View Full Version : idea for a bard in a homebrew world

Mr Horse
2007-02-28, 07:54 PM
I have an idea for a character of a homebrew race in a homebrew world. I've been wanting some input and ideas on how to build the character in a way that would make sense considering his concept.

Now, this is going to be a long post, I apologize for this in advance and hope you will bear with me.

First, an introduction to the world and, more importantly, the race in question:

The character is for a homebrew world that is inspired by both Forgotten Realms and Dark Sun. While not a desert setting, it is a large world with barren wastelands, dense woodlands and jungles, rocky canyons and hills or mountains predominant all over a large part of the planet. There are major cities as well, some very industrious and flourishing. Small towns, villages, and mining, rural and tribal communities are scattered everywhere, though the hostile wastelands often make travel difficult and potentially dangerous. The planet circles around a white dwarf class sun, and has a large moon. Due to the large size of the moon, some simply believe the moon to be the other side of the sun.

Most of the planet's water is underground, and there are even vast, underground oceans and lakes. The underdark of this world is therefore both home to both the most lush forests of vegetation, filled with strange and beautiful sights and the traditional, caverns of horror that we usually associate with the underdark.

With so many cultures having difficulty travelling, the world doesn't have a universal name as such, as each culture in this world has its own name for it. Most often though it is the respective culture's word for "world", "rock", "canyon", "silver", "white" or "pale" (referring to the sun/moon), "wastes", "undergrowth", "underdark" or "abyss", depending on where on the planet the culture or race usually has habitat.

This is also a world where elves, half-elves, orcs and half-orcs can produce off-spring together.

These crossbreeds tend to have greyish skin with either brown, yellow or blue tones. Their hair colour varies as much as for humans, though often on the darker side of the spectrum, with red being fairly rare. Eye colour also varies, but is likewise often darker, usually ranging from hazel to black.

Their facial features depend on which of their ancestry is predominant, but most have slightly pointed ears and thick hair. Their eyes slope downwards slightly, and their irises are relatively large compared to the size of their eyes. They often have more or less elongated canines, small fangs or small tusks, depending on whether they have an overbite or underbite. Their teeth are otherwise not too different from human teeth, albeit sharper. Some could be described as feral and stout elves with thick hair, bushy eyebrows and sideburns, while others look more like what could be compared to.. well, I suppose Mongolians, but with very thick hair (and pointed ears and sharpish teeth).

Generally not accepted in neither elven nor orcish societies, most of them consider themselves half-elves or half-orcs (or even elf-orcs), and because of their grey skintones and mindsets different than humans, elves and orcs, they usually form their own tribes and communities, calling themselves Greyskins or Greykin.

Note that Drow can interbreed with orcs as well, but this is extremely rare. Drow-orcs are usually the result of rape, and viewed by Drow as abominations to be hunted down, possibly tortured, and killed. The ones that do survive often champion themselves as notorious orc chieftains, as fierce and cruel in their rule as they are cunning and powerful. They have no culture of their own, and tend to just adopt the culture of whatever tribe or city they've migrated to. Because of their burning red eyes, yellow fangs, tusks and black hair and black skin with green or brown tones, they are often called "black orcs", "dark orcs" or less commonly, "dread orcs". While common orcs aren't very welcome, they are usually tolerated by other cultures as long as they don't cause trouble. However black orcs are feared and hated moreso than either orcs or drow.
Black orcs hate drow as much as drow hate them, and the really powerful black orc chieftains, as few and far between as they are, have been known to wage war against entire drow cities. Lolth is the main Drow goddess and because of these wars, she has been known to curse the more prestigious and (in)famous warring black orc chieftains into become driders, if the drow losses have been exceptionally severe.
Black orcs are most often barbarians, rogues, warlocks or sorcerers.

Now, back to the main subject - As a race, Greykin are generally neutrally aligned, leaning towards either good, evil or chaos, taking great value in free will and using that free will creatively and productively.

Greykin tend to have very complex and artistic cultures that at the same time still are tribal and "barbaric" or crude/uncivilized to some. They are known to be get very creative with their physical looks, often creating different hairstyles and using tattoos both to signal reaching maturity as well for adornment purposes.

Greykin prefer natural habitats to urban/city life, but are known to venture out and live in cities as well. Many are tinkerers in addition to their actual profession, especially appreciating small trinkets, jewelry and utility items. Many Greykin rogues also become skillful tinkerers due to both professions complimenting each other.

Their warriors prefer flashy fighting styles, and are normally unable to be disciplined enough to become paladins or monks, even if their alignment for some odd reason is lawful. Greykin warriors are commonly barbarians, rangers or fighters focusing on either two-weapon fighting, dual weapons, two-handed fighting or a combination of a weapon and hand-to-hand combat. They usually find shields and heavy armour to "cramp their style", so to speak. Ranged warriors often prefer thrown weapons such as chakrams, javelins, daggers and slings over bows and crossbows.

Greykin society leaders have often achieved admiration by proving themselves to be willful and productive as well as creative leaders rather than possessing much fighting skill. If a power struggle that can't be solved peacefully does happen, they will stage ritual fights between the ones contesting for leadership that focus more on showing off than actually fighting the opponents, although it usually does come to that in the end, sometimes (but not often) resulting in death. The losing party usually ends up leaving the community and moving to someplace else.

Greykin full spellcasters aren't widespread by any means. They aren't overly religious, and place more reverence in force of personality than dogma. As such, their priests and healers are often shamanic and druidic rather than clerical. Greykin wizards are uncommon but not unheard of, while sorcerers are much more common although still rare.

With music, storytelling and art being a significant part of their culture, they have unique string, horn, clicking and percussion instruments that are built to produce bassy and/or dissonant tones, which are often accompanied by, or arranged around heavy drumming.

For this reason, bards are actually far more common than any other Greykin spellcasters, and all Greykin tribes are known to have at least a few.

The stats of the Greykin / Greyskin Half-Orc / Greyskin Half-elf:

Medium sized.
Height varies from the size of half-elves up to the size of half orcs, or tall humans. Slimmer than half-orcs, but very muscular compared to half-elves. They weigh the same on average as humans.
Age: Same as regular half-elves.

Base land speed: 30 ft.

Stat adjustments:
STR +1
DEX +1
CON -1
WIS -2
CHA +2

Both Elven and orc blood
+1 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks
+2 racial bonus on all Craft checks except Armoursmithing
+1 racial bonus on all Perform checks
+1 racial bonus on bluff and intimidate checks
Immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.
Darkvision: up to 60 feet. As per half-orc/orc darkvision.

Favoured class: Bard
Class restrictions: No paladin, no monk, no lawful prestige classes.

OK, so.

The character I'm building is a Greykin bard.

He's the leader of a band of adventurers, and while not being the wisest of the bunch, he's very bright and a quick thinker. He uses spells both to enhance his fighting abilities as well as even the odds of winning a tough fight. Moreover, being the party talker, he also uses spells to boost his abilities in this field.

He's an able (though not perfect) combatant who wields a two-handed blade - most likely a falchion or greatsword. I haven't figured out which yet.
His instrument is "clickbellows" - an S-shaped wooden tube that is strapped to his shoulder, with the mouth piece being readily available for him to use with only one hand if he so wishes.

The middle of the tube is actually made of baggy cloth. The inside of the tube is lined with strings that are set against bearings mounted on springs. When used like a horn, the tube produces a deep, bassy sound accompanied by rhythmic clacking noises and thumps, that vary depending on how hard you blow. The clickbellows also has 4 small, pertruding windpipes lined with 4 holes each. If using the instrument with both hands, these can be manipulated while blowing, effectively making the clickbellows sound like something of a mix between bagpipes, a tuba and a contrabass. The springs that produce the clacking and thumping sounds can also be tuned to work with increased or reduced frequency / speed.

His "fighting style" is more than anything based on trying to intimidate his opponents into fighting worse and making his comrades seem/feel that much tougher.

I rolled him exceptionally well and his stats are

STR 16, DEX 15, INT 16, CON 12, WIS 11 CHA 20

We start at level 3.

I will most likely multiclass him. Do any of you have any suggestions for routes both in regards to classes, feats and spells i could take to be effective both in combat and as a talker, and still retain the original concept of his character? I mean, both to begin with and for future development.

I'm thinking at least level wise of going with Bard 2/Barbarian 1. Or fighter 1. I'm not sure. Power Attack is a given feat, of course.
Get him some studded leather armour, barbarian armour or a chainshirt when I can afford it.

But I'm not sure which spells to take yet... or which levels to go with in the future. Or if I should even take that fighter/barb level in the first place.
Bear in mind btw, that we mostly only use core classes, but are open to more.


cheers and thanks for reading.

Mr Horse
2007-02-28, 07:57 PM
damnit!!! wrong forum

is it possible for me to move my post to the homebrew forum, or do i have to delete it and repost?