Once again we return to Heroes on Demand, the tavern of all taverns where you can find ready-to-go adventurers no matter the locale or the local laws! As the 4th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons neared the end of its lifespan its publication schedule became graced by a series of ‘Heroes of’ books. These books looked beyond the Material Plane to the Shadowfell, the Feywild, and the Elemental Chaos to see what kind of adventurer these mirror planes could offer to players. They were often graced by strange new races, new classes that deviated from their parent class in some way, and new ways for old classes to go about their business.
Heroes of the Feywild included the pixie race, tiny fey creatures quick of wit, word, and wing. Heroes of the Elemental Chaos gave the monk class the Desert Wind tradition, where instead of Strength or Wisdom the monk would use his or her sheer Charisma, the force of his personality, to wreath their fists in fire. As it turns out, pixies have a lot of Charisma, and can easily match the Dexterity of any other race. And if a 6″-tall winged warrior with fists of fire is wrong, I don’t want to be right. May I introduce:
Game: Dungeons and Dragons (4th Edition)
Class: Monk (Player’s Handbook 3/Desert Wind Tradition from Heroes of the Elemental Chaos)
Class Abilities: Desert Wind, Monastic Tradition, Unarmed Combatant, Unarmored Defense
Racial Abilities: Fey Origin, Pixie Magic, Speak With Beasts, Wee Warrior
Languages: Common, Elven
Ability Scores: Str 8, Con 13, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 16
Defenses: AC 16, Fort 12, Ref 15, Will 14
Initiative: +4; Passive Insight: 12; Passive Perception: 17
HP: 25; Bloodied: 12; Surge Value: 6 ; Surges/Day: 8
At-Will Powers: Blistering Flourish, Five Storms, Desert Wind Flurry of Blows
Encounter Powers: Light the Fire, Pixie Dust, Shrink
Daily Powers: Risen Sun
Trained Skills: Acrobatics +9, Perception +7, Stealth +11, Thievery +9
Feat: Astral Fire (Player’s Handbook)
Equipment: Monk Unarmed Strike, Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing), Ki Focus, Adventurer’s Kit, 84 gold pieces
Background: The life of a pixie is often a chaotic, free-wheeling affair wherein any given individual does what they will on any given day. With such a cultural tendency towards the unfettered it is perhaps unsurprising that the pixies’ version of a rebel would go completely the other way.
Torchlight found the day-to-day life of his brethren directionless and wasteful and left the Feywild entirely in a quest to find some sort of structure for his life. Soon enough he found himself in a monastery, learning the way of quiet contemplation and calm wisdom. Or at least trying to. His natural tendencies towards chaos and trouble-making often vexed himself as often as it did his masters, but he gradually got a handle on the worst of it. The rest? Well, even the monks needed a laugh now and then. Besides, the force of a pixie’s personality made manifest in the movements of a trained monk was an impressive and fascinating affair.
Eventually, though, the masters deemed that Torchlight had learned everything he could within a single set of walls. It was time for him to travel once more, to put his skills and still-growing wisdom to the test. And hopefully not cause too much chaos along the way.
Designer Notes: A Monk’s psionic abilities are an expression of mind over matter, with the monk willing their blows to behave a certain way in an expression of their very soul. From this one can come to the conclusion that Torchlight likes fire. A lot. As it turns out fire is useful for settling all sorts of conflicts, especially when delivered by punch from a flying fey creature at high speeds. It does mean that anything that is resistant to fire is going to be a tougher target than usual for the pyromaniac little pixie, but as such creatures are usually made of fire themselves and Torchlight is resistant to fire in turn perhaps it all pans out.
Torchlight’s plan of attack is almost always going to be to keep getting bonus damage, whether it’s through Blistering Flourish or the auras from his encounter and daily power. As a monk he’s relatively squishy, so he’ll want to avoid getting bogged down with multiple opponents; he works best when he is staying agile and burning his way through the enemy force. The encounter and daily auras discourage enemies from swarming him too closely lest they take even more bonus damage, and he has Five Storms (the only power not from Heroes of the Elemental Chaos) for the specific purpose of getting himself out of situations where he is being outnumbered and surrounded.
Despite having learned his techniques in a monastery Torchlight is still a pixie, with the expected tendency for mischief of one sort or another. As a result he makes a skilled scout or lookout for the party, capable of sneaking around unseen and getting into places he shouldn’t. The fact that he can fly over any traps on the ground certainly doesn’t hurt his cause, either. Of course, he’s not particularly bright and his fellow monks only punched so much wisdom into his head over the years, so he’s not one the party will turn to for information, and he is surprisingly bad at dealing with people. Likely a combination of pixie mischief and monk isolation, that. Still, since Charisma is his secondary stat the sheer force of his personality means that with some future purchases of Skill Training he could grow into an effective party face. So long as he can stop nicking people’s things and shrinking them for a laugh.
If themes are allowed then Elemental Initiate from Elemental Chaos is a good option, fitting well with Torchlight’s character design. While the starting feature is completely redundant for a monk character, the rest of the features will give Torchlight a slightly broader skill set and improved Will, while the powers offer counter-attacking, increased mobility, defensive bonuses, and even some Leader-like qualities with some healing and buffing. In terms of Backgrounds both Fey Inheritor and Ostracized from Psionic Power fit him thematically, and either broaden his skill set or in Ostracized’s case might improve Stealth even further.
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