As one would expect in a company that makes games, Wizards of the Coast employees regularly play games as well. For years, Thomas Reid, former Creative Director for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, ran a weekly lunchtime D&D campaign open to anyone who wanted to sit in. The roster rotated heavily, but regulars included Adam Conus and Alex Weitz of Customer Service, Brian Mitchell from Marketing, and Dale Donovan, an editor from Roleplaying R&D.
Thomas Reid has since left for greener pastures and our weekly game has been taken up by designer and TSR alumnus Jeff Grubb. It's pretty much a straightforward dungeon crawl -- and having only an hour per week to play, the style is geared towards hack-and-slash. The focus has been: Solve the riddle, kill the monsters, take the treasure, and advance in level. Roleplaying factors little, so minor things like character development have fallen by the wayside. The sessions are incredibly fun because they provide a chance to let loose and just play the game that we work so hard to create. But in an effort to rectify such things, I have written up what I think my Cleric of Kord, Tennaguar, could have been like with more of a chance to develop his personality.
In the heat of battle, my character's name, Tennaguar (pronounced te-NAHG-yoo-ar), is often shortened to "Tenn", which causes all sorts of problems. My fellow players get annoyed when Jeff, the DM, calls out initiative: "Tenn, you're on ten, right? Or was that eleven? Tenn? Eleven? Ten? Which is it?"
Ah, fun. So now I give you the "two-fist fightin' priest of Kord" . . . Tennaguar!
Tennaguar: The Brawler
Tennaguar grew up in the town of Blackrock, which straddled the line of two feuding nations. His father was a soldier in the local army and his mother was the daughter of a petty warlord who claimed allegiance to neither side. As a young man, Tennaguar, no stranger to violence and warfare, joined the swelling ranks of soldiers that were mustered for one last strike into their enemy's capital. Through that experience he discovered that he loved the soldiering life and quickly picked up survival skills. However, Tennaguar found more joy in the taverns of his hometown and also acquired a reputation as a boisterous and violent drunk who provoked fights with anyone up to the challenge.
In the middle of the final battle with his nation's enemy, Tennaguar found himself surrounded by a squad of desperate warriors. Disarmed of his sword, Tennaguar lashed out with the only weapon he could rely on: his fists. He fought like an enraged bear, and much to his surprise, he heard a jovial, thundering voice in his head giving him advice and encouragement. Tennaguar rapidly dispatched his foes and dropped to his knees in respect to whatever had helped him. The voice identified itself as the god Kord and said he had found Tennaguar worthy of His blessing. From that point on, Tenn pledged himself to fighting in his god's name.
Tennaguar: The Adventurer
Much to his dismay, the war ended and Tennaguar found himself without a ready source of employment. He wandered throughout his now-peaceful homeland, finding solace in the occasional tavern brawl and back alley scuffle. During one such a fight, Tennaguar heard the voice of Kord again in his mind. His patron directed him to a small group of adventurers planning an assault on a wizard's fortress, the entrance of which had been discovered by scouts during the war. Quickly finishing off the lowly scum that he was pummeling, Tennaguar met with the adventurers. They sized him up as a worthy addition to their cause and took him in.
The group ventured into the fortress and discovered that it led to a whole other realm filled with monsters, traps, and weird architecture. While Tennaguar saw many things he did not understand, with Kord's voice for guidance he happily fought anything in his path. Tenn launched himself into each battle with little caution, helping his comrades with his sword as well as his healing abilities. Before each battle, Tenn would often augment his brethren with "the sweet, sweet blessing of Kord" through the spell bull's strength. After each battle, Tenn would "remind" his fellow adventurers of Kord's blessing and demand a portion of the loot they acquired.
Tennaguar: Chosen of Kord
Over time, Tennaguar and his fellow adventurers discovered all the secrets of the fortress. They claim a huge fortune in the process, though many of his comrades were killed. Along the way, another cleric had joined in their quest, a half-orc cleric of St. Cuthbert whose prattle of law and order rankled Tennaguar's freewheeling spirit. The two came to blows in a terrific battle that brought both clerics near death and concluded in a draw. Tenn was ready to fight to his last breath, until the voice of Kord chided him that he could do no good if he were dead.
Tennaguar left the party of adventurers and returned to the now-blossoming city that had grown above the entrance of the dungeon. Tennaguar established a training facility and temple dedicated to Kord, the sole purpose of which was to create worthy warriors who could bring the members of St. Cuthbert's church down a notch or two.
Tennaguar: Templar of Kord?
At the moment, Tennaguar doesn't "exist" past 5th level, so I've written him up as I think he might be at 12th level. As soon as he meets all the prerequisites, he will begin taking levels of the templar prestige class from Defenders of the Faith. As he progresses, I'll provide updates to show where Tennaguar is heading. Here's hoping that Kord still finds him worthy!
About the Author
Eric Cagle is the administrative assistant to the R&D Department at Wizards of the Coast. Don't let the title fool you: He's also a regular gamer. Eric has edited several different projects for R&D, codesigned a D&D sourcebook due in 2002, and participated in numerous playtest assignments. He promises to never again create a character whose name sounds like a digit.