Sometimes, it is quite difficult to make that one concept you want for your character.
My group quite often ends up in the situation that the concept one of them have in mind for their character doesn’t quite fit the rules, and you can’t really make that character work with what Pathfinder offers as-is, sometimes even with supplements and third-party material. To give a recent example:
- A player wants to roll a tanky barbarian-like warrior focused on defending its group while wielding an axe and shield, but:
- Doesn’t like Rage mechanics,
- Wants to keep her character’s gear more savage-like, with heavy furs serving as the little clothing she’ll wear,
- Wants to be able to protect her group and tank effectively, while being able to deal good damage,
An almost-perfect match for this is the warder. The class is very tanky, has good defensive mechanics, is very closely-related in power level to the rest of the group, and works nicely with sword and board.
But the warder uses plate armor, and it doesn’t fit the “visual concept” the player wants for her character.
To solve that, I created the Berserker’s Battle Furs. It is basically the same as a Full Plate in terms of stats:
Type: Heavy Armor
Cost: 1,500 gp;
Weight: 50 lbs.
Armor Bonus: +9;
Max Dex Bonus: +1;
Armor Check Penalty: -6
Arcane Spell Failure Chance: 35%;
Speed: 20 ft./15 ft.
…But it looks like a heavy set of fur bracers, boots, loincloth and cloak, more or less like the reference image. I used a lore explanation to justify the price and the stats, saying that it is made from the treated pelts of dire beasts. My only problem would be to time to don, since this is obviously easier to put over your body than a full suit of armor, and even so this situation comes up so rarely that it wouldn’t be a big deal.
This solved the issue at hand, the player got quite happy, and now our group has a barbarian-but-not-really defending the group as a wall of flesh, fur, and awesomeness.
This got me wondering – is this a balanced approach for giving my players more diversity regarding character concepts? Or am I going to shoot myself in the foot, like I did so many other times in the past, by not seeing something coming?