Hello everyone, welcome. Since a fair amount of folks in the blogging community have been trying DnD and as I have recently had a bit more exposure to it as opposed to World of Darkness games, I thought I might write a couple (maybe more) posts of some DnD adventures. Not unique, in terms of content as some of you may have read along with the adventures of my Batdrow Rhyll’Zt a while back. However, there has been a gap since I have written serious DnD content , so here goes.
My friend Pete contacted me a couple weeks back pitching an idea for a program on the local radio he is involved with. He wanted to do a boardgaming type program to encourage folk to the hobby, which isn’t a bad idea. Except it was radio and after being in the studio for 3 hours, it was never going to work (Small studio). However, I countered, why not do a DnD show done as a sort of serial for listeners to follow along with. Players were invited and we started planning.
The concept was simple, build a party for a basic adventure (we needed to get the broadcast approved so we needed a proof of concept show), and when I say basic I mean self contained with no wider implications on the world. We also wanted to build a party that could get on with one another, so no evil wizards constantly cackling or rogues nicking your gear. I decided to play a warlock as I had never played a warlock before. Off to the player’s handbook I trotted.
I was surprised at the really low number of spell slots a warlock gets but all the other cool stuff you get as part of your pact was great, plus the Eldritch Blast Cantrip is D10 damage. I looked at the spellcasting stat for warlocks, discovered it to be Charisma and began looking at races to play. I should say this is a bit power gamey because I was making an optimum build. The reason for that is fairly straightforward. For me, the pleasure I get from roleplay games comes from two main places. Having a character that isn’t a chore to play (one that is good at stuff, but less good in others), and engagement with an overarching plot. The description of how the game/show was going to run was not really conducive to an overarching plot over a longer period (Certainly not in the short term), so I built an optimum character. Tieflings get +2 Charisma and +1 Intelligence, so that made him perfect ‘Lock fodder. As I wanted him to be a scholar, decent intelligence was also desirable. I rolled my stats.
Long story short I rolled the following. 17*2, 13*2 and 10*2. Needless to say I was really happy with that. Two really good stats, 2 good stats and two stats that I had nothing to complain about.
I wrote a brief background next to give me an idea how to assign these scores. My character, Nyltsear, which is a play on Raestlyn (possibly wrong spelling but I am committed now) from the Dragonlance Books applied to a University to study, magic never on his mind. He was bright and persuasive so the scholars let him in, but it stuck in their craw that a lowborn Tiefling, of all things, would come to their institution. So, they gave him an important job suitable to his intellect. Archivist. They shoved him in a library and forgot about him. This didn’t put off Nyltsear, in fact things couldn’t have gone better and so during the day he managed the archives, and during the night he studied the books, scribbling into his tome of notes learning stuff in a Dr Strange style montage. Of course, he found a book of dark magic that showed him a ritual to contact an entity, Oublia, Keeper of the Forgotten. (I decided I wanted to have a Great Old One Pact and I wanted one based on Hermaeus Mora of Skyrim, so I invented Oublia, Keeper of the Forgotten). Oublia manifests as a female voice in a patch of darkness. She always appears this way. The Darkness was always there but when she speaks, it seems more ominous. It is the part of the movie where the spooky music plays and something normal looks scary. And she offered a pact. She would give Nyltsear means to gain all the knowledge he could ever want, in exchange for occasional errands and at the end of his life his accumulated knowledge must be destroyed, sending it to her. As part of the pact, other scholars would be allowed to use Nyltsear’s knowledge and research whilst alive so that tantalizing fragments of his work would remain after his passing, enticing more into Oublia’s embrace. In fact, the dark book he found was likely one such fragment. Nyltsear left the University with his newfound Warlock Powers and ventured to a goblin mine where Oublia told him there was valuable information for him to find down there.
They beat him to within an inch of his life and left him for dead. He was only spared death by the arrival of an adventuring party who dragged him out, healed him and co-opted his services into clearing out the mine. There was no relic, no book, nothing. However, Nyltsear realised that Oublia didn’t didn’t say there was any of the above, only that there was valuable information…and he had certainly learned a lesson. He couldn’t delve in the dark places by himself and expect to live. So he sought out a group of his own to join, and that is how he came to work with the other player characters.
Charisma got 17 straight away. With plus 2, that gave me 19, which was a +4 bonus on Charisma. Really handy for talking and spellcasting.
The second 17 was a bit of a quandary. I wanted his background to be academic, however I also quite fancied high dexterity to give him a dex armour class (meta gaming at its finest). In the end, I couldn’t justify high dexterity as there was nothing in his background to support it, and there was plenty to say he had high intellect. Intelligence got the second 17, with his +1 gave him a score of 18, which meant plus 4 on Intelligence checks.
I gave him 10 in wisdom, meaning no bonus, reasoning that 1) he had demonstrated a lack of wisdom assaulting a goblin stronghold by himself, and 2) His attention to his surroundings was less (by a long way) than his attention to what was in front of him.
I gave him 10 strength because I couldn’t envision him as muscular in anyway, so no bonus there.
Which left Constitution and Dexterity at 13, which were +1 bonuses each.
From my background narration, you already know that I chose a pact with a great old one, which meant at Level 1 I have 30 foot telepathy with anything that has a language.
For proficiencies I gave Arcana, History, Investigation and Intimidation (Based on taking the sage background). The first three were obvious, though Intimidation was not. I reasoned that he may have gained this skill as a result of his casting of warlock spells which I always narrate as a bit strange and uncanny. Plus, as a tiefling he got the Thaumaturgy cantrip which meant I could summon Hammer Horror movie special effects at will. I was building him to be a Warlock of the Tome following a great old one.
For languages I gave him Common, Infernal, Abyssal and Aberration. He isn’t evil, honest.
I gave him the standard gear for a Warlock according to the player’s handbook, and talked the DM into allowing him to have nicer clothes (dress for the job you want and all that) and then I had to choose spells.
For my cantrips, Eldritch Blast was a must as it would be my primary attack probably for several levels. I added Prestidigitation because it is a fun spell and I could see Nyltsear cleaning his clothes this way and making his food tastier.
For my level 1 spells, I took Witchbolt as standard for when the big bad arrives, and Dissonant Whispers because I felt that it might come in handy as a crowd control spell.
I played around on Heroforge to make my character…
And that is my Tiefling Warlock. I will be linking his adventures if and when the show gets approved/recorded.
All the best.
2 thoughts on “In Front of the Screen: I made a Tiefling Warlock”
You have a very structured way of creating your characters! Often when I roll I just make the character I have in mind anyway – they seem to do alright! I make sure to give the character the right traits for the class etc.
Weirdly I quite like making very stupid characters! Even though I am quite intelligent (if I do say so myself), I enjoy the unpredictability!
I have to say, Eldritch Blast is a MUST HAVE for a Warlock as a cantrip! It’s a no-brainer! 🙂
Thanks for posting, it was a joy to read.
Writing into the Ether
I am glad you enjoyed the post. I do like silly characters but only for short engagements. I wasnt always as structured, it just so happens that I have done a fair amount od 5e dnd of late and the current system is much easier to create characters with than previous editions (or so I found). And yes, eldritch blast is a must! Thanks again for reading