Thursday, May 14, 2009


GenCon 2002: A bunch of friends sit down to play some D&D. We make up some hasty, 9th-level characters and then play. I don't remember who DMed—maybe Steve Schubert? I only remember some of the players. But I have the character, because for some reason I entered it into the character storage CGI script I wrote for my old website. Inspired by the T-shirt distributed with the announcement of 3rd Edition, I decided to make a half-orc barbarian/sorcerer. Because the shirt said I could.

Thuk II was a chaotic good half-orc barbarian 3/sorcerer 6. Str 16, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 16. He had 54 hp, AC 21, Fort +7, Ref +4, and Will +6. He wielded a +2 greataxe, wore a +2 mithral shirt, +2 ring of protection, +2 amulet of natural armor, and +2 cloak of Charisma. Raging (once per day) gave him Str 20, Con 18, Will +8, AC 19. His skills were Intimidate +9, Listen +6, and Concentration +8, and he had Weapon Focus (greataxe), Power Attack, Blind-Fight, and Combat Casting as feats. His personality I summed up in a quotation: "Thuk smash!"

His spells per day: 6 level 0, 7 level 1, 6 level 2, and 4 level 3. He knew (1st level) true strike, shocking grasp, burning hands, magic missile; (2nd level) blur, bull's strength; and (3rd level) haste.

Thuk I, who died early in the adventure, was a barbarian 2/sorcerer 7. I changed the distribution of levels so that I could get a second attack each round.

That's perhaps the weirdest irony—I wanted Thuk to be a melee guy who ran up and smashed monsters, enhancing his ability to do so with his sorcerer spells. That's why I chose the spells I did. But the system encouraged me to give him more sorcerer levels than barbarian levels, because I got more bang out of those bucks (more spells). Even in his revised form, Thuk was not a particularly strong character. I was fighting upstream to get a high Charisma (my save DCs started at 13), and my Strength was lower than it would have been as a straight barbarian. 

Now, I've been thinking for a long time, and particularly since we were intently working on Player's Handbook 2, that a half-orc barbarian/sorcerer in 4th Edition would be pretty awesome. So the other night, for kicks, I revisited Thuk.

The new Thuk is a good half-orc barbarian 9 with the Arcane Prodigy (sorcerer multiclass) feat. Str 18, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 18. He has 75 hp, AC 23, Fort 22, Ref 20, and Will 20. He wields a +2 berserker greataxe, wears +2 bloodcut hide armor, and a +2 amulet of health. His trained skills are Athletics +13, Intimidate +15, and Perception +9, and he has Weapon Focus (axes), Power Attack, Arcane Prodigy, Novice Power, and Acolyte Power as feats. His personality can still be summed up as "Thuk smash!"

Here's his powers: (at-will) howling strike, pressing strike, (encounter) furious assault, roar of triumph, vault the fallen, flame spiral, curtain of steel, (daily) rage strike, macetail's rage, vengeful storm rage, white tiger rage, (utility) combat sprint, swift escape. His weapon attacks are +12 and deal a base 1d12+6, while his sorcerer attack is +8, with a +4 damage bonus.

When he hits 10th level, he'll take Adept Power and swap out one of his barbarian rages for a sorcerer daily. 

He doesn't have as much overt magic going on, but there's a lot more happening in his barbarian powers than just his basic attacks. His one sorcerer attack (flame spiral) is a close burst, so I don't need to worry about opportunity attacks—I just burninate the guys next to me. No Charisma penalty means my ability scores are better (even without the cloak of Charisma), and the barbarian has some good uses for that high Charisma score as well. 

This is a character I might actually like to play...


Zombee said...

Looks interesting and I like the background. Any chance of posting a character creator summary for ease of reference?

P.s. Glad I found your blog.

Ryven Astrology said...

I find the barbarian to be a particularly tasty multiclass, though I wouldn't want to play one straight-up. The barbarian multiclass (and a few others) fits very well with the personality of a character, not just the class.

I'm currently running a swordmage mult. barbarian who's just a swordmage with a short fuse, fast feet and a lot of bravado. Also running a Starlock mult. Bard to get some talky powers that represent his ability to read the stars and convey that information to others. No instruments or singing. Good stuff.

The Sorcerer MC is still a little strange to me. I don't feel as much like an arcane conduit as a guy with a couple of weird quirks, at least until Paragon. M'eh. Can't win 'em all.

Donny_the_DM said...

Best part is, you swap the primary for the secondary class, and you have a completely different flavored character.

Thank you guys for finally fixing multiclass!!!!!!