Confession: I may be a self-proclaimed geek, but I haven’t had much experience with Tabletop RPGs. Partly this is because I’ve never really known people who were into it, and partly because seeking out groups can be pretty daunting as a newbie. Insofar as I know anything about the mechanics of such things, it tends to come from computer games and web-comics.
Recently, that changed. My weekly board-gaming group decided a few weeks ago to start giving 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons a go. We’re all pretty much new to it, though our DM has a father who played it for years, so we’re blundering along together. Thus far, it’s been great fun. I think it also helps that I’m familiar with the likes of Howard, Leiber, Moorcock, Zelazny, Lovecraft, E.R. Burroughs, and Tolkien, whose works influenced the game in some form or other.
Anyway, my character (drawn with the help of an online computer program, because I’m terrible at drawing people):
- Name: Ivor
- Race: Human
- Class: Bard (College of Lore)
- Background: Charlatan
- Level: 3
- Alignment: Neutral Evil
- Strength: 12
- Intelligence: 10
- Wisdom: 10
- Constitution: 14
- Dexterity: 15
- Charisma: 16
- Deception (doubled bonus)
- Persuasion (doubled bonus)
- Sleight of Hand
Our DM isn’t making intimidation charisma-specific, so I felt little need to take that. Especially because Ivor likes to persuade others to do the dirty work.
- Cantrips: Friends, Minor Illusion
- 1st Level: Faerie Fire, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, Dissonant Whispers, Healing Word, Sleep [Dropped – Heroism]
- 2nd Level: Invisibility
Ivor is seriously regretting not taking Vicious Mockery, though he will rectify that when he hits 4th Level and gains a cantrip. He also intends to get Suggestion at the next level too.
Meanwhile, when the magic runs out, Ivor falls back on his trusty longsword, and his even trustier light crossbow (he prefers the latter, because it allows him to stay clear of critters). Oh, and he sings actual verses (written to well-known tunes) when casting spells, because being a Bard is serious business, damn it.
I have also written backstory for this character, in the form of a 4600-word short story (White Hair, Black Heart: The Tale of Ivor the Bard). I’m aware of the hazards too much backstory can pose, so rather than having Ivor perform deeds outside the range of a 1st Level character (which is what he started off as), it focuses on exploring his background and mindset. As a Neutral Evil character, it goes without saying that his mindset is not a healthy one.
Now I really should stop with this sort of short story, and get back to non-RPG ones that I can submit to magazines. Or better yet, get back to work on Old Phuul…