Since we didn’t spend a whole lot of time on character development, and since we’re already beginning to see flashes of who Ava Fletcher, Marjie Tealeaf and Lorvyl Winters are becoming, I thought it’d be great to see just who these characters are. So, to incentivize character development, I’m offering XP rewards! And potentially, magic items!
Earning that sweet, sweet XP
First off, to keep things fair and non-competitive, any rewards earned by a single player will be given to each player equally. If you create fan art for 500 XP, the entire party gets 500 XP. If you create character poetry for 300 XP, the entire party gets 300 XP. However, that activity only generates XP once— if Sooyun creates fan art, and then someone else creates fan art, only Sooyun’s fan art nets 500 XP for the party.
Still, if you create anything at all, you receive an Inspiration Point, so it’s not like you won’t get stuff if someone’s already done an activity. For this activity only, I’m waiving the one Inspiration Point per character rule. So if you do 5 activities, you get 5 points of Inspiration. That’s 5 attempts to not fall into a spike trap!
If everybody does every activity, I will award the entire party a whopping 1,000 extra XP on top of everything they’ve already earned. So that should be a potential maximum of 2600 XP.
That’s a lot of XP.
Anyway, yeah. Great! So let’s get to it, and I’m looking forward to what everybody’s got in store.
Whoever does the most activities also get a magic item. If everybody does all the activities, you all get unique magic items! I’ve already picked them out for you, actually. In 5e, magic items are incredibly rare and therefore we won’t find a lot in this campaign. So here’s your chance to get one right off the bat!
When you write a 2-5 sentence character concept paragraph that explains in general terms who your character is, you get 100 XP or 1 Inspiration Point if someone’s already gotten the XP for your party.
Example: “Haurim the Godly is a dwarven cleric. He hates drow but he loves music. He also likes passing out flyers for his god, Moradin.”
When you write a brief, 1-5 sentence physical description of your character, including things like physical appearance, clothes, mannerisms, body language, etc., you net 100 XP or 1 Inspiration Point if someone’s already gotten the XP for your party.
Example: “Haurim the Godly has a long, white beard with olive skin. His right eye twitches when he smells drow. His nose also gets itchy whenever he thinks about how heathens refuse to worship Moradin. He always carries around a small dwarf miniature in stone, to remind him of a long-lost friend.”
When you write an actual character background of two paragraphs (or more, whatever you think is good), you get 500 XP or 2 Inspiration Points if someone’s already gotten the XP for your party.
Example: Born as a member of the noble caste in Mirabar, Haurim Stonehammer grew up with a special kind of haughtiness. He’d often call over peasants when he tired of standing, using them as an armrest; on really tiring days, he’d have them lie down so he could sit on them without touching the ground. He even had a favorite armrest— Pock Snodgrass, a hapless leatherworker who was short even for a dwarf, the perfect size for an armrest. Perhaps the peasants found this kind of behavior revolting, or even immoral. But they never questioned it. Until, of course, the drow.
On Haurim’s thirtieth nameday, while he was carousing in the forum as usual with a few decidedly unpleasant fellow Stonehammers, a massive crackling sound sudden struck through the air, and as the floor beneath his feat seemed to give way to a rapidly growing sinkhole, and as drow started swarming into the forum with arrows filling the air, Haurim couldn’t think of any other thing he’d rather do than run.
So run he did. Pushing aside screaming peasants, sometimes straight into the waiting arms of drow, Haurim made his way to the gates of Mirabar. But he never made it. In front of Mirabar was none other than Pock, Haurim’s hitherto favorite armrest. And behind him were a battalion of drow. Far from Haurim’s initial inklings of Pock, Pock had shown himself to be a valuable asset to the drow and a fantastic leader himself. While chafing under Haurim’s arms, Pock had plotted and planned, eventually making contact with Mirabar’s drow neighbors and giving them all the secrets of Mirabar. After all, Mirabar had done nothing for him. Certainly, the drow couldn’t be worse masters.
But worse they were. Drow didn’t use peasants for armrests; they used them for slaves. And nobles, whose fat and lazy bodies made poor laborers, were used as target practice. Pock found himself in the mines, and indeed Haurim never saw him again, though he never forgot him. As he waited for his time in the shooting range, listening to the cackles of an especially vicious drow only known as the Black Spider, Haurim could only think of how things might have been different. Certainly, he liked having armrests. But perhaps he’d have liked to be a better dwarf, instead.
In the darkness, Haurim began to pray. He hadn’t prayed before, though he certainly laughed at those who did, and he didn’t know who to even pray to. But as the stone walls seemed to close in on him in the burgeoning black, and as the day grew closer when the Black Spider would use him as a pincushion, he prayed harder and harder, and harder, and harder, until suddenly, a single name seemed to hit him like a boulder— Moradin.
And Moradin, it turned out, was merciful.
When the day came, Haurim stepped in front of the Black Spider with utter confidence. The dwarven god of forging and smithing would not let his child down— not one who had recognized his own brittleness, not one who had hammered out his impurities like the Smith himself. And as the Spider sneered and notched his arrow, Haurim spoke his last prayer loud and clear. “Moradin, I accept my fate. Save me if you wish. Let me die if else. But I want to save my brothers. Help me live, and I will follow you for the rest of my life.”
And as the arrow shot toward him, a stone wall erupted from the ground, enclosing Moradin in a stone chamber, that rose up and up and up until the cave opened and Haurim suddenly found himself in the blinding light of the surface. Moradin had saved him— but not his brothers. Instead, it looked like he had to do that himself.
Squinting his eyes at the hitherto mythical sun, he spotted a town in the distance, and started walking, the sneering face of the Black Spider seared into his memory. Surely there would be others who would help him save Pock and the rest of Mirabar. Surely the Smith would smile upon him. Whatever happened, he knew— he couldn’t be Haurim Stonehammer anymore, the hated and puerile noble. He had to be something else. He had to be Godly.
When you create fan art for your character, you get 500 XP, or 2 Inspiration Points if someone’s already gotten the XP for your party. This isn’t being judged on anything. If you draw a stick figure you’ll get 500 XP. Just, you know. At least give it hair.
When you create in-character stories, journal entries, memoirs, retrospectives, descriptions of events in-game, musings, prayers, poems, rituals, speeches or anything else written by and from the perspective of your character, you get 300 XP plus 100 additional XP for each additional type of media for your party, or 1 Inspiration Point plus an additional half point for each media.
When you create reasons for your character to be involved in the current storyline, you get 100 XP or 1 Inspiration Point.
Example: Haurim the Godly, being a cleric, is absolutely flabbergasted by Sister Garaele turning traitor, and will stop at nothing to take her in and give her a sound lecture on the virtues of being a loyal follower of a god.
When you write your relationships to other characters, you get 100 XP per relationship. i.e. if Ava writes her relationship with Lorvyl and Marjie, she gets 200 XP total.
If you can think of anything else not described here, we can wing it and give the party XP depending on what it is.
Let me know if you have any questions! :)