June 24, 2017

A Pair of Character Oddballs

As any veteran RPG player will tell you, every so often you get one of those off-the-wall ideas for a character that just simply won't let you be until you put pencil to paper and actually write up that screwball character concept.  Now generally, a lot of those "oddball characters" that folks come up with generally aren't viable in the long-term; at best the character might make it through a one-shot adventure or a brief module, but the novelty factor tends to wear off pretty quickly for a lot of these builds.  Some however manage to stand the test of time, being so odd and off-beat that they become endearing to the group as a whole, or that they turn out to be surprisingly effective in their role.

I've seen several of these oddball characters make the grade, two of whom came from the same campaign, that being a Legacy Era campaign run by Ben "Cyril" Erickson using the Star Wars Saga Edition system.  The first of these notables were Kirkineery-tovante aka Kiri, a Squib Scoundrel played by Kevin "Rikoshi" Frane, whose in-character mannerisms and voice (this was played over Skype) made the character incredibly memorable, with the other being Niera Kurcz, an Arkanian Noble/Scoundrel played by Nateal "Tariel" Falk who in summation was rather odd; that she was a cyborg'd Force sensitive should give you a clue as to just how off beat this particular character was.  In comparison, the two PCs I played were rather bland and boring, though I did have fun.

One of the players in my regular Skype gaming group, Rick, has a penchant for coming up with some rather bizarre character ideas for what seems any system that he comes across, one of the more recent ones that he'd gotten to play being Felagi (or Ferngully as our regular Mutants & Masterminds GM Eric calls him), who was created for a cosmic-themed campaign and was built to primarily be a support character with minimal offensive abilities.  And to the surprise and delight of the player, Felagi turned out to be quite successful, and even managed to kick off an intergalactic fashion trend of wearing pirate outfits after pilfering such an outfit from a spacefaring squid man (Captain Kraken for those familiar with the Freedom City setting).

Now, why am I making this post?  Well, the reason is I've had a couple of these banging around in my noggin for a while now, and neither of them have been for Star Wars.  So, to get these particular character notions out of my head so that I can make room for things like working on my Force and Destiny campaign and/or the modules I plan to run at next year's GamerNationCon, I've put pencil to paper as it were, and wrote up those two oddballs.  And now I'm posting them here for others to read, hopefully enjoy, and maybe even make use of in a game.

First, since I was hooked on a feeling...

Krist Goodburrow (D&D 5th Edition)
Halfling (lightfoot) Sorcerer 1
Hit Points: 7 (1d6 hit dice)
Proficiency Bonus: +2
Speed: 25 feet
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Languages: Common, Halfling
Background: Charlatan

Ability Scores
Strength 8 (-1), Dexterity 16 (+3), Constitution 12 (+1), Intelligence 13 (+1), Wisdom 10 (+0), Charisma 16 (+3)

Racial Features (as per page 28 of the D&D 5e Player's Handbook)
Brave, Halfling Nimbleness, Lucky, Naturally Stealthy

Class Features
Saving Throws: Constitution and Charisma
Sorcerous Origin: Pelvic Sorcery (c/o Steve Kenson)
Spellcasting (Spell Attack +5, Spell Save DC 13)
Cantrips: Dancing Lights, Fire Bolt, Shocking Grasp, Thunderclap
Spells: Catapult, Color Spray, Expeditious Retreat
Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Deception, Insight, Sleight of Hand
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit, Forgery Kit

Sling, pair of daggers, arcane focus, explorer's pack, set of fine clothes, disguise kit, set of weighted dice, belt pouch containing 15 gold pieces

Notes: In case it's not obvious, the Pelvic Sorcery is a bit of home-brew material created by Steve Kenson, best known for being the primary creative force behind Green Ronin's Mutants & Masterminds superhero RPG, drawing its inspiration from the Guardians of the Galaxy film, notably Gamora's comment about how she wasn't about let herself be take in by Peter Quill's "pelvic sorcery."  It's actually a pretty fun sorcerous origin, offering some fun abilities from first level all the way up to 18th level.  I've no idea how well these would hold up compared to the official sorcerous origins in terms of actual game play, but I'm fairly certain that the character would be memorable.

And now for the other oddball character, this one from the wuxia-themed FATE Core game Tianxia.  And if you're asking if he's paid his dues, he'll look you right in the eye and say "yes sir, the check is in the mail."

Burdenless Jo
High Concept: Boisterous Drifter
Trouble: Loud-Mouthed Braggart
Aspects: Courage of a Thousand Fools, Fate's Favorite Punching Bag, "It's like Burdenless Jo always says..."
Refresh: 3
Jianghu Rank: 1

Great (+4): Drive
Good (+3): Athletics, Provoke
Fair (+2): Deceive, Fight, Shoot
Average (+1): Investigate, Notice, Physique, Will

Kung Fu Style: Stone Monkey
Technique: Stone Resists the Blow

A Fool's Bravado: You may use Provoke instead of Will to defend against Provoke attacks.
All In the Reflexes: If you successfully defend with style against a ranged projectile attack, you can sacrifice your next action to immediately inflict an attack on your opponent at the shift value of your defense plus two.
Talk Like The Wind: Gain a +2 bonus to overcome obstacles using Deceive, provided you do not have to talk to the person you're trying to deceive for more than a few sentences.

Notes: Now, it should be pretty damn obvious who this character is inspired by.  I've always been a big fan of John Carpenter's film Big Trouble in Little China, a film that may have failed at the box office but has certainly become a cult classic (Indeed!)  Granted, Drive as a skill probably won't see a whole ton of use in many Tianxia campaigns, but you put this man at the reins of a cart or means of conveyance and he'll be able to pull off some fairly impressive stuff.  Actually, Burdenless Jo is probably a more competent individual (even with his lower-than-typical score in Fight for a Tianxia hero) than ol' Jack Burton himself.  And with three Fate Points at the start of each session as well as Aspects that are geared to let the character earn even more of them, he should certainly be able to shake the Pillars of Heaven while dropping one-liners (pithy or otherwise) along the way.

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