Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Resident D&D: "I have this...!"

Normally, I try to post a single alternate D&D character every week.  However, as this character is so close to a previously posted character, I thought it would be okay to post it out of sequence.  Besides, as I get better at these (and have more pre-made cards), it becomes a much quicker process on the design side (allowing my Illustrator work to catch up to my brain).

When the first Lair Assault came up, I experimented with a few characters intended to hit hard.  I also wanted to see what weird variants on the system I could come up with.  I found a rather interesting feat (Ruthless Hunter) and a class feature I had previously not noticed (Sneak Attack w/ Hand Crossbow).  From that, the Pistol Marksman was born.  Who better to be a better Pistol Marksman than Resident Evil's own Barry Burton?
"I've got this!  It's really powerful, especially against living things!"
Powers organized slightly differently.
So, like Guybrush Threepwood before him, Barry Burton is an Essentials Thief.  The difference with Barry is that he focuses on using the Hand Crossbow (or, as it appears here, the magnum pistol) instead of a melee weapon.  Although the card says Barry is a Human, most players should be able to identify him as Drow.  The Ruthless Hunter feat makes his Hand Crossbow do significantly more damage while gaining a critical hit bonus as well.  So, a typical Barry Burton attack, using his "Tactics: Isolate the Enemy" against a lone enemy, will result in 3d8+7 damage, plus an additional 1d8 if it is a critical hit.  So, yeah.  On crit, that is 15 + 3d8 damage (18-39 damage).  Throw in the "Tactics: Aim for the Head" for an additional +1d6.  That's nothing to sneeze at.

I originally intended for him to not have a melee weapon at all but I was concerned people would get upset.  Besides, Resident Evil characters always had a Combat Knife.  Honestly, if Barry is using his Combat Knife, we'll just assume it's because he ran out of bullets.

One thing I did differently with this character card is organization.  I took the powers that felt like tactical choices (the move actions, backstab, and his level 2 utility) and described them as "Tactics," giving them their own section on the card.  This was more of a test, to see how people would react.  It was meant to give different powers different "weights" than others.  So, where normally the two move actions would be one category of power, they now belong to the same category as Backstab and the level 2 utility.

Hopefully, this gives people something new to shoot with.

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