Wednesday, February 19, 2014

D&D Profile: John Freeman

It's entirely common to base a D&D character on an existing character, whether your own creation of someone else's. It's a difficult thing to maintain, though, since inevitably you'll be faced with a problem: you'll either spend so much time thinking about what _____ would do/say in this situation that you'll miss the opportunity and never say anything, or you'll ditch the pretense and adjust the character to fit this new experience.

That, however, was not a big problem for Jack, whose character is based on John Freeman, brother of Gordon Freeman.

Being based on a strange character from bad fanfiction left John Freeman very open to interpretation.

The John Freeman of this campaign is an amnesiac, with a vague recollection of saving the world and a brother named Gordon. He awakened with strange magic powers, likely a result of radiation or something, and set off to use his powers for good. Or something.

As a sorcerer, John Freeman's focus tends to be in utility spells: invisibility, feather fall, comprehend languages, and basically anything but directly offensive spells, with the exception of Magic Missile. This is not due to a non-combative nature or anything. He's simply a very out-of-the-box thinker, with a very fresh approach to magic. He's also rather reckless.

That said, while John Freeman often spends much of a given battle standing in a safe place, shooting into the melee ineffectively with his crossbow, his keen insight has at times saved the party in unique ways, often using the environment to his advantage. In that way, he does seem to take after his brother.

For instance, he once killed a harpy using the Feather Fall spell.

It was a mid-air battle, fought on the backs of dragons. John jumped onto a passing harpy and grabbed onto it. They proceeded to grapple with each other, causing the harpy to begin hurdling toward the ground. At the last moment, John Freeman cast Feather Fall on himself and wrenched free from the harpy, which immediately exploded into a bloody mess on the side of a mountain.

It's this sort of creativity that makes John Freeman a valuable member of the party, rather than the flashy fireballs and such that other sorcerers buy friendships with.

Freeman often plays devil's advocate with many decisions the party makes. If the party in general seems to trust someone, John questions their motives. If the party meets someone they don't like, John often argues in their favor. That said, while he occasionally proposes violent, even murderous solutions to the party's problems, it's usually just an exercise in exploring every option. In practice, John Freeman seems to value the lives of others.

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