The Workshop – Nybarg Half Orc Boatswain


Half-Orc Fighter (Brute) 3
Armor Class 16 (chain mail)
Hit Points 28 (3d10+6)
Proficiency Bonus +2
Speed 30 ft
Alignment chaotic good
Languages Common, Orc

Ability Scores
Strength 17 (+3)
Dexterity 10 (+0)
Constitution 15 (+2)
Intelligence 8 (-1)
Wisdom 13 (+1)
Charisma 12 (+1)

Melee Attack: Maul +5 2d6+1d4+3 bludgeoning damage, heavy, two-handed
Melee Attack: Belaying Pin +5 1d6+1d4+3 bludgeoning damage, light
Melee or Ranged Attack: Trident +5 1d6+1d4+3 piercing damage, thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)
Melee or Ranged Attack: Handaxe +5 1d6+1d4+3 slashing damage, light, thrown (20/60)

Skills Acrobatics +0, Animal Handling +1, Arcana -1, Athletics +5, Deception +1, History -1, Insight +1, Intimidation +3, Investigation -1, Medicine +1, Nature -1, Perception +3, Performance +1, Persuasion +1, Religion -1, Sleight of Hand +0, Stealth +0, Survival +3

Equipment chain mail, greatclub, trident, two handaxes, explorer’s pack, belaying pin, 50 feet of silk rope, pair of lucky knucklebone dice each with a skull symbol on the side that would normally show six pips, a set of common clothes, belt pouch w/ 10 gp

Racial Features

Darkvision. Thanks to your orc blood, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.

Menacing. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.

Relentless Endurance. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Savage Attacks. When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.

Class Features

Great Weapon Fighting. When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Second Wind. You have a limited well of stamina that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + your fighter level. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Action Surge (1/rest). You can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Brute Force: You’re able to strike with your weapons with especially brutal force. Whenever you hit with a weapon that you’re proficient with and deal damage, the weapon’s damage increases by 1d4.

Armor Proficiencies: All armor, shields
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tool Proficiencies: Navigator’s tools, vehicles (water)
Saving Throws: Strength and Constitution
Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Survival

Background: Sailor
Ship’s Passage. When you need to, you can secure free passage on a sailing ship for yourself and your adventuring companions. You might sail on the ship you served on, or another ship you have good relations with (perhaps one captained by a former crewmate). Because you’re calling in a favor, you can’t be certain of a schedule or route that will meet your every need. Your dungeon Master will determine how long it takes to get where you need to go. In return for your free passage, you and your companions are expected to assist the crew during the voyage.

Personality Traits: My friends know they can rely on me, no matter what.
Ideals: Freedom. The sea is freedom – the freedom to go anywhere and do anything.
Bonds: I’ll always remember my first ship.
Flaws: Once someone questions my courage, I never back down no matter how dangerous the situation.
Signature Style: Brutal. Your attacks rain down like hammer blows, meant to splinter bones or send blood flying.

Background: Taken captive by the allure and promise of freedom that the sea offered at an early age, Nybarg took a job aboard a small merchant ship as soon as he was old enough to be of use to the captain and spent much of his young adult life on board one ship or another. He loved the freedom and seemingly endless opportunity the sea offered, and he quickly grew into a skilled sailor, and an even more skilled defender of the ship whenever dangers threatened it. However, the last ship he was aboard convinced him of the merits of spending some time on land. Caught in a freak storm that came up out of nowhere, it shattered the ship, which then spent the next week drifting listlessly in the currents, a large portion of the crew dead or dying after their supplies got dumped during the storm. Those that survived were ultimately rescued when a merchant ship sighted what was left of their ship and stopped to offer aid. His brush with death gave him some perspective. While he loved the sea, he knew he didn’t want to die a pointless death on the open waters. He wanted to search for something to give his life some meaning. He is not sure what that looks like, but he’s willing to put his skills to use to try to find out what it might entail. And if it eventually puts him back on the open sea? So much the better.

Design Notes: Ever since I saw the Brute Fighter Archetype in one of the most recent Unearthed Arcana articles I knew that I needed to build a character around it, and a large and gregarious boatswain was one of the first things that came to mind. This is actually a really straightforward character – I would probably take him all the way up to level 20 in Fighter to maximize those class abilities.

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Ben Erickson

Ben Erickson

Contributing Writer for d20 Radio
Mild mannered fraud analyst by day, incorrigible system tinker monkey by night, Ben has taken a strong interest in roleplaying games since grade school, especially when it comes to creation and world building. After being introduced to the idea through the Final Fantasy series and kit-bashing together several games with younger brother and friends in his earliest years to help tell their stories, he was introduced to the official world of tabletop roleplaying games through the boxed introductory set of West End Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game before moving into Dungeons and Dragons.
Ben Erickson

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1 Comment

  1. They’re savages! Savages!
    Barely even human
    Savages! Savages!
    Drive them from our shore!
    We know they must be bad
    ‘Cause they’re in the Monster Manual
    We must sound the drums of war!

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