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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Common Room --> Imagination stifled?
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Cheshire Cad
Karma: 101/3
1166 Posts

Question to all who read this.

Does anybody else have that character they're dying to play, but haven't managed it yet? Whether it be games cut off early, DM bans, what have you, am I the only one pining for a potentially grand character?

I have mentioned repeatedly my shaky start at tabletop. The thing that got me most interested was looking at the Shadowdancer prestige class in the 3.5 DMG.

"What a character I could create with this," I remember thinking. From both roll and role play perspectives it excited me. How did shadow teleportation work? How could I abuse it? How would NPC's react to such an ability? Would it carry any special social stigma when revealed?

But my first DM promptly nixed that. Informed me that I'd be starting at level 1, and thus all prestige classes were out. A fair move,but I remained disappointed.

Through subsequent campaigns and DM's, I have never yet found one that would permit me to create such a character, for both greater and lesser arbitrary reasons. Does anyone else have a similarly elusive character lurking in the back of their minds?

*fades out*

Posted on 2014-01-21 at 08:11:49.

The Tired
RDI Staff
Karma: 291/33
6284 Posts


Googling the shadowdancer now

Posted on 2014-01-21 at 13:16:13.

Cheshire Cad
Karma: 101/3
1166 Posts

*fades in*

Ever find anything out about it?


Posted on 2014-02-04 at 09:10:56.

Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 128/12
2036 Posts

Two main ones...

One of mine is a Fae character. Now, generally speaking, most campaigns are lower level, so the ECL caused by being even part Fae usually puts the notion of a Fae character out of the question. Depending on design as well, a GM might be (rightfully) wary about certain Fae characteristics, namely their spell-like abilities and damage resistance, where applicable. Flight can also be a factor, for Fae that fly. Flying can allow for creative bypasses of barriers otherwise present, which again make a GM's job harder in finding the challenge to provide to a Fae character. Then there may also be a size factor.

But, with that aside, what do I mean by Fae, and what do I intend by the notion of playing one? The answer is that I find Fae lore intriguing, and I know this varies by setting as the GM designs. Consider a race like my display picture, a Sylph. By technicality, not exactly a Fae, but it wouldn't be hard to identify a similar being that is one. As a Fae, one possible underlying motivation behind adventuring with non-Fae is exactly because they are non-Fae, and generally not incorporated into Fae Courts. Maybe it's one that has never seen a human in person before. It's a strange form of curiosity, and, let's be honest here, I tend to like strangeness in my characters. Maybe they're 'on vacation', as they put it, from the Courts in a setting where there are immense political conflict between the two. Maybe they're an emissary of the Fae in the non-Fae world. Or maybe it's actually a Fae adventuring group. A lot of possibilities that could be played with.

I love the idea of flying, and I like small characters. A Faerie character is one possibility where I could play with both aspects.

The other is so far removed from the common fantasy setting that a setting in which it is not only applicable, but would be able to fill a substantial role in an adventuring party, is rare. This is a class by the name of Cybernaut, from a supplement to the D20 Modern system.

To put it simply, in the D20 Cyberscape setting (or a setting that would apply to Cybernaut), the internet is upgraded to a virtual reality that 'overlays' the real one. Cybernauts are the experts at interfacing with that virtual reality, and have powerful avatars (programs that act as their intermediary with that virtual world). Naturally, their skillset includes programming and hacking.

This sort of recursion, where a character has basically another character, can be rather confusing, and is undoubtedly part of the reason why such a setting would not be common. It is also rather niche, with one of the main issues being that an entire party of Cybernauts would undoubtedly have too much overlap to be satisfying to the players, but a lone Cybernaut in a party more focused in the 'real world' can also be unsatisfying, not having many situations to shine in. The dual worlds is another reason why it would not be common - GMs usually have enough on their plate handling one.

By consideration of that last sentence, roughly speaking the Cybernaut is an archetype that could potentially apply to any dual-world scenario. However, such scenarios are very uncommon, and modern/futuristic campaigns are not very commong in the first place. Basically, the setting would need to be made to accomodate them in the first place, and that is something that puts more work onto the GM than might be reasonable if they didn't intend for that sort of setting. I know I've had trouble trying to figure out a hypothetical setting in which it'd work without major modifications to mechanics in the printed book (which is another thing that GMs in general are wary of, for good reason).

So there you have it, those are my two primary concepts that I like but probably won't be able to play (or at least not often). There are others as well; I've made multiple tentative attempts at custom classes before, as Sib can attest, but those two are the main ones I return to thinking about more often.

Posted on 2014-02-04 at 19:52:23.

Shield Wolf
Alpha Beard
Karma: 49/2
1066 Posts


My contribution here isn't due to a DM refusing to allow it or anything like that, simply because I can never get a game going or find time to get a tabletop group together. The concept is a fairly simple one, but one I've always been excited to actually try to get off the ground.

To set up the character I first cooked up a backstory for his birth, why not start a character from the beginning right? Well this particular character, who I named after my deceased brother Benjamin, is the illegitimate son of a young Elven noble who was not ready to settle into his role as a politician and so set out see the world living the free life of a travelling bard for a few decades or so, wooing every pretty young thing he met along the way naturally. Well Benjamin's mother was one such "victim" for lack of a better term, and after a night of seduction and passion ended up pregnant, though of course the young bard was long gone before that fact ever came to light. So alone she worked and lived as her half-elven son developed and grew within her womb until finally the day came for him to come into the world, sadly she did not live to meet her son and he was raised by his uncle, the local blacksmith, because try as they might his aunt and uncle had never been able to have a child of their own. Childhood was good to young Benjamin, who for the most part never knew he was different from the other children his age and had many friends.

It wasn't until his teen years, after he started apprenticing under his Uncle, that he began to realize he was different as did the other children he had grown up with. When his uncle finally told him the story of his conception and birth and why he was different he decided he owed it to himself, and his poor mother, to learn more about his heritage and embrace the duality of his bloodline. He began to study Elven culture and magic while continuing to work with his uncle in the smithy, embracing both steel and spell, combining all that he had learned in his studies. (I had intended to play him as a Magus, for those familiar with Pathfinder, though I probably could also play him as a cross-classed character, though that would take away from some of the feel I was going for.)

Shortly after his 19th birthday or so, he forged himself a blade and bid his aunt and uncle farewell and set out into the wide world to expand on his knowledge base, to learn more about his father and their people, to expand his understanding of magic, swordplay, and smithing.

I had fully intended for Benjamin to be obsessed (for lack of a better term) with learning new ways of forging both weapons and armor, improving his weapon and armor selection as he progressed in the class and became able to wear heavier armor and still cast his spells, even eventually going so far as to learn to work mithril with elven smiths and of course eventually find his own place in the world as he went along, always chasing rumors of rare materials, learning regional forging habits, and training under smiths of various races, all while learning more about his Elven heritage and improving as a spellcaster as well.

As much as I would love to truly make this character and let him shine, I realize the amount of time and work a GM would have to put into crafting adventures that would appeal to his motivations, as well as the amount of in-game time he would take up simply learning and practicing his craft, that's a lot of time at a forge, which makes for less time out slaying and looting.

Posted on 2014-02-05 at 00:01:29.
Edited on 2014-02-05 at 00:09:23 by Shield Wolf

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