D&D 5e: Tess Winters

My gaming group’s current fortnightly RPG is Pathfinder: The Mummy’s Mask.

Nicola Annette Tessalyn Winters Camherst
Artificer Class (Gunsmith)

D&D Tess mini

Tess’s mini, painted by our GM, and her steampunk-themed dice.

Tess — as she calls herself when adventuring abroad — hails from the aging empire of Taldor, where her father is a senator and her mother part of the old, landed but minor aristocracy.

Doll-Divine-Creation-wide Tess 2

Here Tess is holding one of her signature ‘light marbles’. (The character generator did not have a gun as a weapon option.)

She was tutored alongside her older brother when the tutor and fencing master got tired of throwing her out when she would sneak into the room for their lessons. Her family tried to turn her tinkering into a ‘respectful’ hobby of jewelry making, and she did start a craze for intricate spinning lockets that could only be opened by the owner and her timepieces were highly-valued gifts. However, when the more adventurous of her peers would have spent their Grand Tour mostly in Absalom or the major cities of Osirion, Tess went to Alkenstar in the Mana Wastes, where she  learned to be a gunsmith and inventor of gadgets. Since then, she has travelled extensively through Nex and Osirion, experimenting with infusing her gadgets (and gun) with magic. Though she’s dropped her mouthful of a name and is used to an adventurer’s life, she still keeps her Taldan love for the finer things. Her traveller’s clothes are plain until you notice the brown-on-brown and gold embroidery along the hem, with matching embroidery on her tricorne hat and leather boots. Both her pistol and prototype gun are works of art and she always has a spare neckcloth for when she needs to look respectable.

D&D Tess gun 2

Black Powder Revolver (replica)

Tess is my favorite RPG character so far. Technically, I built the character for the steampunk RPG Savage Worlds: Sundered Skies, and our GM converted her character to work for the D&D setting we were going to play instead. At the time, there wasn’t an official Artificer class in D&D, so he used a homebrew class called ‘The Artificer of Alancia’. The Artificer class allows for a variety of proficiencies, including Gunsmith. The change of setting resulted in a different backstory for this character, so while she is somewhat-mechanically similar to the Nicola Winters in Sundered Skies, Tess Winters is a distinct character of her own.

I’m still relatively new to role-playing games, having only begun in 2015, but I find the dice mechanism in D&D 5e the easier one of the RPG systems we’ve played. The number of spells (or gadgets, in Tess’s case) to keep track of, however, do make this setting more complicated, nor am I as familiar with the ‘world’ we are playing in. I’m frequently checking the Pathfinder Wiki for information about countries, customs, and creatures that Tess would likely know but I don’t, and would be helpful for playing her character. I’m paranoid about stumbling across spoilers for our campaign, though, and so I read cautiously, just in case.

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