The 6 Most Ridiculous Player Characters Ever (In My Campaign Right Now)

D&D Player Characters are by definition ridiculous.  They're elves and wizards and halflings and barbarians.  They are the absurd, the preposterous, the illogical and oftentimes the inappropriate.  You can make the coolest, darkest, bravest, most-brooding-est swashbuckling hero with a tortured past you want, but there comes a time when that dude is going to have a fight a slime and he's just going to look like an idiot. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Our characters should be fun, over-the-top and a bit ridiculous.  That's what makes them memorable, and makes them a joy to play and to watch our friends play.

I was going to write a list of the craziest characters I've ever had the pleasure to play with, but then I realized that 99% of the characters I've ever run across are crazy and silly (and the other 1% are boring), so trying to rate them all was a waste of time.  Instead, I'll just tell you about the characters in the game I'm running right now.

The system is technically Advanced Labyrinth Lord, but since we're playing by email the rules are very much secondary to the story and the banter.  The setting is the high-seas, where the characters are trying to make their fame and fortune through adventure, exploration and trade.  It is heavily inspired by the awesome Uncharted Waters/New Horizons video game for the SNES.

Anyway, without further ado: 

Wicket the One-Armed Gnome Illusionist

Actual sketch.  The player scanned it
and emailed it to me.
Wicket Wizzbolt was the least surprising character submitted. His player - though he hadn't played for years - is a guy I've known for a very, very long time (since I was about 2 or 3 years old). He was one the guys involved in my first ever game of D&D. This time, like about 90% of the time, he made an illusionist gnome. He always makes gnomes. Even when he plays wrestling games, he runs a midget. I think one of his Star Wars characters was an ewok.  For the first several weeks of the campaign, Wicket fawned over a random prostitute he picked up at a tavern and dragged with him on the adventure.  After she had several limbs eaten by cannibalistic morlocks, he has since spent his days drowning his sorrow and guilt in wine.

FYI - Wicket didn't start with one arm.  He was crippled by an albino ape during the same adventure that butchered his lady friend.  I play with a house rule that when a character reaches 0 hit points, their player can choose to let the character die or to have a random body part maimed.  The high body count usually associated with old-school D&D is rapidly being replaced with a band of horribly crippled and disfigured misfits.

Ulrich the Unobservant Dwarf Cleric

Next up is Ulrich Brazenbottom, Dwarf Cleric of Momammut, Woolly Mammoth God of Thunder and Awesomeness (yes, that is the god's complete title). I am currently rewriting my campaign history to make room for Mommamut in the pantheon, because honestly, who wouldn't? Following the theme of "always plays the same type of character," we have the guy who always plays the cleric (bless his heart). He was also a doctor in Battlestar Galactica and ROBOTECH. As if being a Cleric of the Woolly Mammoth God of Thunder and Awesomeness isn't a good enough reason to make this list, Ulrich also has the distinguished feature of seeming completely senile because his player never pays attention to what's going on.  Even though this is PBEM and he could get the names of people or places by simply scrolling up in the message thread, his conversations often start "Good Evening, Mr. [INSERT NAME HERE]" (That's exactly how he writes it).  He has also been known to ask blind men for directions.

Hetford the Singing Swordsman

Hetford Gar is a human fighter, 47 years old (his player assures us THAT'S NOT THAT OLD!). A gruff and slightly unhinged former soldier who has been dubbed the Singing Swordsman due to his penchant for breaking into song all the time, including (especially) in the middle of battle, regaling the rest of the crew with such ballads as The Ballad of a Lover's Disease, You've Got Flies in Your Panties Dear Liza, Singing in the Pain and Meine Milz ist zufrieden (an aria).  He's also been known to bite enemies' faces and laugh hysterically when disemboweling foes.  He's not exactly sadistic per se, it's just the defence mechanism he's developed to deal with the horrors he's witnessed through years and years of fighting.

"Women, women, fule of plaig, 
Make bare purs with some men, 
Some be nyse as a nonne hene, 
Yit al thei be nat soo!
    some be lewde, 
    some all be schrewde; 
Bit all ar fule with goo!"
- Ballad of a Lover's Disease

Hetford started play with a pet chicken that died in the first encounter, and ended up as breakfast the next day.

Hagen the Cowardly Carpenter

Hagen Eadberht is a carpenter's son from a small village, which we know because he never ceases to remind the rest of us. Every time he opens his mouth, he begins with "Back in my village..." Or "When I was a carpenter..." Or "My father..." Usually some combination of those. He briefly had a bitter rival, a huge pirate name Bunny that Hagen stabbed in the back in a tavern, then ran away before the pirate could retaliate. Bunny tried repeatedly to get revenge but Hagen kept running away. Eventually the rest of the party ganged up and straight-up murdered Bunny's ass without Hagen so much as lifting a finger.

Hagen has a grown more mature and tougher over time. He now spends his days competing with Xaric for control of the ship, and calling dibs on all the magical weapons the group finds.

Locien Kitail, Misanthropic Ranger

None of my gaming groups would be complete without an arrogant elf. There's a small twist this time though, he's a HALF-elf. (Same player, though) And instead of constantly telling everyone they suck because they're not elves, Locien tells them they suck because they're not nice enough to trees (he's a ranger). He has also argued against every single decision the group makes. I don't know if he's just contrary or if he's realized that most of the group's decisions are terrible. I suspect it's just so he can say "I told you so" afterwards, because you know that virtually every decision the players make will be the wrong one.  It's my job as GM to make sure of that. Still, he's a pretty mean shot with a bow so they keep him around.

Xaric the Pirate

And then there's our fearless captain, Xaric Greyghost. This elf was originally envisioned as a dark brooding rogue who never spoke, dressed like an Emo vampire wannabe and let his knife do the talking. When the player realized we were running a seafaring game, Xaric suddenly turned into Captain Ahab. Seriously, his speech is so full of Yarrs and apostrophes it's nearly impossible to understand what he's saying half the time. 

"Arrr! Me tinks yer'ight! Me dammed missin eye be ach’n'up a'starm and I'm a bettin da gnomes arm be feelin it too...ders n'airn doubt dat Noror's aint too pleased wit us! ARRR! Me mateies! Let us make a run for da Cove! Batten down da hatches, secure all cargo! I best not see a restless hand on da deck or I be cuttin it off to apease Sea God Noror!"
- Actual Game Text

In his quest to become the stereotypical pirate, he's even lost an eye and a leg so far in the adventure (thanks to my maiming house rule). He's devoted to his craft, what can I say? Did I also mention his penchant for torturing prisoners (or helpless, defeated, foes)? Not sure if that's the pirate side or the dark evil elf side coming out...

So there you have it: Six original, well-developed and ridiculous characters, and I love every one of them.  I look forward to logging into my email every day to see what kind of crazy antics these "heroes" have gotten into.  

So what about you?  Do you have any fun, silly or awesome characters that you want to share?  Yes, I'm giving you permission to tell me about your characters.  Use it wisely.  An offer like this doesn't come along every day!

(If you don't share this using those handy buttons below, a penguin will be sad.  And there's nothing more pathetic than a sad penguin.  Except maybe a sad koala bear, which will be the result if you don't follow me on Twitter.)

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