“Who Would You Rather Be?”

6 Feb

As mentioned previously, I gave up being a DM, and now I’m merely a player. Which means creating a new character in D&D… which like blog posts, are a great way to exercise your creativity. It’s not always your idealized self–just a different shade of you.

When I went back to roleplaying, I really did it because I wanted my son to have the experience of playing with other people. So naturally, when my son wants to continue DM’ing, and needs another player, I’m along for the ride. So I created a lizardfolk monk–because let’s face it, non-human characters are far more interesting. So to make it seem more alien, the source book suggests not using “I” or pronouns in your speech, which I thought was pretty cool. So instead of “Let’s go to the store” you say, “Supplies are needed, store imperative.” However, lizardfolk are pretty rare, so I gave him a background of anthropologist, which I interpreted as “he was trained to kill humans, but instead, got fascinated by them and decided to join them.”

For those not conversant in 5th Edition, apart from your initial rolls for attribute scores, you get certain advantages for picking your character’s background, and once you hit third level, you get the choice to pick your class path… which is a way of customizing your character. So a monk can a traditional “I kick ass to promote peace” path, but can also be a monk who studied sword fighting, or a monk who does astral projection and other spell casting abilities. It allows the player to do what they want inside the class, instead of multi-classing, which means taking a level in another class (ranger, wizard, et al) to get to the goal you want.

So for my regular campaign, I thought about using the same character, but since the new DM wants the character on D&D Beyond, I didn’t have access to the “Anthropologist” background (because it’s in Tomb of Annihilation), and it loses a lot if I went with another. So I decided to go with an alternate monk character. [I really don’t like casting spells, so that cuts out a lot of character classes.] This time, I decided to go with the Drunken Master path, because a) I love the Drunken Master kung fu film series with Jackie Chan (1978, 1994) and b) because I thought having a drunken character might add to the fun of the character.

However, as I went through the background list, I found the Haunted One idea fascinating. Originally appearing in Curse of Strahd (which is the D&D vampire campaign–I didn’t like it much), I thought, “Maybe my character drinks to take away the pain.” Which then allowed me to write a great backstory that I love. Because we’re using a point buy system (instead of rolling for attributes), I decided to gain a couple points by lowering my intelligence to 6 (10 being average) but raising my wisdom. So this makes him street smart, but can’t learn complex concepts. He can do simple jobs, or complex ideas like martial art katas with a lot of repetition, and would probably talk in short sentences. I figured that he’d be a lot of like simpler Amos Burton in The Expanse, who is a streetwise tough guy, but doesn’t worry about… much at all.

What do you think? Have you had a really good character concept you’ve played with? Do you use RPG characters to generate story ideas? Let me know in the comments below.

2 Responses to ““Who Would You Rather Be?””

  1. Silk Cords February 6, 2021 at 8:51 am #

    I’ve got a whole separate blog full of online RPG characters, I think all from City of Heroes and Champions Online (RP used to be alive and well there many moons ago).

    Elves are my favorites, and generally Paladins are my favorite class, since they do a bit of everything. In Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2, I had a dual wielding Paladin. That came in handy in the Throne of Bhaal expansion when I got to dual wield the hammer of thunderbolts and a 1 handed holy avenger. 😀


    Now with the 5th Gen rules used in BG3, I can be a Drow Elf Paladin dual wielding… Mwahahahaha.

  2. joanne the geek February 7, 2021 at 5:09 am #

    I haven’t played 5th edition. I tend to play elves, half-elves or humans. Usually sorcerers or rangers, though I did play a paladin last time I played and quite enjoyed it.

    Several stories I’ve written have had main characters that were D&D characters I’ve played.

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