søndag den 18. oktober 2015

First level 20 character

I have a houserule. Players must always start from the beginning. This usually means that they have to start from level 1, but there are exceptions. If you choose a special race like an Aasimar or playing a half-dragon, then your effective level in D&D 3.5 is higher than 1st level. In D&D 5th edition I have also started to let players start at level 3, since the first two levels are pretty much just intro levels. This means that reaching the maximum level in my games is very difficult and time consuming. In AD&D there was even a limit to your level, so reaching max level was actually easier. To reach above max level in AD&D you had to multiclass. The first character to have reached level 20, which unofficially is the max level in D&D 3.5, was William the Teleporter. It is so long ago that I can't give you an exact date, only that it was nearly two decades ago. My earliest time recorded note dates back to 1997, but he was already a 19th level Lich by then.

The Player
The school I went to had private busses transporting us from our homes to the school. My own trip every morning and afternoon lasted about an hour, meaning that for 2 hours, 5 days per week, I spent in a private bus. Ofcourse I spent the trip with my siblings, but I also got to know people from the large school I went to. The school I went to had several classes per year, and the bus accommodated every class of every year. Ofcourse there were many busses to accommodate all the students, but the people who lived on my route and near my home were the ones I spent hours with each week. Those closest to my home were the ones I spent most time with since they got off the bus only 5-10 minutes before I did. This is how I met the player who created William the Teleporter and his younger brother.

The Party
I have a list that includes 33 characters played by 13 people, where 15 of the characters were dead when I last updated the list. This list included many of the characters that were part of the same game that William the Teleporter played in. I know my younger brother played in the party, but he has the record of played characters, so I don't remember which character was part of the original party. I know for sure that William the Teleporter had a younger brother called Luke, played by his younger brother. The two characters were both elves. William was a Cleric of War while Luke was a Beastmaster Ranger who hunted dragons, both from the elven city of Blueriver.

Low Level
I have decades of notes and the are hard to keep in chronological order. Still, I know that the first 8 levels that we played were quite peaceful. The brothers would help each other out in their own quests and sometimes have other players with them. Not much changed for the first 8 levels. William took more and more levels as a cleric, gaining access to more and more spells while Luke became a more and more competent dragon hunter, levelling his ranger.

When they reached level 8, everything changed. It wasn't planned, but one event changed the course of Williams future forever. Luke had tracked down a green dragon and embarked on a quest to slay it. William didn't assist his brother on this specific quest (the player was probably ill or out of town or something), which left Luke to hunt down the green dragon by himself. A single level 8 is not powerful enough to slay a dragon, especially one that knows you're coming. The green dragon lay a trap for the elf within an abandoned well in the forest. When Luke stepped into the trap, the green dragon easily killed the ranger.

Medium Level
Some time later, William returned to the game and wanted to know where his brother was. There was no sign of him, so he started to investigate. He eventually discovered the well in the forest and found his dead brother, slain by a green dragon. This tore the elf apart, and though he was already a cleric of war, he decided to become even more aggressive. He multiclassed into a wizard and started to learn everything he could about dragons, especially green dragons. He picked spells specifically to kill green dragons, and went on quests specifically to increase all of his magical potential. He gathered artifacts, magical items, and allies to fight his battles. On one of his quests, he found a magical staff that enabled him to cast teleportation at will. He recruited the aid of a red dragon, and at one point he defeated a powerful demon using his teleportation staff, which earned him the favor of an army of orcs, and his title as "the Teleporter", or Pi (since Pi looks like two t's put together). I don't remember at what level, but when he was powerful enough, he hunted down the green dragon and slew it in the name of his brother.

His journey for vengeance had brought him down such a dark road that he had slowly turned evil. His path also led him into obscure knowledge where he discovered many interesting secrets, including how to turn himself into a Lich. Throughout this time we also switched from AD&D to D&D 3rd edition. We changed William many times, converting him and playing around with his levels. All I am certain of, is that at level 15, he became a lich, turning completely chaotic evil.

High Level
The last 5 levels were played as one-on-one games where William sought out more and more power. His main game hook was following the will of Tempus, the God of War, his patron deity. He became the High Priest of Tempus. He found a way to turn his red dragon into a dracolich, and even captured a black dragon that he also turned into a dracolich. He built a massive temple and summoned an immense army of the dead. He became the most feared villain in my world, but all good things must come to an end. We eventually grew apart and slowly stopped playing, though he did reach level 20 (I actually think he reached level 21) before we stopped.

William's Future
William the Teleporter has played a dominant part of the history of my world. It is only in the last 2 Ages that nothing has been heard from him, and for good reason. At the end of the 3rd Age, I decided to remove William from the world because of another houserule I have. The DM doesn't play with PC characters. But I have a third houserule. The DM only kills PC characters out of game if they die of old age. William was an immortal undead and a PC. To avoid having other players hunt him down or wanting to meet him, or whatever, the two dracoliches devised a plot that fixed everything for me.

William's phylactery had become part of his Staff of Teleportation. He had incorporated the dracoliches' phylactery into the staff as well (along with many other things, enchantments, and spells). This meant that if the dracoliches killed William, then they couldn't destroy him without destroying themselves. However, they plotted and schemed until they had found a means to split the staff, rendering the phylacteries inert until the staff was assembled again. The dracoliches betrayed their master, killing him. It was only a matter of days before William would return to life and punish his dracoliches, but it was enough time for the two dragons to split the staff into three pieces.

The dracoliches didn't trust each other, so they split the staff into three pieces, one for each of them, and a third one for a third party to keep safe so that they couldn't betray one another. The two dracoliches delivered the third piece of William's staff to the Lords and Ladies of Daedaloth and then each took one piece to separate ends of the world. With the phylactery having been rendered inert, they would have to be careful not to be killed since they would fall into an endless sleep from which they could only be awakened if the staff was reassembled, and William brought back.

The two dracoliches still exist to this very day.

Next week (week 43 as they call it here in Denmark), I'll be writing about the D&D stories. We might start making a series for these kind of stories, so I'll create an overview and give a short summary of some of the D&D stories I have. If you have any stories or ideas on articles that we should write about, let us know on our Facebook page, or leave a comment.

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