Awhile back I asked people to help me pick between characters, only Ysharros offered some help. Oddly enough, I went with the Goblin Cleric character and had a load of fun. I have to admit, it now sits up top of my list of favorite characters.
A Goblin Cleric of Hermes who picked the Travel and Trickery domains, was Chaotic Good and a whole lot of fun despite being reduced to a mobile band-aid. There was just something about the pest personality I adopted for him that was enjoyable. I played him as a bit of a slacker as well, ducking out of sitting a watch over nights, pretending he didn’t know the the Giantish language other than what he believed was, “Hey, how’s it going?” but was actually, “Tongue my hairy dumper!” and misleading his brutish Minotaur companion – though only slightly. One of the things that never had a chance to come out was that he was a bit of a swindler – unfortunately, the ‘merchants’ in the group didn’t leverage his ability to be diplomatic and also outright bullshit people.
My next favorite is my current character, Smaken the Ogre. We’re playing with some modified rules that allows you to level up through monster race as a class then adopt a class later. I’ve got another two levels to go before I can actually pick a character class – I’ll be going with Fighter. Next level he’ll grow from Medium size to Large size which adds some benefits (+2 STR, 10 foot reach, size bonus to size related things, weapons of suitable size scale up in damage dice) but also has some costs (-2 DEX, -1 AC and -1 to hit from Size, I believe there are penalties to things like Hide as well). With some surprisingly good rolls and not going overboard with stat assignments, he’s actually smarter, wiser and more convincing than most Ogres would be. I was a little surprised but I managed to get away with 8 INT, 9 WIS and 10 CHA.
From the play side of things, I’m trying to ensure he stays well within his Lawful Evil alignment. I take opportunities to be brutal and cruel to things lesser than he is and generally harsh. I’ve even proposed we take on some slaves we rescued from their Mind Flayer oppressors but the Goodly types didn’t like that. Being a malnourished and growing Ogre, a lot of his concerns revolve around eating – some of the food sources make the other party members cringe, though the Dread Necromancer in the group is helping out by skinning things and collecting some choice cuts. So far Smaken has tried gnoll, wolf, bear and dragon. Some people got squeamish about a party member eating a sentient creature (the gnolls) but I put that to rest by letting them know halflings were tastier.
I’m playing him dumb, but not horribly dumb. Definitely uneducated since he grew up in Mind Flayer slave camps and was used for heavy lifting type jobs. Every now and then I throw out the odd revelation, but mostly he’s dazzled by the more complicated situations.
He’s at odds with some of the party members, but so far only the Druid is on his list of people that are weird and might need to be put in their place. He’s already had two run-ins with the Druid’s animal companion – a wolf. Once the damn wolf tried to eat the gnoll Smaken just knocked unconscious. Irritated by that, Smaken took a swipe at the wolf but missed. The Druid called his pet off. In Smaken’s defense, I did have him call out to leave this gnoll alone because he was going to question it and the Druid didn’t call the wolf off. Annoyed with the wolf, he later too a shot at it when it got in his way in combat, stepping right in front of Smaken, blocking easy (and tactical) access to an opponent. It was a hard hit and almost killed the wolf, as did the attack from the enemy. The wolf doesn’t seem to come around as much anymore.
The Githerzai Psychic Warrior is starting to annoy Smaken a bit. A rust monster ate the Gith’s metal shield so Smaken loaned the Gith his heavy wooden shield – since the Gith was a decent fighter, though clearly not an Ogre so he was more frail. The damn Gith engraved a symbol of Moridan and painted the shield. If Smaken didn’t like Dwarves so much (he thinks they’re sort of like little Ogres) and like that the symbol was a warhammer, there might have been more of an issue. At this point, Smaken isn’t going to loan the Githerzai anything in the near future. Who knows what the skinny, cone-head will do to whatever he’s loaned.
The goodly Duergar Cleric of Moridan is also a bit of a stick in the mud. Won’t let him take slaves or eat the Halfling prisoner and didn’t like him killing (and then eating) the Gnoll prisoner who didn’t have any information of value for Smaken. He’s a bit stuffy but he’s a Dwarf and he fixes up Smaken’s owies so that’s okay. For now.
The Warlock and Bard seem okay. They don’t get in his way, besides the Bard tells some pretty amazing stories about a group of adventurers that slay Mind Flayers. One of the characters in the story is pretty cool because he’s a big nasty Ogre, really strong and crushes his enemies. (The Bard is actually telling the story about how this group defeated a Mind Flayer overlord but has changed the names of the party members – Smaken hasn’t clued in that he’s the Ogre in that story.)
A sample of Smaken performing a “Gather Information” check:
In a tent-filled, refugee camp Smaken found himself in a ‘tavern’ filled with Dwarves and other refugees. Knowing the group is looking for a missing Dwarf that disappeared into nearby ruins he asks the Dwarves, “Hey! Yous dorfs – do yous guys know any udder dorfs?” He’s met with shrugs and several Dwarves pointing at each other.
I wasn’t actually expecting to be of any use, but I was hoping other members of the group might remember why we were there and get asking questions. It seems we were being stalled until we proved our worth later on in the evening when we defended the encampment from a ‘Death Squad’ from the local ruling Mind Flayer tyrant. We ended the session there.