Friday, June 17, 2016

BUILDING CHARACTER: The Many Faces of Reiko

Back in 2015, I attended A-Kon in Dallas. The convention, not the singer. While there are a lot of cool things there, like anime and overpriced merchandise, I spent almost all of my time in the gaming section playing Pathfinder. Now, Pathfinder isn't my favorite system, but it's the one I own the most books for, and it's the one that most people play at that convention.

Anyway, at the 2015 con I was given a pre-made character named Reiko. She was a ninja. I love ninjas. The adventure was simple--sneak into the sewers, find whatever villain was lurking there,and kill them. Acting as a lookout, I appointed myself as the party caboose. (Party Caboose? Great band name.) Reiko, I decided, was a silent and perceptive sharpshooter. I readied my shortbow and kept watch to make sure we weren't followed or flanked. We weren't--it was a con game,and that wasn't written in. The rest of the session doesn't really matter, especially since I ended up being put to sleep for the duration of the final encounter by a teammate (probably accidentally? I can't remember.). The point is, I made that quick decision to characterize her in a specific way. Silent. Careful. Perceptive.

Later on, I remade Reiko as a backup character in a 4th Edition D&D game. I started as a ninja, but then after a while I switched and built her as an Ardent. I think that was because I could get a higher Perception score that way, and the point of the character was to get the highest Perception I could without compromising the character.

In that same campaign, I ran a spin-off mini-campaign in a town somewhat isolated from our main adventures--Thaliost, for you Eberron buffs out there. As part of the setting, I added Reiko as an NPC since I knew I'd probably never get to play her otherwise. In this version, she was a Cyran Ardent and a survivor of the Day of Mourning.She had been just a few miles outside of her doomed homeland when the catastrophe struck. As an NPC, I gave her the GM fiat power to know things by looking into people's eyes--sort of like a traumatized Maz Kanata. As the plot went on, she ended up falling in love with one of the player characters, a notably spacey Kalashtar. Last we saw of her, she kissed the very confused sorcerer and went off to adventure on her own for a while.

Reiko is one of my favorite characters, and one of the two I have in my back pocket that have transcended games. I'll talk about my other cross-game character later. The core elements of Reiko, as I mentioned, are her perceptiveness, her caution, and her stealth. In the Eberron game, I reinterpreted stealth as soft-spoken and based that portrayal on Ally Sheedy's character from The Breakfast Club. I don't know how she'll show up next time, but I'm sure it'll be a good time.

(I recently rebuilt Reiko as a Pathfinder ninja to make her more in line with what I wanted her to be. For funsies, here's the stat block as I have it from a text file on my desktop. Not sure if I finished or not, this is from March of 2015.)

Lawful Neutral
STR 14
DEX 16
CON 12
INT 07
WIS 12
CHA 16

HP: 9
AC: 15
BAB: +0(+4)

Point-Blank Shot
Precise Shot
Acrobatics 1
Climb 1
Disable Device 1
Perception 1
Sleight of Hand 1
Stealth 1
Shortbow (+4/1d6+1)
Quiver (20)
Quiver (20)
Leather Armor
108 gp
Poison Use
Sneak Attack 1d6

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