Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Character Study: Peter No-Parents

Found in a gutter by a pair of humans, Peter was almost 3 years old before it was discovered that he was actually a halfling, at which point he was cast out onto the streets once more.  Over the next few years, he developed the skills that he would hone over a lifetime - hiding, stealing and lying.  Few can see Peter when he doesn't want to be found, and even less can catch his hand in their pocket.  When they do, though, almost none can resist the sad eyes and ridiculous stories he uses to explain the attempted theft away.  He's never really developed the ability to pick locks, or disarm traps, or any of the things most thieves can do, and is pretty worthless in a fight.  But if you need someone to get in and out of somewhere and not get caught he's your boy.

Literally.

This little bastard came out of a Pathfinder campaign, run by a friend of mine.  Min/Maxed to the point of absurdity, he is virtually impossible for the other characters in the party to detect when he's in Stealth mode.  A series of feats and a sweet kit allow him to move while Stealthed virtually without penalty, and gets to see a mark's Perception roll before he decides whether or not to rob him.  If he doesn't like the odds, he can make a Bluff check to explain why his hand is in that pocket.  Oh, and once a day gets a massive bonus to his Bluff checks. 

We actually played about four sessions before the party actually knew Peter existed.  He was spotted once, but mistaken for a small child and told to "run home to mommy".  He proceeded to rob that character blind.  Running around in the background, he caused all kinds of mischief, setting bars on fire touching off riots with well timed Bluffs.  After another character was killed, the player designed a new character - a female bard who would pose as Peter's mother, allowing Peter to soar to new heights of crime excellence. 

The challenge here was to design a character with absolutely no combat value whatsoever, and I think I was successful - he does 1d4-2 points of damage, if he hits, which is doubtful at best.  Originally he was going to be a pacifist priest, with only healing, protection and buffing spells, but I was flipping through the channels as I was building the character, and Oliver Twist was on.  Challenge accepted.

RPGs tend to be combat-centric, so creating a non-combat focused character, and finding ways to still make them useful, can be a fun alternative to the latest iteration of tank/mage/battlepriest.  Give it a try sometime!

1 comment:

  1. I keep wanting to play a pacifist wizard, but no luck so far. The game I'm playing in has too much combat to make it work.

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