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Rising to level 9 showed more growth as a powerful figure in developing strength in Tarn Tanleth as Lori gains Cartographer, Commander, Mentor, Peasant, and Rider. Gaining Peasant and Rider are honestly focused on horses; that is both horses linked to the horse lords of the Gotts and her fylgja, Horse. Gaining Commander, Mentor, and Cartographer are intended to widen her role in Tarn Tanleth to guiding and training forces or delineating new lands for the younger generation to gain holdings. She is placing herself as an intermediary between the older and younger generations, both precariously at risk and established as a keystone. I’ll get into that story a bit more deeply in a moment. She also grows Arcanist, Fighter, Lore Master, Peasant, Rider, and Scholar; all this growth is intended to make her a more imposing figure among other leading figures of Tarn Tanleth specifically and the Gotts generally. There is risk becoming more practiced in arcane magic, but strength comes from growing in Fighter, Rider, and Scholar. Unfortunately, she lacks a strong Manipulator or Persuader to hold more control in her own rights; she relies on a structure of hierarchy to gain ground and hold it by title, rather than will.
Taking level benefits of Companion, Pockets, It Could Be Worse, Friend of the Powerful, and Transformed (sneaking becomes refusing) requires a bit of description. Lori takes up a squire as a companion to support her efforts to gain power; it’s a potential for a spouse but not likely from my perspective. I do not have a romance in mind for her story; it is probably an admirer for some later romance after retirement as an adventurer. Pockets are simply great! I do not imagine how to consider the other option rather than Pockets. It Could Be Worse empowers Lori as a leader to support her forces when she has already given her all; this is a critical characterization for her growth as a leading figure. Friend of the Powerful places Lori in contact with Ulf, Lord of Tarn Tanleth, and possibly face-to-face with Otkell, warchief of the Gott Host. Having both as friends mark a high advancement as a leading figure; because I see this level benefit as a chance to connect Lori with leading figures of the younger generation among Gotts in Tarn Tanleth who seek lands of their own and adventures to make their renown. Lori becomes transformed, losing her sneaking descriptor, replaced by refusing descriptor. Considering the level benefits, Lori has grown to fit into her desired adventure of expanding the Gott kingdom of Otkell southward into new conquests. She has an aide-de-camp, she can rise from near-death to serve her retinue, she can draw friends together from diverging fringes of the Gott kingdom, and she can stand in battle or in barter against hard forces using her inner nature as a source of strength.
Just as a bit of sugar-coating, Lori gains a bump to Adventurous trait. It takes away from her halfling nature a bit, and this is a risky choice. I think of this as a chance to look at the gap between a build on-paper (so to speak), and playing from level 1 to level 9. I think she would arrive here with a higher Nature rating.
I see no reason to revise the Belief or Instinct; those are good for this build.
This is the dry description of the process:
- 15 points to open 3pt Cartographer, 3pt Commander, 3pt Mentor, 3pt Peasant, 3pt Rider
- 54 points to raise 15pt Arcanist 3x, 12pt Fighter 2x, 8pt Lore Master 2x, 8pt Peasant 2x, 8pt Rider 2x, 3pt Scholar 1x
- Take level benefits: Companion, Pockets, It Could Be Worse, Friend of the Powerful, Transformed (sneaking to refusing)
- Reduce Nature 1x to bump Adventurous +1
Descriptors: Refusing, Riddling, Merrymaking
Abilities: Nature 2, Will 5, Health 3, Circles 4, Resources 0
Skills: Cook 4, Criminal 3, Fighter 5, Hunter 4, Scout 2, Scavenger 3, Orator 3, Scholar 3, Arcanist 5, Lore Master 4, Cartographer 2, Commander 2, Mentor 2, Peasant 4, Rider 4
Wises: Needs a Little Salt-wise, Legend of Tanleth-wise
Traits: Hidden Depths 1, Proud 1, Adventurous 2, Wizard’s Sight 1
Level Benefits: Abstemious, Skirmisher, Plucky, Companion, Pockets, It Could Be Worse, Friend of the Powerful, Transformed (sneaking becomes refusing)
Fylgja: Horse (gains Proud)
Hometown: Tarn Tanleth (gains Hunter and Early Riser) [a remote village]
Social Graces: Orator
Specialty: Hunter (or Cook depending on choices of others)
Nature Responses: eat second breakfast (+1 Nature), stand and fight (nil), rather like adventure (swap Early Riser for Adventurous)
Circles Responses: has a friend (human stable master), has parents (keepers of a huldufolk library), has a mentor (halfling burglar), has no enemy
Inventory: Wineskin, Tinker’s Kit, Cloak, Satchel, Rations, Candles, Small Sacks
Belief: Eat, drink, and be merry; the honor and heritage of Tarn Tanleth shall never fall!
Instinct: Watch for good forage while traveling.
With that build, I feel Lori forged a destiny for herself; she has become a power broker and horse lord among the Gott Host with her own lands, horses, stables, and retinue of riders. Well, that’s what I see! I don’t know if others would be so convinced, but the available skills surely lean in that way. I do feel she could have left behind the path of arcane magic to take up more diplomatic skills for influence and commerce--that’s a bit of an odd choice on my part.
Also, having no spell slots, she must rely heavily on ad-hoc Arcanist Helper offerings, spell-like magical phenomena, and abundant scrolls. Overall, I dislike the spell slot mechanical structure or the memory palace mechanic of 2e. I deeply want an alternative method of placing constraints on arcane magic-users as well as increased empowerment of developing spell-like magical contributions from Arcanist tests without any formal spell mechanic. That’s all a project for some future time, and a complaint without much bearing in the current project of character builds.
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