A wandering tauren traditionalist
Tauren Scout 1 / Rogue 2 / Scout 1 / Holy Strider [LM195] 10 / Rogue 1 / Scout 2 / Rogue 2 / Scout 2 / Rogue 2 / ... of Animism
Note: I’m in the process of rebuilding this character. I originally made him a straight scout and focused on optimizing wild healing, but then realized that would be pretty useless for someone who likes to hang out with druids and shaman. Once I change the rest of this stuff to match the build noted above, he’ll cover some things that nature-loving parties may not have otherwise: social manipulation and anti-technology skills.
Abilities: Spt, Agy, Sta, Int, Cha; Str (15–16) + 2 (so he’ll get the optimum bonus for a two-handed weapon eventually, and be able to carry a reasonable amount of stuff in addition to his halberd and armor while still keeping to a light load)
Skills: Climb, Craft (carpentry) (to have made his totem originally, and to help him meditate on it by giving a synergy bonus on Appraise (!?)), Heal, Jump, Knowledge (military tactics, nature), Listen, Search, Spot, Stealth, Survival, Swim, Use Rope
Feats: Careful Strike, Combat Reflexes, Counterattack, Disciple of the Totem [SL24], Dodge, Follower of the Ancestors [HPG33], Follower of the Totem, Improved Critical (tauren halberd), Mobility, Punishing Blow (tauren halberd), Skilled (Concentration (for meditation—meaning he needs to take a cross-class rank), Heal), Skill Focus (Heal), Speaker of the Hoof [HPG35], Unshakable Pursuit [SL28], Vision Quest [HPG37]
Gear: Masterwork tauren halberd, composite longbow, shortspears, masterwork studded leather armor, rope
Background: The Gateway family was in olden days known for its nomadic ways, even moving from tribe to tribe as the members’ wanderlust warranted. As such, it produced many famed holy striders [Lands of Mystery pp. 195–197] who acted as ambassadors and mediators between the tribes. However, when the orcs arrived to aid Cairne in carving out the permanent homeland of Mulgore, many of Barrowe’s family settled down to make new lives for themselves. Young Barrowe was ambivalent about his opinion of the new innovations, but when his younger sister was killed by a rifle misfire, he chose to leave the changing world of the tauren and wander Azeroth seeking his own enlightenment.
Description: Barrowe is a Luddite tauren, his hide white with black spots. He prefers not to carry a normal totem as it would weigh him down; instead, he carves pictographs into the haft of his halberd. He does not have any real enmity for his people or their new allies in the Horde, but is uncomfortable with the changes in the tauren’s ways. Although he has had no formal training in the ways of the shaman, he sees religion as a path that each individual should seek on his own. Towards this end, he meditates on his totem-halberd whenever he stops to rest. His totemic spirit is the zhevra, the wild runner of the Barrens.
Necessities: Well, Barrowe wouldn’t work for a goblin lumber company, but he’d be happy with pretty much any group that travels wilderness areas and doesn’t destroy them (unless, of course, they’re corrupted, like Felwood). He might be able to join even a nature-loving Alliance party out of respect for night elves. Also, he puts great stock in his halberd, so it would be preferable if he started at a level (2nd or higher) where he could afford for it to be a masterwork one, so he could continue to upgrade it rather than having to replace it. Alternatively, he could get it during the campaign—or later get a masterwork head for his totemic haft.
Comments: I’m interested in the scout class’s combination of stealth and fieldcraft with the ability to make healing concoctions (perhaps worth learning more about the Herbalism skill in the MMO). Also, tauren are nifty (although I’ll miss the Large size they had in D&D Warcraft, and I’m not going to take three levels in the racial class just so I can get the powerful build feat [Horde Player’s Guide]). I might have trouble playing a “strong, silent type,” as I always want attention, even in “talky” scenes.
Alternatives: The tauren racial class is interesting, but not useful enough that I’d give up scout levels—which is also why he doesn’t multiclass. If D&D rules were used, Ancestral Relic [Book of Exalted Deeds pp. 39, 41] would be characterful and save some cash, and Miser’s Fortune [Complete Scoundrel p. 80] would help protect that investment (grr wooden-hafted weapon). Dash [Complete Warrior], Extreme Leap [Complete Scoundrel], and a level in exemplar (Heal) [Complete Adventurer] would also help.
Development: Perhaps his prejudices may change, or he may find greater enlightenment, depending on his experiences. Also note the part about the halberd above. Because of this, it would be important for him to be able to occasionally run across a trustworthy druid, shaman, or witch doctor to upgrade it. (Priests and paladins with their narrow faiths, and arcanists with their foul magics, wouldn’t make the cut.)