Character Backgrounds?

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The Neverwinter Campaign Guide includes rules for some backgrounds.  Does this mean that characters for this season of encounters may use a background for their character in addition to a theme? 

It's a player option from a featured source, so the only possible answer seems to be yes.
Yes, as far as I know, you can have a background and a theme.

Cheers
As long as it is from the Neverwinter Guide.  So lets not try to slip in Auspicious Birth etc in there
Unless you have the book already, I wasn't so lucky, the only source for these Background Themes are the cards in the GameDay bags.


From what I've seen, the themes do have some fun story-driven, role-playing opportunities in the Encounter season but you wouldn't be able to use the Templar or other Dark Sun themes Wink 

Either get the Neverwinter guide book or grab those cards if you can.  
Unless you have the book already, I wasn't so lucky, the only source for these Background Themes are the cards in the GameDay bags.
[snip]
Either get the Neverwinter guide book or grab those cards if you can.  

I haven't checked the character builder recently, but it's my understanding that WotC aims to get all the Neverwinter stuff on there sometime before Wednesday. I guess we'll see.

Also, you should have the opportunity to at least borrow the Neverwinter book at the game store where you play Encounters.

Cheers

I recomend you check out the excellent Dugeons Master website if you are an Encounters fan.

They have already posted an excellent (and spoiler-free) preview of the upcoming season, as well as recaps of how each session went at their FLGS.

Also, check out their Gameday preview. Gameday may be over but the preview has copies of all 13 Theme Cards if you want to print out a copy of a particular one (the Harper Agent theme was very popular at my game store, for example, so I wasn't able to snag one for my neice; but I printed an extra one for her to use during the season).

dungeonsmaster.com/2011/07/dd-game-day-g...

well, the character builder had 5 themes (Bregan Daerthe, Oghma, Harper, Devil's Pawn and Spellscarred Harbinger) and their 5 backgrounds in it tonight when I checked it on my wife's account.
It actually seems to have them all but they have restrictions.
Yep, all of the Neverwinter content appears to have been added to the CB, but there are racial restrictions for most of the themes so you may not see all of them depending on your chosen race.
well, I was deliberately making a drow spy so that makes sense.
I chose the Harper theme for my character and then chose for the Character builder to assign my equipment. It assigned me the Harper Pin.

Am I suppose to get that at character creation?
As I don't have the book yet I'm not sure if I should use it?

I refrained from using it tonight as I wasn't sure and really had no need.
Yes, Grim, you should have the Harper Pin. Instead of an actual power, you get a magic item with attached powers. Of the three encounter powers, you choose one and keep that for the entire season, although you could retrain it out for another, most likely. If you were to continue on to levels five and ten, then you'd get to choose from two and all three, respectively.

Hopefully, you won't need this information since it should be included on the item card in the builder; it is on the item block in the book.

So go ahead and use it next week! Otherwise, what's the point of playing an accused murderer-traitor?
Thanks GnomishMagicMisshle
I have been making Neverwinter-centric pre-gens for our Encounters group and I have run into a few "quirks" with Character Builder.

If you choose the Lost Crown of Neverwinter setup for your character the backgrounds are indeed open, but only those related to backgrounds in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting (NCS).

If you want to select a FR Diety, you cannot use the Lost Crown setup.
Work around: Use the Forgotten Realms one instead to get the complete FR deity list.
Warning: If you do so you will have to be careful about power, feat, theme, background selection because options that are not legal to campaign will be available (unless your DDE group is not restricting themselves to Essentials+, then swing away).

The Uthgardt Barbarian theme says its possible to be a half-orc or half-elf but the system will not let you choose the them with those races selected.
Work around: Select human as your race, then select the Uthgardt Barbarian theme. Then go an switch your race back to half-orc or half-elf. It will give you a warning (the color of the theme choice changes from green to orange-red) but it lets you use it.

That's all I have found so far.

Bryan Blumklotz
AKA Saracenus
DDE WPN Coordinator for Guardian Games
I have been making Neverwinter-centric pre-gens for our Encounters group and I have run into a few "quirks" with Character Builder.

If you choose the Lost Crown of Neverwinter setup for your character the backgrounds are indeed open, but only those related to backgrounds in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting (NCS).

If you want to select a FR Diety, you cannot use the Lost Crown setup.
Work around: Use the Forgotten Realms one instead to get the complete FR deity list.
Warning: If you do so you will have to be careful about power, feat, theme, background selection because options that are not legal to campaign will be available (unless your DDE group is not restricting themselves to Essentials+, then swing away).

The Uthgardt Barbarian theme says its possible to be a half-orc or half-elf but the system will not let you choose the them with those races selected.
Work around: Select human as your race, then select the Uthgardt Barbarian theme. Then go an switch your race back to half-orc or half-elf. It will give you a warning (the color of the theme choice changes from green to orange-red) but it lets you use it.

That's all I have found so far.

Bryan Blumklotz
AKA Saracenus
DDE WPN Coordinator for Guardian Games

Bryan, I'm going to forward those comments on and see if they can fix them. Thanks!

Cheers
Erik,

Thanks. The same problem with human vs. half-orc/half-elf exists for the Pack Outcast Theme.

Bryan Blumklotz
AKA Saracenus
DDE WPN Coordinator for Guardian Games
In your example above its because the CB does not support house rules.  Human is the correct rule for that option.  The rest of the text after that falls into the realm of the DM being able to house rule it.  And this is not available in the CB at this time.

Also if anyone plans to carry these characters forward into LFR will have to change it to a legal option not a workaround or house ruled option to do so. (This assumes that the LFR Globals do not make it a House Rule for the campaign, which they have not as of yet) 
Mirthrenmaethor,

According to the Themes half-orc and half-elf members of the Uthgardt Barbarians and Pack Outcast are legal options (just not very common).


Uthgardt Barbarian Theme:


Race Prerequisite: Human. Although the Uthgardt are almost exclusively human, a few half-elves and half-orcs are found among the Thunderbeast tribe.


Pack Outcast Theme:


Race Prerequisite: Human. A few family lines of Grey Wolf might have half-elf and half-orc members.

Why mention them at all in the prerequisites if they are not available to players?

As for LFR, I am sorry to say but it is completely dead as a living campaign in Portland, OR. I have not found a single public instance of it being run in PDX (GameStorm Game Day is the one notable exception but that is a quaterly game day).

It would be great to have a place for players to continue playing with their characters when Season 6 ends but the entire judge core for LFR quit the campaign enmass over allowing characters to start higher than 1st level. I personally don't have the time to champion it (DDE and school suck up all my time, Lair Assault has its own coordinator here).

If you want to play DDE, Pathfinder Society, Ashes of Athas, Living Arcanis or Shadowrun Missions we got that going on here in the Rose City.

Erik,

Thanks for sending my info up.

Bryan Blumklotz
AKA Saracenus
DDE WPN Coordinator for Guardian Games



If they were legal options not needing DM adjudication they would read:



Pack Outcast Theme:



Race Prerequisite: Human, half-elf and half-orc.



In what you quoted above everything after the period following Human is additional fluff, to give the DM some wiggle room with the themes, and not part of the Prerequisite itself
If they were legal options not needing DM adjudication they would read:

Pack Outcast Theme:



Race Prerequisite: Human, half-elf and half-orc.



In what you quoted above everything after the period following Human is additional fluff, to give the DM some wiggle room with the themes, and not part of the Prerequisite itself

I can certainly understand why you'd see it that way. We specifically wrote them in a non-mechanical way to make it flexible, yes, but all of that is supposed to be the prerequisite. One should not pick and choose which parts of the paragraph to allow and which to ignore.

That they're not included in the character builder seems like an oversight, not an intention. But if someone from R&D contradicts me in this, go with that.

Cheers
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