Monday, September 9, 2013

30 Days of D&D Challenge Day 9: Favorite Character You Haven't Played

Day 8: Favorite Character You Have Played
Day 7: Favorite Edition
Day 6: Favorite Deity

When I was growing up I'd spent a lot of summers at my Aunt and Uncles house and a lot of time breaking in the Sega Genesis they picked up at a yard sale.  One of the games in the library was Phantasy Star III, Generations of Doom.  I've often hear it is the most hated of classic Phantasy Star games but I'm always been baffled as to why.  As a kid I loved it, playing the originally three today I still love it.  Nothing quite beats an opening where you the young prince has his bride to be stolen by a racist dragon.  The kidnapping mirrors history as you go on a quest to save her, find love and unravel the true story of your ancestors and lastly get married.  When you finally do, you play as your kids, and then their kids.  Generations of Doom.

I really liked the Sprite and artwork for Rhys, the name itself was peculiar as I'd never seen so many consonants in one place making that unique a sound.  I decided that my next character would be named Rhys, and with a clear image in my mind I was finally able to work in some imagery when introducing my character.  Rhys was a prince of a destroyed and forgotten kingdom, fat lot of good that did him.  He had no money to his name, no weapons, only fancy clothes and a ring that would open a secret door in his old castle room, the way he escaped a culling.  Rhys was a half-elf; the son of one of my favorite characters from a past edition and like his father before him he walked the path of the Paladin.  With the shiny and new ruleset though; Rhys was able to multiclass; I'm a little hazy on the rules at this time but I believe there was something that allowed him to multiclass as ONE other class without straying too far from the path and losing access to his Paladinhood forevermore.  Rhys was a sorcerous spellcaster, the first I had ever had the chance of playing and quite a bit of growing pains were added.  To add to the growing powers of this monstrosity Rhys was also a bearer of Spellfire, and it was the reason his kingdom was destroyed.
I hadn't experience this in past version but a few of the other players were convinced that Spellfire was the cheapest thing to ever walk the earth.  My only experience was in the above novel and I was more attracted to the hunted-on-the-run aspect than ultimate power.  Plus it allowed me additional Lay-on-Hands and I couldn't argue with that.  As for the Third Edition implementation it wasn't as incredible as you might think on a day to day basis.  You had to sacrifice your turn waiting for a spell to come, hope the spell was aimed at you, was not an area of effect, and that someone was even going to cast to begin with.  If this were AD&D, everyone announces their actions then SpeedFactor determines how filthy slow you are, then Spellfire would be as excellent as a prismatic spray.  Instead you had to choose between taking action, or waiting for something to happen.  When the DM chooses to metagame, yes even the DM, you can bet your bottom dollar you'll be seeing very few spells on the turns you do decide to be a Spell-sponge. 

Player gripes aside there were a few times where young and naive Rhys used his crazed and unexplained magical powers to save the day.  My favorite was a particularly righteous trap that involved a rope that was greased down a slope tricking people into falling down.  At the bottom of the barely scalable slope was a gelatinous cube that was slowly moving forward to gobble the party.  Hacking away bit by bit Rhys held it off while most of the party tried to ascend to safety.  When there was no more room to maneuver he blasted every last ounce of spellfire he had and created a hole big enough that he wouldn't be immediately swallowed! -He was eaten next turn-  Fortunately, his companions returned the favor and slew the wicked jello. 

Inside was a magical shield which Rhys had little use for as he intended on dual wielding; my as well try every last option available!  Of course, like spell-fire, two weapon fighting was painfully weakened in the edition change and Rhys remained the most mediocre character I have ever played.  His sorcery was only moderately helpful, his fighting prowess lagged behind the rest of the group, when he did act he had a terrible dilemma on whether to fight or wait/waste his turn.  Rhys is my favorite character I haven't played because he never got a chance to reach his full potential.  I'm not talking about the broken mechanical mess of rules I had assembled; I mean that Rhys never got a chance to be the guy being hunted down by people preying on his special magical talents.  He never got a chance to revisit the homeland and reclaim it from the occupying force.  Instead he faded into obscurity, the opposite of the lightning rod I intended him to be (in more ways than one).  He may get dusted off at some point in the future, should I ever step away from the screen and find a DM trusting/foolish enough to allow that mish-mashed mess of a character.

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