Part of the Dicey Characters Project
Shou Human Cleric of Knowledge
The first official character build in my Dicey Characters Project.
In my first post, I asked the question, “What if I build a character using as many dice-generated results as possible?” In this ongoing series, I’ll be doing, and reporting on, exactly that. Without further ado, then, lets jump into it. Here’s the story of the character I built. (For the back story see Dicey Characters Project and Mila Halfdöttir.
Let’s start with the easy stuff.
For Ability Scores I opted for the “4d6 drop the lowest number” method. That’s right, immediately out of the gate I chicken out. It was simply impossible to promise survivability with only three dice each. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I was scared. (Call me wimp, I don’t care! I can handle it.) But I promise next time I’ll roll just 3d6! As a result, the ability scores were not bad. Strength (9), Dexterity (11), Constitution (17), Intelligence (10), Wisdom (13) and Charisma (11).
Note: It is a coincidence that this element of Dicey Characters Project (DCP) is much like min/max-ing. Yes I’m trying to get the very most out of the stats by carefully referring to the Player’s Handbook data, but for DCP was designed to help teach new players about the Player’s Handbook, the kinds of topics covered, and the many variables that can come into play—and, more importantly, how they interplay.
The character has a rocking Constitution at 17, but it has kind of a low strength, at 9. That’s unlucky because it means a -1 Ability Modifier—all strength-related Saving Throws and Ability Checks are rolled at a minus one! (sad face) Good thing I’m not choosing the class yet.
Before that, I want to make a random roll for race (1d10 re roll 10). The winner is, Humanity! Human is nice because the race gets to add +1 to every Ability Score, which means no more negative strength modifier, but at 18, Constitution is the big winner. How will this translate to in-game play? Where before I wouldn’t dream of putting a sword into its hands, now, any class will do. Or, more accurately, the character will do okay in any class.
Here are the updated ability scores.
Fleshing out the race a little bit, another random roll (1d10) gives me the Shou subarce. Make a toss of the coin, and, its a girl:
Shou human female wimp with incredible constitution, and a reasonable wisdom. The best online dating profile ever, or challenging D&D character? You decide.
Since I’m here, let’s pick a name. The WoTC naming convention for Shou in the Player’s Handbook is sort of Chinese-y-like. That lead to me to the online random name generator, under the “Real” names menu>Chinese names. (The generator throws together parts of actual names to build a fictional one.)
Everyone, meet Mo Jing-yi. Mo (we’ll call her “Mo”) meet everyone.
Back to Class. In a way the dice have already reduced the options. For example, she’d probably loose an eye and half her fingers in fighter school, and never pass the entrance exams of a good magic school. The best class options are probably cleric, druid, monk, or ranger. So I’ll roll randomly from those. Where’s my d4…
Okay, a 1, that is a Cleric. Another roll for Clerical Domain (1d8 drop any roll of 8) gives me a 1—Knowledge. The Player’s Handbook suggests for Clerics:
“Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Strength or Constitution. Second, choose the acolyte background.”
Under the best situation, the Wisdom/Constitution numbers would be flipped for a cleric, but I think we’re pretty safe, and an Acolyte background is fine. Next is choosing skills. This can be complicated. The book goes on to say that Clerics can:
“Choose two [skills] from History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion.”
Which of the five skills do I choose? Wait, I also have to choose two from the Knowledge Domain list. But taking the Acolyte background automatically gives me Insight and Religion. Confused? Here’s a table.
Getting Insight and Religion for free leaves me still two to choose from the remaining three, Medicine, Persuasion and History. I choose Medicine and Persuasion. Because, then, using my Domain Skills, I can choose History. I’ve one Domain skill left, but three to choose from. Arcana, Nature or Religion.
How can I randomize three? I elected to use three coins. Shake them up and toss them together. Line them up without changing their order. Perfect! Now, compare the faces. There will always be an odd one out, either heads or tails. In this case, the middle was Nature. Ah, so go the roll of the “dice”! But still, this is starting to get interesting.
Being human allows her yet one more skill. Several could boost an ability score but I’m going to choose Shield Master because… no good reason. I just think it might be fun.
Acolyte also has a Feature. Shelter of the Faithful.
I’ll leave the deity question open because it depends so much on which milieu she’s living in.
Our next rolls are for Mo’s body shape. The Player’s Handbook’s Random Height & Weight table is a little hard to decipher, but in essence you roll 2d10. For height, add your roll to the base height. But for weight, you first multiply the roll by 2d4, then add the base weight. Like this:
Notice that I rolled 2d10 just once, then applied the same result (13) to both calculations. Mo turned out to be 5-ft 9-in high, and 175 pounds. That seems a little heavy, but at 5’9″ she is pretty tall. Who knows.
On the question of alignment, there are nine options. This gets narrowed down, too. Up front, the three Evil alignments are thrown out. This project builds characters that can function in a group. Say what you will, but an evil person simply would not cooperate well, and group adventures are about cooperation. That leaves six alignments, and a roll of 1d6 gives: Chaotic Good.
Next is languages. She’s got Common plus one for her race, two for her class, and two more for her background. In the book, we can choose from eight Standard languages and eight Exotic languages. I decided to flip a coin for Standard vs. Exotic, and then roll 1d8 for the specific language. Here’s what I got.
1. Standard. Gnomish (script Dwarvish)
2. Exotic. Draconic (script Draconic
3. Standard. Halfling (script Common)
4. Exotic. Infernal (script Infernal)
5. Exotic. Primordial (script Dwarish)
Ideals Bonds and Flaws
Pretty straight forward process, which I appreciate in this situation because there’s a lot more to do.
Trait. (1d8) is “I see omens in every event and action. The gods try to speak to us, we just need to listen.”
Ideal. (1d6) “Change. We must help bring about the changes the gods are constantly working in the world.” Comments: Alignment wise, this is a chaotic ideal, so it works out well.
Bond. (1d6) “I would die to recover an ancient relic of my faith that was lost long ago.” I love these quest-like bonds. Comments: They are a potential story arc in themselves.
Flaw. (1d6) “My piety sometimes leads me lo blindly trust those that profess faith in my god.” Comments: A really good leverage for an enterprising DM to use on her. Loaded with potential for a tangental story arc.
What an intriguing character! There is one more roll I want to make before moving on. Trinkets. Rolling on the trinket table, I come up with a Crystal Doorknob. Again, insert enterprising DM, here.
That’s all for now. In Mo Jing-Yi II, I start the “creative writing” parts of the process.