Bard rapper, needs motivation for adv.

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I need help finding motivation to make my character seek a life of adventuring. Based on the background outlined below, I don't see this character as the type of person to go dungeon delving. Imagination and help appreciated. Maybe TJ disappeared to escape the loan sharks or find a way to repay his huge financial debt (i.e treasure hunting). It's the only thing I can think of.

For this homebrew campaign setting, the character I am describing is the founder of the bard class. There are only TWO bards in this world- he and his rival.

Background:

Tyrone James Junior (TJ Jr.) grew up as a lower class citizen. He had an intense affinity to music. However, his single mother could not afford a musical instrument to nurture her son's talent. Regardless, TJ's interest in music was so profound that he pursued music without an instrument. He developed a unique singing style that focused on pacing and flow. TJ called it "rapping" because it was carefully measured like the rap one hears at the door. He wrote poems that featured clever wordplay and rhyme.

TJ introduced this new style to his fellow street urchins and it was very well received. They made a game out of "freestyling, " which is trying to outwit one another with improvised raps. TJ consistently won every "freestyle battle."

TJ wanted to explore the potential of rap more fully. So desperate was he to enroll at the prestigious music college that he took a loan with an exorbitant interest rate. In his junior years, he was at the top of his class. Every instrument he touched, he learned to play within hours. To his delight, rap was gaining popularity among the students. Some even freestyled with him, though he still was clearly superior to his peers...

... until he met the half-elf Quincy Elargo. Quincy, one year further along in his education, was just as sharp as TJ. People would crowd around those two whenever they had a freestyle battle. Quincy showed great interest in rap, and wrote his own songs. Depending on who you asked, they were considered either better or almost as good as TJ's.

The two were complete opposites. Quincy had an easy life with wealthy parents. TJ was drowning in debt and often failed to make his minimum payments. Regardless, both were considered the grandmasters of rap.

People were mesmerized by the performances and TJ took notice. Quincy said one day in conversation that their audience would be susceptible to the powers of suggestions. TJ asked Quincy to borrow some books on the arcane power source from his father, a wizard. Being two very bright young men, they were able to apply their research to music and invented the first Bard powers. Seeing the promise of this direction, they decided to turn this research into their grad project.

As rap drew more and more interest, Quincy got lost in the fame and glory, much to his partner's chagrin. Quincy's new songs were very popular, but lacked the substance of the earlier years. TJ reprimanded him, saying he "wasn't keepin' it real 'no more." They argued frequently and their friendship deteriorated.

Quincy was eventually so annoyed that he challenged TJ to a rap battle in which the winner would dictate the future direction of rap. People from all over the kingdoms came to the college to witness the show. TJ and Quincy freestyled back and forth over four hours. It was epic; the most intense and hostile rap battle in which either had ever participated. Very mean, but true things were sung in the rawest rap ever expressed. Quincy edged TJ by a single verse. The original founder of rap had to admit defeat. The crowd cheered TJ on and begged him to sing one more rap. Devastated, he fought back the tears, freestyled a song, now called "Gone," and left the stage never to be seen again. Rap critics agree that, despite Quincy's success, "Gone" is the best rap song ever made.
Well, there's your problem. He's already fought his Great War. He no longer has his epic struggle. Anything he does now is just tying up loose ends. Have someone beat Quincy. Have him want to beat the guy who supposedly made the greatest song there ever was. Then say he also happens to be a nazi and that by "wants to beat" means "will hide in the lowest level of the dungeon putting hordes of monsters between him and the bard he wants to challenge."

After they finally beat THAT guy, sheesh, your adventures turn into post-Cell Dragonball Z. You might be able to find a few new conflicts, but we all know it's just trying to scrounge up a few more shreds of the enjoyment of the previous villains.
That is really good advice and you give me a lot to think about. I haven't picked a paragon path yet, but my idea for TJ's Epic Destiny is "Demigod." That is, he would serve under Corellon as the patron of rap. His epic struggle, as you say, should be the final rap battle with Quincy, but it's already over.

I might transform the "backstory" into the story, period. However, I don't want my character to hog the group's narrative.
Well, one thing about this character, his story is domineering. Not in the sense that it's an attention vacuum, but that for the type of story that it is, you'll need a party that has the same 'vibe' otherwise it won't make sense. For instance, if the rest of the party have music-themed backgrounds/stories or even some kind of competitive-but-not-necessarily-violent hobby that is the guiding light of their life, you might be able to work together to help each other. However, it'll help more if everyone is music-themed, otherwise why on earth is he going around with a bunch of blood-thirsty killers when he just wants to rap? Four bards = Each contributes to the song, creating an entirely new harmony. One bard, three other people = Dude, put down the ******* guitar, these guys want to kill us.

To sum up:

1) Get party onboard with this character so people jive well together.
1a.) If group is simply not going for it, consider shelving character for now. It'll be much more rewarding to use this character when it'll let him do justice to his story rather than trying to force him into a place he shouldn't be just so you can attempt to use the idea.
2) Make sure you have a reason to be adventuring together. Can these people contribute to his overarching goals? Can he contribute to theirs?
3) If possible, have your villain become the party's villain. Have Quincy crush the dreams of the Fighter's cousin who wanted to become a rapper by utterly destroying him while he was still learning, then mocking him. Now, the fighter has to do his cousin-ly duties and beat the hell out of this guy. Preferably, though, the fighter will, in lieu of stabbing him, take up some form of music if he hasn't already to help you beat Quincy. Then, while Quincy is feeling particularly jerkwad-ish, he goes and steals some scrolls or magical items from the wizard's beloved Mentor's tower. This one needs more refining, but that's up to you, as I don't know your fellow players, the setting, or their thoughts.

I wish you the best of luck, my friend!
Again, you prove to offer practical advice.

I like the idea of Quincy crushing the dreams of the fighter's cousin. The cousin could have taken a lost rap battle too personally, for example.

Two other ideas I have are

1) Making Quincy a playable NPC (I realize how funny that sounds). This works well with my group since we have 3 players and 1 DM. We regularly have fill-ins.
The college might ask TJ and Quincy to go on an adventure of some kind. Or they might go to a kind of adventuring convention to showcase the bard class. Just by spending time together, the rivalry between the two can grow.

2) I might shelf TJ and design the whole adventure myself. I would have to give up the privilege of playing this character. Though, I have friends that I know would be faithful to him.

We have a D&D session today, so I'll be sure to throw it out there and see what everyone thinks.
Well, whatever happens, feel free to update what happens regarding Tyrone, either in this thread or PM. I must admit, I am quite intrigued by the idea of the character.
This is still a little rough. But you can't have a rapper in D&D without rap battles mechanics! Feedback appreciated. I am considering adding an ability to restore your own credibility points.

Feel free to reflavour for a battle of the bands, or an intellectual debate of some kind.

Skill Challenge: Rap Battle

Each contestant starts with a number of "Credibility Points" equal to their Charisma score + half their level.
A coin toss determines who goes first. Each contestant gets to perform two actions on their turn.

Primary Skills - Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate

Bluff: You exagerrate or make up an embarassing fact about your opponent
Attack: Bluff vs Will
Hit: 1d4+1 damage to credibility points
Miss: You lose 2 credibility points

Diplomacy: You attack your opponent's credibility with a rap.
Attack: Diplomacy vs Will
Hit: 1d4 damage to credibility points
Miss: You lose 1 credibility point

Intimidate: You rile up the crowd in your favour
Attack: Intimidate vs Will
Hit: Opponent takes -3 to attack rolls (save ends)
Miss: You take -1 to attack rolls (save ends)
Special: This skill does not stack with itself. It stacks with any penalties incurred through other skills.

Secondary skills - Insight, Perception, Streetwise

Insight: You get into your opponent's head and guess his thoughts
Insight vs Bluff
Hit: You get a +2 bonus to your next primary roll.
Critical miss: You get a -1 penalty to your next roll.
Special: This skill does not stack with itself. It stacks with any penalties incurred through other skills.

Perception: You notice something about your opponent that you can use against them.
Perception vs DC 10 + half of opponent's level + # of times used this challenge
Hit: You get a +2 bonus to your next primary roll
Critical miss: You get a -1 penalty to your next roll.
Special: This skill does not stack with itself. It stacks with any penalties incurred through other skills.

Streetwise: You are aware of your opponent's reputation on the scene.
Streetwise vs DC + half of opponent's level + # of times used this challenge
Hit: You get a +2 bonus to your next primary roll
Critical miss: You get a -1 penalty to your next roll.
Special: This skill does not stack with itself. It stacks with any penalties incurred through other skills.
Let me start out by saying that I really like the backstory. The idea of battle happening in another way than just straight combat is cool. The afore mentioned "rap battle" systems are very good, I imagine it as kind of a monkey Island battle system.

I was thinking as far as motivation goes, you could have it be 10 years later and the rap world has become corrupt and decadent. Your character seeks to bring some fresh new gritty reality back to the world or rap. Just as other adventuring parties find their way to recover an orb of fire, ice, earth, and water, your party might seek similar things and along the way you might experience different environments such as city, and wild. Your bard could devise a new style around each new locale that he visits. Along the way he will spin his fresh rhymes to the fans who have become jaded and disillusioned with rap.

Eventually you will gather followers, and new styles and gain enough cred to finally take down your rival.

So essentially your motivation for adventuring is to get new experiences and rebuild the rap world in order to ascend to demigodhood (starting your own record label).

Otherwise there could be a couple of guys who are up to no good, started making trouble in your neighborhood, you get in one little fight and your mom got scared. . .
Wouldn't a rapping bard kind of go against the idea of a bard? Since they focus on music and all ...
Wouldn't a rapping bard kind of go against the idea of a bard? Since they focus on music and all ...

Wow; way to be an a-hole, dude. "I don't like that genre, so it doesn't count as music". I can't stand Country, but I still acknowledge that it is, in fact, music.
Birdies!
If I may offer some perspective...

Consider what has happened in your backstory. Your character gave it his all but was bested by another rapper. The crowd didn't ask for your encore, they asked for Quincy's. What happened? Did you suddenly stop being an awesome rapper?

No. The rap game changed.

Consider what happened in the late '90s to rap, and I'm going to use Dr. Dre as an example. At some point in the late '90s, the tone changed from "this is the lifestyle we've been dumped into, it's violent, we hate it, and we're angry" to "this is the lifestyle we've chosen, and we think it's awesome."

So after around 2000, when gangsta culture was no longer something to be angry about, but something to celebrate (as far as the rap game was concerned anyway), what did Dre do? He made one final effort at a platinum album (producing the unforgettable "Forgot About Dre") and moved to the side lines, focusing on production while working on a concept album in the background.

So, if I may suggest, your character's story is now about what he does now that the rap game's gone and changed on him. Is he now adventuring to reestablish his cred? Is he looking to throw the weight of his name behind some new rappers and produce their stuff? Is he examining his own sound and exploring new concepts in hopes of starting a rap renaissance?

Adventure hooks abound, and the sky's the limit.
This is still a little rough. But you can't have a rapper in D&D without rap battles mechanics! Feedback appreciated. I am considering adding an ability to restore your own credibility points.

Feel free to reflavour for a battle of the bands, or an intellectual debate of some kind.

Skill Challenge: Rap Battle

Each contestant starts with a number of "Credibility Points" equal to their Charisma score + half their level.
A coin toss determines who goes first. Each contestant gets to perform two actions on their turn.

Primary Skills - Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate

Bluff: You exagerrate or make up an embarassing fact about your opponent
Attack: Bluff vs Will
Hit: 1d4+1 damage to credibility points
Miss: You lose 2 credibility points

Diplomacy: You attack your opponent's credibility with a rap.
Attack: Diplomacy vs Will
Hit: 1d4 damage to credibility points
Miss: You lose 1 credibility point

Intimidate: You rile up the crowd in your favour
Attack: Intimidate vs Will
Hit: Opponent takes -3 to attack rolls (save ends)
Miss: You take -1 to attack rolls (save ends)
Special: This skill does not stack with itself. It stacks with any penalties incurred through other skills.

Secondary skills - Insight, Perception, Streetwise

Insight: You get into your opponent's head and guess his thoughts
Insight vs Bluff
Hit: You get a +2 bonus to your next primary roll.
Critical miss: You get a -1 penalty to your next roll.
Special: This skill does not stack with itself. It stacks with any penalties incurred through other skills.

Perception: You notice something about your opponent that you can use against them.
Perception vs DC 10 + half of opponent's level + # of times used this challenge
Hit: You get a +2 bonus to your next primary roll
Critical miss: You get a -1 penalty to your next roll.
Special: This skill does not stack with itself. It stacks with any penalties incurred through other skills.

Streetwise: You are aware of your opponent's reputation on the scene.
Streetwise vs DC + half of opponent's level + # of times used this challenge
Hit: You get a +2 bonus to your next primary roll
Critical miss: You get a -1 penalty to your next roll.
Special: This skill does not stack with itself. It stacks with any penalties incurred through other skills.

Generally, I like it. May I offer some suggestions, however?

I think you've underestimated Intimidate here. The whole point of a rap battle is to rattle your opponent so he can't string his words together. I would suggest making what you've got on Intimidate work for Diplomacy instead. After all, Diplomacy should be about working the crowd and making nice/awesome, and Intimidate should be about working your opponent.

Though instead of damage, how about giving Diplomacy the ability you've got for Insight instead? I think the crowd behind you should give you a buff, and that works better. Likewise, what you currently have for Intimidate would be awesome for Streetwise, since you're fighting on "your turf" instead of your opponents if you're wise to the scene.

I think Bluff is right on the money, and it should do "one time" damage while hurting your own cred if you miss. To better represent the effect of intimidate on a rap battle, I suggest making Intimidate do ongoing cred damage that your opponent has to save against on a successful hit.

My only other suggestion is to find some way to prevent the rap battle from becoming a roll-off of the two characters' best abilities. For example:

Round One: You roll 2 Bluff, Opponent rolls 2 Intimidate.
Round Two: You roll 2 Bluff, Opponent rolls 2 Intimidate.
Round Three: You roll 2 Bluff, Opponent rolls 2 Intimidate.
Round Four+: Rinse and Repeat.

Perhaps some sort of "chain combo" mechanic whereby you get bonuses to damage by successfully hitting 3 different skills or something. *shrug*
Okay, here's how I see it.

TJ was beaten at his own game, and as a result he has faded from public view. Okay, let's work with that.

Alas, along with that went his source of income. But his massive debt (at least it seems massive to him) remains. Of course, the debt collectors are [i]not[/i] sympathetic. Plus, of course, the interest is adding up at an horrendous rate, as it often does when borrowing from "questionable" sources. What to do??

Ah... there's money in them thar' hills... (or whatever). You can use this angle as the way to get him started adventuring - the promise of easy (if risky) money. That could be your initial hook into adventuring.

The actual debt needs to be no larger than 100 gold pieces or so - to him it would be an enormous sum, but to an adventurer, well, not too big a deal after one or tow little adventures. And by them he's hooked on the lifestyle and the future can be driven by the then-current story line, whatever that happens to be.

How's that?

P.S. Your backstory may be just a bit too hefty for a 1st level character.
Based on the excellent feedback and suggestions, I have made minor alterations to the great rap battle; TJ will not sing "Gone." He'll leave behind a crowd that is drunk with adoration for Quincy. Additionally, TJ now has motivation to take up the life of adventuring.

TJ becomes an adventurer
Fresh from his stinging defeat, TJ will go back to the drawing board and re-invent rap from the ground up. The key, in his mind, will be to throw something never heard before: rap, accompanied by music... something he had been considering for some time. His formal training in music theory is a great foundation, but he'll want to travel extensively to learn about music from different cultures, both remote and long forgotten.

This will cement his status as the first bard ever. (4th ed parlance)

And, years later, when he returns to the scene... maybe then he can fulfill his epic destiny.
Off topic, I listened to the song "Forgot About Dre" and read the lyrics. It's really cool and I can relate it, on some levels, with TJ. He and Dr Dre would most likely get along, pump fists or something.
This is a really interesting character. I like it. I also like your idea for a rap battle. +1

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/6.jpg)

By "throwing music into rap", do you mean throwing in a beat, or do you mean more along the lines of Aerosmith and Run DMC's "Walk This Way"???

I can`t contribute much... I'm a metalhead, and the only rapper I've ever liked is Eminem
By "throwing music into rap", do you mean throwing in a beat, or do you mean more along the lines of Aerosmith and Run DMC's "Walk This Way"???

To clarify, I meant in the "throwing in a beat" way.
Wouldn't a rapping bard kind of go against the idea of a bard? Since they focus on music and all ...

Rappers tell stories. Bards tell stories. Rappers are street poets of a sort. Bards are epic poets of a sort.

I think the analogy works fine. Especially in the context of a fantasy game where you get to be as creative as you wish.
I love the idea. Also you really don't need to change the story. Since TJ and Quincy never used much magic with their rapping, neither can say that they are high level bards, only epic musicians. And an easy way to put TJ into the adventuring mix would be to have Quincy be the "Man" per say and own a large music "company", churning out only music to make him wealthy. TJ, being the great indie rapper he is, doesn't have money to his name only legend. He still has to pay off his debt and with his fans leaving him for the Quincified trash music, he's despondent enough to go adventuring (suicide for normal people) with the few magic tricks he's picked up. The adventuring group could come from different places, but the DM could incorporate their backstory into yours. Maybe Quincy used his money to demolish the Warden's tribes land and replace it with a factory. The Wizards long family tradition of spell-casting could be deemed useless next to Quincy's "new and improved" bardic magic, destroying the family's reputation. The Rogue could be TJ's brother/good friend from childhood. They choose different paths, but when TJ was in trouble he could have saved his old buddy and promised him that they would take Quincy out together. Whatever the case, the group should stumble upon Quincy's less than heroic deeds, be it an evil temple that shows that Quincy cheated by using demonic forces to beat TJ or a plan to overthrow a King that the group all were good friends with at some point, possibly the King that Quincy is court musician and counselor for.

To make this smaller:
Make Quincy a big bad villian
Lead all the players problems back to Quincy
Don't make TJ the main hero but make him the group leader, bringing the different heroes together to fight a threat to big for one hero to take on
He has to adventure to get his street cred.

he needs a Fiddy story about how he got critted 5 times and left for dead. Now he's back and ripped like a mofo.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Sorry... i'm going to lay some rap smack on you and hopefully you can deal. First off, if you're not a rap fan don't play this character. I'm hoping you are a rap fan and therefore will know of the following people of whom i speak:

Mos Def (Not the Movie Star guy, the rapper... though they are the same person)
Immortal Technique
Bone Thugz and Harmony
Jedi Mind Tricks
<-- Insert Other Political Rapper Here

If you're going to play a rapper, don't just play him like an idiot inent on chasing the bone, but try to give him some respect. I know that not all rappers do this themselves, but the few that do, earn it. Listen to Revolutionary Volume 2 and you'd get an idea of the kind of rapper that i would want to play in DnD. A BAMF who violates the king's daughter and slaughters his family if he thinks the king is impressing his belief system on an oppressed third world nation. Be prepared to get political, as any good rapper should; Eminem has done it, i mean look at the song Mosh, that was a pretty peace of political poetry. Think about your character as leading riots against the government... awesome
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

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Reading the recommendations from shinobicow and MechaPilot got me thinking.

You guys should create rapping bards of your own. They don't necessarily have to fit into TJ's world, but with your blessings, I'd take your concepts and incorporate more characters into TJ's world.

After all, TJ can't fit *every* possible backstory. I particularly like the idea of a politically-minded rapper.
There was at least one movie in witch the main character used rap to put down HIMSELF.
hello everybody!!!!!!!
Reading the recommendations from shinobicow and MechaPilot got me thinking.

You guys should create rapping bards of your own. They don't necessarily have to fit into TJ's world, but with your blessings, I'd take your concepts and incorporate more characters into TJ's world.

After all, TJ can't fit *every* possible backstory. I particularly like the idea of a politically-minded rapper.

Go ahead and grab my idea if you want. If I play a bard that uses a modern musical theme it's gonna be an Ozzy bard or a Disturbed-style Bard. You know, good old-fashined heavy metal.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Yea dood. I'm down for that. I'll roll up something today and post him up on here for your world. Actually it was kind of fortuitous when i read your post because right now i'm working on a Samurai-champloo -esq hip/hop themed mad max DnD campaign world. Mostly, we thought it would be fun to listen to rap while we play, but didn't think it went well with the whole, conan lands of high-adventure atmosphere that DnD has going for it. The music just didn't fit, so we're making the game fit the music. I'll let you know how it goes, maybe you can grab some of mine for your world and vice versa. I'll post my character up here later.
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

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D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Do I really need to be the one who questions why the fantasy rapper is named Tyrone, was left by his father, and has bad credit?
Do I really need to be the one who questions why the fantasy rapper is named Tyrone, was left by his father, and has bad credit?

I'll answer in three parts.

1) His name is Tyrone Jr. because he is named after his father, Tyrone.
2) The father's absence is deliberately left open as the reason is not needed at this point.
3) TJ has bad credit because he has WIS 8.

I hope those are the answers you were looking for. ;)
Yea dood. I'm down for that. I'll roll up something today and post him up on here for your world. Actually it was kind of fortuitous when i read your post because right now i'm working on a Samurai-champloo -esq hip/hop themed mad max DnD campaign world. Mostly, we thought it would be fun to listen to rap while we play, but didn't think it went well with the whole, conan lands of high-adventure atmosphere that DnD has going for it. The music just didn't fit, so we're making the game fit the music. I'll let you know how it goes, maybe you can grab some of mine for your world and vice versa. I'll post my character up here later.

I recommend watching Afro Samurai
I recommend watching Afro Samurai

Lol, watched it and the sequal. Loved them both. That is going into the flavor of the world i'm working on, but its a bit dark for my tastes, though the flavor is there, magic mixed with steam punk and rap. Gotta love it.
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

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D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Obviously, he goes adventuring for the street cred.
Wishlist: -Alternate ability bonuses for pre-PHB3 races -Lots more superior implements or an official customization rule -Monk multiclass feat that grants Unarmed Combatant
This whole topic has me snickering and laughing. Hilarious. *wipes away tear*

I love how 20th century the character is and how he appears to be 'keeping it real' with his 20 century slang. As opposed to, you know, the rap of the 15th century and earlier which would be more thematically appropriate.

...of course, the whole setting is very much low budget Hollywood fantasy where the medieval period is basically now but with fancy dress and swords, so eh.

In that context, I agree. Clearly he's adventuring for street cred. :D
This whole topic has me snickering and laughing. Hilarious. *wipes away tear*

I love how 20th century the character is and how he appears to be 'keeping it real' with his 20 century slang. As opposed to, you know, the rap of the 15th century and earlier which would be more thematically appropriate.

...of course, the whole setting is very much low budget Hollywood fantasy where the medieval period is basically now but with fancy dress and swords, so eh.

In that context, I agree. Clearly he's adventuring for street cred. :D

Well, you have to keep in mind that he's creating a D&D character, and so it's not likely that the other 21st-century players at the table would understand 15th-century slang.

It's not uncommon to update slang in translation. For example, read any modern translation of a play by Aristophanes. In fact, you could almost call "The Birds" an ancient rap battle itself. All the slang from that era in the novel you're reading will be updated to modern slang, just so it makes sense. Here's a good example of such translation from "Clouds." It's a translation of "The Clouds" that's true, but uses words that hadn't been invented yet as of Aristophanes's time. (The four-letter s-word comes to mind, and that word is used in pretty much every translation of Aristophanes's plays I read in college.)
I love how 20th century the character is and how he appears to be 'keeping it real' with his 20 century slang.

Sidenote: That old movie A Knight's Tale starring Heath Ledger did a good job of working modern themes of stardom and music into a medival setting. It wasn't that good, but the concept worked well.

As opposed to, you know, the rap of the 15th century and earlier which would be more thematically appropriate.

Well, it might work, but, mind, that people have some difficulty understanding it. Take it from me, back on the warhammer forums this alter ego of mine (Captn Morgrim) was born, I used a lot of nautical slang and tried to speak as much in character as possible.

Better to fight windmills than become a miller!

To the OP - Wu-Tang Clan.