Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Chronicles of Rus (A tale of my D&D character!)

This is just my weekly recap of the game. I'll throw some 'meta' comments in there as well. For those who find it boring, let me know. For those who find it interesting, let me know. I always encourage the players to take notes when I run a game. It makes for some interesting observations seeing how people write things down according to their own perceptions. Unfortunately, while everyone comes up with some great background in the group I play with, I'm the only one whose has a chronicle so to speak.

We play every Friday, or almost every Friday, at Black Sun Games. The game moved from one GM to another. My initial character didn't have background or much to him because the first GM was a more or less 'popcorn' style guy who I knew wouldn't run long and the game probably wouldn't be very serious. In his kuddos though, he did keep a much better Obsidian Portal account then our new GM.

Anyone looking for more background on my character can hit out the messages boards or the game store or go here for my background.

The initial style of the character was based on my appreciation for the dreaded 'two handed sword' aka in 3rd and 4th ed, the greatsword. that probably started with Elric, but characters like Guts from Berserk and various Manga probably didn't hurt either.

Our GM tends to have us fight small groups or solos so most of my abilities tend to focus on dishing out as much damage as possible. He's also not real tight with magic items or wealth, but getting to find a place where one can get magic items or spend the wealth is another subject.

I'm 12th level now. I've been playing him since 4th level.. I've been playing this character in some form or another since 4th ed started. One guy ran a few sessions of Keep on the Shadwofell when 4e first game out, stopped. Another guy started a homebrew, stopped... so I've run the same concept through again. Of course with the various options and abilities out now, it's not like it's exaclty the same character, but it is the same concept; a guy with a big sword who chops things up.

Our group is currently trapped in Ravenloft. I know several GMs who love its atmosphere and other bits. Never been a huge fan of it myself, but I do get the appeal. We were sent on a mission to kill a hag in order to speak the language of the land. We're in Sithicus, the domain of Lord Soth, which is being run by a badger lycanthrope whose already robbed us. This is what happens after we get back to the Vishanti, Ravenloft Gypsy take, after killing the hag...

After hours of celebration, I decide its time to retire. For the first time since we’ve been here, in this strange and dark land, I feel almost at ease. In the morning, I feel the pain of drinking too much. I go outside and try to ease my muscles up in the morning with some quick katas.

As I get used to the sun, which doesn’t shine here as it does even in murky Mulmaster, I decide that it’s time to payback some of the hospitality I’ve enjoyed here. I prepare to offer my services to the camp, cutting firewood or gathering logs or other such activities.

But a scream cuts through the silence.

Grabbing the Great Leveler,I rush towards the sound. In one of the wagons, the hacked and pale remains of the war priest, Torque, the dog brother remain. No blood either. I suspect the vampire blade. It too left no blood for its wounds. On the other hand, as someone who has dealt death and been on the receiving end more than once, these wounds don’t look like that. They look too crude in nature, as if dealt with by a hand axe in some hacking fashion.

The Avenger and remaining dog brother, Tor, does not take the news well. We gather the bits and pieces of Torque and proceed to burn them. There are far too many undead in this land for me to not take this precaution.

The dead war priest was one of the other party members who seems to insist on making a new character every time something catches his eye. His first one was a swordmage, which he thought too weak. His next one was the war priest, who crossed over a little with our current priest. His fourth one was a bard whose skill sets made him an asset, but whose combat ability... and well, then it was back to the war priest. But recently the Hex Blade, in 4e, a 'build' for the warlock came out and well, his Character Attention Deficiancy picked up again and so he allowed his character to die to build suspense and prepare the way for his new character. Out of character the game I even said, "Oh, X must be making a new character." which meet with many guffs.

After this grueling work and enduring the stench of the dog brother’s burning flesh and organs and bones, I decide its time to eat. All of this manual labor has built up an appetite. Tor heads off to seek some answers. I wish him luck on that quest.

That night, the gypsies throw a celebration for Torque. It’s loud and obnoxious and wild. Tor is the center of attention that night. The ladies console him, the men wish him good cheer. The tales are told of the deceased dog brother, some of them so bawdy they would make a bard blush. Even Pela the bard and Brother Johnathon drink to honor him. Tor moves the celebration more into the realm of Tempus with a wrestling matches. I do as well but hold back. I'm not here to break bones or set us against these people.

The gypsies bid us farewell the next day. The paladin still bemoans the lack of magical might. Her old sword was formidable but cursed. Her new one, an oatblade, has a minor enchantment so its better than nothing. Tor seeks a map of the lands and more information but is only given general directions as to where we need to go. Some elf city, one of the few cities and one of the few elf settlements of all.

We hit the road. Once again, almost as soon as we’re out of sight of the gypsy camp, the rain and frost and fog come. Lousy weather seems to be nothing new here. At our lunch break, we are meet by Dorian, the deva evoker, who travels the land in the form of a large raven. He speaks briefly of the elves, a race unlike those from where we come from. He tells us that they reflect the land and that this is a dire land indeed. As if to prove his point, the rain increases its tempo with the storm sending down sheets of water and hail against us.

The paladin leads us uphill. She hopes that the greater elevation will enable us to keep an eye out for any potential problems. I dread having to take a night watch. I’ll have to use the stone. The stone which requires me to kill least it become angered with me. I clench my fists wondering about the eventual consequences of using such an item. It’s not that I mind the murder, it’s that I mind the potential betrayal of the jet black stone.

I clean off the mithril scale armor, and insure that the blade is firm in the scarlet scabbard.

I wake up to Dorian shaking me. “The dog brother is in trouble.” I blink out the sleep and can make out Tor fighting some woman covered in wooden spikes that she’s using to impale him. “How lovely” I mutter under my breath as I reach for the Great Leveler. No time for armor but then again, between my stance and the blade, even the finest armor doesn't tend to do me much good anyway.

We charge forward. She manages to knock out, or possibly dead. She cackles madly and throws a small forest at the priest of the moon and the paladin. They don’t take it well. I charge past that and using the flat of my blade, smash her face, knocking her to the ground. She doesn’t look pleased. The paladin and priest struggle with the forest.

She rises hissing at me. She essentially throws the forest at me and the red haired rogue. I struggle to break free but the woods hold me tight, piercing my flesh. She doesn’t bother to try and finish me off. Rather she moves closer to the paladin and the priest and begins rending them with wooden spikes and razor sharp talons.

Dorian decides to make an appearance and casts flames upon the woods pinning my comrades. The stench of burning hair and flesh is never a pleasant experience but I’m thankful that its not me. Then more surprises. Torque shows up in a haze of grey and green ghostly translucent magnificence and waves at her and she seems in write in pain.

She moves forward to attack the ghost and as she does so, I feel necromantic energies seeping into me. She continues to wreak havoc on the group as they struggle free from the burning branches. Dorian decides to return the favor for me as well and I also burn. The burns also handle the vines.

I move forward and bring down the Great Leveler but miss. I move around her and swing again. The blow is a glancing one, but my first strike set her up for the second and she staggers under the onslaught.

She moves away from us and I slash into her again. She grabs our local red head and leaps into the trees, appearing somewhere else and they both look alike. I charge both and with an overhead strike hit both of them. The hag decides to drop the disguise and punctures red with more vines and prepares to move away. I slash at her again and she’s not expecting it and moves away from me back to the rest of the group.

I reach on down and roll out the bandages. The group is so used to magical healing that I almost forget the basics of banding the wounds. My own blow against red wasn’t too bad, a fairly shallow but long cut. The burning and other wounds she’s suffered though…

I turn back to see the group engaged and notice that somehow the dog brother is in the midst of combat again. I didn’t even realize he was still alive. I suppose that yell of Tempus didn’t come from my lips this time.
I move back into the fray. The blade runes begin to flare and I grind my feet into the ground to get a better grip on my handle and increase the force of my blows. Her necromantic aura clashes against the ruins flaring on the blade and I laugh and laugh and laugh even as I’m bringing the blade down upon her and pinning her to the floor as she writhes underneath it. The others, the ants, the fleas, those with no heart, begin moving around trying to live through the necromantic aura.

We joke at the table that when I use my stance and my daily berserk ability from the sword that I go 'Super Sayian'. With the power attack and other bonuses, I'm probably doing as much damage as a strikerer every round. In addition, because I use a fullblade and I managed to crit her twice, even though it was on opportunity attacks, she wound up taking most of the damage in this fight from me.

This dry tree lady doesn’t appreciate the fleas running from her and raises a hand, exploding more vines laced with dark necromantic energies from Pela. Poor paladin. Ever since she gave up her dark long sword that drank blood, she just hasn’t been the same. But in doing so, she’s opened herself up to attack by not only myself, but by the dog brother and Dorian. Our attacks hack away the withered gray bark surrounding her.

Because our games tend to have only a fight or two in them, I always wind up using my dailies. No point in not doing so. Ditto for the action point. I have an ability called Bone Crusher that provides a vulernability 10 to weapons so I use that and then do an action point and make another attack. Very potent bit there.

Well, there's a taste of my character at the 4e game I'm playing in. I'll leave off with my stats from the old, downloaded Character Builder that I paid for during many years of service and if I start hearing good things about the online one, despite Black Sun not having wi-fi, may have to pick up again. I iz lazy!

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======

Rus Connor Norach, level 12
Human, Fighter, Kensei
Build: Great Weapon Fighter
Fighter: Combat Agility
Fighter Talents: Two-handed Weapon Talent
Kensei Focus: Kensei Focus Fullblade
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power
Background: Occupation - Military

Str 23, Con 17, Dex 11, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 9.

Str 18, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 8.

AC: 30 Fort: 28 Reflex: 20 Will: 21

HP: 108 Surges: 12 Surge Value: 27

Endurance +14, Streetwise +10, Intimidate +10, Heal +12

Acrobatics +6, Arcana +6, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +7, History +6, Insight +7, Nature +7, Perception +7, Religion +6, Stealth +6, Thievery +6, Athletics +14

Human: Toughness
Level 1: Fighter Weapon Specialization
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Fullblade)
Level 4: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 6: Power Attack
Level 8: Powerful Charge
Level 10: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Level 11: Blood Thirst
Level 12: Marked Scourge

Bonus At-Will Power: Wicked Strike
Fighter at-will 1: Sure Strike
Fighter at-will 1: Knockdown Assault
Fighter encounter 1: Steel Serpent Strike
Fighter daily 1: Savage Advance
Fighter utility 2: Battle Fury Stance
Fighter encounter 3: Dance of Steel
Fighter daily 5: Nimble Bladestorm
Fighter utility 6: Unbreakable
Fighter encounter 7: Reckless Strike
Fighter daily 9: Bone Crusher
Fighter utility 10: Mighty Surge


Adventurer's Kit, Javelin, Climber's Kit, Journeybreads (10), Longbow, Potion of Vitality (paragon tier) (2), Jet Black Ioun Stone, Berserker Fullblade +4, Tattoo of Bloodied Chains (paragon tier), Mithral Scale Armor +4, Belt of Giant Strength (paragon tier), Amulet of Life +3, Sapphire Scabbard (paragon tier)

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