My PC transcends the bounds of "class" - Help!





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    My PC transcends the bounds of "class" - Help!

    First, I have a confession to make - I've been playing D&D since the late 80s. I started playing with first edition, and then started DM'ing with second edition. In college, we made TONS of characters. We were always starting new campaigns, and it got to the point to where a friend of mine just started making fighters named Bob, because he got tired of making new characters all the time. After college, I pretty much DM'd full time, playing only a little bit here and there with PCs that I threw together on the fly.

    This past year, since I started freelancing, I didn't have time to devote to DM'ing, so I became a player once again. I made a gnome cleric/illusionist, and that group lasted over a year. We just semi-retired them at 12th level.

    So, with a new DM (one of the people in the group), we have made brand new characters at 1st level. I chose to make a female human bard.

    Here's where the confession becomes important - I've never put that much thought into character history. I mean, I've never really -played- D&D that much to have a PC that I played in a long-term campaign. Since I've mostly DM'd, I never placed huge demands on my players to develop character histories because I never did. My games were also PC-independent anyway, so it mattered very little what or who they were.

    But, this new DM wanted us to really flesh out our history, and he used a thing called Central Casting which is this entire book that you can use to develop a character history. Some of you may be familiar with it - I was not, but apparently it's been around for quite some time. With charts and tables, and lots of dice rolls, you can create a character that has as much depth and personality as a real person (well, almost). I ended up knowing what my parents' professions were, how many siblings I had, what kind of strange events I had had growing up, and even rolled a birthday of January 1st (not that it matters in the DM's world, but I thought it was cool). My PC rolled a "blessing" which was a kind of rare event in which she received some unusual talent. In my case, she was unsually trustworthy, and as a result figured out how to manipulate people at an early age, and became something of a con-artist. We actually rolled a profession change for her father, who became a (believe it or not) snake oil salesman, and we could envision him using his daughter (me) as a way to influence people into buying his product. She associated with the criminal underground for a brief period of time (for what else - being a con-artist) and so has had to escape town for a bit to get away from that before she gets in deeper than she can handle.

    So here's my real problem. This PC of mine has so much depth, personality, intrigue, and history that I felt like she had actually transcended the two-dimensional concept of "class".

    I had debated with the DM briefly about wanting to redo the Bard class. In fact, some of you may recall some posts I put on here asking for any Bard "variant" classes that would "fit" my PC better than the current PHB Bard does. In some ways, I felt that my PC could be a straight rogue, but felt that her guile and charm lent itself better to being a Bard than a rogue, although the extra skill points were appealing. (Did I mention she has a +12 to bluff at 1st level?)

    Well, at any rate, I agreed to just play the Bard as is, despite my complaints that the class seems kind of ill-thought out and thrown together. I have no basis for argument since I've never played it; so I'll see how it goes.

    But, I figured this would make a good topic for discussion. Has anyone ever made a PC that transcended the classes? That just didn't "fit" the mold, as it where?

    On a side note, when you make such a PC, the choice of Feats in the PHB REALLY SUCK! All I can say is, thank god for the Netbook of Feats!
    Curtis__________________

 

  • #2
    Have you checked the Netbook of Classes to see if any of those fit better?
    K. David Ladage
    Lord of Umbragia -- The Arcanum: 30th Anniversary Edition

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    No, I haven't. Did you have something specific in mind, or was that meant as a general suggestion?
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    Maybe you could be a multiclass bard/rogue

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    You can probably just get what you want by taking rogue, but if you don't want the sneak attack, just use an alternative Expert. To make the Expert be on par with core classes, give it 10 skill points per level, let it have any 10 class skills, and give it the Bardic Knowledge ability. Sound good? Just have a high charisma and a lot of ranks of bluff, diplomacy, and perform, plus skill focus (bluff).
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    Well, I could do that, although I think the DM was looking forward to there being an arcane caster in the group, since I'll be the only one.

    At any rate, I was mainly looking for a discussion about PCs transcending their class, not suggestions for me on what to do! I've already decided to just play the class as is, and if I don't like after a few sessions, I'll work with my DM to resolve that.
    Curtis__________________

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    I think there are many character concepts that could be done in 3e terms that the core classes don't allow for. Monks with a different martial art progression/focus, rangers who are not trained in TWF, divine warrior champions who are not LG or blackguards, nonwarrior priests, Rogues without sneak attack (although experts sort of fit that role, just not balanced against PC classes).

    Multiclassing, fighter feats and rogue skill choices are three of the best class features of 3e for making an individual character concept work mechanically. I wish more of the core classes allowed choices of class features instead of straightjacket progression.

    The D&D Diablo supplement did a great job on their barbarian, amazon, and paladin classes allowing lots of customization with class flavor.

    The core 3e paladin however is not that flexible in allowing different character concepts or differentiation among paladins.

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    Then I'd suggest doing what RangerWickett said, and multiclass into one of the arcane spellcasting classes. Alternate levels between the two classes. If you have to start at first level, try using the Expert NPC class and an arcane caster using the apprentice/"0-level" rules in the DMG. Then, when the PC goes to the next level, you'd have the Expert RW speaks of above, and a full 1st level spellcaster.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph Stilwell

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    As for discussion of the topic in general, I think multiclassing in 3e is what makes it so much more flexible than past editions. Create a multiclass character at random, just for experimentation, at, say, 10th level. Disregard the class names and look at the breadth of skills and feats and abilities. You'll see how customizable 3e multiclassing makes characters.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph Stilwell

  • #10
    The problem I have creating character backgrounds is that they almost always end up resulting in what would have to be a 5th level character (or higher).

    I mean, come on, you can't kill half a dozen dire rats without making the leap to 2nd level. It's hard to make an interesting background sometimes while still having it apply to a 1st level character (this is especially true of elves where decades have to be accounted for).

    UofMDude

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