Tag: Fighter

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 3

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 3

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…

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods (Part 2)

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods (Part 2)

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…

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods (Part 1)

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods (Part 1)

So, I got back into running some Dungeons and Dragons last night on Zoom. Three/four player game that I’ve named Tower of the Gods. I think I previously did a Friday Night D&D explaining the concept, but I’m going to do that here again and write up recap episodes.

But first, let’s meet the characters, we have Barrai a Tiefling, Thrain a Hill Dwarf, and Bokken a War Forged. You’ll notice that there are no classes tied to them, that’s because I decided, we’re starting at level 0. They are all just average characters to slightly above average with 10’s across the board for their stats, plus racial bonuses, that’s because of the Tower of the Gods.

Image Source: Troll And Toad

So, what is a Tower of The Gods? It was a magical tower that appeared about 200 years ago. Bigger than a city block and going up into the clouds, no one knows how tall it is. Monsters spilled out of it devastating the lands around it. The nations put up a quick defense after the initial shock and devastation. But the number of monsters seemed unlimited, eventually, as morale was getting low, a group of soldiers at one of the Towers took the fight to the Tower itself and found an entrance. When they came out, they had stemmed some of the flow of the monsters but also came out stronger with new abilities (aka D&D Classes). Once the news spread of this more people went into all the Towers and while most perished, those who came out came out stronger and had slowed the flow of the monsters.

Now, the monsters still show up, but there are guards at every tower to deal with the small monster incursions. But, of course, a tower that is powerful enough to give people new skills, that’s something that every nation wants and they want several of them if they can. So the nations fought over the tower until a shaky truce was made. Now, there are schools that not only train you to be ready for the Towers but instruct you in the new skills you have when you leave. It’s a honor to be sent into the Towers and not an honor that every can afford or could survive.

Thrain, Bokken, and Barrai are three of a new group of trainees going into the Towers who have come to them through different paths.

This is where the game basically kicked off, with those three waiting their turn to go into the tower to see if they’d survive and come out the other side with new found skills. When they went in, they were given a riddle and a chance to equip themselves, grabbing a few weapons, they ventured further into the magical tower which took them to many different areas.

There was a jungle room where the floor was poisonous and they had to swing from branch to branch on vines towards one of the exits, but if they fell, it might mean their death.

Image Source; Wizards of the Coast

There was a room with a moat, all they had to do was get across it and they’d be able to go through one of two doors. But there was a sea serpent swimming in the moat, and it wasn’t something they could jump across. Using some quick thinking, they grabbed vines from the other room and were able, using their fourth test taker, a jacked halfling named Steve (the players named him not me), and the War Forged tossed Steve up to the ceiling where he was able to grab onto a hook and tie a vine to it. They had some troubles swinging across, but eventually did, but Steve notices there was a trapdoor, a third door, at the bottom of the moat.

That led them to a room with a bunch of floating tiles. They quickly discerned that they could move them around and use them to get to another door way. Unfortunately, having a jacked halfling and a dwarf trying to get past each other on a 3×3 foot tile didn’t work and Steve fell to his death.

This led them into a room that was basically pitch black. When they stepped into the room, shadow creatures started attacking them. They made a break for it but both Bokken and Barrai were knocked down by the creatures. Thrain had to drag them into the next room where they were revived.

In this room, it was something pretty different. There was just an old lady drinking tea and she offered them some tea. Bokken, rolling low, sniffed the tea, thought it smelled good, so he drank some of it as did the other two. This opened their eyes and they saw that the old lady was a monster in disguise, but the monster didn’t make a move to attack them. Finding out that the next room was the last room, they bid the lady/monster farewell and continued on their way.

In the final room they were given 6 different goblets that they could drink from. Once the drank from them it allowed them to see an exit from the tower. However, the old lady had told them that which one they drank from could make a difference on how they walked out of the tower. They each picked and drank and walked out of the doors that appeared to them as:

Thrain the Hill Dwarf Warlock
Barrai the Tiefling Bard
Bokken the War Forged Fighter

And that’s where the first session ended. We’ll probably be adding a fourth player at some point in time, so we’ll have to see who is added to the party.

What do you think of the game thus far?

Just some DM notes on this. I set it up so that the doors were different colors, I didn’t delve into it too deeply if it was tied to the elements or what, but that’s what the players took away from it.

All the rooms were generally planned, but how many they had to go through and what order they went through them in was kind of up to how the game went. I just picked two rooms, one for each door and then repeated the process for each room after that. They were moving through them pretty fast, so we ended going through more than I’d thought so we could go for a little, plus I needed a way to kill of Steve.

So, that lends itself to another question, why Steve? Again, I didn’t name him, but I always wanted someone with them in the tower for at least a little bit of it. That would allow me to show them bits of the tower if they missed it. But it would also give me someone who I could kill, show off some of the deadliness of the tower, and also that if you die in the tower, you’ll be forgotten in the real world.

What will come next for them? Probably getting them recruited into a school and let them play around with their powers.

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Dungeons and Dragons: A Great Experience

Dungeons and Dragons: A Great Experience

One of the parts of Dungeons and Dragons that people really love is leveling up their characters. You get more cool things that you can do almost every level or new spells you can use or even improved stats so that you can hit harder.…

Malts and Meeples – Drinking in D&D Character Creation Rush

Malts and Meeples – Drinking in D&D Character Creation Rush

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…

Win with the Min in D&D

Win with the Min in D&D

Yesterday’s article was about min/maxing a character. Just a quick recap, this is where you make the ideal build for your character so that you are the best at whatever area of the game you want to be in and have the most optimized build for your race, class, and background combo. This can be a fun way to play D&D, and provide a different type of challenge for the game.

However, you don’t have to play a min/maxed character when playing D&D, and I actually think that can lead to some better game play than if you do have min/maxed. The issue with min/maxed character can often lie with them being too good at everything and not having anything unique about them. A skilled player can role play a min/maxed character just fine so that they have depth and are a unique character, but they aren’t going to have as much to over come.

Image Source: Wizards

An example of a poorly min/maxed character is Robert Langdon from The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. In the book, he is figuring out all of these puzzles with no problem, he’s able to do fairly athletic things no problem. And for a long time, you don’t really think that he has any flaws. Then he has to get into a small car and you find out that he has claustrophobia, which is then “cured” the next page. Now, this is clearly an example of how not to min/max a character in a story so that you don’t end up removing anything interesting or unique or challenging for them. But the same holds true, in a world of magic and fantasy, when you have a character doesn’t naturally have some flaw, it’s easy to play them without flaw, and often times, without character because of that.

So instead of min/maxing the heck out of your character, you might want to go about creating a character who isn’t the ideal combination of things, but is still effective in the game. This gives them a true weakness and true strength in given situations. Let’s look at our Mountain Dwarf Fighter, the tank/fighter build that we did. Without using anything special, we were able to create a character that was going to be getting a lot of hit points each level and had a lot of armor class from the very early levels. Yes, they were weak-ish to magic, but they were meant more to deal with melee combats, and with their hit points, unless they are being mentally dominated, they are going to be tough to get out of a fight.

There are certainly other ways to bring in flaws and issues to the character for role playing purposes, we didn’t touch on the background items like Personality Traits, Flaws, Bonds, and Ideals, which I’ve done articles on previously. But those are limited to role playing for a character like our tank, and more likely than not, the person playing the tank would be there for the combat more than the social encounters anyways. So those things might be lost on the character sheet.

If, however, you wanted to create a more flawed tank, but still be a tank, you can certainly do that. When we created our tank, we gave them both solid dexterity and strength. The advantage of having both of those solidly stat’ed is that you can get into combat quickly and still hit well. Let’s say instead, for the tank, that they were actually a nerd growing up and loved brewing, keeping the Mountain Dwarf and Fighter in the mix and same equipment, we can just adjust the stats to make it a very different character.

If, instead, we keep the 14 in Constitution because it becomes a 16 with our racial bonuses, so that we still get our +3 to health each level until we hit our first ability score increase, where we can make it a four. Then, instead of doing strength and dexterity, we focus on intelligence and wisdom, we get a very different character. We still have 19 for our armor class and 13 HP at the first level, but we’re now not that great at hitting anything with a lower than average strength, since I put an 8 in there. That becomes a -1 for a modifier, though, we are proficient with the weapon, which gives us a +2 bonus for a +1 bonus overall, the damage output is just going to be bad. Now, you still have a character that can tank and is actually better at dealing with mental domination than our previous one was, but is worse at fighting.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

We’ve also created a character with a more unique backstory for role playing purposes. Why are they so good at deflecting punches and hits? Maybe they were bullied as a kid, and they never learned to fight, but instead they developed the skills to take a punch and not be affected by it, and that’s how they dealt with their bullies. That skill then translated well for them when they decided to go out adventuring to learn more about the world and find out information that they don’t know, because they can go around and if something tries to get them, they can still take a punch. That’s more of a unique character that easily comes out of the choices we made in not making a character with their ideal stats.

When you create characters, do you strive for a character that is the ideal at one thing, such as combat or social interactions, or do you seek to create a character with a more interesting story naturally built in?

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D&D to the Max and the Min

D&D to the Max and the Min

If you’ve been around pen and paper RPG players or computer game RPG players, you might have heard of a term called “Min/Maxing”. This is the practice of putting together a character that is the most efficient for what you need in a given game.…

Magic Economy in D&D

Magic Economy in D&D

So, I put down the word mechanics, because, magic economy could also describe the level of magic in your world and how much of a vibrant magic trade set up there is. But in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, you have a magic economy of…

D&D Alignments – Neutral Good

D&D Alignments – Neutral Good

Neutral is an interesting position to talk about when it comes to Dungeons and Dragons characters. I mainly have a harder time nailing down what I think it is and how you use it in role playing.

I think, the best way that I can describe neutral is that you’re going to do the best option in a given situation based off of the other part of your alignment. So a neutral good character is going to do what they perceive as the best option after they’ve thought about it. Neutral is going to lean away from the impulsive that you can get with both Chaotic and Lawful alignments. In the case of a neutral good character, if they are in a just land, they are going to appear fairly lawful, because the laws are just. However, they aren’t basing their decision off of the law being there, they are basing off of what they believe to be good in the given situation.

Image Source: D&D Beyong

This is going to create a more introspective character, which is going to be better for a character who is less combat focused. The martial classes like fighter and barbarian aren’t going to be the best fits. And as normal, classes like rogue and warlock which can have a more chaotic bent to them, don’t fit the easiest. With that said, any class can be any alignment. I think the two classes that I would lean towards playing Neutral Good would be Druid and Monk.

For me, both the Druid and the Monk classes are those more focused on the long view of things. The druid is surrounded by nature which is going to do what is good for it, and when looking at how long a tree can live and how unchanging mountains are, a druid will take a longer view and more of a loo at what is good. And they are not just going to look at the good for the people living in the land, but also of the land itself. A monk has meditation and that calm and martial arts sort of feeling for their play style. While they can go out with a rush of action and hit you a lot, it seems more like their traditions are built around the discipline of learning those skills versus using them, so again it fits with that long view of figuring out what is good before taking any action.

Let’s look a little bit back at some of them that are less ideal? How could you make a fighter into a lawful good character? I think that it is not that difficult because you would have the jaded soldier who thought that the laws of the land were good, but then saw violence done in the name of those laws against those who were only guilty of not being from that land. While they understand that the sword can be a tool of justice, they weigh it out to determine if using the sword is going to be the just option and the good option or if there is another way. And while they might not themselves know how to do the other option or at least do it well, they can know that the sword is not the right option. The rogue is also fairly easy, because they can have a Robin Hood sort of mindset. They will only ever steal from someone that they know is evil. And they will only do so to improve the state of the common folk who are being oppressed, and not for their own riches.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Now, you still need to tie those things into why you’d go adventuring. Even the monk and druid. Generally you have to threaten something that they think is good. For a druid that might be their grove. For a fighter that might be a people that they see as innocents. If I were to play a neutral good character that would be the direction that I’d lean into it anyways. I’m sure that there are other ways to play a neutral good character that I haven’t mentioned yet.

If you have some interesting ideas for playing a neutral good character, leave them in the comments below. If you have played one, let me know how you did that, and what the story of your character was.

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D&D Alignment – Lawful Neutral

D&D Alignment – Lawful Neutral

I debated what direction I wanted to go. Did I want to go across the top and do all of the good ones, or down the side and do all the lawful ones, or be chaotic and just randomly pick the next one to do.…