I was thinking, it makes sense to "merge" the Xen'Drik Drow with the Mul Daya elves of Zendikar: in the sense they could be one and the same! The difference in appearance might be justified by body-paint! Basically you could just "add" the cultural elements of the Mul Daya (some shamanism/necromancy) to the Xen'Drik Drow. But this is actually up to Gonz, maybe he has other plans, I'm just brainstorming. :)
I was planning on the PHB drow, as I've already played a Mul Daya elf. The Dexterity bonus would be more important to me than Wisdom or Strength.
In regards to mixing culture, it would be better not to. There are three seperate cultures (technically more, but only three have really been detailed in the past). Instead, it would be better to have the Mul Daya alongside the Vulkoori, Sulatar, and Umbragen, at least in my opinion, but as you say, it is up to Gonz. (Personally, Ras has been disassociated from both cultures of his parents so long, he has only vestiges of their lifestyle and cultural elements, and follows the Path of Light).
EDIT: If drow are banned, he'll be an adopted firbolg and nothing much will change about his backstory, I think.
Don't think too much about particular things about Zendikar, unless you want them involved in your background. The whole point in the campaign will be discovering such things. About the Eberronian details, I'm preparing a few "A DungeonMaster's Guide to Eberron" articles for my blog which may be useful if your knowledge of the setting is limited.
As we'll be starting at 4th level, you'll get your standard equipment and some random magic items. The first challenge will be to use them in the first chapter in innovative ways, they'll be a tribute to James Bond movies, in which he always gets the gadget he'll need later to escape some tight situation...
Zynx, yes, you're allowed to take Unarmoured Defence. You're gonna have to tell me the circumstances around Keith gave your character his name, though...
Feats are allowed. As a matter of fact, every alternative rule coming from WotC will be allowed, even Unearthed Arcana content. Let's take the advantage and playtest as much material as we can. If you want to incorporate content from other publisher, such as something from the DungeonMaster's Guild, give me a link or a sample to read and think.
I would like for everyone to state how they want me to address each one, as sometimes our screen nicknames don't reflect ourselves correctly. I'll be "Your higness". Just kidding, call me Gonz. So far then, we have three participants confirmed: Archaon will be playing a Human Warlock/Rogue, Alexandre an Aasimar Warlock and Zynx a Drow Mystic. Waiting on confirmations from Radulov47 (elf or merfolk barbarian), Geppeto5 (any) and subsistCyber (Kor Artificer).
Just a note for you guys: my character will be really, seriously unoptimized, I never played someone so.... Role-less, tactics wise! I hope you will be fine with that, but more than anything I hope I will be! :D
So long as you don't dump your key stats, you'll be fine. I'm hoping that we can manage to not be murderhobos fighting literally everything we encounter, so I don't mind it if your character doesn't even have eldritch blast! If you want help though, don't be afraid to ask.
I'll be working on improving Ra'sakar's backstory so it isn't such a jumble of words today, and also expanding on the personalities of his contacts, so that Gonz has an easier time RPing them if they come up.
Lerithyn was always the odd one for a Kor. Sickly from a young age, his mother carried him in a toddler sling for nearly half of a pilgrimage. He didn’t walk until the age of 4, barely recognized that the waving hands directed at him were a form of speech, and merely cried out when hungry or tired. He was a burden on his tribe, but they never gave up on him.
Seven years into Lerithyn’s first pilgrimage, the tribe crossed another on their pilgrimage. There, an elderly Kor woman by the name of Lillith was drawn to him. She was able to focus Lerithyn’s attention with a tiny trinket and taught him to speak his first words. That week with the other tribe, Lerithyn had learned more than he ever had the whole seven years he was with his own tribe. Taken aback by the progress, his parents begged Lillith to travel with them and to continue Lerithyn’s tutelage. However, the path that Lerithyn’s parents traveled was far too dangerous for Lillith, and her own tribe had come to rely on her magic on their own pilgrimage. She offered to take Lerithyn with her instead.
He was adopted by the tribe of Suk-har, the Temple Path, a pilgrimage that only lasted a year.
Lerithyn ran his first ropes on this pilgrimage, learned quickly under the guidance of Lillith, and built up a large collection of trinkets. The first time his trinkets fell from the ropes, he nearly jumped down after them. He was stopped by Lillith, barely, as she wove a spell to calm him. She focused his attention and made him understand that on the ropes there was no place for burdens. He had to travel light or fall and crash like the trinkets he cherished so much. Lerithyn’s mind works in an odd way, so Lillith’s lesson taught him something vital to his future… it taught him that he would have to live like a bird.
Lerithyn found the perfect nesting location. One hidden from the other Kor. One that he knew no one would ever find. That’s where he starting putting the trinkets he found in his year-long ‘expeditions’. As the years passed, Lerithyn quickly became essential in finding the perfect ebbs and flows of gravity. Often times the other Kor would comment on how he must have been a gomazoa in another life. He was able to find the quickest routes through the pilgrimage, sneak away as the rest rested, and start his expeditions into the sacred grounds his tribe was meant to protect. The years piled on and his nest grew fat. Occasionally Lerithyn would return from his nest with a new contraption that he’d made to quicken the expedition. Sticky substances that would allow ropes to hang without hooks, attachments to arms and legs that would simplify climbing, even a crossbow he had crafted out of raw materials. The Kor scoffed at that one, calling it a slight to tradition. Lerithyn liked it though…
As he grew older, so did Lillith. Eventually she was sent to rest in the arms of Talib during a skirmish with a tribe of goblins. Lerithyn watched the spectacle with curiosity as the Kor flew at them, snagged them with their lines, sliced them, then quickly moved to avoid the explosive trinkets the goblins threw at them. The explosions hurt his ears and left them ringing. The light hurt his eyes and left white spots on everything he looked at. Those trinkets were the most uncomfortable thing he had ever experienced. No wonder the goblins were able to take out such a powerful person as Lillith – They had trinkets that killed and made Lerithyn uncomfortable. He gathered as many as he could.
After that Lerithyn couldn’t focus on anything but making something more amazing than the goblins did. He rushed his tribe through the rest of the pilgrimage, forgoing any further expeditions so that he could return to his nest. Once there, he began working on something more terrifying than explosive trinkets. He recalled the words and movements that Lillith made in battle, the words she spoke as she healed the fallen, and tried to imprint them upon his trinkets. He worked day and night as the rest of his tribe visited the sacred shrine down below. Eventually, without a wink of sleep, he crafted his very first firearm.
As he exited his nest he half-expected his tribe to be as exhilarated as he was. They weren’t there.
They must still be at the sacred site. He rushed down to show them his creation. Standing upon a cliff looking down at his tribe, he saw what kept them at the site. The goblins were back. They had somehow caught up with the tribe. Now he could show them his creation.
He grinned and pointed the gun at a group of goblins. He had crafted 40 projectiles that night and he ended up using every single one. Each time the weapon fired, there was a deafening explosion in the air. He could see the goblins ducking as he stood above them, firing down. Explosion after explosion rang out upon the holy site. Eventually Lerithyn forgot to aim, and his own people were found ducking to keep away from his shots. The fountain they protected exploded, raining water upon the battlefield. The goblins began scattering into the ranks of the Kor to be met with bloody hooked rope and enchanted stone blades. The night was won. Lerithyn stood atop the cliff with a huge grin on his face, black powder staining his ivory white features. His people looked up at him in horror.
The sacred site was lost, destroyed by Lerithyn’s amazing creation. The nights following were a blur. He only really remembers being told to find his own pilgrimage, that his pilgrimage was no longer theirs. He didn’t really understand until much later in his life that he was exiled. He gathered up what trinkets he could from his nest, promised the rest that he would be back for them, and headed in the direction he was told.
Traveling the ropes was much harder alone, and Lerithyn found it was nearly impossible to accomplish without a tribe. Eventually he found himself on solid ground. It felt strange after an hour of traveling without the earth moving beneath him. He heard noises in the distance and, at times, nearby. Suddenly, without warning, there was shouting nearby followed by a grunt and the sound of steel on flesh. Lerithyn wondered over, saw a man pinned down by a great cat with huge teeth and sharp blades protruding from its arms and legs. Lerithyn aimed and fired, sending the animal barreling into a tree. The cat was dead. His ears rang as the man began speaking. Lerithyn gestured for him to speak with his hands, but the man continued talking. He was a human, Lerithyn knew, as he had seen them before from above as the tribe avoided them on the pilgrimage. Lerithyn turned to leave, but the man grabbed ahold of his arm and spoke again, “Thank you for saving me,” he said, “I’m Aldhara, on expedition from House Cannith. Are you an Artificer?”
Aldhara led Lerithyn back to his camp and introduced the rest of his group. They noticed Lerithyn’s firearm and began asking questions. He answered as best he could, but the attention was awkward and unpleasant.
As stories are told, the rest of Lerithyn’s history is bland. He travelled with Aldhara and joined him in House Cannith, living in Sharn and adapting to the culture of the city. He still hates being touched, doesn’t speak much, and is fascinated with technology. He’s learned a lot since his youth in Zendikar, has grown wiser, and has improved upon his weapon of choice. He covers himself up in robes and hides his barbs so as to fit in. He hates when people question him on his looks, so he’s learned to avoid eye contact when speaking. They gave him space to do his own research in Sharn and let him learn at his own pace. It seems as though House Cannith were used to eccentrics, and the variety of people he found there were nearly as interesting as the trinkets they created. Still, he finds himself wishing to return to Zendikar some nights. He understands the events of his past now. He knows what he did, and he knows he needs to make amends.
STR 14 DEX 18 CON 16 INT 16 WIS 13 CHA 14(Saving Throws: Int & Con) Skills:Acrobatics +6, Arcana +5, Athletics +4, Sleight of Hand +6, Nature +5, Deception +4, Survival +3, Stealth +6
FEATURES AND TRAITS Lucky (Kor) Reroll 1,Brave (Kor) Adv vs. fear, Kor Climbing(Athletics, Acrobatics), Speed (Kor) Climbing Speed 30 Gunsmith(Artificer) – Thunder Cannon (3 days, 100gp) – Arcane Magazine (40 rounds, 10/short rest, Long Rest/25gp to build) – Thunder Monger (+1d6 thunder damage w/Cannon) Wonderous Invention (Artificer) – Bag of Holding 500lbs Tool Expertise (Artificer) – Double prof. bonus w/ tools Magic Item Analysis (Artificer) – Casts Detect Magic and Identify as rituals (No material comp) Infuse Magic (Artificer) – Cast a 1 action spell on item for anyone to use. (8 hours, 3 max) Proficiencies: Light/Med armor, simple weapons, Thieves, Tinker’s, Smith, Herbalism Tools, T-Cannon Spells Known: 4/3 Mending Cantrip;Cure Wounds - (1 action, touch, 1d8+3), Shield of faith - (bonus action, 60’ +2AC 10min), Jump – (1 action, touch) (9 feet running high jump (+9 reach), 4 1/2 feet standing high jump (+9 reach), 30 feet running long jump, 15 feet standing long jump), Sanctuary - (bonus action, 30’ (wis save DC13) attacks other target) Languages: Common, Kor Sign, Merfolk, Goblin, Terran, Dwarven Equipment: A book of lore (artificing), a bottle of ink, an ink pen, 10 sheets of parchment, Thieves, Tinker’s, Herbalism Tools, a bedroll, a mess kit, a tinderbox, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, 10 torches, 20 days of rations, a waterskin, 50 feet of hemp rope, hook (2), a mess kit, a blanket, various trinkets, chalk, a large deconstructed construct, some gold, extra robe, studded leather, traveler’s clothing, soap, potion bottles (4), puzzlebox focus, some bottles with Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments,
Background: Outlander – Survival, Stealth proficiency, 1 language – Pilgrim – Great with directions, can find food/water for up to 5 people each day Personality: Driven by wonderlust. Life is like the seasons, in constant change, and we must change with it. Bonded to a distant land and yearns to return. His flaw is that he is bonded to his constructs and trinkets, which matter more to him than other’s lives.
My second pass on the backstory and personality of Ra'sakar, as well as a list of personality traits and appearances of him and the characters in his backstory.
Born under the moon Sypheros, Ra’sakar Gen’thac had always danced from shadow to shadow. In his childhood – from the shadows his Umbragen father manipulated to the shadows cast by the flame his Sulatar mother wielded. In his adulthood – the dark alleys and backstreets of Stormreach to the darkest parts of the Xen’drik jungle. However, half a century after leaving home, he met a strange person, who taught him that light was not necessarily evil, as his parents had taught him. This person not only taught him to walk the Path of Light, but also taught him the art of her people (the Kalashtar) – psionics, and more specifically, the power of soul knives. Since then, he retreated to the darkness, honing his skills and hunting. One of his favourite targets became Inspired expeditions from Riedra, searching for crysteel (His mentor had suggested this target, given her hatred for them). After more than a century in the darkness, he has stepped into the Light he had been walking the Path of for so long, and has been offered a job escorting an academic expedition from Morgrave University through the jungles in which he was raised.
Ra’sakar refuses to speak to those he has just met, relying on his telepathy to talk to them unless they can prove themselves capable of surviving a night in the wilds. This small circle of people he will speak to consists of the granddaughter of his mentor, Lakavakri (a female Kalashtar Mystic (Nomad)), his only childhood friend, Ek’ann (a Scorrow Ranger), and his source of information, equipment, and shady business dealerships, Gearbox (a Warforged Artificer).
Ra’sakar still stays in the shadows, even as he walks the Path of Light, even subconsciously adjusting himself so he doesn’t stand in the sun. He often picks up small contraptions, attempting to figure out how they work, but often accidentally breaks them before he can find out (this often drives Gearbox mad, as he has many small projects lying around his workshop). If any harm would come to his adopted daughter Lakavakri (her mother had died when she was young, and so he left his isolationism to take care of her) he would not hesitate to kill her assailant. His favourite saying is “like the moons, life changes, and people should change with it”.
Among his other personality traits, he has some quirks – he writes the name of every creature he slays, and names ones that are unnamed; and he has an irrational hatred of chairs – refusing to sit on them, preferring to stand or sit on the floor, and flying into a rage when he is put on a chair against his will.
Ra'sakar (Male Drow (age 283)):
Personality Traits: I stay in the shadows, subconsciously moving to avoid the sun. : I often pick up small contraptions and play with them, often accidentally breaking them. Ideal: Change. Life, like the moons, changes, and people must change with it. Bond: My family is everything to me, no matter where they are. Flaw: I refuse to talk with those who haven’t proven their worth.
Physical Appearance: Black skin, marked with tattoos of flame on his right arm, and blacker darkness on his left. White hair with an extremely pale green tint. His most unusual feature is his emerald green eyes, unheard of among drow. He is 5’3” and 115 lb., and he often wears a reversible dark cloak with shadowy markings on one side and fire runes on the other – a gift from both his parents.
Lakavakri (Female Kalashtar (age 11)):
Personality Traits: I bluntly say what others are hinting at or hiding. : I ask a lot of questions. Ideal: All people, rich or poor, deserve respect. Bond: My adoptive parent is my idol, and means the world to me. Flaw: People who can’t take care of themselves deserve what they get.
Physical Appearance: A short redheaded, brown-eyed girl, Lakavakri rarely wears the dresses expected of a girl her age, preferring clothes similar in style to the garb of her adoptive father – dark, and suitable for the jungle.
Ek’ann (Male Scorrow (age 281)):
Personality Traits: I’m driven by a wanderlust that led me away from home. : I have a lesson for every situation, drawn from observing nature. Ideal: Change. Life, like the moons, changes, and people must change with it. Bond: An injury to the unspoiled wilderness of my home is an injury to me. Flaw: Don’t expect me to save those who can’t save themselves. It is nature’s way that the strong thrive and the weak perish.
Physical Appearance: Ek’ann is a tall Scorrow, with yellowing hair and blood-red eyes. His scorpion body is bluish black, and he often rests his hands on his scorpion claws, near his two shortswords.
Gearbox (“Male” Warforged (age 18)):
Personality Traits: I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing right. I can’t help it – I’m a perfectionist. : I don’t part with my money easily and will haggle tirelessly to get the best deal possible. Ideal: Aspiration. I work hard to be the best there is at my craft. Bond: The workshop where I learned my trade is the most important place in the world to me. Flaw: I’ll do anything to get my hands on something rare or precious.
Physical Appearance: At 4’2”, Gearbox is rather short for a warforged. He wears several pairs of goggles on his forehead – presumably all with different purposes – and another pair covers his solid white eyes. He is made of Mithral and Granite, and he often wears overly elaborate cloaks
Wow, guys, need to update my character post! Great to see this much interest, and also surprising to see that Lerithyn actually comes from Sharn, at the moment of the adventure! I was expecting a local-only guy. Will edit my previous post with stuff, maybe even the character sheet! Just trying to figure out the last details.
Nah, he won't. After all, unlike you chaotic lot, he's LN, and he only messes with Gearbox's stuff because Gearbox is practically family (Gearbox is the godfather of Lakavakri, which I forgot to mention), and he otherwise leaves stuff that belongs to others alone. Your backstory is pretty cool by the way.
I like the update Archaon. It's much clearer what happened with the name (I didn't realise that it was a birth name), and I like his personality.
Gonz, are we going to start on the crunc soon, or are we waiting for confirmation from the others before we start that?
Thanks, yeah, I went for Chaotic Neutral, but he is kind of aware and ashamed of it, so sometimes will play different, it's more to represent his instability. But he is basically a mad scientist in a way, and the ideal is Chaotic, so had to go with CN, also to represent he is far from Good, as of late.
Do you guys have preferred tools/websites or just forum-friendly formats to deal with the character sheets? I was thinking, since we will hopefully soon have D&D Beyond to use, even just writing the sheet here on the forums is fine, just thought maybe using a consistent format for all was a good idea.
(Unrelated, thinking about formatting, I'm already wondering which color to use for Sorgen's dialogue or stuff, if we will go for color coding... Maybe this or some green...)
Update: I might actually go for Lawful Neutral, after all his instability is more a condition than an alignment, and the chaotic ideal would stay, making for a good contrast between his lawful nature and chaos in his mind...