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Dark Introduction and Character Creation

Moderators: Jonathan Berg, Michael Doss.

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Please use this forum for character ideas, and once I know a little more about the campaign, I will give you some background. Please keep in mind, your characters do not need to specifically be evil, and please do not make them rapists or murderers. You will just operate selfishly and outside the law, for the most part. All classes and races are welcome.

Also, no backgrounds for the time being, please. Also, until I know more, no free expertise feat. And yes, we will be using the +1 24h bonus.
« Last edit by Jonathan Berg on Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:22 pm. »
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Registered: Jun 2009
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Right now, we have Gary, Viktor, and Nathan for sure playing. Mike is a maybe, as is Josh.
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Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Hi guys.

I would like to play a defender (first choice) or controller (second choice) if that's okay with you. The reason is I've played defender least and would welcome the change. Controller I've played second least. As always though, if others truly want to play similar roles and we need a role filled in the party, I'm flexible.

My general concept would be similar to a fallen jedi that turned to the dark side (defender) or fallen angel turned devilish (maybe deva) or even a vampire that used to have a sense of nobless and honor, but was betrayed and is consumed by a need for vengeance. Suggestion for race/class combinations are welcome.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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If I were to play, I would make a Rageblood Barbarian, charge heavy or an Eladrin Feylock, similar to the one I played in the delves, focusing on teleportations. The Barbarian could possibly have a connection to another PC in a Master Blaster sort of way, and be completely dependent on that PC to think for him. The Feylock would probably be a lot more independent and a much darker character in general.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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I'm still pondering what I want to play, but this looks like a good campaign for an assassin-executioner, and that did look really interesting when I looked at it for the Eberron game.

Since I'm playing a sorcerer, rogue, battlemind|paladin (all here), and wizard (EN World), I can rule those out with the possible exception of an Essentials paladin, since the cavalier and blackguard (especially the blackguard, since it's a striker) would be very different from the battlemind|paladin.

Jonathan, are you saying not to talk about character backgrounds, or that you aren't allowing the mechanical effects of backgrounds? I kind of like those, gives some flexibility in character creation.

Also, would it be possible to use themes? They released a bunch of them in Dragon in issues 399 and 400, and a bunch more in the Neverwinter book. I've never used themes since all my PC's started before they were an option.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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I don't know much about themes. Can you give me a brief summary?

In terms of backgrounds, I am just not sure yet. I really need to do more work on the campaign before I will have a better idea on some of that.
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The style of themes settled on in Dragon and Neverwinter is a bit different than first seen in Dark Sun. Basically, you get a minor encounter power at level 1, some sort of features at levels 5 and 10, and you are allowed to choose utility powers related to your theme when you get a utility power choice.

As for backgrounds, I'd suggest not allowing the Scale of War or Forgotten Realms ones (the overpowered ones we'd abuse in the Delves to have HP keyed off Int for example). But the backgrounds used in PHB2, the ____ Power books, and onward, aren't like that. They let you count a skill as a class skill (but you don't actually get training in it, you still have to spend one of your normal training slots) or get +2 to a skill. It's a nice way to take a skill with a class that doesn't normally get it, or boost a skill you really like a bit more.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
BTW Jonathan, would you mind changing the title of this thread to have "Dark" in it or something? With the activity in the other three Dead Goblins games, l keep getting e-mail notices about threads with some permutation of "Character," "Creation," "Level," and "Introduction" in the title. :)
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 3164
Let me look into themes and backgrounds a bit more as I develop the campaign. We have some time. :)
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That's cool. They aren't such a big deal that I can't decide (or ponder, at least) the big factors of race and class without knowing about themes and backgrounds. :)

Thanks for changing the thread title. Much clearer!
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I think I'm pretty well settled on playing a striker in this game. Probable options, with likely races bolded:

* Slayer - Human or Mul, charge focused.
* Blackguard - Human, Dragonborn, or Vryloka. Probably the Domination vice.
* Hexblade - Revenant, Dragonborn, Vryloka, Drow, depending on pact.
* Assassin - Human, Revenant, Vryloka, Drow, or Half-Orc. Melee or ranged depending on party composition, and melee/range will determine race.

All are solid in a social situation (slayer a little less so, since it doesn't use Charisma like the others, but they can at least train Intimidate).

Viktor, for race/class suggestions, if you haven't yet, check out the Vryloka from Heroes of Shadow. They're pseudo-vampires, so you can go that direction without actually taking the vampire class. With Charisma as their fixed stat and their choice of Strength or Dexterity, they make great paladins if you want to go defender. And even if you went with a defender paladin (PHB or Cavalier), it'd be very different from the blackguard striker, should I end up playing that.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Thanks Gary, I haven't looked too closely at the defenders ever aside from Battlemind.

Paladin might be good and I think heroes introduced some darker powers for any paladin. I'm actually curious about the warden and arena fighter also.

If I play a controller, I'm curious about the shaper psion, malediction invoker, and swarm druid builds.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Okay, after coming up with an awesome backstory, I've decided I'm going to go with a revenant hexblade (fey pact). Not sure about what race the character will have been before his transformation, but the backstory - which centers on the transformation to a revenant and gaining his fey powers - works for most non-wacky races.

For those unfamiliar with hexblades, they're the Essentials version of the warlock. They have a summonable weapon based on their pact that uses the magic bonuses and powers of their implement. The have fixed at wills, a ranged single-target force attack and a melee single target attack that varies based on their pact, but all of the melee attacks can be used as an MBA. Their encounter power is fixed and tied to their pact, and they gain more uses as they level up (like other Essentials classes and their power strike, divine strike, or backstab powers). Their striker mechanic, similar to a sorcerer, is to add a second stat to their damage against all targets (rather than curses like the original warlock). The use some utility and daily powers of the original warlock, but some of those are fixed based on your pact (for example, a couple daily power levels are automatically selected for the hexblade as summons based on your pact, while other levels let you choose any warlock daily). They're a good mix of melee and range, and the fey pact retains the abundant teleportation of the regular fey warlock.

Josh, this doesn't necessarily make you also playing a fey pact warlock redundant. From a mechanical perspective, as above, the hexblade doesn't use curses, so no problem there, and the only powers they might have the same are utility and daily powers for levels the hexblade can choose freely. Plus the hexblade is much more able to head into melee. From a character perspective, my revenant hexblade will have gained both his revenant status and hexblade powers in what he views as a curse, so he would not necessarily even get along with your eladrin warlock, especially if he is full of fey pride and such. There could be some interesting dynamics there if your PC sees my PC's state as a blessing from fey powers, while my PC sees it as a curse.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 4627
I am not really worried about balance too much, especially in a "selfish" style game. I actually think it would be fun. Of course, warlock curses are difficult to overlap (unless that has been errata'd), so playing a hexblade that doesn't overlap would make it more feasible. I am not sure if this is Jon's plan, but it could even be fun to have more player death in the game and have more of a rotating cast in the party, although, I don't know how easy it would be to design encounters to kill people at a rate they would be satisfied with.

Ok, that's a little ramble-y and off topic, but ultimately, what I mean to say is that the concept of this game intrigues me because I think any characters I develop for it are likely to be high risk/high reward. This means the character is more likely to die and I won't TOO attached to any particular character, and, as such, I am going to shoot for things that I want to play, rather than fit an idea into making sure everything is balanced.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Well, it'd still be nice to have all the roles covered. :) But yeah, I see what you mean.

Besides, my character will have died before the game even starts. ;)
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Josh, what you're proposing (characters being killed by the DM or by each other easily) sounds better suited for delves where everyone knows not to invest too much effort into the character.

I get your desire to just play whoever and throw balance out the window, which is fine. If we all have strikers for instance, I'm sure we'll figure out how to manage and it would have it's own unique challenges.

However, if this is meant to be a campaign with leveling up PC's and there is going to be PvP killing, then you can count me out. I'm more interested in advancing a character builds for campaigns than constantly bringing in new ones.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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I don't think Josh meant PvP. I think he meant that this campaign might feature character death at the DM's hands more often (as in ever) than the other campaigns. I think being willing to have your character die occasionally can be worked out between each player and the DM without being a feature that applies equally to all PC's in the campaign.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Oh, you mean if players want to die spectacularly and the play a different concept. That's fine. If that's the plan, then the PC's could be part of a mercenary troop fighting the evil fight or something.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Gary has got it exactly right. I was thinking that deaths could be more common simply since the party is acting "outside the law" more often, meaning you would potentially have EVERYONE going after you. And acting "selfish" can lead you to do foolish things. In the name of glory, you may charge the red dragon, while the rest of the party decides, "Ummm...this isn't worth it, let's go." In other words, the party won't have to "agree" on every party decision. If someone doesn't agree, they can simply do their own thing.

What I was trying to say, though, is that this aspect would lead itself to different, riskier play styles. And this could even lead to very interesting ways to change characters (or even to leave the game if one is so inclined): play your character to perform some sort of heroic (or unheroic) sacrifice. My guess is that there wouldn't be a strong need for characters to stay from the beginning to end. I would play characters that treat death in a different manner than in SoW, PoL, or Eberron.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Registered: Jun 2009
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Yes, something like that can work, but definitely not PvP. But I would imagine characters like this might not be willing to die for each other as readily as the "good" ones, and so a situation in which one charges in while the others decide their hides are more important might come about, but only with consultation with the player to know that it is his intention to kill his character off.
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Registered: Oct 2008
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Right. I sort of just feel this opens up a lot more possibilities.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Registered: Jun 2008
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
_______________
Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Here are there builds I'm considering in order of preference.

Dark Warden

Dark Wizard

Dark Fighter

Although these were created for the Dark Campaign, only the wizard has some powers that have a dark flair. I would portray their stories, actions, and the powers to give them more of an edge.

The first one is a minotaur Stormwarden with a strong focus on standing ground instead of damage. CON is the highest ability, so his HP and surges are insane for level 1. The powers use CON mod for secondary damage and effects. When he second winds (every battle likely with his 15 surges) he will do 5 lightning damage to every marked enemy.

The second one is a deva Orbwizard focusing strongly on control using orb of imposition. He is good at sliding, slowing, mmobilizing, and proning with multi-target burst attacks that can be enlarged. Orbmaster's Incendiary encounter is quite good, although I would always be tempted to use the orb of imposition power on that and nothing else.

The third one is a human Arenafighter with proficiency in four different weapons: double sword (two handed defensive), net (heavy thrown), superior crossbow (ranged), and spiked chain (two handed reach). The concept is battle versatility since he can switch weapons with a free action using his Weapon Master's Strike at-will, and can shoot if needed and capture enemies with the net. The only problem will be multiple weapon dependency after level 3 (if I choose other magical items for the wishlist first


So, for defender I prefer the stormwarden because it's a tighter build, while the arenafighter will have multiple weapon problems. The wizard is pretty straightforward multi-target control with a little damage. Thoughts?
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Quick initial mechanics thoughts:

Warden - I think 18 Str / 18 Con would be better overall, as the Str plays into your accuracy, which I think is better to maximize then secondary effects. I can honestly say I'd never pictured a minotaur with a rapier before. :)

Wizard - Looks good. Hard to tell exactly how it'd work, as for some reason the target field isn't on the power cards. Any reason you went arcanist instead of mage? I like the mage school benefits more than the implement mastery and rituals.

Fighter - This one is my favorite. Very, very versatile, and there are SO MANY fighter powers to choose from, between PHB1, MP1, MP2, DSCS, etc. And as I was saying in the PoL thread, I think, the easy way around multiple item issues is to have the fighter multi with monk or assassin, and just take a single ki focus for your magic attack item. Then you can swap around items all you want and still have a good magic item bonus.

I'd vote for fighter, just due to the versatility, and that I'm more concerned with having a defender than a controller in the group.

If you go defender, I go striker, and we can con Nathan into a leader (hey, he already has a defender in Sentinel and a striker-y controller in PoL), then we have the most vital roles covered, whether Josh, Mike, or anyone else play, if they join.
_______________
Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Thanks Gary.

There's a tale and persona to go with the rapier wielding minotaur (warning: don't mock him about it, it's a sensitive subject). I usually go for accuracy over other things, but figure one point less in favor of trying this alternate idea is okay. I can always switch if it doesn't work out and Jon permits.

Weird, I hadn't noticed the missing target fields on the wizard power cards. Gotta love the online CB. All the powers are area burst 1. I agree that rituals are pretty useless, and in fact it's possible to feat train out that in favor of an mage school. I just haven't looked at the mage much so went with what's familiar.

Yeah, I suppose multi-monking or multi-assassining would work, forgot about that. Sigh, feat tax to make the arenafighter concept work. I don't want to mess around with shrouds so that means shadow step and a skill with assassin or once per encounter flurry attack and a skill with monk. To clarify, if I multi for the ki focus and then get a Blazing Arc Ki Focus +1, ALL weapons will have +1 attack and +1 damage? Will they all also do fire damage if that aspect of the ki focus is activated? (it would be interesting to have a net on fire an throw that)
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)

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