When I found out we were going to play Dungeons & Dragons as a team, I was ecstatic. The last time I'd played was in college, so roughly 15 years ago. I was ready to check out the latest edition and see how much had changed. I was also ready to let my creative juices flow and decided I would be creating a character outside my comfort zone, far from my normal 6'6" Fighter style character. So where exactly did the idea for Tango Foxtrotter, Halfling Cleric of Tymora, come from and what makes him unique?
What's in a Name?
I didn't have any firm idea for a character in my mind; however, the first thing I decided was to play one of the smaller stature races: dwarf, halfling, gnome. I'm 6'5" in real life and always play fighters in games, so wanted to try and see what it would be like to view the world from a different perspective. Glancing over each race, Halflings seemed to have a certain laissez-faire look on life I wanted to explore. From there, I started looking at Halfling names on the internet and found they mainly derived from Hobbit names (shocker!). That's when I found the given name "Tango" and everything started falling into place inside my head. Perusing how family names worked for Halflings helped me come up with Foxtrotter, something tongue in cheek to go with the not so serious nature of the character. Maybe one day he'll earn the nickname I keep thinking about, but that's many adventures and hard drinks ahead.
O Serpent Heart Hid with a Flowering Face!
I am about to admit something slightly embarrassing. Every decision after choosing Tango's name stemmed from an image that popped into my mind. Not what would be best for the group. Not what would be best for the campaign setting. Specifically, his clothes and demeanor. He was disheveled, had a perpetual 5 o'clock shadow, sported a well worn leather duster over disheveled dress clothes that were wrinkled and loosely tucked, had a twinkle of mischief in his eye and a friendly smile. A degenerate gambler who cheated the rich and gave to the poor using loaded dice and marked cards like Robin Hood uses bow & arrows. You'd think that would have led me to the obvious class, Thief, but just wasn't in the cards for Tango.
Oh, I am Fortune's Fool!
Tango is a true gambler at heart and gambling isn't fun if you always win. He can't resist taking bets with big payoffs or wiping the smug looks off his so called "betters". Which means he gets into trouble a lot. Good thing he has the blessings of the goddess Tymora, AKA Lady Luck, on his side. Got caught with five of a kind? Nothing a little Charm Person can't fix to remind your mark what good friends you are and there's no hard feelings. You thought you saw mark on a couple cards and want to examine them? Not before I talk your head off a little while doing a little Mending under the table. And if all else fails, there's nothing like good ol' fashioned Cure Wounds to get moving again after a punch or 10. Our Smiling Lady is a fickle mistress, though, as Tango is coming to realize. He hasn't been able to figure out what he's done to make her mad, only that his terrible run of bad luck all started with him "winning" a card game he should have definitely lost to a mysterious cloaked figure. And now, misfortune after misfortune has led him to the unenviable position of prisoner in the Underdark.
Wisely and Slow; They Stumble That Run Fast
There is much more for me to learn about Tango as our game continues. Who was the love he lost that set him on his current path? Why does he feel the need to prove himself to Tymora? Why is he driven to bring those of higher station down a peg? Our adventure has just begun, but already I feel like the drastic events that led him from happy-go-lucky gambler to down-on-his-luck prisoner have taken a toll. He is more inclined to watch and listen before trying to talk his way or heal his way out of every jam; however, he's still not afraid to do what he thinks is right and charge into danger without thinking. After all, fortune favors the bold!