Sunday, September 8, 2013

Thirty Days of D&D, Day 8 & 9: Favorite character

Day 8: Favorite Character You Have Played

This is a tough one, like a parent choosing amongst their children. There are rascals you think you'd love less, but if you really consider the question, you find each person indispensable. I'll spare the details in the customary list of names, classes, and adventure summaries and just say I find many of my characters interesting and favored for different reasons.

As PbP/PBeM is a medium that allows room for lots of character development (the staccato pace is well suited for more 'writerly' players), it is easy for me to spin a character who I will get attached to. Given the pace of PbP/PBeM, you have to play a character you're willing to return to regularly over a long time frame. Heavy character development also presents the player with plenty of roleplaying opportunities and plot hooks, necessary for the slower games, which require players to pick up the slack in terms of driving impetus. Combat being one of the slowest aspects of gaming, the GM can't toss a random battle into the mix at will to draw in players attention like in a face-to-face or even a chat game.

That wasn't much of a solid answer, even if it is how I feel. Since the next day includes a similar topic, I'm going to roll it into this post.

Day 9: Favorite Character You Haven't Played

I've tried to get this one character concept off the ground in several games but all the games fizzled either before they began or very shortly after. The character is Gedregan Dalaraster, with some variations on the name depending on the game. Originally set up as a wizard, but soon switch to an archivist (the prepared divine caster class from Heroes of Horror), he was alternatively a 'freestaff' from Halruaa (a southern magocracy in the Forgotten Realms) or a more secular follower of the deities of knowledge and lore (possible Realms patrons include Azuth, or Oghma, maybe Deneir). Something about the lore-based specialization of the class and character fit like a glove into the Realms setting.

I find the archivist to be a fun take on divine magic, a scholar who sees divine magic distanced from the deities that power them. The flavor of pouring over musky tomes in search of forgotten or sometimes forbidden spells and information from deities or entities long dead has an excellent dark fantasy vibe. The knowledge-based monster vulnerability identification abilities also alight perfectly with the archetype.

The archetype is so much fun,
even Blizzard had a go at it in Diablo III,
albeit as an fairly elaborate April Fools joke.

The archivist also leans towards a more modern class design ideal possessing scaling class abilities that diversify with increasing levels. This is very new school, but if we're playing 3E or later era games, I'd rather the classes be along this design style than ones that encourage prestige or multi-class min-maxing. Largely Pathfinder has realized this and their classes fall within this style. The class would convert easily to Pathfinder and I'll have to see if I can play the character via that system.

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