Adventures in Random Roleplay – Part 5 – The Whistling Woodsman of War


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Welcome back, my delightful dice wranglers. Welcome to Part 5 of ARR!. We have one of our six characters fully fleshed out now. Next up, we have our party’s Ranger, Warbler. Warbler, we’ve established, is a Warforged. Warforged were magical Constructs built to fight wars in place of humanoid soldiers. They tend to be composed of metal and wood and are highly durable. We also know that Warbler has made a name for themselves as an Entertainer. With these things in mind, let’s get this underway!

The Ranger Class: Magical or Non-Magical?

Now, as our randomly selected Class was Ranger, we have an option. In the Player’s Handbook, we have the primary version of Ranger that has several skills for hunting and tracking opponents through the woods, while being able to supplement their talents with magical ability. However, in the April 2015 edition of Unearthed Arcana (read more), developer Rodney Thompson posited an alternative to the spell-casting Ranger found in the PHB. This spell-less Ranger is the one that we’ll be using. Why? Well, we know that Warbler is a Construct and is a defender of the wild places; he doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of a character who extensively uses spells. This will make no real difference in our 1st Level Character Sheet, but as Warbler levels up, he’ll be receiving talents based on combat superiority and the ability to craft poultices to heal themselves and others. This gives Warbler the ability to aid in healing the party without having said ability be dependent on magic.

Time for Ability Scores!

Now, as for Warbler’s Ability Scores:

  • Warforged gains a +1 bonus to both their Strength and Constitution. This ensures that they are both tough and durable. This works out fairly well for Warbler. While Rangers typically focus on Dexterity and Wisdom, Warbler can choose to focus on Strength instead. This means, instead of focusing on using light, quick weapons or ranged weapons, Warbler will focus on melee weapons.
  • At 2nd Level, Warbler will probably take Two-Handed Fighting in order to maximize damage, but that’s to decide later. For now, we’ll give Warbler a 15 in Strength, to ensure that Warbler hits as often as possible. This rises to a 16 because of the Warforged bonus.
  • Wisdom will receive the 14 as it powers many of the less combat oriented abilities of the Ranger.
  • We’ll give Warbler a Constitution of 13, which becomes 14 because of the Warforged bonus. This means that Warbler will be just as durable as you’d expect of a magical being built for battle to be.
  • Our bottom three abilities are a bit further of a toss-up. We’ll assume that Warbler has a Charisma of 12. As an Entertainer, it would be quite odd if they weren’t at least moderately charming.
  • This leaves the 10 and 8, opposed to our Intelligence and Dexterity. We really don’t want our Ranger to get caught flat-footed in combat, so we’ll give Warbler the Dexterity of 10. This will be something for us to work on later as Warbler goes up in level.
  • Finally, Warbler has an Intelligence of 8. We can imagine that Warbler probably hasn’t been gifted with the best professional education, instead learning in the wilds, absorbing what they can from where they can.

Warbler’s Skills:

Now, as we follow the Player’s Handbook:

  • Warbler starts with 12 HP (a base of 10 + the Constitution bonus of +2).
  • Rangers have a 1d10 Hit Die, meaning every level after this, Warbler will either roll a 1d10 or gain 6 HP, depending on the table’s preferred rules.
  • Warbler has Proficiency with both light and medium armor, simple and martial weapons, and shields. This gives us a lot of room to choose Warbler’s weapons.
  • Warbler also has Proficiency in both Strength and Dexterity Savings Throws.
  • We know that as an Entertainer, Warbler has Proficiency in both Performance and Acrobatics.
  • We have eight skills in the PHB to choose three skills from. As a Ranger that entertains and mainly focuses on close combat, we’ll take Nature, Survival, and Insight. This lets Warbler survive in the wilderness quite well while accentuating his ability to read into what people may be thinking or feeling.

Warbler’s Equipment & Special Features:

Now, let’s pick out Warbler’s equipment, shall we?

  • Warbler gets the choice between scale mail and leather armor. The difference here will be whether or not Warbler wants more armor and less stealth, or less armor and more stealth. As we haven’t taken a Proficiency in Stealth yet, we’ll give Warbler scale mail. This coincides with the +1 AC bonus from being Warforged. Overall, this gives Warbler a respectable 15 AC.
  • Next, we have the choice between two short swords or two simple weapons for Warbler. Instead of taking the short swords, we’ll take a pair of handaxes. This is in-character for someone patrolling the woods, as well as giving us the flexibility of being able to throw them well in a pinch.
  • Now we have the choice between a dungeoneer’s pack or an explorer’s pack. Both come with rations, rope, torches, a mess kit, a backpack, and a waterskin. The big difference is whether we trade a bedroll for a crowbar, hammer, and pitons for climbing. As Warbler may not be one for normal sleeping habits, let’s take the dungeoneer’s pack, as it would be useful for climbing tall trees or other landmarks to get one’s bearings. Warbler also gets a longbow with 20 arrows.
  • While Warbler’s Dexterity dictates that they won’t be terribly effective at long range, flexibility is never a bad thing. Finally, we’ll randomly pick from the ten instruments in the PHB which one our Ranger carries. The ten-sided die says “pan pipes.”

Finally, we come to Warbler’s new Abilities.

  • Warbler has to choose a Favored Enemy. In their time roaming the wilderness, or perhaps as a Construct of war, Warbler has come to know one type of enemy particularly well. Warbler will gain Advantage to track these enemies with Wisdom (Survival), or Intelligence to learn/know about their enemy. Warbler also gains an extra language that his Favored Enemy speaks.
  • Warbler can pick from a small set of non-humanoid enemy types, or pick two humanoid enemy types (like goblins and bullywugs.) Warbler already knows Common and one other language of choice that we haven’t decided on yet.
  • For the Favored Enemy, knowing all that we do about Warbler’s history, let’s choose “Constructs.” This is a useful enemy type as many Constructs are immune to various types of magic types. It also ties into our story about Warbler’s history as a Warforged.
  • For Warbler’s secondary language, we’ll use the table in the back of the PHB, and a simple random roll. This leaves us with… Primordial. Not a bad option. This lets Warbler know the language of Elementals; a useful trait in someone who travels the wilderness. A second roll gives us Elvish. This is easily explained as perhaps Warbler passed through several Elf communities in the forests they travel.
  • Warbler’s second ability is Natural Explorer. This grants Warbler a whole list of useful abilities when traveling in their preferred type of wilderness for over an hour, as well as giving them double their proficiency bonus on all Wisdom or Intelligence rolls to do with their favored environment. For Warbler, we could set up a random number generator for all the types of environments. However, we’ll instead flip a coin between Grassland and Forest, as we know that Warbler’s story so far has been sort of based around birdsongs. Heads Grasslands, Tails Forests. Google coin toss says… Forests.

Warbler’s Story

So, now we can infer that Warbler, a Construct created for war, is lost in the wilderness on a permanent patrol. Over time, Warbler heard the songs of the birds and learned to sing along. Wandering the trails, Warbler passed through many settlements, coming to be known as much or more for their songs as for their ability to thrive in the wild places. Built a soldier, Warbler has great respect for the tales of heroic deeds and longs to be a hero himself. His pleasant countenance, cheerful disposition, and wonder lighten the mood in any room. However, Warbler has been a wanderer for far too long and has a nasty tendency to disappear into the woods right as his allies need him the most. But you can always find him diligently stalking the wild, an ax in either hand, clearing trails of both dead trees and poachers with equal ease.

That’s it for now, my friends. Come on back next week as we finish fleshing out our walking contradiction – Charity, the half-demon street urchin, who grew up deciding to become one with nature. So remember, until next week…

STAY RANDOM!


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Written by: Jason A. Clark

Writer, Salesman, Cartographer of The Weird Realms In My Head

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