28 Sep 2014

Test Drive - D&D 5th Edition V

Welcome back to the short series testing out the /D&D/ 5th edition /Player's Handbook/.  If you've missed a part, the list is below.

Part I - Reverence, tiefling monk
Part II - Liga Dawnspringer, Kagonesti barbarian
Part III - Aelfward Shadowstar V, swashbuckler
Part IV - Roscoe P. Tealeaf, halfling entertainer

In this series, I want to test some character ideas based on setting.  In Part I, the setting was assumed to be a homebrew where the GM would let anything go.  For the rest, I'll be using the Dragonlance, Greyhawk, and Forgotten Realms campaign worlds.  The PHB has some info on each of those worlds, enough for a start.  Today's world is Greyhawk.

Greyhawk is one of the oldest, alongside Blackmoor, published settings, originally Gary Gygax's home campaign world.  The centre of activity was the City of Greyhawk, but the various nations across the world provided for adventure and intrigue.  Comparing Greyhawk to the Realms, the former has a more serious tone still allowing for high adventure but not necessarily high magic.  Roscoe the Bard may not fit as well here as he does in the Realms.  At the same time, all the classes are available as are some of the optional races.

Step 1, choose race.  For this test run, I want to use a human.  Elves and tieflings can be interesting, but sometimes one wants to play close to home.  Humans get a small boost to all stats and a bonus language along with Common.  Unlike the other races, humans don't get situational bonuses, like Roscoe's nimbleness or Liga and Aelfward's darkvision; the small increases make up for it.  For the bonus language, I'll take Goblin, but with the proviso I can return to the choice later.

Step 2, choose class.  I want a character who can stand up in a fight but still provide magical abilities.  Warlock may work, but Cleric fits better with what I want.  This means I will have to choose a deity for the character.  For most characters, having a patron deity is possible, as is venerating the entire pantheon, but Clerics do need to choose a patron.  A look at the Greyhawk gods in Appendix B later, I choose Istus, goddess of fate and destiny, who has the Knowledge domain.  Clerics get proficiency with light and medium armour, with shields, and with all simple weapons, but with no tools.  I have the choice of two skills from History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion.  Medicine and Religion seem to be the best choices.  Clerics also get spellcasting, starting with two cantrips and two first level spell slots, and a divine domain, based on the god taken.  For this example, Istus only has the Knowledge domain, making that choice simple.  Note that I could have chosen a divine domain first, then chosen a patron god afterwards; there's no one right way to make the decision.  For the cantrips, I take guidance, to learn what fate has in store, and sacred flame, to smite infidels.

The Knowledge domain adds two more languages and the choice of two skills from Arcana, History, Nature, and Religion.  Since Religion has already been taken, I'll add History and Nature.  The domain also adds the spells command and identify, which don't need to be prepared but do use a spell slot if cast.  For the languages, I'll add Celestial and Dwarvish to the list.

Step 3, ability scores. Again, I will roll, getting 13, 18, 9, 8, 17, and 13.  A wide range of results.  The 18 will be placed in Wisdom, a Cleric's most important ability.  The 17 will be placed in Charisma; Clerics should be able to lead a congregation.  The 8 will be put into Dexterity, the 9 into Constitution, leaving the 13s for Strength and Intelligence.  A wise and able leader who might trip over his or her feet.  It's time to choose whether the character is male or female, leading to...

Step 4, describe the character.  First, I will make the cleric a woman, to end the sausage fest of the last three characters, and I will call her Juniper.  She prefers June, though.  No last name, she's a commoner, a baker.  A Guild Artisan, to be precise.  I could have chosen the obvious Acolye, but by starting as a Guild Artisan, it implies that June was called to service instead of raised in it.  I've already chosen what sort of business she had - a bakery.  The Guild Membership feature allows June to get food, lodging, legal assistance, and even funeral arrangements if needed.  She's a bit of a perfectionist, but no one has complained about her cakes.  June prefers to deal with people, not ideals, though being called into the priesthood will bring that Ideal into conflict.  Her Bond is with her guild for making her the woman she is.  A noble title is something June would love to have, as recognition of her abilities, and could be used to lure her into danger.  As a Guild Artisan, June gets proficiency in Insight and Persuasion, one type of artisan's tools, and another language.  The equipment list includes cook's utensils, which a baker would need.  June takes Halfling for her language; those little guys love to eat.

Step 5, equipment.  From Cleric, June gets a mace, choice of scale mail or leather armour, choice of light crossbow and 20 bolts or a simple weapon, choice of a priest's pack or an explorer's pack, a shield, and a holy symbol.  She takes the scale mail, a dagger, and a priest's pack.  As a Guild Baker, June also gets a set of cook's utensils, a letter of introduction from her guild master, a set of traveller's clothes, and a belt pouch.

Step 6, connections, will have to wait for a game to form.  Some possibilities:  Recruited to either be the healer or be the cook for the other adventurers.  Sent on a quest by an emissary of Istus.

June's character sheet:

Juniper, but she prefers June
Level 1 Cleric, Neutral
Race: Human

Strength 14/+2
Dexterity 9/-1
Constitution 10/+0
Intelligence 14/+2
Wisdom 19/+4
Charisma 18/+4

Hit Points: 8
AC: 15

Proficiencies
Armour: Light armour, medium armour, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: none
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Languages: Common, Goblin, Celestial, Dwarvish, Halfling
Skills: Medicine, Religion, History*, Nature*, Insight, Persuasion (*=double proficiency bonus when used)

Background: Guild Artisan (baker)
  Feature: Guild Membership

Traits:
  Speed 30'
  Size Medium

Class Abilities:
  Spellcasting
    Cantrips: Guidance, Sacred Flame, Spare the Dying
    Spell Slots: 1st - 2
    Spell Save: 14
    Spell Attack: +6
    Ritual Casting

Equipment:
  Gold Pieces: 15
  Mace (1d6 bludgeoning)
  Dagger (1d4 piercing, finesse, light, thrown - range 20/60)
  Scale mail
  Shield
  Priest's pack
  Shield
  Holy symbol
  Cook's utensils
  Letter of introduction
  Traveller's clothes, 1 set
  Belt pouch
Please let me know how it goes if you play her.

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