13 May 2012

NPC Profiles: The D&D Animated Series: Eric the Cavalier

It is important to bear in mind that magical forces that brought the "gang" to Mystara, along with the extremely potent incantations of their "totem" items give the heroes their abilities. Class and level are assigned to make sense of saving throws, hit points, and so on, but in some ways, these guys just don't fit into the game as proper examples of their class. It's best to just treat them as unique creatures and not worry too much about tweaking them to adhere completely to the rules.

Eric the Cavalier

7th Lvl Cleric , Lawful
Str 16
Dex 12
Con 16
Int 13
Wis 15
Cha 12

AC -1
HP 48

Aside from his Platemail and the Griffon Shield, Eric carries the usual rations, supplies and gear for a cleric type adventurer, except a standard holy symbol. His totem item, the Griffon Shield, grants him all the abilities of a 7th level cleric, and also serves as a holy symbol of the Mystaran Immortals of law and goodness. Note that Eric also carries no proper weapon.

Although he is a cleric while trapped in Mystara, Eric's spellcasting ability is somewhat limited by the fact that he was not raised and trained in a Mystaran church, like most members of his class are. He has the normal allotment of spells per day, but until he gains more knowledge of the churches he represents, and can comprehend and accept that religion in the "D&D World" is quite different than, and completely unrelated to or influenced by or impacting on his real world religion (which, to serve the most players, I have intentionally left open, in the context of Eric's adventures in Mystara, it just really doesn't matter), his selection of spells is limited essentially to those that directly protect him and his friends, or those that heal damage, cure poison or "status effects" like blindness or deafness. A PC cleric that can get passed Eric's attitude problem and teach him more about religion and divine magic in Mystara will earn a strong friend and ally.

As mentioned just now, Eric's got one heck of an attitude problem. He's basically a well meaning, good guy, but he's pretty intensely insecure, especially with a "cool kid" like Hank around, not to mention two pretty independent and strong willed young women. He tends to act arrogant, sarcastic and egotistical, always fearful of opening himself up and perhaps revealing his nice, weal side.

Despite the persona he projects, Eric is a nice guy deep down, and cares deeply about his friends. He's been slow to accept the reality of the situation the gang has found themselves in, and wishes dearly to return home to a normal life. As time goes on and he finds himself more comfortable in the D&D world, he may start to care about the events of the world at large, but for now, he just wants to get him and his friends home and forget that that cursed roller coaster ever existed.

The Griffon Shield (Totem of the "Cavalier" (Cleric); Minor Artifact)

The Griffon Shield is a large steel shield, plated with a thin veneer of gold and emblazoned with the image of a white griffon's head upon a black circular field. The shield may be used offensively in melee, with a bash attack dealing 1d6 points of damage.

The Griffon shield is a Shield +2, adding a total bonus of -3 to the wielder's armor class. In addition, if the weilder chooses to use the shield two handed, he is considered to be under the effects of the (1st level magic user) spell Shield with the normal protections from missile fire granted by that spell. This power as it available at will, as long as the shield is grasped with both hands, effectively preventing any other action than movement.

Three times per day, the Griffon Shield may be commanded to project a Protection of Evil aura, with a 10 foot radius, but otherwise manifesting as the 1st level Cleric spell of the same name.

Lastly, once per day upon command, the Griffon Shield may be used to invoke a group shield spell effect, acting as the 1st level magic user spell, but granting its protection to all allies of the shield's wielder within a 10 foot radius.

When carried by a normal human or demi-human (0 level, no class), the Griffon Shield imparts the HP, Saving Throws, Spellcasting and Combat Abilities of a 7th level Cleric. This boon does not apply to classed characters.

Anyone stealing the Griffon Shield, or harming or killing Eric to possess it will instantly draw the enmity of his remaining companions (and the Dungeon Master, who will indirectly aid them in avenging their comrade) as well as the ire of Venger (who will be detailed in a separate post here soon). It's not apparent to the heroes, but Venger fears the totems, not necessarily their owners, as a threat to his and Tiamat's power. New owners, potentially much more aware of their world and more of a threat to Venger and his evil mistress, will only alarm him more.

Design Note: In the Advanced D&D, 1st edition, game, the cavalier is a subclass of the fighter, related to but neither as powerful or limited as the paladin. Since the heroes of the cartoon series are not high enough level to qualify for the "name level" subclasses, such as paladin. I chose to make Eric a cleric. This also remedies the fact that the gang has no actual cleric, giving them a little help in the healing department if they oppose a PC party, or join up with them to complete an adventure (which, by the nature of the gang's goals, would have to at least indirectly help them get home).

Also, I have a hunch that the lack of a proper cleric in the cartoon series, when the D&D and AD&D games both assume the presence of a cleric in any normal adventuring party, is probably due in some part to the "D&D Hysteria" created by some fringe religious groups at the time of the show's airing (the early to mid 1980s). As I hinted at in the note about Eric separating his real world religion from his D&D World cleric role, I find the idea of D&D supporting or leading to satanism or other crazy behavior, in otherwise stable and mentally healthy players, ridiculous. In this sense, I am bringing an iconic role in the traditional D&D adventuring party back to what was supposed to be the iconic D&D adventuring party.

Also, as noted in Eric's description, this article and my notes above are intended as role playing game material. I neither promote nor attempt to discredit any real world religion with my writing here.