Let Me Tell You About My Character
I am very excited to participate in a new play by post game that just started, The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga. The game was written by and is run by the incomparable @cstevenross. Normally he hands out pre-gens for this sort of thing but, this time, he asked that the players create something new based upon the old sheets. We got a run down of who (or what) we were playing, a breif personal history, our attitudes towards our allies, and a copy of the pre-gen as an example.
I drafted Grimlock, a dim-witted thug of an ogre (aren’t they all?) and then I went to work.
I found it in the Ogre Hunter (pg 218) and chose the Hunter (ranger) class from . The scout was too on-the-nose for a strong-guy type of character.
The target level is 3. I received instructions to use any player race that I felt fit to emulate an ogre and the suggested class was an Essentials’ slayer.
I’ll be honest up front here—I was lazy on this one. why re-skin a player race if I could just play an ogre? I pulled out Monster Vault to take a look and see if I could find any inspiration there.
I was looking over Ogres in the Monster Vault and, with your permission. I would like to base my version of Grimlock off of the Ogre Hunter on pg 218. I would use the listed ability scores, Hurling Charge as the racial encounter power, and recommend +2 Athletics and +2 Nature as the racial skill bonuses for being a primitive wanderer.
I am really keen to use my new Essentials player handbooks and I thought that instead of the Slayer, he would make a good Ranger (Hunter). The ranged combat powers would work perfectly well with the javelins (heavy thrown, thus Str based attacks).
What do you think?
[Note: The hunter can be found in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms]
Fortunately for me, he agreed.
I was really drawn to the “primitive wanderer” aspect of the race. Grimlock is currently a captive and a slave but what was he before? Many ogres wander alone and as a PC, he would certainly be more skilled and cunning than his brothers, even if he is just as stupid.
Writing up the character sheet was dead simple, but it still required a small tweaks: Bow Hunter made no sense. I sent off another e-mail and received special dispensation to make the class ability work for throw weapons instead of bows.
Probably the hardest part was picking out equipment. If I kept with the ogre lore, Grimlock wouldn’t own much and was very unlikely to own any magic. We were allowed magic items though and I figured that I was being lazy again. I ended up going to the Fourthcore Armory (to which both the DM & I have contributed) and was surprised to find enough low-level items that fit my vision for Grimlock.
Writing the character sheet was the easy part. Role-playing an ogre is going to be hard asI am very much the opposite of an ogre in every respect.
First off,I had to decide how much of the Monster Vault characterization I could make work. An ogre slave is going to be difficult to control by a small group. I know how I would approach that as a DM but, as a player, I am wary of breaking an unspoken contract that one shares with fellow players.
For most evil characters, the evil is just window dressing. Rarely does an evil PC act in a manner that is counter to the party goals in any significant way. When they do, it usually draws the ire of one or two players and disdainful harumphs from the rest.
I’m still working this one out. I didn’t want to tip my hand to show any of the player knowledge that I was given but I did append the following to one of my early posts:
I expect to be walking a fine line with my portrayal of Grimlock. I am playing a chaotic evil enslaved ogre with a primitive mindset and a mad-on for his captors. You *will* have to be careful around him as you would around any dangerous NPC.
This is a challenge for me to RP and I intend to rise to meet it with all the skill that I can muster—but I don’t want you to think I an asshole for doing it! So if there is any question regarding the appropriateness of my choices please let me know. I’m happy to discuss it and will dial back as necessary.
Probably unnecessary, but I worry about this stuff.
What I ended up doing was dropping hints of dangerous behaviour before I directing anything against the party. In this case, they unshackled Grimlock as a gesture of kindness. It was framed as a “we’re all in this together” sort of moment that an ogre wouldn’t understand unless he was fighting for his life (maybe).
- So he wandered off a short ways and noone reacted.
- Then he started making ice-balls and maliciously throwing them at passing wildlife or at trees, making them tremble and dump the snow from their boughs. Noone reprimanded him.
- Convinced that he was unwatched, a stupidly childish and malicious though occured to Grimlock. He fashioned more ice-balls, but these held detritus from the stony ground beneath the drifts. With his hideous strength behind them, they would make dangerously formidable missiles. Grimlock threw one at the back of one of his hobgolbin captor’s head.
It isn’t a perfect solution, but foreshadowing menacing and dangerous behaviour is the compromise I opted for. Time will tell if it will be an effective ir acceptible method. It all depends on the group and we are at the very beginning of the game.
I usually work in a text editor when I create a character. When I’m done, I dump it into a word processor to make it look acceptible, but I’ve handled a lot of low-level pre-gens lately and a new player in the local 4E game makes his own landscape sheet. I decided that I really should learn to do it myself, and this is the result.
I used LibreOffice to create the sheet. Unlike the HTML sheets I created for powers before, I used tables for them here. I felt a little dirty, but that’s OK. I decided that I like it now. I ended up converting my paragon tier sorcerer from a regular game to the same format. Glad that I finally got around to this.