Name: Icranouf Loroden
Campaign: The Eight Arms and the Deed of Taiyun Gao
Once of the reasons I have Sessions Zero for all my campaigns is to make sure the players are all on the same page regarding character design. The party deserves to know if they’re all planning on playing rogues and adjust accordingly so they don’t bungle into a campaign missing roles they all expected somebody else to fill. This does, however, require that one or more players are willing to change their character concept. Sometimes nobody is.
Icranouf Loroden was intended to be the party diplomat. He was a bard in a party with a rogue, a summoner, and a barbarian, so the party already had various flavors of diplomacy down pat. But Icranouf’s player really, really wanted to play J. Johan Jameson as a bard, so he stuck with it. He also wanted to be an archer, so there’s where his feats went. But we immediately realized he was the only person able to heal in battle, so we tried to convince him to put his spells toward that. It didn’t quite work.
Remember Egan, and how I said he didn’t deserve the death he got? Draw conclusions accordingly.
It didn’t help that the character didn’t quite work with the campaign. Icranouf was supposed to be nigh-obsessed with finding new and creative ways to do things, whether that was an interesting resolution to an armed conflict or an unknown method of raising the dead. He rarely considered whether his methods were successful, only that they were new, which may be part of the reason the campaign ended with the party goading an army of giants into squashing the armies of the countries they were hired to help. He was also supposed to be a wanderer in a campaign where the players were all local members of the same guild, and a proponent of peace who hired an assassin to kill a party member, captured the assassin, and tortured him to death.
After Icranouf I’ve tried very hard to make sure my characters meet their concept. If they don’t, I have to revise one or the other. D&D is one of those systems that really shouldn’t have much segregation between story and gameplay; the person you say you’re playing should be the person you’re playing. If you want to play a muderhobo, fine, but don’t pretend it’s part of your paladin quest.
Technically, Icranouf survived his quest and returned home victorious. I haven’t decided if he’s still part of the adventuring guild or if he’s split off to find his fortune elsewhere. I might even bring him back as an NPC if I thought anybody would recognize him.