Sunday, January 1, 2023

#CharacterCreationChallenge - Rules Old School Essentials - Magarven the Mad (Drow, 9th level)

Since I have gone all in on Old School Essentials, I decided to start with a long-time AD&D character that I converted to OSE. His name is Magarven and he is a 9th-level Drow. I think I have uploaded an image of his stats, but I have adjusted them to be more in line with my current campaign. 

As you can see, I am using their character sheet rather than my old AD&D sheet. They have 4 flavors of sheets, ascending AC and descending AC, encumbrance by item, and so on. 

You can download the full PDF for Magarven here. This opens in a new window so you can read this post and the character's stats at the same time. 

Although Magarven is a Drow limited to 10th level, and this version is only 9th level, he is my campaign's Thanos-level threat. He is super smart but lacks matching wisdom. This leads him to believe he has god-like capabilities. And sometimes he does. This causes him a lot of problems. 

I have a strange campaign setting. The key thing you need to know is our world collapsed and the world of fantasy took over. Everything that has happened in our world is the campaign world's distant past. 

Magarven was an atypical Drow, he craves attention in the extreme. He has a massive ego and likes to feed it. He comes up with grandiose stunts and promotes himself heavily, such as the Polyandrion incident. He has written a couple of books and made a few famous discoveries such as the Tribe of Minwan and the House of the Folly. He wants people to believe that he is a great inventor, explorer, and thinker. And, he sort of is. 

He is currently under the sanction of Lolth for some of his past exploits. Before I detail the sanctions, let me tell you how he got her attention. 

Magarven climbed as high as he could adventuring before he decided the world was not big enough for his ego and everyone else's. Using his access to the Commune spell, he contrived a way to locate a ring of wishes and a Deck of Many Things. Using this one spell, he was able to manipulate the Deck so he received the Vizier card followed by the Moon card. He used a wish to reset the deck so he could do this several times. He was after information more than wishes, although the wishes helped. 

Manipulating such powerful forces drew Lolth's attention. She was curious as to how and why one of her supplicants used 4 wishes in a row. For a moment, she could not find him which was worrying. When she did locate him, he had already obtained his objective: The Demon Core.

Long ago, The Demon Core played a part in creating the world as it is now. The Earth of Old fell, in part due to the force of and like The Demon Core. 
One song says:

"They brought The Demon Core, blood hexes, and shells.
"We moved like eidolons hunting, as the skies erupted with hot brass and steel rain.
“Desperation rose within us, fanned by orisons, curses, and automatic fire.
"You tell them we stood.
"But fell before The Demon Core." 

Lolth knew that no mortal should possess such terrible power. Magarven had already plumbed The Demon Core's power and was going to give it to her. All 23 kilotons of nuclear death so he could rise to take her place. There was a brief conflict as Lolth brought all her powers against Magarven, even going so far as to invoke the Weavers of Fate to erase Magarven from existence. 

It was not enough. 

Magarven used all of his knowledge and his remaining wishes to bend reality and keep his fate and existence. He managed to reach an accord with Lolth. 

He would give up all of his naturally bestowed Drow abilities save his infravision, which was greatly weakened. He also gave up the ability to cast several spells like Darkness, Web, and Cause Wounds. All of this was offered to Lolth. 

She cursed him in several ways. First, his ring of wishes was fused to his left hand as punishment. Next, his Deck of Many Things was demagiked and it follows him like a bad penny. This prevents him from obtaining or using a second. Third, she greatly enhanced his drive for self-aggrandizement but also punished him by causing him to lose knowledge just at the moment when he should capitalize on it. There is a 5 in 6 chance of losing a level instead of going up a level. 

To the Fates, he surrendered his ability to wish or see one fulfilled. Not only can't he invoke a wish, but he also is not subject to any other beings' wishes, for good or bad. 

Interestingly, Magarven managed to retain The Demon Core but seemingly lacks the desire to use it. He is now driven to feed his ego rather than cause destruction or subjugate the people of the world or their gods. 

Magarven has a lot of magical equipment, but most of it feeds his vanity and ego. He likes to appear unencumbered, so has a Bag of Holding for all of his gear. Often, his armor and weapons are stuffed in the backpack-shaped Bag of Holding. His sword is named Defender's Boon. It is a +2 weapon which also improves his AC. If he strikes hard enough to kill, he can speak the word "Boon" and the target will fall asleep rather than die. He is not terribly bloodthirsty, but he will occasionally bump people off secretly. Boon allows him a bit of cover to do this. 

He has other quirky items such as two flasks that perform very much like a Bag of Holding for liquids. They hold 36 gallons of water and brandy. He has a Pearl of Wisdom that he doesn't quite trust. His armor is impressive, a suit of Mithril Chainmail and a ring of protection +2 plus the power of Defender's Boon. 

Another quirk is Magarven loves horses and often swaps his horse for a new one, often at a loss. Of late he has taken to research and writing. He even knows some fictional languages like Latin and Esperanto. He is never without a writing instrument and often feeds people for details and tales of distant lands. He considers direct payments disdainful. He is also a great collector of books. 

Magarven is a very interesting anti-villain. He is as dangerous as I need him to be. Physically, he doesn't put on airs, but he is no slouch. However, he doesn't like to fight fair or publically. He will mostly do people in by withholding knowledge or if that is not possible, use magic to wipe them out at a distance. 

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