Monday, November 3, 2008

The DM Drawback: The characters I'd like to play but never will...

As much as I enjoy DMing, there are some drawbacks. One is obviously the time needed to prepare for each session, but I actually enjoy the preparation most of the time. The worst drawback of DMing is never getting to play. I know that many DMs don't have to deal with this, but in my neck of the woods, if I don't DM, we play Magic instead. NPCs, even recurring ones, just don't do the trick, and the DMPC is a struggle to pull off without the party having a completely silent companion or a hint machine.

The following is a character I'd love to play but will likely sit on the back of my mind wasting away for eternity. The inspiration comes from South Park's underpants gnomes. If you take their business plan and replace "steal underpants" with "manipulate others" and replace "profit" with "power", you'll have Tilloch's game plan.

Tilloch Blayder
It is amazing how much ego is stored up inside Tilloch's small stature. Taking pride in himself for being the power behind the throne (whether he is in reality or not), Tilloch avoids the spotlight as much as possible and allows his pawns (errrr... friends) to do most of the dirty work. He spends the majority of his time attempting to manipulate people into doing what he wants, and when that fails, convincing them that whatever they did was due to his influence and was a part of his master plan all along.
Tilloch is primarily motivated by three things: the pursuit of power, the avoidance of any real responsibility, and delusions of grandeur. Tilloch's goal in life is to be powerful, but he wants to be a behind-the-scenes power monger so that he will never have to deal with the negative aspects of power. While he is intelligent and charismatic, Tilloch doesn't realize how easy it is to see through his schemes.
Tilloch would be a valuable member of any adventuring group, but his personality quite often drives would-be friends mad with rage. He is friendly and cordial, but tends to take credit for more successes than he deserves and blames failures on everyone else.
Game Mechanics: Whatever the system, Tilloch focuses on social interaction first, sneakiness second, and combat ability third. I like sticking to heavily personality-based character ideas because they are adaptable to any system. Tilloch could easily be a halfling or gnome in D&D, a ratling in Rifts, or just a small human in another game. In 4th Edition D&D, Tilloch might look something like this:

Tilloch Blayder
1st Level Unaligned Halfling Trickster Rogue
Str 11
Con 12
Dex 18
Int 14
Wis 8
Cha 16

Hp: 24
Healing Surges: 7

AC 16
Fort 11
Ref 16
Will 13

Trained Skills: +8 Bluff, +4 Insight, +8 Intimidate, +4 Perception, +9 Stealth, +11 Thievery
Feats: Nimble Blade
Equipment: Leather Armor, Short Sword

At-Will Powers
Piercing Strike
Sly Flourish

Encounter Powers
King's Castle
Second Chance [racial]

Daily Powers
Trick Strike
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