Monday, January 8, 2024

Emirikol Characters

I passed along my brainstorming notes to the players and after Dave spent some time dicking around saying he wanted to play a ‘dwarf slave tumbler’ and Tom grumped a little about not being able to play a Rogue/Paladin and us agreeing that his highly agile, noble fencer type could be modeled as a Rogue/Fighter/Aristocrat multi-class we ended up with

·       Rebecca playing Cybele Floraine, a debt-laden half elf sorceress from landless nobility. Stunning of form, beyond charming, prone to dissolution, and possessed of a serpentine soul.

·       David playing Hiram Desaud, a young human bard cheated out of his inheritance by his uncle. Handsome, charming and of youthful appearance, seeking fame and finds to regain his lands.

·       Jim playing Melas Masji Beliseca, a malformed half-elf aristocrat/fighter with a wicked temper and orders to bring vengeance upon some old enemies of his family.

·       Tom playing Dietrich von Eisnewald, a human landed fighter/rogue (Aristocrat is promised at 3rd level, and he’ll get the class benefits then), with dreams of service and paladin-hood.

I queried Tom and he said he preferred the Germanic name but didn’t really want to be a halfling. We agreed that the Von Eisenwalds were the human nobility on whose lands in the south plentiful halfling families lived, hence their Germanic names. This, plus the lack of any halfling or gnome PCs, clarified something in the setting: the smallfolk with the merchant class. The growing power of the middle class is settling on the stalwart halflings and the crafting gnomes now that the republic and its laws are giving them legal powers and protections. That really set the visuals for the setting and made clear how much the world was changing. We also agreed to drop the ‘you must start as an aristocrat’ rule; he wouldn’t get the big cash bump at start, but he was on his way to Emirikol to inherit his estates.

Rebecca’s sorcerer pretty much skipped my brainstorming line of sorcerers being hyper-dedicated combat spellcasters and kept with the core book presentation of them being conduits for raw magic. So my idea changed to elves having either sorcerer or wizard as favored class, based on whether their personality tended to high emotion or deep scholarship. Cybele was clearly the former. Knowing what was coming her spells were Mage Armor, True Strike, and Magic Missile, a good set for a sword-wielding sorceress. Her familiar is a viper, and her magic missiles take the shape of snakes. Her broke, indebted, dissolute background was closest to what I had originally envisioned for the game.

David developed a simple backstory for his young orphaned noble whose uncle/regent had sent him to a distant school (where Hiram mastered Dramaturgy) so he would have no allies on his lands, and then contrived by legal means to deny Hiram his inheritance. Hiram has come to Emirikol for its theater culture, hoping to make enough funds as an actor and playwright to get legal help and recover his lands. If other opportunities come to make untaxed cash <cough> chaos crypts! <cough> so be it. This served to strengthen even more the nature of the law in the campaign: the republic is Lawful. Hiram’s uncle was evil, and his ends were unjust, but he was in the law. Alignment was beginning to matter as culture.

Jim came with an elaborate backstory of being an agent/child of the larger Beliseca family, old imperial elvish blood, under orders from his aunt Agatha to take over and revitalize the family’s intelligence network in Emirikol and ultimately get vengeance on another family located her for a century old slight. This also told us something about the elves, the old empire, the old families, their slights, their infighting, and their continued quiet power. Jim’s PC was Neutral-as-amoral, but odds are good that aunt Agatha is just as lawful evil as Hiram’s uncle. Melas also had below average Constitution and Charisma from his hunchback, uneven-length limbs, and ugly face, which hid his superior intelligence very Tyrion Lannister, as Jim was pulling heavily from Song of Ice and Fire and Elric for character inspiration.

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