Archive for July, 2015

Gone With the Windyarm

July 19, 2015

While I was cleaning up some files on my computer, I came across this old stat block I had written up for Telerie Windyarm – the leading lady from Larry Elmore’s SnarfQuest comic series – using Eclipse: The Codex Persona rules. For fun, I cleaned it up and I’m posting it here.

I was introduced to SnarfQuest through its original run in Dragon magazine. While the comic had long since lapsed by the time I started subscribing to it, the father of a friend of mine was tossing out a hundred and fifty or so back issues, and I eagerly scooped them up. To this day, I enjoy leafing through those old magazines as the mood strikes me.

While it debuted in the pages of Dragon, SnarfQuest hasn’t remained confined to it. The very first graphic novel came out decades ago, and I made sure to grab a copy at the time (mostly because it had game stats for the characters in Basic D&D and AD&D 2nd Edition). More recently, a SnarfQuest d20 book was published in 2002, and an all-new adventure with Snarf and company was started in Games Unplugged magazine before (after a few years on hiatus) moving over to Knights of the Dinner Table (another comic that I’ve blogged about). This new adventure was recently published as its own graphic novel via Kickstarter.

Currently, a video game based on the comic is under development, to be released next year. For all the breaks between adventures, it seems that old Snarf and the gang still aren’t ready to retire just yet!

Telerie Windyarm, 6th-level Warrior

Snarf and Telerie

As the song goes, some guys have all the luck.

Telerie is Snarf’s girlfriend, having fallen for him – despite his being a zeetvah, a race known for their unusual features – because of his bravery and selflessness. Given that he’s actually neither of those things, this put Snarf in the awkward position of having to downplay his greedy, amoral nature so as not to spoil her impression of him.

This largely sets the tone for their relationship, as Telerie tends to act as Snarf’s better half, convincing him to undertake adventures that he would normally write off as being too dangerous or too lacking in treasure. Despite this, and quite a few other personality-clashes between them (mostly due to Snarf’s many character flaws), the two of them are devoted to each other…at least until their next fight!

Telerie’s write-up here is based on her stats given in the SnarfQuest d20 book, which had her as a barbarian 1/fighter 5. Here, I’ve tweaked her stats to bring her abilities closer in line to how she’s depicted in the source material.

Since the aforementioned book was published in 2002, Telerie’s stats were for D&D 3.0. Since the Eclipse rules make 3.0 and 3.5 – as well as d20 Modern, Pathfinder, and virtually every other d20-based rules system – transparent, I’ve elected to keep Telerie’s stats as being 3.0 here.

In a practical context, this basically means that she uses the 3.0 skill system, something which I think makes sense from an in-character standpoint. After all, SnarfQuest presents a low-magic, “rogues on the make”-style setting, rather than one that’s D&D-style heroic fantasy. Hence, it seems appropriate that skills haven’t reached the level of refinement there that they have in other worlds.

Available Character Points: 168 (level 6 base) + 18 (levels 1, 3, and 6 feats) + 6 (human bonus feat) + 10 (disadvantages) = 202 CP.

Telerie’s disadvantages are Broke, History (her family was ravaged by the evil wizard Gathgor), and Insane (lacks a sense of modesty, has no racial prejudices). This second disadvantage was bought off for 0 CP in the course of the SnarfQuest comic.

Ability Scores: Str 16, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 14.

Telerie’s attributes are as taken from the SnarfQuest d20 book. Tellingly, these are exactly the same ability scores that she had in her Basic D&D and AD&D 2E incarnations.

Human Traits (9 CP/+0 ECL)

  • Fast Learner, specialized in skills for one-half cost (3 CP).
  • Bonus feat (6 CP).

Basic Abilities (124 CP)

  • Light armor proficiency (3 CP) and proficiency with all simple and martial weapons (9 CP).
  • 1d12 Hit Dice at 1st level (8 CP) and 5d10 Hit Dice thereafter (30 CP).
  • +6 Warcraft (36 CP).
  • Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +2 (24 CP).
  • 14 skill points (14 CP).

I’m keeping fairly close to the source material with regard to Telerie’s basic abilities. This makes her a rather unoptimized character, especially since she doesn’t have much in the way of gear to shore up her weaknesses, though she’s by no means crippled.

Float Like a Butterfly (24CP)

  • Awareness (6 CP).
  • Acrobatics (6 CP).
  • Split Movement/attacking (6 CP).
  • Fortune/Reflex saves (6 CP).

Sting Like a Bee (18 CP)

  • Berserker with Odinpower and Enduring (15 CP). Telerie gains a +6 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Dexterity, and a +3 bonus to Armor Class.
  • Reflex Training/Combat Reflexes variant, specialized for one-half cost/only for using Block maneuvers (3 CP).

Brawny Beauty (36 CP)

  • Augmented Bonus with the Improved and Advanced modifiers/add Strength bonus to hit points (18 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus with the Improved and Advanced modifiers/add Charisma to Armor Class; corrupted for increased effect/only while wearing light armor or no armor; specialized for double effect/only against opponents that would be attracted to her (18 CP).

In her d20 presentation, Telerie’s had 1d12 and 5d10 Hit Dice, along with her 13 Con. From this, she had 63 hit points, which means that with her Con bonus and getting the maximum result for that d12 (since she took it at 1st level), she rolled, on average, all 9’s on her other Hit Dice! That was a bit too cheesy, so I gave her that first bullet point, above, to even things out.

The second bullet point is the old “too sexy to hit” trope. Normally that’s a bit more generous than I’d be comfortable with, but given the low-magic nature of the setting, and Telerie’s unoptimized stats, she could use the boost. Note that this AC bonus does not apply against touch attacks; the same way that Dex won’t help you when you’re flat-footed, looking too attractive does not protect you from people wanting to touch you.

Equipment

Windsplitter (4 lbs.), chain shirt (25 lbs.), 5 days’ trail rations (5 lbs.), backpack (2 lbs.), bedroll (5 lbs.), entertainer’s outfit (4 lbs.) – 45 lbs. total equipment.*

Derived Stats

  • Hit points: 12 (d12 Hit Die; 1st level) + 27 (5d10) + 6 (Con bonus) + 18 (Str bonus) = 63 hp.
  • Speed: 30 ft.
  • Init: +3 (Dex bonus).
  • Alignment: Chaotic Good.
  • Saving Throws:
    • Fort: +4 (base) + 1 (Con bonus) = +5.
    • Ref: +2 (base) + 3 (Dex bonus) = +5.
    • Will: +2 (base) + 1 (Wis bonus) = +3.
  • Armor Class: 10 (base) + 4 (chain shirt) + 3 (Dex bonus) + 6 (Cha bonus) = 23, touch 13, flat-footed 20 (against foes that do not find her attractive, this becomes AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14).
  • Attacks: +6 (BAB) + 3 (Str) + 2 (weapon’s enhancement bonus) = +11/+6 Windsplitter (1d8+5/19-20).
  • Skills: 14 (14 CP) + 9 (Int bonus) + 9 (human bonus) = 32 skill points.
Skills Ranks Ability Modifier Armor Check Penalty Total
Appraise 2 ranks +1 Int +3
Balance 2 ranks +3 Dex -2 +3
Climb 2 ranks +3 Str -2 +3
Diplomacy 2 ranks +2 Cha +4
Intuit Direction 2 ranks +1 Wis +3
Jump 2 ranks +3 Str -2 +3
Knowledge (geography) 2 ranks +1 Int +3
Knowledge (local) 2 ranks +1 Int +3
Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 2 ranks +1 Int +3
Listen 2 ranks +1 Wis +3
Search 2 ranks +1 Int +3
Spot 2 ranks +1 Wis +3
Swim 2 ranks +3 Str -9* -4
Tumble 2 ranks +3 Dex -2 +3
Use Rope 2 ranks +3 Dex +5
Wilderness Lore 2 ranks +1 Wis +3

*Under the 3.0 rules for the Swim skill, the normal armor check penalties are eschewed. Instead, a character takes a -1 penalty per 5 lbs. of gear carried/worn.

Windsplitter (2-point relic)

Telerie’s sword, Windsplitter, is an heirloom that has been passed down in her family for generations. A +2 longsword, it has been further enchanted to allow the wielder to fend off hostile magic. Folklore (wrongfully) credits this power to the sword’s sharpness, said to be able to split the wind itself. It’s from this that the sword takes its name, and by extension the name of Telerie’s family.

Block/arcane with the Master upgrade, both corrupted for two-thirds cost/does not function against effects that require Will saves (8 CP), as well as the Riposte and Deflections upgrades, both specialized and corrupted for one-third cost/direction of retargeting is determined randomly, this must be done – at the cost of another attack of opportunity – when successfully blocking (6 CP).

This build of Telerie largely has her focusing on avoiding blows rather than absorbing them, while still working fairly well as a melee combatant. In other words, she’s straddling the line between a striker and a tank. A not-inconsiderable part of her effectiveness comes from the the nature of the enemies she usually faces; in a more high-powered world (e.g. most Pathfinder settings), she’d likely find herself overwhelmed in fairly short order.

Of course, what’s not here is the heaping-helping of “plot immunity” that Telerie likely has. After all, when the comic’s creator personally appears in the work to ogle you, you’re probably going to make it through somehow.

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