Characters

Building Character Depth. Creating Odessa.

I have played many characters in my time, I have fallen in love with each and every one of them, but Odessa feels special.

I wanted to sew more of myself into her than I typically would, but still allow her to evolve independently. So when I was figuring out how she thinks, or how she acts I decided to take a trip into the past. In this day in age I am in a serious relationship and I’m neck deep in school with the goal of getting my graduate degree and a mountain of certifications. I wanted Odessa to be free to do whatever she wanted. So I took pieces of myself from when I was in my early 20’s: sassy, flirty, kind of a bitch, crazy hair colors.

From there I just went nuts. I gave her some trauma, set her up with some goals of her own, and motivation to drive her. While we are definitely separate, I relate to her a lot.

Dustin will probably be the first to tell you about how crazy in depth I tend to go with my character history and background. But I tend to keep it up my sleeve until it becomes necessary in game. It’s definitely a gamble because if the worst should happen there’s a lot the world will never know. But I’m proud of her. I very much hope she survives long enough to tell her story.

Finding Inspiration. Creating Pippa.

C215-12A
(Pictured) Natalie Dormer
Photo Credit: Doane Gregory
© Touchstone Pictures, All rights Reserved

When we started dreaming up what we wanted to do for this podcast, I was pretty sure right away that I either wanted to go Wizard or Rogue. Honestly I was leaning more toward wizard, BUT I was scrolling through Netflix one fateful Sunday morning with nothing better to do than watch a movie and I stumbled on an old favorite: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. And my initial concept for a high class con-artist was born.

Originally I saw her as a (more) dishonest Carrie Bradshaw – witty, quick to anger, obsessed with shoes and a hater of the outdoors. Some of that survived (the shoes and the temper). She was going to be human, but since the rest of the party was turning up ostensibly human I wanted to mix it up a bit. Also, those Stealth bonuses for Halflings are no joke.  

Pippa didn’t have a name for the longest time. It was actually the last thing about her I decided on! I eventually landed on naming her after my all-time favorite “Halfling”, Peregrine “Pippin” Took from LOTR. There’s also a bit of a Pippi Longstocking sound to her name as well, which I also thought suited her. Her last name is shared with Robin Hood, for obvious reasons.

When I was creating her character, I honestly never envisioned her as someone so kind and committed to a general concept of good. She was going to have a pretty average moral compass for a thief – an every Halfling for herself kind of attitude. Dustin laid out an excellent argument for making her a good character, partially that it would be a more interesting choice for a thief – but also because I am a known villain sympathizer and playing a Good aligned person would be a fun challenge for me.

So far I’m having a blast with her! We’ll see how long I can keep her alive – the longer we can go without bumping into someone who needs our help against overwhelming odds the better. Or someone with lots of money that’s also smart enough to know Pippa’s not really a princess. 

P.S. She’s currently being played by Natalie Dormer. Don’t sue me Natalie, this is a great honor for you. 

When you put the story first. Creating Abraxas.

I am playing a few online games at the moment. It is not uncommon for me to look up talent or ship builds. Y’all know what I am talking about, right? Yah you do, you delightful nerds. I don’t do that as often when building pen and paper characters. When it was time to roll up a toon for the Reign of Winter campaign, I didn’t scour the internet for THE best first level toon. I had a basic idea revolving around a winter druid. Lucky for me the arctic druid archetype existed. I will be honest with you, I immediately thought about rolling an Aasimar. They pack some sweet racial traits. What druid wouldn’t like a nice Wisdom and Charisma boost? He looked pretty good by the time I finished up. Then I got to thinking about a Mowgli character. Raised by wolves prior to finding the path of the druid. A few days passed, and I still liked the idea. The week progressed, and I kept on musing about a feral background. Story first, math second. Says it right on our website. So, I scrapped the Aasimar druid build and wrote a decent character background. I chose feats and skills based on wilderness survival instead of boosting my AC or damage. When the time comes to increase an ability score at level 4, I am leaving my Wisdom as is. I have never done that with any prior character; ability increase equals primary stat boost. I am excited to see how far Abraxas can go and see his story unfold. I am really excited to see how his interactions with his companions affect his growth. Maybe he will pick up a bit of gunsmithing or learn to how to pick a few pockets. Only time and the story will tell.

“The week progressed, and I kept on musing about a feral background. Story first, math second. Says it right on our website.”

Odessa Grenadé – Level 1

Odessa Grenadé

Odessa was raised mostly by her doting father in Absalom where her father was a world renowned blacksmith. Growing up she lived a pretty charmed life. It wasn’t until she hit her teens that things went sideways. A sudden tragedy caused Odessa to flee her home and leave her old life behind. From there she made her way to a brothel where she worked for quite some time before leaving to find her own way in the world.

Odessa is first and foremost very blunt, followed closely by her fearless nature. Those combined, she often gets herself into trouble. Due to a gun misfire as a small child Odessa is Deaf in her left ear, as a result she was given a magical teddy bear named Jim as a service animal. With her cotton candy pink hair and her adorable companion it may be hard to take her seriously, but you’d be foolish not to.

Player: Kay O’Connor
Actor: Holland Roden
Alignment: Lawful Good 
Character Class: Gunslinger
Current Level: 1
Deity: Cayden Cailean
Homeland: Absalom
Race: Human

Size: Medium
Gender: Female
Age: 25
Birthday: Rova 7 4688 AR
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 135 lb
Hair: Ever changing
Eyes: Heterochromia iridum Blue (L) Green (R)
Skin: White

Character Sheet: 

Odessa Grenade – Level 1

Alignment Statement:

Charm them before you harm them.
When in doubt knock them out.
Ally blood spilled will get them killed.

Values:

Steel
Emotions and fragility should be left to those with nothing better to do. Such things do nothing but cause trouble and put people at risk.

Charm
A skill that doubles as both a defense and a weapon.

Mercy
Should be shown when circumstances call for it, but should be cast aside once the person in question has proved themselves unworthy of it.

Righteousness
This world is riddled with those who would do harm unto others. Those people should be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

 

Bonds:

  • Pipa seems to get into a lot of trouble, I need to watch her back at all times

  • Pipa’s heart is kind and true, I admire her drive to help others

  • Abraxas seems to struggle in almost any social situation, I will fix that somehow

  • Abraxas despite his struggle he is a an ally that I can rely on

Pippa Locksley – Level 1

Pippa Locksley

Pippa Locksley was born the youngest daughter of two innkeepers in Northern Taldor. She’s 35 years old and the “mom” friend. She isn’t overly fond of camping, but loves to travel. She’s a bit vain, very prideful and curious to a fault. She’s more of a con artist than a traditional thief –  she swindles the hell out of most nobles and rich folks she encounters. If there’s something she really wants though, she’ll find a way to get it!

More importantly, Pippa’s a bit of a do-gooder and often involves herself in trouble in the towns she and her companions visit out of a sense of frontier justice and a distrust that nobles will actually protect the people under their rule.

Player: Abbie Lammel
Actor: Natalie Dormer
Alignment: Chaotic Good 
Character Class: Rogue
Current Level: 1
Deity: Calista 
Homeland: Taldor
Race: Halfling

Size: Small
Gender: Female
Age: 35
Birthday: Oathday, Rova 22 4678 AR
Height: 2’8″
Weight: 73 lb
Hair: Blonde
Skin: White

Character Sheet: 

Pippa Locksley – Level 1

Alignment Statement:

Most laws exist to protect and enforce the status of those in power, and breaking them in the service of regular people or mine and my companions comfort (preferably both) is the right thing to do.

Values:

  1. Pippa protects her own above all others. From her informants to her landlady in her townhouse in the capital city to her butler to the guy who fences her “repatriated” artifacts she takes an interest in their lives and troubles.
  2. Pippa is prideful. She knows she’s worth about 10 of any mark or enemy she comes across.
  3. She believes in eye for an eye justice, and if someone has been wronged in her view she will extract exact punishment
  4. Sorcerers and wizards are Trouble, and should be given a wide berth. However, magic is wondrous and fascinating and strange.
  5. If she can’t do something smart, Pippa will do something right

Bonds:

  • Odessa proved herself a trustworthy ally and a good friend to me when she helped me out of a rough spot a few weeks ago. I want to prove myself and equally trustworthy friend to her as we continue to travel together.
  • I’m really, really, REALLY curious about Odessa’s “gun”. I want her to let me fire it. Just once.
  • Abraxas is a fascinating combination of ferocity and guilelessness that I find precious and worth protecting. I want to teach him about my world, but not let it touch him too much.
  • I want to learn as much about him and his homeland as possible. I have always been fascinated by the wild north, and have never met a druid – I must know everything!