Hey guys! I have a really annoying problem with my character in our groups long running campaign. We generally houserule a lot, and do some pretty rule breaking stuff. But this isn't about that. I'm after some inspirational help with my character.
Some background about the game: We're playing a campaign loosely based on the wheel of time series, but played out in the Forgotten Realms. The player group is from the Dales, and they were forced to flee from there pretty young. (Dorian, the town's blacksmith apprentice. Andor, the alchemists toyboy. Dennis, the a young priest of Torm. and my character, the aspiring militiaman, Archer.) When we started out we played it with the 3.5 rules. Dorian and Archer were Fighters. Andor was a sorcerer and Dennis a cleric. We converted to 4e when we reached level 4, and suddenly Dorian was a ranger, and Archer was a knight. The others didn't take the opportunity to change their classes. Andor chose to be a chaos sorcerer though.
Either way. Storywise. Obviously, someone had to be the Dragon Reborn. In this case it was Dorian. The rest of us are kind of in the background right now. We all have kind of detailed ancient incarnations which the DM wrote. (Dorian was Ethan Grayhawk/Lews Therin - you get what I mean. :P) Dennis incarnation was an evil bard, they had a name, but I do not remember it. Andors incarnation was called Rafael the Destroyer - a really powerful sorcerer. Archers incarnation was called Alfonso the Soulless, we haven't found out anything more about him yet besides that he wears a cloak of human skin, and wields a gigantic two handed axe.
The point of mentioning this is that we all have met our incarnations - turned evil/mad - just like the Dragon Reborn. Rafael the Destroyer had created a portal from the past for him and the other incarnations to kill the forsaken and the chained god during our present time. Problem was, Rafael decided that winning that battle was worth destroying the world too.
Currently, we've killed Rafael and the gloomy bard. Andor and Dennis souls became whole after that, and they both gained some insight and general character development. Dennis players keeps his stuff really secret outside of the game, so I don't know about that. Andor though have turned into a dragon sorcerer, and is semi-possessed by Rafaels crown. Archers incarnation is roaming around the world somewhere, lost, since Rafaels time portal was destroyed when we killed him. Its destruction blew us away into the elemental planes.
Dorians incarnation wasn't with them. Rafael actually considered Ethan to have betrayed him. We have found him. Or rather his soul. Which was engraved into ... The Horn of Valere.. Which currently is in the hands of Dorian. It speaks to him sometimes, possesses him even, when his player isn't with us as well. Since the role is so important for the campaign. Dorian is also in possession of an onyx statue of a blink dog.. Which the player promptly named Guenhwyvar... I nearly slapped him. :P
Either way. Archer was still just the farmer-militia man. During this time I was reading more about the Knight class, and noticed its eladrin features. That started to get me thinking.
Just like in the WoT books we found ourselves in the presence of the foxes and snakes. In our world it was one race and not two. And they answered one question and grated one wish. The main antagonist as of now, a champion for the chained god, is an immortal magic worker. So Dorian wished to be immune to him powers. Which granted him an artifact. A crown. (Funny item daily.) I do not know what the other players questions was. I know that Dennis wished for the power to stop us if anyone of us is corrupted like our old incarnations was. Andor wished for a curse we had encountered to be lifted. I myself had read that eladrin material, and I found my character so incredibly flat and dull, so I simply wished for having magic flowing in my veins. After a short private discussion with our DM, Archer was now an Eladrin instead, and I instantly retrained all my Knight abilities to everything that fulfilled the eladrin niche.
After this story arc we started encountering sealed magical gates all over the world. (The Ways from the WoT books) And since my character suddenly was trained in the arcane, he became the expert on the subject. (I took MC swordmage to get eladrin swordmage advance) In these gates there were a laburinth which could lead to anywhere we have a name for, or at least to another gate close to where we wish to go. Problem was that during every travel in there, we had to roll 1d100. Everytime we rolled 5 or lower, a gigantic super monster that haunts the ways would attack us. Our DM insists that Andors player rolls this. Since so far, instead of a 5% chance, it's more like a 35% to encounter the monster. Encountering it turned the travel into a skill challenge. Every lost challenge meant that the monster started to absorb our souls. We've only survived those encounters by sheer luck. It was during this time a standing joke would arise in the group that Archer would be stupid and try to absorb the monster instead. We have discussed it several times now, about half a year later that when we reach paragon, we could do this as a kind of quest. But Archer would have had to come up with a method of harnessing the monsters power.
This is when we wound up in Waterdeep. Under siege by the Forsaken. It's important to mention that the particual forsaken in charge of the siege had an affinity for necromancy and plants. Everything that died in the city was simply raised as a .. plant zombie. To make a long story short. We killed the bad guy. Saved the city. And Dorian was declared the True Dragon Reborn, and was later "crowned" Open Lord of Waterdeep. This in itself has turned into a huge problem for the group IRL as well as in the game, but that's a separate problem. The city got rebuilt. Dorian made some political changes. And then we all sat down and discussed our possibilities and our responsibilites. We all came up with several things we wanted to do to hinder the Forsaken, our improve our cause. Dorians quests were all about diplomacy, how he wanted to prepare for a large scale war. Be a lord and all that. Archer wanted to do some research on something called the spellplague which he had heard rumours of. Andor wanted to find a treasure he had heard about. Our cleric wanted to focus on fulfilling the prophecy that started this whole mess.
All in all, we're all Dorians subordinates right now. He's trying to make up for it by bribing the characters, but it's not working that well. It's really silly during the sessions when the player is not with us. It's crippling. Unless we all get the opportunity to be or do something of equal proportions. I mean, the natural thing to do for our characters right now would be to abbandon Dorian to find our own place in history - so to speak. I think you understand where I'm comming from.
Either way. It just so happens that during the epic fight against the necromancer plant lover, Dorian died. And in our world we do not allow ressurections. But our DM played nice, since he actually died after the encounter was over. And the player got his wish through to play a Revenant. A... Plant zombie... To be exact... Which now walks around in waterdeep, covered in bandages like a mummy to hide his undead and thorny state.
This is a heavily abbreviated version with some artistic liberties taken. The timeline is a bit skewed. But this gets the gist of it. During the last month IRL, we played out one of the biggest battles so far. We killed a couple of forsaken. He found some world changing artifacts. Specifically a magical statue with the power to create barriers. It has additional powers as well, but only Archer knows what. He is currently not telling the other characters this. One reason for this is because Dorian tried to force it away from him, claiming that the prophecy we're all following wanted him to have it. While the prophecy in itself claimed that the Champions of Light needs it. Dorian is getting more and more antagonized by the other characters. So we need to find a solution to it, that does not involve abbandoning him completely.
As for Archers research so far. He has collected samples of spellplague. (Neither me or the DM is an expert on the subject, but we're discussing giving Archer one of the abilities from the Spellscar MC. The other players have got some rather houseruled powers as well already.) Archer also by mistake created a tiny gelatinous cube. This started out as a joke on our DMs behalf. We were doing a skill challenge trying to create a magical potion for someone. I failed utterly and forcefed the poor man we tried to help half of a gelatinous cube! Either way. It survived, and it is now Archers pet experiment. He keeps it in a big glass jaw which he brings with him. He feeds it bad stuff to see if the spellplague he has injected it with will react to it. Last session, or DM mentioned something about volatile pocket nuke.. >.<
During the last session, we all went to Thay to have negotiations about an alliance against the forsaken. We are still there. We broke the session midway. Dorian was given Ethan Grayhawks sword. (Callandor from the books) And now Dorians player have got permission to do a respec again. He's now going for a Slayer instead. No big diff really. Then he started talking about going into a MC druid/shaman, to get some focus on him being an undead plantzombie... But we slapped him...
This is were we are now really. The clerics player keeps all hush hush. He likes it like that. Keeping secrets from the other players. Writing notes to us or the DM. Stuff like that. I'm sure he has some ideas of were he wants to go with his character. Andor seems himself as he just became whole, and is adjusting to his now powers. He already knows what goals he has with the character, and how he wants to develop him. Dorian is at least satisfied for now. Me on the other and... Archer is a big questionmark for me. I feel as if I'm looking at a very flat and dull character.
Now that you've read this, (and I thank you if you've had patience enough to do so), I'm after inspiration, suggestions, and general ideas of what to do in general. I've been the groups defender since day one. And to be honest. It's not for me. The DM is nice, and never breaks my aura punishment. Which means I'm basically a HP sponge. The best way for me to spend my action is actually full defense. When I'm not moving around. The DM also knows my defenses quite well, so we meet very few monsters that have less than 50% to hit me. XD (and I admit, I mini-maxed him quite a bit - not itemwise though - we play with inherent bonuses. Kind of a low magic setting. Just like WoT since all of the Aes Sedai are dead in our world. Some of the remains exist of it, that are either unusuable or usuable through either arcana or religion. Either way, I want to take Archer in a different direction then where is now. I've been allowed to make a "respec" for him myself since Archers focus has always been the arcane after we started playing. I'm playing around with the idea of either making him a spellblade, or if he manages to "absorb" the monster in the ways: a hexblade and refluff the powers around that.
The image I have of Archer in my head right now is still the farmer militiaman, but with a magic fetish. I want to get rid of that. I want to go somewhere else. I almost want to see him more like a conceptual battle mage. Not the frail glass cannon siege weapons that stand in the backlines, but more like the siege weapon you send into the thick of it to plow through the lines to reach key targets. But I don't know if the group would manage without a dedicated defender..
As for campaignwise. I'm after some ideas there as well! What do you think he should do? I mean the other heroes of the light in the WoT books all abbandoned Rand at some point to strike out themselves to build their own names. What should I or rather, the other players except the one playing Dorian do? If you have read the WoT books or have some knowledge about the Forgotten Realms universe, feel free to use ideas from that. I know that Andor for example wants to go the Dragon Soul Heir route - try to ally himself with dragons or some such.
I'm a quite accomplished artist, and if anyone actually took their time to read through this, and wants to help me. I will draw a character portrait for them if their ideas help me. I hope that's an incentive enough.
What about swordmage? They're a defender. Maybe multi-class or hybrid some wizard in to get some ranged punch and flavor options. Imagine him sort of as Gandalf, sword in one hand, staff in the other, bouncing around Minas Tirith hacking down orcs.
Ranger hybrid Swordmage, dual-wielding with the Aegis of Assualt class feature and the Sword of Assualt PP. Hard to get more badass than that IMHO.
STR/CHA warlord hybrid sorcerer. You lead from the front lines, hacking through enemies with your sword while still blasting them in the face with lava and fire. If you Hybrid Talent for the Cosmic Soul, your soul benefits will be very prominent in every battle. (For example, during the Phase of the Sun, you're basically a minion-killing machine.) You're reasonably tough too.
As a spin-off of this idea, Fighter | Sorcerer. Your Fighter secondary would be very bad, but you're more durable, if you're really looking for that.
Not sure if you want divine influences for your magic instead of an arcane power source, but . . . Avenger hybrid Invoker. You go into the thick of battle with this huge double-handed sword and can still smite your opponents with divine lightning and fire.
Of course, if you really want to just wreak some havoc, Barbarian hybrid Sorcerer never fails to be a blast. Your DM's face when you announce damage will regulary look like: AND you're still durable.
Sadly, I do not know the Forgotten Realms setting, and thus cannot give you help campaign-wise.
Let me see...Started out as a millitaman, but has since developed arcane power via a gift of the eladrin. His allies are the Dragon Reborn, a secretive holy man, and a sorcerer who's occationally possessed by his ancient incarnation. Hmm...and you're having problems because the story is revolving around the Dragon Reborn...
Here's an idea: what if archer asked for magic in his veins, not because he wanted magic, but because he wanted to be important. You could have the whole statue thing be part of it too. Archer has been in the backseat for this whole adventure, pulling his own weight, and the only one who ever gets any recognition is Dorian, and Archer is sick and tired of it. Archer is tired of hearing how great Dorian is, and wants some attention for himself, for once.
He could get really aggressive, or defencive (depending on how you see him) whenever Dorian says "I" instead of "We". He would be looking for ways to increase his own name, such as finding sidequests, and promising the person he's helping "I'll look into it." and then dealing with it without ever telling the party what he's doing. Of course, he'd have to be sneaky, but just because the character wants to hide his solo activity from the party doesn't mean he'll be good at hiding it. Or maybe he'd just invest in businesses around Waterdeep, so that while Dorian is it's 'Lord', Archer would be the commerce guy.
hope this helps (or at the very least gives you your own ideas)
Gifts have a funny way of not playing out the way people expect... perhaps the magic Archer asked for gets carried to an extreme. Just what this is depends upon what kind of magic you asked for. Did you specifically want Fey magic? Well, maybe you start... changing, becoming fey-like, your skin starts becoming tree bark, and you start growing, and suddenly, you're a Treant! Elemental magic? Why, thats easy, look at the Heroes of the Elemental Chaos and add one of those themes from elemental fun! Magic in your blood sounds sorcerous, or like a hexblade/warlock/binder even. The sword and staff idea from above is a great one, just (unless you can houserule it) use a very large and stout wand to still be mechanically sound.
He wanted in the militia? Gather a mercenary band, grow in fame/infamy, and do it all under some alias, that way your buddies don't get mad at what exactly is going on. Or, to be cruel, use this band to create a bit of unexpected chaos in Waterdeep (can't be that hard, from my FR understanding) and let that spiral out of control. One coup later and Dragon-man suddenly is without a job.
Though I'd be sure to collect all your wages from him first, that way you come out ahead in the chaos.
If Archer has as big a complex about it as you IC, you can have him turn to the Chained God for power in secret. The demon theme and a elemental, infernal (with demon flavor) or dark pact hexblade. With this path, you could go two ways - either he is now fully on the side of the bad guys and is only waiting for the best moment to betray Dorian (this can also lead to several options) or he is kind of a double agent, kinda like Verin.
In concert with Oak's second paragraph, you can try to force your way to a second meeting with the foxes and snakes, to mirror Mat further and ask a second wish - one that can go as badly as Mat's - getting an ashandarei an enchanted weapon (they seem to be rare in your campaign, so getting one will be awesome crunch-wise in addition to the inherent bonus) in addition to information about his past incarnation - all for a high price, which will be decided by your DM.
A totally different direction would be to blatantly rip off the protagonist of the Inheritance cycle and get a dragon mount, bonded to him in a ritual similar to the Warder bond. I mean, since he was already changed into a feygalach and all that...
All in all, a suggestion to you, side character-kun: re-read the books for the large-scale stuff that Rand did and preempt Dorian in doing those stuff, like conquering some place with a clever scheme, become king of Ilian or whatnot... Basically, force yourself into a position of importance by stealing Dorian's ta'veren thunder.
P.S. Tell the guy who plays Dorian that his character is not hard enough yet.