You know sometimes I find myself reminiscing about characters long past, usually holding a glass of brandy and a cigar while staring deeply into a roaring fireplace. Which is really odd because I don’t drink, I don’t smoke aaaand I don’t have a fireplace. But the point still stands. I’ve had so many random RPG characters over the years, I like to look back at them and think “What if someone else could use some of this potential?” I mean, I’ve met so many folks who quite honestly could use some neat ideas to use for their characters. Not that theirs were bad. Just flat. So I figured I’d share some of mine. Which you might think that’s the dumbest thing next to telling people about how you totally rolled 3 18’s on your stats or about this awesome idea you have for a homebrew, but I stopped listening to you along time ago voice in my head. So story time!
Scythe the Revenant Ranger
Scythe was a character I made for a campaign that I really didn’t know what the setting was going to be. I knew it was using the standard D&D 4e stuff in terms of mythology and cosmology, but that was about it. So I wanted something broad enough that would give him a call to action and a reason to continue on with the adventure no matter what it was. So I began thinking about the constants in Dungeons & Dragons. What do you almost always do in a campaign? Well, how about kill monsters? Yes! His goal will be to kill things. That’s a good reason to pretty much always be in for whatever adventure you go on. So what I ended up working with was that before being raised as a Revenant, Scythe was a bounty hunter. However, his own dealings left him the target of plenty and he soon found himself tied to a rock at the bottom of a lake. When he saw the Raven Queen and was about to have his soul dragged to the afterlife, he instead made a bargain with the Goddess of Death. He would be HER bounty hunter. He would reap souls to help her build an army to defend the Shadowfell from Orcus (at this point I had heard that the campaign was going through the Heroic Tier adventure series by Wizards of the Coast which I knew tied somewhat into Orcus in the long run.) The Raven Queen accepted the bargain and raised him as a revenant to reap souls, and if he reaped enough he would earn his freedom to live again. Unfortunately in his desperation to strike a bargain, a number was never specified. So he was doomed to reap souls until the Raven Queen decided he had done enough.
The downside to this is that it kind of made him a tad bit psychotic. Like violence became his go to solution for pretty much anything, because hey, more souls. The epitome of which became this somewhat infamous moment in my blogs history that sparked much more of a debate then I was expecting. Really, the character started to get darker and darker and became more and more prone to violence. When you get to the point where you can’t go back to the center of commerce in an area because you killed too many or the wrong people – it may be time to rethink your motivations. It didn’t help that Scythe was cocky. Really cocky. When threatened at point blank with an arrow, he didn’t flinch and told the woman holding the bow to wait while he discussed things with the party. He was a revenant! Death wasn’t exactly a stopping block for him. But it was getting out of control, so we decided to retire the character. Pulled back to the pits of the Shadowfell by the Raven Queen for blatant disregard for life.
Vrykerion the Half Elf Warlock
Scythe’s replacement on the mission, was someone less violent, and a lot more slimy. Vrykerion the Vestige pact warlock. Vestige pact warlocks, for those you don’t know, are warlocks who draw their power from making pacts with the souls of the dead for their power. This character actually took that mentally a bit farther and flat out stole souls for power. Each vestige he possessed was another person he tricked, swindled, or bargained their soul away. His employ for The Raven Queen was a bit more of a debt to pay off for disrupting the “natural” order of things (namely, souls belong to the Queen of the Dead – not him.) Of course, he had his own desires being put on the mission that Scythe failed to do. The quest the party had was tied into a powerful and ancient dragon that bordered on demi-god or god status that was sealed beneath the island they were on. Scythe wanted that soul or even a piece of it. His plan was to use the group’s loyalties to get close enough to try and bargain his way to part of the dragon’s soul in exchange for release, or something along those lines.
Of course, none of that happened. Shortly after the appearance of the warlock, I ended up leaving the campaign due to a variety of reasons. Would have been interesting to see how and if the story would have played out.
Operative X09 (Shadowrun/d20 Modern)
Probably my most controversial character I’ve ever played. X09 is a bit of robocop situation, where to appease his corporate masters his body was replaced entirely with a cybernetic android (using a homebrewed race) with the exception of his brain, which was simply purged of most of his memories. However, upon learning that he once had things like a family, a life, and a bunch of other things in that vein that were taken from him he decides to go rogue and become a mercenary. That’s really not that interesting and is a bit vague. I was playing with a first time GM and wanted to give him plenty to work with since I knew he was a big fan of story and role play.
However, where this character started to get interesting was what happened when you mixed him with the rest of the party. Other members had characters that were pretty much “good hero” types, and renegade hero types. I was a cutthroat merc in it for the money. I take a job, I do the job, I kill any and all loose ends or anyone who gets in my way. I think the moment this truly came to shine was we were given a mission to infiltrate a top secret military base and stop a potential terrorist. While trying to locate said secret base, we had an encounter with a gas station clerk out in the boonies. We asked them a series of questions, paid him off for the answers, bought some stuff in exchange for what we wanted, and the whole thing went smoothly. Where it turned was after the exchange was done, my character reached to pull out his wallet and instead pulled a gun and shot the clerk. My teammates were horrified, but my logic was sound. He had seen us, he could identify us, and thus was a loose end that needed to be dealt with. Especially in the light that we were up against some potentially nasty black ops military fiends.
If that wasn’t enough to put the party on edge with my character, things only got worse when we got into the military base and we identified two unknown people in the tunnel ahead of us. My character was able to deduce that one of these two was actually the brother of one of my team mates who we had heard was possibly brainwashed or flat out joined up with the terrorist cell. I decided not to share this information with said teammate and instead ordered her (she was our team’s gun expert and professional sniper) to take them out. My thinking of course would be that these guys are A) Potentially a threat, B) A possible emotional entanglement that could compromise the mission and C) Definitely in our physical way to complete the mission. After opening fire and discovering who I just ordered her to shoot, my team mate clearly did NOT share my deductive reasoning for this action. In fact, this was pretty much the straw that broke the camel’s back on the campaign. She would shortly after this, use her first chance to blow my character’s brains across the wall. Not exactly shocked, and she was well within her right to have revenge as far as I could see but the whole thing left everyone kind of shaken at the table and a bit distrustful in character and the campaign disbanded shortly after.
Still, first time I’ve ever had a character straight up die. And to another player no less.
Vrykerion Oelarune the Eladrin Swordmage
Probably my most in depth role playing character, this Vrykerion (the first D&D character to use the name, the warlock came later) was actually part of a campaign where I got to do a bit of the world building. His backstory shaped a chunk of the DMs world story. The quick version is that in this low magic setting, he was part of a monastic order of eladrin who practiced the art of swordmagic, a powerful and ancient technique developed mostly for defense. However, years ago his order was nearly complete wiped out in a mysterious attack. Vrykerion only survived because he was in the lower levels of the monastery cleaning up as punishment for being an apprentice who tried to wield a master’s sword. Only a handful of survivors (seven in all if I recall) made it out of there, and all swore to walk the earth trying to find whoever was behind the attack and to avenge our people. This was nice because it always gave me two things whenever we visited a new place: Have any other eladrin been through here? And trying to find info on who attacked the monastery.
Still I mentioned that this was probably my most in depth character in terms of role play and there’s a specific story that goes along with that fact. While investigating a ruined temple, we found a massive dragon frozen in ice along side a now deceased eladrin swordmage – one of Vrykerion’s seniors, a master who had been away from the monastery the night of the attack. Not only did the master have a journal that had valuable clues in it, but he also possessed a +1 Frost Longsword. And at level 3 without a single magical item to my name, it seemed like a useful item. But it was a master’s sword. Even with the order gone, Vrykerion still knew that it was forbidden for him to wield that blade until he had passed his trials. Especially since doing so is what landed him in punishment detail that spared him while his comrades died. So there was a heavy guilt factor too. I elected that Vrykerion would take the sword, but never use it. He would carry the weapon until such that that he could return it to the monastery and place it with the swords of all those who had fallen before, as was the tradition of his people.
That may not seem like much, but especially in D&D passing up a +1 magical weapon for some fluff reason is pretty outrageous, doubly so in Fourth Edition where the monsters scale with the assumption that you do have those magical bonuses add in to your character (Another reason I have been a big advocate of using inherent bonuses in my fourth edition campaigns. The freedom to role play without concern of ‘proper’ stat inflation.) It was a bold move that was surprising to my DM, my fellow players and even dare I say to me. But it felt like it made sense. That my character wouldn’t use that sword. Especially since his order was so very important to him, that he had dedicated the last nearly 100 years of his life to seeking out those who had destroyed it.
So that’s all for my RPG Rogue’s Gallery story time. I hoped you maybe got some enjoyment about hearing some of these stories, or maybe got an idea for your own characters from it. Have an interesting character of your own? Let me know in the comments below. I love hearing awesome RPG stories of yester year.