Are you stumped for what you want your next D&D 4e character to be? Wish you could somehow adapt one of your favorite characters to a medieval, high fantasy setting? Look no further, in this series Iâ€™ll be taking Frank L. Baumâ€™s beloved characters and turning them into D&D badasses.
And, while I got you here, if youâ€™d like to hear a play-through of a D&D session check out some of the Major Spoilers D&D archives.
What this is: This is a character progression loooooooooooooosely based on a character from the Wizard of Oz, it will allow you to create a character that is reminiscent of Dorothy Gale, while still jiving with D&Dâ€™s very particular feel.
What this is not: This is not a way to simulate Dorothy exactly. Dungeons and Dragons doesnâ€™t lend itself to a somewhat helpless little girl being one of the protagonists.
As we go through, keep in mind that if you actually use the character, then the character will be yours. If you decide to not take a power I suggest, or swap out a feat, Iâ€™m not going to cry. Not in public anyway. These characters are somewhat tied to an off-beat D&D setting, but with a little tweaking can fit into any standard D&D game.
The Pitch: Thaley Doorg, lived a life of hardship but relative peace, living with her aunt and uncle, both farmers in an arid area of the natural world. One day a violent storm ripped through their farm, transporting Thaley and her mastiff Otto into a strange place where the Feywild and the Shadowfell mingle to form what the inhabitants call the Other Zone. Armed with nothing but the threshing blades she used to farm (and Ottoâ€™s fangs), she makes her way to the Citadel Viridian, home of the Magus Magnificus, the only entity powerful enough to return her home.
With the character concept done, letâ€™s dive into the progression. A number in parentheses means that page in the Playerâ€™s Handbook, (MP XX) means that page in Martial Power, (PhBII XX) Means that page in the Players Handbook 2.
Ability Score Array: 18 STR, 8 CON, 10 DEX, 10 INT, 16 WIS, 11 CHA
Her short life as a farmer has made Thaley strong and aware of her surroundings, I gave her a (some would say drastically) low CON because Iâ€™ve always felt that the character of Dorothy had a definite fragility to her. Weâ€™ll still give her training in endurance to signify her rugged upbringing.
Of course Thaley has to be human, as the only non-native of the Other Zone in the party we need the character immediacy that being human automatically gives us.
Human Bonus Feat: Lethal Hunter
For that extra oomph, farm girls know how to take care of themselves.
Human Bonus Skill: Endurance
There you go, stop complaining.
Human Bonus Power: Twin Strike (105)
Nothing about the original character really screams out RANGER! But itâ€™s, by far the least weird class that allows you to have a pet. So rather than make her some weird spellcaster with a familiar, weâ€™ll make her a Beast Master Ranger.
Ranger Fighting Style: Beast Mastery (MP 38)
Beast Mastery is a great option and it allows us for Thaley to have her trusty pet on the battlefield with her.
1st Level Feat: Beast Protector (MP 132)
This feat will make enemies think twice before striking Otto, itâ€™s good insurance to keep monsters for targeting what is arguably the characterâ€™s most important class feature
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance (race), Heal, Nature, Perception, Stealth
At Will Powers: Circling Strike, Predator Strike (MP 43)
Encounter Powers: Off Hand Strike (MP 43)
Daily Powers: Sudden Strike (106)
Youâ€™ll notice that we didnâ€™t take any beast-based powers above at-will level. I feel that with beast rangers it is important to strike a balance between pet powers and the more standard powers.
Gear: Hide Armor, two short swords, Adventurerâ€™s Kit, 35 gold in magical components.
Our heroine starts out with her warm hide vestments as well as the threshing blades she had on her when the storm carried her away. Lastly upon landing in the Other Zone she found some strange materials (which she may need to raise Otto from the dead if he goes down).
Utility Power: Pack Alertness
Feat: Action Surge (193)
If youâ€™re playing a human itâ€™s hard to pass up action surge, which I always scream out whenever I use it in a game (AAAAACTION SRRRRRRGE!!!). Pack Alertness gives us that classic moment when the dogâ€™s ears perk up because it heard something you didnâ€™t.
Encounter Power: Paired Predators (MP 47)
Ability Bumps: +1 Dex, +1 Con
Feat: Predatory Action (MP 138)
With our ability bumps weâ€™ll make Thaley a little tougher and get her on her way to a better reflex defense. Also Predatory Action combos extremely well with AAAAACTION SRRRRRRGE!!!
Daily Power: Bloodied Frenzy (MP 47)
You canâ€™t beat a power that A) allows your critter to shift, B) Happens on someone elseâ€™s turn and C) does half damage on a miss.
Utility Power: Weave Through the Fray (201)
Feat: Weapon Focus: Light Blade
Weapon Focus makes this striker more strikery. Weave through the Fray is a solid power, it makes our heroine highly mobileâ€¦ weâ€™re going to get some weird hits from Google off of that statement.
This also seems like a good time to talk about weapon choice. I picked short swords for three reasons. A) Theyâ€™re good enough. B) They can be imagined to be little machetes used for cutting whatever it was that our protagonist used to cut in her farm and C) that way the player only has to keep track of a single type of weapon. Itâ€™s true, however that weâ€™re giving up some damage for that convenience. You are certainly welcome to change Thaleyâ€™s primary weapon if you so desire.
Encounter Power: Sweeping Whirlwind
A good power to get people off of you.
Ability Bumps: +1 Dex, +1 Wis
Feat: Weapon Expertise: Light Blade (PhBII 190)
As you may have guessed I like to distribute my Ability points for the long haul, this way at level 11 weâ€™ll get a bump to WIS, CHA and CON modifiers, as well as a 13 in Dex which is a requirement for a lot of the â€˜two handedâ€™ feats in the PHB.
Daily Power: Menacing Cry (MP 49)
Seriously? A piercing howl that immobilizes your enemies with fear? How could you not take this power?
Encounter Power: Companion Emplacement (MP 50)
Feat: Human Beast Mastery (MP 136)
A power for mobility and a feat to keep your critter safe. Also it allows you to lean into the player next to you and whisper â€˜I have mastery of the human beastâ€¦â€™ which will creep out anybody. Guaranteed.
And Level 11?
By this point you should have a pretty good idea of where you want the character to go, but here are a couple suggestions.
- Horizon Walker (MP 64) is a paragon path that could symbolize Thaley learning about the strange land sheâ€™s been taken to and using its strange powers to her advantage.
- You also canâ€™t go wrong with Adroit Explorer (PhBII 18), it makes you better at your class and is another great example of how humans are more than just blank slates in this edition.
Hopefully you have enjoyed this article, as you may have guessed by now there will be more in this series coming soon.