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5E Using 5e to create vivid characters (v0.1)

erwtenpeller

First Post
Hello everyone!

For now I'm just going to use this thread to dump a few character ideas that I've been playing around with. I like posting them publicly for people to scrutinize, and taking the time to write them down helps me flesh them out. I intend to use many of them for NPC's or player characters in the future.

As my forum level advances I'll hopefully be able to post pictures with them, too. The visual qualities of a character are often the driving inspiration for my character concepts.

I'll be using the basic rules from 5th edition for all of these characters, and assume they're for a homebrewn world yet to be detailed. I'm not too familiar with the packaged D&D settings, so I don't know if these character concepts would fit them very well. The goal is to come up with an interesting character concept first, and then look at the game mechanics and see what works best.

I will be posting all character concepts in their own post below, so that once I can post links, I can edit this post to have an index that'll be easy to navigate.
 

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erwtenpeller

First Post
For this character, I wanted to create a classic witch.

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Agathea Honeydew, level 3 Human.

After her parents where killed under mysterious circumstances at an early age, Agathea was spirited away by a secretive coven of witches. She was raised alternately by different witches of the coven, each of them passing onto her the secrets of Alchemy and Witchcraft. When an elder of the coven died of old age, Agathea was appointed to take over her corner of the woods. She's lived alone in that shack ever since, her only company her familiars and occasional visits from other witches of the coven, and townsfolk looking to barter a trade for a curse, a potion or her wisdom. At an advanced age, after decades of muttering alone over steamy cauldrons, a voice muttered back...


Finding the right mechanics to represent the character in game terms:


As her mechanical background, we'll pick up Hermit. It goes well with the theme, and gives us A nice amount of scrolls to play with. It also gives us the skill Medicine to compliment the idea of the old lady giving boons to townsfolk, and Religion because... Well we don't really need religion, but it's a nice bonus.


First, we'll pick up two levels of Druid. This will give us the following stuff to help achieve a witch-like character (I will skim over the stuff unimportant to the witch flavor):

  • Tools: Herbalism kit allows the character to brew potions with her cauldron.
  • Skills: We pick Insight to help her "read" the townsfolk's intentions when they come to her, and Animal Handling to help her with her various cats (familiars).
  • Wild Shape: This allows our witch to turn into a Black Cat, a trait classic witches often have.
  • Druid Circle: We choose Circle of the Land. We flavor the druid circle to be her Witch' Coven, giving her an additional cantrip and allow us to flavor her spells and rituals as ancient rites passed down from generations of witches. Later on, Circle spells also allow of to flavor this lady to favor woodlands or swamp, if we choose to increase the druid level (which is not necessary; Level 2 druid gives us all the witch flavor we need.)
  • Druid Cantrips: First we pick up Druidcraft to give her the ability to show off her abilities and confound and impress unlearned townsfolk. Showmenship is half a Witch' work! In addition, we pick up Mending and Guidance, both fitting with the theme of the elderly wise woman.
  • Druid Spells: As a druid can re-pick their spells after ever rest, we don't have to worry about these when rolling. I would recommend Charm Person to help her out in case townsfolk turn on her, Fog Cloud for that touch of mysticism and Detect Poison and Disease for that Wise Woman flavor.

Then, we pick up a level of Warlock. We want her to be a little crazy, unpredictable and capable of bestowing curses, and the Warlock class is perfect to add those features.

  • Skills: We pick up Deception to allow her to project the image of a friendly old lady, even when she's working with magic that could be considered evil. Secondly we'll pick up Arcana to reflect her knowledge of magic.
  • Otherworldly Patron: We will pick The Great Old One, or rather, it will have picked her. Communing with it through the fumes of her cauldron brews, the Great Old One bestows an extra level of crazy and mysticism we need to make a true witch. Other players will never see the true nature of these powers, the Witch will shroud them in strange rituals to make them look more like natural magic.
    The Great Old One's pact also allows us access to Awakened Mind. The Witch can use these telepathic powers to enforce her image of a mystic, reading minds and projecting voices in the minds of others.
  • Warlock Cantrips: We'll pick up Prestidigitation to allow our Witch to create further illusionary effects to make her cauldron-centric rituals look more impressive and strange to townsfolk. We also take Poison Spray and flavor it to be the throwing of a potion or a toad.
  • Warlock Spells: We'll pick up Dissonant Whispers and Tasha's Hideous Laughter for that touch of madness. Who doesn't love a good old fashioned witch' cackle?

For our Ability scores, we'll invest high in Charisma and Wisdom, and dump Strength and Dexterity. This character is not a fighter; she's a manipulator, someone who would much rather flee from conflict or use more creative sources to settle it.

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And there we have a classic, fairy-tale inspired witch character!
 
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erwtenpeller

First Post
For this character, I wanted to create a slobbering big toad-man that belches acid.

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Grath Drondakuul
- Dragonborn Fighter 1 -


Grath, like many of his copper kin, was hatched in the vast swamps of the Borglor Bog. Earning the childhood name "Glutton", Grath liked to eat. A favored treat was a good batch of Bogberries, a green highly acidic fruit abundant in his native marshes. When reaching adulthood, Grath's rather large size made him a perfect candidate to be a warrior for his clan. Once on a small campaign against a particularly nasty bunch of grassy gnolls, Grath's company was ambushed. When the rest charged heroically to their doom, Grath tripped and tumbled into a river. It saved his life-- But would bring great dishonor to his clan and family. Ashamed, Grath set off into the world so that those he held dear would never know of the shame he brought upon them.

His vast girth and size made Grath an effective mercenary and bodyguard, eventually finding regular work for a noble family in a big city. Grath has come to enjoy his life-- different then it was supposed to be, maybe, but life in the big city has it's boons. His greatest feat is his family ever finding out that he is still alive, and his greatest love, well...

Grath still loves to eat.

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The obvious choice for a background would be Soldier. It reflects both his early martial training as well as his recent occupation. The soldier background gives us proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation. The background also comes with a Military Rank feature, which will be a simple grunt, or foot soldier.

For his class, we're going to go with Fighter. We want him to excel at defensive fighting. His girth implies he's not very dexterous, but has great vitality and strength. As additional skills we'll pick up Survival to reflect his past in the bogs, and Perception to underline the idea that he's a little paranoid of encountering his own kin.

His 1st level Fighting Style will be Defense, adding to his ruggedness.

For his equipment, we want to boost his defenses as much as possible. He'll wear a Chain Mail armor and a sturdy Longsword, as well as a Shield. As flavor, he'll wear the crest of the house he protects on his shield and tabard.

His Draconic Ancestry will be the Copper Dragonflight. His appearance will only reflect the brown color with green hues, but not the metal sheen. We want him to look grounded. His Breath Weapon will be flavored to be an Acid Belch, coming from a bubbling stomach fueled by the acidic bog berries of his native lands. As such, he will only be able to use his Dragonborn ability if he has access to this special diet. It makes him a little less magical, and a little more gross.

His Abilities will focus on being a walking wall, favoring Strength and above all, Constitution. We want Intelligence and Charisma to be low. He's not the brightest or most charming dragon in the roost. You also might have to be a bit stupid to stand firm in combat and take the blows! We'll keep his Dexterity low as well. He's a big fellow, not very agile. We want his Wisdom to be decent, to reflect experience.
 
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erwtenpeller

First Post
For this character, I wanted to make a bard that's a little different from what you usually see. It draws inspiration from the Pied Piper of Hamlin fairy tale.

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Rumplefelt Twinefoot
- Halfling Bard 1 -



Hans was an entrepreneurial little Halfling who decided to try make it in [the big city]. He opened a little shop where he sold hand-made wooden toys, trinkets and instruments. Not being able to sustain their business, he had no choice but to allow the [notorious gang of thugs] to use his shop for small illegal magic activities. When Rumplefelt had enough and wanted out, the gang took over the shop by force, leaving poor Rumple out on the street with nothing but his wits, some copper and a bounty of instruments.

After months of performing on the streets, barely scraping together a living, Rumple started to notice something peculiar. Different notes of his flute, different melodies and rhythms seemed to cause people to behave strangely. Some songs would make them more generous, some would cause them to burst out in rage. With some songs, his audience would be stray dogs or rats-- And with the right tone, willing to do his bidding...


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Finding the right Background for this character is tricky. We want him to be a craftsman, but the Guild Artisan background doesn't feel right; He's not, and never has been, a member of a guild. Entertainer seems right, but only covers his most recent past, and Urchin has some elements we'd like, but he wasn't forced out on the streets until a later age. I feel the characteristics of the Urchin background come closest, so we'll pick that up. We'll swap out the Thieves' Tools for a set of Artisan's Tools.

For our class, we'll choose Bard. To get the flavor of this character right, our spell selection is going to be key. We want his spells to manipulate more then anything else, and we want them to feel like they could be self-taught.

Cantrips (2): We'll choose Friends and Vicious Mockery. Both cantrips have that manipulation feel about them.

1st lvl Spells (4): We'll get Animal Friendship and Charm Person to represent his innate ability to mesmerize an audience and get them to do what he wants. We'll ass Speak with Animals so he can converse with his animal pals and the mouse (or rat) companion that comes with his Urchin background. Finally, we'll choose Tasha's Hideous Laughter - It'd be pretty funny if he could get out of a sticky situation by playing a song so hilariously bad his antagonists just can't stop laughing.

Bard also gives us free choice of three Skills. We'll pick Performance, Survival and Animal Handling.

I'm thinking that, as this character develops, he might end up dipping a few levels in druid, becoming closer to his animal friends. That would depend on how the character develops through role-play, or how we'd want to apply the character if he's to be an NPC.

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There it is. A Pied-Piper inspired Bard. I hope you liked it!
 
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