Back for some more Dungeons and Dragons campaign design talk. This time about how I have crafted what characters I have already, and how I plan to go about making more.
Starting With the Beginning
The first character I created for this setting was a result of a simple question: How do the players know where to go? Giant island, randomly spawning dungeons, unmapped (possibly changing) terrain, they need some kind of guide. This is when pulled from a backstory I had written for a past character of mine. This character had come from a clan that studied magic, believing that no magic had inherent morality. So, this new character had two traits: guides the party and studies all magic regardless of “risks”. Obviously I needed them to be a Wizard. Of elven ancestry because of the clan (more background, don’t worry about it). And I needed him to be in a position of authority. And so I had my first character.
You may be asking “what is this character’s name?” A reasonable question, to which I reply “Does it matter?” Because honestly, does it actually matter what the character’s name is at this point? At some point, sure, he needs a name. But at the point of populating a location the character’s individual names don’t matter that much.
Fleshing things out
So I have a character to drive the main plot forward, what now? First was to develop this character a little with a second character, namely his wife. Where my elven wizard was very intelligent I wanted his “other half” to be very wise. Given the wizard’s family his partner would have to be some flavor of spell caster or magical being. Then I had a character build idea that just fit everything I needed from this character and just slotted that in. And so Wroxi was born.
Wroxi is a Fairy Druid/Monk, this fits all the requirements. Spell caster? Check. Magical being? Check. Wisdom being a prominent stat? Check. Now I may hear some of you saying “Why does she have a name already and not the Wizard?” Quite simply because I played this character in a one-shot and she needed a name. I ended up liking the name and stuck with it.
But from here things get a bit harder.
While I have a few ideas for other characters I don’t have much in the way of fleshed out characters. Mostly I have roles to fill and the outline of a character to fill some of them. Some of these character ideas include: a bearish barkeep that is almost exactly what he appears to be. A jovial fat man of a merchant that is almost certainly hiding something. A roaming goblin that is just trying to get by. And a group of dragons trying to make sure the adventures don’t unleash anything too dangerous. A few more positions need to be filled, but I don’t even have an outline of what will take that spot: civilian leadership, defense force leadership, other adventuring parties.