Sunday, September 12, 2010

Skills, Kits, and Proficiencies Oh My!

Creating The First Character Continued

When we left off Tillam had stats and a background but that was about it. Now I’ve got a lot of things to add to flesh him out. Including starting gold, assigning my languages, my non weapon proficiencies (the things I’m really good at), my weapon proficiencies (the weapons I know how to wield effectively), assign my rogue skill points, and pick a kit (a way to further customize my character similar to prestige classes or paragon paths but for 1st level characters)

 Now Tillam is, in AD&D terms, an exceptionally smart person so he knows 4 languages in addition to common and thieves cant, which is exclusive to rogues. I decide to spend 3 of them on regional languages of the system. I keep on in reserve this is because we are using an optional rule that allows bonus languages to be spent on additional Non-Weapon Proficiencies. The languages I have chosen are Shan-Li (a common language among the working class), High Salumar (the Latin of this world), and Channar (the language of poets)

From there I began looking towards my Non-Weapon Proficiencies (NWP). Rogues get the short end of the stick here because they start with only 3 NWPs and get a new one ever 4 levels unlike the other classes which get a new NWP every 3. The PhB and other expansion books cover a lot of skills and deal with the things common people adventurers and skilled laborers would do.

I should also pause here for a second; especially since I’m ranting. Some Kits require specific NWPs be taken or provide you with bonuses so I should pick one before I go one. So I should look at that before going onward. The kit that most fits what I envision for Tillam is the Troubleshooter. This odd kit is a security expert, he is in many ways a white hat hacker. I like that about it. The kit requires the Observation NWP. It also has some bonuses to my thief’s skill. Aside from that the advantage and disadvantage is I’m a walking lightning rod for Murphy’s Law and for plot. Anything can go fantastically or terribly for me. It is up to the DM to dole that luck out in equal measure. I’m sure Oodja is up to that job.

Now to, finish selecting my NWPs. I have observation. I also want to emphasize the business man aspect of Tillam so I add the Locksmith NWP witch will also work for clock repair. Tillam’s a charismatic guy and to emphasize that plus his intelligence I take Fast Talking hopefully it will help me bamboozle hirelings into taking a cheaper rate and also give me an advantage when working out contracts. Finally since I have High Salumar as a spoken language I should take Reading/Writing to emphasize his learned aspect and because High Salumar is mostly dead language found primarily in writing.

Next I look at weapon proficiencies. I immediately decide to select the dagger as one of them. It is an excellent weapon because it is a ranged and melee weapon. As a ranged weapon it is thrown and Halflings gain a +1 attack bonus to thrown weapons. As a melee weapon I can fight with 2 of them (one in each hand) and make one attack as normal and the second attack with a -1 penalty to the attack (the penalties are -2 & -4 with your dexterity modifier added as an offset but cannot provide bonuses). The second weapon I choose is a hand-crossbow. It will be a while before I can afford that 300gp luxury but I want to be able to use it when I buy one. Any other weapons I suffer a -3 penalty to attack with.

Now I the next to last step to my character needs to have thieves skills picked out. I have a lot of modifiers. There are the base skills. The 60 points I get to allocate (no more than 30 can go into an one skill) the bonuses from my race and high DEX, the bonuses from my kit, and the bonus to lockpicking from the locksmith skill. I think it is best to use a simple grid to outline what is going on here

Starting Value
Total Value
Pick Pockets
Open Locks
Find/Remove Traps
Move Silently
Hide in Shadows
Detect Noise
Climb Walls
Read Languages

In another installment I’ll discuss equipment I will let everyone know that while rolling for starting gold I got the slightly below average 50gp starting value.

But I think the next topic I talk about will be contacts who they are and what we can do with them. While not an item from an actual AD&D product (although the Lankhmar rules might have mention of the concept) it is something this campaign is using, inspired by ShadowRun.