Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Archetypes Part 2: The Prince

This first archetype is the backbone of the campaign.  If he perms, I will likely have problems, though I do have one very useful ace up my sleeve.

Archetype: Prince Oargev ir'Wynarn
Race: Human, Half-Elf
Class: Warlord, Bard, Cleric, Paladin, Fighter, Invoker
Religion: Sovereign Host 
Hook: You are heir to the throne of Cyre.  You lead a band of sworn companions, trusted advisors, and loyal servants on missions of state, aiding your country in the War of Usurpers.  Your ultimate goal is to restore the Kingdom of Galifar under its true and rightful monarch: your mother.
Benefits: You gain all three of the following background benefits:
     Noble Protection: As a noble, you are not held to quite the same standards as other Cyrans in legal proceedings. More can be forgiven, and your word is superior to the word of those from lesser stations. If you are recognized as nobility on the battlefield, sentient enemies would much rather take you hostage than kill you.
Superior Education: Choose 1: You gain +3 in one associated skill, all associated skills as class skills, +1 in three associated skills, or 2 bonus languages. Associated skills: Arcana, Diplomacy, History, Insight, and Religion. Also, you know a handful of gifted scholars and have established connections in one or more educational institutions.
Royal Family: As a member of the royal family, you hold even greater power than a regular noble. Your commands are expected to be followed and anything you say or do has some weight of law behind it.

Commentary:  I knew this role would have the least amount of choice related to it.  With the Half-Elf nobility back-story plot of Eberron, I felt good offering a little selection in race (and seeing as both Human and Half-Elf are really a strong choices in 4ed, it was a truly meaningful selection).
     The limited class list existed for one and only reason: The War Regalia of Galifar.  From the earliest days of planning this campaign, I wanted a search for the royal regalia of the king of the Five Nations to be a plot thread.  So I adapted the War Regalia stats from the 3.5 book, The Forge of War (which will likely get its own post sometime in the future.  Great book!) into 4ed items, and then recreated them in order to match the Set Item rules that came out for 4ed.  However it worked, the war regalia needed to include Heavy Armor and a Mace.  I listed out classes that would, no matter what, be able to use the War Regalia.  You notice that I included Invoker on the list, not to mention the Bard and Cleric which don't necessarily need to use weapons to be effective.  This is because I decided early on the Scepter of Karrnath would have a property that it could always be used as an implement by anyone proficient with any implements.  This made those options work.  I decided against any psionic classes as I felt that I wanted to limit psionics to characters with very specific backgrounds.  I wanted the Prince to be a pretty straightforward Cyran noble with no dark or mysterious powers.
     I also limited his religion, because I felt all of the other major religions were too closely associated with one of the other kingdoms.
     There were a surprising number of my potential players I was comfortable taking this role, but for wildly different reasons.  I thought the guy who liked noble-types would be interested, as would the natural leader/tactitian, or the developing ruthless-roleplayer.  I also thought it was likely that the player who likes winning DnD might be a good option, since, if the PCs are ultimately successful, he very much WOULD Win-while still being a team player, since the team is being put together to ensure his success.  I was, honestly, hoping that the really random player might try out this PC, since, socially, he would have more room to be a little crazy than some other PCs.  Social appropriateness isn't so much an issue for princes.  See Goffery Baratheon.  To attract people to this role, I decided that his benefits needed to be just a hair better than all of the others.  Not so much better that everyone would fight getting to play Oargev, but good enough that whomever ended up playing him wouldn't feel cheated.  Someone HAD to play him.
     Either way, I thought that the PC could play a named character from the campaign setting and still be given enough freedom to make the character his own.  Would Oargev be a naive dilletante craving adventure?  Would he be a dutiful son trying to make his mother proud?  Would he be a bit of a rebel, chafing under expectations?  A cold-blooded warlord-in-the-making?  I couldn't wait to see.
     Eventually, the player who loves iconic roles decided he would play Oargev.  The Oargev I got is a Human Paladin.  He is actually an introvert, but he'll play the extrovert when it is expected of him.  He loves whittling and especially likes carving religious symbols and figures from unusual and exotic woods.  He hand-carved his own holy symbol.  He had never left Metrol before play began, and has only rarely left the palace, as his mother monitors him very closely, considering the tragic death in infancy of his older brother.  He harbors a deep mistrust of Thrane, considering the most recent major incursion into Cyre, The Invasion of the Messengers, has happened fairly recently.  He's a very dedicated servant to the Sovereign Host.

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