be for a lord that few did like. She was tasked with killing both and framing one of the leaders of a local merchant's group that was outspoken against the lord. This innocent girl turned out not to be dead yet when Laurel started to absorb her mind and doppelgang her. She absorbed a bit more than just recent memories but took on a bit of the girl's personality. This could also be said about the girl she was bonded with in the beginning from her master. Maybe that girl wasn't fully dead and imparted some more ruthlessness into Laurel. She always told herself that killing the lesser liked was just pragmatic, but in a way she was making it easier for her to justify since it did bother her on some level. She didn't just willy-nilly go around killing just because. She tried to do it very sparingly. Though she usually kept about 5 personas handy and would lose the least used persona in order to gain another. This innocent girl she didn't kill before absorbing became a more permanent thing and she never could get rid of that form. She unknowingly changes into that girl's form when she's distracted, thinking back about that particular mission, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    glances at avatar Should be easy to remember which character you're playing.
    Indeed it should be

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I'd like a little more specificity to the wanderlust, or something specific to complement it. Both "I want to see the world" and "I need to pay off a big debt" are good reasons to do something, but on their own aren't good reasons to do any specific thing.
    Fair point. Maybe he's looking for his draconic ancestor. That'd be interesting. Especially if his ancestor is one of the weirder dragon types.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Also, do you mind if I ask why you don't think he would work outside of 3.5? Pathfinder and 5e both have draconic races, and Pathfinder at least has an explicit swashbuckling class.
    His major gimmick, at least in his fully built state, is that he's a speedster. The best way of doing this cleanly that I've found is with the Swiftblade PrC. I'm also not as familiar with PF or 5e, especially 5e, so I'll have difficulties building him in either. In previous versions, he's also used Dragon Tail + Prehensile Tail to become a multiweapon fighter, which I don't think exists in either, but that's more of a mechanical detail than a character one(although the mental image of him fighting someone with both hands literally tied behind his back is a very in-character one)
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    Okay more info an Alara Raydawn, she is a Wood Elf with brown hair and golden eyes.

    If we go with pathfinder I would like to play her as a druid with the following Shipshaper and Mooncaller archetypes.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I'd like if Alara's relationships to the people in her backstory were elaborated on. What lessons did she learn from the hermit-at-arms? (Also, what's his name?)?
    The hermit was Torvald the Sureshot son of Urdur a human ranger with a dip into druid.
    He never felt the time was right to tell Alara of her heritage, and unfortunately was unable to tell her on his deathbed.

    She was trained in the ways of the woodlands, the sword and the bow, and the use of herbs. (Game mechanics: Elven Weapon Familiarity, Elven Magic, Nature Sense)

    After she became proficient in these things he began her instruction in the languages and magic of the forest. (Game mechanics: Sylvan, Druidic, and Spellcasting)

    I will work on developing a few specific life lessons.

    During her communions with the forest she discovered her affinity towards assuming the forms of animals. She typically assumes the form of a large black timber-wolf. (Game mechanics: Shapeshifting)

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Why did Slate and Alara stick together after fighting together?
    Having been raised by a human she never acquired the high brow attitude that most elves have. Slate found the disconnect between her appearance and personality quite funny so he decided to travel with her for a while to see if he could get a few more good laughs out of it and some stories to tell the kinfolk.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Is Thula a "replacement" for Alara's adoptive father, just a friend she trades notes with, or something else/in between?
    Thula would be the closest thing to a mother figure that Alara has ever known. Though Alara would probably not be able to articulate this.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Why are Alara and Bambi enemies?
    She said his name was "Cute" things went downhill from there.

    More background info:

    The city of Forndell is located in the narrow temperate Ravenwood forest that is sandwiched between the coast of the Mornanén sea and the Bluestone mountains. It is inhabited primarily by wood elves although there are some human fishing villages on the coast and some small dwarven mining outposts in the mountains which have copper deposits. Forndell is ruled over by a counsel of elders. The Council is a Meritocracy with nine members. While there are no rules regarding race or age, the majority of humans do not live long enough to accomplish enough to be considered for a position on the council and most dwarves are not all that interested in elven politics.

    The family of Raydawn once acted as an intermediary between the citizens of the land and the members of the council. Traveling between the different towns in the land to hear the needs of the people and relay the decisions of the council. But they were brought down by the scheming of rival families.
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    Quote Originally Posted by An Amy View Post
    Ah, I see. Well her history is Orphan > Saved by Mentor > Raised by Mentor/Master to become assassin > Goes on lots of missions > at some point takes on a mission that changes her views turning her against her master
    Ah, I see. Yeah, I can work with that. Maybe her master's last mission sends her along with the other PCs for some reason, and she probably ends up changing her views over time as she's kept away from her mentor? I've always wanted to try playing a game where one PC was hiding a big secret from...wait a second...

    Anyways, before we start I'll need to talk with you about how, exactly, you want your shapeshifting and stuff to work. I was imagining that it worked basically like a 3.5 changeling (just transform into whatever appearance you want), but then you mentioned acquiring people and picking up their memories, which adds additional strengths, weaknesses, and dramatic opportunities. I'll want to make sure I'm not missing anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stevesciguy View Post
    His major gimmick, at least in his fully built state, is that he's a speedster. The best way of doing this cleanly that I've found is with the Swiftblade PrC.
    One of my gaming buddies seems to know just about everything in Pathfinder. I can just ask him and—

    I'm also not as familiar with PF or 5e, especially 5e, so I'll have difficulties building him in either.
    Fair enough.


    Quote Originally Posted by Izzarra View Post
    Okay more info an Alara Raydawn...
    Cool, glad to hear it.

    I might as well clarify why I was looking for specific lessons from Torvald. It's mostly that establishing such lessons and having her act on them is a good way of showing a character's connection to a long-dead mentor, and when it's weakened/strengthened for whatever reason.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Well, this certainly looks like fun, and I do have a concept for a character...y character that I thought up while mulling over unconventional half-orc parentages, so here goes. Incidentally, while I have the character idea down, I don't really have a name for them. or a gender preference. So if anyone has name suggestions or thoughts on whether they should be a guy or a girl, feel free to let me know. For now, I'll just use the name... Grunk. In purple so I know it's a working title.

    Character Concept: The main idea is that Grunk is a half-orc, left on the doorstep of a temple as a baby, who forsakes becoming a paladin to instead go on a quest to find his parents and reunite them. He's not very smart, but he's principled, and very idealistic. In a way, he's a prime example of Stupid Good, in that he has to see the best in people. He has to do right by his parents, he has to do right by his faith, and he has to do right by the law. Down inside, he knows that those are all kinda mutually exclusive, and that most people don't hold themselves to the impossibly high standards he holds himself to, but he tries his best to make it work. He purposefully is not a paladin, because he doesn't want his reason for doing good to be "keeping access to my cool powers." Doesn't really buy into alignment. In his words, "I don't know much about Good, or about Evil. I just know I hate people being done wrong, so I got to do what's right."

    Spoiler: Backstory
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    The relationship between the orc chieftain Kathos Boarslayer and the human guardswoman Savoe the Inebriated lasted little more than a month. Though they had met on the battlefield, a product of well-timed treaty between orc and man, they shared most of their time together in various taverns. While fun at the time, the pair soon drifted apart, going their separate ways several months before the treaty ended and Kathos took his soldiers back west. Kathos returned only once, for the unexpected birth of his child. Though said child was not enough to rekindle their passion, the former couple held little animosity towards each other, and it was not out of spite that both refused to care for their offspring. Rather, they just weren't ready. So, they devised a plan. The child would be taken to a city far away from either parent, endowed with enough money to train in whatever he may desire, and raised by those better suited to it. He would become a happy child, untroubled by negligence, unknowing of his parent's failure. This would all be orchestrated by Kathos' clever advisor and elder brother, Shaman Aktok.

    Only one thing could wrong with the plan; Aktok had no intention of seeing any of it through. Well, except for the part about getting far away from his brother. Instead, once Aktok and the child, dubbed Grunk by his parents, arrived at the port city of (Nope, don't have a name for this either. Sorry), he foisted young Grunk off to the nearest temple that took orphans and spent the money getting roaring drunk.

    Grunk being raised in a temple, was taught much about right and wrong, and learned that he should honor his parents, never lie or steal, always help those in need, and many more worthy ideas. Unlike some of the other orphans he was raised with, Grunk never found quarrel with this ideas. He grew up kind-hearted and honest and respectful. And, until the age of 12, when his size and physique decreed martial training, Grunk never set foot outside the temple. On his first trip beyond the temple walls, to began his training as a paladin, he saw one who looked like him, a wild-haired orc, with bloodshot eyes and strange markings, behind the counter of a pawnshop. Although curious, Grunk concentrated on the task at hand, training, and paid the orc no mind, until one night, he found him begging shelter at the temple. Never one to turn away a seeker of refuge, Grunk stayed with the other orc through the night, listening to his drunken ramblings. What he heard rocked his worldview. The other orc was Aktok, who, in a clouded stupor, confessed to stealing the money that had been rightfully Grunk's, as well as every other small addition Kathos or Savoe could afford to send their child's way. In fact, Aktok complained bitterly about the small size of those payments, for he had had to take up working to pay for his drinking, which every shaman knew was no way to live.

    Grunk didn't care about the money. He only cared that Aktok knew his parents. The young half-orc began to visit his uncle, whenever he had free time(but never when he didn't.) Awed by the tales of Kathos' savage battles for control of the Boarslayer tribe, and of Savoe's intrepid defenses of her city, Grunk redoubled his martial training. By the time he was twenty, all that remained in his path to paladinhood was to take the sacred vows. As well, he had learned from Aktok almost everything he wanted to know about his parents. It had taken time, as Aktok developed a habit of coming and going from the city frequently, and would only speak of "the good old days" when he had coins in his pockets, which was not often. All that remained on that front, was to find out why his parents split. Aktok didn't know. In fact, he said there probably wasn't a good reason, and that Grunk should probably just chalk it up to people making mistakes.

    At this point, Grunk took stock of the situation. His parents had split apart, and it was probably a mistake. Also, they weren't doing well monetarily, if Uncle Aktok's meager drinking money was anything to go by. Clearly, they needed help. What kind of child would he be if he didn't help them? Furthermore, how could he swear an oath to take care of the people, if he couldn't even take care of his own family? Ever respectful, he went to the high priest of his temple, his home, and sought permission to leave everything behind, and bring his parents back together.

    How far along on his quest is pretty mutable, but my sort of first instinct idea is that it's a few years later, he's found his mom, but she's in legal/financial trouble. She's still friends/acquaintances with his father, but hasn't heard from him in years, and someone else is running the tribe. Also, Aktok's pawn shop isn't doing so hot, and he feels compelled to do something about that.

    System: I'm personally most comfortable with 5E, but I'd be willing to try any of the other options. I did have a blast the one time I played in a GURPS campaign(until it fizzled out.)
    Last edited by Arzanyos; 2019-08-26 at 06:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arzanyos View Post
    Grunk
    Working title or not, it's better than "Arzanyos's character".

    My first thought with where to start Grunk's story is not long after he's left the temple to search for his parents, with a good idea of where to start looking but without having met either of them yet. Would that be fine?
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Yeah, that's fine with me. Any other details you'd like to see fleshed out?
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    Nope. Clear characterization and a solid goal rooted in a backstory that naturally leads to both, with some threads I can potentially pull to weave into a larger narrative. It's exactly what I was hoping for. Pretty archetypical, but I don't want characters who are unique for the sake of being unique; I want characters whose uniqueness or archetypicality are grounded in something I can use.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2019-08-26 at 06:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    This looks good. Will get something more than just interest later.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Cool, glad to hear it.

    I might as well clarify why I was looking for specific lessons from Torvald. It's mostly that establishing such lessons and having her act on them is a good way of showing a character's connection to a long-dead mentor, and when it's weakened/strengthened for whatever reason.
    I understand, just needed some time to think about what they might be and write them down. Here is what I have come up with so far. I will work on thinking up another one.

    -----

    One time when Alara and Torvald were out hunting and she was not yet fully grown they came upon a fawn that was being stocked by a mountain lion. Alara drew her bow at once to try to save the young deer but the old man stayed her hand. "What will happen if you loose that arrow?" he asked.

    “The fawn will live.” she replied.

    “That may be so, but there are many lessons to be learned from this. Let us let nature take its course and see what happens.”

    The fawns life is ended with an efficient pounce. “See how the lion ends the hunt quickly and spares her prey a slow painful death. Had you shot that great cat with that small bow most likely she would have run off injured. If you must kill, it is best to make it quick and painless whenever possible.”

    They carefully follow the lioness back to her den where she offers the fawn to her cubs. “The lioness has a family as well, in trying to save one fawn we might have killed this entire family upsetting the balance in the area. Death is a part of life, even if it is unpleasant at times, and you must consider your actions for an attack made in haste could have many untold repercussions.”

    -----

    One spring a great hungry bear happened upon their place on its way coming down from the mountains in search of food. Torvald simply retrieved some sausages and went out to greet the massive beast. The bear stood on its hind legs and bellowed at Torvald. Alara could not hear when the old man said to the bear but eventually the bear took the offering and wandered back into the woods.

    After he came back inside she asked, “That was amazing, can I learn to fearless like you.”

    After some though he replied “I am not fearless. That bear had me shaking in my boots. Those that are truly fearless are best avoided as they tend to come to abrupt and untimely ends. On the other hand, those that give in to fear become imprisoned by it. It is best to keep fear as your ally, yet you must be able to act in spite of it. That requires courage, which is something that you must find within yourself.”
    "Time is an abstract concept created by carbon-based life-forms to monitor their ongoing decay." - Thunderclese

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    You know what? I think I should offer up some choices to pick from.

    Spoiler: A hero doth protest too much
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    Name: Ander Kulenov
    Race: Human
    Class: Rogue
    Alignment: Chaotic Good
    Backstory/Personality:

    It's all about the money. That's what you gotta tell yourself to get through the day. Make no friends, live only for yourself, love only yourself. I do alright. I get by. Was never much fun, but hey, life ain't promised.

    Then she had to come along and make everything complicated. It's always a woman, ain't it? It was just a job, at first. Then another. I never had a problem working with elves - they paid, and paid well. Always on time, too. You want someone hit, something stolen, hell, I'll do your laundry if you wanna pay my rate.

    Then I, like a ****in' idiot, went and climbed into bed with her.

    Then she starts blabbing about societal injustice or whatever the ****. I think the place was called Elf… land? Look, I wasn't paying attention. I just stayed because my legs weren't working yet. Starts talking about rebellion or whatever. Wants me to join the resistance. Why the hell would I do that? It's not like I liked her or anything. She was hot and willing to bang me, so hey! Anyway, rebellions don't pay. Not my style.

    It went about as well as you might suspect. Of course, when I saw my payday getting hung, I had to get her out of there. Hey, can't squeeze gold from a corpse. It was a close shave, but we got out. They sent some ugly bastards after us, too. A few close calls with them, but I think we shook them.

    Over time, I let her put some elven tattoos on me. Why not? Nothing better to do. Made her more susceptible to sleeping with me. Eventually, we had to part ways. Said she'll find me when she has more work for me. No skin off my back. Not like I care about her cause or her person or anything. Not like I have any stake in her mess. Oh god dammit. I went and broke the rules, didn't I?


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    Name: Istalri
    Race: High Elf
    Class: Sorcerer
    Alignment: Chaotic Evil
    Backstory/Personality:

    My people - a particular sect of elves - have always lived in the great city of Taoul, carved from a mountain of corundum and protected by its walls. My father, the red dragon Kalaxus, has always ruled over this city as king. By keeping tight control over its borders, he has ensured that Taoul would never fall prey to the filth that constitutes the outside world.

    Our people are wealthy from the very land our city is built upon. Our water is our own. We are a shining jewel in this otherwise drab and filthy world. That other silly little elf city attempted to annex us once.

    Once.

    A threat to my father results in the deaths of everyone you've ever met. So when Tiamat dared reach through the fabric of the material plane to contact him, he made the decision to act. I'm to be sent as his envoy, and destroy her. He is his own god - the royal family of Taoul bows to no one. And some wretched mutant dares even speak to him? I can't wait to see what treasures I can liberate from her worthless talons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    The devil's in the details. Are we talking Dungeon Crawlin' Fools's apathetically sadistic Belkar, or Utterly Dwarfed's relatively loyal and pragmatically restrained Belkar? The latter could work (especially if I picked some of the other heroes who are far from paragons themselves), the first definitely wouldn't.
    I've got to tell ya, before the google search I am about to do, I can't honestly say I know what or who is being talked about here... But I think I can pick up on the context clues. Based on that, I'm thinking the Chaotic Evil Orog hellbent on becoming the living incarnation of Gruumsh on Toril would likely be out. In his defense, I will say that he was intelligent, driven, and saw the worth of what many would deem (in his and surrounding cultures) useless. But I fully understand leaving out the guy who has a very "slave 'em or kill 'em" attitude.

    So that was Animar. They get... cleaner(?) from here.

    As a bit of a polar opposite, I once played an elvish princess. I mean the whole nine yards. Carriage pulled by exotic beasts, clothes that cost more than the sum of the rest of the party put together, a goblin butler complete with handkerchief embroidered in a hidden pocket of my dress for him to cling to when he was having a panic attack. The basis of the character was 2 fold: she was a princess, and she was a princess. Confused? GOOD! Firstly, she knew who she was, and above all else, she knew everyone else wasn't. She had to make it known far and wide how better she was than everyone she was forced to interact with, usually to the dismay of the party in one way or another. But she was also a elf princess: given, she was originally created for 4e, where elves had a direct tie to the fey realms, but she had little to no access to any world outside of her frozen palace. Getting her to understand even the most basic of daily functions proved to be difficult. She didn't understand sarcasm. She couldn't understand why people didn't follow her every whim. She also had a strange feeling that people were keeping some big secret from her, even though that wasn't the case... well, roughly 90% of the time. She hated her brother, who was in line for the throne in the frozen court, and without any chance to stage a coup, she ran, hoping that something in the outside world could do what she couldn't. But overall, she was trying to branch out.

    Long and short, she was an expletive that I am very sure I can't type on this page, but she had a heart in the right place. Sometimes. Other times, she used her long list of ice based abilities to strong arm things in her favor, including different buffs and debuffs, and erupting into a cloud of snow and haze to avoid attacks (at least once from the party assassin). The biggest question is how would I make this happen in 3.5/pf. I naturally assume that's where this is leading, because of OP but also seeing the way the tide of posts are rolling. Obviously Elf. Maybe some sort of subrace. Most certainly a caster, either wizard or sorc, maybe even a mix heading towards ultimate magus? My big BIG thing is the fey connection. We can do it quick and dirty with the feats from BoED, but I'm not sure how well that suits. I'd, with your adjudication of course, think Unseelie Fey fits. I've also heard how people think it is very powerful, especially considering it has no assigned LA. So, with permission, I'd like to work with that, especially if you were to assign it an LA you deemed appropriate?

    edit: I remembered the other scathing issue of Unseelie. Always Evil. Such a dirty label, but being who and from where and all that, I understand it. Doesn't mean things can't change, right?

    Those are the two that stand out the most for me. Most of the others feel like they got an end to their story, for better or worse. I did have a goliath cleric that, upon losing his younger brother (in game, another player, I should add), fell into a stupor that made him drift from the race's pantheon and grow closer to their bleak death god. That alone felt like an end, but it could be explored further.
    Last edited by Buufreak; 2019-08-27 at 12:26 AM.

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    I may add some character later on! Posting interest for now
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    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
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    Name: Istalri
    Race: High Elf
    Class: Sorcerer
    Alignment: Chaotic Evil
    Backstory/Personality:

    My people - a particular sect of elves - have always lived in the great city of Taoul, carved from a mountain of corundum and protected by its walls. My father, the red dragon Kalaxus, has always ruled over this city as king. By keeping tight control over its borders, he has ensured that Taoul would never fall prey to the filth that constitutes the outside world.

    Our people are wealthy from the very land our city is built upon. Our water is our own. We are a shining jewel in this otherwise drab and filthy world. That other silly little elf city attempted to annex us once.

    Once.

    A threat to my father results in the deaths of everyone you've ever met. So when Tiamat dared reach through the fabric of the material plane to contact him, he made the decision to act. I'm to be sent as his envoy, and destroy her. He is his own god - the royal family of Taoul bows to no one. And some wretched mutant dares even speak to him? I can't wait to see what treasures I can liberate from her worthless talons.
    I like this idea, though I feel compelled to remind you that you're going to be starting as first-level characters. "Kill a god" seems like an awfully ambitious quest for Kalaxus to give his youngest child...
    Speaking of whom, I'd like to know what Istalri's relationship with...her(?) father is like. Did he raise his children himself, or leave them with wet nurses and tutors while he did draconic and royal stuff? Does Istalri know any of her half-siblings, and if so, what kind of relationship does she have with them? What kind of city is Taoul, once you leave the palace?
    And do you care what system we play?


    Quote Originally Posted by Buufreak View Post
    I've got to tell ya, before the google search I am about to do, I can't honestly say I know what or who is being talked about here...
    Belkar Bitterleaf, Order of the Stick? gestures vaguely at the Comics bit of the sidebar Underwent character development to go from Stupid Evil to Cooperative-but-still Evil?

    Out of the characters you mentioned, the elven princess sounds most interesting. I'm sure we can find some way to make her work in 3.5/PF/5e.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Belkar Bitterleaf, Order of the Stick? gestures vaguely at the Comics bit of the sidebar Underwent character development to go from Stupid Evil to Cooperative-but-still Evil?

    Out of the characters you mentioned, the elven princess sounds most interesting. I'm sure we can find some way to make her work in 3.5/PF/5e.
    I've read maybe 5 in the entire time I've been here, cant say I know any the characters by name.

    But yea, the ice princess goes down as one of my favorite characters I've played. The entire table loved her, because the entire party hated her. It was a fun duality, and I definitely saw her as a evolving character. It's something I've wanted to explore for a long time.

    I do have a final idea. More a gimmick, maybe. But it was a warforged that had no personality and no sense of tone and purpose, so he took anything in the most hyper literal sense possible. Need to gather information from the street? The phrase "we should ask around" will get him to start a conversation with the nearest possible person, potentially someone already in the party. Things like that. I wanted him to be massively impressionable. A completely clean slate that will get molded by the party.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I like this idea, though I feel compelled to remind you that you're going to be starting as first-level characters. "Kill a god" seems like an awfully ambitious quest for Kalaxus to give his youngest child...
    True. I have no idea how long the game will go on, but I was assuming this was something of an epic quest.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Speaking of whom, I'd like to know what Istalri's relationship with...her(?) father is like. Did he raise his children himself, or leave them with wet nurses and tutors while he did draconic and royal stuff? Does Istalri know any of her half-siblings, and if so, what kind of relationship does she have with them?
    Yeah, I guess the name is a little ambiguous - it's her. He was around for certain aspects he deemed "important" - ensuring she learned proper Draconic instead of having it butchered by a peasant teacher who probably learned it from a long line of peasant teachers, teaching her to present as proper nobility, that sort of thing. She doesn't know her half siblings save for the fact that they were deemed unworthy and are no longer present. The how, when, why, and how many were never told to her.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    What kind of city is Taoul, once you leave the palace?
    Shiny. It's carved from a mountain of corundum. Though the good sapphire and ruby is mined immediately upon finding it, you can still see the occasional low grade areas of blue and red, but it's mostly white. A massive tree canopy has been grown up and over the basin - artificially so, lashed together deliberately - to keep it from being blinding in the daylight. Even so, it sparkles in the day, or on clear moonlight nights.

    Working in the mines is often given as punishment to the locals, or low paying jobs to immigrants. This is the only legal punishment between fines and execution - Kalaxus sees imprisonment as giving free meals to degenerates.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    And do you care what system we play?
    The character was originally written for 5e, but could work in Pathfinder as well.
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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    A game with a bent towards characters that never really got to see play? *looks at massive pile of collapsed games he's played in* I'm sure one of those would fit.

    Spoiler: Adam Alim
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    System: 3.5
    Race: Human
    Alignment: Lawful Good (Exalted)
    Class: Monk (With plans of Paladin later)

    Description: A street thief who, by luck, was given an opportunity to reform who he was, and took it. Currently assists in town as a general laborer and reserve for the town guard, but also seeks out information regarding the destruction of his home town.

    Spoiler: Backstory
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    Adam Alim was little more than a street urchin when he was first taken in by Mr. Ryan. Family lost in the destruction of his town by a mage who seemed to appear out of nowhere, Adam fled to the next nearest town. Without money, he was forced to live on the streets, picking pockets and committing petty robberies. On the day this all changed, he had caught word that there was some wealthy traveler traveling through for the week on some business. He knew the building that the man would be staying at fairly well, and was able to surmise where in it the traveler was staying. In the middle of the night, Adam snuck in through a window. In the room was an was a man in his late thirties, sleeping under a thin blanket and living surprisingly modestly for someone that he had heard to be so wealthy. No sooner had Adam set foot in the room, the man opened its eyes, locking with his. Adam began stammering, trying to find some sort of flimsy excuse, but the older man simply raised their hand.

    “I assume you intend to steal from me, yes? As long as you leave my bow and armor, please, take what you can carry, if you need it.” Adam was… stunned, to say the least. The weapon in the corner was not even among the things that he had noticed - a gem ring and a fine coat were what caught his eye.

    “Are, um… you sure? You’re not mad? Or-“

    “Please. Child, I have more wealth than I could ever need or want for. If I sold all that I owned, I could ensure that my children, their children’s children, and so on a hundredfold, were well fed and cared for, wanting for nothing.” The man chuckles and pauses a moment, before continuing. “I don’t, though. I don’t, because I know that more good can be done in the world by teaching and when the time calls for it, fighting. To continue to put my life before that of others, than by saying ‘Well, I’ve done enough. Time to go home,’ and making sure that just my own are cared for. That is why I ask that if you take anything, leave me the two items that allow me to fulfill my duty.” With that, the strange man closed his eyes, returning to sleep. Adam pauses, looks around… and swiped the ring off the table, scampering out of the building. A coat would be too recognizable, anyways.

    Three days later, Adam returned to the building, but found the traveling man had left, returning to his own town. Talking his way onto a caravan of people that was heading that way, Adam made his way into the town, and was able to track down the man he had robbed. Rather easily too: he was apparently an educator at the mage's school.

    “Here,” he said, holding out the ring that he stole. “I can’t accept this. I tried to sell it, really, but when the shop keeper made their offer, I felt sick to my stomach and fled. I could never even store that much money, let alone make wise use of it.” The man smiled, and gently picked up the ring from his grasp, placing it on his finger, before giving a light bow and turning to go further into the manor. “Wait! I…” his voice died a little in his throat as his fear caught up to him. No, he had made up his mind. “I want to work for you! To study under you! You said it yourself, you won’t be alive forever! Who will pick up when you die?”

    “Others. I’m hardly the only person who does what I do,” the man says, waving him away, not even bothering to turn around. “Go on, I’m sure there are pockets that need picking. Leave the fighting to those who are cut out for it, who actually care rather than cut purses.”

    “I do care! You think that just because I steal to get through the day, I don’t care for anyone but me!? I steal because I’m out for myself! My family is gone. My home is gone. Everything I ever knew is gone. You think you’re so great because you have your money and your weapons and your big, fancy fortresses and libraries! F*** you! Not all of us are born into money. Most of us will never see five platinum pieces in one place in our entire lives! F*** your pretentious, holier-than-thou attitude! Just because I’m not rich doesn’t mean that I can’t fight, or work for something bigger than myself!”

    The man smiles, though still does not slow or turn around. “Alright. You want to make something of yourself? Your room is on the second floor, third door on your left. Training starts at sunrise. Don’t be late.”

    ***

    As of two months ago, Adam "finished" his training under Mr. Ryan, or at least finished as much as he could learn in a courtyard. As a sign both to Mr. Ryan and to himself that he has put his past behind him, Adam took a personal vow of poverty. He currently volunteers for the local temple, while also helping in general in the community, normally asking for no more than a meal at the end of the day for his time, and that people pay whatever they would give to him forward to those that are less fortunate than he.


    Spoiler: Significant figures
    Show
    Mr. Ryan: An enigmatic man who as far as Adam knows, works primarily as a librarian at the town's mage academy, though is well versed enough in combat to at least train Adam in basic unarmed fighting. He frequently travels, seeking out new talent to train in a variety of fields, rather than just magic. Has a strong sense of justice, and often comes off as condescendingly moralizing.

    Unnamed Mage: Adam doesn't know much about the mage that oversaw the destruction of his home, but he recognizes the deep, crimson and purple robes and the powerful, charming voice of the man. He hasn't heard anything of the man's activity or what happened to his village after it was destroyed.

    Midora: One of the students at the mage's academy. Adam and her later learned that they both came from the same town, though she had left before the destruction of it to study magic. That shared history serves as a bonding point for them.


    Narrative: Looking at him more from a story perspective, Adam is defined by a specific turning point in his life, and how that turning point's ripples affect the world through Adam's actions. Similarly, Adam is someone who by his very nature would seek to create similar ripples by living as an example of his own values, just as Mr. Ryan did with him. At the same time, he does have at least one goal/question that would make sense to answer in his story: Who destroyed his home town, and why? Both of these are questions left up to the DM to weave into the story as fits with their plans and the stories of other players.


    Spoiler: Eustoichos
    Show
    System: 3.5 or 5e
    Race: Elf
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Class: Factotum (3.5), Lore Bard (5e)

    Description: A traveling preacher, raised in the cult of a recently ascended god, and now wishes to spread their teachings.

    Spoiler: Backstory
    Show
    Faith is an interesting thing. Some shun the practice altogether, shaking their fist at the gods and cursing the unjust world they created. Most pay passing respects to gods of harvest or healing or war as the circumstance dictates. Interestingly, the most varied of these are those who could be described as pious - the most devout servants of Pelor live very different lives from the devout servants of Hextor. Eustoichos is the latter of these.

    To understand any cult member, one must understand the cult they are part of, and to understand that, a brief history is necessary. The Cult of Kelerth officially began some two hundred years ago in the Southern Elven Empire. Kelerth was a black dragon who, as she grew, began down the path of ascension. Always an outcast among dragons, Kelerth learned the true value of self sufficiency and the necessity of balancing long term planning with rapid improvisation and sometimes dumb luck, and as she continued down the path, she began to teach these same values and skills to locals (under guise). Her ascension was, like most of the other aspects of her life, a quiet and secretive affair, marked only by the consumption of gifted gold and tributes from her few followers. With proper divinity though, she could grant the same gifts to her few, loyal followers that the rest of the gods could. This sparked a rapid growth in the cult, and her followers quickly grew from a few dozen to several hundred.

    Such is the state of things when Eustoichos was born. Like any elf of the empire, he spent his youth dabbling in a little of everything - martial art, magic, acting, and so on. Such activity was well in line with the teachings of Kelerth: "There is no situation in your life where you will think to yourself 'How I wish I had not learned that.' Practice at everything. Learn the pen, learn the sword, learn the brush," and was a contributing factor in the spread of the faith among a people who to some extent already valued such an outlook. At his hundredth year, as is custom in the empire, Eustoichos served several years in the military, acting primarily as a field medic in the campaigns in the north west. The time spent at the fringes of the empire were some of his favorite memories of youth - the plains to the north were so different from the hills and tundra to the south, and the world was likely so much more varied than that even. Furthermore, outside the empire were many lands that had not even had the teachings of Kelerth spread to them - something that absolutely must be remedied.


    Spoiler: Significant figures
    Show
    Kelerth - Not so much a physical figure in his life, given that he has never met her in person, but obviously a guiding figure. Kelerth is known officially as the God of Survival, that being the most encompassing term for her teachings. A Black Dragon who ascended to godhood and, less known to her devotees, is still learning the ropes of what all that truly entails. She and the Southern Elven Empire are on good terms, her faithful being excellent soldiers, spies, medics, and tacticians for the military.

    Teacher Corinth - The priest that Eustoichos often learned and studied under. One of the first devotees of Kelerth. The two get along well enough, and it was with his permission that Eustoichos was permitted to travel abroad to preach.


    Narrative: Somewhat in contrast to Adam, Eustoichos is someone who was always going to be who he was by the circumstances of his birth and upbringing. All that was needed to make him into an adventurer was enough wanderlust to desire to travel. Eustoichos' story leans more toward general exploration and growing from the specific experiences, and is more about "How does a person with this sort of outlook react to the world, and how does the world react to him?" However, I also wanted his character to be defined more strongly by his religion, an aspect that at least in my experience of D&D is often left by the wayside, especially with non-Cleric characters. With the gods all being things that people know to exist, picking a god more comes down to a question of "What do you value?" as opposed to "What nation are you from?" Similarly, religious conflicts and wars are treated in the medieval and modern world as some ideological battle that is relatively recent, when even in polytheistic times, the burning of temples and stealing of religious idols was always a thing done to "weaken the presence of other gods" (and demoralize the people who were to be conquered). That the gods are in this world actual figures who in most settings gain power with the number of adherents they draw, it only makes sense that they, and especially new gods, would encourage their followers to spread their teachings.
    Last edited by Esprit15; 2019-08-28 at 08:57 PM.
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    By Ceika, Ceika, Linklel (Except for one that appears to be lost to time)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreatWyrmGold's Avatar

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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Buufreak View Post
    I've read maybe 5 in the entire time I've been here, cant say I know any the characters by name.
    Alright, that's fair.


    Quote Originally Posted by fibericon View Post
    True. I have no idea how long the game will go on, but I was assuming this was something of an epic quest.
    I'll scale the epicness of the quest to whatever fits best with the story I end up trying to fit around the characters. But in my experience, most characters who get specific epic quests in the prologue start out with a level of power at least vaguely appropriate to that quest, so having a character who starts out with that order (as opposed to, say, having it thrust upon them a few chapters in, or starting with a vaguer goal or smaller ambition) seems...odd. Not necessarily a problem, just odd.

    Yeah, I guess the name is a little ambiguous - it's her.
    Also, I don't like trying to guess the gender of fictional characters from nothing but their name.

    She doesn't know her half siblings save for the fact that they were deemed unworthy and are no longer present. The how, when, why, and how many were never told to her.
    Huh, interesting.

    Shiny...
    Physical descriptions are nice, I guess, but I was looking for details more like:

    Working in the mines is often given as punishment to the locals, or low paying jobs to immigrants. This is the only legal punishment between fines and execution - Kalaxus sees imprisonment as giving free meals to degenerates.
    Something that gives a feel for the local culture and institutions.


    Esprit15's characters look like something worth investigating, but I've got to leave for work soon so I'll look at them tomorrow.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
    Quotes, more

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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Okay...

    So, there are a couple characters I have that I would love to actually find a home for, and I know ALOT about trying out with certain units and never getting accepted.

    ...However, there is one particular character I really wanna play somewhere and the ...easiest build used Pathfinder and/or Spheres. I think I know of two ways (both homebrew) to make the character for 3.5 (using something Rich Burlew made) and something 5e a friend showed me, but this may not be the best start to, well, anything, so I wanted to ask how off the table this is before I even try.
    <BananaPhone> Stop sniveling worm! You think something as petty as "oh boo hoo my house is collapsing!" should stop you from posting in an online fantasy game where people pretend to be werewolves?

    "Let me get this straight. Some guy dressed up as Batman to fight the guys dressing up as clowns scaring people. Maybe this planet aint so bad after all."

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Gotcha! I can flesh out the culture more later on. Today the wife is delivering, so I'm not much able to focus on writing despite having time for it.

    Regarding the quest, perhaps it would not be fully revealed yet. IE, "get me this thing", and not tell her until after the fact that it would help weaken tiamat.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    I had one character in a multiverse hopping campaign that never went anywhere (Literally, in the first session the inter-planar ship crashed and we never got off the plane it crashed on) named Ouroboros (Ouro to his friends) who was a Warforged Artificer. He was rather brusk when dealing with those that looked down on the Warforged (or anyone, really) but was genuinely trying to do his best for his people, as well as the world at large. Ouro would not sacrifice others safety or freedom for his ambition, but would risk his own life for it in a heartbeat. He was rather reserved, showing little emotion outside of contempt for those who would seek to impose their will over others. He was the kind of person to take charge in an emergency and use his skills where they might be best applied.

    I'm not sure how this could fit in, because it was a pretty eberron-specific backstory, but I'm willing to work on it if you are.

    Basically, Ouro was an experimental model of Warforged designed for field repairs of other Warforged, but while in training in Breland the war ended. Newly freed and with a mind for artifice, Ouroboros spent the next two years wandering Khovaire and seeing the plight of his people. How warforged were treated by other races and their effective sterilization with the destruction of the creation forges as part of the treaty that ended the war, Ouroboros knew he had to do something. And so, he set out to learn the secrets of the creation forge, even if he had to reinvent it himself, and build one on a distant plane, so his people would have a safe harbor in which they could not just survive, but thrive.

    As for system, unless we're porting warforged into PF 1 (which I am not inherently opposed to), I would obviously be voting 3.5.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Character-Based Story-Driven Game; Prospective Characters Needed

    Just a small update, I have come up with an actual name for Grunk. He is now... Aloysius Grunk. Both are first names, he doesn't have a surname. Aloysius was given to him by the temple, Grunk by his parents.
    ke palulu o ka pono, ka ihe o Ku
    I'm building a campaign setting! Latest update: Gnomes!

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