Monday, April 15, 2013

Gurkagh, Barbarian Shaman [RPG]

Gurkagh was a character I created as a teenager, and one I would like to return to someday.  A barbarian shaman, Gurkagh is full of superstition but reveres his ancestors and spirit guides, providing a very different take on what it means to be a cleric.  His personality and accent are a little over-the-top and goofy, which is very fun to role-play.

I have two different character sheets for him, the second indicating he must have appeared in a few sessions, but I only have one distinct memory of him in an actual game.  A friend and I were invited to join a gaming group that had just started up, and the DM had a reputation for being awesome.  So many people were there, it was hard to find space around a crowded table (there must have been 10 or more players).  Anyway, sometime during the session, a terrible flying bird-creature of some sort attacked, and no one could manage to hit it.  In frustration, Gurkagh through his war club at the creature and, with a natural 20, felled it to much glee at the table.  I think the campaign fell apart or something afterwards, as my friend and I never returned to that group, but at least Gurkagh got a moment in the spotlight.

Gurkagh, Barbarian Shaman (D&D 2nd ed. Player's Option Sheet)

Class: Shaman; Kit: Savage; Level: 2; Alignment: NG

Race: Human; Height 6'1; Weight: 220; Hair: Brown; Eyes: Brown

Distinguishing Features: Smelly, unkempt; Disadvantages: Phobia of Snakes (14) & Phobia of Undead (14)

Strength: 13 (13 stamina/13 muscle)
Dexterity: 9 (9 aim/9 balance)
Constitution: 17 (16 health/18 fitness)
Intelligence: 10 (12 reason/8 knowledge)
Wisdom: 14 (14 intuition/14 willpower)
Charisma: 12 (12 leadership/12 appearance)

Hit Points: 14

Base THACO: 20; Melee Adjustment: 18 (+1 choice, +1 class)

Armor Class: 4 (bone armor & shield)

Saving Throws:  Spells 15, RSW 14, PPD 10, P/P 13, BW 16

Weapons:  War Club THACO 18, d. 1d6+1;  Bow THACO 23, d. 1d4

Nonweapon Proficiencies:  Herbalism (7), Hunting (8), Fishing (7), Fire-building (9), Swimming (9), Survival: Forest (7), Tracking (8), Weather Knowledge (8)

Equipment: 5 days food, war club, stone knife, short bow, bone armor, medium hide shield, quiver, stone-tipped axe, large sack, holy talisman

Spell Point Total: 12; Maximum Spell Level: 1; Maximum # of Spells Per Level: 3; Int/Wis Bonus: 8

Spells Available (memorize 3):  Analyze Balance, Animal Friendship, Bless/Curse, Call Upon Faith, Calm Animals, Combine, Create/Destroy Water, Cure/Cause Light Wounds, Detect Evil/Good, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Firelight, Invisibility to Animals, Know Direction, Locate Animals or Plants, Log of Everburning, Obscurement, Pass without Trace, Purify/Putrify Food & Drink, Shillelagh, Strength of Stone, Wind Column


Name: Gurkagh
Race: Human
Class (Kit): Shaman (Savage)
Hair: Greasy Brown
Eyes: Brown
Age: 17
Occupation: Shaman's Apprentice
Father: Rolka (tribal shaman); Mother: Atko; Brother: Uteo (dead); Uncle: Shimo (dead)
Religious Affiliation: Ancestral & Animal Spirits


Gurkagh's father is the tribe's shaman.  Three years ago an outlander trader came to the village.  Gurkagh's elder brother was mesmerized by the trader's tales of adventure in the outlands.  Two weeks later, Uteo ran away from home.  He was gone for over two years before returning to the tribe.  Uteo had become a powerful warrior in the outlands, and told many tales of high adventure.  One night while Gurkagh and his brother were out hunting, Uteo brought forth a bottle of outlander wine.  Father always said "Outsider brew full of evil spirits & trouble," but Uteo convinced Gurkagh to share the wine anyway.  Gurkagh fell asleep while Uteo was supposed to have been keeping watch.

When Gurkagh awoke late the next morning, he was startled to see his brother was dead, with a python wrapped around his neck.  Gurkagh noticed his brother's dagger had not even been drawn.  His brother had died because he was careless.  To avoid the shame this would bring on Uteo, Gurkagh killed the snake and bloodied Uteo's dagger, placing it in his hand so it would appear a mighty battle had been fought.

When Gurkagh returned to the village, they were deeply saddened.  Gurkagh's mother has been in a state of mourning ever since, while his father has been forced to train him as the future shaman (Uteo was the eldest and supposed to be the next shaman), even though Gurkagh's father believes him to be lazy and absent-minded.  Many of the villagers blame Gurkagh for Uteo's death.

Six months later, Gurkagh was sent upriver to hunt a boar for the end-of-mourning feast.  Gurkagh killed the boar, but fell asleep on the raft while returning home.  He awoke in a land he had never seen before, and is afraid to return home because his father will be furious.

Gurkagh is curious and playful around others, but is deeply troubled and confused by his brother's death.  His first spirit-guide is his ancestor, Uncle Shimo, who was outcast from the tribe for cowardice.  Uncle Shimo usually gives sound advice, but occasionally his fear gets the better of him.

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