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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My #dndnext character for a #Ravnica campaign!


So I was feeling bored and creative, a special combination that can result into utter nothingness when I experience it, since I create much better things when I'm actually busy with many things.
But one thing comes out easily from these moments: new D&D characters!!

For my next Ravnica campaign, probably to be played online with DM @gcampoverde and player @ArtificerAlf (and I hope someone else too! Drop a line if interested :D), I wanted a character who had something of both my favorite guilds: Simic and Dimir. Dimir is actually the only guild which "mixes" with any other easily, since it has infiltrates here and there. And that's what i wanted: a basically Simic character who kind of turned to "the dark side" becoming a secret agent of Simic.

Meet...

SOLANYT NEPHAZEK



Some of you may recognize this comes from Warhammer 40k, Dark Eldars in particular. Not exactly a kosher source for fantasy characters, is it? And yet it's the second D&D character I illustrate with a Dark Eldar, and both of them have been used in MtG-based campaigns!

So let's state the fundamental points about the character:

ELF: This is straightforward. Simic has a lot of elves in its ranks, and elves are among the most interesting races to play in D&D Next from a mechanical point of view. I think I'll use Wood Elf, both because of the Wisdom bonus and the sneakiness, which will help the Dimir side of Solanyt.

WINGS: Well, these are mostly vestigial/aesthetic. Mostly. Because then again the Simic guildmage build I created (as a Ceric, see the previous posts for the proposed mechanics), is quite focused on flying, using a Monk's Ki ability for sudden short flights, and Feather Fall as its first level (and thus repeatable) domain spell. Of course, these abilities were meant to represent Simic mutations more than magic, just as the next thing which is...

ELEMENTAL MANTLE: This is the most important bonus druidic spell that characterizes my D&D Next version of the Simic "guildmage". It's meant to represent different sudden mutations/adaptations, of which the elements become just a metaphor, in game.

NINJA: Yes. Believe it or not, it's going to be played as a ninja. This is not only because of the Dimir side. Solanyt was stealthy even before becoming secretly Dimir, and he's not that secretive in that even now. He's not very good at bluffing (mediocre Charisma), so even his Dimir allegiance isn't *that* secret in the Simic guild. Most of the smart members suspect (and most of the Simic are smart), but right because of the typical Simic mentality, fascinated by experimentation and evolution, they wouldn't even try to stop him, not before witnessing how (or what) does he become in the process. They instead manipulate him when possible, to use his abilities and allegiances at their advantage. Something he knows, and even enjoys: more interesting work..!
He hides in shadows, enjoys sneak attacks (which he does by using Inflict Wounds with the "Cipher" Dimir ability, which he acquired in place of the Divine Magic channel divinity), and he uses a Katana for maximum damage and maximum exploitation of his very high Dexterity.

SPY: In D&D Next background terms, I chose the Spy background for obvious reasons. The only skill that had to be added, since Sneak is a bonus skill given by the (obvious) Hide In Shadows feat, I chose it to be Tumble, since he may run out of 1st level slots when performing a sudden flight or a drop from a ceiling. I could even replace Search with Climb, since he won't have high Strength, and climbing could be needed for said drops from celings. He's an assassin after all, first and foremost.

SKULKER: Hide in Shadows and Ambush are his bread and butter. He prefers to drag combats, in case he doesn't finish off his prey in the first round. He's accustomed to working alone, so he's a survivalist, with his own skin as his highest priority, and the death of his prey as the close second. From this solitary nature comes the name Solaynt. Which is also a reference to the Solarite, the Dark Eldar elite winged warrior of the illustration.

SPELLS: Other spells he uses, if limited tot he Cleric list, are Spiritual Weapon, which is also very Dimir in flavor if you think about it as spectral blades, and Speak With Animals, apart from the obvious Cure Wounds. Speak With Animals because he finds it an efficient way to marry the Simic and Dimir methods: restricted information, but from nature. He's particularly fond of birds of prey, for obvious reasons. Something of a fetish of his.

EQUIPMENT: Apart from his signature Katana, which I will want to describe and design (or more probably find an illustartion for) later, for protection he wears a Dragon Leather (Krasis Carapace, to stay Simic) and resorts to a Longbow when distance is required and spell power is depleted. He also uses all the tricky gadgets he can get his hands on, like caltrops, smoke bombs and so on.

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And that's it! The mechanics of the character spawned quite a lot of background and personality info already, as usual, but I'll also add some more to give depth to the character, especially when we'll (hopefully) start to play! :)