Of all the characters you've played, which have been your favorites (regardless of system...I promise not to say anything disparaging about any of White Wolf's games...lord knows I've played enough of them for that to make me a hypocrite)? I want to hear everything, and, as you can tell from most of my posts, there really isn't a restriction on length. I just love a good story about a memorable character, so don't spare me the details.
- RPGs 4054
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I'll kick things off. I played AD&D once...just once...and I talked the GM into letting me make a hireling. I don't remember the details (AD&D still seems arcane and inordinately complex to me...that should give some of you older beards something to hold over my head), but I prioritized constitution (to survive trouble) and charisma (to talk my way out of trouble).
I don't even remember the character's name, but I joined a totally cheesed out party...this was THE stereotypical power-gamer party, with vampires, lizardmen, half-demons, and other selective application of templates to great effect. Making matters worse, the GM was trying to run a military-themed campaign and knew nothing about the military beyond what he'd seen in Full Metal Jacket (which didn't mesh very well with the sword and sorcery setting).
To make a long story short, my big plot hook was that I was a serf conscripted to work as a cooley and teamster for the army, and the rest of the party was an elite military unit. It was great.
After a lot of noise about not treating my character like an NPC, my character was getting treated like an NPC ("He's got all those hp...let's put him in front in case there's an ambush"). However, I was earning experience at a rapid clip, and only because I was constantly passing notes to the GM with little haikus expressing my character's outlook. After half an adventure, it was kind of like playing Manzo from Seven Samurai (I really got a feel for what a bad thing adventurers are for an area that isn't direly in need of professional killers).
Anyway, it wasn't a high-flying character or anything, but it really opened my eyes to the dynamics of having parties of adventurers walking around a normal town. After that, I started using Seven Samurai as the gold standard for how towns react to adventurers (total, abject terror and secret loathing).
My favorite character... was played so long ago under AD&D 2nd ed rules that he's become something of a myth and a legend. I'm not entirely certain any more which of the stories are true, there were just too many of them. But the character was big enough that when I ventured out into the big bad world of internet gaming 13-14 years ago, I used his name for my handle. And it kind of stuck.
Allaryin was a dwarven priest of the war god in our particular campaign (a fairly standard issue jr high monty haul killfest). He was grumpy. He didn't talk a lot except to lecture people. He liked to think he was more fighter than cleric. Pretty standard stuff there. He wasn't really so notable for what he did as for what happened to him - and for how the DM handled things.
The biggest story was when our party was raiding some sort of evil temple of some undead cult or another. Well, they had made a zombie out of the corpse of a red dragon (high innovation for the time, in retrospect we discovered the 'dracolich' entry in a book somewhere).
The fight went pretty much as was to be expected. Lots of fireballs were thrown around. Lots of assorted undead for me to deal with.
Well, somehow, I wound up climbing up the dragon (assumedly to inflict some sort of head injury). Our party's mage decided that it would be the perfect time to start hitting the dragon with fireballs, and our DM decided that I was most certainly within the blast radius.
I made my save (or however you did things back then) and came out singed but relatively unharmed. The DM then ruled that my helmet had been blown off in the blast and that my beard and all of the hair on my head were singed off in the process.
Well, we wrapped things up with the cult, loaded up our pack animals with loot, and headed back to our headquarters... where the DM informed me that my hair loss was permanent... and I proceeded to have words with the mage. And it was decided that he would research a spell to restore my hair to me.
Time came that the spell was complete and was cast on me. And it worked for the most part. My beard was restored in full, but my head hair came in pretty thin. This would not do, so the mage was sent back into the lab.
After a bit more experimentation, he came up with another attempt, which he blasted me with. My beard grew longer, the hair on the top of my head thickend slightly - but not by much. Oh, and it turned all of the hair on my body green. Arms, etc...
At this point, I decided to cut my losses. I kept my head shaven and enjoyed my beard down to my knees. The grumpy bald green-haired dwarf became something as a status symbol, and the experience leading up to it was probably some of my first real role playing (with an 'e').
My favorite character to date has been the Earl of Rule, who was an Englich nobleman and Royalist in exile in France during the Commonwealth (in England) and the early part of the reign of Louis XIV. Rule was rich (because his late father had been getting money out of England while rule was running around with Prince Rupert of the Rhine), and though he was actually rather soft-hearted he had to maintain a bitter and cynical shell, because otherwise every penniless English royalist would have battened onto him like a leech. He had a sharp tongue, and a fair line in crushingly sardonic put-downs. And he was a deep and subtle schemer. There aren't very many things that you have to be able to do in swashbucklers: Rule was about as good a fencer, horseman, and shot with a pistol as it was possible for a human to be under that game system, and a very fair dancer and athlete.
Rule worked as a character only because of one of the other PCs in the party, his younger and much more fiery French cousin, d'Alembert. D'Alembert was an extremely handsome young man, Rule's equal on a horse or with a sword but not a pistol, and an even better dancer and athlete, and an acrobat to boot. He was inclined to impassioned fits of gallantry, and very easily manipulated by attractive women. And he was distinctly slow on the uptake. (Though the fellow playing him was and is extremely acute.)
Rule and d'Alembert worked very well as foils for one another, which means that we got to characterise them very vividly. They also had a two-way towrope: d'Alembert's romantic and sympathetic entanglements got him into trouble which his cousin Rule was drawn to get him out of, and Rule often had to use d'Alembert as a tool in his schemes because he dared not to show his interestâ€”and this often went comically wrong.
Rule was vivid. And he had some great dialogue, particularly with d'Alembert. I had great fun while I was playing him, at least until the campaign jumped the shark.
One of my favorite characters (certainly not one of my most successful, yet) is my Rogue. Having played many a Paladin or Ranger character, a few Clerics here and there, I really haven't developed a style for thieving. So, after our party had assembled, following a crash of a slave ship we were all on, having been kidnapped from all around the Known World), we began our solo journey together.
Just looking at my character skills I immediately fell in love. What risk! Any trap could kill a first level thief, right? What intrigue! I could sneak around gathering information on folks and their plans, thereby opening doors to adventure once given modules are over. I could back stab, climb walls (kind of nice to get some elevation and use ranged weapons to finish off wounded enemies from safe distance.)
We were in rags, having just exited the broken hull of the slave ship on a wet beach amid torrential downpour. Bodies everywhere. Visibility stunk. I made friends with the other survivors, then we were immediately accosted by a surviving slave master, an ugly Orc. Here we are, four barely clothed, unarmed strangers, fighting a whip-wielding higher-level monster....
The orc spotted the Mystic(Monk) first, and began to pursue, his whip missing as the nimble Mystic scrambled up the side of the broken vessel, just avoiding the whip. I siezed the opportunity to "backstab" as the noise of rain, screams, and thunder blanked out my running up behind the orc on sand. I leapt and kicked the nasty beast in the back of the head for 6 points of damage! (As the dwarf tackled him, and pummeled away with fists, he merely did 1 point of damage, I felt so good!)
Well, Ol' Uglybritches knocked the Dwarf senseless with a mighty backhand, and turned to attack me. He unfurled the whip, cathcing my right ankle. When he jerked me toward him, I used my acrobatic skill to leap, again kicking his head, this time for 2 points of damage, but importantly, wresting free the whip from his hand.
We were soon joined by a Forestor (Ranger) who grabbed a plank and batted him across the back, knocking him unconscious. I used knot tying skill to secure the orc, hog-tied style, and we scavenged for weapons. Now the Forestor had a crossbow, the Dwarf had a bent short sword, the Mystic had a whip, and the Elf and I had our pride.
We ventured down a trail, and we watched a skirmish between kobolds and orcs over a prisoner, an old man. As the fight was winding down, we couldn't contain the lawful elf who just had to rescue the old feller. So, the crossbowman sighted on the last orc, as the kobold survivor looked weaker and easier for us to beal with, the shot being held. As the stelathy one, I snuck down an embankment and grabbed the old man from behind, covering his mouth and assuring him we were friends. As we turned to get away, the old man stood up, which alerted the Kobold. He turned his attention away from the orc long enought to get impaled, his bolt sailing past our heads on retreat up the embankment.
The orc eventually caught on, and turned to address us. As he zeroed in on my dragging the mage, I leapt into the air to kick him, when a bolt from the Forestor rocked him sideways, dead right there. We quickly gathered weapons and few pieces of equipment (belts, scabbards, etc), and move quickly down the trail farther, coming to a temple to rest.
The story continues . . . eventually, we are able to fully arm ourselves . . . and as we watch the comings and goings of the kobold and orc war parties, we decide not to screw with the kobolds, as they appear much easier opponents. I used my snare skills to trap the path the orcs take to go toward the kobold lair. We wait in ambush, and successfully take out an entire orc party (8 orcs). Two lost to my traps and a couple of well placed bolts finishing the job, and then using slash and retreat tactics, we lure the others off the path and into a blind area where we pepper them with missiles from above, Dwarf and Mystic using melee to hack awy. I pursued and felled the last one who is running away. No need to allow him to alert his ugly buddies to our presence, right?
Soon, we find a manor house, which seems to be what the two races are fighting over. Naturally, I get to walk point, which only works well when one's boots aren't wet and squeaky. I managed to get us past some orc guards and around into a location where we found three kobolds with a tiny prisoner, kicking the daylights out of him.
You guessed it! The lawful elf just couldn't stand it. So, I was able to sneak in and backstab one kobold (kill) before it turned free-for-all in there, and we finished off the kobolds, finding their prisoner was a Hin(Hobbit)! He gladly joined our party, and was able to help us find the kitchen (go figure!) and library.
A couple of scenes later, we are witness to a skirmish in a main hall way between orc and kobold warriors. Our party fanned out, taking position behind both parties. As their numbers drew down, we engaged, finishing them all off. One Hin is equipped. Between the Hin and myself, we've enough daggers to replicate the movie "House of Flying Daggers."
Moments later, we discover another prisoner, a magician. We free him and he knows where the master bedroom is. So, we check it out, and I find a secret door and we are off into the under world. It doesn't take long until we hear pursuers. Naturally, I work with the Forestor and Dwarf to set a few surprises for them, and we have another mostly successful ambush. Suffice to say we got off the rainy island.
On our next adventure, I had the opportunity to hone my skills as I had to infiltrate a slaver's camp. Well, I got caught, tied up, and beaten unconscious. Luckily, the dice loved me and I successfully used my Escape Artist skill to free myself of my ropes. Of course, I used the ropes to set a snare for the next slaver to approach me, and when the trap was sprung, I used the dagger pommel to cause him to sleep a bit. Why do they always take you to their leaders tent? I was able to acquire a handful of docs we later learned to be their payroll/contact list and their last two target raids. I lit the inside of a trunk full of clothes afire, and snuck out the side, into another, unoccupied tent, then so on and so on, until the fire was spreading and everyone was involved in fighting the fire. At least one Mesquite slaver to report.
We made contact with the owners of the trade craft that had been ambushed, and netted an unexpected and generous reward, as well as being referred to the local authorities to lead an expedition to capture or eradicate the slavers group. We assisted, and then were on our way once again, with information I had held back. This time we were on a trek to find the slavers upline, and give a little love back for their maltreatment of us all.
A number of sessions later, as I reached level 4 and could read most codes and maps, we took on a more instrumental role in dealing with slavers. We took on a surprise assignment to help a family recover a kidnapped family member. During the next few adventures, my handy Rogue helped overcome Goblins, Hobgoblins, and tricked a trap into capturing itself, and our party hid while the enemy fought each other over the accusation that one of them stole the goods!
Again, there we were to finish off the higher level baddies that were yet standing in the end of their little fight, and we were off again, without the family member yet, but with more trunks and chests of goodies than maybe we should have been allowed to carry, and a few very important magical treasures (Elven Boots for the Rogue, Ring of Invisibility for the Hin, a +2 sword for the Forestor, a magical Elven LongBow +1 for the Elf plus 10 +1 arrows, a +1 Shield for the Dwarf, and scrolls with numerous spells for the mage.) I kept aside a nice necklace, hehehe.
All in all, I'd say the Rogue's ingenuity made the difference and provided access to stuff otherwise inaccessible.
Now, wondering what he can do in the city.....hmmm?
I tend to love all the characters I play, but my favorite is Olga. Olga was a fifth level fighter and a half orc. I don't like it when gamers pidgeon holing characters, some players were doing that in the campaign. Olga was my revenge. Olga had an intelligence of eighteen, so she preffered using stategy to fight. Olga would let the other characters start the inititive before she would fight. Olga was considered herself incredibly sociable. She had a charisma of six, and she loved to oggle the men of any and all types and races. I loved playing up Olga's horniness. The best part of the campaign was when our characters had to use a ship to cross a sea. We hired a troupe of halfling acrobatic sailors to man our ship. Olga chased the little halfings around pinching their "cute lil bums" and trying to hit on the rest of the crew. My friend Pam played a very pretty halfling female, she did not like the attention she got from the halflings hitting on her. Any time a NPC tried to chat her up Olga would pop up and offer herself. "Why would you want a puny little thing like Pricilla, when you can have a real woman like Olga." Did I mention that Olga always refered to herself in the third person. "Olga like strong elves, they very flexible and don't break." (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) At one point we shipwrecked on a small island. No one would share a tent with Olga so she had to make her own shelter. Due to a heavy storm Olga lost her tent and got soaked. I failed all my health rolls and got sick. Olga got a high fever and started hallucinating. Meanwhile, on the island was a cave bear with cubs that was trying to eat the halfing troupe. Our ranger was trying unsuccessfully to use animal empathy to try to control or stop the bear. The rest of the group did not want to interrupt the ranger and left him alone. Olga was not as patient. Olga ended up stalking the cubs back to their mother and had at her. In her delusional state (-4 to her stats) she tried to take on the cave bear by hand. A few rounds and nat 20s later she killed the cave bear and attempted to "adopt" the cubs. The rest of the group was quite surprised to find Olga at a bonfire with a new cave bear skin drying and the cubs eating berries out of her hand. The ranger was very upset and took Olga's "babies" away. "Olga luv cubbies, make good watch bears." The group was still unaware that Olga was sick and delusional until she started gropping the palm trees. She finally was healed when the ranger noticed her behavior was "weird even for Olga." We finally got rescued by a passing pirate ship. Olga had a whole new crew to admire. In order to prove our worth we had to fight the ship's champions to not be made into slaves. Olga to the rescue, she volunteered to take on the whole crew to get passage. "Olga not talking about fighting, Olga talk about loving. The more the merrier, heh." (flexing her breasts in her barely there armor) The gm decided that Olga would fight the captain of the ship. He was an ugly, dirty, scraggly, black toothed, and nasty human. "Ooo, Olga in love." Olga took a beating, but eventually beat the captain and earned passage for the group. The gm decided to play along with me as Olga and the captain had a beautiful and very vocal love affair. "Yes, yes, Olga like it like that." "Take it Olga, take it all you wild orc woman." We made all sorts of grunts and moans until everyone was laughing and begging us to please stop. That was the funnest role playing I had ever done. I ended the campaign with Olga moving onto the ship permanatly. I made threats to the group that if they try to pidgeon hole my characters again, they would get Helga. Helga the quarter-orc female who takes after her mother. Hee, Hee.
Has to be Brother Mainard from the long running C&S Campaign in the mid - late 80s. He was a fire brand and very devout monk. If it was not holy in his eyes it was a thing of the devil and must be destroyed. He would make sure that if the power of God healed a player they must give to the needy and attend service at church. Memorable things we all remember in the group are:
Telling the Archbishop of Canterbury that he was NOT holy enough to be a true man of God.
After killing a dragon (a hard task in C&S) everyone were rubbing their hands to get all those magical body parts to sell to mages (and use a few themselves). No our good brother Mainard thought that Dragon = serpent, serpent = Devil. So he had the local Knights Templars to take the dead dragon body and dispose of this foul devil creature.
In the end he became Saint Mainard and left to spread the word of God to the Masses in the Necromantic Kingdom of Ackerock. He had a son from a Necromancer who became a Akerock Death Knight.
After about 300 or more cookie cutter D&D (1st Edition!) Monks (they were hardest to qualify for, therefore the "best" class!), I finally thought a bit, and made a fighter. This was when straight rolling was how you did character creation - and his highest stat was a 12... in Strength.
He never had a name, but I remember that at 4th level, he traded everything he owned to get a +1 longsword, and I do mean EVERYTHING. He ventured out again with a +1 longsword and loincloth to regain his fortune. At 7th Level, he traded everything AGAIN to get a +2 longsword.
The very next encounter, when he was out trying to hunt to get furs to sell to earn money to go back and buy some armor, he surprised a lone orc. I swung - missed. The orc swung and critted me. I swung - and missed. The orc swung and critted me. I swung - and missed. The orc swung and critted me into the big PC graveyard in the sky.
It was when I realized that there was more to playing than Xeroxing old sheets and going out again with cookie-cutter characters. _____________________________________________
I guess my namesake is the next one that was my fave. Malruhn was a large (fat - NOT a body builder) ranger that wore golden armor and golden cloaks. He slept at the military crest of hills (just down from the top, so he could sit up and see over), and the elves he traveled with gave him the chiding nickname of "Golden Sunrise" due to the large gold colored lump they saw when they walked over the hill to wake him up.
In the first experience I had with a DM that actually ROLE played, a party member was seduced by a demon in a mirror to come "to the Dark side." She eventually became chaotic evil and possessed - and Malruhn had to track her down and kill her to "free" her. It didn't work - and, though he slew the demon, he also permanently killed his friend.
That was SO refreshing to see that DM's could actually THINK!!
I think my favorite character of all times was a Champions character named Facet/Shard. This was in a campaign run by a particularly evil friend of mine, who believes suffering makes a hero. :) He patterned his game after the 1970s-1980s Avengers, where everyone's life was pretty terrible.
Anyway, having played a previous game under this devious GM, and knowing how he was going to just reem me, I made a character with loads of stuff for him to use to torture me. I figured I might as well just go with the flow.
The character was a duel personality. The first half was a computer scientist on the cutting edge of AI development, who found himself stricken with a degenerative disease. The other half was a mafia enforcer, sentenced to death for multiple murders, whose crystaline body couldn't be destroyed. Unable to destroy the body, the government wiped out his persona with high powered lasers.
The scientist persona finally developed a method of encoding his own personality, and 'downloaded' himself into the crystal form. Unfortunatley, the incomplete removal of the original persona and an error in the persona loading program allowed the submerged original persona to return.
In superhero terms, the character was a low-level brick, pretty strong, fairly invulnerable, but had a number of other abilities. Rather like Sandman, he could let his form relax into thousands of individual little crystals, or harden up, etc. and had a number of cybernetic/electronic abilities due more to gadgets than innate power.
The scientist persona was something of a pasifist, softspoken, articulate, and absolutely willing to see the flaws in his own work (not very ego driven), whereas the enforcer persona was utterly hardnosed, and followed something of a crude code of honor. It was the interplay of the two personas, particularly in scenes where a personality shift occurred that made the character great (at least from a player perspective). I think it's funny that one of the obstacles our team had to face was the enforcer persona, but by the end of the game, I think the group actually liked that persona better than the scientist.
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