Character Creations: Heroes of Creation

Recently, I have been playing a bard in Shimmertook’s campaign. The setting is a points of light world that is currently in the throes of a volcanic catastrophe that has left the predominantly human population shattered. There are some other interesting plot lines and backdrops, but for the most part the world has been offered up to the players to develop.

My bard in particular is from a unique village that reveres the old ways, those ways being arcane and divine powers. Much of the campaign setting focuses on the primal powers due to a retreat of the gods a long time ago. In addition, arcane magic is looked upon with skepticism and fear. Magical items are scarce or hidden away and heroes are hard to come by. All great fluff.

This did open the doors for the players to build more of the history and intertwine it with their character’s personal backgrounds. I have been a long time fan (as I am sure many nerds are) of Tolkien’s creation story in The Silmarillion. For those unfamiliar with it, there is a song at the start of creation; from that song the world is created. It is slightly more complex that that with some conflict and rebellion by future evil gods, but basically the world is created by this perfect and beautiful song that is limitless in its scope. So you know, great artists steal and all that.

What I really wanted was for the song of creation to be a part of my bard’s story, not just the back drop for the campaign’s history. Of course there is much that I can role play into the character, but I personally enjoy coming up with mechanics that enhance that experience. Mechanics that make these flavorful choices tangible in game play.

I got to thinking more about what this Song of Creation is all about. Certainly it encompasses more than just the idea of creation. It would be about all the things in that exist in this fantasy world. I liken it much to the descriptions of the Supernal language in 4e. This song is universal in that it is familiar and inherent to all living (and perhaps dead) creatures on the planet. I liked this idea so much that I asked Shimmertook if I could have Supernal as one of my known languages. Of course the DM’s guide discourages this, and I understand why.

Supernal is the language of the divine beings. The manuals even clarify that just learning the language does not empower a mortal being to speak it as if she were an immortal. That is fair, but at our table we are less concerned about such things. All the players are comfortable with each other and our DM knows that we are in this campaign to try some new (sometimes rule bending) ideas. So my human bard knows Supernal.

But I envision her really knowing Supernal and speaking the language of the gods as an immortal. In this world, bits and pieces of the Song of Creation have been slowly uncovered by luck or fate or divine providence. Slowly mankind has pieced this song together. Certainly no one knows the entire song, until my bard gets to epic that is! Anyway you get where I am going with this. There is a goal and a story here that I want to develop and I want my bard’s abilities to reflect that. So I drafted this feat:

Words of Creation
Prerequisite: 11th level, know Supernal
Benefit: If you wish it, when you speak Supernal listeners who don’t speak Supernal can understand your words as if you used their native language. When making a charisma based skill check or ability check while speaking Supernal you gain a +2 feat bonus to that check.

Pretty straight forward and admittedly cool (for charisma-ie types). After crafting this feat I thought more about “words” that were already in the game. Mainly for my own bard, but potentially for other types who would perhaps sing in combat. I could go down interesting paths for many a class, but I stuck with some of the first leaders as they all were designed with the “word” class healing powers.

My thought was to simply build upon that already incorporated design, these leaders who cry out inspiring and healing and majestic words in combat. I feel most all the feats are true to the roles, and in particular the class they are affiliated with. All of these feats are paragon and higher as I felt like the context of the Words of Creation was something that more powerful and wizened characters would be drawn to (let alone have the resources and intellect to be within reach). Let me know what you think:

Familiar Chorus
Prerequisite: 11th level, Bard, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you use your Majestic Word power, you may slide each ally in the burst 1 square.

War Chanter
Prerequisite: 11th level, Warlord, Words of Creation
Benefit: Any ally that you target with your Inspiring Word gains a +2 power bonus to its next attack roll before the end of your next turn.

Hymn of Succor
Prerequisite: 11th level, Cleric, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you use your Healing Word power, each ally in the burst gains temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Song of Creation
Prerequisite: 21st level, Bard, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you target an ally with your Majestic Word power, that ally may move her speed as a free action.

Song of Suffering
Prerequisite: 21st level, Warlord, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you target an ally with your Inspiring Word power, that ally may take a basic attack as a free action.

Song of Forgiveness
Prerequisite: 21st level, Cleric, Words of Creation
Benefit: When you use your Healing Word power, each ally in the burst may make a saving throw with a bonus equal to your Charisma modifier.


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