Wednesday, August 20, 2014

D&D Next characters: Alaric of the Heruli, Barbarian level 1

I've decided to dive head first into understanding D&D Next by making one of every character class in the new Player's Handbook. I'm making it to the best of my understanding, so I won't be too surprised if I get things wrong. What is striking is how integrated your background is to your character's abilities - you may get a few skills just from your class, but the background you choose determines the other skills and proficiencies you pick up.

Thus, although it isn't completely necessary to flesh out a character as completely as I have with these, the broad strokes are already there, and just beg to be filled in. This system has gotten me excited about D&D again. I can't wait to test-play it.

So here's my Visigoth-inspired Lawful Good Barbarian, Alaric:

Alaric of the Heruli
Human Barbarian 1
Lawful Good
HP 14
AC 16 (+2 Dex, +2 Con, +2 Shield)
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Greataxe +5 melee 1d12+3
Spear +5 Melee 1d6+3
Javelin +5 Melee or Ranged (30/120), 1d6+3
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Class Features: Rage (2/day, +2 damage, resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, piercing), Unarmored Defense (CON mod to AC when not wearing armor)
Skills: Survival, Intimidation, Athletics, Perception
Feats: Charger
Languages: Common, Dwarvish
Proficiency Bonus: +2
Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Equipment: Greataxe, Spear, Explorer's Pack, 4 Javelins, Shield, hunter's trap, belt pouch, bear-tooth necklace, some kind of strange tooth, 10 GP

Background: Outlander
Wanderer - Recalls maps and geography, can find food and fresh water for self and five other people
Bond: "I will do what is best for my tribe, and my family."
Ideal: "I will bring honor back to my tribe."
Flaw: Is willing to fight over perceived slights to his honor.

Alaric of the Heruli is a tall, heavily muscled man with dark, deeply tanned brown skin and long black hair. He wears a hide vest, leather boots, and a black cloak made of various furs. He has a red eagle tattoo on his chest, a sacred symbol of his tribe. He speaks in short terse sentences in a low bass rumble, only engaging people he finds worthy in real conversation. He is a fierce and honorable warrior. He is 28 years old.

Alaric is fiercely loyal to his family, who are part of the ruling class of the Heruli tribe. This tribe survives by raiding villages, killing or driving off the inhabitants, and occupying the town until it is depleted of resources, and finally moving on. The tribe has grown prosperous, and has been able to take over larger and larger cities as time goes on.

As the youngest son of his tribe's chief, Alaric helped command the Heruli in many raids on villages. However, he started to become disillusioned with his tribe's practice. Despite his tribe's proud warrior tradition, there seemed to be no honor in attacking defenseless villages. He pushed these thoughts down, however, rather than dishonoring his family or proving himself a coward.

In one such raid, however, unexpected reinforcements showed up: mounted knights, sent to protect the villages from such rampaging hordes. Despite outnumbering them, the knights' hit and run tactics were more than Alaric's forces could handle, and his raiding party was routed. Alaric himself was taken prisoner. He was dragged alongside the countryside in chains for several months before finally seizing an opportunity to escape.

Now he seeks to find his tribe again...but first, he wishes to grow strong enough to change their ways and return them to the proud warrior tradition he came from.

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