RollPlay: R&D - Lobelia's Character Background

WOW! We just finished our last week of Dungeon World for the RollPlay R&D show. What a game!? I had so much fun! Steven did a fantastic job DMing and my party members - itmeJP, djWHEAT, Day9, and Ryuazilla - all made our character progression and stories come to life. 

I wanted to provide everyone with some snippets of Lobelia's character background as a few people had requested it. I hope you enjoy!
General Information
  • Name: Lobelia Shadowswan, but people call her Bel.
  • Class: Thief
  • Race: Halfling (+2 to ranged attacks)
  • Look: Bel’s large green alluring eyes are sharp and curious, surrounded by large lashes. Her puffy cheeks and small nose make her appear almost child-like. Lobelia, with her Tallfellow heritage, is quite tall for a halfing - three feet and eleven inches in height. She has small pointed ears, encompassed by long flowing red hair. Half of her hair is made into two braided buns that are perched atop the left and right sides of her small head. The braids from the buns dangle down past her ears.
  • Oaths: She must bring back the heart of Kkhathrisst to the Beholder’s Eye Mountain. Bound by a magical spell that looks like a tribal tattoo. It’s blue and purple spiral pattern appears almost tron-like and often tingles painfully.
  • Starting Gear: Miss Shadowswan wears leather armor with cloth adornments, varying in colors of the fall - browns, reds, golds and greens. With her she carries five (5) rations, three (3) vials of poison, ten (10) coins, and an assortment of adventuring gear. At her waist, a beautiful short sword (close, 1 weight) dangles encased in a matching sheath. Hidden in a small compartment in her boots an old dagger (hand, 1 weight) remains concealed. Upon her chest, three (3) throwing daggers are strapped to her holster.
  • References: general look, eyes, hair and earsthrowing dagger holster

Character Background Monologue

Gamentha is the largest sky island in a long archipelago. Much of the inhabitants are halflings, elves, humans  and a few dwarves. Since it’s one of the preponderant harbors in the world, you’ll find many rare creatures, valuables and races passing through in trade.

“I’m not short, you’re just too tall.” Don’t forget that one. It’s one of my best lines. It’s true though, what they say. Let’s be logical. I am three feet eleven inches tall and that’s short if you stand me up against the rest of these goons, but I’m pretty tall compared to other halflings. There’s nothing wrong with being short. I’ve met some pretty tall people in my life and I still love my height. Why, I once met an ogre who had to have been 20 feet tall. Of course, he thought he was a lighthouse. Not the brightest creatures… and they make fun of ME for having hairy feet and being short. It’s unbelievable what people think these days. Any hoot, I haven’t properly introduced myself. I’m Lobelia Shadowswan the Gamentha Shipwright and Master Baker of the Tallfellow. Lovely title, don’t yah think? I much prefer it to what most people call me which is just plain Bel. Bleh!

I’ve pretty much lived in Gamentha my entire life. Ninety-nine years of hard work and this town is still filled with all sorts of troubles. You’d think a pack of halflings could manage to organize a town, but what can you do when a crazed baby dragon thinks he can rule the area? Ah, life. It’s filled with all kinds of surprises. Oh, you’re still concerned about the dragon? Right! Right! No worries, a group of adventurers have cleared that problem up and they seem to have acquired quite the coin for doing so. I once took a peek at them in a tavern, but I had to hurry home to check on my pies.

Mm… pie. I make the best pies in town. Ask anyone, but Myrtle Goodbarrel. They’ll all agree, except that Myrtle..I despise her. She thinks her pies are better then mine just because her family is rich. She gets fresh bloopleberries everyday! Those berries are really rare. How she gets them? I’ll never know, but putting rare berries in your pie doesn’t make your pie the best. My mother is a cook and she taught me how to create all kinds of delicious goods while watching her work at the bakery. I ended up making my own recipe and now, she uses it every day to feed tons of people! *Starts whispering* Shh...Can you keep a secret? I’ve even learned to brew up some under-the-table goods like poisons, but keep that one to yourself. Maybe we can do a trade if you have something shiny enough. *Winks*

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, why don’t I work at my mother’s bakery? Well… it’s really not my thing. I’m more of a ship girl. I like them. My father was a carpenter and I’ve picked up some of his handy crafting skills. Of course, he’s a lot more like a dwarf then a halfling - he detests heights and the water! Won’t go near either. I still wonder how he got on this island...or maybe that’s the reason he hasn’t left.

I live near the port, unlike my family. My father’s fear of heights keeps them away. It’s actually quite nice. My mother can be quite aggravating when she gets in one of her moods. Lately, I haven’t been able to stop in and see my mother much. I’ve been really busy. All the ships need fixing, not to mention we’ve been having some pirating issues. Things… and even people have gone missing! Whole ships have been captured! It’s crazy. Good thing I’m a skilled Thief.

When I was young, I really wanted to be a Wizard - You know, with a giant staff, a collection of spellbooks as large as a leviathan, and a beautifully embroidered robe. No one would stand a chance! mother wouldn’t have any of that. She got fed up with my whining and finally gave in and bought me a dagger. She figured, if I got cut, she’d at least know how to cure me. Although, it did pay off. Now, I can pretty much take down anyone. Well...Not really, but I’ve helped save a few ships here and there.

Sadly, it’s never enough… It’s quite lugubrious. Some of my friends were on some of those ships. Sometimes, I stare off into the sea of clouds in hopes of their return, but no one believes they’ll ever be seen again. I don’t blame them. It’s been years since many of them disappeared. I probably wouldn’t recognize the lot of them if I did see ‘em!

Yep, Gamentha is quite the place. It might not be beautiful at first glance, but if you take some time, you’ll find that the harbor here is filled with exciting new sites, even for someone who has lived here ninety-nine years. But… I don’t plan on living here forever. Many of the Tallfellow clan find comfort in this place and they wouldn’t move a muscle if they didn’t have to. They’d just sit here, eat, drink and enjoy their indulging habits. That lifestyle is not for this halfling! I want adventure! I want to explore new areas and meet new people! I’ve traveled a bit, but not as much as I’d like. Why do you think I’m a shipwright? I leave this island any chance I can. Not that I don’t like Gamentha. Like I said, it’s a great place, but there has to be more out there…

To be continued...

Author Notes 
If you're truly interested and would want to read it, I could make a story series based on our adventures in RollPlay R&D. Let me know in the comments section below if that's something you'd want to read, but be aware I may change bits and pieces of the story to make it meld better with the overall writing and storytelling.

Curious what this might entail? Take a gander at an old series I wrote for a D&D campaign called, "
Yuria's Log."


Clayton Barham - March 8th, 2014 at 5:33pm

I'd love to see a story series based on this! Especially the part about the banshee powered flying pirate ship where Bel stole that tapestry she gave to Geeshe. (the Cat's Paw bartender guy) :) P.S. I on-again-off-again think about trying novice game design as a hobby, and am currently in the on-again stage. I thinking about making a rogue-like dungeon crawler based you all's Dungeon World adventure. It would probably be a very simple affair with the player taking the role of one of you all's characters and hacking and slashing their way through procedurally generated rooms corresponding to one of the three areas of the "The Dungeon of Poor Decisions". I was wondering if you had any advice on good game making software for a simple game like that, that is also easy to learn for a complete newcomer to the field. Thanks! And may your throwing daggers remain sharp no matter what game system lies ahead! :)



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