My weekly DnD game recently wrapped up a campaign, then took a break to play through the Pathfinder 2e Beginner Box, then we rotated DMs and our newly-inaugurated DM is now running Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden.
So I needed a new character. I nearly always play a class which I haven’t played in a long time, so I went for barbarian, but beyond that I didn’t have much in mind.
So I went to Twitter.
Let’s try something fun:— RPGBOT.NET (@RPGBOTDOTNET) April 21, 2021
I’m going to build my new character “live” on Twitter over the course of the next week, and I’m going to ask you folks to help me with some decision points.
We’re playing Rime of the Frostmaiden. Currently waiting for the DM to pick “secrets” for us.
Our DM gave us a choice of two “Secrets”, which are a mechanic in Rime of the Frostmaiden. The basic concept is that no one wants to live in Icewind Dale, but they’re all here for a reason, and most of them are secret.
DM just gave me the choice of 2 secrets for my Frostmaiden character:— RPGBOT.NET (@RPGBOTDOTNET) April 21, 2021
Elusive Paramour. I seduced someone I shouldn’t have, and now bounty hunters are searching the Sword Coast for me.
Midwinter Child. Christmas birthday, cold resist from the Frostmaiden’s blessing.
The first poll almost went the other direction, but Midwinter Child pulled out a surprise win while I was asleep that night. I went to bed with one character concept and woke up with another.
I had some joke character ideas interspersed between the poll tweets, but I think this one accidently captured everyone’s imagination:
Potential character idea for Icewind Dale:— RPGBOT.NET (@RPGBOTDOTNET) April 22, 2021
Survival is hard and a central theme of the campaign, so I’ll play a survivalist: Bear Grylls, except that I’ll be an actual bear.
I’m mostly settled on playing a barbarian. 3-person party, and we need a tanky striker.— RPGBOT.NET (@RPGBOTDOTNET) April 22, 2021
But what race? I already get cold resistance, but more durability and maybe some extra skills would be really nice.
Let’s rule out goliath since I’m going to have cold resistance for free.
Next I polled for background, and we had another back-and-forth between the two top contenders.
So we’ve settled on Bugbear Grylls the Barbarian (we’ll name them later). I have the “Winter’s Child” secret, so I’m blessed by the Frostmaiden.— RPGBOT.NET (@RPGBOTDOTNET) April 23, 2021
I’m a bugbear, so I’m naturally an outsider in civilized society, but that’s not necessarily BBG’s choice.
What Background do I use?
I ended up factoring in a little bit Outlander into the backstory because it made sense for the character, but Folk Hero is my official background. I tweaked it a little bit to get rid of proficiency in Animal Handling, but that’s just a thing you can do in the PHB so it’s not really cheating.
Folk Hero expects you to pick some defining event that raised your stature in the community, so I left that to Twitter, too.
Folk Hero pulled out a surprise win in the last poll by like 3 votes, so we have BBG, Barbarian Folk Hero.— RPGBOT.NET (@RPGBOTDOTNET) April 24, 2021
I’m going to make the Artisan’s Tools Chef’s tools (grilling is no longer optional).
But what is my defining event? How did I make the people of Icewind Dale like me?
I’m not sure what I would have done if they had picked Powerful Blessing since my blessing was supposed to be a secret. Maybe everyone knows about the blessing, but not where it’s from, and that leads to rampant speculation?
Regardless, Twitter picked Disaster Rescue, so apparently I’m locally known for rescuing people from something or other that I decided to make up when I wrote Bugbear Grylls’ backstory.
I also didn’t want to stick with Bugbear Grylls as the name (too obvious), so I polled for that, too:
Lots of great ideas for BBG’s name over the weekend, but I’m having trouble deciding so I narrowed it down to some favorites:— RPGBOT.NET (@RPGBOTDOTNET) April 26, 2021
And so, Djungelskog the Bugbear Barbarian was born. Blessed by the Frostmaiden with resistance to cold, and known throughout Icewind Dale as a local Folk Hero for rescuing locals from untimely fates..
Building a character this was was a ton of fun, and literally every result was a surprise. Normally my characters turn out to be accidentally auto-biographical, but I can honestly say that Djungelskog is pretty far from anything that I would come up with on my own.
About a month of short weekly sessions later, we hit level 3 and I went back to the metaphorical well to ask Twitter what subclass I should play:
I built my barbarian Skog (a.k.a. Bugbear Grylls) with help from Twitter. We just hit level 3 so it’s time for a subclass and I need help deciding.— RPGBOT.NET (@RPGBOTDOTNET) June 9, 2021
Twitter lets me list 4. I’m omitting Berserker (red), Battlerager (non-dwarf), Zealot (no raise dead/revivify), Totem (played it).
Once again there was close competition: Path of the Beast and Path of Wild Magic were within one vote of each other for almost the entire poll duration. Path of the Beast pulled ahead in the last few hours, so that’s what I’m playing. Of the four, that’s probably the one I was least likely to pick on my own, so it’s exciting that Twitter is pushing me out of my comfort zone a bit.
Next week I’ll surprise everyone by pulling out claws and teeth. If you want to follow Djungelskog’s exploits, I live-tweet my games most Tuesday nights, so come check me out on Twitter.
Building Djungelskog this way has been a ton of fun! I ended up with a lot of decisions that I wouldn’t have made myself, and honestly I think Djungelskog is a better character because of it.
I will almost certainly do this again. If Djungelskog meets an early demise, or if I manage to fit in another campaign (unlikely, but I can dream), I’m excited to see where the wonderful people on Twitter will lead me.
Djungelskog’s character sheet is available on DnDBeyond.