Friday, November 13, 2009

Too Many Comments: Or, Rounding Out the Party

So my first reaction to ocean-based campaign was a finesse, skill-based player. It seems everyone else's was as well. So far we have a rogue and two bards. Not helpless in a combat (especially the types you fight on a ship), a bit of healing, a bit of arcane magic. So no big strengths outside of skills/thieving, but no absolute weaknesses. Instead of overbalancing things in any one direction, I'm still drawn to my original concept with some kind of hybrid that allows us to complement each other's dispersed strengths. Here are some of my brainstorms. What do you eliminate, Nate, and what does everyone have to offer that might tip me one way or the other?

- A Swashbuckler (Complete Warrior) - a flashy, attention seeking, finesse fighter type.

- A Wizard - with the hopes of becoming a master of winds, storms, and the weather.

- A Duskblade (PHB 2) - an elvish (or elf influenced) hybrid that combines combat expertise with spellcasting.

- A Barbarian (maybe Ranger) variant of some sort - a "savage" islander picked up on some far ocean voyage, but not sure rage or tracking make sense with this character concept and looking for some logical substitute for that aspect of the class.

- A Druid - a "savage" islander picked up on some far ocean voyage . . .

- A Beguiler (PHB 2) - kind of a bard, but focused on illusion and deception. If I'm this you probably won't know, as I'll be trying to pass myself off as one of the others above.

- Other suggestions?

15 comments:

Nathan McKinney said...

When it comes to choosing classes that aren't standard, I would say that as long as they are chosen with a spirit that fits the theme of the adventure, I'm all for it.

I definitely can understand the draw of playing primarily skill based players. The rogue I played has been by far my favorite character. However, I do want you guys to consider a couple of things.

I can create a game that is more skill based, sure, but I think you have to decide what roles in the skill base you want each character to focus on. I think what you all get by generalizing is that all the characters in the party will want to tackle the same task. Inevitably, someone will always have the highest roll for certain tasks, rendering most of the other characters to being nothing more than assistance. It might get to the point where you feel like your character isn't contributing much to the party.

There is a reason that most DND parties are diverse. So that each adventurer serves a vital role in the quest. They become indispensable. A football team with nothing but kickers just wouldn't accomplish much.

The other thing to consider is that, while I can skew the adventure to require a lot of skill, It will be a challenge for me to fill everyones needs that way, and the story may lose a bit of the flavor as a result.. I think my inclination would be to not change anything about what I would have thrown at you had you been a normally diversified party, and your group would have to figure out how skill based characters would survive even though they are missing the key ingredients you would usually need to survive certain encounters. This might be what you want, but you might find yourself having to survive on cunning and sneaking around instead of actually fighting.

I will leave the decision up to you guys. Here is what I suggest: I think we should try and get together before the adventure date and settle on an list of characters. Get our character's backstories figured out, and set up the game, then on the first game day we will be ready to roll.

Nathan McKinney said...

Oh, and I think there was a question regarding getting some sort of special weapon at the beginning of the game because it fits with a back story. I will consider things like that, but I may require some sort of compensating penalty to balance out the characters.

Degolar said...

Swashbucklers, Barbarians, and Rangers are all combatants. Duskblades are are combatants that use magic for combat in addition to their weapons. Wizards are full-bore arcane casters. Druids are full-bore divine casters. The only skill-based option I offered was Beguiler, and that was basically a joke.

I understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure its connection to my post or my questions in it.

Lummox said...

Look. I'm participating! :D

Degolar said...

I'm sorry, Nate. That came across unfriendly and that wasn't my intent. I was processing my thoughts out loud, sharing my reaction to the desire for all skill based characters, but tried to show with my options I'm wanting to work with the party to have some balance.

It sounds like you're saying the classes from the supplemental books like Swashbuckler and Duskblade are OK if I want to go that route? And a Barbarian or Ranger variant would be OK if it's fairly balanced and makes sense with a character story?

For the three players so far, do you have a sense how you want to develop your characters? For rogues to an extent and bards especially, you can become a lot of different things based on how you distribute your feats, skills, and spells. I'm wanting to get a sense for where we'll be weakest so I can fill in. Will the rogue be a backstabbing combat expert or focus on the "softer" skills? Will the bards take offensive or defensive feats and spells or healing, social, or what? Will you emphasize combat, spells, or skills with your feats? That kind of thing. What are we going to be better at and what worse?

Aerin said...

was thinking a -1 to hide checks unless I put on gloves, negating the bonus that trait gives me, and maybe a -1 to disguise checks since it is a reasonably obvious coloring to my palms. (the original boost was +1 to climb and +1 vs disarm checks)

Degolar said...

Humor I can't share on Facebook or my personal blog because of who reads:

Now that I'm single I was sure someone would get me a birthday hooker, but no luck.

Hadrian said...

Yeah, keep hoping brother, keep hoping....

Lummox said...

I tried, but apparently, they don't let you test drive before you buy. What kind of customer service is that? I tell ya, the whole country's going to pot. And by that I mean we are ditching tobacco and moving to weed.

What was I saying now?

schede - How Canadians cuss.

Lummox said...

Oh and to answer your question, I was thinking more of an older man who mostly works defensively.

Degolar said...

Self defense only, or healing and things that can transfer to party members?

Tiger said...

Well, I was thinking more defensive/buffing/healing myself, so I'm not sure what that leaves us.

sticab - a much faster way to get across new york

Degolar said...

If you guys have the healing covered as well as two bards can, then I can eliminate Druid from my consideration and focus on offensive combatant.

Lummox said...

Well, Saliim is mainly out for his own skin, being a loan barb, however, if he is in a group, he will be happy to help those who help him. So he would heal the party if one of them was in danger, unless he has a good reason not to. I was also going to make him a buffer as well, but mostly focusing on defensive magics/skills. Speaking of which, hey Nate, I was wanting to email you some info on my guy and on the game i am making, but I totally lost your email. If you still have mine, could you send me a msg and I will get it from that?
Sorry. I'm not sure what happened to my address book, but half of my contacts are gone. Also, anyone that I emailed before on the circumstancedesign email, I won't be able to do that so I will need your most often checked email as well.

ingin - Not a genie.

Nathan McKinney said...

sibanate
at
kc.rr.com