I’ve started a new D&D 5th edition campaign and I wanted to go over what I decided to play. Even though its a character I already went over here (There, I called him Brox) he turned out different, personality-wise, than I expected. So, here he is, Djoser, the Dragonborn Javilineer!
I have an entire article that I wrote, one of my first, about this Character Concept, so I’m not going to spend a ton of time on what makes this character hum mechanically. He is a 3rd level Battlemaster, and will likely progress singularly with fighter until the end of the game (Monk has cropped up, as a Kensai, in my thoughts, but I am pretty sure I’m not gonna do it I’d need 5 points in Wisdom first). I’ve chosen the javelin as the weapon I am going to use fairly exclusively, and have taken three specific maneuvers to assist with using the javelin as a ranged control based weapon. I took Menacing Attack, Goading Attack, and Pushing Attack. Each of these enables me to continue launching javelins at range while also helping out the group.
We rolled stats, and I did pretty well. I didn’t end up too high, or to low as I see it.
16, 16, 14, 13, 10, 8
Being a Dragonborn, and a Fighter, and knowing that I was going to put my background as soldier, I put the hight stats, both 16’s, into Strength and Charisma, and then as a fighter who is likely going to get into the thick of things, 14 for Dexterity and 13 for Constitution. That left my lowest two scores for the mental stats: Intelligence and Wisdom. I readily hear of Intelligence as being a dump stat for fighters, and while I agree, I wanted to change it up and make him a little smarter than wiser.
This led me to build a character profile that went something like this:
Djoser is a large, powerful Dragonborn fighter. He’s a natural soldier and leader, owing to his draconic heritage both his physical prowess and his innate authority. He’s durable and quick, having participated in combat training that honed both skills. His natural authority and chummy demeanor both cover up his natural deficiencies both as a creative fighter and as one that is generally both dutiful and unwary. He is not foolish and has a fairly strong tactical thinker, withdrawing when overmatched and pressing the advantage when the enemy is poised to break, but he fails to see some of the more obvious ploys and stratagems that an enemy would employ. He is pleasant, cheerful and likable, but also prone to making bad decisions and acting on half information and assumptions as long as it matches his current notions and predilections.
From this very basic outline, I decided – for the first time ever – to roll all the random charts I could find and piece together whatever character those rolls resulted in.
Djoser is 6’10” tall and only 265lbs. He’s big, strong, but fairly light, as massive monster creatures go, I’ve seen wrestlers at 6’5″ and 216 or more. Easy enough to justify why he didn’t go physically into the melee, just a little bit on the small side.
His background is soldier, so that is where I started the random rolling, and this is what I got:
Trait: He is haunted by memories of war. well. This is an interesting turn of events. I was planning on a jovial and pleasant person, but this doesn’t exactly scream the life of the party
Ideal: Ideals aren’t worth killing or going to war over. Hm. This tracks with the above statement, but it does seem to be a strange mindset for a soldier. Probably a disillusioned veteran. Going to have to make him a touch older than I thought.
Bond: I’ll never forget the crushing defeat I suffered and the enemies that inflicted it on me. Oh. Oh my. This is starting to come together. His haunting is clearly based on some battle that was lost, where he was fighting for a reason he didn’t really understand or believe in.
Flaw: I made a terrible mistake that cost many lives and would do anything to keep it secret. Ok, dice. You’re making a tragic hero here, and you aren’t doing well at making and adventurer, but hell. This is a story.
So, here, we have a bit of Djosers background. He’s an officer in the military, he’s been appointed/promoted based on his skill at arms and how much respect he’s earned among the skirmishing corps by his commanding officer, a woman he respects deeply, promising to not let her down. He leads his troops well over a couple of battles, and bonds well with his newfound subordinates. Then, during a vital moment during a battle, where he is leading his unit around the flanks to hit the enemy by surprise, he misses it. the telltale signs of an ambush and his unit are hit unawares. He leads a valiant countercharge, but it is too much, and his unit routes, scatters and is pursued. Djoser alone makes it back to camp, while the rest of the army is still engaged in combat. He gathers his gear, horse, a potion of healing, tack and bridle and, fearing the disappointment and shame that he will bring to his commanding officer, he deserts. He spends the next few years wandering around, keeping tabs on who knows and doesn’t know him, staying one step in front of the military, who clearly want to execute him for desertion (he believes).
This is definitely not a character I would create. I make glorious and valorous heroes who revel n the fact that they are exactly that, heroes. A scarred and broken veteran who is disillusioned with fighting, death, and war, is very interesting, but it also is going to be a challenge for me to play, one which I embrace.
To put the final cap on his character, I’d been looking at both Dragonborn Feats: Dragonscales and Fearsome Roar (or whatever they are called) Both of these suddenly felt perfect. His Breath weapon being a damaging blast of energy would often put him at odds with his horrors of war, while a terrifying bellow fits his attitude much, much more. Dragonscales might allow me to shed the armor of the military, but it also gives him claws he can use instead of the weapons he has if he needs it.
Once that was done, I went through Xanathars and continued to roll on every chart and randomly generate every possible option that was given to me for background information. I’ve taken that information and built it into a further background (Randomly rolled information is bolded)
I was born in the Castle of Mathephoten, the 5th of a clutch of 10 to my mother, Aat, and Raemka, my father (the Campaign setting is distinctly Egyptian themed). We lived in a shack on the property, servants to the lords of the castle, who didn’t let us go hungry, but we were not well off, either. There was enough food to go around, but only just barely. I was a pleasant enough and happy enough child, who made many friends from all walks of life. However, all of that came crashing down early, as war came to my homeland. Young, and unable to truly make the decisions I should but strong and powerful enough to be wrangled into fighting, I joined up with a force that was fighting our enemy (yet to be determined) with a number of other survivors from the fall of the castle. I left behind my mother and father, my siblings, and my Lord, and marched to war at such a young age that fighting is all I really remember well. The rest, the happy times and my childhood, are all shimmering dreams of another world. now, all he has is his military family and his dedication to his fighting sisters and brothers.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this look into my new character, and I hope that, while its not a new character concept, it shows a little about how you can take the random tables and get something that, while its not what you may have initially created, is something that is exciting, fun, and challenging to play.
Until next time,