Help Me, Internet!

As all of my readers should know by now, i am a gamer, especially in the sense of tabletop roleplaying games.  So, when i started reading early buzz about Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition, i really started to get excited, especially considering that the game practically invites players to create Transgender or even Genderqueer/Gender Fluid characters.  So when the new Player’s Handbook finally came out, i went out and bought it pretty quickly.  It was pretty much everything i was hoping it would be, fixing many of the things that were wrong with Fourth Edition, while simultaneously hearkening back to older editions and updating the setting for new socially-conscious attitudes emerging more and more from gamers.

That being said, my weekly gaming group is getting ready to start a Fifth Edition campaign this coming week, and in preparation i went on a bit of a character building binge, finishing out no less than seven first level characters.  As much fun as this process has been, it has left me with the unfortunate dilemma of now choosing which character to actually play in our campaign this week and going forward.  i’ve managed to narrow my choices down to two of the seven, but they are essentially two different builds of the same character, and i’m having a hell of a time deciding which one is the one i want to play.

So i’m turning to you, random internet denizens, to help me in this dilemma.  Any and all input is welcome!

(Also, i’ve intentionally left hir biological sex unstated, and i don’t even really know, or actually care, what it is myself…)

Build One: Sorcerer

Varisia Amastacia

Gender Fluid Half-Elf Sorcerer

+1 Strength

+3 Dexterity

+2 Constitution

+3 Intelligence

+1 Wisdom

+4 Charisma

AC 13

HP 8

Proficient Skills: Acrobatics, Arcana, Deception, Perception, Performance, Persuasion

Weapons: Hand Crossbow, Dagger

Armor: None

Cantrips: Fire Bolt, Mage Hand, Mending, Prestidigitation

1st Level Spells: Burning Hands, Chromatic Orb

Appearance: Varisia has striking crystalline blue eyes.  Ze keeps hir blonde hair close cropped in a style that could lend itself well to either male or female identity.  Ze is slender of build, and hir features are generally androgynous in appearance, and ze takes liberties with gender expression, shifting at will between male and female dress, mannerisms, and appearance.  Most people who see hir are simply unable to tell which gender ze is, and any who have enjoyed hir performances wonder about hir biological sex regardless of the gender ze is presenting at any given time, but only a few have been afforded the opportunity to find out for themselves, as ze rebuffs any explicit questions with righteous indignation.  Ze wears a bright green feather, a gift from one of the few fans who found out hir sex in person, in hir hair on a regular basis.

Background: Varisia Amastacia was born to a Human mother and Elvish father.  Shortly after hir birth, hir father was slain by an Orcish raiding party.  After his death, hir mother moved them to a human city, where Varisia spent most of hir formative years.  As a result, hir Elvish heritage took a backseat to hir Human upbringing, and Varisia grew up among hir Human peers raised with Human customs.  Despite this, Varisia was painfully aware that ze was different from hir fellow children.

Ze began to be bullied by a group of older children shortly after ze turned 5.  Slurs like “half-blood,” “traitor,” “pointy ears,” and “crossbreed” became a part of hir daily existence, and many days ze ran home in tears, only to find hirself not quite comforted by a mother who didn’t know entirely how to relate to her child.  The result of all of this was a lonely childhood in which Varisia felt fundamentally unmoored by hir sense of identity.  Ze didn’t fit in with the Human children, and there was no real Elvish community in their town either.  What few Elves ze did meet always seemed to look down their noses at hir.

As ze matured into adolescence, this feeling of being adrift only intensified, and ze began to realize that it wasn’t just hir race that was engulfed in a roiling mass of confusion.  Ze also had begun to feel more and more as if ze was somehow a combination of both genders at once.  It was a strange sensation for hir, even more alienating than hir racial dilemma.  It was almost as if ze had discovered hirself sliding back and forth along a continuum between male and female, sometimes wanting to be more like one than the other, but usually finding hirself somewhere in between the two.

It was also about this time that ze discovered hir latent magical abilities, learning to cast a few basic cantrips before discovering the elemental nature of the Wild Magic that coursed through hir veins.  Ze began “playing around,” mostly experimenting with Prestidigitation and Mage Hand, and occasionally casting Fire Bolt, though it scared hir a bit at first.  It was during one such experiment that ze was “discovered” by Grigg Goldshine, a gnomish entertainer and leader of Goldshine’s Gambolers, a traveling band of performers.  Goldshine took note of Varisia’s natural charisma, talent with Prestidigitation and Mage Hand, and also hir ability to cast more offensively-focused spells.  He offered hir a spot in his performing company.  Varisia, feeling no real connection to hir mother or anyone else ze knew at the time, gladly accepted and began traveling the realm with Goldshine’s Gambolers.

During hir time with the troupe, Varisia learned many valuable entertainment techniques, such as tumbling, costuming, and music, and ze improved hir craft with acting and stage performance as well.  Ze also found that, once ze got clear of the small town in which ze had grown up, people were a bit more accepting of hir mixed nature.  Some actually found it alluring, and ze eventually became an outrageously popular member of Goldshine’s Gambolers, as audiences found themselves drawn to the combination of hir natural charisma, hir talent with magic, and the alluring mystery of hir androgynous aesthetic.

After traveling with the Gambolers for a number of years, Varisia finally decided to strike out on hir own.  Goldshine was sorry to see hir go, but understood hir desire to truly spread hir wings as a solo act.  With his blessing and encouragement, ze began traveling from town to town by hirself, finding financial and artistic success everywhere ze went… and often not actually sleeping in the accommodations provided by many of the inns in which ze performed…

Varisia continued traveling like this until ze reached the town of Neverwinter, where a Dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker happened to attend one of hir shows.  Impressed by hir display, Rockseeker and his two brothers approached hir afterward and asked about hir offensive magic skills.  After a brief demonstration, Rockseeker offered hir the opportunity to work in a “more adventurous field, at least for a little while.”  He informed Varisia that he was seeking adventurous types to help in his efforts to reopen the mines in Wave Echo Cave, and that Varisia’s magical skills could be quite useful for the task at hand.  Varisia quickly agreed.  It seemed like just the sort of thing that would break up what had become the somewhat monotonous lifestyle of show business that ze had been engaged in (while still providing opportunities to continue the more amorous pursuits that had been involved).

Entertainer: You thrive in front of an audience.  You know how to entrance them, entertain them, and even inspire them.  Your poetics can stir the hearts of those who hear you, awakening grief or joy, laughter or anger.  Your music raises their spirits or captures their sorrow.  Your dance steps captivate; your humor cuts to the quick.  Whatever techniques you use, your art is your life.

Entertainer Routines: Instrumentalist, Actor, Magician

By Popular Demand: You can always find a place to perform, usually in an inn or tavern but possibly with a circus, at a theater, or even in a noble’s court.  At such a place, you receive free lodging and food of a modest or comfortable standard (depending on the quality of the establishment), as long as you perform each night.  In addition, your performance makes you something of a local figure.  When strangers recognize you in a town where you have performed, they typically take a liking to you.

Personality Traits: I’m a hopeless romantic, always searching for that “special someone.”  Nobody stays angry at me for long because of my inborn charisma.

Ideals: Freedom, equality and fairness, creativity…  The world is in need of new ideas and bold action.

Bonds: Nobody touches my staff!  I yearn to become a master of the elements.

Flaws: I’m a sucker for a pretty face, whether male, female, or otherwise.  I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden; my sharp tongue lands me in trouble.

Sorcerer Features

Sorcerous Origin: Wild Magic – Your innate magic comes from the wild forces of chaos that underlie the order of creation.  You might have endured exposeure to some form of raw magic, perhaps through a planar portal leading to Limbo, the Elemental Planes, or the mysterious Far Realm.  Perhaps you were blessed by a powerful fey creature or marked by a demon.  Or your magic could be a fluke of your birth, with no apparent cause or reason.  However it came to be, this chaotic magic churns within you, waiting for any outlet.

Wild Magic Surge: Starting when you choose this origin at 1st level, your spellcasting can unleash surges of untamed magic.  Immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher, the DM can have you roll a d20.  If you roll a 1, roll on the Wild Magic Surge table to create a random magical effect.

Tides of Chaos: Starting at 1st level, you can manipulate the forces of chance and chaos to gain advantage on one attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.  Once you do so, you must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.  Any time before you regain the use of this feature, the DM can have you roll on the Wild Magic Surge table immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher.  You then regain the use of this feature.

Build Two: Bard

Varisia Amastacia

Gender Fluid Half-Elf Bard

+1 Strength

+3 Dexterity

+2 Constitution

+3 Intelligence

+1 Wisdom

+4 Charisma

AC 16

HP 10

Proficient Skills: Acrobatics, Deception, History, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand

Weapons: Rapier, Dagger

Armor: Leather Armor

Cantrips: Prestidigitation, Vicious Mockery

1st Level Spells: Charm Person, Comprehend Languages, Dissonant Whispers, Illusory Script

Appearance: Varisia has striking crystalline blue eyes.  Ze keeps hir blonde hair close cropped in a style that could lend itself well to either male or female identity.  Ze is slender of build, and hir features are generally androgynous in appearance, and ze takes liberties with gender expression, shifting at will between male and female dress, mannerisms, and appearance.  Most people who see hir are simply unable to tell which gender ze is, and any who have enjoyed hir performances wonder about hir biological sex regardless of the gender ze is presenting at any given time, but only a few have been afforded the opportunity to find out for themselves, as ze rebuffs any explicit questions with righteous indignation.  Ze wears a bright green feather, a gift from one of the few fans who found out hir sex in person, in hir hair on a regular basis.

Background: Varisia Amastacia was born to a Human mother and Elvish father.  Shortly after hir birth, hir father was slain by an Orcish raiding party.  After his death, hir mother moved them to a human city, where Varisia spent most of hir formative years.  As a result, hir Elvish heritage took a backseat to hir Human upbringing, and Varisia grew up among hir Human peers raised with Human customs.  Despite this, Varisia was painfully aware that ze was different from hir fellow children.

Ze began to be bullied by a group of older children shortly after ze turned 5.  Slurs like “half-blood,” “traitor,” “pointy ears,” and “crossbreed” became a part of hir daily existence, and many days ze ran home in tears, only to find hirself not quite comforted by a mother who didn’t know entirely how to relate to her child.  The result of all of this was a lonely childhood in which Varisia felt fundamentally unmoored by hir sense of identity.  Ze didn’t fit in with the Human children, and there was no real Elvish community in their town either.  What few Elves ze did meet always seemed to look down their noses at hir.

As ze matured into adolescence, this feeling of being adrift only intensified, and ze began to realize that it wasn’t just hir race that was engulfed in a roiling mass of confusion.  Ze also had begun to feel more and more as if ze was somehow a combination of both genders at once.  It was a strange sensation for hir, even more alienating than hir racial dilemma.  It was almost as if ze had discovered hirself sliding back and forth along a continuum between male and female, sometimes wanting to be more like one than the other, but usually finding hirself somewhere in between the two.

During this time, hir only real outlet was hir musical ability with the horn, lute, viol, and flute, which ze practiced as much as possible.  Ze also spent a good deal of time training hir voice to be able to sing in registers both masculine and feminine.  It was during one such training session that ze was “discovered” by Grigg Goldshine, a gnomish entertainer and leader of Goldshine’s Gambolers, a traveling band of performers.  Goldshine took note of Varisia’s natural charisma, talent with music, and also hir lightness on hir feet (which he could train into an acrobatic fighting style to help defend the troupe when necessary).  He offered hir a spot in his performing company.  Varisia, feeling no real connection to hir mother or anyone else ze knew at the time, gladly accepted and began traveling the realm with Goldshine’s Gambolers.

During hir time with the troupe, Varisia learned many valuable entertainment techniques, such as tumbling, costuming, and acting, and ze improved hir craft with music as well.  Ze also found that, once ze got clear of the small town in which ze had grown up, people were a bit more accepting of hir mixed nature.  Some actually found it alluring, and ze eventually became an outrageously popular member of Goldshine’s Gambolers, as audiences found themselves drawn to the combination of hir natural charisma, hir talent with magic, and the alluring mystery of hir androgynous aesthetic.

After traveling with the Gambolers for a number of years, Varisia finally decided to strike out on hir own.  Goldshine was sorry to see hir go, but understood hir desire to truly spread hir wings as a solo act.  With his blessing and encouragement, ze began traveling from town to town by hirself, finding financial and artistic success everywhere ze went… and often not actually sleeping in the accommodations provided by many of the inns in which ze performed…

Varisia continued traveling like this until ze reached the town of Neverwinter, where a Dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker happened to attend one of hir shows.  Impressed by hir display, Rockseeker and his two brothers approached hir afterward and asked about hir fighting skills.  After a brief demonstration, both of hir combat abilities and the more magical aspects of hir musical skills, Rockseeker offered hir the opportunity to work in a “more adventurous field, at least for a little while.”  He informed Varisia that he was seeking adventurous types to help in his efforts to reopen the mines in Wave Echo Cave, and that Varisia’s magical skills could be quite useful for the task at hand.  Varisia quickly agreed.  It seemed like just the sort of thing that would break up what had become the somewhat monotonous lifestyle of show business that ze had been engaged in (while still providing opportunities to continue the more amorous pursuits that had been involved).

Entertainer: You thrive in front of an audience.  You know how to entrance them, entertain them, and even inspire them.  Your poetics can stir the hearts of those who hear you, awakening grief or joy, laughter or anger.  Your music raises their spirits or captures their sorrow.  Your dance steps captivate; your humor cuts to the quick.  Whatever techniques you use, your art is your life.

Entertainer Routines: Instrumentalist, Singer, Storyteller

By Popular Demand: You can always find a place to perform, usually in an inn or tavern but possibly with a circus, at a theater, or even in a noble’s court.  At such a place, you receive free lodging and food of a modest or comfortable standard (depending on the quality of the establishment), as long as you perform each night.  In addition, your performance makes you something of a local figure.  When strangers recognize you in a town where you have performed, they typically take a liking to you.

Personality Traits: I’m a hopeless romantic, always searching for that “special someone.”  Nobody stays angry at me for long because of my inborn charisma.

Ideals: Freedom, equality and fairness, creativity…  The world is in need of new ideas and bold action.

Bonds: My instruments are my most treasured possessions, and each one reminds me of someone I have loved.

Flaws: I’m a sucker for a pretty face, whether male, female, or otherwise.  I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden; my sharp tongue lands me in trouble.

Bard Features

Spellcasting: You have learned to untangle and reshape the fabric of reality in harmony with your wishes and music.  Your spells are part of your vast repertoire, magic that you can tune to different situations.

Bardic Inspiration: You can inspire others through stirring words or music.  To do so, you use a bonus action on your turn to choose one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you.  That creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d6.

Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw it makes.  The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Bardic Inspiration die, but must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails.  Once the Bardic Inspiration die is rolled, it is lost.  A creature can have only one Bardic Inspiration die at a time.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once).  You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Your Bardic Inspiration die changes when you reach certain levels in this class.  The die becomes a d8 at 5th level, a d10 at 10th level, and a d12 at 15th level.

 

Sorcerer Build Pros

More cantrips that can be used without burning spell slots.

The Elemental flavor really appeals to me, especially Chromatic Orb, which allows element selection.

The Wild Magic Surge table is absolutely awesome.  Basically, you roll percent dice on this massive table of side effects, that range from harmful to helpful to just plain funny.

Bard Build Pros

Higher AC and HP totals.

More skills.

Vicious Mockery and Dissonant Whispers look like really fun spells to play with.

Entertainer background fits a little better…?

 

i’m really at an impasse here.  As stated above, any and all input is more than welcome!

This entry was posted in Fiction, Gaming, Gender, LGBT, Nerdy, Personality, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s