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 The Player Character Worktable

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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:31 am

Taljor wrote:
Was looking at the great sword, is it the same as a two-handed?

Yes it is.

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"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:01 am

Wraith wrote:
Hey, Ainsley, could you add my equipment list to my character info in Character sheets please? Sorry to ask, its hard for me to find it.

Thanks
Will do. Smile

But yes, yesteryear's two-handed sword is today's greatsword (which used to do 1d10 damage in the days of AD&D but now does 2d6 damage, with possible critical hits on natural rolls of 19 or 20).

D&D 3 brought about quite a few changes to the weapons list, some of them very much needed. Like the battle axe. The battle axe used to be a two-handed weapon that did 1d8 damage...pretty lousy, considering that the longsword also did 1d8 damage but was (and still is) a one-handed weapon, allowing you to use a shield or dual-wield another weapon with the longsword. No wonder battle axes weren't very popular back then! So D&D 3 made the battle axe a one-handed weapon which does 1d8 damage, more akin to the bearded battle axes that the Vikings used to wield on shore raids. And if you do want a big, two-handed axe, we now have the greataxe, which does 1d12 damage.

(I myself was happy enough with 3rd Ed's sensible Armor Class system; better and better armor should be represented with increasingly higher numbers, right? I used to hate calculating people's THAC0. Sorry, Gary Gygax, but Wizards of the Coast outdid you on that one. Razz )

Oh! Before I forget: Encumbrance. Based on Keagon's Strength:

Light Load: 0-66 lbs
Medium Load: 67-133 lbs
Heavy Load: 134-200 lbs
Lift over Head: up to 200 lbs
Lift off Ground: up to 400 lbs
Push or Drag: up to 1,000 lbs

Light Load is where a character can move or act completely unhindered. With a Medium Load, your Dexterity bonus is reduced to +3 (if higher), Skill checks for physical actions are penalized by -3 and Speed drops to 20, but you keep the x4 multiplier for Run speed (so while Keagon can normally run up to 120 feet per round, while medium encumbered his running speed drops to 80 feet per round). And with a Heavy Load, your Dexterity bonus is capped at +1, your Skill check penalty increases to -6 and Speed stays at 20 but Run drops to x3. If his encumbrance exceeds 200 pounds but not more than 1,000 pounds, he's stuck lugging or dragging or pushing everything around at 5 feet per round, without being able to do much else...not good when the Headless Horseman is on his tail.

Happy Halloween, by the way! Very Happy

But I'll keep track of Encumbrance and warn you when you're close to going into a higher Encumbrance bracket ("That golden monkey statue that you're about to pick up will put you under a Heavy Load. Go ahead and take it?"). As for coins or gems, I don't really bother to keep track of their weight; it's too much of a pain. As long as you don't try to walk around with 100,000 Gold on your back, we're cool. Cool
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Taljor
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:39 am

so that means that everytime i use the greatsword it is a 2 handed attack?
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:27 pm

Exactly. It may not be the best choice of weapon for a ranger, since rangers are much better at dual-wielding two smaller weapons in melee (as long as the ranger is wearing light armor or no armor...nothing bulkier than studded leather or hide armor, that is). But that dual-wielding truly comes into its own at higher Levels, with higher Base Attack and Melee bonuses; a lower-Level ranger can still benefit quite nicely from wielding a two-handed weapon for fewer attacks per round but heavier damage per blow landed.

A ranger still wouldn't be able to bear a shield while wielding a greatsword, though. Every rose has its thorn. Neutral

(Of course, any Medium-size creature--like a half-elf-- wielding a Large weapon (like a greatsword, a greatclub or a halberd) must do so with two hands. If the wielder's size matches or exceeds the weapon's size category, the weapon may be wielded one-handed. So a Large creature like an ogre could wield a greatsword with one hand. And the smarter ogres often do. Remember to duck when you're going up against an ogre ranger wielding two greatswords.... Wink )
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Taljor
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:24 pm

damn! now you tell me an Ogre can be a Ranger! Sad
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S.E.A.M.U.S
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:04 am

oh, but if you want to spend a feat on it, there IS a feat called "monkey grip" that allows you to treat a large weapon as a medium one, but you need weapon focus for that weapon as a feat first (that's how a human warrior can one-hand that greataxe or greatsword and still use a shield)
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:11 am

Taljor wrote:
damn! now you tell me an Ogre can be a Ranger! Sad
Yeah, but you can't play one. Razz

They make great enemies, of course. Wink

S.E.A.M.U.S wrote:
oh, but if you want to spend a feat on it, there IS a feat called "monkey grip" that allows you to treat a large weapon as a medium one, but you need weapon focus for that weapon as a feat first (that's how a human warrior can one-hand that greataxe or greatsword and still use a shield)
I really need to get on eBay and pick up the 3.5 Players Handbook....
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:57 am

Okay...after a degree of careful consideration, I have decided that a greatsword isn't really the best choice of weapon for the Ranger class. It's great for Fighters and Barbarians, but in a Ranger's hands it would likely end up as shop food. So I rerolled it and came up with a handaxe +1 instead.

Shortswords and handaxes are both favored by rangers, as both weapons are light enough to be dual-wielded with ease. Handaxes--which are roughly the size of a hatchet, with broader and sharper bits suited for combat--have utility both as weapons and as woodcutting tools, which makes them even more attractive to rangers and other outdoorsmen. The functional differences between shortswords and handaxes lie in their damage types (shortswords are Piercing, handaxes are Slashing), their critical threat range (swortswords can land critical hits on a natural roll of 19 or 20, while handaxes crit only on a 20) and their critical hit Damage multipliers (shortswords double their damage dice on a critical hit, but handaxes triple their damage dice). So really it's six of one, half a dozen of the other in the long-running debate betwixt shortsword and handaxe.

Also, Ranger Spells!

Ranger spells are considered Divine spells, just as the spells cast by clerics, druids and paladins are. As with other divine spellcasters, rangers can prepare their daily allotment of spells from the entire list (so that the spells can be cast at any time later), their spells tend to be more defensive or utility than offensive, and armor worn doesn't interfere with their spellcasting (unless it has special antimagic properties, perhaps).

Both Keitha and Keagon can cast one 1st Level Ranger Spell from the list below, prepared at sunrise. Rangers can change their spell selection with their daily rest, meditation and preparation, of course; Keitha could prepare (and possibly cast) Magic Fang one day, as an example, then switch to Entangle the next.

Rangers are warriors first and spellcasters second; for the purposes of spell effects and certain magic items, their spellcaster level is treated as half of their Ranger level, rounding up. So a Level 5 Ranger would be considered the equal of a Level 3 Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer or Wizard for these purposes.


1st Level Ranger Spells

Alarm (alerts the ranger if any creature larger than a mouse comes within a certain distance of the ranger; a password may be set so that friendly creatures do not trigger the alarm, and the alarm may be mental or audible. Requires a divine focus to cast, usually one in the form of a holy symbol fashioned from mistletoe or wood.)

Animal Friendship (can summon an animal companion to the ranger, as long as the ranger's intentions of friendship are true. The Hit Dice of the animal companion(s) controlled can be no greater than double the ranger's spellcaster level...6 Hit Dice for a Level 5 Ranger. The animal remains friends with the ranger indefinitely, until something happens to end that friendship (the animal's death, the ranger attacks the animal, etc.). Casting the spell requires a piece of food that the animal likes. It is assumed that both Keitha and Keagon earned their present animal companions through the use of this spell.)

Delay Poison (makes the ranger or one touched subject immune to poisons for up to 1 hour per spellcaster level. Once the spell expires, any poison in the subject's body affects the subject normally, unless the poison was neutralized in the meantime. A divine focus is used in casting this spell.)

Detect Animals or Plants (the ranger names one species of animal or plant, and the spell allows the ranger to locate all animals or plants of that type over a great distance. Prolonged scrying can reveal the numbers and health conditions of all animals or plants of that species within range.)

Detect Snares and Pits (reveals the presences of any natural hazards or primitive traps within 60 feet of the ranger; includes such natural traps and snares as giant spider webs, quicksand, sinkholes and giant antlion pits, as well as manmade traps crudely fashioned from natural materials.)

Entangle (animates all normal plant life within a circle 80' in diameter, from trees to dandelions; those plants then attempt to slow and ensnare any creatures within that area. Requires a divine focus to cast.)

Magic Fang (temporarily enchants one of a creature's natural weapons--such as a bite, a claw, a fist or a lashing tail--and turns that natural weapon into a +1 magic weapon for the duration. Requires a divine focus to cast.)

Pass without Trace (the ranger or any one creature touched can pass through any terrain--even snow, mud or sand--without leaving footprints or scent in its wake. Tracking the subject without the use of magic becomes impossible, even for other rangers. Requires a divine focus to cast.)

Read Magic (allows the ranger to read magic scripts or texts that would otherwise be incomprehensible, including those found in spell scrolls, certain magic items and wizards' spellbooks, and can allow a ranger to possibly identify a Glyph of Warding (without triggering it) as well. Requires a clear crystal or a mineral prism to cast; this item serves as a focus and is not consumed by the spell.)

Resist Elements (for a number of minutes equal to the ranger's spellcaster level, the ranger may ignore up to 12 Damage per round from one specific damage type chosen at the spell's casting: Acid, Cold, Fire, Electricity or Sonic. Requires a divine focus to cast.)

Speak with Animals (the ranger becomes able to speak with animals and ask them questions, though the spell does not make the animals any more friendly or cooperative than normal. The animal's nature and disposition matter here; friendly animals may accept requests for favors, cunning animals may speak evasively and stupid animals may make inane comments. This spell does not work on beasts (such as stirges or owlbears), magical beasts or vermin (such as insects or spiders).)

Summon Nature's Ally I (summons either a badger, a dire rat, a dog, a hawk or a tiny viper to attack the ranger's enemies. Requires a divine focus to cast.)
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Spirit of the Tiger
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:19 am

The House of Ainsley has humbly requested that I post here so that others can lend suggestions to the building of this dude.  Okay lets start with the basics and then we will fill in the rest as we go along.  Mind you all these are just the initial thoughts, more like a brianstorm.  The character will become more refined as the days go by.  


1. Bloodline or Allegiance:  Noble and a direct descendant of some royal member of the House of Ainelsy.  A pure blood who while doesn't always look down on those of pure-blood, does consider pure-bloods superior.  One can earn his respect if not pure-blood if they follow a similar code of honor as him.  
2. Name:  Gustov Ainsley
3. Race:  Human
4. Alignment:  Lawful Evil.  As stated earlier the rule of law is what drives this person and he feels it is his duty to spread this message to the world.
5. Age, Sex, Appearance:  19 year old male about 5:6 and 165 (yes short and stocky that makes him a little more agressive because people tend to make fun of his height)  with light brown hair and hazel eyes.  Has short hair and a goatee that is kept very well groomed for it would not do to be an officer of the law and not be so.  Must set an example.
6: Deities:  Hextor
9:  Abridged Class Overview - Prestige Classes:  Blackguard warrior in the service of Hextor.  He is not someone who fell from grace, this is what he has trained his life for.  His parents were cultists and he is following in their footsteps.  

Set 14
Strength: 16
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 11
Intelligence: 11
Wisdom: 15
Charisma: 13
Starting Gold: 1,979 (Ainsley) or 983 (non-Ainsley)


Modifier:
Set 14
Strength: 16
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 13
Intelligence: 11
Wisdom:13
Charisma: 13
Starting Gold: 1,979 (Ainsley) or 983 (non-Ainsley)

Like I said this is a start the other stuff I will need some help with and I will contact you once you go over what is here and make your suggestions.
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Spirit of the Tiger
Valian
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:59 am

The House of Ainsley gave me the following idea:

1) For a more contemporary character, we can make him a son of Darrovan Ainsley (who would become the last of Bardosylvania's lords) and Winimere Ainsley (nee Oshar, Darrovan's wife and second cousin). This would make your character somewhere around Age 14 during the time of the Imperial Civil War (which ended around five years before the campaign's present time), just about the right age for a nobleman's young son to serve as a lieutenant in the Eternal Empire's military campaign against the great tsardom of Karkova to the west. At the age you've chosen (19 years), Gustov would be the youngest of three siblings, with a brother (Jozen) three years older and a sister (Ulana) six years older; if you're not satisfied with Gustov's place in that pecking order (or wish for him to be next in line for the throne), then you can simply increase Gustov's age by 4-7 years.

Though they hail from a polytheistic society, Winimere is primarily faithful to Wee Jas (as those of the Ainsley bloodline tend to be) while Darrovan is Faithless, paying no tribute or reverence to any god. So with this option, Gustov may have to come into Hextor's faith elsewhere, perhaps from one of his comrades or superiors in Bardosylvania's army or from an allied unit from another nation in the Eternal Empire....

This works for my character. As far as having two older sibling, right now that's cool as I don't see the character as being overly ambitious at this point in the story. Being a young Lt. in the armies would be a good way to explain his combat skills and also to serve as way to explain how he fell into the favor of Hextor. Hextor would have been introduced to him by one of his superior officers. While his family serves Wee-Jas, I don't see them disowning him for choosing to follow a different deity. The two gods seem to have similar spheres of influence and goals.
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:17 am

Okay, that sounds good.  If Gustov's in favor of the same form of order and leadership which Hextorites favor (and which most people would call tyranny) yet has no aspirations to be a leader himself, then Gustov might sooner or later fit into the power structure as a consigliere/major domo/kingmaker/man-behind-the-man sort of character.  A surprising number of Hextorites assume such roles of counsel, advice and subtle manipulation (a role which, with a strong Charisma, Gustov could pull off); not every Hextorite wants to be king.  Or Gustov may instead choose his own path, upholding his own code of honor and enforcing law and order as ruthlessly and mercilessly as might be expected of him, if not more so.  The choices of where and how Gustov carves his path through the world are ultimately yours, of course.

And as I noted, this option would give Gustov a higher station in Bardosylvania's army, either as a lieutenant or a young knight (depending on which Skills and Feats Gustov takes).  But as I also noted, this origin, while placing Gustov closer to the core of the House's political and martial power, would also restrict Gustov to bearing the surname Ainsley, as inherited from his father, Lord Darrovan.  If this is acceptable, then we'll run with that.  If not, then feel free to ask me about the other options which I posited (or inquire into further options, if none of my proposals will do); there are several maternal links to the Ainsley bloodline as well.


Before I forget:  One thing that you might like about D&D 3 is that characters now add 1 point to any one of their Abilities at every 4th Level (Levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20).  Gustov's just beyond Level 4 at this point, so which of Gustov's six Abilities would you like to permanently increase by 1?


The next step beyond that would be Skills, as seen here.  As a Level 5 Human Fighter with average Intelligence (11), Gustov begins with 21 Skill Points to invest in Skills.  Fighters tend to be focused on honing their prowess with the many arts of battle, so while they don't begin with very many Skill Points, they make up for that lack with extra Feats (which we'll cover in the next step, after Skills).

Skill Points are used to "purchase" Skill Ranks, and Skill Ranks are important in that they add to the d20 roll when making a check against that Skill; for example, if Gustov has Climb 4 (4 ranks in the Climb skill) and he attempts to climb a rough cobblestone wall, we would add a +4 bonus to the roll to determine whether or not he succeeds in climbing it, in addition to the character's bonus or penalty for the Skill's related Ability (which, in the case of Climb, would be Strength).  Skill checks are rolled against a Difficulty Class (DC) determined by the ease or difficulty of the task being attempted; climbing anywhere up to 60 feet of that cobblestone wall would carry a DC of 15.  So to continue with this example, Gustov would receive a +3 bonus from his Strength and a +4 bonus from his Climb skill, for a total of +7; so he goes to climb the wall, rolls a natural 10 (which, being well below 15, would normally result in a failure), adds his total +7 bonus and comes up with a roll of 17, enough to beat DC 15 and successfully scale that wall.

As that post notes, Fighters have Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Ride and Swim as Class Skills, skills which suit the Class and find frequent use with such characters.  What this means is that Gustov can invest his Skill Points in Skill Ranks on a 1-for-1 basis; if Gustov spends 4 Skill Points on the Swim skill, he receives 4 Ranks in Swim.  Note that the Craft and Ride skills have variant subskills; Craft (Pottery) and Craft (Carpentry) would be two separate Skills, as would Ride (Horse) and Ride (Elephant).  A Level 5 character can have no more than 8 ranks in a Class Skill.

In Bardosylvania, anything besides a horse is considered an exotic mount and would probably be more difficult to obtain, let alone train in its use.  But in Bardosylvania, people mounted on such creatures as worgs, dire wolves, hippogriffs, griffons or wyverns are not unknown, so if you can think of a reason why Gustov might know how to ride an exotic mount, run it past me and we'll see what we can work out.  (Also of note: although undead horses--typically either skeletal steeds or zombie steeds--might be considered exotic mounts elsewhere, in Bardosylvania they are not considered exotic (and, though still uncommon, are disturbingly far from rare).  Ghoulish steeds, wighted steeds and vampiric steeds also exist but are rarer, harder to find, more demanding with upkeep, proportionately more expensive and, of course, more powerful.)


Fighters also have a number of Skills which are prohibited to them.  These Skills include Animal Empathy, Decipher Script, Read Lips, Scry and Use Magic Device.  Fighters are predominantly alien to the ways of magic, mysticism and skullduggery; hence, they are unable to learn these Skills at all.


If the Skill is neither a Class Skill nor a Forbidden Skill, then it is a Cross-Class Skill.  These skills normally lie outside the Class' purview of training and expertise, so the character must spend extra time and effort in acquiring and developing such skills.  As an example, while Fighters routinely employ the Craft skills in the forms of leatherworking, carpentry, armorsmithing, weaponsmithing, masonry and various hands-on commoner crafts, they find less use for the subtler arts represented in the Profession skills.  What this means is that Skill Points are spent on Cross-Class Skills on a 2-for-1 basis; if Gustov spends 4 Skill Points on the Hide skill, he only receives 2 ranks in Hide.  Note that the Knowledge, Perform and Profession skills have variant subskills; Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Religion), Perform (Harp), Perform (Folk Dance), Profession (Sailor) and Profession (Librarian) would all be considered separate Skills.  A Level 5 character can have no more than 4 ranks in a Cross-Class Skill.

Choose your Skills wisely.  A leading reason why Fighters normally eschew such nimble arts as Balance, Hide, Move Silently and Pick Pocket is because they typically wear heavier and more restricting types of armor, each of which carries an Armor Check Penalty which penalizes checks against almost all Dexterity-based Skills while the armor is worn.  While the Armor Check Penalty is also levied against the Climb and Jump skills, Fighters often find enough use for those two skills that they perform well enough in them to compensate for their armor's shifting and weighing.  The Swim skill carries its own obvious armor-related liabilities, but Armor Check Penalties don't apply to swimming.

(On the other hand, many a back-alley thug is a Fighter who is no stranger to the Rogue's arts.  Though clad in leather armor or no armor at all, they learn just enough Escape Artist, Hide, Innuendo, Move Silently, Pick Pocket and/or Rope Use to pose a skulking threat to wayfarers.  Thieves Guilds and other bands of criminals often employ such lowborn, underhanded Fighters as enforcers, legbreakers or soldiers against rival gangs.  Other Fighters find careers as witch hunters and mage killers, learning just enough Alchemy, Concentration, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), Profession (Librarian) and/or Spellcraft to pose a more earnest threat to their magic-wielding enemies.)


In the role which you have chosen, Gustov may find strong use for several Skills worth noting.  Ride (Horse) (or, alternately, Ride (Undead Horse) or Ride (something else)) would serve him well were you to pursue knighthood, as would Handle Animal, Diplomacy, Intimidate and Knowledge (Royalty and Nobility); as a knight and a nobleman, Gustov would not only be expected to be versed in heraldry, but he would also be expected to know well what alliances and enmities the House of Ainsley shared with other noble houses and with both royal families and imperial families, and he will also be expected to act as a representative of his House in matters of diplomacy.  In military matters, knights hold rank over all but the highest ranks of the army's officers (yet can supersede even a general in matters specific to House and nobility, answering to the House's lord alone).  As perks for that station, he would receive a steed and a squire at no cost to himself, and any large shield or tower shield he bears would come embossed with the Ainsley Coat-of-Arms.  His armor would include a tabard with his Coat-of-Arms as well, so that his comrades and allies can better identify him on the battlefield; if he wears a helmet with his armor, his helmet will bear his family's crest (which, for the House of Ainsley, is either a black wolf's head or a black wolf rampant (rearing) with fangs bared; though the crest is usually tailored from fabric or smithed from metal, some historical examples--such as Lord Borogon Ainsley's battle helm--have included the upper half of an actual wolf's head and pelt, preserved through taxidermy and affixed over the helm's cop or crown).  His horse will be outfitted with chain barding (typically for the battlefield, where swiftness and mobility are crucial) or plate barding (for tournaments) and a caparison sporting the Coat-of-Arms...again, at no cost to him.

However, as a knight he is expected to protect and take utmost care for his squire, his horse and the horse's barding; if any of these are lost, killed or destroyed through gross negligence, such is considered disgraceful to a knight and he may face censure or some form of social castigation for that negligence.  But if Gustov aspires to one day embellish his Blackguard class by becoming feared as the Black Knight of Dark Grove Hollow (or any other locale in Bardosylvania), this is definitely the way to go.


If Gustov wants a prominent position in the army yet isn't so keen about taking on the hassles and responsibilities of knighthood, he can become a cavalry lieutenant rather than an infantry lieutenant; this station would demand nothing more than the Ride skill.  If he does not purchase his own steed, Bardosylvania's army will provide one for him; however, the steed in that case belongs to the army--not to him--and he is expected to return the steed to the army's stables whenever he goes off-duty.  The same goes for any horse barding which Gustov may use to armor his steed.


Alternately, Gustov may instead become an artillerist or a siege engineer simply by investing in Profession (Siege Engineer).  This will allow for an alternate prologue chapter for Gustov (as the lieutenant of a siege battery) and may prove useful later down the road as well.  ("Blast!  The stone giants have sealed themselves inside the citadel!  We'll never get to them now."  "I say, is that a heavy catapult on that hill yon...?")


As yet another alternative, taking Profession (Sailor) will put him in the seat of a naval campaign rather than a ground campaign.  Though Bardosylvania never has had much of a navy (as all the swamps along the coastal border both complicate any Bardosylvanian shipwrighting and ensnare any enemy forces invading from the sea, leaving them easy pickings for Bardosylvania's many rangers), they have enough sailships to slip into an enemy kingdom's bay, land a few tons of mariners and cause some damage.  Combining Profession (Sailor) and Profession (Siege Engineer) could also make Gustov the top ballista when it comes to ship-to-ship battles.


Of course, if you want Gustov to be an officer among the rank-and-file infantry, there really aren't any requisites for that at all.  Just try to keep all of your lemmings from getting killed out there.  Wink


Given all that, what assortment of Skills sounds best to you?


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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:04 am

A few things to consider, mostly Out of my own curiosity; Do you wish to be struck by the curse and become undead, like Corwin or be distant enough and/or at Ainsley's grace, escape the 'undeath' part of the curse and just be linked to the sour reputation and disposition of the House, such ad Keitha and Kegon?

Does the Paladin's ability to summon a warhorse still exist in the new D&D editions?

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"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:24 am

Yes.  Paladins do get to summon paladin mounts in D&D 3; the mounts are considered magical beasts and increase in power as the Paladin gains in Levels.  Fighters don't summon mounts, of course (but tend to beat Paladins when it comes to straight-up kicking ass), nor do Blackguards (who can summon Infernal beasties instead).

As for whether or not Keitha and Keagon elude undeath and keep their precious lifeforces, well, let's just say that they're not out of the woods yet.  Wink

(Also: Fighters now get a d10 Hit Die, a step up from the old d8.  My magic Dice of Doom just came up 10, 9, 7 and 7, which, coupled with the max Hit Points for Level 1 and Gustov's Constitution bonus, totals 48 Hit Points; this number will increase if you add that extra point to Constitution, just as more Skill Points, languages, maximum possible followers and other bonuses await if you stick it into Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma instead.  Does this sound acceptable?)
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:53 am

(Oh, yeah...sorry about getting sidetracked yesterday. Let me grab some chow and I'll get back on Karnoz. Smile )
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:02 am

No prob. The last few days has been pretty hectic on this side too. Sad

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"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:36 am

Yeah, life is like that.  I've been really busy helping my Dad with electrical work down at the local country club, as well as electrical work for a hot tub canopy at a local Cantonite's house; the nice lady who lives there retired from Texas' Department of Corrections, and seeing as I'm going into the academy to become a Correctional Officer (read: prison guard) on March 5th, she was happy to give me some pointers.  Smile

But I guess we're just rambling about the time-honored point that every Class has strengths and every Class has weaknesses.  Spellcasters tend to trump warriors at the high levels, which kind of makes up for warriors being able to cruise through the lower levels while the spellcasters are getting slapped around.  And situational circumstances apply, of course; no matter how powerful your Wizard is, a single beholder can still tear him up, so it's nice to have a Fighter to stand behind.

I pretty well proved that point when Dale (a part-time friend from one of the game shops back in St. Louis) ran a D&D 3 tabletop campaign, and our party ran into a beholder one time.  That beholder started laying the smackdown on the wizard, both clerics and even the ranger...right up until my Wild Elf Barbarian (who had gotten separated from the party by going over a waterfall) came clambering out of a nearby underground river, fired up Barbarian Rage, charged right at the beholder's great eye and killed the bugger just by repeatedly (and very furiously) stabbing it in the face with a plain old short sword.  Then my barbarian skinned the beholder, used Craft: Leatherworking to tan its hide and make a mantle out of it (with a few eye stalks hanging off of it) and wore it as a trophy until the campaign ended, because barbarians do stuff like that.  Wink

(And my barbarian also insisted on being called Zendelle Death-of-Beholders instead of just plain Zendelle after that, much to the party's annoyance.  Sure, things might have gotten pretty hairy for Zendelle if the rest of the party hadn't been keeping the beholder busy, but we'll just gloss over that part....)

Isn't Class diversity great?  Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:16 am

Since he is level five I had already decided before you asked to add the one stat point to my constitution. I like the idea of a cavalry Lt. to start with. So riding horse and handle horse would be good to have. Intimidate would also fit nicely with what my character's personalty has in mind. Am I understanding correctly that if Gustov wanted pick a skill like diplomacy or use rope he would have to spend 2 points for one rank? Also before I spend my skill points a question I do have is what about his special skills as a Blackguard or am I getting ahead of my self and we will cover that later?

Also to answer Golden Drakon's question I don't not want my character to be un-dead. I want him to be a living breathing human being at least for the next fifty or sixty years. I'M NOT DEAD YET.

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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:18 pm

Spirit of the Tiger wrote:
Since he is level five I had already decided before you asked to add the one stat point to my constitution.

Done deal.  That will bring his Constitution up to 14, which brings him up from the +1 bracket to the +2 bracket, which means that he gets 5 more Hit Points, for a total of 53.  Don't spend them all in one combat round.  Wink

So:

Strength: 16 (+3)
Dexterity: 12 (+1)
Constitution: 14 (+2)
Intelligence: 11 (0)
Wisdom: 13 (+1)
Charisma: 13 (+1)
Hit Points: 53
Starting Gold: 1,979

So far, so good.  Smile

I've gotten into the habit of holding off on calculating the Saves (aka. Saving Throws) until after the Feats are chosen, since some Feats (ie. Iron Will) do increase certain Save bonuses.  The same thing goes for details like Initiative and movement Speed.  In hindsight, I probably could have held off on the Hit Points, since there are Feats which alter those too.  Anyway, expect a big chunk of information to jot down after we finish with Gustov's Skills and Feats.  Wink

Spirit of the Tiger wrote:
I like the idea of a cavalry Lt. to start with.  So riding horse and handle horse would be good to have.  Intimidate would also fit nicely with what my character's personalty has in mind.

Handle Animal applies to any animal or to non-magical Beasts (which include anything from stirges to rocs).  Horsemen will find it useful for leading their horses around, taking care of them and teaching them to obey simple commands, of course.  But that skill can also be used for pretty much any normal or dire animal (though you'll have an easier time using it on domesticated animals than on wild animals).  There's a +2 synergy bonus to Handle Animal checks if you also have 5 ranks in Animal Empathy, but since only Druids and Rangers can learn Animal Empathy, that's neither here nor there.

And yes, Intimidate and Fighters-turned-Blackguards do tend to fit hand in hand.  Smile

Spirit of the Tiger wrote:
Am I understanding correctly that if Gustov wanted pick a skill like diplomacy or use rope he would have to spend 2 points for one rank?

That's correct.  Cross-Class Skills cost double what Class Skills cost, but they can still be pretty helpful, particularly if you want an off-the-beaten-path kind of character.  ("How...how did you know that the chasm was merely a Hallucinatory Terrain spell?  You're just a stupid barbarian!"  STAB-STAB-STAB!!!  "How stupid do I look now, sorcerer?")

Just ask GD how much use Karnoz has gotten out of his Alchemy skill.  Alchemy is Cross-Class for Rogues, but that hasn't stopped Karnoz from making the most of it.  Smile

Spirit of the Tiger wrote:
Also before I spend my skill points a question I do have is what about his special skills as a Blackguard or am I getting ahead of my self and we will cover that later?

Since you probably will want to prepare Gustov's character build to make him compatible with the Blackguard prestige class, here are the requirements which he must first fulfill before he can take his first Level in Blackguard:

Alignment: Any Evil  (Gustov already has this.)

Base Attack Bonus: +6  (If he sticks with the Fighter class, Gustov will earn a +6 BAB at Level 6...next Level.)

Knowledge (Religion): 2 Ranks (He can have this now, if you put 4 Skill Points into Knowledge (Religion).  Perhaps he is already one of Hextor's acolytes....)

Hide: 5 Ranks (If he sticks with Fighter, the earliest he can take Hide 5 is Level 7, making him eligible for Blackguard at Level 8 if all other requirements are met.  I never really understood this requirement....)

Feats: Cleave, Sunder (Both Feats have the Power Attack feat as a requisite, and all three of those Feats can be taken as Fighter Bonus Feats as well as normal Feats, so Gustov can take all three of these Feats right off the bat.  More on that when we cover Feats.)

Special: Gustov must first make peaceful contact with an evil Outsider; though the Outsider will probably serve some relevant role (ie. taking his knightly vows, acting as Hextor's voice in the Prime Plane, returning over several visits to offer him tutelage in the ways of darkness, et al), technically Gustov and the Outsider could just play chess for an hour and still fulfill this requirement.  The Outsider may be summoned by Gustov or someone else, or it may arrive by its own volition.  Given Hextor's Alignment and Gustov's Alignment, the Outsider will most likely be a devil of some sort, such as an imp, a kyton or an erinyes.  (This will be handled through gameplay, of course.)

So while the Fighter class makes the Hide requisite harder to attain, it also makes both the Base Attack Bonus and the two Feats much easier to attain.  A Rogue would be quite the opposite (with easy access to Hide yet with a lower Base Attack Bonus and slower Feat progression), while a Ranger could easily attain the Base Attack Bonus and the Hide yet would be hindered by fewer Feats.  So sticking with the Fighter class should get you there quite nicely, all things considered.

As far as the Blackguard's set of Class Skills, those include Concentration, Craft (any), Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (Religion), Profession (any) and Ride (any).  Concentration, while useful for most anyone, is particularly useful for spellcasters...and yes, Blackguards are unholy spellcasters as well as unholy warriors.  So if you want some strong Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal and Profession skills but don't want to deviate from the Fighter class just yet, just wait a few Levels.  Wink

Spirit of the Tiger wrote:
Also to answer Golden Drakon's question I don't not want my character to be un-dead.  I want him to be a living breathing human being at least for the next fifty or sixty years.  I'M NOT DEAD YET.

You're not fooling anyone, you know.  Razz

[Insert lengthy exchange of other Monty Python quotes here....]


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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:50 pm

Quote :
Hide: 5 Ranks (If he sticks with Fighter, the earliest he can take Hide 5 is Level 7, making him eligible for Blackguard at Level 8 if all other requirements are met. I never really understood this requirement....)

Well, you're the GM, change it, replace it or delete it as you see fit. Smile

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"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:04 pm

Surprise post from GD!  Very Happy

(I was just editing that post to add the bit about certain Feats altering Saves, Speed, Hit Points and all.  No worries.  Smile  )

GoldenDrakon wrote:
Quote :
Hide: 5 Ranks (If he sticks with Fighter, the earliest he can take Hide 5 is Level 7, making him eligible for Blackguard at Level 8 if all other requirements are met.  I never really understood this requirement....)

Well, you're the GM, change it, replace it or delete it as you see fit.  Smile

Well, I can kinda-sorta understand why they might have wanted to add the Hide requirement.

In-game?  Blackguards also attain the Poison Use ability, and if a blackguard wants to use that ability to sneak into the baron's castle, smear snake venom all over the baron's bread (without somehow poisoning himself) and sneak back out, then a decent Hide skill would only help.  On the other hand, 1) there's no Move Silently requirement as well, so blackguards still aren't too handy for stealth kills, and 2) having the same weapon proficiencies as a Fighter, a Barbarian or a Paladin, the most obvious use for Poison Use is to just smear it all over a bladed weapon and stab, slash or chop someone with it, a task which can be executed just fine without stealth.

Metagame?  The writers may have wanted the Blackguard class to be equally accessible to any basic Class, including Bards, Monks, Rogues and Rangers (the stealth-friendly Classes).  For that to happen, they would have to make the Blackguard class equally attainable--yet equally troublesome--for all of the basic Classes.  As I pointed out with the Fighter/Rogue/Ranger note back there, if that was WotC's goal, they seem to have obtained it...except for Sorcerers and Wizards, who have a hell of a time becoming Blackguards.  But then again, those guys get to be Pale Masters, Loremasters and True Necromancers instead, so screw 'em.  Razz

But Hide still seems like a silly requisite to me.  Your mileage may vary.


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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:07 pm

Yes, I'm still here...been back and forth from the computer, but I'll be here for most of the night actually...


In any case, like I said, it's your game. Its not like we all haven't used creative licence at some point...or you can stick with the traditionalist rout as well.

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"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:11 pm

Now that you mention it, I think I'll hit Google for a bit.  Surely I'm not the only one who questions Blackguards and the Hide requisite; maybe other D&D players have already debated this issue and, if they've all found this rule wanting, have already come up with acceptable changes or compromises for it, perhaps even playtesting those measures before posting them on the internet.  It's worth a look, right?  Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:58 pm

Okay, it seems that there have been quite a few people who question this Blackguard requisite (most of them on the Giant in the Playground forums), and one possible measure which I've uncovered so far is to replace Hide with Intimidate.

This would make a certain amount of sense.  At Level 3, the Blackguard gets Aura of Despair, a constant supernatural power which causes all enemies within ten feet of the blackguard to suffer a -2 morale penalty on all Saving Throws.  As this suggests that the blackguard's presence alone is filling those enemies with fear and hesitation, Aura of Despair could be seen as a supernaturally empowered evolution of the character's natural talents for intimidation.

I've already taken a creative license with the Fighter class; Intimidate is a Cross-Class Skill for Fighters in D&D 3.0 yet becomes a Class Skill in D&D 3.5, and I considered the Fighter's roles as guards, thugs, knights, marauders and other combative sorts who are used to staring people in the eye to see who backs down first.  So I sensibly made Intimidate a Class Skill for Fighters, even though I'm chiefly using 3.0 (due to both complaints about some of 3.5's rules and changes and simply not having enough money to buy a whole new set of 3.5 books, particularly after I already spent a ton of money buying all the 3.0 books).  So I do worry that Fighters may have too easy of a time attaining Blackguard.

But then again, the Blackguard class was obviously written with fallen Paladins in mind, given all the extra compensatory abilities which ex-Paladin Blackguards get.  And Paladins have Knowledge (Religion) as a Class Skill, which gives them a slight edge over Fighter/Blackguards.  So replacing the Hide requisite with an Intimidate requisite would help put Fighters and Paladins on more-or-less equal footing as far as the Skills (though Fighters would still hold a sharp advantage over Paladins once those Feats are factored in).

Also worth considering is that Blackguards also get their own Sneak Attack.  Sneak Attack is often used in conjunction with stealth, whether through lurking in ambush (Hide) or creeping up on someone unnoticed (Move Silently).  So while that may beg the idea that Blackguards should have some degree of stealth, Sneak Attacks can also be executed on someone whom the blackguard is flanking (such as an enemy who is foolish or unwary enough to attack one of the blackguard's allies, leaving himself open to a punishing blow from the blackguard himself).  So while stealth is useful for Sneak Attacks, it's not entirely necessary.

So I'm strongly considering this change.  What input do you guys have about using Intimidate instead of Hide?

And what about the idea of raising the Knowledge (Religion) requisite to keep Blackguard equally friendly to Fighters and Paladins? Several Prestige Classes use 4 ranks in key skills as requisites--so this seems like a fair enough number--and such a Knowledge (Religion) 4 requirement could better represent someone who is convicted enough in his dark faith to look a devil in the eye and dictate his oath without qualm.
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:15 pm

Blackguards get sneak attack?? WTF?!?!

How do you miss a hulking, 6 ft goon in full armor and swinging a giant sword/axe/weaponofdoom at you??

Good Guy Hero: At last me meet, villain!
Bad guy Blackguard: Yeah, yeah, suck steel douchebag!
Good Guy Hero: I am too skilled, villain! You will soon face justice!
Bad guy Blackguard: Look! Isn't that Haley's Comet??
Good Guy Hero: Huh? Wha-?
Bad guy Blackguard: *Sneak attack*
Good Guy Hero: *Dies*
Bad guy Blackguard: YaY Me!  Twisted Evil 



WTF?!?!?!

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"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: The Player Character Worktable   Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:21 pm

Just like it is with Rogues and Assassins, Sneak Attack is mostly about 1) knowing where and how to hit 'em where it hurts the most, and 2) doing just that when they're not ready for it. So you know how the backstabbing bad guy in many a movie stabs the good guy and really makes a mess of him as soon as the good guy turns his back for some reason, typically in the course of doing some good deed? Like Eric Draven trying to stop Sarah from falling off the church roof only for Top Dollar to run him through with that katana, or Commodus palming a dagger and stabbing Maximus in the kidneys while they're both rising to the arena after Maximus has agreed to face him in honorable, one-on-one combat?

Yeah, I figure that a blackguard's Sneak Attacks would be kind of like that. Wink

Cute example with the comet, though. Razz
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