A…neutral evil gnome barbarian?!
In the third installment of our ongoing Creative D&D Characters series—based almost exclusively upon 5th edition rules—we have rolled up a character that perhaps borders on the absurd. As stated in previous articles, these characters are complex and challenging to incorporate into a campaign without some forethought and careful planning. This one really takes the cake. To allay your skepticism of a neutral evil gnome barbarian we ask that you suspend your disbelief for just a moment. After all, this is a game of fantasy and make-believe, right?
The idea behind this series is to showcase just how versatile characters can be when your primary resource is the Player’s Handbook. We’ve probably all fallen victim to going down a rabbit-hole to seek out some esoteric tome to create a truly unique and compelling character at least once but we contend that given just a singular resource and, perhaps, a brief web search you can create a vast array of truly unique characters. That is not say that we think you should shun supplemental material. We happen to enjoy going down the rabbit-hole. But to some, it can be overwhelming. We encourage you to use these characters as you’d like whether they be as NPCs or PCs.
Today we give you Gnimsh “Shinbarker” Scheppen, the neutral evil gnome barbarian of (as-of-yet) little renown.“Well if I were to tell you the first, and most important, thing about myself it would be that I revere Baravar Cloakshadow above all else. Indeed, it was The Sly One that revealed to me the truth of Faerûn and of my Clerical order. I revere him despite the temple’s accusations against me as a heretic. I revere him despite the loss of my Baravar-given magic. He has presented me with a great challenge to reveal the true representation of the Master of Illusion to Faerûn and he has stripped me of my magic to test my loyalty. But I will not stop my apophatism no matter what! What was once the beginnings of a powerful and divine magic has been replaced with an inimitable rage. I will prove to my lord that I understand him better than the temple could ever imagine. I will prove my worth.
As I mentioned above, my temple branded me a heretic. Usually when someone says something like that they mean figuratively. What I mean is that I was literally branded with Cloakshadow’s favored weapon, Nightmare. The scar runs vertically down my right cheek from my eye to my jaw. Those progressive idiots. It’s an honor to have been scarred with the symbol of the Lord in Disguise. If not for the malicious intent behind their ‘scarring of a heretic’ I would let it go. But, no. This was their punishment against me for becoming a follower of the true Baravar instead of their modern interpretation of him. They wanted to cast me out and ensure that I stayed an outcast to their order. This is what I get for trusting those fools with my enlightenment and they will pay for their transgressions against The Sly One.
The primary tenet is to protect the gnome race and by branding me the unlearned masses will not take me seriously. I will be regarded with suspicion at best. A traitor at worst. The temple’s voice carries farther than my own and it travels faster than I can. My (false) reputation will precede me wherever I go. Deep inside I regard my scar as a gift from my god and as a reminder of my mission: to bring the true Baravar to the entire race of Gnomes and, ultimately, all of Faerûn.
Gnomes have few enough true friends as it is. My disfigurement works to my disadvantage when I face the unenlightened races of Faerûn which is just about everyone. To make matters worse, they invented the moniker ‘Shinbarker’ to accompany the rumors about me. After my magic left and was replaced with anger and rage I had little hesitation in my newly chosen profession. But the gnomes don’t take me seriously because I’m viewed as a traitor to the race and the longer-legged races have all taken to calling me Shinbarker because they don’t see someone of my stature as very dangerous. It’s a slight I cannot tolerate. No one dares call me by that insult to my face.
Forgive my digression and my cynicism. Gnomes aren’t all alone in a desire to preserve and protect gnomish traditions. Others, albeit the minority, would like to see our heritage preserved. Those are the few I could potentially consider friends if they are at least receptive to the ancient philosophy of Baravar Cloakshadow. The progressive leaders of the temple ridiculed me for my ‘apophatic theology advancing the credo that Baravar’s followers waste their time trying to identify what he is rather than devoting their studies to what he is not‘.
Mark my words. The temple will suffer and Baravar Cloakshadow will restore my magic once my primary task of evangelizing him is complete. Until that day I roam Faerûn freely (as freely as a scarred gnome can, that is) seeking information on other followers of the true Baravar and exploring anything related to him whether that be crones holed up in the hills, forgotten ruins, abandoned temples, town drunks, and even obscure references in children’s stories. As for my vengeance, I am biding my time. I will need support before I can exact my revenge and I need to know that my god is with me when I strike.”
Where can you find me?
Stats & Background Information
Gnimsh “Shinbarker” Scheppen, Neutral Evil Gnome Barbarian
Race: Rock Gnome
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Weight: 41 lbs.
Hair Color: Blue-Black
Eye Color: Green
Skin Color: Olive
Armor Class: 11
Dexterity: 12 (+1)
Wisdom: 7 (-2)
Charisma: 14 (+2)
Personality Trait: I can find common ground between the fiercest enemies, empathizing with them and always working toward peace.
Ideal: Tradition. The ancient traditions of worship and sacrifice must be preserved and upheld. (Lawful)
Bond: I will someday get revenge on the corrupt temple hierarchy who branded me a heretic.
Flaw: I put too much trust in those who wield power within my temple’s hierarchy.
So hopefully you’ll enjoy the third PC/NPC in the Creative D&D Characters series. This is one we’re particularly interested in hearing about how he was incorporated into your campaign(s). Especially if anyone adopts him as a PC. We know that for many of you using something as “outlandish” as a neutral evil gnome barbarian may be drawing the line (gnomes get very little love, generally speaking).