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Sunday, May 26, 2013

A #dndnext character for #Ravnica: Firminus, #Azorius judge!


This is, as all my characters, some kind of mechanical experiment, to test the flexibility of the system.
First of all, I wanted a character that didn't use the "guildmage" Cleric builds I made here (and here). Or not entirely.

The only way it would have used those guild-defining rules would have been through a custom feat which is a very straightforward remake of the official Magical Rejuviation feat: instead of giving 1/day usage of either a 1st or 2nd level spell, this would have given 1/day usage of either the 1st level domain spell of the chosen guild or its custom Channel Divnity effect.

Guild Initiate
You have learned the signature magical powers of your guild.
Prerequisite: 3rd level, Wisdom 11 or higher
Benefit: When you take this feat choose a guild. Once per day, you can cast the 1st level spell of the chosen guild or use its signature Channel Divinity.

Now, I wanted my character to be a non-caster, for a change. Those who know me know how much I love D&D Next Rogues, so the Rogue was attracting me a lot. But the typical guild for Rogues, Dimir, had already been taken by my latest character, and since I know the campaign will not allow two characters from the same guild, I wanted another one. Orzhov was really tempting me, but somehow I couldn't find a way to make it special enough. So I went for an extreme choice. Azorius. And in particular, an old Azorius judge! As a Rogue!

Yes, after all, Rogues are skill specialists. And how interesting could it be to play an old judge who represents law and order so well that his specialty ends up being... Intimidation?? The idea was looking cool. He would have used the Bounty Hunter background in a more police-like way, and would have acted a bit like a (much less combat-heavy) judge Dredd in the heavy robes of an old and prestigious Azorius elocutor, which is described (here) as a negotiator of sorts, prone to usage of enchantments to give tangible power to his already powerful words.
Persuade and Recall Lore (Politcal Lore) would substitute Sneak and Spot in the Background's skill, to represent his elocutor role better.

So, meet and greet (choosing your words wisely), Firminus!

Illustration for the character coming from an old Azorius card, from Dissension!


So how could I use magic by being a Rogue? Simple: with the Use Magic Device feat and the Arcane Dabbler feat to take the Read Magic cantrip, and thus have access to both magical Staffs (like in the illustration!) and Scrolls.

In particular, by using a (powerful, but not much on a Rogue!) Robe of the Archmagi, and a Staff of Charming, I had the character as I had envisioned it! In fact, the Robe makes the spells casted by Firminus roughly equivalent in power to those of an equal level (3rd level) caster, while also giving him a good AC, to make up for really low hit points (low Constitution: he's an elder!).
In addition, between Charm and Command usable with the Staff, Firminus has good chances of using the signature Azorius Detain ability successfully, since he won't normally attack his targets.
When he does, using the staff with Backstab and Sneak Attack will be fun...! :-D

For the Rogue Bonus feats, aside from Use Magic Device, I'd have chosen Skill Focus (Intimidate), and Taunt, which was a fun addition, to represent the rage of creatures when Firminus "reads them their rights", and is realistic given the "easy target" appearance of elderly Firminus.
The special skills of the Rogue Scheme were easy to choose: Intimidate (so both Focus and double skill dice, combined with high Charisma... That means minimum check result of 15, maximum of 35!!), and Sense Motive, mainly to sense lies... ;-)

Another slightly tricky aspect to choose were Ability Scores. I wanted them to represent his age, so I went for the "extremist" array of scores, modified a bit.
15, 15, 14, 10, 8, 8
With the two 8s (9s after bonus) going obviously into Strength and Constitution (ouch), the 14 going into Dexterity (and pumped by both Human and Rogue bonus to a good 16), the 10 into Wisdom to reach the 11 after the bonus, required by the Guild Initiate feat, and finally the 16s into Charisma and Intelligence. It's the first time I like using the D&D Next Human race: Firminus needs all those +1s!

So here he is. Firminus. A man who firmly stands on the side of the Azorius, that is, the side of the Law!!