October 28, 2017

Light and Darkness: Two PCs for D&D 5th Edition

And so it is that Halloween is pretty much upon us.  In the spirit of the holiday, I'll be doing three things related to role-playing games.

The first of these is that this afternoon, I will be running "Under a Harvest Moon," a 7th Sea 2nd edition conversion of the Shadow of the Demon Lord adventure "Apple of Her Eye" for one group of gamers that want to try out 7th Sea 2e.  I've had a fair amount of success with this adventure, which you can grab from my blog here: http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/2017/10/once-upon-harvest-moon-7th-sea-2e.html

The second of these will be later this night I will be gaming with an online group via Discord to engage in what may very well be the final confrontation with Strahd Von Zarovich in the possible conclusion of the 5e Curse of Strahd adventure.  As our group's DM for this adventure, Eric has done a bang-up job, not only in running the adventure but in customizing it so that the lands and culture of Barovia have some very distinctive elements.  I've had fun playing an Oath of Vengeance Paladin who due to decisions made has taken a much darker turn, and to be honest I'm not sure he's going to come out of this even remotely close to the person he was when the adventure started.  But as much fun as I've had, I think I am ready for this to wrap-up and for our group to move onto something a bit more cheerful and less dark.

As for the third, well you're reading it, as I thought I'd post up a couple of D&D 5e characters who are about as different as night and day, an aasimar paladin and a half-elf warlock, both of good alignment though of very different means and outlooks.  I opted to go ahead and post the third level versions of these, as the general agreement online seems to be that 3rd level is when a character really starts to "come alive" in terms of their abilities on top of not being frail enough that a single wayward encounter could spell their doom.

Aramir Greyhaven, Aasimar Paladin of Lathander
Class/Level: Paladin 3
Alignment: Lawful Good
Background: Acolyte
Personality Trait -  I've spent so long in the temple that I have little practical experience dealing with people in the outside world.
Ideal - I trust that Lathander will guide my actions; I have faith that if I work hard enough, things will go well.
Bond - I owe my life to the priest who took me in when my parents died.
Flaw - Once I pick a goal, I become obsessed with it to the detriment of everything else in my life. 

Ability Scores
STR 15 (+2), DEX 10 (+0), CON 12 (+1), INT 10 (+0), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 14 (+2)

Armor Class: 18 (chain mail and shield)
Melee Attack: +4 (longsword, 1d8+4 slashing, versatile) 
Ranged Attack: +4 (javelin, 1d6+2 piercing, range 30/120, thrown)
Hit Dice: 3d10
Hit Points: 25
Speed: 30 feet

Class and Species Abilities
Darkvision - see in dim light as bright light out to 60 feet, and in darkness as dim light.
Celestial Resistance - resistance to necrotic and radiant damage.
Celestial Legacy - knows the light cantrip and can cast lesser restoration once per long rest.
Divine Sense (3/day) - as per page 84 of the Player's Handbook
Fighting Style - Dueling (as per page 84 of the Player's Handbook)
Divine Health - as per page 85 of the Player's Handbook
Divine Smite - As per page 85 of the Player's Handbook.
Sacred Oath - Oath of Devotion (as per page 86 of the Player's Handbook)

Spellcasting (Spell DC 12, Spell Attack +4)
1st - Compelled Duel, Divine Favor, Searing Smite

Languages and Proficiencies
Saving Throws - Wisdom and Charisma
Languages - Common, Celestial, Draconic, Elvish
Skill Proficiencies - Athletics (+4), Insight (+4), Persuasion (+4), Religion (+2)

Gear: Longsword, 5 javelins, chain mail, shield, holy symbol of Lathander, explorer's pack, prayer book, 5 sticks of incense, vestments, set of common clothes, belt pouch containing 15 gold pieces.

Image: Aramir is quite tall, standing just over six feet, but with a lithe build that belies his strength of arms.  His weapons and armor are kept in near-pristine condition, which along with his shoulder-length mane of golden-blonde hair and soft blue eyes marks him as a champion of the light, with a gaze that is resolute and firm yet fair.

Summary: Aramir is at heart your typical knight in shining armor type, the heroic and noble champion of all that is good in the world.  He's also not very worldly, and will probably be likely to take most people at their word unless he has cause to distrust them.  From my own experiences with playing a Paladin, he'll be able to hit pretty hard a couple times of per day, and with his Oath of Devotion he can power up his sword to be able to inflict substantial damage to creatures that are otherwise resistant or immune to non-magical attacks.  As for the source of Aramir's racial traits, I used the Aasimir write-up from pages 286 and 287 of the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide, so check with your GM to see if they will allow that race at their table.

Xevlanna Nightblossom, Half-Elf Warlock
Class/Level: Warlock 3
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Background: Entertainer (Routines - Dancer/Tumbler, Storyteller)
Personality Trait -  Nobody stays angry at me or around me for long, since I can defuse any amount of tension.
Ideal - The world is in need of new ideas and bold action.
Bond - I want to be famous, whatever it takes.
Flaw - I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden; my sharp tongue lands me in trouble.

Ability Scores
STR 8 (-1), DEX 15 (+2), CON 14 (+2), INT 12 (+1), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 17 (+3)

Armor Class: 13 (leather armor)
Melee Attack: +1 (spear, 1d6-1 piercing, versatile)
Melee Attack +5 (Shocking Grasp, 1d8 lightning)
Ranged Attack: +4 (dagger, 1d4+2 slashing, light, range 20/60, thrown)
Ranged Attack: +5 (Eldritch Blast, 1d10 force, range 120)
Hit Dice: 3d8
Hit Points: 24
Speed: 30 feet

Class and Species Abilities
Darkvision - see in dim light as bright light out to 60 feet, and in darkness as dim light.
Celestial Resistance - resistance to necrotic and radiant damage.
Fey Ancestry - advantage on saving throws against being charmed, cannot be magically put to sleep.
Skill Versatility - proficient in two skills of your choice
Otherworldy Patron - The Fiend (as per page 109 of the Player's Handbook)
Pact Boon - Pact of the Tome (as per page 108 of the Player's Handbook)

Spellcasting (Spell DC 13, Spell Attack +5)
Cantrips - Eldritch Blast, Minor Illusion, Shocking Grasp*, Thaumaturgy*, Vicious Mockery*
Spells (cast as 2nd level) - Hellish Rebuke, Hex, Scorching Ray, Suggestion
*from Pact Boon

Languages and Proficiencies
Saving Throws - Wisdom and Charisma
Languages - Abyssal, Common, Elvish
Skill Proficiencies - Acrobatics (+5), Arcane (+4), Deception (+6), Investigation (+4), Performance (+6), Persuasion (+6)
Tool Proficiencies - Disguise kit, flute

Gear: Spear, 3 daggers, leather armor, arcane focus, scholar's pack, flute, entertainer's outfit, belt pouch containing 15 good pieces, an old divination card bearing her likeness, a silver teardrop earring (favor of a past admirer).

Image: Xevlanna's very presence draws attention, from her eye-catching apparel to her long tresses of curling raven-black hair decorated with colorful glass beads to her languid yet graceful movements to her smoke-grey eyes.  Not much taller than most elves, her features retain a sense of elvish delicateness, and her lips are most often settled in a mirthful smile.

Summary:Xevlanna is pretty much the ideological opposite of Aramir in many ways.  Where he's a devout servant of the light and a champion of good, Xev is more self-centered and draws her power from a devil's bargain.  She's also a talented manipulator of people, sweet-talking and deceiving as the situation warrants or her whim decides.  She's also very much a blaster-caster and would do well to stay out of range of melee-focused opponents, though she's got a couple tricks to make enemies that do close with her regret it.  Her Pact Boon certainly broadens her spell repertoire, giving her a few more options both in and out of combat.

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