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View Full Version : How Would You Stat Grand Admiral Thrawn in 4E?



Leliel
2008-10-13, 04:05 PM
Well...Look at the title.

I want to know how you would stat that most devious of art connisieurs, Thrawn, were he to be picked out of Star Wars and unceremoniously dropped in a D&D setting.

Why? No reason. No reason at all.

Beleriphon
2008-10-13, 04:09 PM
Well...Look at the title.

I want to know how you would stat that most devious of art connisieurs, Thrawn, were he to be picked out of Star Wars and unceremoniously dropped in a D&D setting.

Why? No reason. No reason at all.

A high intelligence character of any class you choose. I'd honestly pick something that can provide bonuses based on line of sight.

Tengu_temp
2008-10-13, 04:10 PM
Hellishly intelligent Tactical Warlord.

Mr.Bookworm
2008-10-13, 04:11 PM
Admiral Thrawn is hard to represent in 4E terms, as he really doesn't fit any of the Player's Handbook classes.

3E, though? Easy.

He's an Factotum or Expert X with: Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 30, Wis 30, Cha 26.

EDIT: Or Tactical Warlord makes sense, for 4E.

Belial_the_Leveler
2008-10-13, 04:12 PM
Short answer: you can't.


Long answer: 4E is not suitable for statting complex characters or importing characters from other places for 2 reasons; it so far has little avialable material and as an edition it focuses too much on balance that loses flexibility and complexity.

Admiral Thrawn might have been a Warlord/Rogue IF the warlord abilities worked on more than a couple of people or from more than a few feet away-which very few of them do.

Artanis
2008-10-13, 04:15 PM
As a PC or an NPC? Because as a PC, it would indeed be pretty difficult (at best) to find a fit for him. However, as the BBEG, you aren't constrained by character classes the way you are in 3e, so you can make a more perfect fit than 3e could imagine.

Asbestos
2008-10-13, 04:16 PM
:smallconfused:
Hmm...

I agree with the Tactical Warlord being the go-to class. Skill focus in... knowledge (history) I'd think.

But, that's if you want him as a standard PC/NPC... looking for something else Leliel? Btw, that last 'stat out a guy from fiction' thread get you what you desired? (I ask only for my own ego's sake :smallsmile:)

AstralFire
2008-10-13, 04:18 PM
Short answer: you can't.


Long answer: 4E is not suitable for statting complex characters or importing characters from other places for 2 reasons; it so far has little avialable material and as an edition it focuses too much on balance that loses flexibility and complexity.

Admiral Thrawn might have been a Warlord/Rogue IF the warlord abilities worked on more than a couple of people or from more than a few feet away-which very few of them do.

Better Answer: All editions of D&D I've seen have been piss-poor at mechanically representing war at the strategic and grand strategic level, possibly because it's not a wargame and most of those focus at the tactical/strategy level anyway.

Because Thrawn would have to be high level to represent the amount of power in his tactics, but on the other hand, I don't think he's going to survive a round in lava like most mid to high characters in 3.x.

So I think the real answer is just to try to stat up a character that most closely evokes the feel of Thrawn rather than trying to go for his exact capabilities, and a Warlord/Wizard with Rituals makes sense to me here, especially due to his almost supernatural (cough plotsense/willoftheauthor cough) intuition.

Tengu_temp
2008-10-13, 04:21 PM
Better Answer: All editions of D&D I've seen have been piss-poor at mechanically representing war at the strategic and grand strategic level, possibly because it's not a wargame and most of those focus at the tactical/strategy level anyway.

Because Thrawn would have to be high level to represent the amount of power in his tactics, but on the other hand, I don't think he's going to survive a round in lava like most mid to high characters in 3.x.

http://ffrpg.republika.pl/approve.PNG
If you want to state a complex character well in a d20 system, use Mutants & Masterminds.

Beleriphon
2008-10-13, 04:21 PM
Admiral Thrawn is hard to represent in 4E terms, as he really doesn't fit any of the Player's Handbook classes.

I'd honestly build the guy as a customer creature then with appropriate abilities.


If you want to state a complex character well in a d20 system, use Mutants & Masterminds.

True dat. He'd be easy to use, a reasonable intelligence score, knowledge skills, and you can't forget the Master Plan feat. Yay!

In fact I think he might lookw something like this: Linky (http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=331163#331163)

Leliel
2008-10-13, 04:35 PM
Actually, as I said, I have no reason for throwing this out.

This is a "just for fun" exercise in mental jockeying.

Asbestos
2008-10-13, 04:40 PM
Well, as others have said, it'd be rough if you try to stick exactly to what he is. As a BBEG, I'd turn him into an Elite Solider (Leader) or Controller (Leader) give him powers as appropriate, and make sure he's a hard encounter so I can put as many minions/standards in with him as possible.

Kurald Galain
2008-10-13, 05:08 PM
He can't be a TacLord, because of the short range on commander's strike (and indeed, any other power in 4E).

This really needs a different system. I recommend TORG, it's quite good at uber-scaling things.

Draz74
2008-10-13, 05:31 PM
Make him a Controller-role monster with the Tactical Warlord template. Very high Intelligence and Wisdom, and an ability that replicates the Skill Focus (Insight) feat.

He's a very mediocre warrior in personal combat, so he wouldn't be all that high-level. Perhaps Level 10, since it's the highest he can get before being Paragon Tier?

Then, either:

homebrew some Monster Powers (appropriate to his Controller role) that give his allies nasty bonuses or abilities over unlimited distance as long as he has electronic communication with them
just roleplay all of his minions as ridiculously clever in tactical situations (requires a lot of skill from the DM)
make all encounters with his minions bigger than they would otherwise be -- bigger than the recommended standard encounter for the protagonists' party -- to represent Thrawn's skill in always allocating his troops in a fiendishly clever way
some combination of the above


The third bullet point in the above list is a pretty intriguing idea. Perhaps to simulate strategic warfare, there could be a system where the strategic commanders of each faction have a Skill Challenge before each battle, using Insight and perhaps a new Tactics skill and occaisionally Bluff. Depending on the results of the skill challenge, the Encounter would be built differently. For example, if the party is about to encounter some Thrawn minions and doesn't have any orders coming down the chain, so they are responsible for their own actions (Karde's crew of smugglers?), they use their own stats to do this skill challenge, with their Bluff or Tactics checks opposing Thrawn's Insight skill. If they fail abyssmally, for example, they could have to face 2 standard level-appropriate Encounters at the same time -- and even if they win, they only get XP for one standard encounter.

Another issue is that, since skill bonuses are dependent on level, high-level characters would be able to beat Thrawn's Insight bonus all the time. To combat this, I guess his Wisdom would just have to scale at the same rate as the characters' level.

Beleriphon
2008-10-13, 06:48 PM
Another issue is that, since skill bonuses are dependent on level, high-level characters would be able to beat Thrawn's Insight bonus all the time. To combat this, I guess his Wisdom would just have to scale at the same rate as the characters' level.

Or the fact that by and large Thrawn doesn't play at the local combat scale level. He tells his guys what to do, and issues orders to his commanders secure in the knowledge that they know how to implement that order.

Doomsy
2008-10-13, 06:55 PM
Very badly.


What? He is a strategic character and trying to fit him into a tactical game is kind of nonsensical. I'd almost say a high level NPC class with extreme intelligence and some insightful abilities. Fact is he would (And books never show him doing much at a tactical level) probably be a pushover in hand to hand combat but Thrawns real skill is being good enough to make sure it never comes to that.

The man is an artist and a general, not a ground pounder. D&D just does not have the mechanics to support that as a PC.

quick_comment
2008-10-13, 10:56 PM
Id make him a tac warlord, but with the additional ability that all his powers have range: Line of sight.

Then give him probably 50 int, 50 wis and 40 cha.

SadisticFishing
2008-10-13, 11:56 PM
He's not a PC.

He is a very highly intelligent Controller type monster, that the PCs never really fight. Super BBEG.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-10-14, 12:03 AM
He's not a PC.

He is a very highly intelligent Controller type monster, that the PCs never really fight. Super BBEG.

I'd go further and say that since/if he is never fought in person, he needs no stats at all. (That's one of the things I find liberating in 4E. You will not need stats for something that isn't fought. Most NPCs are just a description, now.)

SadisticFishing
2008-10-14, 12:04 AM
I'd go further and say that since/if he is never fought in person, he needs no stats at all. (That's one of the things I find liberating in 4E. You will not need stats for something that isn't fought. Most NPCs are just a description, now.)

Agreed, but what if they DO find a way to fight him? Make him similar to that goblin that moves people around a lot. Also, Chiss are rather proficient fighters, from what I gather.

Superglucose
2008-10-14, 12:54 AM
Hellishly intelligent Tactical Warlord.

Don't forget hellishly charismatic and hellishly wise.

Talic
2008-10-14, 01:13 AM
He has to have rogue levels, as he can obviously detect traps.

Asbestos
2008-10-14, 01:45 AM
He has to have rogue levels, as he can obviously detect traps.

Not nearly as well as Ackbar.

DMfromTheAbyss
2008-10-14, 04:04 AM
I've read all the Thrawn books, I'm a big fan of Thrawn's tactical abilities. But still I gotta say it's a matter of putting a good player/DM behind him to make use of his abilities (and people) as well as possible. There are no rules for tactics on a grand scale, (heck the command rules in SW pick an edition don't come close to having rules for the stuff thrawn pulls) but from some of the stories Thrawn is moderatley competant at combat of a more personal scale as well so I'd stat him as follows.

Tactical Warlord level 18
Either some rogue multiclass or some wizard multiclass feats/powers depending if he somehow picks up magic along the way.

Not sure what paragon path to take (away from book) but probably the most marshall like (from3.5) for group leadership powers.

Stat wise give him a 20 starting Int (18 plus racial +2) and have it topped off
So total I'd say Str 14 Con 12 Int 24 Dex 16 Wis 18 Cha 20 or so after mods for level and race.

Keep his powers focused on helping/leading/inspiring troops as opposed to [email protected]@kicking himself... throw in a few rogue surprises to unbalance/finish off the enemy (or wizard ones if he somehow learns magic).

The most important thing would of course be running him intelligently(not the stats). He'd try to be with a competant group of people, get support from some powerful group to get himself some pull in the local area/kingdom and generally act like a brilliant bastard. He has a sense of honor, so even if the PC's run afoul of him he'd be reasonable and offer them an out (or recruit them) unless there's no way around it (or the PC's start something) in which case he'll be well prepared. Kind of the hope for the best but plan for the worst scenario.

But yeah to get the feel of Thrawn you'd really need a player/DM with a bit of game to pull it off. Not easy but a fun challenge.

Telonius
2008-10-14, 07:18 AM
For 3.5, a Monster Entry

Chiss Singularity - there is only one of these. Ever.

Traits
+20 racial bonus to intelligence
+100 racial bonus to Sense Motive
+100 racial bonus to Knowledge (art)
+100 racial bonus to Profession (Grand Admiral)
Level Adjustment +19

That ought to do it.

hamishspence
2008-10-14, 07:27 AM
He's been statted out (Admiral Thrawn, not yet Grand Admiral) in The Force Unleashed campaign setting. Most of his startegic acumen is't built into his statline: Chiss Noble/3/Soldier/4/Officer/1.

He does have talents like Battle Analysis and Born Leader.

Thrawn183
2008-10-14, 10:34 AM
Well, personally I don't think D&D as a system is truly capable of defining me very well.

I'd much prefer you assisting me in stopping such an attempt than having to turn your planet to slag with turbolaser fire. It would be so wasteful.

Talya
2008-10-14, 10:38 AM
Better Answer: All editions of D&D I've seen have been piss-poor at mechanically representing war at the strategic and grand strategic level, possibly because it's not a wargame and most of those focus at the tactical/strategy level anyway.


I assume you're leaving out other d20 games, like Star Wars Saga Edition, which could do a decent job with Thrawn thanks to a very flexible character design system with a lot of options for the leader who doesn't play a direct role in combat.

AstralFire
2008-10-14, 10:47 AM
I assume you're leaving out other d20 games, like Star Wars Saga Edition, which could do a decent job with Thrawn thanks to a very flexible character design system with a lot of options for the leader who doesn't play a direct role in combat.

I was speaking specifically of D&D. I've never gotten to explore SW d20 or SWSE very much.

hamishspence
2008-10-14, 11:03 AM
Have read, but not got, several SWd20 books. Have got Saga Edition books. Its like 4th eds brother: both are descended from d20, in slightly different directions.

Talya
2008-10-14, 11:23 AM
Have read, but not got, several SWd20 books. Have got Saga Edition books. Its like 4th eds brother: both are descended from d20, in slightly different directions.

I consider Saga Edition to be what 4e should have been. It sacrifices none of the flexibility in character design that 4e did, compared to 3.x, yet still greatly streamlined and to an extent, balanced the game. (That Saga Edition has its own non-class-related balance issues that change radically between levels 1-20 is another issue altogether...saga doesn't quite feel "finished" unless you make heavy use of Destinies Fulfilled.)

hamishspence
2008-10-14, 11:25 AM
One classic problem, to some, is the system track, or "death spiral"

However, it might be more fun to those who feel thats the way some things should work.

Talya
2008-10-14, 11:32 AM
One classic problem, to some, is the system track, or "death spiral"

However, it might be more fun to those who feel thats the way some things should work.

I agree. (I probably fall into the latter category, mind you...and the spiral doesn't get unrecoverable until 3 steps down the condition track anyway.)

My bigger issue is the migrating balance between Skill Focus vs. Defenses/Attack Bonus between levels 1-20.

hamishspence
2008-10-14, 11:36 AM
yes: I tend to be a reader and appreciater, more than player.

Concerning the addition of Vader's Apprentice to Expanded Universe: I haven't read book yet, but going by style of campaign setting book, I cautiously give it a provisional thumbs up.