John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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Celedras [gaming]

I've been working for a while now on making an elven archer to replace Theran, my warrior-mage, in jamesbarrett's D&D campaign. Basically, Theran's pretty much achieved everything he went out adventuring to do, and there's no real reason other than "he's a PC" for him to continue, so he's going to retire.

Thinking about who to replace Theran with, I originally came up with a monk, sort of a cross between Donnie Yen and Jeeves, called Whispering Dragon. WD was a neat character, but he's more of a concept than a long-term character for play, so I rooted around my "cast of unplayed archetypes" for something else and came up with Celedras, who I admit freely is pretty much a Legolas clone. I've had "elven archer" on my list of characters I'd like to play for years now ... I have a miniature that I painted for the role back in 1990 or so, although I've picked up more since then that might suit him better. I played Celedras as a Ranger/Rogue in Neverwinter Nights, which was enjoyable but the story -- particularly all the tromping around cities -- wasn't really suited to him. (I did love that "Elven Court Bow" however! Fthwap! Fthwap!)

The main thing that makes this Celedras different from the original idea is that, inspired by the MegaLegolas! of the Lord of the Rings films, I took levels of Thief-Acrobat (from Complete Adventurer) so he could do all those crazy "run up the troll's chain / surf down the stairs on a shield" type stunts. (Although to be fair, in the books Legolas takes down a fell beast [those pterodactyley things the ringwraiths fly around on] with a single shot on a moonless night -- so Peter Jackson's portrayal of Legolas as the hottest thing since Green Arrow isn't really such a stretch.) I've made something like four versions of Celedras now, trying to get him just right (man, I miss the HERO System!), and I think now I've finally got it.

The thing about building archers in D&D is that you would expect Ranger to be the right class for it, particularly with the choice of "weapon paths" they get. Not so! Fighters, piled on with Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Rapid Shot, Improved Critical, and Precise Shot are a lot scarier. But Rangers are a much more interesting class overall, so I went with that. I chose the two-weapon fighting path, using level feats for the archery abilities, on the grounds that in cramped dungeons, you need melee abilities to fall back on!

From here, he's poised to start taking levels in Order of the Bow Initiate (from Complete Warrior). He'll probably stick with OBI from pretty much here on; I want him to keep going in Ranger, but first he'd have to take more Rogue to avoid multiclass penalties and I don't really see him doing that. How the campaign progresses may change that, however. I do have in mind that at 12th level he'll raise his WIS to 14 and take either Improved Critical (Longbow) or Weapon Focus (Shortsword), depending on whether ranged or melee ends up being what he ends up doing more of.

Celedras
Wood Elf at from WarhammerNG Male High Elf Rog3/Rgr4/ThfAcr3: CR 10;
Medium Humanoid (Elf); HD 3d6+6 (Rogue), 4d8+8 (Ranger), 3d6+6 (Thief-Acrobat); hp 68;

Init +4; Spd 30;

AC:23 (Flatfooted:19 Touch:16);

Atk +11/6 base melee, +12/7 base ranged;
   +14/+9 (1d8+4+1d6, +1 flaming composite longbow (+3 Str Bonus)); OR
   +12/+7/+12 (1d8+4+1d6, +1 flaming composite longbow (+3 Str Bonus)) w/Rapid Shot; OR
   +10/+5/+10 (1d6+4+1d6, +1 frost short sword; 1d6+2, +1 ghost touch short sword);

SQ: Immunity: Sleep Effects (Ex), Low-light Vision (Ex), +2 Saves vs. Enchantment Spells and Effects; Evasion; Trapfinding; Trap Sense +1; Animal Companion (light warhorse); Track; Wild Empathy; Acrobatic Charge; Agile Fighting +1/+2; Defensive Roll; Fast Acrobatics; Kip Up; Slow Fall (20 ft.); Steady Stance

SA: Sneak Attack +2d6, Favored Enemy (Goblinoids or as recommended by DM)

SV Fort +8, Ref +14, Will +4;

STR 16*, DEX 18, CON 14, INT 14, WIS 13, CHA 9
*includes Gauntlets of Ogre Power

Skills: Balance +13, Climb +10, Craft (Bowmaking) +7, Disable Device +10, Handle Animal +4, Hide +13, Jump +14, Knowledge (Nature) +9, Knowledge (Religion) +4, Listen +10, Move Silently +14, Open Lock +11, Ride +10, Search +10, Spot +12, Survival +6, Tumble +15

Feats: Armor Proficiency: light, Endurance, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Track, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus: Longbow

Spells Prepared (Rgr --/1): 1st - Resist Energy

Possessions:
Weapons: Arrows (50) (3 gp); +1 Sword, short: Frost (8,310 gp); +1 Sword, short: Ghost Touch (8,310 gp); +1 Longbow, composite (+3 Str Bonus): Flaming (8,700 gp)
Armor: +2 Elven Chain (8,150 gp)
Goods: Coin: gp (1452) (1,452 gp); Thieves' tools, Masterwork (100 gp); Bowmaker`s tools (5 gp)
Magic: Wondrous: Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (2,000 gp); Wondrous: Boots of Elvenkind (2,500 gp); Wondrous: Cloak of Elvenkind (2,500 gp); Wondrous: Gauntlets of Ogre Power (4,000 gp); Wondrous: Quiver of Ehlonna (1,800 gp)

Evasion (Ex): If Celedras makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if Celedras is wearing light armor or no armor. Celedras does not gain the benefit of evasion if he is considered helpless.

Trap Sense (Ex): Celedras gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps.

Favored Enemy (Ex): Celedras gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against Goblinoid creatures. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.

Wild Empathy (Ex): Celedras can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. He rolls 1d20 and adds his ranger level and his Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result.

Fast Acrobatics (Ex): Celedras can avoid the normal penalties for accelerated movement while using his acrobatic talents. He ignores the normal -5 penalty when making a Balance check while moving at his full normal speed. He can climb half his speed as a move action without suffering a -5 penalty on his Climb check. Finally, he can tumble at his full speed without taking the normal -10 penalty on his Tumble check.

Kip Up (Ex): Celedras can stand up from a prone position as a free action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. This ability only works if Celedras wears light or no armor and carries no more than a light load.

Steady Stance (Ex): Celedras remains stable when others have difficulty standing. He is not considered flat-footed while balancing or climbing, and may add his Thief-Acrobat levels to Balance or Climb checks to remain balancing or climbing when taking damage.

Agile Fighting (Ex): Celedras gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC. When fighting defensively or using total defense, this bonus becomes +2. In addition, Celedras suffers no penalty to his AC or on his melee attack rolls when kneeling, sitting, or prone. This ability only works if the Celedras wears light or no armor and carries no more than a light load.

Slow Fall (Ex): If Celedras is within arm's reach of a wall he can use it to slow his descent in a fall. He takes damage as if such fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is.

Acrobatic Charge (Ex): Celedras can charge in situations where others cannot. He may charge over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or allies blocking his path. This ability enables him to charge across a cluttered battlefield, leap down from a ledge, or to swing across a chasm to get to his target. Depending on the circumstance, he may still need to make appropriate checks (such as Jump, Tumble, or Use Rope checks) to successfully move over the terrain.

Defensive Roll (Ex): Celedras can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than he otherwise would. Once per day, when he would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat, he can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, he must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, he takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, he takes full damage. He must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute his defensive roll -- if denied his Dexterity bonus to AC, he can't use this ability. Evasion does not apply to the defensive roll.

Animal Companion: Hyzenthlay
N Male Animal, Horse, War, Light: CR 1;
Large Animal; HD 3d8+9 (Animal); hp 22;
Init + 1; Spd 60;
AC 17;
Atk +4 base melee;
   +4/-1 (1d4+3, 2 Hoof; 1d3+1, Bite);
SQ: Scent (Ex), Low-light Vision (Ex);
SV Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +2;
STR 16, DEX 13, CON 17, INT 2, WIS 13, CHA 6
Skills: Jump +15, Listen +4, Spot +4
Feats: Endurance, Run
Armor: +1 Leather Barding (1,190 gp), Saddle, Pack

Background
Celedras was raised in Celene and is theoretically a member of its aristocracy, but for the past several decades he's hardly ever been there. In 569 CY Prince Thrommel of Furyondy put out the call for help in defeating the burgeoning Temple of Elemental Evil; Celedras responded immediately and served in a squad of elven scouts at the Battle of Emridy Meadows. This earned him an open invitation to both the Knights of Luna and the Knights of the High Forest, and he's tried time and again to take up either position, but something always seems to "get in the way." His visits to Celene in particular tend to be brief and tumultous; he fundamentally disagrees with their closed borders and refusal to aid their neighbors against the Pomarj and Iuz. He currently travels the world as he feels himself called, ready to join any effort to fight evil.

Personality
Celedras is passionate, but reserved; he has a calm and quiet demeanor that suits his role as a scout very well. He is a man of few words, but those words tend to be well-chosen and to the point, often with wry humor or a hint of sardonic sting. In many situations, he tends to simply blend in to the background, so when he does suddenly spring into action, his abilities can come as quite a surprise to anyone who doesn't know him.

Abilities
Celedras's primary ability is his prodigious bowmanship; he favors commando-style tactics, striking at close range from cover and then fading away quickly. If forced into melee, however, he is remarkably mobile, prone to throwing himself into the thick of the fray to protect weaker allies or support stronger ones.

In larger combats, he rides into battle on Hyzenthlay, his light warhorse animal companion (named after a particularly spirited horse belonging to another ranger he knew a decade ago). In such a situation, he will travel from "hot spot" to "hot spot" picking off what foes he can quickly. He tries to avoid putting Hyzenthlay into situations of extreme danger, however; against a large single foe (such as a dragon), Celedras will dismount and send Hyzenthlay as far out of reach of the battle as possible.

Phew!

-The Gneech
Tags: celedras, gaming
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