Now, this isn’t actually my first D&D character, I’m still waiting for a chance to roll up one, forever a DM. But I want to talk about some things to think about when creating your first D&D character and how you’re going to want to …
We were back at it again last night with the third session of Tower of the Gods. Previously, our “heroes” Barrai, Bokken, and Thrain had gone through the test of the Tower with Steve as their fourth, unfortunately, Steve didn’t make it. Upon exiting the Tower with their new found powers, they were given a choice of schools to enroll in and get work from, they picked Strawgoh, the school of Dark Arts and Assassinations.
Upon coming there, they were informed as part of a test, that there were spies in their midst that they could get extra credit if they could figure out who they were by the end of the two years there. So, Barrai, Bokken, and Thrain immediately set out to figure that out. They determined that Dorin was a suspect and Barrai used his new found friendship with Domon, another Tiefling, to send Domon to accuse Dorin, which, they aren’t sure was successful.
In their barracks they had gotten matched up with Dorin, a Gnome Rogue who fancied himself to be the leader of their barracks no matter what Barrai, Bokken, and Thrain told him. During the time that our three main characters were talking to the other students, Dorin had gone through their stuff, but they didn’t find that out until after an introductory meal where Bokken considered breaking into a teachers office to see if there was more information on the students and who might be the spy. In the end, he didn’t break in, but had Castillia, an elf whom they trust and trusts them, start spying on Narius, a rich halfling.
They returned to their barracks to find out that there things had been gone through, but Dorin not being the brightest, hadn’t trashed his own things so they quickly caught on and accused him. Thrain, as a revenge when through Dorin’s stuff, including a couple of daggers and books that were written in a language that none of them understood, possibly because none of them speak gnomish. Needless to say, Dorin was pissed off, and Barrai decided to try and restrain him when he went to bed, but that didn’t work that well, so Bokken, instead took up just watching him sleep, since Bokken, as a warforged sleeps with his eyes open, however, Bokken wasn’t a great watch and Dorin snuck out.
Dorin went to one of the teachers and the next morning the Thrain, Barrai, and Bokken were confronted about how they had been treating Dorin. They gave a half hearted apology and Dorin said he wanted to transfer to another group. Tormin, the teacher, agreed, and the group was happy enough and really wanted to get Narius into their barracks to keep a closer eye on him, so Tormin presented them with a challenge. They could pick who they wanted if they, minus Dorin, could take on another barracks and beat them, otherwise, he would decide. They went to an arena and the teachers, keeping an eye on things, and other students watching the spectacle watched as Thrain, Barrai, and Bokken took on Castillia, Narius, Adris – a human, and Cordon – a dragonborn.
Barrai gets to act first and gives Bokken some inspiration and then starts to mess with Castillia, who, swiftly puts a stop to that with a wicked arrow shot dropping Barrai. He gets floated off by the teachers. Thrain then returns the favor to Castillia and the sides are down to two, Thrain and Bokken, against three. The fighting slows down after the first volley as Cordon, with her dislike for Thrain, immediately moves in to target him. They trade attacks with Cordon even using her lightning dragons breath on Thrain, but his stead volley of eldritch blasts eventually knock her down to the ground. Bokken, meanwhile, has gone and faced off against Adris, the fighter. They trade blow after blow dealing little damage to each other with Narius, who had claimed to be a great shot, struggling to hit Bokken. His frustration mounting and Thrain joining the fight, Bokken eventually falls to the two on one attack and Thrain is left to face both Narius and Adris. But, with a bolt form his crossbow, Narius is able to drop Thrain, and the Barrai, Bokken, and Thrain await their fate as to whom will join their barracks. Tormin gives them Parrag, an elf whom they had actually not talked to before. Castillia, after the fight assumes that they had wanted her to join their barracks.
After that, the bell rings, and having missed breakfast, they need to go and start their first day of classes with courses on Court Etiquette, Second Story Work, Poisons and Antidotes, Demonology as their core courses, but then they could specialize in a few different areas. Bokken chose Assassination and Thievery, Thrain – Curses and Necromancy, and Barrai decided on Conjuring/Summoning and Curses. Bokken had a few other people going into what he was looking at with the likes of Dorin and Castillia and more. But Thrain was the only student to pick Curses for their main focus, and Barrai the only one to pick Conjuring/Summoning.
That’s where the session ended with them finding out that they have two tests in the Tower that will determine most of their grades for the school year, at which point, thematically, they’ll level up.
So behind the DM’s screen a little bit.
This was a fairly scripted session. I knew that most likely the players would quickly figure out that Dorin was the one who had gone through their stuff and probably rough him up or threaten him a little bit. I also had thought maybe it would come to light that they had accused him through Domon of being a spy, but that didn’t happen.
The fight that they were going to have, depending on which barracks they picked it was either going to be hard or deadly, they got hard, which was still deadly at such a low level for them, mainly because of the numbers game.
I gave Cordon her dragons breath feature to use. I probably could have just used a spell to simulate that for her, but thematically it worked and did slightly less damage than the spell.
The fight was fairly standard in that it had an end goal because they were facing off and try to knock down and out their opponents, but the story beat to it was that they were deciding who got to be in their group. And the decision that was it was Parrag was a die roll, there were 8 options so 8 sided die, and it landed on him.
Dorin slipping away while someone was just watching him, that was the one part I wasn’t sure what would happen, I knew that he’d try, though. So I gave him disadvantage on his roll for stealth and he rolled a 15 and a 20, plus two since he’s sneaky, and that was considerably better than Bokken’s 10.
What has been hitting your table? What story are you a part of?
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Two weeks ago, I ran my first session in the Tower of the God’s campaign. We got back to it again this past Thursday where our main character, Barrai, Thrain, and Bokken have completed the trial of the tower. For more information on that part …
Almost forgot to share this, it was a rush, but I go through nine different level 1 characters for Dungeons and Dragons. I was hoping that I could knock them out fast, but it took a little bit, but I got them done. And I …
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go…
We all know about dwarves from such classics as Snow White and more so Lord of the Rings. Really, Lord of the Rings is the basis for so much of Dungeons and Dragons, because it is the basis for so much fantasy in general. Dungeons and Dragons has built upon it, to really build out the dwarven structure of society that you don’t really fully see in Lord of the Rings.
Dwarves tend to live in a pretty rigidly structured society, and that’s one of the defining features. I think that Wizards of the Coast recommend that dwarves are lawful in their alignment. This comes because dwarves are generally part of a large family group and so you have certain family expectations to live up to.
Dwarves also live for a longer than human life span. It’s not as long as elves, but dwarves still live for several hundred years. Instead of taking that time out to go adventuring, they are going to be working on honing their skills to create their masterpiece, whether that is some ale, sword, piece of armor, etc., that work is how you’re going to get recognized as a dwarf in your society.
Even with that, dwarven society is rigid. So while you can probably work your way up the societal ranks by creating a masterpiece, the amount of time you have to work on that is going to be low if you’re in a lower rung of a family. However, being in a family is very important, you could also call it a clan, though they are generally set-up as a family group from ages ago. If you are clanless, you are an outcast who other dwarves really look down upon. You’d be hoping that someone will invite you into their clan so that you can have some standing in your life.
And I think that’s one of they key points, dwarves really like order in their lives. A dwarven adventurer is going to be seen as a bit of an outcast from normal dwarven society and might have troubles coming home again, if they just up and left their clan. However, clans will most certainly send out dwarves to adventure to help maintain stability, to spread the word of dwarven deities, and to look for some great treasure that would be the centerpiece for the clans standing among the other clans.
Mechanically, dwarves are slower than other races such as humans and elves, but their make up for that by having a bonus to constitution. You really get the double down on constitution with some of the dwarven sub races which get more HP per level on average than other races playing a similar class. Dwarves also have advantage against being poisoned, and even if they do end up being poisoned, they are poisoned less. You also gain some proficiency with various tools and weapons to start, so if you are playing a class that wouldn’t get access to some weapons, you now are going to have access to them.
But let’s talk about some Dwarven backstories…
My clan is the black sheep of clans. We generally deserve our reputation. Our clan is known for employing shady methods of gathering trinkets. If something goes missing in your clan, it might show up in our clan a generation later, I’m not saying how it got there, but it might happen. I, with my particular set of skills, got asked not just by my clan, but by the clans as a whole to head out into the world. The older generation said it felt like there was some changes on the wind that might be an issue for us. They were possibly also tired of me taking their stuff.
Alignment: Lawful Evil/Lawful Neutral
I miss my little blacksmithing shop. It was a quaint little place that gave me peace, but I can’t ever see it again. I was kicked out of my clan for a misunderstanding. I had started to build up a name for myself and go up in the clan, which was getting on the nerves of some of the family members who were closer to the main family. I was set-up on day when one of the nobles staged it so that I thought I saw an assault in progress. I snapped and used my smithing hammer and killed a dwarf before they could stop me. The whole issue came out, and while the noble was punished, for my crimes I was exiled. Now I’m searching for a treasure or something that will get me back into my old clan so I can go back to my black smith shop.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral/Lawful Good
Background: Guild Artisan
All praise Moradin, the god of Dwarves who heats our forges and makes our armor and weapons strong. Brothers and Sisters who have fallen away, I am coming for you. My clan has sent me out from our sanctuary against the ravages of the underdark in a time of need when the Drow and Duegar attack. I am coming when I can to bring you back to your faith and stop whatever or whomever is driving you away from your faith. That was the letter that I sent out two years ago, I’ve been on the road every since. I know that just showing up as a lowly member of Moradin’s church will not grant me an audience with someone so fully corrupted. I seek a way to show Moradin’s power to them.
Alignment: Lawful Good
Dwarves are an interesting race to think about and give good role playing opportunities if you lean into some of their traits. I didn’t talk about the rivalry/dislike between dwarves and elves, because I did in the elf article last week.
Have you played a dwarf in a D&D game? How have you built your dwarf up?
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I figured I’d go next for playing Dungeons and Dragons and talk about playing the different races. Previously I’ve done series on classes and backgrounds, but there’s another piece to your character creation, and that is picking your race. For this series, I’m going to …
Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons. Von’thre and Nori find out that what they think is happening isn’t quite what it seems. Syldi on the other hand has to spend some time with the enemy. If you have questions for Nerdologists: …
Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons.
As our adventurers try a daring escape after stealing some books, can they escape the school where Von’thre studied.
The audio isn’t the best on this one, but you can everyone, the balance just isn’t the best because of how the audio set-up was.
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Ashley – Nori the Mountain Dwarf Champion Fighter
Kristen (@Kefka73) – Syldi the Half-Elf Rogue Thief
Clint – Von’thre the High Elf Divination Wizard
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Welcome back to season two of Dungeons and Flagons. After making some shocking discoveries deep in the underground, our adventurers begin to wonder if they actually know there way back out of there. If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to …