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Dwarven Defender

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May 31, 2005 12:51:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I have a PC who's about to take a level of Dwarven Defender. It's the
first time this class has appeared IMC.

I'm of the school that thinks PrCs should be rare-ish, and involve at
least a modest amount of rolepolaying and IC groundlaying. So I had
the PC pass a test, spend some time in training, etc. This has worked
out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.

I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into clans.
I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership. One of several
things I'll have to work out quickly.

Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome this
up a little IC?

For instance

-- An initiation ceremony

-- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
member of this select group

-- A special name they're known by?

-- Some sort of oath... not too burdensome, or it becomes another PrC
requirement. But something like "come to the aid of other DDs",
perhaps?

Thoughts?


Waldo

More about : dwarven defender

Anonymous
May 31, 2005 1:44:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Waldo wrote:
> <snip> This has worked
> out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.

Nice.

> I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
> consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into clans.
> I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership.

It'd be a nice bonuse for the character; the whole DD defends dwarven
kind, works for the dwarven race rather than clan interests... Ahhh,
plot hooks galore :) 

OTOH, if DD doesn't trump clan interests, you may have a whole DD "arms
race" thing going, which could be interesting.

> Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome this
> up a little IC?
> For instance
> -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
> member of this select group

Nice, magical doodads only usable by a specific prestige class?

> -- A special name they're known by?
> -- Some sort of oath... not too burdensome, or it becomes another PrC
> requirement. But something like "come to the aid of other DDs",
> perhaps?

You seem to be doing fine. If DDs are supposed to be above clan
interests, then a call for DDs should be answered by DDs of any clan.
Course, you'd have an interesting situation where there are
disagreements about what is good for the dwarven race, or there might
not be enough DDs to answer simultaneous calls for help, etc.

You could try this:
DD = Jedi Knight
See where that takes you :) 
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 3:29:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Waldo wrote:
> I have a PC who's about to take a level of Dwarven Defender. It's the
> first time this class has appeared IMC.
>
> I'm of the school that thinks PrCs should be rare-ish, and involve at
> least a modest amount of rolepolaying and IC groundlaying. So I had
> the PC pass a test, spend some time in training, etc. This has worked
> out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.
>
> I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
> consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into clans.
> I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership. One of several
> things I'll have to work out quickly.
>
> Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome this
> up a little IC?
>
> For instance
>
> -- An initiation ceremony
>
> -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
> member of this select group
>
> -- A special name they're known by?
>
> -- Some sort of oath... not too burdensome, or it becomes another PrC
> requirement. But something like "come to the aid of other DDs",
> perhaps?
>
> Thoughts?

I think a really nice shield would be appropriate. Maybe a magic
shield? Welcome to the class, here's your +2 large steel shield?
Maybe it's also fairly lightweight and has the added bonus of
offsetting the armor check penalty a bit.
Related resources
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 5:30:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Clawhound wrote:
> Waldo wrote:
>
> > I have a PC who's about to take a level of Dwarven Defender. It's the
> > first time this class has appeared IMC.
> >
> > I'm of the school that thinks PrCs should be rare-ish, and involve at
> > least a modest amount of rolepolaying and IC groundlaying. So I had
> > the PC pass a test, spend some time in training, etc. This has worked
> > out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.
> >
> > I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
> > consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into clans.
> > I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership. One of several
> > things I'll have to work out quickly.
> >
> > Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome this
> > up a little IC?
> >
> > For instance
> >
> > -- An initiation ceremony
> >
> > -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
> > member of this select group
> >
> > -- A special name they're known by?
> >
> > -- Some sort of oath... not too burdensome, or it becomes another PrC
> > requirement. But something like "come to the aid of other DDs",
> > perhaps?
> >
> > Thoughts?
> >
> >
> > Waldo
> >
>
> I'm all for:
>
> - A special helm that only DD's wear.
> - A special shield emblem that only DD's display
> - A vow that reflects the DD mission.
>
> "I strive to be the first to defend those who need defending, to stand
> between my companions and harm, to be the last to leave a fight in a
> retreat, and be the first to fall in defeat." And the character must
> *MEAN* this. That's what it means to be a dwarven defender.

Good stuff. The actual stuff of the helm/shield/jammies/whatever it
debateable. All that matters is that it's unique and distinctive. As
for power level, make sure that it fits your campaign. IMC, these would
be masterpiece shields, maybe. Whereas in my friend Jr
s campaign they would have to be +3 shields and probably weightless to
boot.

The trick is, make sure that the power level and magic item level of
your game doesn't end up meaning that the dwarven defender is actually
at a disadvantage for using these items in lieu of more potent items.
If a +3 shield is par for the course in your game, then the shield
dhould be that nice. if magic items are like roc's teeth, then a
masterwork item (or even just a very nice item) will do just fine.
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 6:52:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Waldo wrote:

> I have a PC who's about to take a level of Dwarven Defender. It's the
> first time this class has appeared IMC.
>
> I'm of the school that thinks PrCs should be rare-ish, and involve at
> least a modest amount of rolepolaying and IC groundlaying. So I had
> the PC pass a test, spend some time in training, etc. This has worked
> out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.
>
> I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
> consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into clans.
> I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership. One of several
> things I'll have to work out quickly.
>
> Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome this
> up a little IC?
>
> For instance
>
> -- An initiation ceremony
>
> -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
> member of this select group
>
> -- A special name they're known by?
>
> -- Some sort of oath... not too burdensome, or it becomes another PrC
> requirement. But something like "come to the aid of other DDs",
> perhaps?
>
> Thoughts?
>
>
> Waldo
>

I'm all for:

- A special helm that only DD's wear.
- A special shield emblem that only DD's display
- A vow that reflects the DD mission.

"I strive to be the first to defend those who need defending, to stand
between my companions and harm, to be the last to leave a fight in a
retreat, and be the first to fall in defeat." And the character must
*MEAN* this. That's what it means to be a dwarven defender.

CH
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 8:29:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Good stuff. The actual stuff of the helm/shield/jammies/whatever it
> debateable. All that matters is that it's unique and distinctive. As
> for power level, make sure that it fits your campaign. IMC, these would
> be masterpiece shields, maybe. Whereas in my friend Jr
> s campaign they would have to be +3 shields and probably weightless to
> boot.
>
> The trick is, make sure that the power level and magic item level of
> your game doesn't end up meaning that the dwarven defender is actually
> at a disadvantage for using these items in lieu of more potent items.
> If a +3 shield is par for the course in your game, then the shield
> dhould be that nice. if magic items are like roc's teeth, then a
> masterwork item (or even just a very nice item) will do just fine.

Make it a sash that is embrodied with rocs teeth in it.
--
"Thank goodness, that Amnesty International likened the US to only the Soviet
Gulag. If they had said we were like the Nazi's, then we would know that it was
just hyperbole. I mean, really now."
--till next time, Jameson Stalanthas Yu -x- <<poetry.dolphins-cove.com>>
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 10:04:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Waldo" <peggoliathy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1117554683.030205.239620@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>I have a PC who's about to take a level of Dwarven Defender. It's
>the
> first time this class has appeared IMC.

Wow, the first time, huh. Well let me try to help you make this is a
special occasion
for both you and your player.

> I'm of the school that thinks PrCs should be rare-ish, and involve
> at
> least a modest amount of rolepolaying and IC groundlaying.

ISo I had
> the PC pass a test, spend some time in training, etc. This has
> worked
> out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.
>
> I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
> consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into clans.
> I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership. One of
> several
> things I'll have to work out quickly.

Well perhaps, this Defender will be seen as a high example of Dwarven
accomplishments. Certain Dwarves will look up to him, others will envy
him.
Sure envy might seem like an un-dwarven like emotion, but not all
dwarves
are created with that one base personality. This can create
interesting situations,
what about Lord Bar-Agon that slayed twenty-five goblins single
handedly
while defending a tower where no other dwarf stood? Why wasn't he able
to be titled as a Defender but this character was? How would he react
to finding out that Joe Smoe character gained a title and respect that
he
feels he earned but this upstart hasn't.

How would little Rungle Stonefist react when he sees the Brave
Defender
walking through town heading to an inn. Would he rush up, and beg for
the hero to tell him tales of his deeds? Would he ask to be trained by
our
hero so that one day, he too could become a Defender.

Now the question becomes how are your clans setup. Is each clan
totally
seperate, ruled by a single governing body that has no direct ties to
other clans
or are all clans ruled by a King, with each one having its own
governing body
so that the King is not bothered by all the little everyday things?

If there is a Dwarven King that rules all the clans, wouldn't a
Defender from a single clan
suddenly find himself in front of the King. The King requesting,
demanding, etc that he do
his dwarven duty and directly serve the King rather than his own clan.
Or would he become
the new figure head for his clan that has to attend all important
dwarven meetings, etc.

To me, at least in my campaign world, Defenders are examples of things
that many dwarven
warriors wish to become. They are representitives of the Dwarven
Ideal, they act as diplomats
to other lands, and people. They often travel through dwarven
settlements, giving inspirational
speeches, lending a hand where they can, helping the clans create
better defensive situations,
inspecting standing armies, leading standing armies into battles, etc.

They are the Elite of the the elite, and many defenders who complete
the class go on to become
Dwarven Rulers, or Dwarven Paladins. Dwarven Paladins are a rare thing
in my world. although
Dwarven Clerics are not. The most memorable Paladins started as
fighters, become Defenders
and eventually took on the mantle of Paladin. If the Defender is the
shining example of the Dwarven
Ideal, the Dwarven Paladin is the gleaming, oh my god, he melted my
eyes with his Dwarven Radiance,
example of the Ideal. They are heros whose names are whispered in
reverance, or shouted in the heat
of a battle.

Anyway all that isn't as important as making your player know that his
choice to become a Defender
carries responsiblities to at least his clan, but might also bring
benefits such as free lodging, or
extremely receptive greetings, and special treatment befitting on his
unique standing.

>
> Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome
> this
> up a little IC?

Well maybe, the Defender is given a suit of Dwarven Armor that
reflects his
standing in the community. Maybe this armor is enchanted, but
certainly
it gives him a bonus of some sort to dealing with members of his clan,
or friendly
dwarven nations. It might also give him a penalty when dealing with
the enemies
of his people, causing them to want to strike out at this beaming
target for all
things that are wrong with their enemies.

>
> For instance
>
> -- An initiation ceremony

Perhaps the Defender has a day celebrated in his honor. The day ends
with the leader of the crown handing him some item, maybe the armor
I mentioned above, or in some way pointing out to all the Dwarves that
this guy is special. The ceremony could end in a big feast, where the
governing
body does a this is your life kind of thing, or bestows upon him a
title,
such as Grand Protector of the Dwarven Way, Moradin's Favored, or
Stalwart Defender of the Clan.

Perhaps this title brings on additional duties as I mentioned above,
but at least
for that day, the Defender should find himself in a situation where
everybody
is extremely nice to him, where almost all of his resonable requests
are answered, etc.


>
> -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
> member of this select group

The armor above, or maybe a Large Steel shield with the symbol of the
Clan
or Moradin, or whatever dwarven deity your dwarves worship. I don't
know
the power level of your game, but I don't believe the armor, or shield
should
be any more powerful than the most powerful item that the party as a
whole
has access too. Maybe not powerful but create some interesting one of
a
kind effect, that sets this shield, armor apart from standard
enchanted items.



>
> -- A special name they're known by?

Mentioned that above.

>
> -- Some sort of oath... not too burdensome, or it becomes another
> PrC
> requirement. But something like "come to the aid of other DDs",
> perhaps?

Defenders could have monthly or yearly gatherings depending on how
much
time you allow in your game for downtime. These meetings could be
training
sessions, discussions about battle tactics, etc. Each Defender could
be given a task to complete and he returns to the meeting with a
progress
report on his actions. A minor oath, to uphold or spread the Dwarven
way might also be in order. Perhaps an oath to show their friendly
non-dwarven
neighbors ways that they too could become more Dwarf-like, an event
that would
improve their way of life, at least from the POV of the Dwarves.


>
> Thoughts?
>
>
> Waldo

Okay a few long replies but hopefully that helps fuel some ideas.
Anonymous
May 31, 2005 10:09:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Clawhound" <none@nowhere.com> wrote in message
news:_n2ne.71$r5.302@mencken.net.nih.gov...
> Waldo wrote:
>
>> I have a PC who's about to take a level of Dwarven Defender. It's
>> the
>> first time this class has appeared IMC.
>>
>> I'm of the school that thinks PrCs should be rare-ish, and involve
>> at
>> least a modest amount of rolepolaying and IC groundlaying. So I
>> had
>> the PC pass a test, spend some time in training, etc. This has
>> worked
>> out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.
>>
>> I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
>> consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into
>> clans.
>> I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership. One of
>> several
>> things I'll have to work out quickly.
>>
>> Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome
>> this
>> up a little IC?
>>
>> For instance
>>
>> -- An initiation ceremony
>>
>> -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's
>> a
>> member of this select group
>>
>> -- A special name they're known by?
>>
>> -- Some sort of oath... not too burdensome, or it becomes another
>> PrC
>> requirement. But something like "come to the aid of other DDs",
>> perhaps?
>>
>> Thoughts?
>>
>>
>> Waldo
>>
>
> I'm all for:
>
> - A special helm that only DD's wear.
> - A special shield emblem that only DD's display
> - A vow that reflects the DD mission.
>
> "I strive to be the first to defend those who need defending, to
> stand between my companions and harm, to be the last to leave a
> fight in a retreat, and be the first to fall in defeat." And the
> character must *MEAN* this. That's what it means to be a dwarven
> defender.
>
> CH

I like that vow. I might have to borrow it for my campaign world,
altering it a bit
so that it fits with my themes more, but it is worded quite nicely.

Perhaps the helm is a kind of Dwarven Leadership helm, that assists
his allies
in a battle, but only when the battle is going against them. Maybe a
bard
like ability to inspire courage for a set period of time during
battles.

A shield emblem that not only IDs him as a Defender but perhaps
acts as a shield storage device, that allows him to recall his shield
and or weapon by using a standard action, but keeps those items
safely stored away until he calls them back out.
June 1, 2005 7:02:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Wow, lots of good stuff here. Thanks to everyone who responded.

Clawhound, I like the vow. "I strive to be the first to defend those
who need defending, to stand between my companions and harm, to be the
last to leave a fight in a retreat."

Anyone remember the game "In Nomine"? They had a class of angels
called the Malakim, who all had to take four vows. Two were fixed,
while two were chosen by the PC. I've always wanted to bring that into
D&D. (Actually, "In Nomine" was full of cool stuff that could be moved
into D&D. But that's another story, for another thread.) I'm
considering something like that.

DDs and clan loyalty: I think low-level DDs will be loyal to the clan,
but at higher levels they'll be loyal to other DDs. This may not be
obvious to the lower DDs...

DD as jedi: I have a vision of them as lawful neutral/lawful good.
Very occasionally LE. I could see the higher levels forswearing
attachments and becoming rather ascetic in a martial sort of way.

Decaying Atheist: yah, other dwarves will look up to the DD. I don't
consider envy un-dwarvish at all, BTW, so that could be an issue too.
Accompanying the hard-fighting hard-drinking fun is a certain touchy
sense of precedence that goes with the lawful alignment. Or so ISTM,
and so it is IMC. So, being a DD gets you perks like free lodging and
the bards singing about you, but also opens you to a certain amount of
political cutting and sniping.

A special day: I think there'll be an initiation ritual and feast. I
like Jason's "hold the door" idea.

Title: I think I'll have to come up with /several/ titles... one for
the low level DDs, then more elaborate ones for the higher levels.

Doodad: I think a +2 large steel shield would fit MC pretty well. The
PC is 9th level now, so it's not unreasonable. It would be, strictly
speaking, a loaner -- belonging to the order of DDs rather than the PC
-- until and unless he "earns" it through some suitably heroic deed.

I think he'll also gain the right to wear some sort of crest, which may
change color... white for low levels, blue for middle, black for high,
or some such.

A thought: the biggest weakness of DDs is their lack of mobility. So
they might not want to advertise their status. (Since that gives a
tactical advantage to the foe.) So possibly the shield will be plain
and unmarked, and the crests will only be worn on formal occasions.


Waldo
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 1:07:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

In article <_n2ne.71$r5.302@mencken.net.nih.gov>, none@nowhere.com
says...

> "I strive to be the first to defend those who need defending, to stand
> between my companions and harm, to be the last to leave a fight in a
> retreat, and be the first to fall in defeat."

I must say that last clause sounds funny. "First to fall"? Eh?

Cool otherwise.

> And the character must
> *MEAN* this. That's what it means to be a dwarven defender.


--
Jasin Zujovic
jzujovic@inet.hr
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 2:00:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Jasin Zujovic wrote:

> In article <_n2ne.71$r5.302@mencken.net.nih.gov>, none@nowhere.com
> says...
>
>
>>"I strive to be the first to defend those who need defending, to stand
>>between my companions and harm, to be the last to leave a fight in a
>>retreat, and be the first to fall in defeat."
>
>
> I must say that last clause sounds funny. "First to fall"? Eh?
>
> Cool otherwise.
>
>
>>And the character must
>>*MEAN* this. That's what it means to be a dwarven defender.
>
>
>

"First to fall." Yep. That's dedication.

CH
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 2:36:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

In article <1117554683.030205.239620@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
peggoliathy@yahoo.com says...

> I have a PC who's about to take a level of Dwarven Defender. It's the
> first time this class has appeared IMC.
>
> I'm of the school that thinks PrCs should be rare-ish, and involve at
> least a modest amount of rolepolaying and IC groundlaying. So I had
> the PC pass a test, spend some time in training, etc. This has worked
> out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.

I've been wanting to do this IMC, but the plot sort of got in the way of
the things I wanted the PCs to do to take the PrCs, so I more-or-less
just let them have them.

But it does feel just a little bit more special if you need special
ninja dwarven training and induction into the order to take dwarven
defender, than if you need just another 7k XP.

> I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
> consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into clans.
> I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership. One of several
> things I'll have to work out quickly.
>
> Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome this
> up a little IC?

Most of these things depend on how you want the DDs to work (like the
example you mentioned: whether they're above clan allegiances or not).

What more can you tell us about what the DDs IYC are like?

> For instance
>
> -- An initiation ceremony

If your player(s) are into that kind of thing, a secret initiation
ceremony played out one-on-one might be quite appropriate for dwarven
defenders. Dwarves are Lawful, big on tradition, and often seen as
secretive or reserved.

You might have the prospective DD undergo a test, where he has to hold a
passageway against a number of senior DDs. It'd probably be best to do
this right after the character takes his 1st DD level: that way, he can
use his nifty new defensive stance ability, which can give him the
needed edge against otherwise equal- or higher-leveled characters (since
the attacking defenders will have to move).

Present it so that it seems that the purpose of the test is to hold back
a number (which the character being tested isn't told) of attackers,
after which you're deemed appropriate for the order, and the test
stops... and then just keep the attackers coming, until the character is
defeated. When he comes to, he's congratulated for succeeding on the
test; the true purpose isn't to beat back a specific number attackers,
it's to show you can defend against all odds, until the very end,
whatever it may be. The only way to fail the test is to give up before
you're beaten.

Of course, only do this if you can reasonably expect the player to stick
through the test; you don't want to trick him into failing, just give
him a moment of doubt to put the success into sharper contrast.

> -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
> member of this select group

A shield is probably best. A given dwarven defender might go for a two-
handed weapon (in fact, it's probably a wise choice, since AC is going
to be good anyway) but they can always make it animated then.

A modest bonus (+1, +2... whatever's appropriate for the level) is good,
but something not straight out of the DMG is probably better: something
like the ability to cast shield other...?

> -- A special name they're known by?

Hard to help here without knowing campaign specifics. What are the gods,
cities, names important to dwarves IYC?

Shields of Moradin, Hands of Azaghal, Defenders of the Homestead, the
Stonewalls, the Unyielding...?


--
Jasin Zujovic
jzujovic@inet.hr
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 7:33:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

> I think a really nice shield would be appropriate. Maybe a magic
> shield? Welcome to the class, here's your +2 large steel shield?
> Maybe it's also fairly lightweight and has the added bonus of
> offsetting the armor check penalty a bit.

I like this. Make the shield out of Mithral to create this effect. Good
in-game mechanic, and it's perfectly flavored for a dwarf.

--
==========
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Visit my website: http://www.morvia.tk

"Getting it on with a Saudi prince, it does
have its advantages. First of all, they have
plenty of lubrication. And when you're done,
there's always a towel handy."
- Bill Maher
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 8:39:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Jasin Zujovic <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote:
> In article <1117554683.030205.239620@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
> peggoliathy@yahoo.com says...
>
>> I have a PC who's about to take a level of Dwarven Defender. It's the
>> first time this class has appeared IMC.
>>
>> I'm of the school that thinks PrCs should be rare-ish, and involve at
>> least a modest amount of rolepolaying and IC groundlaying. So I had
>> the PC pass a test, spend some time in training, etc. This has worked
>> out rather well, as he's now very excited about the new class.
>
> I've been wanting to do this IMC, but the plot sort of got in the way of
> the things I wanted the PCs to do to take the PrCs, so I more-or-less
> just let them have them.
>
> But it does feel just a little bit more special if you need special
> ninja dwarven training and induction into the order to take dwarven
> defender, than if you need just another 7k XP.

I've run it that you had to lay groundwork ahead of time. You didn't
necessarily have to roleplay everything, but you did have to know ahead
of time and tell me you wanted to do it, and have a way to learn it.

For instance, if you want to be an Order of the Bow Initiate you have to
know about them, know how to find them, etc., and get accepted by them.
Not terribly difficult if you just let me know a couple of levels ahead
of time (I'll even help you find them!)... you just don't get to look
them over, say "hey, I qualify for this and it looks tasty!" and start
taking levels in it.

In the case of the DD, I'd suggest that the character probably already
knows about them, and where they be found. If he spends his time acting
like one (i.e. behaving as they do, though without the benefits of the
PrC) he's adequately handled backstory.

>> For instance
>>
>> -- An initiation ceremony
>
> If your player(s) are into that kind of thing, a secret initiation
> ceremony played out one-on-one might be quite appropriate for dwarven
> defenders. Dwarves are Lawful, big on tradition, and often seen as
> secretive or reserved.

I'd say 'racially secretive', in that they don't often share their
ceremonies and the like with outsiders. However, someone becoming a
Dwarven Defender -- a strong representation of their race! -- may well
be a very public event. Their may be private vigils and ceremonies as
well, but I think at the least there would be a public presentation of
the new DD.

However, I think that a public ceremony inducting the new DD into the
order makes a lot of sense. Note that this is all after he otherwise
qualifies (both mechanically and event-wise), but is the last bit before
gaining the abilities. One possible form of this:

.. The ceremony is held in public, with the observers standing silent
witness to events
.. The candidate presents himself to official
.. The candidate swears the oaths of service
.. The candidate is presented with arms and armor suitable to his new
station
.. The candidate publicly demonstrates his new ability (defensive stance
IIRC) by holding off a more senior dwarven defender[3]. This isn't
the *test*, but a demonstration that the candidate now is a dwarven
defender.

The 'official' might take one of several forms:
.. the (local) head of the order
.. the senior DDs
.. all DDs available in the area
.. priest of a certain god
.. priest of any dwarven god
.. the audience, representing the race/kingdom/city as a whole

The arms and armor presented might even be those he was using before, if
you don't want to 'give' the character anything, suitably blessed for
use in the ceremony. If you do want to give something to the character,
in spite of presenting his own arms to him, you might enchant them to
better serve him in his new role.

IMC this would have been the *correct* thing to do, btw. I'll explain
in a [kjd-imc] post later.

I considered having a representative enemy 'test' the new DD, but that
didn't seem quite right. I can see the orcs capturing a dwarf and
making him fight as part of a ceremony, but I don't see dwarves doing
teh same thing. Also, a senior DD would better be able to gauge and
test the new DD's abilities.

> You might have the prospective DD undergo a test, where he has to hold
> a passageway against a number of senior DDs. It'd probably be best to
> do this right after the character takes his 1st DD level: that way, he
> can use his nifty new defensive stance ability, which can give him the
> needed edge against otherwise equal- or higher-leveled characters
> (since the attacking defenders will have to move).

See above. I'd do this after he was inducted.

However, being invited to the order after having been observed to behave
like a DD, especially if successful and/or at great sacrifice, makes a
fair amount of sense.

The character could be tested, formally or informally. For prestige
classes with mechanical prereqs that could be tested this way, and
someone who can 'decide' whether the character qualifies, I usually have
him tested this way... in the background. I rarely play it out unless
the player is really stoked about the event.

> Present it so that it seems that the purpose of the test is to hold
> back a number (which the character being tested isn't told) of
> attackers, after which you're deemed appropriate for the order, and
> the test stops... and then just keep the attackers coming, until the
> character is defeated. When he comes to, he's congratulated for
> succeeding on the test; the true purpose isn't to beat back a specific
> number attackers, it's to show you can defend against all odds, until
> the very end, whatever it may be. The only way to fail the test is to
> give up before you're beaten.

Sounds good. Perhaps have a minimum that have to be defeated -- if you
can't do that, you're not good enough (maybe 'not good enough... yet',
but it depends) -- but the number you defeat may affect your initial
standing.

Someone who stands against the minimum gets in. Someone who stands
against several more than the minimum gets in and is well thought of.
Someone who stands against several *times* more than the minimum is
considered to have very good potential in the order.

> Of course, only do this if you can reasonably expect the player to
> stick through the test; you don't want to trick him into failing, just
> give him a moment of doubt to put the success into sharper contrast.

Or don't test *just* fighting ability, but vigilance and attention to
duty.

"You will guard this post until the test is complete." Then:

.. send *no* attackers -- see if he is vigilant the entire time, perhaps
provide something for him to see if he's paying attention. Probably
try to get someone/something past his post

.. send multiple waves of attackers. If he leaves his post after the
first set, thinking the test is over, he fails. If he bandages his
wounds/heals himself (preferably without actually leaving his post)
and continues on watch he passes.

You might include other tests as well. Will he allow the king's
champion pass? Will he stand up to the king's champion and not let him
pass?

>> -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
>> member of this select group
>
> A shield is probably best. A given dwarven defender might go for a
> two- handed weapon (in fact, it's probably a wise choice, since AC is
> going to be good anyway) but they can always make it animated then.
>
> A modest bonus (+1, +2... whatever's appropriate for the level) is
> good, but something not straight out of the DMG is probably better:
> something like the ability to cast shield other...?

See my comments above and in the [kjd-imc] "On Dwarven Arms" I'll be
writing soon.

>> -- A special name they're known by?
>
> Hard to help here without knowing campaign specifics. What are the gods,
> cities, names important to dwarves IYC?
>
> Shields of Moradin, Hands of Azaghal, Defenders of the Homestead, the
> Stonewalls, the Unyielding...?

I prefer to do something like this on principle. Many of the prestige
classes IMC are associated with particular organizations. A single
prestige class may be associated with more than one organization, of
course, but perhaps differently named in each.

This isn't limited to just prestige classes, mind. For instance, the
order of Trenneth (god of justice) includes judges, but also includes
investigators and bounty hunter-types. Many investigators are
bog-standard rogues, class-wise, but aren't called 'rogues of Trenneth'.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 8:48:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

alordofchaos@yahoo.com <alordofchaos@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Waldo wrote:
>
>> I've already made it clear that DDs are rare, and that the dwarves
>> consider it a biggish deal. The dwarves IMC are divided into clans.
>> I'm not sure yet if being a DD trumps clan membership.
>
> It'd be a nice bonuse for the character; the whole DD defends dwarven
> kind, works for the dwarven race rather than clan interests... Ahhh,
> plot hooks galore :) 
>
> OTOH, if DD doesn't trump clan interests, you may have a whole DD
> "arms race" thing going, which could be interesting.

Perhaps "DD are 'above clan interests'. Officially". That is, publicly
they are, but may still have personal preferences. A DD of Clan
Stormaxe will defend a group of dwarves from Clan Goldenhand... despite
his personal opinion that they're a bunch of money-grubbing *merchants*.
He won't deliberately fail his duty, but he might not be terribly
cooperative outside his required duty. Of course, they aren't required
to treat him terribly well either -- instead of being an honored guest
and well-quartered as he would elsewhere, he might be given rude
accommodation and food while off-duty.

(of course, if they *really* wanted to shame him, they'd treat him
well in spite of his being a dick. That puts an obligation on him...)

>> Anyhow, my question: now that he's becoming a DD, how can I chrome this
>> up a little IC?
>> For instance
>> -- Some sort of shield or other doodad to tell the world that he's a
>> member of this select group
>
> Nice, magical doodads only usable by a specific prestige class?

I try to avoid this, personally. At least, explicitly so. A sword
doesn't *know* you're a paladin or wizard. However, it might only work
for those with the ability to smite evil[1] or someone who prepares
arcane spells[2].

[1] in fact, it might be *based on* the ability to smite -- doubles
smite damage, for example. IMC it'd look for [Good] and [Lawful]
alignment auras, which are part of the Good and Law domain packages.
This incidentally makes the item usable by some outsiders, which
makes a certain amount of sense.

> You could try this:
> DD = Jedi Knight
> See where that takes you :) 

Dwarves with /brilliant/ weapons, of course.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 8:51:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Jasin Zujovic <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote:
> In article <_n2ne.71$r5.302@mencken.net.nih.gov>, none@nowhere.com
> says...
>
>> "I strive to be the first to defend those who need defending, to stand
>> between my companions and harm, to be the last to leave a fight in a
>> retreat, and be the first to fall in defeat."
>
> I must say that last clause sounds funny. "First to fall"? Eh?

I think he means "I promise to spend myself entirely on defense before
letting anyone I'm defending go down".

I agree, though, that it sounds a little odd.

> Cool otherwise.

Yeah. Though awfully short for a dwarven oath taken in ceremony.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 8:53:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Decaying Atheist <harker@coxdot.net> wrote:
>
> Perhaps the helm is a kind of Dwarven Leadership helm, that assists
> his allies in a battle, but only when the battle is going against
> them. Maybe a bard like ability to inspire courage for a set period of
> time during battles.

Only when going against them? I'd be willing to accept 'outnumbered',
but 'only when losing'? That seems a bit rough.

> A shield emblem that not only IDs him as a Defender but perhaps acts
> as a shield storage device, that allows him to recall his shield and
> or weapon by using a standard action, but keeps those items safely
> stored away until he calls them back out.

"Guyver!"

Actually, I like the idea. It means that a dwarven defender is *always*
(more or less) ready to defend.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
June 1, 2005 8:55:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Keith Davies" <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> wrote in message
news:slrnd9rq16.s57.keith.davies@kjdavies.org...
> Decaying Atheist <harker@coxdot.net> wrote:
>>
>> Perhaps the helm is a kind of Dwarven Leadership helm, that assists
>> his allies in a battle, but only when the battle is going against
>> them. Maybe a bard like ability to inspire courage for a set period
>> of
>> time during battles.
>
> Only when going against them? I'd be willing to accept
> 'outnumbered',
> but 'only when losing'? That seems a bit rough.

Was just spitballing some ideas. Going against them, could mean a
number
of things though and leaves a lot out in the open. Being 'outnumbered'
is definately one aspect of the battle going against them.

In my game world if I was going to use this idea it would look a lot
like this.

Helm of the Defenders: This helmet looks like it belongs to a set of
full plate armor.
Around the base of the Helm written in the dwarven language is a
prayer to Moradin
(or insert Dwarven Deity name). This item is usable only by Dwarven
Defenders
or Dwarven Paladins.

Special Abilities of the Helm of Defenders:
Morphic: Helm changes, color, and style to match the Defender's
current suit of armor.
This change is purely cosmetic and offers no other benefit. It can be
dispelled returning
the helm to the original style, and color that it had when it was
created.

Defender's Last Stand: X uses in y time, or under z conditions. When
activated
the helm amplifies the Defender's voice. Nearly anything he says can
be heard
by his allies clearly even during a battle where allies might be over
100 feet away.
The Defender's voice takes on a tone that inspires courage in his
battlemates.
All allies within t distance are affected as if by a Bard's inspire
courage using
the Defender's total class levels + Cha mod to determine effective
Bard level
for this and only this ability. This ability lasts for y time and for
1d4 rounds
after the Defender stops shouting his words of encouragement.

Defender's Heart: Once per week, the helm can produce a mass cure
light wounds
spells centered on the helm in a 30 foot radius. Only allies of the
Defender in the
AOE are affected.

Defender's Grace: A Defender wearing the Helm of Defenders gains a +2
Divine
bonus to Diplomacy, gather information, Intimidate, or bluff checks
good only against
dwarves. Intimidate and Bluff are added in there for a good reason.
Sometimes
a Defender might have to bully his troops in some respect to get them
motivated
enough to rally to his cause. While this behavior is frowned upon,
sometimes
Defender's feel the need to get the job done by any means necessary.
The same
goes for bluffing his allies.

Defender's Core: The Helm of Defenders gives a +1 bonus to AC, the
same
kind of bonus the Dwarven Defender class ability offers. Although this
bonus
stacks and is countered in the same way the bonus would be countered
if
it came straight from the prestige class.

Okay so my wording might be a little off, but this is kind of what I'd
do
in my game world. The bonuses, etc would be listed in more offical
Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 terms if I ever created this item for my
game.



>
>> A shield emblem that not only IDs him as a Defender but perhaps
>> acts
>> as a shield storage device, that allows him to recall his shield
>> and
>> or weapon by using a standard action, but keeps those items safely
>> stored away until he calls them back out.
>
> "Guyver!"
>
> Actually, I like the idea. It means that a dwarven defender is
> *always*
> (more or less) ready to defend.

Yep, exactly. Which to me really shows what a Defender is all about.
Having the ability to be ready to defend in one standard action.




>
>
> Keith
> --
> Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current
> kook-
> keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to
> create
> keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
> http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
June 2, 2005 10:51:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> alordofchaos@yahoo.com <alordofchaos@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > OTOH, if DD doesn't trump clan interests, you may have a whole DD
> > "arms race" thing going, which could be interesting.
>
> Perhaps "DD are 'above clan interests'. Officially". That is, publicly
> they are, but may still have personal preferences. A DD of Clan
> Stormaxe will defend a group of dwarves from Clan Goldenhand... despite
> his personal opinion that they're a bunch of money-grubbing *merchants*.

Right, I was thinking more along the lines of Clan Goldenhand thinking
"Clan Stormaxe has produced 5 Defenders and we have but 2; let's find
us some likely lads to send out and train". And of course, if both
clans called for or needed DDs at the same time, Clan Goldenhand would
expect these new Defenders to protect Clan Goldenhand "because they
were already here, dontcha know, seemed a bit daft to send them over to
Stormaxe when they're needed here and Stormaxe already has Defenders"

> (of course, if they *really* wanted to shame him, they'd treat him
> well in spite of his being a dick. That puts an obligation on him...)

Heh, nice.

> > Nice, magical doodads only usable by a specific prestige class?
>
> I try to avoid this, personally. At least, explicitly so. A sword
> doesn't *know* you're a paladin or wizard. However, it might only work
> for those with the ability to smite evil or someone who prepares
> arcane spells.

Agreed, 3.0/3.5 takes great pains to avoid class/stat requirements.
Anonymous
June 3, 2005 3:20:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Behold! for Clawhound <none@nowhere.com> spake unto the multitude
thus:

>Jasin Zujovic wrote:
>
>> In article <_n2ne.71$r5.302@mencken.net.nih.gov>, none@nowhere.com
>> says...
>>
>> I must say that last clause sounds funny. "First to fall"? Eh?
>>
>"First to fall." Yep. That's dedication.

So if the guy over there takes an arrow to the neck and looks like
he's going down, you have to top yourself? Doesn't really wash.


--
Jim or Sarah Davies, but probably Jim

D&D and Star Fleet Battles stuff on http://www.aaargh.org
Anonymous
June 3, 2005 4:32:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Thu, 02 Jun 2005 23:20:40 +0100, Jim Davies
<jim@aaargh.NoBleedinSpam.org> scribed into the ether:

>Behold! for Clawhound <none@nowhere.com> spake unto the multitude
>thus:
>
>>Jasin Zujovic wrote:
>>
>>> In article <_n2ne.71$r5.302@mencken.net.nih.gov>, none@nowhere.com
>>> says...
>>>
>>> I must say that last clause sounds funny. "First to fall"? Eh?
>>>
>>"First to fall." Yep. That's dedication.
>
>So if the guy over there takes an arrow to the neck and looks like
>he's going down, you have to top yourself? Doesn't really wash.

Err, it's a credo, not a mandate.
Anonymous
June 3, 2005 6:44:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Matt Frisch wrote:

> On Thu, 02 Jun 2005 23:20:40 +0100, Jim Davies
> <jim@aaargh.NoBleedinSpam.org> scribed into the ether:
>
>
>>Behold! for Clawhound <none@nowhere.com> spake unto the multitude
>>thus:
>>
>>
>>>Jasin Zujovic wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>In article <_n2ne.71$r5.302@mencken.net.nih.gov>, none@nowhere.com
>>>>says...
>>>>
>>>>I must say that last clause sounds funny. "First to fall"? Eh?
>>>>
>>>
>>>"First to fall." Yep. That's dedication.
>>
>>So if the guy over there takes an arrow to the neck and looks like
>>he's going down, you have to top yourself? Doesn't really wash.
>
>
> Err, it's a credo, not a mandate.

Exactly. It's all about what you are willing to do. They are willing to
sacrifice their life for the good of their people. They stand firm, even
in the face of certain death. They see to the safety of others first,
and themselves second. If the unstoppable juggernaut of death is coming
for their people, they do battle with it and go down fighting, even if
they know that they will lose.

Let's face it, to be a DD, you need to be a tad fanatical.

CH
!