Stat It: D20 Testament

Hey everyone. I’m still on a hiatus. The next few weeks will be a bit bumpy, so no big sessions will come for a while. That said, I am working on finishing the Fate session and the Flower For Mara session, as well as possibly sequels to RPGs like Kancolle or Titan World.

Given how it’s Easter, I decided to look at Testament, a D20 RPG set during biblical times. That said, it doesn’t highlight the New Testament where Jesus comes in, but rather the Old Testament, where there had been several centuries of conflict and strife.

Honest to God, I thought this was a joke RPG. However, the RPG takes itself very seriously and goes into a lot of depth with the history of the world and the conflicts between nations like Egypt and Israel. It allows for interesting stories to come up, such as taking part in a time where Egypt is faced with several plagues or the last few days before the Flood.

I’m not gonna play a session of this. Instead, I’m gonna create a character for future play. I call this segment: Stat It. The system Testament runs on should be no surprise to anyone: D20. It’ll be interesting to create a character in a D20 game that isn’t D&D or Pathfinder.

For inspiration, I tend to look at the options I have and see what character to make from that. Looking at the classes, I figured a Magus of the Starry Host prestiging into a Royal Astrologer would work. Because the Magus is a Babylonian Class, naturally my character’s a Babylonian. A lot of the action is set in Israel, but the time where the Babylonians get involved is when the people of Judah, once a proud nation, is reduced to nothing more than an impoverished nation with its denizens being slaves.

For stat generation, I’ll go with the Heroic system, since this is a pretty high-powered game revolving around mythical beings and God playing a huge role. For those who don’t know, basically Heroic is rolling 2d6 and adding 6. This leads into a more balanced stat generation, since the lowest you can go is 8.

{And the results are…}

9, 10, 8, 9, 9, 11

… Wow, crappiest rolls ever. Let’s see how I’d fare with Classic, which is 3d6.

9, 10, 11, 13, 12, 13

Slightly better… But I say we should also try the regular 4d6 Drop Lowest and see what the final results are.

9, 10, 9, 15, 15, 9

Now this is something workable. Granted, that’s three low stats, but not that bad. I’ll do one more option. 2d6 plus 6 plus the highest of the two dice. See how crazy we can get.

13, 21, 17, 17, 9, 20

Oooooookay, when I was asking for a strong character, I don’t mean super broken. I’ll go with the third option and balance everything else with point buy, with the points being 25. Final results are:

9, 14, 14, 15, 15, 12

Perfect! I’m not sure if Testament is following the human traits, but I’m gonna go with it anyways and make my human have a 17 in Intelligence.

Next, I am going to pick out a flaw. The flaws in this game are less mechanic-wise and more narrative-wise. Appropriate given the game involves a bit of faith and piety. I can see my character totally freak out over seeing something in the stars, so Superstitious is perfect for him. It could also set up a few plot hooks, as he might visit a few people who believe in God.

Next, we go to class. First off, we start with the Magus and try to hit all the requirements for Astrologer. So first off, we have the alignment of Neutral Good. Next, we take the feat of Skill Focus (Scry). The next step is getting the skills and spells requirements, which means levelling up my character a bit. I’d say around level 6. And so the skills I put my points in are:

  • Intuit Direction
  • Knowledge (Agriculture)
  • Knowledge (Arcana)
  • Knowledge (Astrology)
  • Knowledge (Engineering)
  • Knowledge (History)
  • Knowledge (Local)
  • Knowledge (Religion)
  • Scry

In short, my character is gonna be more of a know-it-all kind of character. His starting health so far will be 36 (6d4 + 12 from the Con Modifier) and his starting age will be 22. Next will be his Feats. On top of his skill focus, he also gains Astrologer, which nets a bonus to two of his skills, Astrology and Intuit Direction, and Tamkarum, which essentially means I’m a merchant who has a license to trade. The last requirement is that he has to be appointed as a Royal Astrologer in a noble’s court. That will be easy. We shall generate the Backstory using Mythic’s own Backstory Generator.

[Q: How many back-story events will happen? A: 2]

[First Event: New PC Character/Abuse Punish]

[Second Event: New PC Thread/Imitate Prison]

Alright, so the back-story I’m thinking up right now is that my character, Zerubabel, was a pretty popular astrologer. Sure, he had a whack-job life of telling the future, but at least he was accurate. He was given a Judahite slave who he treated with respect, more like an employer to his employee than an actual slave master.

This, however, didn’t sit well with some of his neighbours and they kidnapped the slave and beat him up to near death. Zerubabel didn’t like this and he went for revenge. He was blessed by a morning star for exactly what he wished, so long as he’d return the favour in the matter of a year. What he gained was the ability to throw fire from his hands. His enemies were burned alive and the Judahite friend took him into his community where he lived for a month.

However, he told the Judahite about his deal and many felt sorry for him. Unbeknownst to Zerubabel, he had made a pact with a devil. However, through religious faiths, Zerubabel manages to become redeemed. He returned to his place and was appointed the Royal Astrologer after he was able to discern a message in the stars. That message was that ‘we do not forgive, we do not forget’. A warning from a future threat.

He wondered where that came from… And then a monster came to him: A Sin Dragonborn. He tells Zerubabel that this was a message from the person he obtained his fire magic from and tells him that it’s time to fulfill his end of the bargain. In the end, Zerubabel is trapped in an illusionary prison known as debt.

And that’s the premise of Zerubabel’s adventures. I’ll also stat out his Sin Dragonborn partner. Already, I have an idea in mind for his Flaw. Dragons tend to be greedy, so Covetous will work. We already have a good line of stats for the Sin Dragonborn to have. For class, I’m considering Paladin/Blackguard, putting the Lawful back in Lawful Evil. His skills are:

  • Climb
  • Concentration
  • Hide
  • Knowledge (Religion)

I’m basing his powers somewhat off the 3.5 Depiction of Dragonborn seen in Races of the Dragon. Loosely, anyways. Along the way, I’ve made a bit of some modifications to his Wisdom that will be justified in the back-story. Case in point, he had low wisdom, so I doubled it so that he can be able to cast some spells.

Speaking of spells, he has some feats that in the form of Master of the Field and Battlefield Scourge, which allow him to take out huge chunks of an army. Hey, we’re in the Old Testament, there’s bound to be huge army-on-army wars. Also, he has Combat Casting, which, even if he doesn’t have a lot of spells compared to Zerubabel, will prove efficient when fighting starts and he needs to cast.

His requirement for Blackguard is that he has to meet an Evil Outsider. Easier done than said. Backstory Generator.

[How Many Events? A: 1]

[Event: New PC Character. Struggle Riches]

Like all Dragons, Draconiel loved his treasure and hoarded it among all else. Back then, he was just a lowly dragon. Then a Pit Fiend showed up and challenged Draconiel to a duel with a lesser Devil. If Draconiel won, he keeps his gold. If Draconiel lost, he must pledge an oath of eternal service to Tiamat while paying her with his hoard. Draconiel fought long and hard to keep his hoard, but in the end, he wound up losing to the Pit Fiend. However, his loss was not all negative.

Tiamat blessed Draconiel with the gift of being a Dragonborn, to walk among the humans as a humanoid representation of what he used to be. Grateful for Tiamat’s gift, Draconiel’s first order of business is to collect the dept made by Zerubabel, in which he was given Red Dragon powers in trade for a favour by Tiamat.

So, already we have a pretty whacked up story here. Both heroes are press ganged into fighting for Tiamat, with one being unaware of who he’s working for. My major concern for this is that for a game set during religious times, I found myself on the side of the villains. On one hand, I feel uncomfortable as I think this reinforces the negative connotations to D&D. On the other hand, this can set up a very interesting campaign. I say I’ll wrap it up here and put all the threads and NPCs I have made into my Mythic GME SWF file.

Starting Threads:

  • Fulfill Tiamat’s Deal
  • Back Away From Tiamat’s Deal (I put it in to give a sense of rebellion… I felt like it would make more sense that way)

Starting NPCs:

  • Zechariah (The Judahite slave that Zerubabel owned)
  • Tiamat
  • Xanadu (The Pit Fiend)

And with that, I end Stat It. I have to say, I’m interested in doing this now. Bon Voyage, gamers!

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