Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 8:56 PM
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 8:09 PM
My fourth installment in this series is the Elven Warpriest. It is one of two that actually have synergy between Race and Class Ability scores. I could have made him the Slayer, but I really wanted the Slayer to be a Halfling, so this is what I ended up with. Enjoy.
I realize I could have chosen Intelligence instead of Wisdom to bring him in line with my trial for building this set of characters, but that felt kind of like a cop out. So, he gets bonuses to Dex and Wis. I did choose to go with two 16's this build to keep him a bit more well rounded. Strength was my choice as a dump stat mainly just because it was different, and it worked out fairly well for this character. His scores are Str-8/Con-16/Dex-14(race bonus)/Int-10/Wis-18(race bonus)/Cha-10.
Religion is a gimme and Heal is a must. I cannot imagine a Leader role hero who is not trained in Heal. History and Arcana both seemed kind of bookish in the skills department. I decided to make this character more of a tactition expert so Diplomacy and Insight won the last two places in this build.
Power and Feature choices are again limited. This time I get a Domain and a Daily to choose. I picked the Storm Domain as it seems more tactical than the combat medic Sun Domain, even if that "tactical" is mostly additional damage. I can at least imagine that as telling them where and how to hit opponents. Levy of Judgement is an easy choice for Daily to me. I love the 2[W] damage and it has a reroll ability that fits well with my tactical theme.
As the "tactical leader" for the group, I wanted to hang back from the front line fighting. To bad that all the Warpriest powers are Melee then right? Guess I'll have to make do with what I've got. I took the books advice and grabbed the Weapon Proficiency: Longspear so that I could stand just behind the front row fighters and still make good use of my attack powers.
I purchased Chainmail for the best defense, and of course a Longspear to go with the feat I chose. As an Elf, it's hard to justify purchasing anything other than a Longbow for my ranged weapon, which means you then need a quiver of Arrows. After adding an Adventurer's Kit, I had 4 gold left, not enough for a Holy Symbol, so I had mine etched into the spear. Seemed like a much more fun idea to me anyway...
Hope you enjoyed/will enjoy this character. I've decided to simply Bold the character choices for now. It seems to make it easier to me, if someone wanted to remake this character to use in their own game. This is probably what I will do going forward, unless anyone has an objection...
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 9:29 PM
Welcome to my third Character Concept: The Eladrin Knight. This one seemed like a fun idea due to the stories I've read about Eladrin Knights/Warriors who excel at Longsword fighting and walk around in gleaming armor.
I think his ability scores wrote themselves pretty well. I chose Charisma instead of Dexterity because I want him to be inspiringly beautiful. I chose to dump Dexterity as it has no effect on the Knight class or on the skill list for this class and also I knew I was getting a bonus to Intelligence for my Reflex Defense. His scores ended up as Str-18/Con-14/Dex-8/Int-12(race bonus)/Wis-10/Cha-13(race bonus).
Thinking of his skills, I wanted him to be a tough knight, but still have a presence about him. Athletics and Endurance being tied to both of my high stats made them natural choices. Diplomacy easily beat out Intimidate given the flavor I wanted this knight to have. Eladrin bonus skill? So many good options here. I wanted him to seem very much a fey and looking at his racial bonuses, he gets Arcana and History. Both good choices, but I think Arcana will give him the more magical fey feel.
Not a lot of choices to make as a Knight where Class Features and Powers are concerned. I chose Poised Assault and Measured Cut for my At-Will powers. They both fit into my theme better than the other powers. Poised Assault gives that +1 to hit and it makes him that much better with his longsword, as an Eladrin really should be. Measured Cut gives him a little extra maneuverability which seemed fitting for a fey creature to me. (When this one got picked up by a player though, Cleave was taken in place of Measured Cut. Some people have little desire for flavor in a character ;P)
Shield Finesse is a free Feat and I liked the idea of being maneuverable while heavily armored so Armor Finesse became my second Feat. It also helps as both Endurance and Athletics would be affected by his armor check penalties. Weapon Focus or Expertise could work just as well, but I thought that could be covered by his Poised Assault stance easily enough until second level.
Equipment: Plate Armor, Heavy Shield, Longsword, and Adventuring Kit will leave you 10 gold left over, just enough for a pair of heavy thrown weapons. I suggest Javelins for their superior range and they seem more likely to see use by an Eladrin than clumsy hammers or over the top damage axes...
So, now there is an article for making your own Eladrin Knight even better. It really doesn't change much for my blog, in fact, it kind of reinforces everything I chose. I would definitely swap out Battle Guardian for Feywild Guardian, and I would take Glimmering Blade instead of Measured Cut. (As this entry only covers first level creation, the other powers are kind of moot.) I think the idea of switching out Str for Int with Melee Training is also nice, but I created these characters to be imperfect, and I think the Str based Knight works just fine the way it is. Not to mention that your only options for ranged are either Dex based or Str based, and sometimes, you really need to have ranged attacks. Of course, if you plan on playing the class into Paragon or Epic levels you will want to look at the Eldritch Knight Paragon Path and determine if you want to go that route. It would be very ineffective with a Str based character...
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Saturday, December 11, 2010, 9:56 PM
Trying an adjusted format with this one. Section headers are highlighted in Blue, subsections in Green. Options are bold in Black with the concept choices listed in Red. Let me know if it works.
My second build is the Dwarven Mage. Dwarves have long been one of my favorite races. They are sturdy and gruff, yet lovable. They make excellent Fighters and Clerics and while they have no major synergies with Rouges, I've seen plenty of them in stories and past editions of the game. So, that left me with the path of the Mage. Incidentally, this one turned out to be my favorite of the batch.
For his Ability Scores I chose the bonus to Wisdom over Strength because it seemed the scholarly thing to do. I ended up with Str-10/Con-16(race bonus)/Dex-8/Int-18/Wis-13(race bonus)/Cha-10. Constitution became my secondary stat because the Mage has no real need of secondary stats for his class abilities and powers. Dwarves are notoriously tough, while Mages are notoriously not so much. And I really wanted him to retain the Dwarven feel. Dexterity was my dump stat because it seemed less important. Neither Dwarves nor Mages are particularly known for Acrobatic feats nor Stealth. Initiative isn't as important since most Mages tend to stand behind others and cast distance spells when they can. Rushing into battle seemed a little foolhardy. And of course, his AC will be boosted by his Intelligence modifier instead of Dexterity.
Skills were largely Intelligence based. Arcane being given, I went ahead and picked up History and Religion to finish off my Intelligence based skills. I briefly considered Insight to give him a social skill for skill challenges, but quickly decided against it as both Dwarves and Mages tend to disdain overmuch interaction with others. Dungeoneering became the obvious choice as it had both a racial and ability score bonus already. It's totally a Dwarven skill anyway.
Class Features and Powers were plenty of fun to sort through. For his Apprenticeship, Evocation was tempting, because who doesn't like dealing lot's o' damage? But Enchantment won out in the end. I liked that a Dwarf who is hard to push around (Stand Your Ground) is adept at shoving others further around the battlefield. Ghost Sound, Prestidigitation, and Suggestion were my three chosen Cantrips. Prestidigitation covers a wide variety of effects and makes the Light power slightly less useful, plus Dwarves prefer it dark, right? Suggestion is a great choice as it gives you a one use social skill for skill challenges and it embodies the mentality of "I can't be bothered to try and talk you into seeing my way, so I'll just magic you into liking me." Ghost sound is a fun distraction and useful for communicating at distance. Magic Missile is the freebie At-Will power and the others I chose were Hypnotism and Phantasmal Assault. Beguiling Strands is arguably the better power for Enchanters, but it requires you to be closer than Hypnotism and I love the ability to force an opponent to attack his ally. I needed a second power I could deal damage with for occasions when there was only one enemy on the board and Phantasmal Assault has the added benefit of both making the target easier to hit and preventing them from getting opportunity attacks if they keep getting in to close to you. For the Encounter and Daily Powers I went with Evocation and Enchantment in my spellbook. The Illusion powers seemed like fun, but I wanted some damage to back up my "fun" enchanter powers in case I felt a need for it.
Only a single Feat needed for this character at first level and I chose Melee Training: Intelligence. Dwarves are proficient with Warhammers, so why not use one? It gives you something to make opportunity attacks with and a way to strike your foes if they are too close and preventing you from casting your spells. Though if you find yourself in this position a lot, you may want to consider Armor Proficiency: Leather or switching to a staff with the Staff Expertise feat. At second level I recommend looking at the Orb Expertise feat just to further the forced movement concept of this build.
Equipment is pretty straightforward. Warhammer, Orb, Adventuring Kit, and a Spellbook will leave you with 5gp left. Do with that what you will.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010, 10:48 PM
My first Blog on d&d. What better topic than Character creation?
I'm DMing for encounters at my local store, so I thought I'd start with my homemade pregens for that game. I wanted to make characters where the races didn't "click" so neatly with the classes and I wanted to use each race and class once. So, I came up with the following list: Dwarven Mage; Eladrin Knight; Elven Warpriest; Halfling Slayer; Human Thief.
First up: The Human Thief. I know this one doesn't exactly fit the bill of not clicking, but it's a human. What're ya gonna do, they pretty well click with everything.
I always start with ability scores when making characters. They are usually pretty straight forward based on the class. Str-11;Con-10;Dex-20(race bonus);Int-8;Wis-10;Chr-14. Intelligence became my dump stat mainly because I hate taking a penalty to Con which would give me lower HP and Wis is the key to Perception and Insight checks.
Skills are next. I thought of this character as being a little like robin hood, the master archer and woodsman, so I focused his skills accordingly. Stealth and Thievery are automatic, then I picked up Acrobatics and Athletics to help keep him on the move in rough terrain, Bluff to get him in a good disguise, and Streetwise and Dungeoneering to help him with his escape plans when he does get caught in a tight spot.
Class Powers were pretty obvious for my Archer style Thief. Ambush Trick and Tactical Trick will both ensure that you have an extremely high chance of getting that sneak attack damage bonus every round, and from a distance no less. (Optional note for non encounters characters- take the extra at-will power for humans and pick up Escape Artist Trick for when you do eventually get caught by an enemy)
Feats weren't too hard either when you are limited in choice of what sources you can use. Humans get two! Hurray! I picked Improved Initiative because it's nice to go first in most encounters and you have the added bonus of combat advantage on anyone who hasn't gone yet with the Thief. As for feat number two, I chose Weapon Focus: Short bow preferring to focus on damage since I should be getting a lot of CA bonuses on my attacks, plus I have Heroic Effort and Back stab for bonuses on those really close but not quite rolls. (Optional Note 2: Trade Weapon Focus for Improved Sneak Attack, 3d8 damage with almost every attack!)
And finally: equipment. Short bow seemed an obvious choice for min/maxing as well as character theme. Can't use a longbow with my Thief powers and the crossbow has a load action and is heavier than the short bow. Picked up a short sword for emergencies and leather armor for my defense. Grab yourself and adventurers kit and you should be ready to go.
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