Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pre-Generated Characters, Part 1

I must confess, I've never actually played in a one-shot adventure. The idea of not playing a continuing campaign just doesn't appeal to me. So I have no idea how other people construct their pre-gen characters, and I had to work entirely from my own brain.

(Ironically, I've also never played in an ongoing campaign that actually concluded in anything like a satisfactory manner - all but one have just fallen apart and stopped happening after 1d6 sessions. The one brought Ludgeblatt Curdlegut from level 3 to level 8 before fizzling out unsatisfactorily.)

I decided on a few ground rules: each pre-gen character would, of course, obey all the same rules as any other PC. Each one would have a trait and two flaws. Each one would be conceptually weird. They should be playable, but not optimized, ideally choosing races with a -2 (or at most a +0) to their class's primary stat.


Let's meet the cast of characters:

Ruddo "Happy" Nackle of Garzak, the male CG engineer bard. Feats to make him extra-bardish: Dash, Extra Music, Obscure Lore, Easygoing, Inattentive, Noncombatant. Spells known: Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation. This character unfortunately died in the first session.

Ko-Joou, the LG female human monk. Super-monkish: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility, Improved Initiative, Polite. Shaky, because ranged weapons are too unlike punching. Weak Will, perhaps to make this monk a little more easily duped than one's common perception of a monk.

"Kib" Kibstellischa, the LE female mind flayer, using the Savage Species monster class progression. This was one of two pre-gens for whom I actually wrote any background: "Kib was a perfectly normal mind flayer youth, until one day her Elder Brain instructed her to travel to te nation of Gus and become an adventurer there, for reasons entirely beyond her comprehension. Once there, she was given a special dispensation by the High Priest of Quasxthe, and carries papers signed by King Terek II instructing his people to leave her be." I didn't really have a definite concept for this character, so she kind of has a little of everything - Dash, Master of Knowledge, Mind over Body, Nightsighted, Inattentive, Poor Reflexes, a longspear.

Katyra the Mind, the female LE half-elf telepath psion. Powers: Psionic Charm, Mind Thrust, and Missive. I gave her the Psionic Talent feat three times, so she's got a vast pool of power points.

Laurence Tepp-Stewart, the male N mongrelfolk druid. Mongrelfolk, as you'll recall, can now take any heritage feats they otherwise qualify for, without regard to class. This one is descended from a green dragon, and has Draconic Heritage, Skin, and Wings. He also has a crocodile Animal Companion named Reskfarb. The player didn't like my spell selection, and completely switched them out, which is entirely fine.

Bob Har-Johnson, the male LG mongrelfolk paladin. I mentioned this, one of the players asked "I didn't think mongrelfolk could be paladins." It was pointed out that anything can be anything. The only really interesting thing about this character is the Vow of Chastity. I'm trying to go for some feats and flaws that, while not exactly bad, nobody in their right mind would actually take.

Gobbo, the male NE mongrelfolk favored soul of Maglubiyet, god of goblins. This is a kind of barbarian cleric, with Inflict spells and Blade of Blood and the Illiterate trait.

Zyess the Ultra-Violent, the male CN elf barbarian. Power attack, Cleave, Monkey Grip, Large greataxe, Reckless, Shaky, Weak Will.

Jen Varakas, the NG female human fighter. This was the other character I wrote a bit of background for: "Niece of Bob Varakas, mayor of Shell." Yes, you may recall a Bob Varakas from the first session of my first campaign. One of my players certainly did. Jen is a tank, with Heavy Plate Armor, a Heavy Steel Shield, Improved Shield Bash, and Shield Specialization. She's also got Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword), Weapon Focus (Bastard Sword), and Monkey Grip, so she's got a Large Bastard Sword that does a hefty 2d8+3 per hit. Of course, she also has 8 wisdom, Passionate (+1 Fort, -1 Will), and Weak Will (-3 Will), so her Will save was -5 to start with. One of the first creatures they faced was an allip, from which the party failed to run. Her Wisdom is currently permanently drained to a total of 2 until somebody with the capacity to cast Restoration can be found.

Boltnuts the CN warforged rogue. Two-weapon Fighting (he uses a rapier and a short sword), Mithral Body, Dishonest, Weak Will, Meager Fortitude.

Marcus Crudus, LN male human warmage.

Thoradd "Blue" Calladagan of Garzak, LE engineer Blue Dragon Shaman. This character was created to replace "Happy", who died in the first session.

Wervan "Chickens" Yurgar of the Surface Holdings, CG male engineer sorcerer. This was mostly an experiment in the Chicken Infested flaw, which I have decided to allow. Chicken Infested was originally a joke feat from an April Fool's edition of Dragon Magazine, where every time you try to draw a weapon or pull an item out of a container, you have a 50% chance of drawing a live chicken instead. This is popularly held to lead to ridiculous abuse, but that's a misreading of the rules: it's a free action to draw a spell component, and it's a free action (with Quick Draw) to draw a weapon. A chicken is neither a spell component nor a weapon, so it's always a move action to draw one. Anyway, "Chickens" is, of course, Chicken Infested. And his familiar is Rembrandt von Cluckington, a chicken (use a raven, but change its fly speed to Glide 20). He is constantly surrounded with chickens. He mostly fights by chucking Alchemist's Fire, which may well make him legitimately unplayable - he has a 50% chance of being unable to deal damage. If I ever need to play a DMPC in this game, this will probably be who I'll go with. I wouldn't inflict him on anyone else.

Dr. Gregorius Domus, the LN human archivist. My players complained that I had neglected (entirely innocently, really) to include a healer in the pregens, so I inflicted upon them the healingest healer ever to heal a healed thing. He has a quarterstaff, all the spells in his prayer book are healing spells of some description. Recall that archivists cast with intelligence, so that's his highest stat; charisma and dexterity are his lowest. He is 49, and thus gets the middle age bonuses and penalties. He is 6'2", with blue eyes and brown hair. He has Iron Will, Skill Focus (Heal), Augment Healing, Master of Knowledge, Abrasive, Poor Reflexes, Slow, and a great many scrolls and potions of healing. If you haven't gotten the reference yet, consult this handy link.

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