Saturday, February 5, 2011

DM Advice - Playing Power Characters

Introducing my Half-Fiend Drow-Vampire Arch-Fiend of Asmodeus Azaranex Banerae. He's a level 28 Cleric of Asmodeus with an Ancient Green Dragon follower. Now before you say "That's super powerful!" I will preempt you by saying that you are absolutely correct. However, it is nothing compared to the Half-Fiend Werewolf Giant level 28 Barbarian that also played in the game game.

Gee, you're thinking that's great but what's the point? The point is that sometimes it's fun to play a Council of Wyrms game or an overpowered non-good game. I'm currently running several games all coherently in the same world that take place at the same time. Not all of the characters are on the same side either - one of the games are you already know - is filled with non-good characters. Some of them might be a bit overpowered but then that can be part of the whole fun of the game.

I mean sure it's fun to play a Rogue Half-Elf most of the time but sometimes you really just want to run amok and destroy your enemies. In the case of Father Banerae he and the aforementioned Giant (and a Mind Flayer Lich and some other super bad nasties) were in a game ran by a friend of mine years ago. We all played 'bad guys' and the good guys were the people at the mage tower who summoned us - woopsie. Anyway we brought all kinds of badness to that tower and in the end we left it smoldering and in ruins.

What did this accomplish? It was fun. It was  a good story and overall we really enjoyed played super powerful characters. After a few months we switched back to the other game where we were not so bad but in the time we spent playing the bad guy characters we all had a blast.

Whats my point? Well it's fun to play super bad characters sometimes. It can be very challenging to your players to get them to come up with the most nasty concepts they can come up with. It can be equally fun playing a Council of Dragons game. In a COD game you play dragons and the rest of the world is your food. The game is mostly about politics but every now and then you get to go terrorize the peasants (BURNIATE!)

So come on share your Half-Fiend, Drow-Vampire Arch-Cleric stories with me. What was your favorite overpowered character?

That sketch was done by Jason Engle back before he started working for WOTC and we all worked for Obsidian Studios.


  1. My brother had a Granbretanian Scientist from Hawkmoon's world called Heinrich von Fronkensteen in a science fantasy campaign I ran. And yes, he did have a particularly famous ancestor. Anyway, he spent the entire time lugging around an enormous black box with the aid of a grav belt; all of the other players wondered what was inside it that was so important. One day he got even madder than usual and opened it up, to reveal a construction-standard laser. He strapped it on with the aid of the grav belt and effectively turned himself into a walking (floating?) laser cannon. Unfortunately, this made him an easy target and a black dragon melted it with acid venom before he could use it. The look on his face as his precious toy was destroyed was priceless. So was his vengeance, though...


  2. Does this represent somebody like for instance in a movie who is the hero who dispatches the bad guys minions because he is too powerful until he squares up against the super bad guy and match off.

  3. @ Caliban - What a great story! It is sad about the dragon melting it though. :(

    @ AngryLurker - Yes that works but on a superman scale instead of say a batman scale.

  4. Now I want to make one...

    Here it goes:

    Strellan M'kanviir

    The King of Laeris, Master of Alicar, and Hunter of Draisel, this powerful mage is the master of the Hundred-hand cult, actually made up of several thousand members, all linked together.

    20th level mage

    Note: Each member is at least a 5th level mage, and they all add their levels to him whenever he casts a spell. Also, he knows all spells they have memorized.

  5. @ C'nor - That's a GREAT concept! Care to stat him out? I'd love to see his stat block in pathfinder or any other engine you care to use.

  6. Thanks! Here are his stats:

    INT: 17

    DEX: 9

    WIS: 14

    STR: 4

    CON: 4

    CHA: 13


    Molvranis's Icy Garb (Frostfur Robe, Iceshoes of Kaisa, Gloves of the Flame, Diamond Helm), which allows him to turn into an Ice Elemental (Variant of the Water Elemental, rather than a seperate type.)

  7. So, are the Banerae related to House Baenre?

  8. My most over-powered character was a 39th level paladin/divine champion type who had access to 60 dice ball lightning spells. When he smited, he did close to 400 points of damage. The character took 11 hours to create for a short epic campaign that I was wanting to run using the Epic Level Handbook. I never got to play the character as another gamer showed up with no character to play and thought he could whip up a 39th level character in 15 minutes when the other players took around the same time I did in creating such characters. Annoying.

  9. @C'nor - Yes (Woops just got this post)

    @Yong - WOW! 39th level! That's a powerful character. Yeah it is funny when someone thinks they can 'pull together a character quickly' after you have spent so much time on yours.