With 4th Edition of D&D just around the corner, the whole debate about what’s going to be “in” and what’s “out” of the system has sparked in me a renewed interest – and liking – for the current Edition.

There’s a lot of noise on the ‘net among the role-playing community about the direction the developers are taking the system. The more I read – and so far, we’re just getting hints and clues about stuff which isn’t even finalized yet – the more I think 4E D&D is going to be an over-engineered mess. But that’s a blogpost for another time, ok? :)

I’ve been putting together characters for D&D to remind myself just how flexible and well constructed the system is. A large part of it’s power comes from the freedom to multi-class. I hope one thing that changes in 4E is that what class restrictions exist in 3.5E (monks and paladins, mainly) are removed entirely from the rules. Stuff like that belong in the world guides, thankyouverymuch. It’s the GM’s right to allow (or disallow) funky class combos, not the rules. And we all know that mutli-class Paladins rock, right?

Anyhow. Here’s a handful of 2nd level iconics all suitable for insertion as NPCs or PCs in any game. I’ve thrown out the class restrictions (because it’s my game, dammit!) and generated using my house rules (reprinted below), but everything else is by the book.

  • All characters starts at 2nd level. Multi-classing is fine
  • Any class or race from the PHB. Check with the DM for other classes/races
  • Beginning stat array 10,12,13,14,15,16. Adjust for race
  • Sorcerers gain Eschew Materials as a free feat at 1st level. Elves are far more likely to be Sorcerers than be Wizards.
  • Wizards don’t get a Familiar at 1st level (but can gain one using a Feat slot at any time), but get a Wizard’s Staff that can be used to fire a bolt of magical force. It does damage and has a range equal to a Shortbow (1d6, 60’). Both ranged and melee attacks count as Magical, and it’s a Masterwork weapon (+1 to attack). Yep. Wizards are cool! :)
  • All characters start with 900gp to spend on equipment. Pooling resources is fine. The Standard Adventurer’s Kit from PHB II is recommended for all characters and costs 15gp (Backpack, belt pouch, bedroll, Flint & Steel, 50’ hemp rope, 2 sunrods, 10 days’ trail rations, waterskin)
  • Maximum Hit Points at 1st level, then Max HP-1 at 2nd level, modified by CON bonus. For example, a 2nd level Wizard with CON 12 will start with (4+3+1+1) 9hp.

Use ‘em as you see fit.


The Negotiator
Ector vander Huubin is the charming youngest son of a local nobleman. His skills with words have calmed several squabbles between merchants and politicos at court, so much so that he has been appointed one of the Justicars for the barony, despite his young age. He uses his Diplomacy and keen knowledge of Human nature (Favoured Enemy: Humans!) to cut through most situations, backing it only with force (and a handy retinue of guards) if necessary. Ector can hold his own in a fight or use magic to raise the alarm.

Human; sorcerer 1 / ranger 1
LN Medium humanoid ( human )
Init +1; Senses Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages Common

AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 13
hp 11 (2 HD)
Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +3

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee masterwork longsword +4 (1d8+2 /19-20 )
Ranged masterwork longbow +3 (1d8 /x3 )
Face 5 ft. Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +1; Grp +3
Known Sorcerer Spells (CL 1): 0th – arcane mark , detect magic , flare (DC 13) , open/close (DC 13) 1st – alarm , color spray (DC 14)

Abilities Str 15, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 16
SQ Favored Enemy (Humanoid (Human)) +2, Wild Empathy (Ex) +4 (+0 on Magical Beasts), Summon Familiar
Feats Armor Proficiency (Light), Martial Weapon Proficiency, Negotiator, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Skill Focus (Diplomacy), Track, Eschew Materials
Skills Appraise +2, Balance +1, Bluff +3, Climb +2, Concentration +4, Craft (Untrained) +2, Diplomacy +10, Disguise +3, Escape Artist +1, Forgery +2, Gather Information +3, Handle Animal +5, Heal +1, Hide +1, Intimidate +3, Jump +2, Knowledge (Arcana) +6, Knowledge (Local) +4, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Ride +5, Search +2, Sense Motive +3, Spot +1, Survival +6, Swim +2, Use Rope +1
Possessions arrows (20); masterwork longsword; masterwork studded leather; outfit (traveler’s); Masterwork Longbow

Game Notes: Ector’s +10 Diplomacy means he can turn any Hostile sentient creature to Unfriendly with a d20 roll of 10+, or Indiferent with a roll of 15+. Ector could then change an Indifferent result to Friendly with just a roll of 5 or more! This can end a lot of combats before they even begin. Kosil’s main tactic is to negotiate first and use Color Spray, Longbow or Longsword only as a last resort. As a Justicar, Ector uses Arcane Mark to brand criminals with their crimes. This mark will wear out after one month (as per the rules), by which time the criminal should be firmly behind bars.


Witch or Wise woman?
Cainnech was a changeling child, switched by the elves for a mortal babe in her crib. Her family handed her to the local nunnery where she learned about the gods in seclusion and (relative) peace. She developed a connection with the lords of nature (gained the Weather and Animal domains) before leaving the nunnery to study further. During her travels she has studied something of the arcane and developed a reputation as a local wandering Wise Woman.

Half-Elf; cleric 1 / wizard 1
NG Medium humanoid ( elf )
Init +1; Senses Low-light, Listen +4, Spot +4
Languages Common, Elven, Gnome, Dwarf

AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10; ,
hp 13 (2 HD)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +7

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee masterwork quarterstaff (two handed) +1 ((two handed) 1d6 )
Ranged masterwork sling +2 (1d4 )
Face 5 ft. Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +0; Grp +0
Animal Domain
Cleric (CL 1, 3/2+1): Domains: Weather, Animal. 0th – All, 1st – All
Wizard (CL 1, 3/2): 0th – All, 1st – Charm person, Magic weapon, Obscuring mist, Protection from Evil, Sleep

Abilities Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 15
SQ +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects., Elven Blood, Immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects., Spontaneous casting – Can spontaneously cast Cure spells, Summon Familiar, Turn Undead (Su) 5/day (turn level 1) (turn damage 2d6+3)
Feats Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Scribe Scroll, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Stealthy
Skills Appraise +2, Balance +1, Bluff +2, Concentration +6, Craft (Untrained) +2, Diplomacy +4, Disguise +2, Escape Artist +1, Forgery +2, Gather Information +4, Heal +3, Hide +3, Intimidate +2, Knowledge (History) +6, Knowledge (Nature) +7, Knowledge (Religion) +6, Listen +4, Move Silently +3, Ride +1, Search +3, Sense Motive +3, Spot +4, Survival +3, Use Rope +1,
Possessions bullets, sling (50); masterwork quarterstaff; outfit (traveler’s); Masterwork Sling ;

Game Notes: Cainnech is very much a traditional witch combining religious mysticism with arcane sigils and a knowledge of nature to aid her friends and confound her enemies. Her otherworldly half-elf nature marks her as different from the common man, and she’s a great alternative to having a Druid in the party.


Freed slave
Kosil was born in servitude and only recently released following the death of his evil Wizard master at the hands of a group of adventurers. With his impressive physique, shaven head and complete lack of understanding about money or possessions, most people mark Kosil as a big, stupid lunk – but only once! Kosil’s ex-master knew he was sharp, so never taught him how to wield weaponry for fear he might use them against him. In secret he was taught how to defend himself without weapons or armour by one of the oldest slaves, an ex-monk. Now free, Kosil has gained some familiarity with traditional tools of war, but still prefers to trust only his raw muscle.

Human; monk 1 / fighter 1
LN Medium humanoid ( human )
Init +2; Senses Listen +2, Spot +2
Languages Common, Draconic

AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12
hp 19 (2 HD)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +4

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Unarmed +5 (1d6+3)
Face 5 ft. Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +1; Grp +8

Abilities Str 16, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10
SQ AC Bonus (Ex), Fast Movement (Ex), Flurry of Blows (Ex)
Feats Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Cleave, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Power Attack, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Tower Shield Proficiency, Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike)
Skills Appraise +1, Balance +2, Climb +8, Concentration +1, Craft (Untrained) +1, Escape Artist +6, Forgery +1, Heal +2, Hide +6, Jump +8, Listen +2, Move Silently +6, Ride +2, Search +1, Sense Motive +2, Spot +2, Survival +2, Swim +5, Tumble +8, Use Rope +2,
Possessions None

Game Notes: Kosil’s biggest strength lies with his skill at Grapple. Despite his size, he is used to staying in the background, hence his lack of Intimidate skill and decent Hide and Move Silently ability. In combat, he’s excellent at taking lots of low-power foes apart, and can do lots of floor sweeping with Unarmed strikes and Cleave. At later levels, Great Cleave is a must for this guy!

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