Parade of Losers

The title is more affectionate than anything, it was actually something I coined while I was playing Capcom vs SNK. You see, inevitably, the computer would make a team of level 1 characters, meaning it had four people to your three, two, or if you were using a secret character, one. As they tended to be weak, I called them the “Parade of Losers,” but it was rather the highlight of my playthrough.

Well, at any rate, seeing as how I haven’t managed to do anything about the Player Profiles series in awhile, I figure I’ll run down on the characters we play, now that we’re running four games in rotation.

First, my game: Chris plays Tristan Asheron, a Human Paladin who is, in fact, descended from Ridley Ashcroft, his character in my previous game, also a Human Paladin. He is very unpredictable, both as a player and as a character, and tends to make very audacious moves. For example, when his town was being menaced by goblin tribes, he walked in to their camp, with his two allies and in full battle regalia, and demanded they leave. When they got attacked for their trouble, he “defended himself,” and routed the entire clan in a day. Yeah. This is the kind of person Chris is, I swear…

Next is John, who plays… A Changeling Rogue whose name sadly escapes me. He’s been amusing, using his mimicry ability to get into and out of trouble. Mostly into trouble, though. Currently, he’s being mentored by Riston, a rogue and member of the neighboring city’s theif’s guild.

Then we have Burns, my resident loony, who always goes above and beyond when making characters that are not only mechanically broken, but frigging bizarre to boot. He plays Cuts, a Warforged Artificer, and Cuts got his name from his tendency to try to understand life forms… By dissecting them. After they’re dead, of course. Usually. Is in a number of hilarious relationships with several of the NPCs in the town, including Marla, the young blacksmith (who is capable, but she’s kind of crazy), and Julius, the priest of the local church… And the main reason the other townspeople didn’t ever have Cuts dismantled. As much fun as he is to watch, he’s even more fun to have around.

Then we have Chris’ game… Which, sadly, doesn’t have the same level of lunacy.

That said, Burns’ character was originally Earthbullet, the “descendant” of his character from my previous game, also a Changeling Warlord. Recently, though, he swapped out to an Eladrin Psion, who, while not interesting as a character (yet), has proven to be insanely powerful in game, more or less single-handedly clearing two encounters during her introduction.

John’s character is Kou’rin (I believe), a Kalashtar Cleric, who… I don’t know much about. I believe he follows Pelor, but beyond that… Eh. Mostly we’ve just been fighting a lot in Chris’ game. It’s an interesting game, to be sure.

Mostly for my character: Airi, the Human Infernal Pact Warlock. Oh gods, where do I begin? I’m playing her as a former supernatural being, who ruled over some stretch of Hell or another, until one of her rivals usurped her and cast her into the mortal realm. For those of you keeping score at home, this is a “plot bunny,” and if you ever want to make your GM happy, your background should include some. As a GM, you should be on the lookout for them, and milk them for all they’re worth. At any rate, Airi tends to give enemies the briefest of moments to surrender, often shouting that they must yield or “Be delivered unto the very maw of Hell.” Yeah, she’s great at parties too. Made even more hilarious by the fact that I’m using the topless maid figure from Reaper (Brigitte, Naughty French Maid, if anyone’s wondering), and insisting that the absurd amount of temporary hit points she scores in the average combat are stored in her breasts. This lead to my once shouting “My breasts swell with arcane might! … at least, I hope that’s arcane might…”

Then Burns decided to run a game. And so he did, at that point, running on a three week rotation.

Chris is playing a Warforged Paladin whose name is, and I shit you not, Nameless. Apparently, he has a long and complex backstory involving why he was inert for centuries and what he was doing for that time, but Chris tends to write hopelessly complex backstories. Also of note is, Burns decided to bring in Nightbringer, the intelligent sword from my first 4e game (originally found in P3 Demon Queen’s Enclave). Formerly a demon lord of indeterminate origin, and turned into a sword by Orcus, as written, he was supposed to betray his wielder, but as I had so much fun playing as him, I decided to hold off on that. Now, he’s a servant of Good, though his motives are still, by and large, his own, and I do so relish the chance to play him again, even if I’m not the DM in this game.

I’m playing a Shardmind Bard named Shabda, mostly for mechanical reasons, but also because I thought the concept of a fragment of divinity whose powers stem more or less from the Music of the Spheres, was interesting. So far she (yes it’s another girl) hasn’t had a chance to do much, largely because I’m stumped as to how to play her. Ah well. I stick with her largely because she’s a healer and I’d need to swap her out for another healer.

Much like how I’m the star of Chris’ game, and Burns is the star of my game, John is the star of Burns’ game. Moloch, the Minotaur Barbarian, is a dumb brute who serves Kord in his aspect as the Lord of Battles, always spoiling for a fight and not comfortable with diplomacy or formality whatsoever. He also collects the skulls of his opponents, and thus the new Minotaur figure from Lords of Madness, which has skulls strapped to his back, was perfect. He’s a blast, really.

Finally, John decided to run a game, and the first session was last night. And it was great, John had props he’d set up, he had extensive background to read, he did a lot right for his first time.

And owing to having three games to nurture bizarre concepts, the three players have some truly out there characters.

Chris, once again, is the most normal of the lot, playing a Human Swordmage. Not much to him yet, but he’s an engine of destruction who enjoys being able to recall his sword from up to ten squares away, thus dropping it when he wants to portray himself as unarmed and harmless, knowing that, at the first signs of trouble, he can arm himself once again.

Burns is playing a Longtooth Shifter Runepriest, and much like any time Burns plays a Leader/Controller role, his character is hilariously broken, once again incinerating entire combats in a few moves. Not much to say about her yet but she should be fun to watch. As an aside, Runepriests do not have any powers with the implement keyword, just the Weapon keyword. This involves unspeakably broken uses of weapon enchants that were designed to be used in melee, such as if she gets a critical off of one of her ranged powers, triggering the Avalanche Weapon’s property of knocking a target prone…

And then we have my entry: Judith, the Half-Orc Monk. Keep in mind that, in 4e, Monks are now a Psionic class (as opposed to a Martial one, I guess?). At any rate, she was an orphan who was raised by monks serving Kord, who didn’t ever make a big deal out of her race, and thus, she pretty much doesn’t understand the concept of race… Or much of anything else. Young, naive and somewhat childish, I enjoyed getting into character with her. When asked why she didn’t have a weapon, she would say “I hit things!” and usually be met by confused looks. During exposition, I started slowly slumping my head, as though I were falling asleep, and then waking up suddenly and giving an incorrect recap of what had just been said (Of a mysterious runic circle that had been found outside the city, she said “Right, right, somebody lost their stone ring and you found it!”)

We run four games because we simply enjoy playing characters. And we have a blast every week. I don’t know if I’ve ever said this before, but I love my group. My group makes me about as happy as any group could make a person.

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