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Silma
2012-09-13, 01:15 PM
Hello playgrounders!
I'm currently DMing a 4e campaign for a group of close friends. One of my players is playing a Dragonborn Warlord. And so far he has a little bit of trouble creating the image that he wants his character to have in the group. I'm starting this thread on his behalf. (I will call him K)

We originally started this campaign on level 2 and they went all the way to level 4, but due to a lot of players changing characters and a few departures/arrivals, we decided to start the campaign all over again but from level 4 this time.

the character is Ardain a dragon born Warlord (bravura presence). Obviously his main stats are STR, CHA.
Ardain was a member of the guard in his city (one of the only 2 remaining dragonborn cities in the world). He was quite recognized for his progress in the military ranks, and quickly rose to the rank of sergeant.
As a result of this he was asked to go to the temple of Bahamut which his city actually guards. There after testing him etc, the priests send him on a quest to find more about the dragon wars (an event that took place 3000 years ago)

Ardain is quite strict and is really focused on discipline. His goal is to form a strong group of warriors to aid him in his quest, but also because he enjoys to lead mainly due to his background as a sergeant. K wants Ardain to have a majestic and somewhat intimidating image.

The thing is that K is in fact the opposite of Ardain as a person. As a result he finds it really hard to roleplay him even though he is one of his favourite characters. Imagine that his ideal character which he could roleplay quite easily is a human rogoe or something.
But he insists on playing Ardain and I want to help him with that.
The main problem is that although we all get along really well as people, the other players have trouble accepting Ardain as their leader. This is mainly due to the fact that K is not a very leader-y person in real life. He has trouble coming up with what Ardain would say to inspire others and make them follow his orders. And even when I came up with a few lines that Ardain could say, he wasn't feeling very comfortable saying is out loud.

One thing I forgot to say is that before we actually broke the campaign at level 4 to start over, Ardain had not managed to make the other characters like him enough to accept him as their leader (one of the things that played a part in this is his endless fighting with the assassin of the party)

And since we started over, K has tried to change Ardain's behavior a little bit, to make him a bit more likeable, but the other players have in mind the more strict, pain-in-the-ass Ardain that they had gotten used to, even though the characters just met.

Any advice on how K can manage to earn his place as the party's leader would be greatly appreciated, because this is the only way of K enjoying Ardain to his fullest.

(Important note: K changing character is out of the question)

Thanks in advance.

TomPliss
2012-09-13, 01:34 PM
Some little (untested) tips :

1) Have him change his name. If K doesn't mind changing his character's name, and explain, OoC that his new character is based on the same background, but act differently (more likeable), changing his name will be the finale touch, to help the others players think it's a different character (and think about it without thinking about the old rough one).

2) You said you already did it, but try it again : Write down some sentences the character may say. Not only as a old sergeant, but also as a dragonborn. Get some non-military expressions (there may be some inspiration in the dragonborn's book). Get some sentences he may say that are funny, that will make the character likeable. Those may be not funny, but the character must think they are (getting a running gag usually helps in making a character funny).


PS: sorry about the bad english, not my native language, and i'm really not sure about some of the sentences, in this post ... :-

Silma
2012-09-13, 01:39 PM
Some little (untested) tips :

1) Have him change his name. If K doesn't mind changing his character's name, and explain, OoC that his new character is based on the same background, but act differently (more likeable), changing his name will be the finale touch, to help the others players think it's a different character (and think about it without thinking about the old rough one).

2) You said you already did it, but try it again : Write down some sentences the character may say. Not only as a old sergeant, but also as a dragonborn. Get some non-military expressions (there may be some inspiration in the dragonborn's book). Get some sentences he may say that are funny, that will make the character likeable. Those may be not funny, but the character must think they are (getting a running gag usually helps in making a character funny).



PS: sorry about the bad english, not my native language, and i'm really not sure about some of the sentences, in this post ... :-

well, that was quick...
I thought I's have to wait for a day or so... :smallbiggrin:

1) Actually the name might be a really good idea. I'll talk to him about that. We're only 2 sessions into the new campaign, so it wont be much of a problem to change his name. And I'm sure that the other players wont mind to forget about consistency just a little bit if it helps K enjoy the game more.

2) I will. I'll try again as u suggested and see how it goes. The problem is that the other players will probably laugh the first couple of times they hear him say any of those lines. I'm sure that once they get used to it (I'm assuming it will take 1-2 sessions), they'll actually enjoy it, but it's those 2 sessions that actually intimidate K. I'll try to talk him into it though.




New post-----------------------------------

Okay I talked to K about changing his character's name and he will consider it if nothing better comes to mind. He would prefer it if he didn't hve to do this though.

Also, any ideas on phrases/lines that Ardain could use to inspire the party would be great.

KnightOfV
2012-09-14, 10:44 PM
You can't force other players to see another party member in a certain way, unfortunately. Everyone likes to think of their character as the 'coolest' so it is rare to see any gaming group accept that they have to follow orders from one person.

Thankfully, Warlords can make the other players follow orders... and they will thank them for it! Have him focus on powers that give the players extra actions, like the basic commander's strike. Once they start having tough fights, and he gets people up with an Inspiring Word, the other players should start to value him more. Just say something basic each time, like "Hit 'em again, Human!" or "I won't let you die, keep fighting!" and the players will happily follow his commands in battle (because it helps them.) Leaders are designed to save other characters when they are in tight spots, so tough fights should help the party to respect the Warlord.

Out of combat though, he may have to just accept that the party members won't always take orders from him and he might have to be an equal with those decisions. It makes perfect sense that a character like an Assassin will not respect a military man like the Warlord, and would disagree with him. Most times I play D&D there is never a 'party leader', so I don't see that being too much of a problem.

As a DM you can help by making NPCs recognize him and treat him with respect whenever appropriate. He has a lot of CHA, so most NPCs should listen to anything he says, even if the player does not make a really convincing speech it IS convincing in the game world.