[D&D4] The birth of the party

After rounding up our Werewolf: The Forsaken chronicle set in a Norwegian village in the year 1780, me and my role-playing group decided to try a game that totally doesn’t fit our groups mentality, namely the fourth installment of the mother of all role-playing games: Dungeons & Dragons.

Now I have to say, that I am the one to blame for the style of role-playing games that my group is used to, as I fed them nothing but White Wolf games in the last years. So when I told them that D&D is a rules-heavy, tactical game, where sometimes actually playing a role is second place, their first reaction was “Nay!” But then again, they wanted to play a classical fantasy game, with wizards, dragons and strange, dangerous dungeons. They didn’t have a choice: D&D4 it was!

So, yesterday we had our character generation session, followed by a short…wait a minute! I never introduced you to my players, did I? Well, I guess I should before proceeding!

  • Daniel the Powergamer: Daniel has started role-playing games along at my side, and we both learned much from each other. However, no matter what game he plays, his characters share one trait: they are TERRIBLE good at one thing, but suck at everything else. A shining example is his character from our Vampire: the Requiem game, Nikolai Borislav. This Russian club owner had the skills for one single thing: opening his wallet to bribe people! Nevertheless, he is a good role-player, and a true rules-monkey who likes to “help me out” when I fail to use a rule the right way.
  • Till the Sidekick: Till is the youngest player at the table, but to sum up his style in one word: ever-changing! Usually his characters are the kind that aid out Daniel’s characters, but in our last Vampire chronicle, he shocked us all by making his character turn against his own ally, Nikolai, in the last moment, ruining every single plan of the rich Russian! Since then, Daniel is always on the watch, keeping an eye on Till’s characters. Still, Till likes characters that add something to the party, like something that supports his buddies.
  • Hannah the Actor: Hannah is the living proof that girls know how to role-play! Caring less about statistics and awesome rolls, this lady acts out her characters really well, adding an awesome kind of depth to our games. However, her most memorable character was from our first “Das Schwarze Auge” campaign, whereshe played an Elf Ranger who missed 8 out of 10 shots! Go figure! Since then, my troupe knows that all the talk about “keen elven eyes” is all just one big hoax. Thanks for teaching us that lesson, girl!
  • Eva the Deviant: Eva is our newest addition to the team, playing with us since winter 2007. At first, she felt a bit shy about really going in-character, but by now, we got her fairly “conditioned”. Still, most of her characters are somehow the group’s deviant or freak. However, these personas bring new solutions to the table, and sometimes she’s even the one bringing down a terrible danger.

So there you have them, my Fantastic Four. And once again, they gave birth to a quartet of individuals. Prepare for the Band of Bummers!

Alyssa, Half-Elf Wizard (played by Eva): Alyssa is a 25 years young graduate of the Magical Acadamey, and certainly proud of it. Shortly after her graduation, the headmaster tasked her to travel to Sturmhafen, a big coastal city, in order to fulfill a job she was appointed. It seems that the person who appointed her to this job has personal interest in her, but who actually sponsors this mission remains a mystery.

Alyssa is, by every meaning of the word, spoiled. She wears extremely expensive clothes, cares much about her looks, and just knows she will be the greatest wizard of all times. One of her trademarks is her use of Tenser’s Floating Disk to levitate herself, or her oh-so heavy luggage and make traveling so much easier. Up until now, she has proven her use in combat by slinging Magic Missiles and missing her attack rolls on Scorching Burst. Oh and yeah, she hates dirt. And insects. And vermins. And…

Sema, Halfling Rogue (played by Hannah): Sema has two very bad traits: her mild alcohol addiction and her extreme love for shiny stuff. Both got her in trouble numerous times, but the second knack actually brought her to Alyssa. When trying to steal from a servant of Alyssa’s mysterious sponsor, she got the chance to save her own head by helping the young spellcaster out on her task. Since then, these two work extremely wel together, even using their combined talents for little-time thievery. Hey, you gotta pay the bills somehow, right?

Next to her…well-developed taste for alcohol, Sema is a very useful rogue / thief. Small and agile, she can easily hide in the masses, and enjoys the luxury to sometimes climb on the shoulders of the party’s Dragonborn, just to have a “better vantage point”. I bet this Halfling will, someday, be the inventor of a Dragonborn saddle!

Zarkesh, Dragonborn Fighter (played by Daniel): As the son of a wealthy family of traders, Zarkesh has seen many wonders of the world, even before he became an adventurer. Still, as he came of age, this young Dragonborn decided to venture into the world on his own. Eventually, he met Sema and Alyssa in an unpleasant way, as the rogue tried to steal his magical greataxe. Hearing Alyssa’s plea to forgive the Halfling, as they were on an important mission, Zarkesh decided to join the group, seeing this as a chance to take part in great adventureres.

Zarkesh is a brutish fighter, using his magical greataxe to smash his foes to smithereens. However, he also learned how to haggle, and is an apprentice in the art of body painting known as tattoos. Zarkesh is certainly a likeable fellow, even though he might act a bit wild and savage from time to time.

Ngara, Eladrin Cleric of Corellon (played by Till): Ngara has a vague history, only knowing that his parents gave him to a cloister of monks long ago. Nobody ever told him why they did that, but Ngara grew into a weapon of faith, and soon surpassed the skills of his colleagues. One day, Alyssa, Sema and Zarkesh stayed in the cloister for the night, and told Ngara about their mission. Seeing this as a chance to finally leave the safety of the monastery, he asked his master for permission to travel with these adventurers. His master agreed, and Ngara promised to spread the word of Corellon throughout the land.

This Eladrin is definitly the “good voice” of the party, always choosing the good above the bad. Still, the opportunistic mentality of his companions sometimes frustrates him, though the fighter Zarkesh seems to share some of his ideas of honor and justice. Who knows, one day his fellows might follow the call of the good too?

So, these are the adventurers so far. In my next entry, I’ll tell you about their first steps in the world. For now, enjoy your Sunday afternoon!




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