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{Campain} 5th PC for RGFD PBP campain. [ps: google sux]

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Anonymous
September 10, 2005 8:33:34 PM

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

General comments first. Why is this character not a Sorcerer? The
spell selection would fit easy enough, and the backstory really isn't
fit for a book mage.
The rat swarms... As a sorcerer his attack swarm could simply be
the spell, which would save alot of weird rules issues, and very much
help keep the normal trained rats alive.

It may also be tidier to house-rule in charm animal in place of
charm person as a spell he can learn (particularly as a Src) instead of
messing with the item to get the same effect.


> Taron Kel of Greyhawk
>
> 4th Level Human Wizard (Myomancer)

Fluff title, Myomancy = divination through the movements of mice.

> Alignment: Lawful Good
>
> Strength: 10
> Dexterity: 14
> Constitution: 14
> Intelligence: 18
> Wisdom: 10
> Charisma: 10

If including +1 Int at 4th, is 1 point short of 32 point buy. If +1
anything else at 4th it's 1 point over 32 point buy, but more skill points.

> Hit Points: 17

That was 3rd level, may explain some mistakes elsewhere. 21 at 4th.

> Feats
> Summon Familiar, Scribe Scroll

From Class.

> Animal Affinity: Rats and Mice : +2
> Magical Aptitude
> Skill Focus: +3 to Handle Animal


See below, I'm not sure of scources of descriptions for the first
two of them. Is Magical Aptitude the old munchkin feat from the FRCS?

> Skills 42 points

Hmm. BTB it's 43 (6*6 + 7) if Int 18 at 4th level, or 47 (7*7) if
Int 18 at 1st level. Max ranks 7.

> Concentration 6
> Decipher Script 6
> Knowledge: Rats and Mice 6
> Knowledge: Myomancy 6

Alert! Divination is done with spells, not a skill.

> Spellcraft: 6
> Craft: Oracle Maze 3
> Craft: Brazen Pipes of Fate 3

One can't make magic items with a craft skill, so I guess that's
all fluff. Craft (woodwork) and Craft (instuments)?

> Handle Animal: Rats/Rodents 6

DM (Laszlo) is allowing a cut back (narrow) skill as a class skill,
to suit the concept.
You can however get a proper Handle Animal skill with the right
feat, which would be overall more useful as the character levels, so he
can move away from rats to better animals, and/or tougher swarms.

It's cool to start with these little guys to suit the back story,
but the character *also* has to remain competant over time.

Make it Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (Arcane), and proper Handle
Animal through Cosmopolitan or whatever the other one is. IIRC you can
get one skill becomes a class skill and +2 with the one feat.

> Languages: Common, Elvish, Orcish

+3 languages total from Int 17 at 1st level, so one more. Two more
if it was 18 Int at 1st level.

> 0-LEVEL SORCERER/WIZARD SPELLS (CANTRIPS)
<snip: all>

> 1st-LEVEL SORCERER/WIZARD SPELLS (CANTRIPS)
>
> Comprehend Languages: You understand all spoken and written languages.
> Detect Secret Doors: Reveals hidden doors within 60 ft.
> Detect Undead: Reveals undead within 60 ft.
> Identify M: Determines properties of magic item.
> True Strike: +20 on your next attack roll.
> Obscuring Mist: Fog surrounds you.
> Summon Monster I: Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.
> Unseen Servant: Invisible force obeys your commands.
>
> 2nd-LEVEL SORCERER/WIZARD SPELLS (CANTRIPS)
>
> Summon Monster II: Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.
> Summon Swarm: Summons swarm of bats, rats, or spiders.

Cool. This chatracter could almost certainly specialise as a
Conjurer with that spell list, dropping Evocation and Necromancy. The
extra spells are well worth it at low-mid level, IMO. Better yet, be a
Sorcerer. Keep /Summon Monster I/, /Obscuring Mist/, and /Summon Swarm/,
as they're the good ones anyway.

> Equipment
<snip: many everyday items>
> 3 Spell component pouch
> 2 Spellbooks

Are these complete copies? That'd be expensive.

> Shield, light wooden
> Padded Armor

10% ASF and -1 to everything? For when he's out of spells I presume.

> Spear
> Dagger

Wizards aren't proficient in Spear.

> Ring of Rat/Mouse Freindship

DM's allowing "nerftastic" ring of animal freindship at 10% cost.
I'd nearly have to disagree, only rats and mice just aren't that good.

You could consider instead reducing the cost through standard
means. Limited uses/day, only works for this specific character, spell
trigger (if you allow the Charm Animal spell on his list).
NB: this ring still can't work on a full swarm, but if you're
allowing the building of swarms from many individuals then it's OK.

> Former Rider of the Stone Horse "Collux"

WTF? Ah, read the backstory. OK. Weird, but OK.

> The Royal Family of Performing Rats
>
> King Agunza (Familiar, Knows all tricks and can divine)

Absolutely *cannot* divine for real, but with some ranks in perform
he could fake it. Clarification?

> Queen Naja
>
> 10 Princes/Princessess
> 10 Veterans
> 30 Soldiers
>
> Rat Tricks:
> Gnaw
> Climb Rope
> Attack/Swarm
> Scurry On Come
> Stay
> Run/Hide
> Take/Fetch
> Jump

Very cool. Though it's too many tricks isn't it? Yep, Int 2 gets
you six tricks. You could fold Jump and Climb into Come, and use Hide to
break up the swarm.

I do like the concept of a trained swarm, but I can see rule
problems arising, seeing as how powerful swarms are (few monsters have
AoE spells, and they can instantly take out casters regardless).

> The Royal Family of Oracular Mice
>
> King Xeton
> Queen Pona
>
> 10 Princes/Princesses
> 10 Veterans
> 30 Soldiers
>
> Mice Tricks:
> Run Maze/Devine
> Pass Object (a coin, key, gem, etc. small stuff)
> Come
> Stay
> Run/Hide
> Stand
> Jump

Ditto too many tricks. Jump may be overly specific again. That "run
maze" trick could be really handy.

Of course, if you go with spell-swarms, then you could carry a
whole bunch of rats that know every trick in the book.
One set to find mouseholes (aka secret doors), one set to get
things, one set to carry things, one set to "attack this object", all of
them know "come", "heel", and "hide".

"Attack/swarm" *is* a pretty cool concept, but I'd still rather see
it done as the spell, at the very least to save on retraining time.


I envisage the following: Taron's rats sneak along behind him,
heeling along the base of walls. A baddie caster appears, Taron casts
/Summon Swarm/, and his real rats hide as the swarm appears to form from
them and attack.
Similar with /Summon Monster/ picking out one (or a few) pets to
appear to become Feindish Dire Rats, while the real ones hide.
No loss of trained rats, game balance intact (assuming the spells
are basically balanced), rat's become free to learn more utilitarian tricks.


> In the city of Greyhawk, distinctions of class are readily seen. It
> was to this world that Taron Kel was born, amid the lowest levels of
> City Society. An Orphan of serfs from the southlands, most of Taron's
> early life was one of hardship as a beggar on the city streets. His only
> solace was in the companionship of Xebu, a fellow beggar.. in his young
> days a mighty adventurer and oracle.
>
> It was Xebu who first saw in Taron the promise of his affinity with
> the many Rats and Mice that lived among them. Xebu began to train the
> boy in the ancient ways of Myomancy... the art of fortelling by
> observations of Rats and Mice. It was in the training of these animals
> that the boy not only found work as a performer on the street, but also
> began to recieve great insights into the functions of Fate. The two and
> a copious number of rodents made thier home at night beneath the
> Cenotaph of Collux the Horse, at the east exit of the Great Library of
> Greyhawk.
>
> Life was by and large a happy one, and despite the environment, Young
> Taron grew in the light of Xebu's goodness. In having nothing, he was
> beginning to want to know everything, and to see the great Order of the
> Cosmos. He and the old man would use the Great Library at night, The
> night watchman knowing the Old Man for a honorable man.
>
> Then, in one hot summer, Xebu was set upon by City Wardens on his way
> home from the Port and killed. Taron came upon him and set his Plague
> upon them, the first time he used them for attack. the thugs that did
> not flee from the onrushing tide of Rats were torn to peices in bloody
> vengance. With his dying gasp, Xebu left young Taron his only
> possesion... the final spell to complete Zokob, the Ring of Rats...
> with whose aid he would become Master of the Plague.
>
> Xebu also left the boy his dying word... the one in his charge...
> "Eohippus". He later found in the Library the word meant "Dawn Horse" in
> the old tounges. He spoke this word as he had it in mind one night
> beneath the Cenotaph, and to his surprise the great Stone Horse began to
> move as if alive! Xebu had given him the word to bestow life on the
> great statue, an item that was in guard secretly for many years...
>
> Taron spent one night Gathering the Plague, "The Royal Family" into
> large bushel baskets, brought the horse to life, and was off from the
> streets and onto a road of adventure.
>
> Soon after leaving the city, the Collux steered them though a dense
> wood and trickily won his freedom by bumping Taron's head on an overhead
> branch. The magical creature's long sleep had made it greedy in its
> hunger for expensive gems, and so it abandoned the destitute wizard as
> he lay unconcious in along a forest path...

We're a long way from Greyhawk, but otherwise that's good. As I
mentioned, it looks alot like a Src, and most of the tricks there could
break down to spells.

> Rat Swarm
<snip>
> RAT/Mouse
<snip>

So, Laszlo, questions. How many rats in a swarm? How many die when
the swarm is "killed"? What are the mods to Handle Animal to control the
swarm, if any? How long to charm up a set of replacements?
Charmed rats aren't domesticated, right? How long to grow your own
domesticated rats? How do wild/charmed rats treat the other PCs?


> King Agunza, King of the Rats
<snip: familiar>
Remember he gets the Wizards skills too, where appropriate. Handle
Animal would be the main one I suppose, handy to have him order the
others around, or at least get them to follow him to safety.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
Anonymous
September 10, 2005 8:33:35 PM

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

tussock wrote:
> General comments first. Why is this character not a Sorcerer? The
> spell selection would fit easy enough, and the backstory really isn't
> fit for a book mage.

First of all: if anyone who's not involved in the campaign is wondering
what this is about, check this thread:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=213941

Well, he has 8 first level spells in his book, so the selection
wouldn't really fit... otherwise, no idea. I guess he just wants to
play a wizard. I haven't asked him.

> The rat swarms... As a sorcerer his attack swarm could simply be
> the spell, which would save alot of weird rules issues, and very much
> help keep the normal trained rats alive.

He has the Summon Swarm spell in any case. I don't think there are many
weird rules issues... the only one I can see is that Handle Animal only
allows three tamed animals at one time. I don't think considering a Rat
Swarm a single animal would cause a problem, though; he's paid for it
in spades via skill points, and the swarm is CR 2, so it shouldn't be a
balance problem, either.

> It may also be tidier to house-rule in charm animal in place of
> charm person as a spell he can learn (particularly as a Src) instead of
> messing with the item to get the same effect.

I'd be amenable to that. I don't see a balance issue either way.

>
> > Taron Kel of Greyhawk
> >
> > 4th Level Human Wizard (Myomancer)
>
> Fluff title, Myomancy = divination through the movements of mice.

Yep.

> > Alignment: Lawful Good
> >
> > Strength: 10
> > Dexterity: 14
> > Constitution: 14
> > Intelligence: 18
> > Wisdom: 10
> > Charisma: 10
>
> If including +1 Int at 4th, is 1 point short of 32 point buy. If +1
> anything else at 4th it's 1 point over 32 point buy, but more skill points.
>
> > Hit Points: 17
>
> That was 3rd level, may explain some mistakes elsewhere. 21 at 4th.

No, actually it was from an earlier prototype, when he had 12 Con. But
yes, he should indeed have 21 HP.

> > Feats
> > Summon Familiar, Scribe Scroll
>
> From Class.
>
> > Animal Affinity: Rats and Mice : +2
> > Magical Aptitude
> > Skill Focus: +3 to Handle Animal
>
>
> See below, I'm not sure of scources of descriptions for the first
> two of them. Is Magical Aptitude the old munchkin feat from the FRCS?

No, it's a decidedly non-munchkin feat from the SRD. +2 to Spellcraft
and UMD.

> > Skills 42 points
>
> Hmm. BTB it's 43 (6*6 + 7) if Int 18 at 4th level, or 47 (7*7) if
> Int 18 at 1st level. Max ranks 7.

Good point, I forgot that he had Int 17 at level 1. 43 points is
correct.

> > Concentration 6
> > Decipher Script 6
> > Knowledge: Rats and Mice 6
> > Knowledge: Myomancy 6
>
> Alert! Divination is done with spells, not a skill.

Heh. It's fortune-telling, not divination in the D&D sense. The skill
reflects his proficiency with the methods, like a modern astrologer,
dowser, etc. It's not exactly "faking it", since the character believes
in it, but it's not magic, and will not work like divination spells do.

> > Spellcraft: 6
> > Craft: Oracle Maze 3
> > Craft: Brazen Pipes of Fate 3
>
> One can't make magic items with a craft skill, so I guess that's
> all fluff. Craft (woodwork) and Craft (instuments)?

Yep. And Knowledge (rats and mice) should probably really be
Knowledge(nature).

> > Handle Animal: Rats/Rodents 6
>
> DM (Laszlo) is allowing a cut back (narrow) skill as a class skill,
> to suit the concept.
> You can however get a proper Handle Animal skill with the right
> feat, which would be overall more useful as the character levels, so he
> can move away from rats to better animals, and/or tougher swarms.

Hmm, that does make sense.

> It's cool to start with these little guys to suit the back story,
> but the character *also* has to remain competant over time.

Yes, I'm kind of worried about that myself; I practically had to beg
the player to revise his original character, which had some stunningly
suboptimal choices.

Then again, I get the distinct impression that the player is not
terribly interested in, nor terribly adept at, number-crunching. He'd
just like to roleplay a concept. I thought it might be interesting, but
only if you guys are OK with it.

> > 2nd-LEVEL SORCERER/WIZARD SPELLS (CANTRIPS)
> >
> > Summon Monster II: Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.
> > Summon Swarm: Summons swarm of bats, rats, or spiders.
>
> Cool. This chatracter could almost certainly specialise as a
> Conjurer with that spell list, dropping Evocation and Necromancy. The
> extra spells are well worth it at low-mid level, IMO. Better yet, be a
> Sorcerer. Keep /Summon Monster I/, /Obscuring Mist/, and /Summon Swarm/,
> as they're the good ones anyway.
>
> > Equipment
> <snip: many everyday items>
> > 3 Spell component pouch
> > 2 Spellbooks
>
> Are these complete copies? That'd be expensive.

Spell component pouches are 5 gp each (and include cheap components),
so it's not a bad idea. I've seen component pouches get Sundered.

I'm pretty sure the extra spellbook is blank (costs 15 gp). He's
planning ahead for when his spells don't fit in one book.

> > Shield, light wooden
> > Padded Armor
>
> 10% ASF and -1 to everything? For when he's out of spells I presume.

Well... he doesn't have Mage Armor. He might actually be planning to
take the 10%.

> > Spear
> > Dagger
>
> Wizards aren't proficient in Spear.
>
> > Ring of Rat/Mouse Freindship
>
> DM's allowing "nerftastic" ring of animal freindship at 10% cost.
> I'd nearly have to disagree, only rats and mice just aren't that good.
>
> You could consider instead reducing the cost through standard
> means. Limited uses/day, only works for this specific character, spell
> trigger (if you allow the Charm Animal spell on his list).
> NB: this ring still can't work on a full swarm, but if you're
> allowing the building of swarms from many individuals then it's OK.

I'm not, but it's not necessary for controlling the swarm. They'd be
considered a tamed animal, and he'd be controlling them through Handle
Animal checks (see skill).

> > Former Rider of the Stone Horse "Collux"
>
> WTF? Ah, read the backstory. OK. Weird, but OK.

Yes. Rather an off-the-wall character concept.

> > The Royal Family of Performing Rats
> >
> > King Agunza (Familiar, Knows all tricks and can divine)
>
> Absolutely *cannot* divine for real, but with some ranks in perform
> he could fake it. Clarification?

See above. The character believes in it. I'll probably just roll
randomly for the result if he divines.

Or, you know, not. You never know... :) 

(In any case, don't worry, it's never going to be a proper substitute
for even the weakest of Divination spells.)

> > Queen Naja
> >
> > 10 Princes/Princessess
> > 10 Veterans
> > 30 Soldiers
> >
> > Rat Tricks:
> > Gnaw
> > Climb Rope
> > Attack/Swarm
> > Scurry On Come
> > Stay
> > Run/Hide
> > Take/Fetch
> > Jump
>
> Very cool. Though it's too many tricks isn't it? Yep, Int 2 gets
> you six tricks. You could fold Jump and Climb into Come, and use Hide to
> break up the swarm.

There's technically no need for Climb Rope (they can climb a rope just
fine, if they want to get somewhere), and I
m not sure what Jump is supposed to be (D&D rats have a Jump skill
bonus of -13).

The character does have an ace up his sleeve, though: his familiar. It
can communicate with other rats (apparently: this is actually why I
asked that question a while back), and from level 5, he can talk to it,
so it can act as an interpreter.

Of course, this won't be a huge advantage (rats are pretty dumb), but
it could get useful (and will almost certainly be entertaining).

> I do like the concept of a trained swarm, but I can see rule
> problems arising, seeing as how powerful swarms are (few monsters have
> AoE spells, and they can instantly take out casters regardless).

*shrug* They're not weak, but they're pretty vulnerable. And they _do_
have a CR, so unless it's way off, they're supposed to be about as
powerful as a Heavy Warhorse. 1d6 automatic damage and a DC 12 Nauseate
effect isn't bad, but it's not exactly something to write home about.
And don't forget that the rats have a movement speed of 15, so they're
pretty easy to outrun.

> > Mice Tricks:
> > Run Maze/Devine
> > Pass Object (a coin, key, gem, etc. small stuff)
> > Come
> > Stay
> > Run/Hide
> > Stand
> > Jump
>
> Ditto too many tricks. Jump may be overly specific again. That "run
> maze" trick could be really handy.

I'm assuming you're being sarcastic. It's for the divination :) 

Overly specific or not, Jump is useless. Mice just physically can't
jump (in D&D at least, I've no idea whether they can in real life).

> Of course, if you go with spell-swarms, then you could carry a
> whole bunch of rats that know every trick in the book.
> One set to find mouseholes (aka secret doors), one set to get
> things, one set to carry things, one set to "attack this object", all of
> them know "come", "heel", and "hide".

Spell-swarms know no tricks, aren't tame, and can't even be commanded.
The only control a caster has over them is deciding where they appear
initially, and deciding when to stop concentrating on them so they'll
(eventually) disappear.

> "Attack/swarm" *is* a pretty cool concept, but I'd still rather see
> it done as the spell, at the very least to save on retraining time.

What do you mean?

> I envisage the following: Taron's rats sneak along behind him,
> heeling along the base of walls. A baddie caster appears, Taron casts
> /Summon Swarm/, and his real rats hide as the swarm appears to form from
> them and attack.
> Similar with /Summon Monster/ picking out one (or a few) pets to
> appear to become Feindish Dire Rats, while the real ones hide.
> No loss of trained rats, game balance intact (assuming the spells
> are basically balanced), rat's become free to learn more utilitarian tricks.

Heh, interesting. I'd have no problem with this, either, but I don't
think a tame rat swarm is any more a balance problem than a trained
warhorse is.

> So, Laszlo, questions. How many rats in a swarm?

Well, according to his character sheet, 50. This is less than the 300
specified in the SRD
(http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/swarm.htm#Swarm), so I might rule
that they fill less than the 4 squares a normal rat swarm does. I dunno
yet.

> How many die when the swarm is "killed"?

Depends on how they're killed (a Fireball would kill 'em all, for
instance, while sword blows wouldn't). It doesn't matter, though; if
the swarm is dead, it's gone. Even if there are survivors, they won't
form another swarm.

> What are the mods to Handle Animal to control the
> swarm, if any?

I didn't have any mods in mind. Do you think mods (negative, I assume)
are necessary?

> How long to charm up a set of replacements?
> Charmed rats aren't domesticated, right?
> How long to grow your own domesticated rats?

No idea. I thought we'd cross this bridge when we got to it.

> How do wild/charmed rats treat the other PCs?

Well, they won't attack them. You'd probably find a couple in the
rations now and then.

> > King Agunza, King of the Rats
> <snip: familiar>
> Remember he gets the Wizards skills too, where appropriate. Handle
> Animal would be the main one I suppose, handy to have him order the
> others around, or at least get them to follow him to safety.

Yep. He'd probably get a bonus to his Handle Animal for handling rats,
too.

Laszlo
!