In this article, we take on creating classic fantasy characters in the Adventure System and build on the elements of character concept that were introduced in the Combat Styles article. The selection of Magical Powers for a variety of character types is key to developing certain concepts. The monk is a good example of how the considered selection of powers develops the concept.
Hailing from remote and uncivilized lands, the barbarian is savage fighter who relies upon Strength and Fight as a heavy melee combatant. When the opportunity presents itself, the barbarian uses Intimidate to put his opponents at Disadvantage before engaging hoping for a higher initiative so they can Full Attack leveraging Fury and Onslaught. When they have a lower initiative, they can Seize Initiative to gain the upper hand. Using Improved Assault, Improved Fury, and Improved Onslaught, if the barbarian moves less than double their Move, they can attack twice with Advantage, confer Disadvantage to incoming attacks, and ignore half their Spirit in damage.
Statistics: Strength d8, Dexterity d4, Endurance d8, Charisma d6, Intellect d4, Fortitude d6
Background Skills: Intimidate, Lore, Notice, Survival (arctic, jungle, temperate, or wastes)
Key Skills: Fight, Intimidate, Throw
Starting Talents: Assault, Fury, Onslaught
Advancement: Improved Assault, Improved Fury, Improved Onslaught, Specialization (menace)
A light combatant, the bard uses magic and song to bolster his abilities and the morale of his comrades. Enhance allows the bard to improve both his Leadership and Fight. Leadership can then be used to rally and inspire his allies. If not engaged on the front line, Enhance can be used to improve a comrade’s Fight. Specialization (light melee) and Elemental Weapon dramatically improve the brad’s ability to inflict damage in close combat. Armed with a longsword, using those abilities, the bard inflicts 2d8 +d6 damage.
Statistics: Strength d6, Dexterity d8, Endurance d4, Charisma d8, Intellect d4, Fortitude d6
Background Skills: Artist, Instrument (pick one), Lore, Persuasion
Key Skills: Elementalism, Instrument, Leadership
Starting Talents: Elementalism (fire), Specialization (light melee)
Magical Powers: Enhance or Afflict, Mage Sight
Advancement: Elemental Weapon, Specialization (composer, singer)
With nine domains of divinity to choose from, a priest can go in almost any direction your inspiration takes you. In this case, we will focus on a prototypical healer. Using the favor of their god, the cleric has the ability to Bless any of his allies improving a specified skill and providing significant support capabilities. Minor wounds can be handled using Treat Wounds and injuries that are more serious can be mended using Heal. A capable warrior to begin with, the cleric is crucial against evil and undead creatures whose Damage Resistance is vulnerable to their Radiant Blast.
Statistics: Strength d6, Dexterity d4, Endurance d6, Charisma d6, Intellect d6, Fortitude d8
Background Skills: Etiquette, Lore (religious), Scholar, Treat Wounds
Key Skills: Divinity, Fight, Treat Wounds
Starting Talents: Divinity (good)
Magical Powers: Augury, Bless
Advancement: Banish, Heal, Radiant Blast
The druid’s Beast Speech trait allows them to communicate with all beasts and their broadly capable Nature Sense and Minor Elemental Control powers provide significant utility. Everything rapidly changes, pun intended, when the druid gains Beast Shape greatly increasing both their utility and combat effectiveness.
Statistics: Strength d6, Dexterity d4, Endurance d4, Charisma d8, Intellect d6, Fortitude d8
Background Skills: Craft, Lore, Notice, Survival (arctic, jungle, temperate, or wastes)
Key Skills: Divinity, Lore, Survival
Starting Talents: Divinity (nature)
Magical Powers: Augury, Nature Sense
Advancement: Beast Shape, Spirit d10, Swift Passage
Like the cleric, there are many options here, so we have created a fighter with balanced offensive and defensive capabilities. On the offensive front, Reckless Attack, Shield Bash, and Sweeping Strikes provide tactical alternatives based on the situation while Butcher presents the opportunity for an extra attack when an opponent is struck down. Shield Block allows the fighter to substitute Fight for Dodge against ranged attacks forgoing the need to improve Dodge while Improved Parry increase the number of attacks the fighter can defend in a given turn. Lastly, Taunt provides the opportunity to draw an opponent’s attention.
Statistics: Strength d8, Dexterity d6, Endurance d8, Charisma d4, Intellect d4, Fortitude d6
Background Skills: Gamble, Intimidate (menace), Notice, Search
Key Skills: Fight, Shoot, Throw
Starting Talents: Parry, Reckless Attack, Shield Block
Advancement: Butcher, Improved Parry, Shield Bash, Sweeping Strikes, Taunt
Rather than just recreating the unarmed combat style, we have used magic to give the monk the ability to improve his Fight or Strength using Enhance. This ability is extended to all skills and statistics as the monk gains different elemental spheres instead of more powers.
Statistics: Strength d10, Dexterity d6, Endurance d6, Charisma d4, Intellect d4, Fortitude d6
Background Skills: Climb, Craft, Lore (monastic), Stealth
Key Skills: Elementalism, Dodge, Fight
Starting Talents: Elementalism (fire), Unarmed Combat
Magical Powers: Enhance or Afflict, Mage Sight
Advancement: Elementalism (air, earth & water), Evasion, Iron Hand, Iron Hide, Parry, Unarmored Combat
There are two approaches to a paladin and this is the more difficult or long view approach. The reason being, the character must have a Morality +8 (Good) and Honor +8 (Honorable) before they can begin acquiring the advancements like Detect Evil, Holy Aura, Might, and Paladin that fulfill the concept. To do this, the paladin must be stalwart in performing actions that generate increase checks while never doing anything that might result in a decrease check. As the character strives towards their goals, they are a highly effective mounted combatant. Using Assault and Deadly Charge, as a Complex Action, the paladin can Charge triple his mount’s Move and inflict Strength +3d8 damage with a longsword. The easier approach to a paladin would be to use Divinity (good) at creation. An anti-paladin can easily be created using either approach and simply pursuing Detect Good, Unholy Aura, and Blackguard or starting with Divinity (evil).
Statistics: Strength d8, Dexterity d6, Endurance d6, Charisma d6, Intellect d4, Fortitude d6
Background Skills: Etiquette, Leadership, Lore (religious), Ride
Key Skills: Leadership, Fight, Ride
Starting Talents: Assault, Deadly Charge, Mounted Combat
Advancement: Detect Evil, Holy Aura, Improved Assault, Improved Parry, Might, Paladin, Parry
The ranger specializes in wilderness survival, scouting, and tracking greatly enhancing their allies’ ability to operate in the wild. Minor Elemental Control provides significant magical utility while Beast Sight improves their abilities as a scout. In combat, with Ambidextrous and Dual Weapon or Archer and Improved Rapid Shot, the ranger can Double Strike attacking twice each turn when they have the higher initiative making them a more than capable combatant.
Statistics: Strength d6, Dexterity d6, Endurance d6, Charisma d6, Intellect d4, Fortitude d8
Background Skills: Hide, Notice, Stealth, Survival (tracking)
Key Skills: Fight, Shoot, Survival
Starting Talents: Elementalism (earth)
Magical Powers: Beast Sight, Mage Sight, Minor Elemental Control
Advancement: Ambidextrous, Archer, Dual Weapon, Improved Rapid Shot, Rapid Shot, Summon & Control Beasts
The rogue lives by stealth and speed. Their ability to bypass locks and traps allows them to go where they are not wanted to do their work. Likely, lightly armored, Elusive and Evasion allow the rogue to use Dodge as their melee defense and improve upon it making them hard to hit. Their high Quickness drives options like Double Strike and Feint in combat. When attacking with surprise, the rogue has the potential to hit twice and Murder increases the damage on the second attack to a d10 +2d6 if armed with a short sword assuming they have Specialization (light melee).
Statistics: Strength d4, Dexterity d10, Endurance d4, Charisma d6, Intellect d6, Fortitude d6
Background Skills: Notice, Search, Streetwise, Tinker (locks)
Key Skills: Hide, Stealth, Tinker
Starting Talents: Ambush, Elusive, Evasion
Advancement: Ambidextrous, Dual Weapon, Feint, Improved Evasion, Murder, Specialization (light melee, traps)
With four schools of sorcery from which to choose, each type of sorcerer will be radically different. In this case, we created a sorcerer who uses conjuration as a multi-faceted combatant. The addition of Scholar (chirurgery) and Treat Wounds makes this versatile mage a valuable asset to his allies. Once they have Quickening and Witch Blade, the sorcerer can summon an Arcane weapon as a Free Action and may only carry a knife as a backup. The ability to transform the Witch Blade to a Witch Bow as a Free Action increases the sorcerer’s utility in combat. Additional powers like Camouflage, Invisibility, Shield, and Witch Bolt make them all the more dangerous.
Statistics: Strength d6, Dexterity d6, Endurance d6, Charisma d6, Intellect d6, Fortitude d6
Background Skills: Lore, Occultism, Scholar (chirurgery), Treat Wounds
Key Skills: Fight, Shoot, Sorcery
Starting Talents: Sorcery (conjuration)
Magical Powers: Camouflage, Mage Sight, Minor Phantasm
Advancement: Invisibility, Quickening, Resilience, Shield, Witch Blade, Witch Bolt
The warlock draws from the schools of enchantment and necromancy. The ability of Minor Enchantment to bind any Minor Magical Power to an object may be the most versatile power in the Adventure System and it will serve the warlock well. Once they begin acquiring more powers, they become truly dreadful foes.
Statistics: Strength d4, Dexterity d4, Endurance d4, Charisma d8, Intellect d8, Fortitude d8
Background Skills: Intimidate, Lore (ancient), Occultism, Scholar
Key Skills: Intimidate, Occultism, Sorcery
Starting Talents: Sorcery (enchantment, necromancy)
Magical Powers: Mage Sight, Minor Enchantment
Advancement: Command Spirit, Eldritch Blast, Fear, Glyph, Shadow Step, Unhallowed Will, Warding
The wizard is not likely to have much in the way of mundane combat skills. The dedication to their true path simply does not allow for such distractions. As they grow in power, the wizard expands their knowledge into additional schools of sorcery so that they can select a broad array of Magical Powers. Once they have Overcharge, powers like Eldritch Blast become devastating area attacks inflicting Spirit +2d10 on all targets within a six yard radius.
Statistics: Strength d4, Dexterity d4, Endurance d4, Charisma d6, Intellect d12, Fortitude d6
Background Skills: Lore, Notice, Occultism, Scholar (alchemy)
Key Skills: Occultism, Scholar, Sorcery
Starting Talents: Sorcery (thaumaturgy)
Magical Powers: Command Spirit, Mage Sight, Melding
Advancement: Channeling, Eldritch Blast, Glamour, Hand of Corruption, Identify, Overcharge, Phantasmal Blast, Power Casting, Rune-craft, Scrying Pool, Sorcery (conjuration, enchantment), Summon Familiar, Toxic Cloud