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Old 11-09-2019, 11:34 AM   #1
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

A character design challenge, with a twist!

Here are the constraints: take any standard RAW starting humanoid and advance using 10,000 XP, with the goal of maximizing the odds of survival in a solo, highly balanced adventure that includes a 1-2 significant challenges of the following types:

- Fights in which you must defeat the foe to succeed
- Violent confrontations you must survive, avoid or escape to succeed
- Traps that must be spotted and/or avoided
- Natural obstacles (cliffs, deep water, etc.) that must be passed
- Natural dangers (falling rocks, slippery log bridges, etc.) that must be survived and/or passed
- Travel through hostile landscape
- Puzzles that must be solved
- Social interactions that must be successfully managed

Of course the ideal design will be subjective, but consider that you will need the talents and stats to succeed at everything on the list above, assuming 3-5 die base challenges and competent foes.

No magic items other than a wizard's staff; no expensive mundane items that don't come straight off standard equipment lists (i.e., let's not bother with everyone assuming that all their gear is the most expensive fine weapons imaginable).

Go!
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:06 PM   #2
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

You can have it your way in any number of other threads; this one is posed as a 'magic item free zone'
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:07 AM   #3
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

My first shot at this:

"Picaro" - Human hero
ST 12 DX 15 IQ 11 (38 total, 2300 XP)

Talents (26 total; 7500 XP): Brawling (1), Carousing (1), Sword (2), Bow (2), Shield (1), Area Knowledge (1), Horsemanship (1), Literacy (1), Swimming (1), Alertness (2), Climbing (1), Missile Weapons III (3), Silent Movement (2), Toughness I (2), Shield Expertise (2), Locksmith (1), Physicker (2)

Broadsword (2d)
Small shield (2 pts. protection)
Long bow (1d+2; adjDX 18, 2 shots/turn)
Protection: -1 general; -3 with shield from front [-1 to hit from front]

200 unspent XP

________
Edit: Picaro at career's start:
ST 9 DX 12 IQ 11

Talents: Brawling (1), Carousing (1), Sword (2), Bow (2), Shield (1), Alertness (2), Climbing (1), Locksmith (1)

Rapier (1d)
Small shield (1 pts. protection)
Short bow (1d-1)

Last edited by larsdangly; 11-14-2019 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:54 AM   #4
hcobb
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

Halfing Wizard
ST 6, DX 12, IQ 20, Mana 10
4 Alertness,
4 Charisma,
native Humanish,
1 Literacy,
innate Sorcerers' Tongue,
racial Thrown Weapons,
4 Two Weapons.
free 3-Hex Fire,
1 7-Hex Fire,
1 Control Gate,
1 Explosive Gem,
free Fire,
1 Flight,
1 Lock/Knock,
1 Meal,
1 Regeneration,
1 Reveal/Conceal,
1 Spellsniffer,
1 Staff,
1 Staff II,
1 Staff III,
1 Staff IV,
1 Staff V,
1 Stalwart,
1 Teleport,
1 Ward,
1 Word of Command -Surrender.
--
31 total memory points

Attributes: 38 (2500 XP)
Memory Points: 31/20 (5500 XP)
Mana: 10 (2000 XP)

Usually does a double parry with two magical weapons: 1-h Staff V(1d-1/1d+2) and Brand(1d-2) while delivering a 1d+2 occult zap at adjDX 15.

Starts with a pair of sticks and traveling clothes. Spends the rest of the starting $1k on $50 gems, and Aid spells at the Wizard's Guild to power up the 8d explosive gems.

Use cases:

Spots the impossible 5/IQ traps 94.6% of the time then flies or teleports past.

Spots all ambushes (slimes and slimy orcs) 95.37% of the time.

Resists control spells 95.37% of the time.

Makes untalented Woodsman survival rolls 95.37% of the time. (And has several spells to do all of this also.)

Finds his way through unfamiliar mountains and swamps 94.6% of the time.

Identifies strange mushrooms 77.85% of the time.

Gets +3 on reaction rolls and just walks out of prison (with the wishes for a safe journey by the guards) 77.85% of the time.

Only thing he can never do is go berserk, because that's a Hero class ability. The only Hero class ability.
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Last edited by hcobb; 11-10-2019 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:17 PM   #5
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

Did you double the XP costs of talents other than literacy and languages? I am not sure I can make the totals work out.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:41 PM   #6
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

His character somehow started at IQ 20 with 20 points in known talents and spells. And a $2,500 Wizard's Chest and "the rest of the starting $1k".
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:59 AM   #7
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

Pretty extreme, and perhaps stepping a toe over the line, but it isn't clear how to handle starting vs. final IQ in an exercise like this. So, the refs will allow it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:19 AM   #8
hcobb
 
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Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

Way to do it is to show the before and after photos of the starting character (to be judged on survivalist skills) and the after superhero.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:36 AM   #9
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

That's a good approach! I'll revise mine later to follow that suggestion. Incidentally, it will substantially change the hobbit (TM) above; they can't start with IQ above 14, and RAW is that if you still want to raise IQ to 20 you'll need to strip off 3000 XP of talents and spells.

It is possible for 'Picaro' to have started his career at IQ 11, though I'm undecided as to whether or not he would have. He is effectively a sort of fighter/thief, so the question is, did he start his life closer to a high-IQ thief (say, ST 9, DX 12, IQ 11) or closer to a fighter with an extra talent or two (say, ST 11, DX 12, IQ 9)? 'Max design' principles obviously argue for the former, but real play says the latter might have been the better way for him to spend his first few adventures. Characters with obvious deficits for their roles (e.g., a thief with DX below 13 or 14) look fine on paper but don't do well at the table.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:13 AM   #10
hcobb
 
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Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: The 'Indiana Jones' adventurer challenge

What challenges do you need percent successes for?

Sample starting character:

Goblin Wizard
ST 6, DX 11, IQ 15
1-h staff(1d-1/1d), Brand(1d-2)
Alertness, Goblinish, Humanish, Literacy, Two Weapons.
Pathfinder, Staff, Staff II, Staff III, Staff IV

$10 Club-Staff
$60 Brand
$35 Goblin sized robes
$150 Pathfinder necklace
$40 Backpack
$5 Belt pouch
$30 All-bronze Labyrinth kit
$10 Two days rations
$6 Two waterskins
$40 Two Molotail
$600 Four healing potions
$14 in silver coins
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Last edited by hcobb; 11-11-2019 at 11:42 AM.
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