Sunday, September 8, 2013

D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 8 – Favorite Character I Have Played

Borrowed a lot of this from my other blog.  It was a post I did a long time ago.  But, it's relevant.
In the beginning...
Some time around 1985-86, my friend, his sister, and I decided to start a D&D campaign using the Expert Set.  I made a half-elf fighter named Tomos (in looking back through the various rulebooks I have, I can't recall where we got the rules for half-elves).

Though visually Tomos was initially based on the Marvel Comics character Longshot, he was an idealized version of myself. His stats were phenomenal (and honestly rolled), and I have never truly matched him in that area since (though I occasionally come close). By the end of that short campaign, he was 5th level. I'm pretty sure we fudged the XP rules, but whatever. He was the highest-level character I had ever had at the time.

First Upgrade
Jump forward to my Senior year (1987-88). The old friend has graduated and his family has moved away.  That year I reconnected with some friends who I met in 8th grade, but who had left and come back three years later (it should probably be noted we were all Air Force brats living on Kadena AFB, Okinawa). They played AD&D, and had middle-level characters. We decided to start a campaign together, and they wanted to use those characters. So, I dusted Tomos off, since he was the only one even close to their level, converted him from Expert D&D to AD&D, and went gallivanting around Oerth with Panthrus, human ranger, and Styol Ganthral, elven fighter/magic-user.

The very first Conan
book I ever read.
About this time I was deep in the throes of my budding love of Conan and Robert E. Howard. So, when I converted Tomos to AD&D, and his 18 Strength became 18/90 (the strongest a half-elf could be in AD&D), I naturally started thinking of him as Conan with blond hair and pointed ears. But, he also had a 17 Charisma, and since we were using Unearthed Arcana, his Comeliness came out to be 19. So, he was a VERY attractive and pretty Conan. That's when his personality took off in my mind. He soon became an amalgam of Conan and D'Artagnon.

That campaign got him up to 9th level, and I had much fun with his Vorpal bastard sword (treasure from his very first campaign), with which he was Double Specialized ( do the math). I had decided that Tomos had spent much of his amassed fortune on a ship, and was now a seasoned sailor and ship's captain. That worked well, since the adventure took place on an island, and it provided a neat way for the three characters to meet (they hired my ship).

Back from obscurity
I drew this in the early 90's.
Skip forward a few more years. I'm graduated and completely out of touch with all of my old friends from high school. But, I still have Tomos' character sheet. Somewhere around 1990-91, I'm in the Army at Ft. Bliss, TX, and I get the 2nd Edition books. Not having anyone to play with at the time, I proceeded to convert Tomos to 2E just for shits and giggles. Not much effort there, but I made some cool additions (remember fighter followers at 9th level?). I eventually found people to play with. But, sadly, I never played Tomos in that edition until much later, when my friend took me through a few sessions using him.  But he never finished, and eventually disappeared back into my imagination.

Cameo appearance
Jump forward again to the late 90's. I'm out of the Army, living in Salinas, CA. 3rd Edition comes out, and I jump in with both feet. Found a group through the FLGS, and started playing. After a while I get an idea. I convert Tomos to 3E, and run him in a short game that lasted all of one module. I'm not even sure he leveled beyond 9th. And it was the last time I ever saw him as a D&D character.

Tomos has stayed with me through the years, usually as a character I planned to write fiction about (I wrote one complete story on my first PC, but lost it in the course of several moves). I would also imagine him meeting famous characters from Forgotten Realms, like Drizzt Do'Urden, where he had ported to for 3E. Of all of my characters over the years, Tomos Elvenblood (he picked up that none-too-imaginative surname somewhere around 2E) has always been very special to me.

Will I ever play Tomos again?  Who knows?  Maybe...

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