Author Topic: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game  (Read 2327 times)

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kevin_video

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Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« on: May 16, 2010, 04:55:35 PM »
I've got the concepts down for what he wants because he's gotten an artist to do them up on Deviant Art, but all he's got down so far is the absolute basics, including their alignment. I don't think he could have made this any more difficult for me if he tried. :rollseyes

He hasn't specified exactly what levels he wants them, but 15 for the villain, and 12 for the main hero sounded fine to him. If you think it should be higher, that could be taken into consideration as well. He was sort of "eh, that's fine" on the level numbers. He hadn't really gotten that far in yet since he's still debating on the sorcerer's spells.

The main villain is Sphyre Rivana http://www.memoryoftruth.byethost9.com/index.php?p=1_21_Sphyre-Rivana. He's a 35 year old LE human renegade sorcerer that gouged out his own eyes because he believed that they lied to him. He only trusts the spirit energy around him. What he can feel. His main weapon, other than his dark magics, is a chain that's wrapped around his body. It's got the ability to channel his magic through it, and is almost always crackling with energy.
My thoughts for him was Sorcerer 6/Fighter 2/Eldritch Knight 7 with Practiced Spellcaster, Blind-Fight and Arcane Strike feats. If there's an actual Blind flaw, I'd like to know about it. So far I've only found this homebrew one. http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Blind_%283.5e_Flaw%29
Full picture is here http://karosu-maker.deviantart.com/art/Commission-Sphyre-Rivana-163720267

The main hero is Aislyn Nemira http://www.memoryoftruth.byethost9.com/index.php?p=1_8_Aislyn-Nemira. She's an 18 year old NG human mercenary who's clan was betrayed by own brother, who just so happens to work for Sphyre. Because of this, she's lost the ability to trust, however, that hasn't stopped her from being gullible and granting mercy to her enemies that beg for it as they'll turn over a new leaf (yeah right). Her main weapons are the kunai (dagger) and wires/strings (garrote wire), but she has the ability to envoke a few lightning element powers, and is knowledgeable in the use of poison. She too has an affinity with the spirit energy around her.
My thoughts for her was Ninja 6/Shugenja 6 with the Elemental Stalker and Practiced Spellcaster feats.
Full picture is here http://karosu-maker.deviantart.com/art/Commission-Aislyn-01-158317177

Any actual stats (32 point system), feats, equipment (especially if there's something that can produce a magic dagger at-will), builds, flaws, and suggestions would be appreciated.
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Havok4

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010, 05:26:41 PM »
For the main bad guy you definitely need to pick up a level of mindbender and mindsight to give him the ability to sense where others are. For the chain weapon thing you just need to give him howling chain (SpC) as a spell known and have him use it whenever he can. Also you could probably pull him off as a sorcerer/mindbender/swiftblade, which would be more interesting in an actual fight than an eldritch knight. Also just make blindness a normal flaw and use it to buy blind fight.
For the other character you might want to make her a swordsage and switch her use of lightning to the use of fire and have her take master of poisons and hidden talent (Psionic Minor Creation) for the poison use. Shadow Blade and Weapon Finesse would work well with her use of daggers and some of the shadow hand maneuvers are garrote flavored.

kevin_video

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2010, 06:19:27 PM »
switch her use of lightning to the use of fire
Not my character, so not an option. She's got an affinity with lightning only. I know it's difficult since D&D has more fire based than lightning based, but... *shrugs* His design. Can't go against it.
Swordsage doesn't sound bad so long as it can be pulled off. If her Wisdom's decent enough we can go the monk route since she doesn't wear armour.

The idea of a mind bender seems pretty good. Especially with that mindsight ability. The only problem will be getting the PrC with mostly cross class skills. He is human so I guess we could go Able Learner. I was almost thinking of making his blindfold the one in MiC that gives blindsight, but it's only 30 feet. Howling Chain isn't bad, it's just going to be a matter of him having the levels for it. Might have to go higher than 15. Especially considering how many spellcasting levels he's going to lose if he went with Swiftblade. I might have to give the blind flaw some thought. The One Eye flaw gives you a feat and an extra -1 penalty per range range increments with a ranged weapon. Found this one though, which is still a flaw, but also gives you something in return. http://www.d20forge.com/contribution/display.html?id=988 Don't know that it's official or not though.
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Havok4

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010, 06:39:38 PM »
That is homebrew too, I do not think there is anything official. Also there is no reason he cannot use both mindsight for long range detection and the magic headband for close range use.

For the hero if you are going the psionic minor  minor creation route you could qualify for the pyrokineticist and make use of the variant energy types. Just 2 levels would give her some nice electricity themed abilities and would let her use maneuvers with them to some degree of competency.  You could manifest that electircity whip and use it to initiate the maneuvers at long distances, also you could reflavor it as using the garrote wire in a unique way with her electricity abilities, and you could make unarmed strikes with the electrical damage. It does not look like this would be all that bad of a build really. And you would end up being almost completely Dex focused and have multiple means of dealing with different situations.

kevin_video

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2010, 06:48:00 PM »
Mindsight and Blindsight? Fair enough. And he's high enough level that he'd have the cash. It's really too bad that there's no official blind flaw. Or, their could be. There's a blind monk/fighter PrC that I saw a couple of weeks back, but damned if I could find that again. If I did, I'd be able to find more about that.

The villain has the lightning chain whip, the hero has garrote wire. ^^;

But the idea of a pyrokineticist with lightning definitely sounds doable in this respect. It's too bad about the -1 damage per die though. However, that's an optional rule only, isn't it? So, swordsage/pyrokineticist (electricity).

Isn't there a weapon ability that you can add to weapons that allow you to channel magic through it? Or, I could just make the garrote a +1 shocking burst weapon. It's thematically sound.
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Bastian

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2010, 07:03:41 PM »
Because of this, she's lost the ability to trust, however, that hasn't stopped her from being gullible and granting mercy to her enemies that beg for it as they'll turn over a new leaf (yeah right).
:wall  :clap That's the very definition of trust. Your friend needs to work on his fluff.

kevin_video

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2010, 07:06:02 PM »
That's the very definition of trust. Your friend needs to work on his fluff.
The trust issue is with regards to friends and whatnot. If you tell her she can trust you with her life, or that you've got her back, she won't trust you. She won't turn her back to anyone for fear they might stab it. But to accept that someone will turn over a new leaf, that's not really trust. You're taking their word for it, yes, but if they betray it, you'll cut them down. It's all in how you look at it.
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Havok4

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2010, 07:31:45 PM »
The villain has the lightning chain whip, the hero has garrote wire. ^^;

Then just call it her arc of lightning which is apart of her supernatural abilities. I was just suggesting a way to integrate class abilities with the given fluff. But the whip would work very well with damage boosting strikes, like the mountain hammer chain, the rabid animal chain or the insightful strike chain. Also if the character does start at level 12 you will have access to 6th level maeuvers assuming the build is swordsage5/electrokineticist2/swordsage5. The feats that I recommend are
1st Hidden Talent(Psionic Minor Creation)
Human Bonus:Master of Poisons
3rd: Weapon Finesse
6th: Shadow Blade
9th: Craven for use with assassin's stance
12:Gloom Razor

Anklebite

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2010, 07:38:08 PM »
The villain has the lightning chain whip, the hero has garrote wire. ^^;

Then just call it her arc of lightning which is apart of her supernatural abilities. I was just suggesting a way to integrate class abilities with the given fluff. But the whip would work very well with damage boosting strikes, like the mountain hammer chain, the rabid animal chain or the insightful strike chain. Also if the character does start at level 12 you will have access to 6th level maeuvers assuming the build is swordsage5/electrokineticist2/swordsage5. The feats that I recommend are
1st Hidden Talent(Psionic Minor Creation)
Human Bonus:Master of Poisons
3rd: Weapon Finesse
6th: Shadow Blade
9th: Craven for use with assassin's stance
12:Gloom Razor

what, not electrokineticist10?
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kevin_video

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 07:40:55 PM »
The feats that I recommend are
1st Hidden Talent(Psionic Minor Creation)
Human Bonus:Master of Poisons
3rd: Weapon Finesse
6th: Shadow Blade
9th: Craven for use with assassin's stance
12:Gloom Razor
Hidden Talent and Weapon Finesse are the only ones I recognize. Are the others from ToB?

And I found the Blind Fighter (Unseeing Blade) and Blind Monk (Blind Master). They're both in the Quintessential books from Mongoose Publishing. The Fighter version would probably work better for the sorcerer, but that might be unnecessary.

And Electrokineticist no longer works, I'm afraid. Alignment requires you to be chaotic. She's NG.
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Havok4

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2010, 08:04:57 PM »
The feats that I recommend are
1st Hidden Talent(Psionic Minor Creation)
Human Bonus:Master of Poisons
3rd: Weapon Finesse
6th: Shadow Blade
9th: Craven for use with assassin's stance
12:Gloom Razor
Hidden Talent and Weapon Finesse are the only ones I recognize. Are the others from ToB?

And I found the Blind Fighter (Unseeing Blade) and Blind Monk (Blind Master). They're both in the Quintessential books from Mongoose Publishing. The Fighter version would probably work better for the sorcerer, but that might be unnecessary.

And Electrokineticist no longer works, I'm afraid. Alignment requires you to be chaotic. She's NG.

Well you are already using a variant, it would not be unreasonable to shift that requirement if you are changing the energy type to something less destructive than fire. The DM appears to be very rules light so he might go for it.

kevin_video

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2010, 08:09:25 PM »
The DM does? No, he's pretty much RAW when it comes to these things so if it doesn't state that the variant allows alignment changes, then it doesn't change. If it did, then he'd probably consider it. Right now I'll say no just because I know he's a RAW DM (if it's in the FAQ, book, or errata, it's the law/bible/gospel/etc). If I can get him to swing that way, then fine, but it'd probably be a good idea to have a back up plan.
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Havok4

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2010, 09:00:14 PM »
True, Why can't the character just be CG? The description you gave still seems to fit. Also on the issue of feats, Master of Poisons is from DotU and Craven is from Champions of Ruin, the rest are from ToB.

For an alternative to Electrokinesticist I really have no idea for what might work. Maybe incarnate for lightning gauntlets.

kevin_video

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2010, 09:14:31 PM »
I have no idea why the character's not CG. It would make more sense in some ways, but he probably has his reasons. I'll talk to him about it, and see if he can explain it. I was just about to e-mail him about how the progression's going, and ask him what spells he's wanting (other than all things darkness  :rollseyes). Not to mention what exactly he's looking for when he's saying the hero's got an affinity for lightning. A mercenary clan with lightning was exactly why I went ninja/shugenja originally because the fire element focus has lightning in it. But swordsage sounded better.

I might have DotU. I'll have to look. I know I've got CoR and ToB though.

And this was just a thought, but if the condition Blinded was permanent, would that count as a flaw? I mean, could you take Blinded, Confused, and others as a flaw? I know there's variants on the Ability Drain, Deafened, and Panicked, so technically you should be able to, right? And gain a bonus feat out of it.
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kevin_video

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2010, 07:12:50 PM »
Just got an e-mail from my friend who's characters I'm trying to create.


My apologies also for the length, I tend to get wordy with explanations so please bear with me.

-Can you give me examples of some spells that Sphyre would have?
Sure. Sphyre specializes in spirit magic, which consists of putting life into inanimate objects, conjuring apparitions from a target's dreams, thoughts, or memories (though Sphyre's obsession with the truth would demand that he only show truthful conjurations, rather than illusions or nightmares), summoning of ghosts or spirits to fight for him, non-elemental magical damage by directly attacking a victim's soul, projecting a soul into another body, interfering with a person's connection to the spiritual realm, thus preventing them from using magic effectively, or, in cases of extreme success, cutting off their magical ability altogether, that sort of thing. As for making people blind... it isn't too much of a stretch to assail a victim's mind using spirit magic, but I feel that such things would likely fall more under the realm of shadow magic. Not to say he can't use other types, of course: just that his focus is on spirit. He will primarily focus on the reanimation, most likely, as he does with his chains in order to make them a sort of living weapon. He also uses spirit magic to "see" the world around him by sensing the spiritual energy of all things (this does not mean he can tell exactly what spell someone is using, persay, just that someone is using a certain type of magic). This is by no means an all-inclusive list, and if you come up with anything else that could fit into the realm of spirit magic, I'm perfectly open to suggestions.

-Those chains of his, are they living or are they just wrapped around his body?
They're just wrapped around his body. They are 'alive' once he infuses them with his magic, and fight for him under his will, able to hover in midair and bend at angles that would be impossible for an inanimate object.

-Is he a fast fighter type battle mage?
He primarily relies on others to do the real dirty work for him, and is fond of using summoned/infused minions rather than engaging in personal combat. He does, however, command a respectable physical strength, which makes him dangerous in close combat as well. However, due to his blindness, his real focus is on magic so he has time to read his opponent's energy; an up-close-and-personal encounter with a master swordsman would likely end very badly for him, for example.

-For Aislyn, how exactly does the lightning work? Is it spells? Is it something she was born with? Is it limited?
Aislyn uses a limited amount of magic and primarily fights with martial arts and her strings, though she uses lightning magic to maneuver her strings, to paralyze enemies, render them unconscious, etc. She can use a fair deal to support her strings before her supply is depleted, but she could only generate a couple of powerful lightning bolts, say, 1 or 2, before her supply was depleted. It's really a matter of efficiency in use; sort of like a very high mana cost for larger actions.

-Why is she NG when she actually kind of reads Chaotic Good?
...I'm no expert on the whole alignment system, so I kind of took a guess since she seems to fit into either alignment. You are probably correct, though, that she does fit better as Chaotic Good, so I'll update that on the site once it lets me log in to do so... it's not cooperating right now, though. :\

To cover magic for both of them, I'll address my magic system first. My approach to magic is that everyone and everything in the world possesses an affinity to the spiritual realm; "everything has a spirit" in other words. This means that, theoretically, any person in the world is capable of using magic to some extent or another. The ability to use it, however, is the result of training; there are very few people in the world who can use magic without being taught. Magic is used by manifesting spiritual energy in a physical form.

The limitations on magic come from how efficiently a person uses it... think of this efficiency as the 'mana cost' of a spell. A strong spell is not very efficient because it draws a large amount of energy out in a short burst, resulting in a larger net loss as the caster cannot generally control a large torrent of energy very well, though with training, this control improves and less is lost as 'waste energy'. (Though of course, as with all physical energy, none is actually 'wasted', just converted into a form that the caster cannot use that is not part of the resulting spell).

The system itself is divided into 11 elements. 10 of these are properties of the physical world and are considered 'physical energy' just as any form of energy covered in a physics class would be (these are Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, Lightning, Ice, Wood, Light, Darkness, and Poison, in no particular order of importance), and the 11th, Spirit, ties them all together, and represents 'Astral Energy', which provides life and gives properties to all living things (rocks, air, water, etc. are not considered 'alive', as they are composed of a much higher concentration of physical energy than of spiritual; there is still spirit energy to be found in anything, though it is most abundant in living things, where the balance is approximately equal). Every person in the world is born with an affinity for one form of magic or another, primarily by the types of physical energy that make up their body. Thus, people from the same family often, but not always, have similar elemental affinites and abilities, and regions of the world tend to focus on one element over another when they are close to a large source of elemental energy.

The system as a whole is by no means perfect, as this entire project is a work in progress. Any feedback is appreciated so that it may be refined into the best possible end product; this applies to the systems I propose as well as to my characters.

I apologize again for the length, but thank you sincerely for taking an interest in my characters and project. I'm not an expert at this, I'm just one guy trying to create and organize a whole world simply because I find it fun, so feedback on stuff I do wrong (or right!) will help me fix it and make it better, and new ideas will help me to keep it alive. I'm glad you're enjoying what I've had available thus far, and hope it continues to hold your interest!   :D
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Rebel7284

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2010, 07:26:33 PM »
Didn't read that last post, too long, but blindfolds of true darkness + mindsight is indeed a fun combo that allows his to be powerful without using sight.  Can he have a familiar for long range spotting?  The chain can be an item familiar perhaps?  Howling Chain is a fun spell and works well with chains. :D

The PC seems kinda bland "I have no trust and have a few spells"  Duskblade Channeling shocking gasp can totally do the lightning part.  The good assassin variant can be fun too.  Perhaps shadow pouncer build?  If all else fails, you cannot go wrong with swordsage. I guess one of those builds that go like "I adds 2x Dex + 2x Int to damage" might work too.
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kevin_video

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2010, 07:44:36 PM »
Reading that last post was kind of the point.  :p It was his e-mail response to everything that we're doing here. Namely that he'll be changing the one character's alignment to CG since it fits her better, and she can then take Electrokineticist.

The good assassin? You mean that April Fool's Avenger in white? And the chain might very well become his Item Familiar. It's also sounding like he's going to be a summoner. So I guess Augment Summoning should go in there.

The problem that I'm still having is him being blind. That's a flaw, but as you may have in the Simple Question thread, that's not good enough because you can always have it healed. Well, yes, but you're still blind at a time that you can't negate it or heal it, so until you "buy it off", it's a flaw.
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Havok4

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2010, 07:54:40 PM »
Well it looks like electrokineticist works for that character, the lightning whip could be that whole string maneuvering thing. You could just the lightning whip or lightning natural attack to deliver status effect or disabling maneuvers to her enemies to simulate the kind of use she was describing. Also for higher damage you can use the damaging maneuvers which could be that huge lightning blast thing.
Also the use of the chain for the BBEG is almost exactly how howling chain works. Also the rest of the abilities for him could be put down to the proper spell selection, from what is describe he needs to get animate objects somehow, maybe arcane disciple, summon undead 4 or 5, magic jar, detect thoughts, and other similar spells. He also seems to be more of a casting focused sorcerer rather then a gish.

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2010, 08:32:33 PM »
I don't mean to detract from the topic, but could someone point me to a reference or give a simple reason why Psionic Minor creation qualifies for Hidden talent and how it is on a Psionic CLASS list instead of the shaper discipline list.  It seems that a discipline list is different from the Psion class list.

Quote
When you take this feat, choose one 1st-level power from any psionic class list.
Am I correct that you cannot take hidden talent to gain Psionic Minor Creation, or am I missing something?

Havok4

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Re: Designing Characters for a Friend's Game
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2010, 08:47:33 PM »
I basically argue that the discipline powers are on a list restricted to a certain class, so it is considered a class list. This is not the strongest argument but you could always argue that it is also on the ardent creation mantel but that runs into similar issues as the ardent has a very odd class list structure. Another option is to be human and take the Wild Talent (Adon) feat from complete psionic, which gives you psionic minor creation usable as a PLA once per day. Which is actually better if more race and fluff restrictive than hidden talent.