Saturday, July 25, 2009

DPoNI Characters: Victoria

Last week we met Shugo the disappearing ninja. This week we at last we meet a full-on DINO-PIRATE: Victoria!

Victoria has been part of the crew of the “Black Lady” for several years now, but feels it’s time to strike out on her own, explore the world, and maybe one day find a crew and a ship of her own.

Or just have a really good time. Either way.


Victoria is a DINO-PIRATE -- in particular, she's part of the Raptor clan of DINO-PIRATES. See, the DINO-PIRATES all take their names from various dinosaurs. There's not much actual organization to these groups; not like the ninja clans, which have all their ninja rules and ninja traditions and what not. The DINO-PIRATES aren't that interested in tradition and rules anyway. So Victoria is a Raptor DINO-PIRATE, so if she meets other Raptors (possibly there's a secret handshake), she'll probably help them out if they, say, get into a fight (pirates: fighting a lot).

Anyway, as a character build, Victoria is another Warrior like Chen, but unlike that worthy fellow, Victoria is more of a swashbuckler than a tank. She's nimble, with her +4 Dexterity, and charming, with her +2 Charisma, and not all that bright, with her -1 Intelligence. We'll see why the investment in Charisma pays off for Victoria below.

Dexterity of course is important because it powers both her attack bonus and her Dodge, meaning she's going to connect a lot more often than she's going to get connected with. It also combines with her Improved Initiative feat to give her a +8 on Initiative, meaning she's almost always going to get the drop on others. She's fast, is Victoria.

She'll need to be, since the absence of a Toughness bonus means any blows that do connect can hurt her seriously. Victoria doesn't want to stand toe-to-toe with big bruisers and dish out -- she needs to jump and bounce around the battlefield.

Which her skills will definitely help her out with. She gets Acrobatics and Bluff as bonus skills for being a Raptor DINO-PIRATE, and to that she adds another four plus her Intelligence -- which adds up to three. She takes Diplomacy since it builds off her Charisma (and we want her to be very charming), Jump for obvious reasons, and Knowledge (sea lore) since after all, she IS a pirate (plus her low Intelligence makes her especially bad at it, and we like the idea of Victoria confidently getting her shipmates lost time and again). Acrobatics, Jump and Bluff are all great candidates for combat stunts, and shipboard fights will probably allow a Knowledge (sea lore) stunt here and there, too. Despite so few skills, we're certain Victoria will get a lot of use out of them.

Her feats are pretty straightforward, too. As a Raptor DINO-PIRATE she gets Improved Acrobatic Charge and Lucky, both of which go great with her build (high Acrobatics and Charisma), and as a Warrior she gets Martial Weapon Training. That leaves her with three choices -- she picks Improved Initiative and Reckless Abandon (which allows her to add that high Charisma to her Dodge), and finally Reknown, which gives her a bonus to Reputation.

Reputation is a special quality of DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND characters that provides them with a bonus on their interaction skills -- but can also render them vulnerable to people who know them a little TOO well. In any encounter, Victoria can make a Reputation check. If successful, she adds her Reputation score to her Bluff and Diplomacy checks (because everyone's so impressed with this famous pirate lady in their midst). Of course, if she fails her check she takes a penalty on those checks since everyone's all "we've never heard of you, self-important pirate lady." As characters adventure, they can gain Reputation awards just like Wealth awards, and so a character's Reputation fluctuates just like Wealth does. For a first-level character, Victoria is reasonably well-known -- most first-level characters have a Reputation of 0.

Victoria's future (assuming she has one), is most likely going to stay with straight Warrior levels. If something wacky happens there might be some Generalist or Adept, but with that limited Intelligence she won't get all that much use out of Expert levels. She'll probably want to take some Attack Focus/Specialization feats to amp up her skill with one or the other of her weapons (and she'll probably want to get a masterwork weapon as well). Maneuver Finesse would get more use out of that Dexterity, and Improved Critical is always a good choice for anyone with a rapier. Move-By Action would also be handy for staying out of trouble. With lots of choices for feinting, stunting and generally leaping about, along with a potent combat ability, Victoria's got an exciting future ahead of her. If not a long one.