RPG-a-Day 2018
RPG-a-Day 2018 Day 12: Wildest Character Concept.

I think it’s important to differentiate character concept from character background as while I don’t tend to go with weird character concepts, I do think I come up with some weird character backgrounds. When I play a fighter-type character, I don’t build the character to be able to do more than kill things with weapons and not die, my personal speciality is high AC/high HP fighters that will outlast their opponents. Adrian, the fighter/runecrafter was probably the weirdest fighter-style character I’ve ever played, as a lot of his “build” became rooted in the weapons and armour he could make. The GM had created a custom class that could make magic gear by spending a number of days dependant on the enchantments being worked into the gear. He had designed a research-branch system with different enchancements being represented by a node on a branch, and each node along the branch meant a day of crafting time. All the standard magical enchantments were there, +1, +2, Flaming, etc, plus a number of unique ones he made up, including armour sets which provided more potent effects the more complete the set was. By the end of the game, Adrian had serveral unique sets of magical armour he would switch between depending on the situation, though he favoured a set of “Dragon” armour that let him fly, breath fire and have a tail attack. It’s not really that wild a concept, but it took a pretty vanilla fighter build and gave me a number of interesting things I could do with it. I enjoyed being able to plan how I used down time to research new enchantments and make new gear for me and my party.

I recently had a chance to play a one off D&D5 session and had to build a 6th level character with minimal preparation, and with little experience building characters in that edition. I was rather pleased with the Level 1 Cleric/Level 5 Wizard build I knocked together using DNDBeyond, allowing me to use abilities like Luck and Portent to manipulate dice rolls, like forcing the Big Boss to roll a 2 on his Will save vs Hold Person to allow the Monk to get behind and cause damage. It wasn’t the standard magic user build, and had a small crossover between divine magic and arcane, but it was REALLY effective and I had a lot of fun playing a slightly fastidious mage focused on the School of Knowledge.

I’m not saying that wild and crazy character concepts are a bad thing, I just prefer a character that is effective at what I want them to be able to do. I’ve seen players turn up to games with insane character concepts they’ve cobbled together but haven’t survived the first combat. Conversely I’ve seen similar crazy character concepts ruin games because they are unstoppable and destroy game balance, a monk who had taken the Vow of Poverty from the Book of Exhaulted Deeds in D&D 3.0 is a good example…

Tomorrow I will be looking at how my play has evolved over the years…

Feel free to share your wildest character concept in the comments. Don’t forget you can find all the previous RPG-a-Day articles here, you can follow me @bargtheogre on Twitter, or check out the Inside the Ogre’s Cavern podcast at @itocpodcast