Blog Comments

  1. Erran's Avatar
    Of course. I kind of like them this way too, though, continuous, fluid, without stops. And if I get to make them feel endless, the better. At times, it does seem like I lose air when I start reading. However, soon, I remember that I can breathe underwater as well, if only in my mind :) ...And I may be taking a big chance here. But still, there is nothing unfair to them. There is enough quality inside, I think, to compensate for any first steps inconveniences on the reader´s part. Don´t agree. I like this feeling, that I don´t share my posts with only search engines, more. I´ll try to pass it on by complying with your request. Even if I have to simulate those breaks. I did learn a few bb code tricks since I got started here. Change is nice! Thanks. It cheered me up, this imagined conversation ~
    Updated Yesterday at 05:21 AM by Erran
  2. sarynkitamo's Avatar
    Psst paragraph breaks would help these be more legible.
  3. Erran's Avatar
    (continuing from the previous comment) Errandûrr´s story and all that was said about his definition so far also determines some limitations in his choice of Spells. I divide them in 3 categories: (I) those that approach real life skills most - and thus can be learned, or that depend on intuition combined with knowledge; (II) those that could only be explained as favors of nature, and (III) those that would depend on his intrinsic (mostly unexplainable) magical powers, or that would imply that the laws of nature are at his command: :::: at level 1 - (I) Alarm, Animal Friendship, Detect Magic, Detect Poison and Disease, Hunter´s Mark, (II) Fog Cloud, Goodberry, Speak with Animals, (III) Cure Wounds, Jump, Longstrider; at level 2 - (I) Find Traps, (II) Animal Messenger, Locate Animals or Plants, Locate Object, Pass Without Trace, Silence, (III) Barkskin, Darkvision, Lesser Restoration, Protection from Poison, Spike Growth; at level 3 - (I) -, (II) Conjure Animals, Nondetection, Speak with Plants, Wind Wall (III) Daylight, Plant Growth, Protection from Energy, Water Breathing, Water Walk; at level 4 - (I) -, (II) Conjure Woodland Beings, Freedom of Movement, Locate Creature, (III) Stoneskin; and at level 5 - (I) -, (II) Commune with Nature, (III) Tree Stride. :::: Most likely category III Spells will not be considered in Errandûrr´s advancement. And category II Spells may only be appropriated by Errandûrr depending on his success in reestablishing the strong bond with nature he knew as a child; it may even be required that he only spends very short periods of time out of the wilderness, throughout his life. :::: :::: :::: :::: There is one last aspect of character definition which should be addressed here: that of moral alignment. The one which seems to describe Errandûrr best, based on his story, is lawful neutral. Lawful because he submitted to the demands of an official position, albeit of small significance, and he tried to fit in, while keeping a low profile, with normal town life. Also because he honored his benefactor, by performing his job well, not getting into trouble, and recognizing the value of his advice, and following it. Neutral, because, with the exception of having helped the old hermit in his last years of life, Errandûrr did not have to face any significant choices between right and wrong, and he put more focus on his relationship with nature than on that with other people. However, he is less likely to act selfishly, than to try and help those in need; as his history with the hermit shows. Still, his long experience with inner darkness, as well as his early lawful bent, made him cautious both about judging based on appearances, and about trying to interfere with the established order of things for the sake of a momentary change in someone´s fortune. He will probably act in a good way out of a heart´s impulse, rather than based on beliefs. :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: This is the end of Errandûrr´s definition. I believe I came up with a character suitable to a beginner like me, as his life difficulties and redrawn nature could cover for the difficulties I have in approaching role-play, and as his lack of worldly experience and practice of ranger skills are suitable to my currently limited knowledge of DnD settings and real life survival skills. Errandûrr´s story and goals may restrict the range of adventures he would willingly take part in. But I suppose that a GM would not have to modify his story much to accomodate him, either. It probably isn´t important if Errandûrr attains what he wants during the adventures, and a GM could just use his story to tempt him with suspicious characters and promising information. :::: :::: For everyone´s convenience, I will set a signature to my profile containing links to both blog posts which hosted the definition and to a standard sheet. In the sheet I will also mention choices to be made up to level 3, as well as changes made at the time of joining a campaign, based on the GM´s request. Errandûrr´s sheet will also contain a short description of his appearance and presence. :::: :::: :::: :::: Good bye! Until Errandûrr´s first adventure ~ PS. That doesn´t mean I´m not going to post anything else until that late, you know.
    Updated 02-16-2018 at 09:13 AM by Erran (added note on additional sheet information)
  4. Erran's Avatar
    (continuing from the previous comment) Errandûrr´s ability scores reflect the influences of his course of life. His Constitution, 10 11 at level 1, is that of an average man, and is explained by the care with which the beings of the forest brought him up. His Strength, also at 10, shows a man not predominantly engaged in physical activity, and not weak either, although unlikely to rely on his force to achieve things. The higher score of his Dexterity is explained both by playing with Fey as a child, and by having to compensate for his insufficient Strength, in performing common physical tasks. His Elven descent may also be thought responsible for a certain nimbleness to his body. The Intelligence score is related to the type of work he did, and to his endeavour to educate himself. The Wisdom score would reflect his connectedness with the forest, or just the relying on this assumed trait of his nature. In any case, that he was accepted as part of the forest and its enchantment, as a child, can be understood to have left more than an emotional imprint on him. And, finally, the Charisma score is justified by his development of will strength. However, it is less likely that he could use this ability to influence others, than to defend, psychically(*), or to try to commune; with nature, mainly. {Update: (*) As usually Wisdom is referred to for resistance against becoming controlled or imbalanced in mind, it may be needed to go into more detail about the choice to use Charisma as a replacement. Thus, in fact, both Wisdom and Charisma checks are valid in that context, but involve a different circumstance of Errandûrr´s focus of attention. Wisdom saves make sense when his focus is on outside world things. Then attempts to take over his mind would not meet his will first of all, but a passive resistance. Charisma saves make sense when his focus is on his inner being, which includes his mind. He then meets attempts of control with his will, while dissociating the external cause of the attempt from the effect. The external cause remains something to be fought against physically; if necessary. He then recognizes the curse, which would be nourished by the external cause, as the single cause to be concerned with. Thus, it is a matter of priorities too. Should the GM, however, disagree with this line of reasoning, I would not make any fuss about limiting to Wis saves Errandûrr´s responses to charm and madness effects.] [Update:] (And, finally, the Charisma score is justified) by his experiencing of natural rhytms as a child, as well as by his Elven descent, in some measure. :::: :::: :::: :::: His race cannot be considered to have imparted any qualities to his nature, except by blood - as are the bonuses to his ability scores. Some racial properties, in Errandûrr´s case, are replaced by things learned in his early environments. For languages - the Sylvan of childhood, with a rather restricted vocabulary, and Common. For skills - a familiarity with Nature, to be developed by his later studies for becoming Ranger, and Insight into nature´s works and secrets, as explained by their childhood connectedness, as well as by his later attempts to renew and strengthen it; this extends to his perception of people´s intentions, as in both contexts - nature and men - the same inner means to perceive are used. The darkvision of a Half-Elf I am willing to make subject to a dice roll, a 1d20, to which perhaps his proficiency bonus could be added, as would be explained by the implications of his choice of life role (class). However, if the consensus is that racial descent alone can be responsible for darkvision, I would, of course, not move against; and perhaps keep the difficulty of adapting his eyes to darkness at a role-playing level by just mentioning a short delay. With regard to that ability of lasting without sleep, just with trance, it must be said that, perhaps, a compromise between the two means of recovering energy would suit Errandûrr better; I know I need quality sleep to stay healthy and strong. He may also not be immune against sleep inducing spells either. Perhaps just advantage on the saving throw would be enough. And I believe his development of will would explain a proficiency in saves against being charmed in sufficient measure. :::: :::: His copist job and his studies fit a Sage background; with ¨sage¨ being a very loosely used term. The proficiency in Arcana would be justified by Errandûrr´s exploration of magic related literature, as part of his quest to find a cure to his curse. Skill in History would refer to various knowledge gathered more or less willingly, while trying to make sense of records of the past, as he searched a link to his origins. For languages - Elvish, but not much of, and something of his inner being which he shared with trees, with nature: the language of the heart. However, the latter may or may not be considered a regular means of communication; having in the worse case to remain a role-playing feature. While making the proper modifications to the first part, I mentioned possible uses of this ¨language¨. Of the standard psychological traits for Sages I found none to suit Errandûrr better than the trait his own story provides: a tempered secludedness. Again, from ideals, none fits him better than the desire, shown in the story, to feel whole. He hopes to attain that by: finding his parents, curing his soul - so that he can enjoy life among others fully, and attaining communion with nature once more. His quests are his bond, and his flaws may be found anywhere his separateness and his curse cast a shadow. His specialty could be Scribe, as his first job indicates, but it may be Researcher also. I did consider, as Background related equipment, some tools for taking notes, but given his higher than average Intelligence and his dedication to his life quests, perhaps he can be considered to keep in memory all useful notes. [Update: You will find more on psychological traits, bonds, and flaws in his character sheet (see my profile signature).] :::: :::: Although the Ranger class makes one proficient with all sorts of armour suits and weapons, in Errandûrr´s case it would be understood that only his level, and thus his experience as ranger, would justify such extensive skills. If starting his adventures at a low (1-3) level, I could only think him prepared to use the starting equipment. Although proficiency in Dexterity saves may be related to his relying on that ability in interactions with the physical world, since childhood, later to have been emphasized in face of dangers through his choice of weapons and tactics, proficiency in Strength saving throws does not seem acceptable outside of exceptional situations. Perhaps when Errandûrr would draw on an inner strength to psychically enhance the physical ability. That could take place in defense of something held dear. In any case, a 1d20 roll, with DC depending on the closeness Errandûrr feels to the endangered creature (including trees), would decide. At level 2, I will choose the fihting style ¨Duelling¨ for him, based on my knowledge of melee tactics. It would not be unsuitable to him. Although Rangers are thought proficient in the use of shields, I reason that a Dexterity based fighter could only rely on the shield to stop an arrow; but then any large and light item grabbed in a hurry could offer the same protection. To block melee attacks, I think, requires Strength. The choice of skills in relation to class, Survival and Perception, seems to not require any justification. There is one last class aspect which can be put in relation to Errandûrr´s story so far: the Natural Enemy feature. In his case, the initial choice does not refer to literal enemies, but to his childhood buddies, the Fey, whom he gained skill at tracking while playing with them; hide-and-seek, for example. Later on, as he might become suspicious on one or another evil-bent character for being connected with his curse´s nature, he may specialize in tacking their species´ track. :::: :::: (continued in the next comment)
    Updated 02-17-2018 at 07:43 AM by Erran (returned Cha usage to normality)
  5. Erran's Avatar
    continuing from the previous comment) These preparations, as he explored various possibilities in his mind, opened a view of the world he felt not ready for. He began thinking about what others, the people outside and far from the town´s walls, could recognize as his place in the world. He surely could not expect to establish contacts of any usefulness on account of his copist practice and the knowledge gathered from books, or by just telling his life story to anyone he met; let alone mentioning the dark curse up front. One of the books spoke of rangers, and it seemed to him there may be much to his familiarity with the woods to have prepared him for such a role. But this would also mean he could be asked to accompany groups of people through wilderness... And what if he would, in this way, learn something that can´t be found within a library´s walls? What if meeting various kinds of people and circumstances, as ranger, would increase his chances to find an answer? After all, as he came to understand during the last years, there is a limit to the knowledge that books and records can hold. A ranger... This would also mean a return to the old way of life, from before learning to trade money for things, when the woods seemed to provide all he needed. A partial return, anyway. To bring the old and the new him together. But what of the old is still there? Would the forest still recognize him? Would the enchantment he was once part of still open to him, or would it hide, as it did from the hermit? :::: :::: :::: :::: Not only did Errandûrr need to know he can count on nature´s support, if he was to pass as a ranger, he looked towards nature also in hope it can restore strength to his heart. The years of putting distance between him and the world, of drawing away in his heart while guarding against the darkness, left him inside with a great emptiness. Like the great wastelands he read about, that no one crossed, but the winds of the curse, howling. And while he took for granted that he and the trees have a bond, throughout all that time spent within the town´s walls, slowly, the feeling became more a thought. And now he was wondering if the trees really listened to him anymore, if that distance in his heart was not also keeping them, nature, away. What if... what if he would return to the old tree, to Dada, and be met with the same silence, stillness as of these trees in which he recognized, as in a mirror, the imprint of the town´s presence? His walks outside the walls have lost their ease, and he would move now with his eyes closed, uncertain, trying to find a path through the trees with just his hands. And he would stop, after a few yards, in front of a tree, hoping that he was guided to stop there. He´d open his eyes and then spend the rest of the evening trying to see beyond the hard bark, into the tree´s soul. :::: :::: And if he felt like whispering he did, words of the old language, of childhood. And if he felt like humming he did so too. There was a side to Errandûrr which showed up late in life, as if to compensate for something lost. And that could only reveal itself in the intimacy shared with the trees. Poetic, a side which, most likely, he has inherited from his Elven parent. A way of relating, harmonious, which nature called out of him to smooth, to balance his attempts to commune. And while his life among people never prompted him to make anything out of it, now, when he needed to feel his bond with the trees, with nature strong, begun to tap into this artistic side. He gave himself to it, to the unknown of it, hoping to reach an innocence of being which time and darkness could not corrupt. These were the beginnings of what he would later call the language of the heart. And this softness to his spirit, paired with the hardened will, he was to regard as the core of his being of many contrasts. As Errandûrr approached his twenty-and-second year and the time of leaving the town and his life there behind, he found himself to have grown, as a person, a whole which somehow held together across many gaps in his understanding, and in what he could recognize as his means, his abilities. And maybe it will remain a lifelong tendency, with him, to try to fill those gaps, or to compensate for them, somehow. :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: Errandûrr´s story takes a break here, and it is meant to continue as part of an rp group adventure. That could begin as he leaves the town, with a caravan headed towards a large city, or after a number of years spent searching for answers and learning his ranger trade. In the following, I will present a summary of the story above, which will describe, in short, the main events of Errandûrr´s life so far, and the traits of his personality and his soul which are significant enough to take part in his portrait. After, I will spend some time discussing choices made in the first half, on means, which may be less obvious, or to which the story did not specifically refer. :::: :::: :::: :::: Errandûrr was found in the woods when he was a baby. He was raised by an awakened tree, by animals, and by Fey folk; who also divined his name. He grew up feeling he is a part of the forest, and knowing that he can depend on it for all his needs. The first language he spoke was Sylvan. :::: :::: He had a wound to his soul, caused by dark magic, which the Fey only managed to keep in check with their knowledge of medicine. That darkness grew with Errandûrr and he was forced to draw away from a usual life among others, in order to stand guard against that evil´s spreading inside and taking over him. As he felt less and less that he belonged, he considered leaving the woods in search for his natural parents and for a cure. :::: :::: An opportunity presented itself, when the old hermit he used to keep company with now and then, needed being taken care of. Errandûrr stayed in his house, providing for him, until he died, time during which he learned to speak, read, and write Common. :::: :::: With a letter from the old man, Errandûrr then reached a town, where he was given a copist´s job at the local library. For a few years, he searched through archives for a clue to his origins, he read about magic and learned by himself some Elvish. His conduct at the job, as outside of it, left no room for reproach. :::: :::: He made few acquaintances among the town´s youth, and he learned to fit in, from a distance. His only close friends, he felt, where the trees outside the town´s walls. His will to keep the darkness at bay inside hardened, but his heart, where solitude grew, slowly lost strength. :::: :::: The time came when he realized that he can make no more progress on his quest while staying in the town. And he began to prepare for taking on a life role which would offer him more opportunities. He considered presenting himself as a ranger, hoping that his past of living in the woods has provided enough experience to get him started. :::: :::: Hoping he can still rely on a connection with nature, in spite of the separateness which marked his growing up, he turned to his inspired, yet undeveloped, poetic side to communicate by. Its softness, along with discipline, and with having to rely more on things read instead of practice, define his approach to life. :::: :::: :::: :::: (continued in the next comment)
    Updated 02-12-2018 at 09:25 PM by Erran
  6. Erran's Avatar
    This is the last part of Errandûrr´s definition, which began in the comments to ¨All walk and no play¨. As stated before, the focus here is on meanings, on the aspects of Errandûrr´s life which explain some of the choices made in the first part. Also, while presenting his past, I will offer a sketch of his psychological traits and will cover any features that still need be defined. Before beginning, it may be useful to remind that the placing of Errandûrr´s definition in comments to this and the other blog post mentioned is meant to reflect the fact that he is derived from the Erran root; some of the features of whom I have referred to in the two posts. It should be understood, naturally, that some aspects of my real life, otherwise more or less common, have been exaggerated for dramatic effect, and there is also a considerable amount of fantasy mixed in ;) :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: :::: Errandûrr´s earliest memories are about an awakened tree he called ¨Dada¨, animals who brought him food, and satyr and dryad kids he played with in the forest that was his home. The woods made a profound impression on his heart, and, in spite of changes experienced within as he grew up, he still feels a strong bond with the trees. It is one of the few things which give him a sense of a real identity, a real self. :::: :::: :::: :::: While he was small, he wondered little about the differences between him and the other kids; he always felt like he belonged. As he reached 6 or 7 years of age though, he started to notice those differences, and, on the background of his first conscious attempts at understanding relations of family and society, his young mind became troubled by nagging questions about his own nature and his real parents. He turned to the only folk he could exchange words with, the Fey, and learned that no one knew how he came to be there, in the forest, that no one saw his parents, and that he most likely belonged to the races of Humans and Elves, in mixed measure. Those answers did not bring him peace. They only served to fuel his ambition to learn, leading further to what would become one of his life´s quests: to restore balance to his sense of identity by finding his parents and asking them about their separation. :::: :::: And there was something else they revealed, which added to his heart´s burden. He learned that some traits of behavior he had, now and then, the display of which tended to scare other youngsters away from his company, were due to a curse, a deep wound to his soul caused by dark magic, one that the benevolent woodlanders only managed, with their skill, to keep in check. They told him that it would be a responsibility he would have to take on, as soon as he will grow strong enough in spirit, in will. Because, from a point of his inner development onward, he would be the only one capable to keep that curse, which would grow with him, under control. And this may have to go on for the rest of his life... They also said that there could be a cure somewhere, on some plane, but it would be up to him to find out both what darkness was mixed with his life force, and how it could be defeated. Their knowledge stopped there. From that moment on, Errandûrr´s heart became more and more closed to the people around, as his concern for an outbreak of ugliness, and for the constant threat of that taking over his soul, kept him more and more intensely turned towards his inner world. During his early adolescence, that passed as natural, although a quite noticeable distance began to set in between him and the fey youth he once played through the trees with; and his social contacts became scarcer and scarcer. Just the old tree would bring him some comfort, now and then, when he returned to sit in the giant´s canopy, by calling a soft breeze to make the leaves sing, or by putting its branches around him. But that was far from enough to establish a lasting peace in his consciousness. Or to quench an increasing need for affection, for sharing with a twin soul. As time passed, he became more and more anxious to leave the woods and to seek a solution outside its boundaries. What made him decide to leave his home was his first failure in love: he tried to open up about his dark secret to a dryad girl whose family just moved in close by; she too got scared. And the known world became, all of the sudden, too small to breath in... :::: :::: :::: :::: Now and then, throughout his childhood and adolescence, Errandûrr came to learn that there was a special inhabitant of the woods, an old human hermit, who sometimes wandered pass his tree home too in search of herbs and mushrooms. Everyone hid when the old man passed, letting no sign of the woods´ enchanted nature reach his eyes. But as his heart grew more and more weary of that burden which kept him away from a true enjoyment of life, Errandûrr´s inclination to follow the others´ habits faded also. And he wondered if the old man could not, perhaps, open the door to a more promising life for him. As time went by, he began to expect the hermit´s returns with more enthusiasm, until when, finally, he decided to let himself be seen. Surprised, the old man tried to communicate with him, but in spite of the fact that each of them seemed to speak a language the other did not understand, they managed to reach a sort of friendly conclusion of this first encounter with only gestures. The hermit returned, after that, more often to the tree, and took the half-elf along in his walks. As they spoke more, they taught each other some Common and Sylvan vocabulary. Just not enough, though, to make approaching any important topic possible. The hermit was never too inquisitive either. After a year or so, the old man´s visits stopped, and months went by without him being seen. Eventually, Errandûrr went looking for him. He was found in a small shack, sick, mostly of old age. And Errandûrr took upon him to take care of the hermit from then on. In gratitude, he did his best to teach the youth to speak, read and write in Common, and he also tried to pass on a knowledge of herbology, but nothing much came of that attempt. Errandûrr was more interested in leaving the forest than to learn more about it. To help the half-elf find whatever he longed for, the hermit gave him a letter, addressed to a friend from early times, from the town the old man left. And he told the youth how to get there. :::: :::: :::: :::: After the hermit died, Errandûrr took to the road. He reached the city, and, asking around about the friend´s name, reached the door of his son´s house. The man remembered about his father´s acquaintance, and was sad to learn that he died. He took Errandûrr in and, using his position at the town hall, arranged a job of copist for the half-elf at the town´s library. For a few years then, Errandûrr divided his time between the work place, where he strived to perform his tasks well, and where he began to learn Elvish and read about magic, the town hall´s archives, where he looked for any recording which could refer to his past, and walks outside the town´s walls, where he could open up to the trees, as to real friends. He also made a few acquaintances among the town´s young elves, and half-elves, but the secludedness that already became second nature to him, as well as their lack of interest in troubling matters, kept the dialog at a level where nothing of real interest to Errandûrr could come up. And as the darkness which beset his soul seemed to grow in power whenever he lost sight of it, like when he was having fun with other people, he kept his distance. And he learned to wield a smile. :::: :::: :::: :::: Time passed without any important change to take place in his life. He eventually again grew restless, and began to think about undertaking a journey to one of the major cities; one of the Elves maybe. In his 20th year, he approached his benefactor and revealed to him the existence of the curse, and the fact that he has not yet seen his parents. The man showed understanding, and, having had no reason to reproach the youth so far, said he would gladly offer him a letter of recommendation, when he will leave. But, since many things could happen to upset his plans on such a long road, he also said that, perhaps, he should use his current access to information to learn as much as possible about the outer world before venturing out. Perhaps to learn also some skills he could rely on in the more demanding situations that could arise? Errandûrr gratefully took the man´s advice and spent the next year or so following it as best he could, in addition to taking care of his job´s obligations. :::: :::: (continued in the next comment)
    Updated 02-16-2018 at 07:49 AM by Erran
  7. Erran's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sarynkitamo
    Psst. Rel's campaign is open for recruitment for another couple of days. Plenty of time to work something up!
    :::: Thank you, Saryn. A hint like this one may be just what a newbie needs to finally get started :) I wasn´t following the recruitment posts, though, and it looks like that 10th of February deadline may be one too soon to meet. I only saw this message now and went through Rel´s invitation for the first time... And I was about to join for a few moments there... even if I would probably not have been able to put together a decent Errandûrr until that time; let alone my stuff as a role-player. It kind of felt like being a fresh recruit who never wielded a sword and is now called to the first ranks to face an enemy attack. And my first impulse was to go with that... Then I looked at the perspective of future opportunities, which I could surely meet with a more satisfactory degree of preparedness. And I decided it would be better for everyone involved if I would enter a story certain of being able to keep the mess-up at a tolerable, passable level. One I could look beyond and see, instead, my little contribution to everyone´s enjoyment. There is no reason to hurry; even if my later posts may have hinted at a decrease in enthusiasm. I will reach my goal, no matter what. I am certain of this - it´s something I drive myself to every day. And to that culmination belongs also a quality of expression which must match the best I knew myself capable of so far in life. It must, or I wouldn´t be happy :) and neither would everyone else; of course, as this is the foundation that the enjoyment to be known with others is built on. Now, because of this, please, do not think that your message and the generosity in Rel´s invitation will become something lost to me. If not to help me call myself soon a role-player, they will for sure remain with me as motivators to learn harder, to progress faster. And a first step is the promise to start following that campaign also, once it starts. For now, that is the way of being with you guys; and I must find comfort in it. But I am sure there will be many more opportunities in the future. I desire that dearly. Thank you, Saryn. Have a good time with OSW! ~
  8. sarynkitamo's Avatar
    Psst. Rel's campaign is open for recruitment for another couple of days. Plenty of time to work something up!
  9. Erran's Avatar
    Impressive... To have reached for an essence of the stars´ influence, and, having come back from those depths, at the surface, to wield new names and relationships... Or to be clever enough to make it look so :) In the context of role-play, a system, such as this one, raises in beauty above what the order and meanings can offer, as it gives to the interaction of players and game master a new dimension. A work of art, surely, to those who can appreciate it. Alas, to me, whose inexperience makes all look much like a magician´s Illusory Script scroll, it can do little more than set ajar a new door leading towards that world of wonders I aim to, someday, take part in. And I had this thought: If only there would have been some examples of actual play, to at least give one like me an idea of the extent to which this system´s use could influence an adventure... And so I ask, if only to meet a beginner´s fancy with kindness: If it would please the author, as in an opening of that door to possibilities wider, could the finding of such examples be, at some time, considered?
    Updated 02-06-2018 at 11:00 AM by Erran
  10. Erran's Avatar
    (the previous comment continued) :::: A look at the table of spells per level informed me that up to level 5, included, I may know 4 spells only, and those mostly of level 1. While giving a lingering look to that level 3 ¨Speak with Plants¨ beauty, I selected only these future spells from the Ranger´s list: Detect Poison and Disease, and Goodberry, to be followed by Detect Magic, later on; of level 2, Find Traps. [Update:] A few comments: first, the Detects and Finds, to be more realistic, should also require a Wisdom-Insight check, as I would rely more on a 6th sense in life, than on experience, so that could be mixed with Errandûrr´s supposed experience based knowledge; second, the Goodberry would work as a gift of the forest, rather than something under my control - and I couldn´t think of any good check for that. :::: The Half-Elf race and the Sage background confer knowledge of the languages Common and Elvish, and other three, which I have chosen to be Sylvan, Primordial, and Celestial. [Update: It is not clear to me, at this time, if Primordial is the basis of speech for each elemental type, or if it´s understood as clearly divided into four distinct languages; with regard to the second case, I am still in doubt about choosing between Auran and Aquan.] It was a decision of the heart: the first two being related to nature, and the third to the plane above from where I am inspired to see beauty. Although a Half-Elf, Errandûrr has only a rudimentary knowledge of Elvish, and his Common does not rely on too large a vocabulary. In his case, Elvish is not a language the knowledge of which is derived from his racial roots, but something he studied later in his youth; and is part of the features covered by his Sage background. Those among whom he spent his earliest years conferred him a basic skill of speaking Sylvan, and the mentioned knowledge of Common. And these languages only are understood to be related to his race. Besides Elvish, the Sage background gave him ability at ¨speaking¨ the language of the heart. That is not a usual language, although it borders on the Celestial and the Primordial tongues. It has to do with artistic expression and has a two-fold effect: it gives him a permanent bonus of +1 to both Performance and Persuasion, but only in interactions with creatures sensitive to beauty the beauty in nature; and it gives him a chance (1d20 with bonuses and penalties depending on Errandûrr´s condition) to support, through speech imitating natural sounds, a telepathic connection with Elementals, which offers the benefits of a rudimentary knowledge of all Primordial tongues. These choices will be explained, in some measure, in the second part of Errandûrr´s definition. [Update: Errandûrr´s definition, in its current development stage, only leaves room at high levels (10+) for such communication with Elementals. The language of the heart is first of all something between him and the trees, the forest. It would be entirely up to the Elementals if they would ¨understand¨ Errandûrr, by participating in his emotional interactions with wooden life.] :::: The last aspect that I will address here is that of equipment. I chose to neglect the standard one and, assuming I can depend on at least 100 gp at the beginning of an adventure, I made a list of items, taking into consideration both potential uses and weight handling. I included a few items which may be found in kits, or which may not be mentioned in any reference document. I also added a trinket. In the following listing, the items are grouped into: [A] armour and weapons, [B] adventuring gear, and [C] extra items. A * sign indicates that the item will be placed in the backpack. A quantity greater than one is indicated within brackets. :: [A] Leather armour, Dagger (x2), Shortbow, Shortsword; [Update:] it may be a good idea to bring a Handaxe along too, if only as a tool (adds 5 gp and 2 lb. to costs), unless the GM would agree that a Shortsword can also inflict slashing damage; [B] Backpack; Arrows (20), Bedroll, Bell*, Blanket, (Map or Scroll) Case*, Chalk* (x2), (Traveller´s) Clothes (including a hat made of straws or twigs), Healer´s Kit*, Lamp, Mess Kit*, Oil Flask* (x2), Perfume Vial*, Quiver, Rations* (4 days), (Silk) Rope, Sack* (x4), Shovel, Soap* (x3), Tinderbox*, Waterskin, Whetstone*; [C] (various bits of) Herbs*, (Fishing) Hooks*, (a thin sheet of) Leather (waterproof, about 3 sq. ft.), (a small) Mirror*, muffling material* (like batting from an old suit of padded armour, tow, or fur), (Short Steel) Nails* (4-5), Needles and Thread*, Scissors (Fingernails), (Silver) String* (10 ft.); ¨a glass jar containing lard with a label that reads, Griffon Grease¨. :: Of the extra items, I consider only the weight of the trinket big enough to count. The total weight would be 75 lb., of which 21-22 lb. would represent the contribution of items inside the backpack. According to the simplified rule, Errandûrr´s speed would decrease to 20 ft. (from the base speed of 30 ft.), while a more realistic estimation would probably have it at 15 ft., or so. In any case, he would be forced to travel at a rather slow pace, and should this be an issue, with reference to the team´s goals, he would give up the following items, to stay at 30 ft.: Bedroll, Blanket, (Map or Scroll) Case, Mess Kit, Rations (2 days), Shovel, Tinderbox, Whetstone, and the jar of lard. He would then have to replace some items with more of what nature provides. An alternative would be to use a mount, of course; and having a permanent mount would allow me to bring along other useful, life simplifying items, like a tent; and a pot. [Update:] While going through the rules once more, I noticed that a Waterskin only holds half of the daily required quantity; although, while carrying less weight, perhaps even less than 0.5 gal. per day, a few days, could be enough to survive. But to stick with the manual rule, one would have to stay close to a clean stream, or travel between less than one day apart villages in order to survive on the contents of just one Waterskin. A second, would mean to give up the rope or rations, probably. I conclude that, for the purpose of most adventures, to have a mount is imperative. [Update:] In the last version of his equipment (both full and simplified versions) I included the Handaxe, even if only to be used as a tool. And it may be a good place to mention that my reluctance to hurt trees would not suit Errandûrr´s role of keeping the team safe in the wilderness well. Another matter that should be addressed in the passing is whether or not his Perception would suffer from carrying too much weight for too long (8h/day marches), or if he would have disadvantage in the first round of combat when attacked while carrying his luggage. Given that even 80 lb. is not that much weight to carry with one´s back, perhaps only after 4h of marching or so should a penalty of -1/h be considered. :: As I could not guess the prices for the (C) section of my list (excepting, of course, the trinket and the pieces of wood), and as the other items amount to a bit over 94 gp (Handaxe included), I assume that I could have to spend all the 100 gp with purchasing everything. This would put Errandûrr in the situation of either having to make a living in the wilderness, or to find a patron/employer at the beginning of an adventure. During the days spent in a city, provided that he can afford it, the modest lifestyle would fit him just fine. :::: At level 1, if my calculations are correct, Errandûrr would have 10 hit points (a critical blow would probably be fatal), an AC of 13 (which means that about half of the attempts to hit him would succeed), and his damage would range between 3 and 6-8; although the rules may have to be altered a bit in accordance to a knowledge of poisons that he would possess. Definitely not front rank material, in any case. :::: This is the end of the first part of Errandûrr´s definition. A future break from my studies will occasion a return to it, to deal with his personality, his life story and to go into more detail about some of the choices mentioned here. And then... some more time will have to pass before I could see him take part in an adventure... Good bye! Until next time ~
    Updated 02-17-2018 at 07:44 AM by Erran (language of the heart usage note)
  11. Erran's Avatar
    In need of a change, while not affording to break away from my studies completely, I again gave in to the playful interest in character definition. This time I considered an actual character, derived from the Erran root, while facing the realities of play as found in the posts of campaigns so far followed. The definition will take place in two parts, presented through comments to my two blog posts that approach the topic (to this date: All walk and no play, here; and Gazing at the stars). The focus in the two parts will be on means and meanings, respectively. :::: To begin, I set down what could already be decided by the Erran heritage. First, the name: Errandûrr (rhymes with moor-r). Then, the race, class, and background: Half-Elf, Ranger, Sage. Just two short comments at this point. One, that I took Half-Elf instead of Elf because of the greater customization freedom it offered; besides being still at trying to have my elvish side express more. And second, I took just Ranger, instead of a multi-class, thinking that it would probably be better to gain experience with each class individually, before attempting a mix. Last, I record that tendency towards feeling at home with a combination of Dexterity and Wisdom as main abilities, followed closely by Intelligence and Charisma [Update: about Charisma - see notes on changes below]. The aspect of skills I will address later. :::: In defining a character, one has to consider both the means of the avatar to achieve desirable results in the face of challenges, and the player´s means to act realistically in accordance to the demands of a specific role. I kept this in mind while fine tuning Errandûrr´s characteristics and making equipment choices. I also took into account levelling-up options. :::: I chose this foundation of scores: 10 Con, 10 Str, 14 Dex, 13 Int, 14 Wis, and 12 Cha [Update:] 10 Con, 10 Str, 13 Dex, 14 Int, 15 Wis, and 10 Cha, knowing that the Half-Elf race adds +2 to Cha and +1 in two other ability scores (Int and Wis Con and Dex, in my character´s case)(*), and also knowing that the Ability Scores Increase feature only comes up every four levels, while every even score above 10 brings an increase in the associated ability modifier. [Update: (*) While a child may be understood to have inherited from his parents qualities both physical and non-physical, in the case of Errandûrr I ended up considering the race responsible only for physical traits - the bonuses to his Constitution, Dexterity and even Charisma (in relation to a sort of passive charm). The ability scores Intelligence and Wisdom, as well as the biggest part of his Dexterity, are understood ss being related to his upbringing and his later studies.] A few comments here. First, I did not let the lowest scores (Con and Str) drop below 10, which would reflect the real-me facts of not being capable to endure much hardship, while not being sickly, and not relying on strength to accomplish things, while not being a weakling either. Second, with regard to combat situations, Errandûrr´s higher Dexterity and non-physical abilities give him a higher chance to avoid being hurt, rather than withstand punishment: Dexterity influences the armour class, the initiative and the chance to dodge, while the non-physical abilities influence the resistance to spell effects, including psychic control. As I will probably present in some detail in the second part, Errandûrr past of predominantly interior life prepared him in this direction that the scores show. One more thing with regard to Dexterity: I´m not particularly agile or an Acrobat, and neither will be Errandûrr, and perhaps all my physical abilities are at a balanced low score, but in a combat situation, as already mentioned in the main post, I would rather rely on Dexterity, and of all the physicals, it is Dexterity that I can perhaps best imagine having more of. It should be mentioned that, in spite of his rather high above average Charisma, Errandûrr will, in general, keep a low profile, probably, only making use of social skills in special situations; and more on this in the second part. The greatest demands on my acting, perhaps, are made by the Intelligence and Wisdom scores. To be up to those of the first, will mean to overcome my reluctance to learn game lore, as well as to use a too varied vocabulary (I´m looking mainly at behaviour descriptors and slang terms, where I´m really behind the usual player). And the demands of the latter (not considering any association with the Medicine and Animal Handling skills) would be met by honing my psyche-based awareness (how odd does that sound...) and exercising my powers of observation. While still at ability scores, one final note: The bonus that the Increase feature brings will probably be allotted depending on influences that the adventure exposes Errandûrr to - not as a patching up measure, but to reflect a focus brought about by those influences; and in the absence of any, I would stick with increasing Dexterity and Wisdom. :: The final ability scores are: 10 Con, 10 Str, 14 Dex, 14 Int, 15 Wis, 14 Cha [Update:]11 Con, 10 Str, 14 Dex, 14 Int, 15 Wis, 12 Cha. As Erandûrr was gradually defined, it became obvious that I cannot reasonably maintain similarity with myself in certain aspects of his nature. After deciding that the idea of associating Charisma to his inner strength, developed by facing the cuse, did not have sufficiently solid ground, I return here to correct his ability socres. I lowered his Charisma to better fit his personality, and I increased the Constitution a little, which is in accordance with what I said in the second part of this definition, about him having been healthily brought up as a child. :::: Of all possible skills, the Sage background imposes proficiency in two - Arcana, and History, while the race and class allow me to choose among four. I selected Insight and Nature, on the race side, and on the class side, Perception and Survival. In doing so, I moved away from the attempt to represent myself as accurately as possible through a character, in order to give a suitable form to the intention of playing a role of support, of assistance in a team. But I did not have to make a complete compromise, as the Insight and Nature skills speak much about the impression nature makes on my soul (a connection which should facilitate the gathering of nature related knowledge, although the usual effect is to stimulate my artistic side); Insight also being aligned with a tendency of empathic, or at least harmonizing approach to interactions. And the Perception and Survival skills played throughout my life, as through that of most people, I assume, a role of variable importance. As the Ranger, my main job will probably be to help the group navigate through the challenges of crossing the wilderness, while working side by side with rogues in dungeon scenarios. To prepare for that job, I started to familiarize myself with details of monsters, diseases and poisons (Nature), spells (Arcana), and traps, and I will try to absorb as much knowledge about the game world I would play in (History) as possible; which probably will begin with reading about the different DnD campaign settings. I may also spend some time with freshening up my knowledge of real wilderness survival techniques. To seriously assume a particular class role, in my case the Ranger, is probably a long term commitment... :::: (continued in the next comment)
    Updated 02-17-2018 at 07:23 AM by Erran (ability scores change: Con - Cha)