Tag: Fighter

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.…

D&D Party – Party People in the House

D&D Party – Party People in the House

Alright, you have your number of people and you’re sitting down at the table. It’s session zero and everyone wants to play a wizard, is there a right way to create your party? I think that this is a more interesting question than the party…

Dungeons and Dragons Character Races – Half Elf

Dungeons and Dragons Character Races – Half Elf

Final character race in the Player Handbook. There are plenty more in other books like Xanathar’s Guide to Everything or Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. I’ll let you explore those as I haven’t explored all of them yet either.

Half Elves fall into the category of a race without a home. They feel out of place among humans and among elves. Being that they don’t look quite like either, half elves, where ever they go, are going to stand out. They are welcome in human cities, but still remain apart, whereas elves tend to look down on them for their mixed blood. This is going to be a pretty standard hook that you can use for your player character to go adventuring, they’ve needed to wander for a long time. I will say, play this carefully, though, as racism is going to be an issue for some people at your table who have been passed over for race or some other ism in their life. Just be aware of your table to know if it will work to play that trope.

Statistically, Half-Elves are a great race to play. You get a bump to Charisma and two other abilities of your choice. That means that the half elf is set-up to play anything and often is the face of the party. And the two other ability scores makes it really good at anything else, whether your want to be a barbarian or a wizard. They also pick up Dark Vision and Fey Ancestry, which gives them advantage against being charmed, from their elven half, and two skills of their choice from their human half. The skills, again, make them good at anything.

Image Source: Wizards

Beyond that, how do you play a half elf. I think the big thing is that you don’t have a home. But beyond that, when you did have a home, where did you grow up? Did you grow up in elven society or human society. If you grew up in Elven society, check out my article on Elves. If you grew up in Human society, check out my article on humans. You are going to have some traits of the other, but where you grew up is going to shape you. If you were cast out at a young age from both societies, that is going to shape you as well.

I don’t know that there is a ton more to say about half elves, so let’s jump into some backstories.

I was born to an elven mother and a human father. I’ve been told that is the way that you don’t want things to go. But from what I’ve seen, no one treats half elves all that well. We were cast out of elven society, and that was that. Things were fine for a few years, until my father died at the age of 50 while I was still fairly young. Our Elven clan wouldn’t take us back in when that happened as I was still a half breed and we were forced to live on the street before my mother became a handmaid for a noble house. It wasn’t the work that she wanted, but human nobles value elven help as they can live through generations and be with the family a long time. I was being groomed to join the nobles guard when another elf in the families employ accused me of stealing, which I didn’t do, and got me kicked out of the house as well as my mother. I want to clear my mothers name so she can have at least a decent life again and make whomever did frame us pay.
Class: Fighter
Background: Soldier/Urchin
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Image Source: Geek & Sundry

I come from a noble house. As a half elf, t hat is pretty nice, and better than I’ve seen a lot of half elves treated. It was a treaty that was signed between a human house and an elven house that was sealed with a marriage that led to me. I was given a nice comfortable life and I didn’t have to do anything that I didn’t want to. What I wanted to do was sit around and read books, so that is what I did. Then, however, someone broke the treaty. I don’t know who broke it first, but the humans claimed the elves did, and the elves claimed the humans did, and my family was torn apart. Things were said on both sides, but I haven’t seen my father in several years now. The war that is breaking out is bad, and I’m searching for a way to solve it. I believe that I’ve found something in a higher power, but until I know for sure, I try and help as much as I can.
Alignment: Lawful Good
Class: Paladin/Cleric
Background: Sage/Noble

A deal was made before I was born for my soul. I don’t like it at all, but that is what my mother decided for me. She was in a tough spot, on the run after she’d stolen money from a crime baron and she had been nearly caught. She was hiding in the woods and crying, praying that someone would help her, when a beautiful and powerful looking elf showed up and agreed to help. He was able to deal with the criminals who were chasing her, in exchange for me. I wasn’t conceived yet, but nine months later, there I was. We lived a simple life with my mother using her stolen money to set-up a shop. I worked with her there, eventually taking over most of the business. Then one day, the same elf knocked on the door and said that they had a job for me, and that it was time for me to start fulfilling my part of my mothers deal. And what I need to do for him starts with dealing with the crime baron.
Alignment: Anywhere on the good spectrum
Class: Warlock – Fey Pact
Background: Guild Artisan

Those are just some ideas. You can see that I lean into playing with the birth of the characters to determine some of their life story and how it’s influenced them as a half elf.

Have you played a half elf in a game of Dungeons and Dragons? Was it for the stat bonuses or for the role playing aspect?

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Dungeons and Dragons Character Races: Dragonborn

Dungeons and Dragons Character Races: Dragonborn

And after a week of Avengers: Endgame (no spoilers in this post), we’re finally getting back to some D&D. This time we’re looking at the Character Race of Dragonborn. Dragonborn, are a bit like tieflings or other races where they get some heritage from something…