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16

The question is a bit broad and rather subjective, but I think it's a good one, nonetheless. There are as many answers as shamans, though: it depends on the person and their circumstances as much as on their totem. Here, let me present a few examples I'd consider stereotypical (though YMMV, wildly, of course.) First of all, imo, practically any shaman can ...


14

You may try the trap idea with the following twist: The group finds a door that blocks their advance in the dungeon. It has a lock for each member of the group, which cannot be picked or broken open. The door also has several engravings, depicting a fearsome monster, and a mysterious text: Five locks in the door, Five minds in front of it. Five memories ...


13

One good way to get players thinking about their backstories is to pose each of them one question. For example, in my current campaign, all of my players had to tell me the answer to the question, "What one thing does your character wish for above all else?" Other good questions are, "What one thing does your character regret more than anything?", "Who would ...


8

Full mages and shamans are about half as common as doctors, and can do impressive things if they can even master a few spells. They will usually be fairly well off as a result: if you can cast healing spells all day, you should be able to make plenty of money, but there are plenty of alternatives. If you can cast combat spells, you should be able to make ...


6

Good question - a lot of folks concentrate on out of game activities (questionnaires, character background writeups) to generate character backstory (often referred to as Design At Start, or DAS), but it can be very effective to instead do in-game activities that drive Design In Play, or DIP - see also What are the advantages and disadvantages of develop in ...


5

Don't try to force it In my groups, some of the players like to really immerse themselves in the story and the world, while others prefer mechanics and combat tactics, and yet others mainly join to have a good time with friends. The first group does enjoy inventing and writing down elaborate backstories for their characters. However, the other two most ...


4

The DDI lists Rapier as a Military weapon: Rapier Military one-handed melee weapon Cost: 25 Damage: 1d8 And asserts that it can be found in: Published in Player's Handbook, page(s) 218, Heroes of the Fallen Lands, page(s) 331, Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, page(s) 334, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium, page(s) 21. Check the ...


3

Outlaw goes great with Ranger, and it is quite powerful. The encounter power of Outlaw requires a weapon at-will attack power, which you should be using anyway (Twin Strike), and combat advantage that you have from frost cheese. The daze is only good of course if you do not kill the target on your first turn. Also it is easy to explain in the background. A ...


2

In past games that I've run (I've used this in D&D 3.x and Savage Worlds) I've used what I term Character Developments (CDs). These are short, one-sentence questions that the players should answer (typically) as their character. After every game session I assign a new prompt, and those players who do the CD get a small XP bonus at the beginning of the ...


2

The Legend of the Five Rings RPG has a set of twenty character background questions. What these questions intend to establish is the character background and motivation. You could just ask your players to consider who their characters are, and what motivates them to do what they do. Asking your players to set short term, medium term and long term goals ...


2

One way of getting your characters to make their characters deeper is to motivate them to do it. This can be done inside the dungeon as well as outside. You can use negative motivation (i.e. punishments) or positive motivation (i.e. prizes, gifts). Giving them less experience if they know nothing about the background of their characters is an example of ...


1

Don't forget that some characters don't really recognize their true calling early on, or their own magical natures until later in life. It could be that Eagle has been sitting quietly, patiently guiding Sally into a career that Eagle thinks is best for her, but Sally has no clue about it and is just pulling 9-5 as a secretary in the security office because ...


1

The PHB lists Rapier as a Superior Melee weapon. According to the DDI, it was later rereleased as a Military weapon, probably by Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium. The Gritty SergeantDDI is compatible with this latest update, but not the original rapier: Benefit: You gain proficiency in a simple or military weapon of your choice, and you gain a +1 ...


1

The Mistborn Adventure Game has an excellent character-creation survey. In ten questions you figure out the basics of the character's backstory, a couple of notable quirks, their relationship to and role in the group (which is not the same as a class: you're not allowed to name game mechanics when answering the survey), basic philosophical outlook, and a ...



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