M is for Miesha, Actual Succubus

Name: Miesha
Campaign: The Great Tower of Oldechi

Speaking of the Tower Campaign.

Miesha, Lao!ze, and Cid were contemporaries, joining the campaign at the same time and making it to the end. Miesha was sort of an opposite to Cid; while Cid was a fairly reasonable build reskinned dramatically to a ridiculous character everybody hated by design, Miesha was a fairly ridiculous build reskinned to a very specific end everybody “liked” by design. Instead of the dragonborn sorcerer/warlord her character sheet said she was, Miesha was a succubus. Her arcane striking all had a demonic bent, focused on increasing chaos, and she treated her martial leading as more enchantment than inspiration.

As a party member Miesha worked really, really well. A hybrid leader was exactly what the party needed to survive the end of the campaign, especially in the frequent cases where the party split up (or were split up, forcibly, by me). She came as a package deal with the party’s lich, and his eventual egress from the campaign and subsequent fate tied into her story. Her damage came half from Strength, which fit with the party’s unofficial theme of “hilarious, unexpected physical might” and half from Charisma, where she filled a hole we had after the party lost their bard.

The way in which she didn’t work with the party, and for the same reason the best part of her character, was her theme. Most of my campaigns up to that point were rated PG. In specific circumstances I might have gone PG-13 to drive home how terrible particular a villain was or for an especially amazing joke, but I stayed firmly in a family-friendly comfort zone. The characters in the Tower Campaign mostly fit with this, with a bit of cartoon villainy thrown in because my players seem to default to evil given the option. Miesha was very obviously not family-friendly. It wasn’t just that she was a succubus, it was how she played that to the hilt. There were no lurid descriptions at our public game-store sessions, of course, but there were enough knowing winks and innuendos to qualify us for our own TV Tropes page.

The thing is, the world didn’t end. Our group of adult tabletop gamers was more than capable of handing the occasional explicitness without collapsing under the weight of our iniquity. She didn’t make the campaign about seduction any more than Cid made it about fitting into tiny spaces, and she didn’t send any player into fits of embarrassed blubbering. Yes, it meant things weren’t as appropriate for the young folk who occasionally wandered by, but they weren’t really my target audience. My players were, and they were fine with it. Miesha is where I started figuring this out.

As with everybody at the end of the campaign, Miesha ascended to godhood. She didn’t go through many changes, partially because “sexy lady” is easier to sell to worshippers than “slime” and partially because her name wasn’t a pun.

A note: this character is a literal demon, but I didn’t reference our drinking game anywhere. That’s because this epic-level demon is not as good a campaign villain as several of my PCs. I say this not to diminish Miesha’s character, but because when I say “this ostensibly heroic character is a villain more than a hero”, I want you to understand my full meaning.

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