The "Playing Pokemon" Project, Part 2: CHARMANDER (PEACH)

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(( Cross-Posted in the Races forum. ))

It's been two weeks since I put up Bulbasaur, and the responses were positive enough that I decided to move ahead with Charmander. I think that I finally got it about right, but of course, it's all still open for input. As before, design decisions and commentary will be explained via spoiler block.


CHARMANDER
anime004.jpg?t=126306771815432_224206641184_661991184_317369.jpg?t=1263067704070904_charmander.jpg?t=1263067705

RACIAL TRAITS
Average Height: 3'3" - 3'9"
Average Weight: 30 - 50 lb.

Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity
Size: Small
Speed: 6 Squares
Vision: Normal

Languages: Common, Pokemon
Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance, +2 Intimidate
Ember: The flame at the tip of your tail, your ember, can burn at three different strengths: brightened, dimmed, and extinguished. While brightened, it sheds bright light out to a radius of 5 squares. While dimmed, it sheds dim light out to a radius of 2 squares. While extinguished, it sheds no light at all.
You can change your ember's strength as a minor action, but when you die, it is immediately extinguished.
Fire-Type: You have resist fire equal to 5 + one-half of your level.
Pokemon: You are a magical beast.
Blaze: You have the blaze power.

Blaze (Charmander Racial Power)
You take advantage of your ember to deliver a painful burn with your next strike.
Encounter
Minor Action - Personal
Effect: If you hit with the next attack that you make before the end of your turn, then the attack deals an additional 2D6 fire damage. This damage increases to 3D6 at 11th level and then to 4D6 at 21st level.
Special: If you are bloodied, then you gain a +2 power bonus to the next attack that you make before the end of your turn.

Design Decisions
My original intent was to determine Pokemon racial ability score bonuses by looking at their stats in actual Pokemon games, but I ran into a problem here just as I did with Bulbasaur. Frankly, even though their highest stats in the games are Special Attack and Speed, I just don't feel like DEX and CHA would have fit very well for D&D, and it would also make the race much too similar to Halflings. In the end, I just thought STR and DEX fit better, and I'm not really sure that I can totally explain it other than that I think they'd fit in better with STR-using classes than they would with CHA-using classes. I think the image of a Charmander in heavy armor as a fighter or night is totally awesome (also sort of funny because you end up with a dragon-like creature that is the knight going to save the maiden from some humans), but robes would just catch on fire, and having a tail that's always on fire isn't very conducive to sneaking around in the dark.

Ember was actually pretty difficult to get somewhere that I was satisfied with. I kept wanting to do crazy, cool stuff like have the flame unable to be brightened when bloodied and automatically dim when they're bloodied and extinguish when they're dying but just dim if they're unconscious but not dying but if they spend a healing surge they can brighten it as a free action but ARGH! In the end, it was just too complicated for what it supposed to be a very simple idea: Your tail can function as a torch or candle. I also felt like it was only right to actually include the option that it be extinguished, even though in the anime, that meant the creature would die, just because it would be a complete shame if they had such a massive penalty to sneak.

Finally, Blaze was pretty hard to get right too. I felt tempted to do an attack power, but those are so overdone nowadays, so instead I decided to adapt an idea from an image I got in my head of a Charmander Archer. The archer would swipe his tail on the tip of the arrow before releasing it, resulting in the addition of fire damage to the arrow. I thought that was cool, so I ran with it, and even though it wouldn't work quite the same for caster classes, it doesn't take too much reflavoring to make it work.


In the world of D&D, Bulbasaur, like all other Pokemon, are native to the natural world, having been created by the original Pokemon God, Arceus, many eons ago. They dwell in the mountains and, unlike Bulbasaur, do build large, stone, permanent structures, castles that don't look much different than those build by humanoid races, even considering their small size. Unfortunately, due to their appearance, many humanoid races associate them with dragons, leading to much tension based solely on fear. In fact, Charmander bear no relation to dragons, and their appearance is merely an example of convergent evolution.

Culturally speaking, Charmander actually share much with Dragonborn and with the Dwarves with whom they share their home. Honor, valor, and strength are paramount, and fire is the cornerstone of society. Other than a few land desputes every now and again, the greatest allies to the Charmander are probably Dwarves, likely because Dwarves learned long ago that the Charmander are fundementally benevolent creatures who make valuable allies.

Most Charmander worship Ho-Oh and its angels, the legendary beasts Entei, Raikou, and Suicune. They represent legendary strength and the cycles of destruction and rebirth. Charmander Clerics and Paladins are actually quite common, and the king of a Charmander nation is usually a powerful Charizard Paladin, but most Charmander find the Martial classes much more attractive, particularly Fighter, Ranger, and Rogue.

HEROIC TIER FEATS:


CHARMANDER'S BLAZE
Prerequisite: Charmander, blaze racial power
Benefit: When you use your blaze racial power, the next attack that you make before the end of your turn can score a critical hit on a natural roll of 19 or 20.

CHARMANDER'S EMBER
Prerequisite: Charmander, ember racial feature
Benefit: Once per encounter, when you change your ember's strength to brightened, one adjacent enemy of your choice grants combat advantage to the next attack that you make against it before the end of your turn.

CHARMANDER'S SMOKESCREEN
Prerequisite: Charmander
Benefit: You gain concealment against opportunity attacks.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
CHARMELEON
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Prerequisite: Charmander

CHARMELEON PATH FEATURES:
Fire Spin Action (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an action, if you use your action to make an attack that hits, that attack deals 10 ongoing fire damage (save ends).
Metal Claw (11th level): You can use each of your claws as a weapon that is treated as having the Off-Hand property. When you gain this feature, choose whether each of your claws will be treated as a Heavy Blade or as a Light Blade. If one is treated as a Heavy Blade, then it has a +2 proficiency bonus and does 1D8 damage. If one is treated as a Light Blade, then is has a +3 proficiency bonus and does 1D6 damage.
You can enchant and disenchant your claws. When you disenchant them, they do not turn to dust.
Fire Fang (16th level): Whenever you score a critical hit against an enemy, you can choose for that enemy to either take 5 ongoing fire damage (save ends) or be dazed until the end of your next turn.

Dragon Rage (Charmeleon Attack 11)
You spit forth blue fire so intense that it could melt boulders. Nothing is totally fireproof.

Encounter - Fire
Standard Action     Close blast 3
Target: Each creature in blast
Attack: Ability Score +6 vs. Reflex
Level 21: Ability Score +9 vs. Reflex
Hit: 25 fire damage. This damage ignores fire resistance and immunity.
Special: When you gain this power, choose any ability score to use when making attack rolls with this power.

Scary Face (Charmeleon Utility 12)
With a mere glance, you can stop a foe in its tracks or force him to cower at your might.

Daily
Minor Action     Personal
Effect: Make an intimidate check against a single target. You take no penalty for being unable to speak a language that your target understands, and your target gets no bonus to Will defense for being unfriendly or hostile. You cannot use this intimidate check to force a bloodied target to surrender.

Flamethrower (Charmeleon Attack 20)
You bite down on an enemy before unleashing a blast of fire from point blank range.

Daily - Fire
Standard Action     Melee 1
Primary Target: One creature
Primary Attack: Ability Score +9 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1D8 + Ability Score modifier fire damage, you gain a +4 bonus to this power's secondary attack against the target, and the target does not grant cover to other targets of your secondary attack.
Effect: Slide the primary target to any square adjacent to you and then make a secondary attack that is a close blast 5 and that includes the primary target.
Secondary Target: Each creature in blast
Secondary Attack: Ability Score +9 vs. Reflex
Hit: 3D8 + Ability Score modifier fire damage, and you push the target 2 squares.
Miss: Half damage.
Special: When you gain this power, choose any ability score to use when making attack rolls and damage rolls with this power.

PARAGON TIER FEATS


CHARMELEON'S BLAZE
Prerequisite: Charmander, blaze racial power
Benefit: When you use your blaze racial power, if you miss with the next attack that you make before the end of your turn, then your use of blaze is not expended.

CHARMELEON'S EMBER
Prerequisite: Charmander, ember racial feature
Benefit: Once during each of your turns, you can change your ember's strength as a free action instead of as a minor action.

CHARMELEON'S SMOKESCREEN
Prerequisite: Charmander, Charmander's Smokescreen feat
Benefit: You gain concealment against all opportunity actions, immediate actions, and free actions that you trigger.

CHARIZARD
anime006.jpg?t=1263072451Charizard_by_AnnaJ.jpg?t=12630724541253150154237.jpg?t=1263072451

Prerequisite: Charmander, Charmeleon

CHARIZARD FEATURES:
Final Form Evolution (21st level): Your size increases to medium.
Charizard average height is 5'3" - 6'0", and Charizard average weight is 170 - 230 lb.
Flying-Type (21st level): You gain a fly speed of 6 and can hover.
Wing Attack (24th level): When you charge, you gain a +4 power bonus to your fly speed and to all of your defenses against the target of your attack until the start of your next turn.
Flare Blitz (30th level): Once per round when you hit an enemy with an attack, you can take damage equal to your healing surge value as a free action. This damage cannot be reduced or negated by any means. If you do, then the attack deals additional fire damage equal to your healing surge value and the enemy is blinded until the end of your next turn.

Heat Wave (Charizard Utility 26)
Your ember burns with a heat so great that anyone and anything near you is seared.

Encounter - Fire
Minor Action     Personal
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, creatures and objects other than you within the radius of the light shed by your ember take additional fire damage whenever they are hit by an attack. While your ember is dimmed, they take an additional 5 fire damage, and while your ember is brightened, they take an additional 10 fire damage.

EPIC TIER FEATS


CHARIZARD'S BLAZE Prerequisite: Charmander, blaze racial power
Benefit: The benefits that your blaze racial power normally grants to the next attack that you make before the end of your turn are instead granted to all attacks that you make before the end of your turn.
Special: If you have the Charmeleon's Blaze feat, then your use of blaze is only not expended if you miss with all attacks that you make before the end of your turn.

CHARIZARD'S EMBER
Prerequisite: Charmander, ember racial feature, Charmander's Ember feat
Benefit: When you use your Charmander's Ember feat, all adjacent enemies grant combat advantage to all of your attacks until the end of your turn.

CHARIZARD'S SMOKESCREEN
Prerequisite: Charmander, Charmander's Smokescreen feat
Benefit: You gain total concealment against opportunity attacks that you provoke during your own turn.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I have no interest in ever playing a Pokemon version of D&D, but it's an interesting concept and it's clear you've put a lot of thought into it. I really like the idea of their evolution happening over the three tiers of the game. Makes a lot of sense. But what about epic destinies? I'm curious to see what you'd come up with.
But what about epic destinies?

Charizard is the Epic Destiny. =)

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I think it is safe to increase the ongoing damage on Fire Fangs to 10 at Paragon Level, and increase it further to 15 at Epic Level. Ongoing damage is not that strong anyways, and Fire is a commonly resisted type. I see no problem with making that a 16th level PP feature. On the other hand, as written, it is weaker than the Path's 11th level feature (which triggers more reliably at least).

Dragon Rage could stand for an increase at Epic level too. 25 Fire damage at Epic is just a bit meh... Perhaps 40 damage?
I think it is safe to increase the ongoing damage on Fire Fangs to 10 at Paragon Level, and increase it further to 15 at Epic Level. Ongoing damage is not that strong anyways, and Fire is a commonly resisted type. I see no problem with making that a 16th level PP feature. On the other hand, as written, it is weaker than the Path's 11th level feature (which triggers more reliably at least).

I honestly wasn't sure of its power, so I decided to play it on the safe side until I got feedback. I'll likely increase it to 10 ongoing if I don't hear any objections.

Dragon Rage could stand for an increase at Epic level too. 25 Fire damage at Epic is just a bit meh... Perhaps 40 damage?

Getting around 25 damage out of your level 11 paragon path power is actually pretty standard for an epic level character, equivalent to about a 2[W] or 3[W] attack, depending on your weapon. Remember, you never get to switch out your level 11 paragon encounter attack power, so you're stuck with it though 30th anyways, quite often meaning that it will end up your weakest encounter attack power. The point of that power is really more that its a multi-target blast and that it ignores fire resistances and immunities. The static damage is just to follow the mechanics and flavor of the attack in the Pokemon videogames.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Little things.

The charmander blaze feat seems kinda meh. I mean until upic levels you have an extra five percent chance to crit on one attack per round. 

I'd put it at 18-20.

Also he's got a point about dragon rage, a pp attack doing 2-3 W usually has a special affect tied to it and often ignores resistances anyway by often doing untyped damage. 

maybe 30? 
The charmander blaze feat seems kinda meh. I mean until upic levels you have an extra five percent chance to crit on one attack per round. 

I'd put it at 18-20.

That seems reasonable.

Also he's got a point about dragon rage, a pp attack doing 2-3 W usually has a special affect tied to it and often ignores resistances anyway by often doing untyped damage.

Yeah, but a weapon attack usually has a single target, and blasts typically do lower damage because of that. Would it maybe help if the power ignored all resistances and immunities instead of just fire resistance and immunity?

maybe 30? 

That wouldn't be too high at 11th level?

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Yeah have it ignore all resistances, you know in case someone tries to get cute or something.

Leave it at 25 if you do that though. 
I don't think that you should allow charmander to ever extinguish his tail, as I remember from the old TV show, if charmander's tail ever went out, charmander would die.
I don't think that you should allow charmander to ever extinguish his tail, as I remember from the old TV show, if charmander's tail ever went out, charmander would die.

I'm afraid that it's just not practical to transfer that idea over into D&D. It would result in too many issues. Instead, I would opt to work that idea into culture and stereotypes. For instance, I've flavored them to be a very proud race, and each of them sees its embers as a representation of its personal strength. Therefore many Charmander may rather die than extinguish their own ember, as this would be a show of weakness or cowardice. Consequently, many other races may believe that a Charmander cannot extinguish its flame, but this would just be a cultural misunderstanding.
This would suggest that Charmander are culturally opposed to playing sneaky classes like Rogue or Assassin (the classes for which ember would be a liability if it could not be extinguished), and I think that this fits wonderfully from a flavor perspective.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Charmander Barbarian for the Win.  You did an awesome job on this one CC, I will not say if it is better then Bulbasaur as I am biased and Charmander is my favorite pokemon.  Anyway, I haven't noticed anything out of line with it and would allow a PC charmander.  Keep up the good work.
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Will there eventually be a PDF file of some sort that will have all of these together?

I'd very much enjoy that.
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