Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pre-Generated Characters, Part 2

Let's consider the basic process of making a new pre-gen from scratch.

I noticed in the last party that nobody had much charisma at all. I would like to now tally up the stats of all the pre-gens I've provided to determine whether I'm favouring some stats over others. If I am, I should add a new character with stats arranged deliberately to shift the averages slightly.

It turns out that the original roster of pre-gens averaged out to:
STR: 11.7
DEX: 13
CON: 12.7
INT: 13
WIS: 11.5
CHA: 10.9

The current roster:
STR: 11.8
DEX: 12.9
CON: 12.8
INT: 13.1
WIS: 11.2
CHA: 11

I seem to have a bias in favour of intelligence, dexterity, and constitution and against charisma, wisdom, and strength. What uses charisma, wisdom, and strength but not intelligence, dexterity, or constitution? Because there's already a paladin, it would seem to be cleric time.

What LA+0 races have a positive charisma, wisdom, and strength and a non-positive intelligence, dexterity, and constitution? Nothing in particular, let's just go with human.

So let's arrange the stats in reverse order of how much I seem to like them: int < dex < con < str < wis < cha. Since this is 30 point buy, let's arrange them in an 8/10/12/14/15/16 pattern. So what kind of cleric do we want? Well, what's the array of alignments in the current lineup?
LG: 2
NG: 1
CG: 1
LN: 2
N: 1
CN: 2
LE: 3
NE: 1
CE: 0
There are never to be any chaotic evil characters in the party, that's the worst alignment. The last party wound up picking most of the evil characters, so I think I'd like to shift away from adding any more evil options, so NE is out. One of the PCs one player made was neutral, so we should pick between NG and CG.

What NG and CG deities do we have to choose from? Kord, Pelor, Valkur, Corellon Larethian, Deep Sashelas, or Garl Glittergold. Half of those are elf or engineer gods, so let's pick between Kord, Pelor, and Valkur. The cleric in my last campaign was a cleric of Kord, the standard cleric that you think of when you think of a cleric is a cleric of Pelor, and clerics of Valkur were and are semi-prominent NPCs in this world, so the "Have I done this before?" metric is a wash. Let's go with Pelor, but aim for concentrating on radiance and sunniness rather than healing (after all, we've already got the healingest healer ever to heal a healed thing). So let's go with the Sun and Glory domains.

Consult the list of Traits! What jumps out at me? Passionate, certainly. Nothing else particularly fits this sun/glory cleric, so let's select Passionate. What flaws do we want? I'm overusing Shaky and Noncombatant, so let's leave those out. Slow, Frail, and Vulnerable are too overwhelming handicaps. This character seems reasonably willpowerful and fortitudinous, so let's do Poor Reflexes and Pathetic. But what stat shall he be pathetic at? Int, Dex, or Con? Well, 8 Int is all well and good, but 6 would probably be just too dumb; it might seem like I'm parodying ultra-religious types (Who certainly deserve to be parodied, but I'm kind of trying to steer away from that kind of controversy in my games). 8 Dex or 10 Con? Let's bump the Con down to make for a less unbalanced array.

I'm trying to give these pre-gens a wide array of Knowledge skills, because those get rolled a lot in my campaigns. So one rank each in the four Knowledge skills that are cleric class skills (arcana, history, religion, and the planes). And then one each in Heal, Diplomacy, Concentration, and Spellcraft. This character has too few skill points to specialize.

Clerics are proficient in heavy armor. The heaviest armors are too expensive (not that I took that into account for Jen Varakas), so let's go for Masterwork Half-plate. This character doesn't have a dexterity modifier anyway. Let's give him Pelor's favoured weapon: the mace. I'm tempted to make it a Large mace (wielded two-handed), but I've been overusing Monkey Grip with these characters, so let's just make it a normal mace and give him a shield.

Let's glance through Book of Exalted Deeds, that may have some un-terrible radiance-related feats. Eh, not really, not unless we want to do some Vows, but we already have Bob Har-Johnson with his Vow of Chastity. Aha, Complete Divine has stuff. Since this is the only cleric, and thus the only domain caster, let's concentrate on his domains. And since this is the Sun/Glory cleric, let's also concentrate on his turning.

Oo, Disciple of the Sun allows you to spend two turn attempts to destroy instead of turn. (A little redundant with the Sun domain, which allows you to do that 1/day for free.) And this character is definitely a disciple of the sun! So that's one. Let's also add Extra Turning, so he can more easily afford to spend attempts doing that.

I'm also tempted to go with Domain Spontaneity, allowing you to spend turn/rebuke attempts to convert a prepared spell into a domain spell. But that's not really as useful, especially because the Sun domain isn't that useful and the Glory domain pretty much consists of spells that do the same thing turn undead does (ie, take down undead). So let's not bother.

What else might have sun-related spells? Oh hey, Sandstorm, the desert book. Huh, access to the Fire or Sun domain allows Light of Aurifar, which deals 2d6 damage to any undead you turn. Overlaps with Disciple of the Sun, perhaps. May add an element of decision: "Are these undead weak enough that I could kill it with 2d6 damage, or should I spend an extra turn attempt to kill it outright?" Yes, let's go for it, regardless of the reference in the feat's name to a god that isn't Pelor.

So this character is pretty much awesome at killing undead and not necessarily particularly awesome at anything else. That's fine. To play this up to the max, let's go with Bane Magic (Undead), which adds an automatic 2d6 extra damage to spells when used against undead creatures.

Before we open up spellforge and pick spells, this character needs a name. Let's look at the wiktionary page for "radiant". Unfortunately, the only translation provided is Finnish, so let's look for other words. Sun, that's got lots of translations to pick from. Aurinko, Eguzki, Mo'sojko, Seqineq, Saule, Xyp, Kham, Jua. Let's call this character, then, Saul Aurinko.

Now, spells! Let's pick out all the sunniest and undead-killingest spells, with the caveat that they should actually be a little useful. So, Light, Virtue, Purify Food and Drink, Detect Undead, and Ray of Hope, with Disrupt Undead for the domain spell. (Yes, 1d6 damage to one undead is crap compared to the massive horrors Saul can inflict with his turning, but what if he uses up all his 10 daily turn attempts? It's more useful than Endure Elements. Unless they choose to go to the Cave of Burning, in which case the player can switch it in advance.)

And... we're done! With the side benefit that now the players can potentially a.) deal effectively with undead (a massive gap in their capabilities) and b.) heal without having to resort to the healingest healer ever to heal a healed thing.

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