Main Page Party Build
Artificer – Tshern
The Cuteness, Sneakster Extraordinaire – Sofawall (Patrick)
Elf Wizard/AnimaMage/Tainted Scholar – Tleilaxu_Ghola
Githyanki Trader – Sharyna
Be’Dawgh Broh, a Blink-dog Basher – (Smooty)
How did our group meet and become a crew?
I’m still working on my background, but most of it is posted. The character is a “first degree” Ayus Maji, which if you’ve read Dune and Wheel of Time is kind of like the combination of a Suk Doctor and an Aes Sedai. At any rate, there’s a bit of story to wade through, but the bottom line is that my character (Jessica) is returning to the public after a three year absence and is nominally looking to resume her former post as a court wizard. Her current “open for employment” status should make it fairly reasonable for her to accept the company of others, provided there is sufficient money involved to support her desired comfort level as wizard of a noble court. There are other motives she has, but I haven’t published them yet.
Anyways, that should give some room for others to fill in. I’ll adapt things as necessary to make it work better
I’ve added a great deal more information regarding prior acquaintances of my character and information on her main association (Ayus Maji). Possible plug in points for others might be:
- Also lured on to the mysterious black ship and sent to the Saronite mines. How you would have escaped is up to you, but one possibility is having escaped with Jessica (who teleported out). It would make significantly more sense if Jessica escaped with some help, considering the issues she had doing so.
- Possibly a vassal of either Lord Farthquire (north) or Domineus (south). Or possibly a former employee of South Farthing Mining Company (SFMC). One might have encountered her in passing in a Monastery of the Church on the northern border as well.
- Perhaps one could have been involved in a civil suit leading up to fiasco on the South Space port.
I have done a good bit of thinking on how to make a Lawful Evil character function in this party without restricting y’all’s alignments. You can read the Faustian pact section of my character sheet, but the TL;DR is:
- Jessica doesn’t think in terms of good or evil, only what’s most convenient or necessary under the circumstances. The fact that she was put into some rather poor circumstances and was presented with only inherently evil solutions is how she came to be who she is right now.
- In this mental paradigm, Jessica would even go so far as to deny being evil. She has always thought herself to be a neutral and fair judge—and she continues to be, by and large. Unfortunately, though, she also believes that the circumstance have forced her to take some rather unsavory practices, which include researching forbidden material, attempting to make Faustian pacts with others to buy herself time to research, and using inherently evil magic. She continues to use tainted spell casting (and refuses to cure herself of taint) simply because she’s found it to be more powerful that what she previously had available.
- And, to be really safe, we still have the three oaths to fall back on. While those oaths might make a chaotic character chafe, it’s not like Jessica forces others to follow them—actually most Maji work with people who haven’t taken the three oaths simply because it allows them to circumvent them. Good characters might be able to overlook her faults if they know she’s not lying to them, going to break a law, or plotting their deaths. Lawful characters will be able to appreciate her dedication to order and neutral characters will likely sympathize with her even-handedness. This is not to say that she’s wholly likable, just that she’s not wholly despicable either, which is important for group functionality.
- If anyone wants to be a noble of some kind, that’s a connection my character could work pretty well.
- If someone wants to play a dashing half-elf who bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain bard in my character’s back story … things could get very interesting. (Jessica was in love with a half-elf bard). Some light sexual tension could make for good comic relief.
- Reading over sofawall’s character (a Factotum), I could easily see myself associating with such an individual—especially if they had a significant hand in legitimate commerce. In fact, anyone who thinks their character would have had a lawful career in commerce would probably work. Merchants, craftsmen, and nobles were Jessica’s primary associations.
- Ayus Protar (equivalent of Aes Sedai warders from the Wheel of Time mythology) would have an obviously solid connection to Jessica.
- In fact, I’d say anyone with ancillary relation to the Pearl Court would do fine for a foot-in-the-door association. Like any major organization, the Pearl Court is gonna have a variety of people in its employ. They need rogues and their ilk for spying, they need warrior-types for Ayus Protar or just a general muscle presence, they need divine casters for healing, they need shady connections for acquiring interesting research items.
- Expanding on the last comment in the previous point a little more… which I should probably note in my Ayus Maji entry. The acquisition of magical artifacts and objects of arcane interest is a major branch of what the Maji do. Any treasure hunter could easily have associations with Maji, purely because they make excellent and lawful buyers for all manner of items, even some which would get your head chopped off for possessing. Jessica, in particular, would be attracted to someone claiming experience in acquiring dark artifacts.
So yea, things are evolving and changing from my initial conception with respect to my character. Here’s how I’m seeing things as of now. Jake or anyone can feel free to correct me.
- I talked a bit with Jake, and apparently the party sans Jessica/Sophocles has already met each other at the opening of the campaign. They hook up with Jessica in the opening act. I suppose the original plan was to have everyone already together—I missed that memo obviously. But the plan, as I understand it, is to have the group precipitate out of necessity to handle some calamity.
- The above means that being involved in Jessica’s background is perhaps unlikely.
- Since I’ve started writing I’ve gone over more of the Eberron campaign setting, which I was not at all familiar with before. I’ve decided that Jessica is a Valenar elf, but the majority of her time (beyond birth) has been in Thrane, with one notable exception off world. Just an FYI if you’re wondering where in the world to place her. I’ve no idea where Jake wants the opening scene to take place, so until we get information on that I’ll assume Jessica is in Thrane.
- I haven’t done much thinking on how our party is going to function on a ship. Tshern seems to be gunning for the mechanic role (possibly pilot)? I don’t know. I do know that I cannot afford to spend points on any ship-related professions. It just doesn’t make much sense for my character. Hopefully someone will assume that role.
Hook ups and plot aside, I think we should go over who’s doing what roles and how. Here’s what I got for my character:
- Tactical control of battle field via debuffs, short range teleports, etc.
- Party face. She’s not amazing at this role, but she has nearly maxed diplomacy with 16 charisma. She can take 10 on diplomacy checks and make hasty diplomacy checks in a std action instead of a 10 rounds.
- Political intrigue. I’ve written a good bit of politics into Jessica’s background. If we want to go that direction, she could provide some good hooks. Not necessary, though.
- Knowledge whore. She focuses on Planes, Local, Arcana, and Nobility.
- Sophocles (Cohort to Jessica)
- Battle-field controller. I haven’t fully fleshed out and optimized his role here, but my intent is that he acts primarily as a defensive bulwark, preventing things from messing up Jessica’s pretty face.
- “Bad Cop” routine. He’s got maxed out intimidation and a good (18) charisma.
- Scout. He’s not super effective at this role. I could specialize him more in this area, as he does have potential. 150’ natural fly speed and small size is a good start in my book. But apart from that I haven’t added much to this effect.
I’d love to see people post some info on what roles they want to fill.
Well, Tiranis (not done yet, working slowly) is working slowly along the lines of someone who steals what he wants, doesn’t get caught, but when he does can distract the enemy enough to get off the one killer blow and run through the gap. If you need someone to sneak, he can walk up to someone, shoot them in the face and run away, and not even a Legendary Eagle will spot him (providing that there’s appropriate shadow).
Cool beans, Patrick. A solid stealth character is never amiss in a party.
Refining my characters’ role a little:
- Non-lethal disabling spells and action denying spells.
- Tactical battlefield control (walls, creature translocation, summons)
- Enchantments, mind-affecting effects.
- AoE damage, if absolutely necessary.
- Knowledge / Lore whore. In two levels her capacity to fill this role will peak.
- Saves debuffing (via shaken, sickened condition). These conditions also synergize with Adoration of the Frightful or Spirit Wall (cast by Jessica) to convert or panic multiple enemies (respectively) in a single round.
- High burst damage versus targets with high AC.
So Smoot loaded his character. An awakened tree. Much lulz here. Anyways, I’ve got one potential back story hook up for that (wrt my character). You can take it or leave it:
- Tree was awakened by some druid a while ago. Tree has been chanting PHOH-TOH-SYNTHESIS over and over for the past few centuries until he felt adventurous enough to go to the big city. Things don’t go so well. He somehow manages to meet up with Jessica, who provides him with illusions and spells to help him get around in the big city. Hilarity ensues when he orders dirt at a tavern.
- Tree becomes more associated with Maji (as a subject of study mainly, but also because they’re more willing to interact with a tree than your average commoner).
The other option is a druid background of some kind, but druids (canonically) don’t have much to do with cities and we’re going to be doing a lot of urban stuff, so I figured it’d be helpful to have some kind of urban connection.
I’ve uploaded a new page to the Wiki, entitled “Standard Operating Procedure”. Please give a review. The goal of it is to spell out a generic plot mechanism for the party. I believe it’s fairly compatible with all alignments and play styles, while remaining eminently focused.
Here’s a link: Standard Operating Procedure