So far, I’ve spent a fair bit of time on the setting for the adventure, mostly so I can provide some context for things the PCs might encounter.
Now it’s time for the character lineup. I’m going with pregenerated characters because I don’t have quite enough information prepared about talents to open up character generation. However, I do know, or can quickly build, enough for me to do it myself.
Or I might be able to
sucker politely ask GreyKnight into creating something based on the descriptions, but then I’d have to come back and fill in the mechanics of the badass cool-sounding stuff he comes up with that I hadn’t thought about before…
All are veteran-tier characters — level 9 in Echelon, nominally level 1 in Pathfinder/D&D 3.x. Each is entitled to two veteran-tier talents, seven expert-tier talents, and four basic-tier talents. I have not determined yet what all their talents will be, nor yet what all the talents actually do… but I have a start.
Echelon uses the Advantage Dice System, a dice pool mechanism where you make all checks with a die based on your level (starting PCs in the veteran tier use a d8) and specific training and other improvements often give you additional dice that are rolled. In some cases you use the single best die, and where there is a specific target number you count the number of successes. Advantage from different talents (cornerstone, common, and capstone) stacks, but not from the same type of talent.
- Veteran common talent: Hammer of the Mountains Combat Style (common advantage hammers, stoneshaping, mountain terrain)
- Veteran cornerstone talent: Stonebrother Dwarf (cornerstone advantage stoneshaping, endurance)
- Expert capstone talent: Giantslayer (capstone advantage all checks related to giants)
- Expert common talent: Soulchanter (common advantage chanting, necromancy — calling and speaking with dead spirits, not animating the dead)
- Expert common talent: Lorekeeper (common advantage all knowledge checks)
- Expert common talent: Stonegrip Grappler Combat Style (common advantage grappling, resisting movement, balance)
- Expert common talent: Giant Hunter (common advantage checks related to giants, endurance)
- Expert common talent: Stoneheart (common advantage stoneshaping, gains and grants fast healing to those in contact with stone)
- Expert cornerstone talent: Mountain Guard Martial Tradition (cornerstone advantage hammers, grappling, mountain terrain, checks related to giants)
This stoneshaper is born of the mountain and wields its might. This character has the following checks:
- Stoneshaping: 3d8 (Hammer of the Mountains and Stonebreather Dwarf, both veteran; Stoneheart overridden)
- Can take the place of other skill checks if willing to spend magic points, such as climbing or crafting stone items.
- Many stoneshapers will shape weapons and armor from available stone rather than carry such gear.
- Hammer: 2d8 + 1d6 (2d8 + 2d6 vs giants); gains d8+d6 advantage to damage on hammer attacks, d8+2d6 vs giants.
- Mountain Terrain: 2d8 + 1d6 (veteran Hammer of the Mountains, expert Mountain Guard)
- Includes tracking, survival, and similar checks, in the mountains.
- Giant-related Checks: d8 + 3d6 (Giantslayer, Giant Hunter, Mountain Guard; all expert)
- Endurance 2d8 + 1d6 (veteran Stonebrother Dwarf and expert Giant Hunter)
- Grappling 1d8+2d6 (Stonegrip Grappler and Mountain Guard, both expert)
- Fast Healing 1d8 + 1d6 (Stoneheart)
- Knowledge checks 1d8+1d6 (expert Lorekeeper)
- Chanting 1d8+1d6 (expert Soulchanter)
- Necromancy 1d8+1d6 (expert Soulchanter)
- Veteran common talent: Windleaf Archer Combat Style (common advantage bow, bowyer and fletcher, can craft leaf-tip arrows)
- Veteran cornerstone talent: Woodrun Warrior Martial Tradition (cornerstone advantage forest terrain, sword, bow)
- Expert capstone talent: Sister of the Wood (capstone advantage plant magic, forest terrain)
- Expert common talent: Leafblade Wielder Combat Style (common advantage sword, agility, woodcraft)
- Expert common talent: Leafspeaker (common advantage forest terrain, plant magic)
- Expert common talent: Infiltrator (common advantage sneak and bluff)
- Expert common talent: Sharp Senses (common advantage notice)
- Expert common talent: Wilderness Wanderer (common advantage survival, all terrains)
- Expert cornerstone talent: Woodborn Elf (cornerstone advantage forest terrain, agility, notice, woodcraft)
This elf was born and raised in the wood. Unlike the stonebrother she focuses more on martial skills than on magic, but she still has some. More talents have been identified, so this character has more check modifiers:
- Bow: 3d8 (both veteran talents apply)
- Forest Terrain: 2d8+2d6 (veteran Woodrun Warrior, expert Sister of the Wood and Leafspeaker; veteran Woodrun Warrior cornerstone overrides expert Woodborn Elf)
- Includes tracking, survival, sneaking, and similar checks, in the forest.
- Sword: 2d8+1d6 (veteran Woodrun Warrior, expert Leafblade Wielder)
- Plant Magic: 1d8+2d6 (Sister of the Wood capstone and Leafspeaker common, both expert)
- Agility: 1d8+2d6 (Leafblade Wielder and Woodborn Elf, both expert)
- Notice: 1d8+2d6 (Sharp Senses and Woodborn Elf, both expert)
- Survival: 1d8+1d6 (Wilderness Wanderer)
- Sneak: 1d8+1d6 (Infiltrator)
- Bluff: 1d8+1d6 (Infiltrator)
- Crafting: 1d8 normally, but
- Bows and fletching: 2d8+1d6 (and can make leaf-tip arrows)
- Other woodcraft: 1d8+2d6
- Veteran common talent: Dragon Magic (common advantage dragon magic spells, checks related to dragons)
- Veteran cornerstone talent: Draconid (cornerstone advantage perception, checks related to dragons; wings: slow fall and glide)
- Expert capstone talent: Draconid Champion (capstone advantage: bite, breath weapon, claws, checks related to dragons)
- Expert common talent: Natural Claw Attack (no advantage; claws, d4 damage in melee range)
- Expert common talent: Natural Bite Attack (no advantage; bite, d6 damage in immediate range)
- Expert common talent: Divination Magic (common advantage perception, divination spells)
- Expert common talent: Breath Weapon (no advantage; breath weapon doing d6 damage in close range)
- Expert common talent: Natural Armor (no advantage; scaly skin offers 2 points of armor)
- Expert cornerstone talent: Dragonscale Caster Tradition (cornerstone bonus dragon magic spells, divination spells, warding spells)
So far, this is the most alien character. Cornerstone and common talents in Echelon do not have prerequisites beyond ‘makes sense for this character’ (an otherwise ‘normal’ human character could find himself developing very strange abilities at higher levels; I contend that after Heroic tier you’re no longer ‘human’ anyway, never mind what your parents were). The common talents also are not required in order to be a draconid (you might be a ‘weaker one’ lacking the natural advantages others of your race have: your skin is not scaled, your claws are soft and blunt, your jaws are weak). They are required in order to be a Draconid Champion, though (capstone talents have prerequisites).
Many of this character’s talents are binary, have-or-have-not rather than granting advantage. Still, with this many talents assigned, there are lots of check modifiers.
- Dragon-related checks: 3d8+1d6 (veteran Dragon Magic and Draconid, expert Draconid Champion)
- Dragon Magic Spells: 2d8+1d6 (veteran Dragon Magic, expert Dragonscale Caster Tradition)
- Perception: 2d8+1d6 (veteran Draconid, expert Divination Magic)
- Divination Spells: 1d8+2d6 (Divination Magic and Dragonscale Caster Tradition, both expert)
- Warding Spells: 1d8+1d6 (Dragonscale Caster Tradition)
- Breath Weapon: 1d8+1d6 (capstone advantage from Draconid Champion), does 2d6 (advantage) damage within close range
- Bite Attack: 1d8+1d6 (Draconid Champion), does 2d6 (advantage) damage in immediate range
- Claw Attack: 1d8+1d6 (Draconid Champion), does 1d4+1d6 (advantage) damage in melee and immediate range
Not in the list above, on a critical hit (claw or bite), additional damage can be ‘breath weapon’ damage instead of just claw or bite.
This caster does not have a broad range of magic yet (dragon magic, divination, warding); a human wizard would likely know much more magic. On the other hand, a human wizard is not able to breath fire, tear his enemies to shreds with his bare hands, nor simply shrug off minor attacks.
This is very much a work in progress. In another post I will likely add to the list of characters.