DnD – Character Concepts – Bilner Mark 7

An old character background that I made for an online game I was playing, about two years ago, thought it would be nice to put them on here. Everything in a quote box, is copy pasted from my original character write-up.

Bilner Mark 7 – Warforged Wizard (School of Artifice)

Made this character back before WOTC had released their UA for the Artficer class, the subclass that was made in the Eberron UA while not great, was fun to play around with. I did enjoy the chance to just straight up choose magical items to get, it meant that I had a little bit of an upside for sacrificing useful abilities. SCAG was brand new at this point as well I believe, so I ended up building them as a GISH, because… well that’s my favourite archetype.

Backstory

I had the idea that a sentient mixing machine would make for an interesting character, ended up drafting the following for his backstory.

Created as really nothing more than a fancy alchemical tool, by a very lazy wizard, in order to create potions and craft magical items, Bilner Mark 7 is the eight version of the Automatic Potion Making Golem. Bilner spent most of their time making healing potions that their master would sell to local merchant and adventurers. One day however incorrectly mixing a combination of herbs and magical materials resulted in an explosion that destroyed his creator’s tower and buried his elder siblings. This explosion of magical energies awoke Bilner and granted them sentience.

Before they could relate this to their creator, they were banished by the furious mage, by which I mean blasted with a spell that launched them off the cliff that once housed their master’s tower.

Crashing into the sea, Bilner was taken by the waves and the currents for days, maybe months until they washed up on shore miles away from the only place they’ve ever known. Now truly alive, Bilner took they’re first few steps as sentient being. Given very little real combat capability Bilner soon found himself under attack and unable to defend himself from every creature that they encountered.

Using what knowledge (primarily coming from the Headband of Intellect that had been bonded to their head) was programmed into them, Bilner managed to devise methods to recreate spells that he had seen his master cast through alchemcial means. Slowly learning how to defend himself Bilner traveled to nearest town in a quest to gain more knowledge about the world, and also to perhaps find a way to rejoin his master.

And, not from the backstory, but still important to understand the character.

Tangent, I was hoping to flavour all of Bilner’s spells not as actual magic but from alchemy or similar things. Just as a flavour thing so it shouldn’t have any mechanical effect.

We were allowed a magical item from an appendix that I do not remember, since we were starting at 4th level. Oh yeah! I did also multi class Bilner into two levels of fighter to offset how squishy they were going to be as an artificer. I believe with the Warforged trait, and a shield, they ended up with a pretty decent AC. Right, back on track, the headband was my main explanation for how Bilner actually became sentient. I ended up having a few questions from the DM, so here’s that convo here. I’m omitting what they said to me, just as a courtesy.

Why does Mark 1 follow Mark 7?

This is about Bilner’s familar which was going to be a clockwork raven, the clockwork part purely being flavour. It was called Raven Mark 1.

Bilner is the 8th version of the potion making robot, (Mark 0 bring the prototype, then mark 1 and so on.) The raven familiar is Mark 1 of the sorta clockwork/magical familiar raven that Bilnar has crafted.

What shape were the other Marks & What happened to them?

One of my favourite little world building pieces I wrote- I guess I really am an engineer(ing student) at heart.

Mark 0: Essentially a coffee maker. Herbs and materials had to be pre-ground and then put into the top which was then mixed and turned into a potion through the machine. More of a proof of concept than an actual proper machine. Was placed in storage.
Mark 1: Gains a blender on top. Blender was found to not be able to grind the materials at separate grain sizes and therefore not the best for making potions that require differently ground materials. Was placed in storage.
Mark 2: Gained two robotic arms with hands able to use proper tools. Was unusable as the arms were not able to tell what they were holding. Placed in storage and then scrapped for parts after Mark 4 exploded.
Mark 3: Added “eyes” to the main base. Was much better, but was only able to do the very basic preparation process, the more complicated mixing parts were too much for the basic system. Scrapped for parts.
Mark 4: Exploded during creation.
Mark 5: Much more humanoid figure. Essentially a torso with full arms and head. Able to do basic prep, still had the same issue the Mark 3 however and was scrapped for part to be used for Mark 6.
Mark 6: Added the headband of intellect in order to allow the machine to complete the entire potion making process. Same design as Mark 5, however as it was unable to move all materials and tools had to placed in arm’s reach, and also required supervision in case it dropped something and was unable to pick it up. Scrapped and used in Mark 7.

There were other similar creations but they were also presumed either destroyed or buried in the explosion that destroyed the tower and gave Bilnar sentience.

I understand the concept of using Alchemy to mimic spells, but there are some spells that I don’t see being mimicked in this way. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, for example. If you can find a good way to explain it, I’m probably willing to wave it.

My first thought for that case at least would be a form of laughing gas, however that would maybe run into issues with the fact that it doesn’t affect creations with a low int. Maybe the way the gas interacts with the nervous system of the creature affects only a frontal lobe region which dumber creations wouldn’t have? I can understand having to justify every spell getting tedious however, perhaps split the difference and say that it’s a combination of alchemy and actual magic?

I’ll be writing up an explanation for the spell sniper feat that’ll be posted in the actual character application. My first rough thought would be that in their first couple of encounters involved Bilner being surrounded by close up fighters. In an effort to combat that Bilner started to devise means of a better projectile system for his attacks (which involved tweaking his eyes for better focus and magnification, perhaps actually crafted a secondary lens with a reticle that slides over his eye).

Anyways, I’m really excited about this character concept and have been having a lot of fun figuring Bilner out.

Physical Description

I believe this mostly came from the image I found online of a warforged wearing a hood, was the only really… wizardy-low-tech warforged I could find. Omitted the image for obvious reasons.

Standing at about 5’5″, Bilner was created primarily as more of an alchemical appliance than a combat unit. With a slim silver body covered by a dark black robes Bilner does not cut a intimating figure at all. Dark leather boots cover his feet and on his hip is a sheathed dagger. His face is nearly featureless with no visible nose or mouth, two inlets form his eyes which are covered with a thin blue crystal. On his forehead the rune of knowledge is inscribed in the rough scratches of draconic, that rune is the only hint that a headband of intellect have been built into Bilner’s head.

Other

Some general questions or things that the DM wanted about our characters.

One sentence that describes your character’s concept mechanically.

A primarily support Warforged Artificer that fires spells from behind the main tanks.

One sentence that best describes your characters personality.

Curious about everything and lacking common knowledge of the world, tends to forget that other people around him need things like food and water.

What did your character do before becoming a Delver?

Ah, so the main plot of the story was that our characters were heading to city where there was an established culture of labyrinth diving. Think, Damachi, or any light novel/web novel isekai with a dungeon gimmick.

Serving their creator in making potions, after that traveling between villages and towns in order to learn everything they can about the world around them.

Why did your character become a Delver?

Knowledge and in order to experience new things. Hopefully to become more useful so their creator will take them back.

What does your character ultimately strive to achieve?

To find their creator and apologize for destroying their tower. Hopefully also to rejoin them, this time as an apprentice rather than an appliance.

On Spell Sniper

Ended up scrapping this as it was a bit of stretch, ended up just taking the Alchemist feat, because well duh.

During their first encounter with some hungry animals, Bilner was surrounded and nearly destroyed. Luckily a nearby tree offered sanctuary for them, as the animals clamored under them Bilner realized that if they were to survive they would need to devise a method to increase the distance between their opponents. After blasting the animals, Bilner worked to create a crystal lens that helped magnify his vision. Attaching that to a hinge allows him to lock onto creatures from farther away, combined with dismantled crossbow that’s been inserted into his arm Bilner is able to launch his “spells” from even farther away.

Finally, the last message I sent to the DM before being accepted to the game. Few questions answered there that you should be able to get from context. And from this, I realize that we didn’t start at level four but rather probably level two.

The name is Bilner, it’s a bastardization of the German word for creator. šŸ˜›

The intelligence band is combination of the story reasons and min-maxing, where I’ve built in reason for the min-maxing to be a core part of the character’s story. In my mind it’s literally a part of Bilner’s head (if you’ve played 4e at all, the warforged race there had the ability to install items into them, not really applicable but this is sorta what I’m imagining), if it were to be removed it would be a huge blow to his spell casting ability, but not to his usefulness. My ultimate plan for Bilner is for him to dip two levels into fighter in order to pick up the extra proficiency bonuses. He’ll serve as a gish for most fights using the green flame blade cantrip as his main attack and then maybe picking up the booming blade one as well. Without the headband he’ll still be able to craft potions and imbue items so really he’ll only lose out on spellcasting attacks (something he wasn’t going to focus on, as most of his spell slots will be used up.)

You make a lot of good points about the spell sniper feat, to be honest I didn’t see the Alchemist feat when I glanced at that UA. It makes a lot more sense mechanically and thematically for Bilner so I’m going to switch those around.

I also really like that concept for the combination of alchemy and magic! It’s exactly what I had in mind for the concept.

Overall this was a really fun game to play in, had a really good DM that was painting a really pretty picture for the world- sadly game ended up only lasting a couple of months, but that’s the norm with most of the games I end up playing online.

 

Still, it was nice to look back at this- didn’t really do too much annotating, I’m sure there would be things I would change as well- might come back to this post.
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From the little black book,

What am I doing? My life is filled with bright vibrant days.

Warm light filters through a forgotten skylight.

Hope tingles in my chest somedays.

I think, I feel, I believe that a better day is awaiting me.

Yet, that same old grasp pulls at my heart.

Why am I still treading towards that day, when so often it feels like a dream.

I only breath, because it’s all I’ve known.

The alternative not sought, through fear rather than hope.

What is living, than not dying?

Is that all that there is?

Optimism suits me not. I am but a product of my upbringing.

Lost, and only helplessly waiting to be found.

What else could I be?

I raise my glass to unknown days, hoping to reach unknown shining shores.

My ship beat by the waves of the ocean, so battered that even I cannot recongnize it.

My thoughts like weights which only bring forth the depths to the shore.

A rocky mess hidden behing bright warm days.

I know not, what I am seeking. Yet my sails falter not, even as I shake at the helm.

Forget myself in stories, for I cannot hut in another’s shoes.

This is the only path that I can tred.

Lies trail across my chest, my arms and my legs. My scars marking me for all to see.

I know not why I still keeping pushing forwards.

All I know is what I know.

What am I doing, but, living.

Living and lieing.

Journal 0052

So, about a month ago now my sister gave birth to an adorable little bundle that is known as my niece. While she is a gorgeous little bundle of joy, she did have the unfortunate effect of being born to millennial parents and therefore has a little bit of a stupid name.

I won’t say it for fear of this somehow being traced back to who I actually am IRL (odds of that are hopefully super low, but there is a breadcrumb trail now that I think about that you could use if you knew me in real life, and some of my actual habits or been one of the few people whose seen my little black book of poetry than…) but I digress, that’s unimportant to the fact that my big sister is now a mom.

I’m also an uncle, but like in the tiers of life-changing events that involve new family members, I feel like uncle means the smallest real change in my life? Like it’s not like I suddenly have real responsibilities, especially because my sister is a decade older than I am, so I’m still a tiny baby compared to her and everyone else in her life. Aside, from like… her actual baby I guess.

But yeah- it got me thinking about my sister and my relationship with her. It was only a couple of years ago that I read a speech at her wedding that got great responses to, because- to be modest- I’m a fantastic public speaker. It’s pretty much the one thing that I would say I can confidently and without self-deprecation say that I nail.

But again, I digress, my relationship with my sister is more akin to that of a third younger parent- she did a lot of the heavy lifting when it came to raising me to become a functioning grown human being and my entire personality- writing style, and hobbies all really stem from her. She’s such a giant when it comes to my life that I honestly would have no doubt without her in my life I would be lost.

So- I basically want to just commit to the paper…binary? Code? Meh- whatever. I just want to talk about and gush about some of the great memories I have with her.

I remember that when I was still in high school and she was living with us still at my parents, every long weekend we would find a game and rent it out, and she would watch me play through it. It worked really well for the Uncharted series and is the main reason why I have so much love for those games (though my lack of a PS4 means I’ve missed out on the fourth game and the spinoff game, I did actually play some of the Vita game- mostly because I borrowed a Vita from a friend back in the day). We played through the first three games that way- and every second of it was a blast- from start to finish.

I also can’t count the hours that we spent watching anime together, the main reason I’m even a fan of anime is my sister’s fault, she’s the one who infected me and also made it so that I was magnitudes above all of my co-anime nerds in true nerdiness. I stand by my gatekeeping in that you are not a die-hard hardcore giant nerd of the medium if you do not try and watch most of the series that comes out every season. You can be a huge fan of a certain series, but you’re just not a huge fan of the medium if you’re missing out on most of it. It’s like a movie fan who would only watch what one director puts out- you’re not a diehard fan of the medium you’re a huge fan one series. AGAIN, I digress, we would watch entire series from beginning to end and she basically taught me how to binge a show.

My sister is a fantastic person- and well- there’s more I want to write but I realize now that this will just end being just me puking words down as I think them and well- I don’t really need to write this all down to have the reflection of memories that I wanted. I’ve already had that just thinking about writing this piece, and the act of putting it all down to paper, code, whatever, would take longer than I want so- fuck that.

Journal 0051

I reread all of Nisekoi today, or just now. It’s 3 in the morning right now and I’m in a weird place.

The series has a weird place in my heart. It’s like a lot of other manga series that I just couldn’t imagine ending. Series like Magi, Fullmetal Alchemist, The World God Only Knows, and even Naruto and Bleach.

Nisekoi though, I- I the all the romance was reflective to read. Especially the last volumes, where each girl got a chance to comfort their feelings and to embrace letting go.

I guess it’s taken a really long time for me to get to this point.

I think I’m ready to fall in love again. I don’t know when, or with whom, but- it’s nice to think about.

I want to have my heart full again with some else. I want to feel that warmth that comes from looking at someone I love.

My neice was born today as well, I guess that’s part of it. It’s weird, it really doesn’t mean anything to me at all. Like logically it doesn’t change my life at all, but it’s a nice feeling.

I want to have that in my life at some point. I want kids, I want a family, I want happiness.

I need to put my heart into my actions and to act on the things I want.

It all feels so far away, but it’s what I want. With all my heart.

Warm bubbling from below the heart, fills the body and soul.

Without a clouded thought in my head, or perhaps with only misty visions,

I think myself happy.

Mayhap, my own thoughts tainted by drink, unknown to my true self, are the only thoughts I should keep.

They feel real, so why not believe in them.

Even if my daily life is tainted by less than happy beliefs, I choose to believe my current mind.

The drink bringing me feelings that my own sober mine can only question.

I am who I am, the world can only hold my thoughts back when I am not in touch with it.

Is there a truer me than that set free by the temptations of the world?

I think not.

I think the real world I fear is but an illusion built from years of doubt.

The world I see now is what truly lies.

If the lie is so sweet, why fight it?

To fight it, is to offer the chance of loss. To make rely accept is to only have victory.

Journal 0050

The big 50!

Been a while since I’ve made a post, which I guess means that I’ve been doing well eh?

Let’s see… Yesterday was Valentine’s so I spent the day going to class and eating ice cream. Roommate and I found some cheap rib eyes at the grocery store so we marinated then in this really good bbq sauce that he got at an artisan fair.

Did that the day before yesterday, and then we brish d the mountain of snow off our bbq and tossed them on. They came out pretty much fucking perfect and were amazing.

Did end up third wheeling my roommate and his girlfriend, but that’s pretty much my day to day now.

They’re moving to a new place come end of the semester, with another couple of our friends but I’ve been told I’m there Joey, sooo it’s assumed I’ll be over a lot.

Fingers crossed that I can find a job I’m the city, but I had a pretty good interview today, so Im not horribly worried?

Meh, just feeling a little more optimistic than usual. Of course the company the job is for is a little, what’s the word…. Horrible. Yeah that one. I’m sure they’ll pay well and such but… Well they’ve gained a lot of controversy in the past couple of months.

Oh well, fingers are still crossed!

Journal 0049

Saturday 2:00pm

Been a little bit since the last one of these I’ve written eh? Just have some to kill before I’ve got to go and catch a bus back to my parents. Let’s see, what has been going on with my life recently-

Got my grades back for the semester- they weren’t horrible, well they were low- but well I passed everything which was a nice relief! I manged to stave off failing out for another few months, so that is something to be happy about. My dad will probably be disappointing in how low my grades were, but hey you know Cs and the occasional D get degrees! Of course the one A I did get was in my garbage psychology elective. Though, if I didn’t get an A in that I would have been even more devastated given how brain dead easy that course was.

I also bought Elite Dangerous during the Steam Sale. It’s been super entertaining, I can see myself losing several hours of my life to it- I’ve already tossed 15 hours into it and I’ve really only had it for like two days. Other then that there’s really not too much that’s changed in my life really- it’s just been cruising though everyday life- sort of just floating along. Things will pick up again in the new year- and I’ll have to start searching for a job again- yay. But- it’s nothing that I can’t handle. I just need to keep telling myself that- and one day I’ll actually believe it. Right?