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Old 01-15-2020, 03:17 PM
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Temple of Elemental Evil

Game NameTemple of Elemental Evil
Game SystemCypher
Themeproblem-solving, discovery, story-telling
FlavourA grand old romp through one of D&D's best dungeons with plenty of dice-rolling, dungeon crawling, and story telling.
Plot Summary
Plot Summary
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The Village of Hommlett—or merely "Hommlett," as it is commonly called—is situated in the central part of the Flanaess, that portion of western Oerik Continent which is known and 'civilized.' The hamlet-sized village (local parlance having distinguished it with the greater term) is located some 30 leagues southeast of the town of Verbobonc, or thereabouts, on the fringe of the territory controlled by the noble Lord the Viscount of Verbobonc. It is at a crossroads.

To the north is the mighty Velverdyva River, along whose south bank runs the Lowroad. Many days' travel to the east, on the shores of the Lake of Unknown Depths (Nyr Dyv), is the great walled city of Dyvers. The village of Sobanwych lies about halfway along the route. Below that to the southeast and east are miles and miles of forest (the Gnarley), beyond which is the Wild Coast, Woolly Bay, and the Sea of Gearnat. The road south forks a league or so beyond the little community, one branch meandering off towards the Wild Coast, the other rolling through the lower Kron Hills to the village of Ostverk and then eventually turning southwards again into the elven kingdom of Celene. The western route leads into the very heart of the gnomish highlands, passing through Greenway Valley about a day's travel distant and going onwards to the Lortmil Mountains far beyond.

Hommlet grew from a farm or two, a rest house, and a smithy. The roads brought a sufficient number of travelers and merchant wagons to attract tradesmen and artisans to serve those passing through. The resthouse became a thriving inn, and a wheel and wainwright settled in the thorp. More farmers and herdsmen followed, for grain was needed for the passing animals, and meat was in demand for the innfolk.

Prosperity was great, for the lord of the district was mild and taxed but little. Trade was good, and the land was untroubled by war, outlaws, or ravaging beasts. The area was free, beautiful, and bountiful — too much so, in the eyes of some. Whether the evil came west from Dyvers (as is claimed by one faction) or crept up out of the forestlands bordering the Wild Coast (as others assert), come it did. At first it was only a few thieves and an odd group of bandits molesting the merchant caravans. Then came small bands of humanoids—kobolds or goblins—raiding the flocks and herds. Local militia and foresters of the Waldgraf of Ostverk apparently checked, but did not stop, the spread of outlawry and evil.

A collection of hovels and their slovenly inhabitants formed the nucleus for the troubles which were to increase. A wicked cleric established a small chapel at this point. The folk of Hommlet tended to ignore this place, Nulb, even though it was but 6 miles distant. But its out-of-the-way position was ideal for the fell purposes planned for this settlement, as was its position on a small river flowing into the Velverdyva. The thickets and marshes around Nulb became the lair and hiding place for bandits, brigands, and all sorts of evil men and monsters alike. The chapel grew into a stone temple as its faithful brought in their illgotten tithes. Good folk were robbed, pillaged, enslaved, and worse.

In but three years, a grim and forbidding fortress surrounded the evil place, and swarms of creatures worshipped and worked their wickedness therein. The servants of the Temple of Elemental Evil made Hommlet and the lands for leagues around a mockery of freedom and beauty. Commerce ceased, crops withered; pestilence was abroad.

But the leaders of this cancer were full of hubris and, in their overweaning pride, sought to overthrow the good realms to the north, who were coming to the rescue of the land being crushed under the tyranny wrought by the evil temple. A great battle was fought.

When the good people of Hommlet saw streams of ochre-robed men and humanoids fleeing south and west through their community, there was great rejoicing, for they knew that the murderous oppressors had been defeated and driven from the field in panic and rout. So great was the slaughter, so complete the victory of good, that the walled stronghold of the Temple of Elemental Evil fell within a fortnight, despite the aid of a terrible demon. The place was ruined and sealed against a further return of such abominations by powerful blessings and magic.

Life in Hommlet quickly returned to a semblance of its former self, before the rise of the temple. For five years afterward, the village and the surrounding countryside have become richer and more prosperous than ever before. A monstrous troll which plagued the place for a time was hunted down by a party of passing adventurers. Carrying the ashes and a goodly fortune as well, the adventurers returned to the village. Before going elsewhere to seek their fortunes, the adventurers also returned a portion of the villagers' losses. Other adventurers, knowing of the evil that had once resided in the area, came to seek out similar caches, and several did find remote lairs and wealth—just as some never returned at all.
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After a time, adventurers stopped coming to the area. It seemed that no monsters were left to slay, and no evil existed here to be stamped out. The villagers heaved a collective sigh—some pained at the loss of income, but others relieved by the return to the quiet, normal life—and Hommlet continued its quiet existence for four years more.

But then, a year ago, the bandits began to ride the roads again—not frequently, but to some effect. To the good folk of Hommlet, this seemed all too familiar, so they sent word to the Viscount that wicked forces might still lurk thereabouts. This information has been spread throughout the countryside, and the news has attracted outsiders to the village once again. Who and what these men are, no one can be quite sure. All claim to be bent on slaying monsters and bringing peace and security to Hommlet; but deeds speak more loudly than words, and lies cloak the true purposes of the malevolent.


OK, let's get to it.What? The Temple of Elemental Evil but with the Cypher rules system? Why? Well, I think that the Temple of Elemental Evil is a great campaign with a deep, rich story. It's fantastic in its own right and a teriffic springboard into other Dungeons and Dragons modules. The Cypher system is easy to pick up and does a great job of not getting in the way of the stories that are being told. I think that alot of people who are familiar with D&D will enjoy the combination of the two.


Characters
  • Standard Tier 1 characters with any fantasy Foci
  • Background
  • Description (picture optional)
  • Personality
  • RP Sample (either something specifically written for this character or a link to a post you're particularly proud of)
  • Applications close February 14th


Players
  • Familiarity with the Temple of Elemental Evil is OK.
  • Lack of familiarity with the Temple of Elemental Evil is also OK.
  • No knowledge or previous experience with the Cypher System is necessary.
  • This is an experimental forray for players and GM alike.
  • All you need is a good character concept and a willingness to develop that character and be a part of the other characters' stories.
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Last edited by Kerchunk; 01-16-2020 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:31 PM
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The protagonists so far:
  • Grimbreath - Dwarf warrior
  • Valornor - Wood Elf Ranger
  • purplerook - Elf painter/Illusionist
  • girlplay - Rock Gnome sorcerer
  • kanly - empathic speaker who explores dark places (flavored with stealth)
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Last edited by Kerchunk; 01-22-2020 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:21 PM
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Placeholder for interest. I've heard a lot of good things about the Cypher system but haven't used it at all. I just downloaded the Rules Primer from Monte Cook to see if this is something I can work with.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:38 AM
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Haven't heard of the cypher system until now, but good luck with your game, Kerchunk!
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:55 AM
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One of the best modules of all time.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:58 PM
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My good Onomatopoeia! I'll be watching this ad with interest. Back before the Cypher (generic RP version--at least Numenera was out at the time, giving an intro to the system) was even out, I watched a video where a guy showed how he could convert a Ravenloft module on-the-fly to Cypher.

Gonna give some thought to a character myself... I haven't spend much time (yet) with the new rulebook, so that'll be fun. Best of luck! I'll see if I can't cajole some people into having a look at this ad. Cheers!
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:18 PM
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Character Withdrawn, best of luck with the game!

Last edited by Valornor; 01-26-2020 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:58 AM
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Yes, it takes place in Greyhawk. The people and places are all the same as they are in the D&D version. Individual motivations for the NPCs may be different though, just so the players don't know what to expect from who.

I'm fairly new to the Cypher System as well but don't hesitate to ask if you need help.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
Haven't heard of the cypher system until now, but good luck with your game, Kerchunk!
Thanks, Marsh! It is the system used for The Strange and Numenera. I think it strikes the perfect balance between rules and storytelling. There is enough crunch that you can build a unique character with strengths and weaknesses but it isn't about min/maxing just to be able to be successful. It is also great for the PbP environment since all the rolling is done by the players. If you're interested, give it a look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonZar View Post
One of the best modules of all time.
Truer words were never spoken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsaVerb View Post
My good Onomatopoeia! I'll be watching this ad with interest. Back before the Cypher (generic RP version--at least Numenera was out at the time, giving an intro to the system) was even out, I watched a video where a guy showed how he could convert a Ravenloft module on-the-fly to Cypher.

Gonna give some thought to a character myself... I haven't spend much time (yet) with the new rulebook, so that'll be fun. Best of luck! I'll see if I can't cajole some people into having a look at this ad. Cheers!
Thanks for the plug. Also, thank you for the use of your information on the Cypher System!
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:14 PM
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OOCKerchunk,

I am a big fan of Cypher - although I seem only to play 5e these days. I would like to see how this game goes. Consider this a placeholder for a Wizard of some type. I'm partial to Fighter/Magic classes and Elven Bladesingers in particular. Although, I'm not quite sure how the concept would translate into Cypher. Also, I happen to have the Cypher 2.0 rules. So, you and I may need to chat a bit.



Application
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Name: Ara Galanodel

Class: A Creative Warrior with a magical flavor who Casts Illusions

Description:

The first impression of Ara is formed by his dress, or more specifically the paint splatters on his tunic. From there, the eye goes to his classic elven features - long blonde hair, pointed ears, and even a thin nose. Ara is short and small, even for an Elf. Although wiry might be an appropriate description. Ara's long thin fingers are curiously devoid of the paint splatters that adorn his tunic.

Looking beyond his physical appearance, one will find Ara to be at first shy and retiring - far more interested in listening than talking. However, once someone gets Ara on a topic of personal interest and knowledge - say painting - the shy elf will open up.

Background - Public

An Aunt, Naivara Galanodel (Moon Whisperer), raised Ara. Both his mother and father were gone for long periods. Naivara is an instructor at an Elven Academy. As Ara grew up at an Elven Academy, he was listening in and practicing, even before he was admitted to the Academy. Ara was a bit of a problem child. He excelled in magic but showed little interest in the traditional Elven song. His natural athleticism and high energy led to a propensity to sneak into places and or play pranks on others. Naivara enrolled Ara in several fighting classes in an attempt to focus some of his natural energy. As Ara's interest in illusions grew, he became fascinated with art and explicitly painting to improve his magic.

Ara attended the Wizards academy for several years. There was a scandal about graffiti being placed in difficult to reach places on the campus. This scandal came to a head, and Ara has been exiled from the Elven Lands. Apparently, some of the graffiti was less than a flattering commentary on the Wizard Academy's President and some nobles of Elven society.

Now, Ara makes his way from village to village, ostensibly aThe original Ara was a painter and cast illusions. This one may have a different profession. traveling painter In actually, he is seeking out information.

Background - Private

Ara parents are - or were - Members of an Elven Intelligence Agency. They were involved in investigating (spying on) the Temple of Elemental Evil when it was sacked. Ara is a very junior agent - a stringer - for the same agency. So, when information comes to light that things are happening at the Temple of Elemental Evil, Ara took it as an opportunity to investigate.

More detailed background in Google Docs

Role Play Example

Ara approached the Inn in Hommlett with a bit of trepidation. This was not the first Inn which he had entered. In fact, it was likely not even the 100th he had entered. Always in the past, Ara was merely an itinerant illusionist and painter. Traveling wherever he was won't and staying as long as there was gold for his talents.

The Inn in Hommlett was different. Ara was no longer an itinerant illusionist. He was no longer merely acquiring information for Elven Intelligence. For Ara, this was personal. He wanted to see if he could find what really happened here. More importantly, Ara wanted to see if he could find out what happened to his parents. Forlorn hope, against forlorn hope that they might in fact be alive, but trapped somewhere within this sprawling ruin of evil.

In order to successfully explore this former bastion of evil, Ara would need to become an adventurer. More importantly, he would need to recruit or be recruited by a bunch of adventures brave enough or reckless enough to enter the ruins.

With a deep breath, Ara summed a cloud bank with thunder and lighten. It was only 10ft by 10ft, but it was more than enough to fill the doorway in front of the Inn. Ara strode up to the Inn's door and opened it. The effect was dramatic, Ara emerging from a thunder and lightening filled cloud bank. As well, Ara had left packed his somewhat fopish in town tunic and stood in his traveling garb. Ara announced, I am "Ara Galanodel, Elven Warrior Mage. I seek shelter for the night and perhaps a few stalwart souls who are willing to brave the dangers of the fallen citadel outside of town."

As the night wore on, Ara proceeded to amaze and terrify the patrons of the tavern, but summoning a series of illusory monsters and then tell the assembled crowd how to fight them. Ara never said it out loud, but he left the audience with the impression that he had in fact fought these various monsters. In fact, the illusions and his suggestions were a product of Ara's martial training at the Elven Academy and the Bladesinger's school. In fact, Ara only actual 'combat' encounter was with a small band of bandits who fled in terror when Ara pretended to summon a fire elemental.

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Last edited by purplerook; 01-23-2020 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:40 AM
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Thanks for the application, Rook.
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:46 PM
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@Kerchunk,

My apologies. I have been wrestling with the details of the character conversion from 5e to Cypher. As well, you and I may need to chat about v1 vs. v2 vs. custom descriptors and Foci. Also, I'm trying to avoid overlaps with the party

What I would like to do is give you a bit of detail about two or three different builds for a magic-user - 1) a Straight Adept, 2) A Warrior with Magic flavor, and 3) Possibly an Adept with a bit of Combat flavor.
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Old 01-19-2020, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerook View Post
@Kerchunk,

My apologies. I have been wrestling with the details of the character conversion from 5e to Cypher. As well, you and I may need to chat about v1 vs. v2 vs. custom descriptors and Foci. Also, I'm trying to avoid overlaps with the party

What I would like to do is give you a bit of detail about two or three different builds for a magic-user - 1) a Straight Adept, 2) A Warrior with Magic flavor, and 3) Possibly an Adept with a bit of Combat flavor.
Sounds good. There are plenty of ways to get where you're trying to go in the Cypher System. I'm sure we can brainstorm something together. I'll PM you some of my thoughts in a little bit.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:26 PM
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Gnome sorcerer

Hi. I'm not familiar with the Cypher system but this sounded kind of interesting to me. I'll just run my character concept past you and see where it goes from there...

Aside: Hi Rook! No surprise finding you here, I guess. It's been too long.


Character concept
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Waywocket Oneshoe is a Rock Gnome sorcerer - smart, hearty, and outgoing. She studied the arcane as part of her military training. But instead of becoming a war-wizard, her intelligence and ability to work well with others were used in military planning. Her early-career success was overshadowed by a battle plan that ended in the slaughter of many friendly soldiers. She was dishonorably discharged and left in disgrace. Since then, she has played stupid so others won’t rely on her for plans or knowledge.

Her story arc is all about her regaining her confidence and finding a new place in the world. Starting out she will be faltering and uncertain. She'll beat up herself for her own inadequacies as she sees them. In the end, she'll come to find a sense of worth. She's generally kind and generous towards others, and hides her self-doubt behind a warm and friendly countenance common to her people.

She's a storm sorcerer, having been granted her abilities (she feels) by a god of war and thunder. But to her, storms are both the purview of the gods and something summoned up by magic, so the gods and magic are closely related. She views the gods and magic as intrinsically linked and intertwined. Her sorcererous power comes from storms, which are governed by the god of storms. Therefore, sorcery = gods.

Character sheet

Waywocket is an Empathic Adept who Touches the Sky

Might pool: 8
Speed pool: 11
Intellect pool: 19 edge 1
Effort: 1
Cyphers: 3

Equipment: iron amulet that makes the bearer immune to your powers if you voluntarily give it to them, plus appropriate clothing, 2 expensive items (fine clothing - a lovely dress, matching shoes, and costume jewelry - and an arcane focus (wand)), 2 moderately priced items (tinkerer's tools & explorer's pack), and 4 inexpensive items (extra pair of boots, holy symbol, bottle of perfume, steel mirror)

Special Abilities:
  • Magic Training: you are trained in the basics of magic and can attempt to understand and identify its properties (including the operation of magic artifacts and cyphers). Enabler.
  • Onslaught (1 Intellect point). You attack a foe within short range using energies that assail either his physical form or his mind. In either case, you must be able to see your target. If the attack is physical, you emit a force blast: a ray of force that inflicts 4 points of damage. If the attack is mental, you focus your mental energy into a mindslice that disrupts the creature’s thought processes, inflicting 2 points of Intellect damage (ignores Armor). Some creatures without minds (such as robots or zombies) might be immune to a mindslice. Action.
  • Push (2 Intellect points). You push a creature or object an immediate distance in any direction you wish. You must be able to see the target, which must be your size or smaller, must not be affixed to anything, and must be within short range. The push is quick, and the force is too crude to be manipulated. For example, you can’t use this to pull a lever or close a door. Action.
  • Ward. You have a shield of energy around you at all times that helps deflect attacks. You gain +1 to Armor. Enabler.

Skill: trained in tasks involving sensing others emotions, discerning dispositions, and getting a hunch about people around you.
Skill: you are trained in all tasks involving social interaction, pleasant or otherwise.
Inability: the difficulty of Intellect defense rolls is increased by one step.

Touches the Sky focus:

Additional Equipment: You wear an iron amulet taken from a lightning rod that sometimes crackles with electricity. Whoever holds it (if you willingly give it into their possession) is immune to your weather abilities.
Weather Abilities. If you wield powers that would normally use force or other energy, they instead use various effects generated by extreme weather. For example, a blast of energy could be a wind blast, a blast of blizzard cold, or a small bolt of lightning.
Tier 1: Hover (1 Speed point). You float slowly in the air. As an action you can drift with the wind, concentrate to hold yourself motionless, or concentrate to move up to a short distance.
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Last edited by girlplay; 01-30-2020 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlplay View Post
Hi. I'm not familiar with the Cypher system but this sounded kind of interesting to me. I'll just run my character concept past you and see where it goes from there...

Aside: Hi Rook! No surprise finding you here, I guess. It's been too long.


Character concept
left-aligned image


Waywocket Oneshoe is a Rock Gnome sorcerer - smart, hearty, and outgoing. She studied the arcane as part of her military training. But instead of becoming a war-wizard, her intelligence and ability to work well with others were used in military planning. Her early-career success was overshadowed by a battle plan that ended in the slaughter of many friendly soldiers. She was dishonorably discharged and left in disgrace. Since then, she has played stupid so others won’t rely on her for plans or knowledge.

Her story arc is all about her regaining her confidence and finding a new place in the world. Starting out she will be faltering and uncertain. She'll beat up herself for her own inadequacies as she sees them. In the end, she'll come to find a sense of worth. She's generally kind and generous towards others, and hides her self-doubt behind a warm and friendly countenance common to her people.

She's a storm sorcerer, having been granted her abilities (she feels) by a god of war and thunder. But to her, storms are both the purview of the gods and something summoned up by magic, so the gods and magic are closely related. She views the gods and magic as intrinsically linked and intertwined. Her sorcererous power comes from storms, which are governed by the god of storms. Therefore, sorcery = gods.
That's a great character concept, girlplay and I love that you already have a story arc in mind. In terms of being an adjective noun who verbs, you have plenty of options. The Cypher System has some great descriptors (the adjective) that sound negative but still give you good benefits. Without looking at anything she sounds like A Craven Adept who Rides the Lightning. I don't know how that would look 'on paper' but it might be a starting point. If you wanted to accentuate her gnomishness you could make her a Speaker instead of an Adept, you could add "flavored with combat" to reflect her military training, etc.

If you don't have the Cypher System rules, let me know what I can do to help you flesh out you character. Also, there is a gnome society very near Hommlet which would be a natural place for her to come from.
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