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D&D 5E Mythological Figures: Admiral Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta

The Mythological Figures column gets a lot of interesting requests but this one will stick with you like a peg-leg caught in a hole on deck. The astute historians among you may get the clue but if that’s not you, read onward and check out Admiral Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta!

The Mythological Figures column gets a lot of interesting requests but this one will stick with you like a peg-leg caught in a hole on deck. The astute historians among you may get the clue but if that’s not you, read onward and check out Admiral Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta!

blas de lezo BANNER 5E.jpg


This career sailor of more than four decades lived to the age of 52, but it wasn’t an easy life as among his nicknames are Captain Pegleg and Half-Man--because so much of his body had been ripped away by hot lead. His list of injuries include but are not limited to: left leg amputated below the knee, his left eye (he’s not just winking although it definitely looks like he’s just winking), the ability to use his right arm. That imagery of the one-eyed peg-legged pirate? That’s more Blas de Lezo than any of Blackbeard’s contemporaries. When he wasn’t being gradually maimed he was climbing the naval ranks in a host of battles, the most infamous of which is the Battle of Cartagena de Indias (aka Columbia). Thanks to his defense of Spanish forts in the area, King George II in Britain drops out of supporting a Pragmatic Sanction around Austria and Europe is drawn into the War of the Austrian Succession. About four months after the siege Blas de Leza dies of typhus (and his efforts are largely initially disregarded because he unnecessarily scuttled several ships for no apparent gain but lots of expense).

Design Notes: “A brute swashbuckler!? Mike’s gone mad!” I assure you I have always been mentally unstable but nay, this is not a display of one of those moments. This is (like Rasputin) another fellow who very clearly just refused to die easily, over and over and over again. The astute designers out there might realize he’s leaving one hand free (because it is useless to him) but even so he’s a tough son-of-a-gun, and because he seemed to have a lucky streak (definitely an odd one but all the same) he’s got Lucky to make the most out of those death saves. With that in mind--it’s time for the numbers. The DMG puts Blas de Lezo here at an 11 and the Blog of Holding’s Rubric a little higher at 11.8. It’s tempting to give him a little extra boost for his capacity (both historically and numerically) for surviving those mortal wounds, but by the time he’s down that low I’m not sure how long he can be expected to keep getting back up so I’ve refrained.

Admiral Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta
Medium humanoid (human), neutral rogue (rakish) 5/fighter (brutal) 11
Armor Class 17 (breastplate, defense fighting style)
Hit Points 163 (11d10+5d8+80)
Speed 30 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
14 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
20 (+5)​
14 (+2)​
10 (+0)​
14 (+2)​
Saving Throws Str +7, Con +10
Skills Athletics +7, History +12, Insight +5, Perception +5, Persuasion +12
Tools navigator’s tools +5, thieves’ tools +5, vehicles (water) +5
Senses passive Perception 15
Languages Spanish, Thieves’ Cant
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)

Background: Nautical. Blas de Lezo is able to acquire passage on a sailing ship for him and his allies free of charge. He has no control over the ship’s route, departure, or return, and although no coin is required he and his companions do have to help crew the vessel.
Action Surge (1/Short Rest). Once on his turn, Blas de Lezo can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.
Brutal Toughness. Blas de Lezo gains a +1d6 bonus to saving throws and death saves (treating final results of 20 or higher on a death saving throw as a natural 20).
Combat Footing. Whenever he makes a melee attack against a creature on his turn, Blas de Lezo doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature until the end of his turn.
Cunning Action (1/Turn). Blas de Lezo can take a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.
Indomitable (1/Long Rest). Blas de Lezo can reroll a saving throw that he fails but must use the new roll.
Feat: Fortune Points (3/Long Rest). Blas de Lezo can spend one fortune point to reroll an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, or to force an attacker to reroll an attack made against him.
Second Wind (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Blas de Lezo can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+11 hit points.
Sneak Attack (1/Turn). Blas de Lezo deals an extra 10 (3d6) damage when he hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of Blas de Lezo that isn’t incapacitated and Blas de Lezo doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll, or when the only creature within 5 feet of Blas de Lezo is his target.
Swashbuckling. Blas de Lezo adds his Charisma modifier (+2) when rolling for initiative.


ACTIONS
Extra Attack. Blas de Lezo attacks three times when he takes the Attack action on his turn.
Saber. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6+2) slashing damage.
Pistol (6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 30/90 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d10+1d6+2) piercing damage.
Musket. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 40/120 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d12+1d6+2) piercing damage.


REACTIONS
Uncanny Dodge. When an attacker Blas de Lezo can see hits him with an attack, he can use his reaction to halve the attack’s damage against him.
 

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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Hmm, so this has moved past being a critique of the build above, but it's interesting, so I'm going to reply. In a vacuum I don't have an issue with how you explain how tactics falls under History. 5e doesn't have a tactics skill, and it needs to fall under something. That said, where I start to have issue is in the more practical application of this idea. More precisely that the 5e characters who most often actually have History are certainly not the characters one would first expect to actually understand practically applied battlefield tactics, and in many cases quite the opposite. It's more an artifact of 5e's sometimes odd skill system than anything else, but I was picturing the 'tactical mastermind' characters in my last couple of parties (by your measure anyway) and it made me giggle a little. You see what I mean though, right?
Scholars not being ready for or understanding the application of their knowledge to the field of battle is a trope innit? But they're still the ones who know the stories of battles and how a given combat was resolved, so by proxy they know the tactics. It'd be cool if fighter school included some tactics education, but they don't get anything more than proficiency. Really there should be a fighter equivalent of Stonecunning for tactics, but I don't think WotC are big Myler fans so I wouldn't hold my breath for it. :3
 

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Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Hah, if WotC had all the answers there wouldn't be much to post about, would there? And yeah, it was the trope that made me laugh, because given the usual skill distribution in a normal D&D party, we have nothing but tropes to run our fantasy battles. D&D isn't built for the battlefield anyway I suppose, and I'm not really hating on the tool for being bad a job it wasn't designed for.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
A request for Muhammad al-Idrisi, the famous Arab cartographer/storyteller. Although Piri Reis may be a similar, but more interesting build due to his inclusion in Assassin's Creed.

The trio of Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea as well. I don't know if you can do one without the rest.
 





Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Looking at your list... How about both versions of Richard III, historical and Shakespearean?
Onto the list! I could maybe include some notes on a variant but probably not two separate builds (sets a precedent I wouldn't necessarily want to keep).

You really want to do 57? That might not turn out so well.
Maybe so, maybe not? We'll see!
¯\(ツ)
At least there's lots of artwork available for that one if it does make it across the threshold.
 

Blas de Lezo is a historical character forgotten by the own Spanish themself until he was rescued from the oblivion in the internet age.

If his feat/exploit in the battle of Cartagena de Indias, a failed siege by Englishs against Spanish empire, had been done by a English, then we had seen a Hollywood superproduction time ago.

* Why not pirate Barbarrosa? We aren't going to discriminate him only because he was an agent of Ottoman imperialism who attacked Christian coasts to get slaves, the men to be eunuchs (not all survived the castration) and the women to be concubines in the harem.

* Maybe closer classes to him would be the swashbuckler, warlord or the buccaneer (Freeport by Green Ronin).
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Blas de Lezo is a historical character forgotten by the own Spanish themself until he was rescued from the oblivion in the internet age.

If his feat/exploit in the battle of Cartagena de Indias, a failed siege by Englishs against Spanish empire, had been done by a English, then we had seen a Hollywood superproduction time ago.

* Why not pirate Barbarrosa? We aren't going to discriminate him only because he was an agent of Ottoman imperialism who attacked Christian coasts to get slaves, the men to be eunuchs (not all survived the castration) and the women to be concubines in the harem.

* Maybe closer classes to him would be the swashbuckler, warlord or the buccaneer (Freeport by Green Ronin).
I'm assuming you mean Hayreddin Barbarossa and you'd like to get him onto the request list so--added! Blame the rest of the forums for him not being there already (I didn't make this list, I am just writing it down and working through them).
 

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