02 July 2015

D&D 30-Day Challenge: Day 8 - Favorite PC Of Your Own

Having been tossing dice for 29 years, thinking back over all the characters I've played is an interesting endeavor.  The funny part is that one would think I'd played a lot more PCs than I actually have.  The curse of the Dungeon Master, I suppose, since I started DMing almost immediately after learning what roleplaying games were.

My first memorable character was Brother Maynard of the Holy Outhouse, a BD&D Cleric I played in Daniel Varner's and Tim Goorley's games when I was in Boy Scouts.  I recall his holy symbol being a miniature toilet seat.  We had made some teenage boy jokes about the holiest, most precious thing in a medieval D&D world being decent restroom facilities, and the very loose focus of the BD&D rules on what Clerics actually believed lent to Br. Maynard being quite effective while at the same time being comic relief. 

I'm going to have to answer this one in a two-parter (again) as my absolute favorite PC to play does not qualify, since he is not from a Dungeons & Dragons game.  The PC I have had the most fun with overall is Captain Deak Windsailor, a Corellian smuggler who flew during the Clone Wars for the Corellian Militia.  Deak is a character I played in Bobby Dean's two excellent Star Wars campaigns, and I loved every minute of him.  He was a crusty old veteran who was many times annoyed by the younger rebels with which he associated.  He was prone to showing them how it was done during the Clone Wars.  Deak was captain of a converted Mon Calamari yard tug affectionately known as the Squid Trawler.  He constantly complained that he wanted a proper Corellian ship like any self-respecting Corellian operator, but he had several opportunities to trade up and made many excuses for not leaving the Trawler behind. Many, MANY great adventures were had with Deak, and I hope to play him again some day.

Now, for a proper D&D answer. 

I am currently playing a character named Mikhail Ivanov, Misha to his friends, who is the younger son of the Baron of Luln.  He comes from a Traladaran family of deep roots who have learned to respect Duke Stefan Karameikos and are his stauch allies.  Of course, this puts them at odds with other old Traladaran families who seek to oust the Thyatian upstart and his people, but hey, it's good for the story.   Misha is the first Bard I've ever played in any edition.  As I constructed him on paper, his personality started to form in my mind.  Misha was bookish and affable, always ready with a tall tale or historical epic.  He spend his time in a series of libraries and public houses, and ended up the black sheep of his family.  What his family, who valued martial prowess and brute strength, did not know- was that Misha was at need the Red Dragon, a Zorro-like folk hero of the Traladaran people.

I modeled the Red Dragon on Bruce Campbell's Daring Dragoon from the sadly short-lived television series Jack of All Trades.  Using  his bardic abilities and spellcasting talents, Misha as the Red Dragon was able to pull off all sorts of swashbuckling daring-do while cracking wise and using his taunt cantrip to cutting effect... that is, until the Marilenev family organized an assassination attempt on Duke Stefan, and Misha was killed defending the Duke.

Misha's allies quested for a gem of adequate value to have him brought back, but in the interim, Misha had an encounter with Halav, the patron immortal of the Traladaran people.  King Halav told Misha that he would return to the world to spread the word that Duke Stefan Karameikos was the will of Halav returned to the world, and that Stefan would unite Karameikos and the Traladaran people as Halav had done in his lifetime.  This gave me some ideas on what to do with Misha...

I talked it over with the DM.  We made a couple of changes.  Misha had died having picked up the knowledge bard specialization, we brought him back switching to valor bard.  So Misha returned to the living using the Red Dragon identity less and less - and doing his own fighting more and more.  He now wears a breastplate and carries a longsword, and tells tales of the valor of King Halav and the honorable deeds of Duke Stefan Karameikos.  I can't wait to see where else his story will take him now that they've discovered vampires preying on Luln, and a mysterious mist...

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