Strong Emotional Investment In D&D Characters


The RPG playing people who have gotten to know me seem rather surprised by how emotionally attached I become to my characters, but there is a reason for that.

When I create a new D&D character, I take it seriously in my own unique way rather than just “throwing something together”. It does take me a while to finish creating new characters time-wise, but each step is looked at, thought over, guided by intuition, and considered with one thing in mind:

If through some supra-natural act I woke up as this person tomorrow, would I, could I actually be happy living as and just “being” this individual?

That may seem a bit like overkill just for creating a D&D character, but I find these characters to be extremely enjoyable, fun, and memorable to play. I also get to let a lot of myself shine through with these characters as well.

Perhaps there will be a day when I can be more relaxed about the characters I create and play, but until then, I will keep pouring a nice touch of “heart and soul” into each and every one of them.

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Character Creation With A Twist


Pretty much everyone I have ever interacted with who plays D&D starts off the character creation process by choosing a class first. From there, they start filling in the details and eventually end up with an image in mind of what the character looks like. With the release of 5th Edition D&D, I have been using an alternative process and am here to share that process with any who are looking for a different approach to character creation.
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Save The World Scenario – Battle At Sea

Here is a really off-the-wall idea inspired by the movie Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan. The basic setup runs as follows:

Two Sailing Ships

One that is a smaller, faster ‘Cutter’ type (say a Longship) under the control of the baddie and one that is a larger ‘War Cruiser’ type (Galley or Warship) carrying the characters.


An evil Wizard (or similar type of character such as a Cleric serving their deity) with dreams of power and glory has a magical object that they have crafted or found after a long quest. The object is capable of ripping a hole in the fabric of the Prime Material Plane. They could be trying to ‘access’ the Elemental Plane of Water, the Nine Hells, or another plane of your choice so that pure and utter chaos spews forth. Sailing Ships #1 The real twist that brings in the sailing ships is the need to have the object in just the right place geographically when the stars and/or planets align. This could be a point at open sea, an island with a ‘lost’ temple, or a unique location of your choice. Proper placement is necessary to activate the object and rip a portal/opening into existence. Sailing Ships #2 Obviously, the NPC in question thinks they can control the outcome or will receive a great reward from the ‘powers that be’ on the other side, but it is pretty much a suicidal pursuit. The object is going to destroy everything within a set distance when it activates. The characters are facing a time crunch to stop the baddie from succeeding with their plan (the object will activate at a set time of day or night once in position). Can they find the rogue ship in time and stop the baddie from activating the object? What will they do if the baddie succeeds in activating the object? Sailing Ships #3

Other Notes

1.) You could even go so far as to have a severe bank of fog in the area for the ships to hide in, thus replicating the nebula battle portion of the movie. A fight between the ships in the fog bank could be done via magic spells such as Fireball or weapons fire like flaming arrows, etc. 2.) If you were looking for an epic end battle, you could have unexpected help appear in the form of Merfolk or other ‘citizens’ of the sea joining in to help save the day.

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Monster Mash – Seductive Harpies

Here is the fifth of my entries on bawylie’s “Monster Mash” thread…

Special Note: This adventure idea is based on the premise that these Harpies are far more intelligent than the ones featured in the final D&D Next play packet.

Seductive Harpies, Seeking Slaves, Sorcerer’s Wood

A group of Harpies living deep in the Sorcerer’s Wood is getting ready to hatch a clutch of eggs and decided that having some slaves to serve them during this time is a wonderful idea. They have made plans and preparations, ready to chain the new slaves up and lead them away once they have charmed them with their singing.

The Harpies have begun discretely patrolling the section of the Queen’s Road that runs alongside the Sorcerer’s Wood. The traffic through here is fairly regular and promises to deliver some prime slaves for the Harpies.

At the moment, five individuals who were travelling alone (2 were paired up) have been charmed and led away into captivity. One of the travellers was a well-known Cleric who was expected to arrive in the nearby town of Baywynne two days ago. Her failure to arrive has the local populace concerned and led the town council to ask the characters to investigate.

Will the characters be able to find clues that will lead them to the missing people and the Harpies’ secret lair deep in the Sorcerer’s Wood? Can they survive the other dangers that lurk deep in the woods? Or worst case scenario, will the characters end up serving the Harpies as well?


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Althaea Ilphelkiir – Wood Elf Sorceress

Althaea Ilphelkiir (Wood Elf Sorceress)

Earlier this year, iserith started a terrific Pre-Generated Character Repository thread over at the D&D 5th Edition forums. I finally had an opportunity (and the spare time) to add a character as well…the lovely Althaea Ilphelkiir, Wood Elf Sorceress. Here are her full stats in their entirety…
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Generating Random Omens Or Prophecies

Asian Sorceress

I found these two random omen and prophecy generator links after doing a quick search to help out with a request over at the D&D forums.

They look like they could add a nice bit of flair and flavour to an adventure or campaign, so here they are for anyone who may find them useful.

Random Omens Charts

Prophecy Generator

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House Rules For 5th Edition

Red-Haired Female Elf Casting A Spell

These are the house rules that have been instituted in our campaign here so far while playing 5th Edition. I can personally attest to the helpfulness of the hit points house rule…it kept the game session going when the characters battled the Goblins in the Cragmaw Hideout.

1st Level Character Hit Points

Characters add their Constitution score to their starting hit points.

Example: A Wizard with a 1d6 hit die, no Constitution modifier, and a Constitution of 10 would start out with a hit point total of 16.

Characters gain new hit points in the normal fashion once they reach level 2 and onward.

Weapons Limitations & Exceptions For Clerics

01.) Clerics may only use non-sharpened and/or non-bladed weapons (as per the original BECMI and AD&D rule sets). The weapons available to use in 5th Edition are: Club, Flail, Great Club, Heavy Mace, Light Hammer, Mace, Maul, Quarterstaff, Sling, and War Hammer.

02.) Clerics have access to three Martial Weapons level items (two official and one home-brew):

  • Heavy Mace, 10 GP, 1d8 bludgeoning, 8 pounds, Heavy + Versatile (1d10) (Home-brewed Weapon)
  • Maul, 10 GP, 2d6 bludgeoning, 10 pounds, Heavy + Two-Handed
  • War Hammer, 15 GP, 1d8 bludgeoning, 2 pounds, Versatile (1d10)

Starting Money For Characters

All characters start out with a flat maximum of 200 GP regardless of class or race chosen. This provides ‘equal footing’ for all characters as they are starting out.


The magical items attunement rule is being completely ignored as unnecessary “fluff”.

Intelligence & Learning*

Intelligence affects the amount of time and money it takes to learn a tool proficiency or language. Each point of Intelligence over 10 decreases the days/gold required by 10. Each point of Intelligence under 10 adds to the days/gold required by 10.

A DM may limit the number of tool proficiencies that a character can learn. Even with a limit, the character’s high Intelligence score would still reflect ‘realism’ by helping them learn quicker, but without overdoing it with a far too long list of tool proficiencies.

Alternative Work-Around For Character Death*

The death is so sudden and traumatic that on the character’s next turn, they find themselves standing at the Black Gates of Death’s Kingdom.

The DM and player describe what the afterlife is like for the character. Death or an appropriate deity shows up and tells the character that it is not quite her or his time and seeks to make a deal with them. They will receive an offer to perform a quest of some sort within a set amount of time in exchange for another shot at life.

Failure to live up to the promise made within the given time frame means that Death or the appropriate deity comes back for the character. If the character agrees to it, she or he wakes up right at the moment their friends were just beginning to mourn them and say nice things. They will have 1 hit point and a possible uphill climb of convincing their comrades that their current adventure may have to wait.

Alternative Work-Around For Party Wipe-Out*

If the party gets wiped out (all down to 0 hit points) while adventuring, they could awaken as slaves, sacrificial victims to a horrific monster, or similar rather than experiencing total party death. Let the defeat sting, but avoid ruining the game session’s fun.

*The last three rules were inspired by dialogue in the D&D 5th Edition forums.

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