Tag: Warlock

D&D Alignments – Chaotic Neutral

D&D Alignments – Chaotic Neutral

Here’s a hot take, I don’t like Chaotic Neutral, and I don’t think most people who play a Chaotic Neutral actually play a chaotic neutral character. Now, time to explain myself, and explain how you can play it better. My issue with Chaotic Neutral is […]

D&D Alignments – Chaotic Good

D&D Alignments – Chaotic Good

We’re onto the last column of alignments, and we’re looking at those chaotic characters. I think, and on the Total Party Thrill podcast they talk about this, chaotic good should be the default position for most adventurers. When you think about it, most adventurers don’t […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 non-standard fantasy. And because of that, in Dungeons and Dragons, they are treated as a rarer race. They pull both from their draconic ancestry, including getting a breath weapon. But with that draconic heritage, that means they often also take haughtiness and aloofness of the dragons. This can make them a bit temperamental in a party.

Mechanically speaking, besides that breath weapon that you get which you can use sparingly, you also get bumps to strength and charisma. For that reason, Dragonborn make good fighters, but also charisma casters. Their strongest class is probably Paladin, a charisma casting class that is also good in melee. You also get resistance to the element that your breath weapon is. This also helps you tank as an enemy caster might be using whatever element you’re resistant to, and you’ll be able to stay in melee longer.

Image Source: Wizards

Other than those stats, the real things we’re looking at is that Dragonborn tend to role play as haughty. I mentioned that before, but I think it’s worth mentioning again. They think that they are better than you, and that they can probably do it themselves. This can also lead to foolhardiness because they are more apt to rush into something if they feel like someone else is going to be able to do it first.

They are also going to be rare and the chromatic ones distrusted. In Dungeons and Dragons, while the metallic dragons aren’t necessarily helpful, they aren’t evil either. The chromatic dragons, aren’t helpful, and they might decide they want to rule or go on a rampage. So, the people who know this, and I suspect it would be fairly common knowledge in most D&D worlds, are going to distrust a Dragonborn that is chromatic. Even the metallic Dragonborn might be looked at askance.

So let’s talk about some backstories, why might a Dragonborn decide to join an adventuring party.

I was, what I would consider a legend on the battlefield, there were few who could stand up to me. I was able to shrug off spells like it was no ones business, and I was only ever bested once when my “rival” got a lucky blow in on me. That took me out of action for a few weeks, but I’d done enough damage to the opposing army that our forces were able to continue routing them and I was given a retirement. But retirement doesn’t suit me well, so I feel the need to save sad adventuring parties who don’t know what they are doing.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Class: Fighter
Background: Soldier
Notes: The point of that background, while it wouldn’t make sense for a level one character, is that the dragonborn exaggerates. They were in the army, but got injured, and were in bed for a long time, probably over a year, and now they want to actually do something worth their boasting so when people look them up, it’s something actually true.

With my size, people always thought that I would go into the army. But that wasn’t that interesting for me. I was much more interested in finding out about my draconic background. I spent years researching, trying to get a better understanding of who I was and where I’d come from. That led me all over the world, and I picked up some interesting skills and because pretty good at avoiding trouble. It might not be the most glamorous way to deal with problems, but smashing things with a club isn’t my style. I now want to go to the mountains where my people allegedly came from.
Alignment: Lawful Good/Neutral
Class: Ranger/Rogue
Background: Sage

Image Source: D&D Beyond

People always looked at me like I was strange. I can’t help it if my parents left me in the big city at a young age. I don’t even know what happened to them for sure. I wanted to show people that I was better than just a kid who bounced around from temple to temple, helping when I could and getting a free meal. To do that, when you can’t go to school and life in the city is hard and dangerous, I could only come up with one way. I made a deal. I have some power now through it and I can help other people because of that. But mainly, I just want to find out why my parents left me.
Alignment: Neutral Good/Chaotic Good
Class: Warlock
Background: Urchin

There are some ideas for character backgrounds of a Drabonborn. In the game I’m going to be running soon, I’ll have a player who is playing a Dragonborn.

Let me know about some background ideas that you have for a Dragonborn character. Have you played a Dragonborn before?

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Dungeons and Dragons Character Race – Tiefling

Dungeons and Dragons Character Race – Tiefling

Now we’re getting towards the edges of the races you can play in Dungeons and Dragons from the main Players Handbook. There are additional races or race options in other books. I’m going to call out some Tiefling things are from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. […]

Dungeons and Dragons Character Races: Halflings

Dungeons and Dragons Character Races: Halflings

I’ve talked with Dwarves and Elves about how they were inspired by Lord of the Rings. But there aren’t any Halflings in Lord of the Rings. There are Hobbits, obviously. So how close are Hobbits to Halflings? Very close, Halflings are the fun loving, food […]

Dungeons and Dragons Character Races: Humans

Dungeons and Dragons Character Races: Humans

This is going to be a shorter article I think. Humans in Dungeons and Dragons and fantasy in general are going to be a little bit more basic because they can be anything and there isn’t some defining trait.

They don’t love an extremely long time like Elves, they don’t live underground like Dwarves, Humans are just like humans in the real world. Very diverse, very able to adapt, and able to be any class pretty easily. Humans are the odd race in that they don’t get a +2 to any of the main six stats, but they get a plus one to all of them. Getting an even stat bump across the board means that you can be equally as good as being a wizard as a barbarian at the start. But that’s the big thing with humans, or the variant human, which gets +1 to two stats and then a feat (an extra ability), which can also help you create any type of character you want to be more effective from the start.

But enough about the mechanical reasons, let’s talk some about role playing a human. Again, they are pretty straight forward, but diverse. You have to decide on things like if you are from the city or a village or the country when playing a human to see how you might interact with the world, or are you wealthy or poor, or something along those lines. You don’t have those racial traits like Dwarves and Elves that are going to give you a basis for your role play, you have to figure that out as a player.

Image Source: Wizards

For that reason, it’s pretty easy to have fairly boring human characters. You don’t have that specific thing to latch onto and if you don’t put the effort into your backstory, you’re going to run into issues knowing how to role play your character besides being generic human adventurer #201348. So lean into some aspect that makes your backstory and traits unique for growing up. What sets you apart from the humans you might run into in a town miles away? What world view do you have from where you grew up? Does the outdoors and wild seem too open? Do the city streets seem too confining? None of this is unique to a human even, Elves or Dwarves can have the same experience, but it’s the experiences that you’re going to have to lean into for really playing a human.

So what are some backstories for a human?

Growing up on the farm, I really wanted to find more in the world. I was the second child and I knew I wasn’t going to inherit the farm. When my parents passed away it would go to my older sibling. My parents main hope was to marry me to someone who would be getting a farm of their own. I eventually convinced my parents to let me apprentice in town and get a skill that I needed. I heard stories of the world there, and I wanted to know more about it and see more of it. There were so many amazing tales, wonderful places of power and awe that I could only hear about and had never seen, and I wanted to see them. So I left with a group that came through town and made it to the city where there were supposed to be white spires reaching into the heavens. The real world is disappointing, people lie, but I know that some of those stories must have had truth in them, and I want to find it.
Class: Any Martial/Half Caster Class
Alignment: Neutral Good, Chaotic Good
Background: Guild Artisan

Image Source: D&D Beyond

The city is a mean place to grow up when you’re poor. You basically make a living by stealing, begging, or charity of some temple. But I found another way, I met a man at a cross roads who offered to become my patron and a good hot meal. That seemed like a great deal at the time, turns out that he had more plans for me. He started having me do some shady jobs for him once in a while, but it wasn’t too bad. Eventually life changed for me, and I was able to set-up a little shop on the corner where I told people’s fortunes. Sure, it might have been a hustle, but compared to most others who had their little shops, I was more accurate. I had almost forgotten about the deal I made when the man came back to visit my shop and asked me if I liked my success. I said that I did, and he said that in turn for more success I was going to need to do him a favor.
Class: Warlock/Cleric
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral/Chaotic Good
Background: Urchin/Charlatan/Criminal
Note: This is a backstory that really screams Warlock, but I think it could be interesting to have the “deal” be less binding, but something more of a deity sending an emissary to this person because they need them eventually and giving them cleric powers.

The Neverending War, that’s what they’ll call it. And it might not actually ever end, not with the demons seemingly uncountable coming through a tear in dimensions from the abyss. Life is fleeting, even with our short life spans, the war makes it even shorter. Fight for five years and gain your freedom to do whatever you want. Less than half of us last that long. The government gives us money to live, but most of us still need to work to really make a life for ourselves. Some can settle down and start a smithy, farm a field, build furniture, but that isn’t for me. I’m just out of the army now, one of the few of my friends who survived. I know there are demons who are getting passed us into the real world. I want to find a group who can help me stop them.
Class: Fighter/Ranger/Rogue
Alignment: Lawful Good/Lawful Neutral
Background: Soldier

You can see how these are pretty generic backstories that would probably work for almost any race. But I tried to add in a few more human elements to them.

What do you think about those backstories? Is there some trait that you think is really human that I missed?

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Dungeons and Dragons Character Races – Elves

Dungeons and Dragons Character Races – Elves

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 […]