CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Character Exploration 33 - Chumana Nagaji Summoner

Nagaji, the serpentine servitor race of the Nagas of Tian Xia. This week I gave myself the added challenge of working outside of my own comfort zone. I always play male characters. I find it hard to play outside of my gender, and thus I occasionally write female characters to make sure I can make them as varied and three-dimensional as my male characters. This time I'm trying to push farther than that in attempting to write a transgender character.

First I want to talk about character options. With the extremely high CHA I really liked the idea of the Nagaji Alt racial trait Hypnotic Gaze. The stats really set themselves toward a CHA caster, and in this case I went with summoner. Rolling on the summoner background I got something that really fits where I was already heading with the character in the first place. See below.

[Stranger in Your Own Skin]: You have felt awkward and uncomfortable your entire life, as if you were born into a body that wasn't truly yours. Your quest to become what you've always felt you should be led you to your eidolon, in which you found what you see as your own idealized form. The link that you and your eidolon share allows you to escape some of the inherent limits of your form from time to time. You gain access to the Linked Surge magic trait.


Born in one of the many small towns that dot the swamps of Nagajor, Orochi's parents were traders along one of the most prosperous trade routes in the province. For the most part, his life was simple and average. His parents were caring, he received schooling as befit the merchants of the town, and all was well. When he was six his parents gave birth to a younger sister who they doted upon as she grew up.

The Nagaji raise their young as a community or a clutch, and Orochi spent many hours learning at the feet of his aunt, his mother's sister. The older Nagaji was caring and when his parents began to spend more time meeting the needs of his younger sister she was always there for him. As he grew into his teen years the favorite aunt died, leaving young Orochi adrift. His parents still cared for him, but most of their attention was placed on his younger sister and he was left with a hole from his aunt's passing. This hole was eventually filled when one of the leaders of the major merchants guild took Orochi under his wing to teach him the ways of commerce.

The merchant king was a shrewd man, more concerned about what went into his pocket than what other people thought of him. His true motivation for bringing Orochi under his wing were twofold; To make sure the young Nagaji's families empire would stand with him and to use Orochi as a foil when dealing with other merchants who went against his desires.

Although this relationship gave Orochi a way to fill his time he still felt like he was adrift in the world. The loss of his aunt still weighed heavily on his mind. Seeing his sister receive such adoration from his parents that he did not made him feel like he was somehow less.

Eventually it was his relationship with the merchant king that would drive him to finding himself. A number of the other merchant families were working to relieve the stranglehold that the merchant king had on certain commodities. In an attempt to break this alliance the merchant king told Orochi that the other merchants were working against his family's interests. Even though he felt excluded from his family, they were still kin and thus he went to confront these merchants who were supposedly stealing money from his family's coffers.

The confrontation did not go as expected. Orochi, usually unsure of himself and his place in the world, met these merchants with a growing sense of anger. A piece of him that he was unaware he had snapped when these "traitors" who were working against his family denied their involvement. That piece of him was not just emotional but physical. If any at the meeting had survived they would have spoken of a transformation that took over Orochi's body.

Orochi's rage summoned forth a creature that found a connection to the young Nagaji. The serpentine being fused with him, impelling him to not hold back his emotions and do what he thought was necessary. It wasn't just a release of emotion that made Orochi feel whole. It was the transformation as his body took the form of the serpentine creature.

Many things changed after the massacre, Orochi ran and hid for days; staying connected in the form the creature gave him. He felt no remorse for the deaths he caused, as that too felt natural to him. He spent the days talking to the being that inhabited his body, learning her name was Coaxoch. She was a creature from the maelstrom, a creature of pure change and the piece that made Orochi whole. When Orochi finally came out of hiding Coaxoch separated herself from him and he knew something was missing.

With the meeting being a secret, nobody except the merchant king realized Orochi was responsible for the deaths of all of these people. The manner of their demise seemed more like an animal attack than that of a person.

Without Coaxoch bound to his body Orochi began to feel empty. Over the course of months he began to seek this wholeness without Coaxoch being present. He changed his style of dress to more match the feminine aspects of the serpentine creature and eventually decided this was a more apt representation of who she really was.

When she finally felt that her everyday life more matched how she felt when combined with Coaxoch she confronted the merchant king. With more confidence, understanding her place in the world, his threats of exposing her as the murderer meant little. When he called her Orochi, she corrected him by saying because of the situation he put her in that was no longer who she was, and from now on she would be called Chumana.

The merchant king went to strike her but her change also brought on new abilities and when she caught his eye he was trapped within their hypnotic gaze. For the first time since the massacre she called upon Coaxoch and became the full being she was meant to be. The merchant king did not survive the encounter.

Now more sure of herself Chumana has left her small town, which she has outgrown in the fullness of her being. She seeks to make her own way as Chumana, leaving behind all old familial connections. With her new strength, bolstered by her connection to this being of change, Chumana knows that she can do whatever it takes to succeed in the world.

This is what I made, what did you make?

Writing about something that is so far from my experience is difficult for two reasons. The first is simply not having a full understanding of the reality of people different than you. The other is fear of writing a character that is a stereo type or that demonizes the other group of people. Luckily I have friends who have gone through these experiences that can help me understand these characters that I'm trying to write. There was a minor concern that the character was evil but with the understanding that random rolls are random rolls and I did not write her specifically as the villain, I think I did a decent job.

Life has been breathed into yet another group of disparate rolls giving a complete character. If you enjoy seeing the process of creation please help fund what amounts to a second unpaid full-time job. Become a Patron today for as little as $1 by donating to my Patreon. If you can’t wait for new content on the CRBs schedule, look to the other forms of social media the CRB is on. Twitter, Tumblr, and now Facebook. Check out as I live tweet my games, see when I might be at a con near you, and find out when new works I’ve contributed to are being published. The CRB itself can also be sent directly to your Kindle by signing up for Amazon’s Kindle Subscriptions, don’t miss a single post.

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