Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Magnificent Weathermen: Winston Cloudstorm

In preparing for The Magnificent Weathermen, I realized that I wanted to experiment a bit with characters and character concepts. One in particular that I had been very interested in really getting into was the "Ghost" character featured in Dragon Magazine #420. Of course, with my luck, the ghost features were never implemented into the character builder, so I would have to work by hand on this one. Of course, I would also have to decide WHO this ghostly weatherman was and how he fit in.

Winston Cloudstorm, former Guild Leader

As the idea for The Magnificent Weathermen began to really formulate, I decided that the motivation for the plot would come from the funeral of Sir Winston Cloudstorm, former Chief Meteorologist of the Waterdeep Meteorologist's Guild. I imagined that the details of his death would be fleshed out by the players at the table, but I liked the idea of a funeral with a bunch of different weathermen coming to pay their respects. Once this was established, it did not take long for me to determine who the ghost would be. From that, (the late) Winston Cloudstorm was born.

Don't stress the "feats." The names are all made up.
This may seem strange to experienced 4E players.
Cloudstorm is my first real attempt at openly violating the character building rules. Players familiar with Dungeons & Dragons 4E will observe that he seems to fit no character build whatsoever. Fourthcore players will scoff. Of course, Cloudstorm isn't meant to be "tournament legal" by any stretch of the imagination. He's a flight of fancy.

Experienced players should be able to detect some of his roots, of course. Other than taking a series of powers from the Ghost article, Cloudstorm is very much built on the base of a Dwarf Hammer Knight. His "Ghostform" powers are very clearly Knight stances. He has a number of Dwarf and Fighter feats to make him more effective at hitting and moving enemies around. Of course, his stats are wrong for a Knight, but that's because I swapped INT and STR. In addition, he's clearly missing Knight abilities like the Power Strike and Fighter Utilities. Mostly, I took them away to focus more on the Ghost aspects.

People familiar with the Ghost article will notice that I cheated that a bit, too. He has three healing surges instead of two, two uses of Stolen Years, and a few other tweaks. Instead of just building the Knight and overlaying the Ghost, I fused the two in a way that felt natural. It's not that he's the ghost of a guy with a hammer. He's a ghost, and that's what makes him effective at defending his allies.

Either way, that's the late Winston Cloudstorm, former Chief Meteorologist of Waterdeep. I welcome any comments from 4E advocates.

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