Tuesday, February 24, 2009

D&Dify Some Thoughts

Well, I need a few NPC and monster ideas to work a campaign out of. Summary of the setting: A seemingly immortal Big Bad rules three islands in the middle of nowhere. Since he can't do everything he wants just by threatening to club the entire population, he's set up some administration, headed by shugenja (in 3.X D&D, spontaneous divine casters with elemental focus, for 4th, I'll retool classes like the upcoming primal Shaman class) who perform magic by channeling or commanding elemental spirits. The big bad picks out the talented members of the class to serve directly under him. He likes to have one of each element, but can break the tradition depending on the presence or absence of skilled casters. Anyway, I've got a couple of them conceptualized. Could use some elementals and such to fight alongside them. Campaign level's going to be around 6-10, theme's quasi-Japanese, with some possible shout-outs to Bleach.

Fire-type caster: Head of the island's police, and the Dragon of the campaign. She's generally self-interested and got to her position by skillful backstabbing. Going to be a slightly retooled Invoker (Divine Controller/Artillery class). Regular evil.

Water-type caster: The islands' mad scientist. Essentially invented some drugs to turn test subjects into sahuagin, statistically speaking. Fond of experimental surgery, especially brain surgery. Talented but twisted healer. Adapted Shaman (Primal Leader class) with a large air-swimming fish as his summoned spirit. Chaotic evil, and hated by nearly everyone. Big Bad tolerates him for the sake of his R&D.

Earth-type: ?

Air-type: ?

Might extend to include metal and wood as other elements. Suggestions for monsters to fight alongside all of these would be appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Depending on how you want him to fight, I'd go with a retooled Warden for the Earth caster. Yes, it's a defender, but their powers could easily come from manipulation of the earth and stone.

As for Air-type, hmm. I might go with Warlock, what with the numerous teleports that you could call a "wind form".

Then again, it might just be better to come up with NPC abilities that fit from the start rather than using PC abilities. One of the tenets of 4e is "it's okay for the NPCs to have their own separate cool toys from the PCs."

You said that the island has its own magical traditions, right? So I would say feel free to make your own 'classes' for the Five Bad Band.

Anonymous said...

Looking back over the Five Bad Band page at tvtropes, it looks like I suggested the Earth-caster (the Warden) as The Brute and the Air-caster (the Warlock) as The Dark Chick. I just thought it was funny that I would suggest playing the trope completely straight.

Rhoadan said...

Well, leaving aside my inclination to say "Chuck it all and switch to GURPS," I'm thinking that maybe Earth should be military R&D, and likes building golems, and interesting new weapons. Also responsible for the big bad's fortifications.

I also just had an inspiration for air. Intelligence service. Most of those air spirits aren't real good at combat, but they sure can find out who's plotting against the government and who's hiding valuables.

I'm afraid you'll have to beat it into D&D terms. I haven't played since first edition (which made me want to throw things at Gygax). I never really had the opportunity to play 2nd ed which looked much improved at least from a quick once over, then I discovered GURPS which has infinitely customizable characters and no alignments.

Anonymous said...

Eww, GURPS. I'm sorry, dude, no offense, but isn't GURPS like the chlamydia of tabletop RPGs? I mean honestly.

Bronze Dog said...

Forgot about the Five Bad Band entry, and think that'll help quite a bit for characterization.

Tom Foss said...

A good friend of mine once called GURPS "the source of all migraines."