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Character Creation

Our Adventuring Party - Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard

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Our Adventuring Party - Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard

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Rycin Pendragon, Human Wizard, Chaotic Neutral

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Rycin (who was a street orphan with no knowledge of his parents) grew into a life of swindling and thievery. During one act of larceny, he was caught in the act by a hermetic wizard whose home he had invaded. Rycin killed the old man, who seemed to have very little contact with the outside world. Rycin assumed his surname, becoming Rycin Pendragon, and had stolen an old and well-used tome, from which he began to teach himself the ways of magic, hoping to use these newfound skills to become more effective at his natural trade-- a smuggler for hire.   Recently, upon taking a job from an underworld crime lord in order to pay off a financial debt to him, Rycin was tasked to find an ancient and prized relic. But his trail lead him to the underdark, where he was captured. It was upon this, that Rycin had concluded that he was set up, and double-crossed, as punishment for his outstanding debt. Broke, hunted and vengeful, Rycin now finds himself at ground-zero of his life’s story, but with unexplored powers of magic as his new ally.  

INSPIRATION:

I took a lot of inspiration from characters of the properties I loved, growing up. But there are a few characters, specifically, who went into the creation of Rycin Pendragon:

  • Han Solo (Star Wars)- orphan, rogue, smuggler for hire. Always looking over his shoulder, underground. Here’s a guy who has a job to do – Never mind if it’s above-board or not. He doesn’t ask questions, he completes the mission and gets paid.
  • Stormshadow (G.I. Joe)- Here’s a guy who’s shrouded in shadows. His origins obfuscated, his motives mysterious. When his knowledge hit a glass ceiling, he killed his master, and became ronin.
  • Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)- Trained in classical studies, but with an unquenchable drive for fact (not ‘truth’), Indy soon learned that the ancient artifacts that he unearthed held arcane powers that could sway the struggle between the sacred and profane.
  • Bobby Stickel (Me)- I won’t go into details, but one of the great draws of D&D for me, is that I can infuse some of myself into my character. What those aspects are, I’ll let the members of my party find out along the way…

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Quest Accepted: Player Starter Kit

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Quest Accepted: Player Starter Kit

Yesterday we covered everything a DM needs to start their journey, but what about the players? Let's run through what our heroes need before their epic saga can commence!

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The very first thing you'll need is a Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition Player's Handbook from Wizards of the Coast. This is your guide to choosing your race (ie. Dwarf, Human, Elf, etc.), selecting your class (ie. Paladin, Monk, Wizard, Bard, Fighter, etc.) and leveling up throughout the game. If you're new to role playing, it has insightful tips, backgrounds, and traits for you to choose from that will help you bring your new character to life at the table. You'll also have a quick reference for spells and rules to keep you on the road to victory!

One of the best things I can recommend for you in to get yourself a Character Folio from Ultra Pro. This paper character sheet could be with you for a night or five years and you want to make sure that you're keeping it fresh and out of harms way. While you can absolutely find resources for phone apps to house your character sheet, Dungeons & Dragons is about being together and unplugging from the outside world so you can go on an adventure. Each of these folios comes with clear sleeves for your character sheet and notes. Erasing your HP during combat and the repeated wear and tear of changing your stats as you gain levels can cause you to have to refresh your character sheet and re-write in all of your stats on fresh paper. You can reduce that by using the folio and tracking your combat stats with wet erase marker on the plastic sleeve, meaning you only have to erase or add notes when you're leveling up or gaining/selling/losing magical items. These folios come with all sorts of art from the D&D books, so you can choose something that inspires you and get rolling!

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Our Adventuring Party - Meet Tango Foxtrotter, Halfling Cleric

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Our Adventuring Party - Meet Tango Foxtrotter, Halfling Cleric

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!

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