Last week I discussed the backstory of Badger, a D&D 5e forest gnome rogue. This week, I’ll discuss the mechanics behind the character. This is in my Origin Stories series of posts, see here for an earlier one.
Badger was inspired by the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. This sourcebook included information on where each of the races in the PHB fit into the Sword Coast setting. It mentioned forest gnomes tend to live by themselves deep in the woods. That got me thinking about why a forest gnome would be adventuring. One possibility was a druid trying to fight off threats to the forest, but I was more intrigued by the idea of a well-meaning rogue cast out of his society.
This would be a pretty basic rogue, with most of the flavor going into the backstory. But the forest gnome race gives him a few extra skills, which I’ll discuss below.
He’s obviously a forest gnome, and I gave him the outlander background to fit his story. And chaotic good is the go-to choice for a good rogue.
For stats, I prioritized dexterity (a must for thieves, for which forest gnomes get a bonus), and constitution. He also received a boost for intelligence as a gnome, and I gave him respectable wisdom. I admit I struggled with this, since according to his backstory he should not be very wise, but wisdom ends up being really important for perception, which a forest gnome rogue should be good at.
For skills, he has the usual sneaky thief skills-stealth (with expertise), sleight of hand, perception and acrobatics. And his outlander upbringing gave him skills in athletics and survival.
He’s armed with a short sword, shortbow, and dagger. And Badger has darkvision, the minor illusion cantrip, and the ability to speak with small animals from his forest gnome race.
So for this, I tried to craft an outdoorsy rogue, who melts into the forest rather than the shadows. And as he’s a bit of a wanderer, I downplayed the social skills in favor of sneaking and exploring.
What do you think? Any other ways you would have crafted Badger?