Several years ago I was watching a ridiculous, musical, and marvelous TV show known as Galavant. The titular character, Galavant, starts off as a washed up hero, deep in an alcohol induced stupor. In addition to finding the show very entertaining, I really liked the idea of a has-been hero going on a journey of rediscovery. I decided to use this concept as inspiration for a new D&D character, so I set off creating a Dwarven Barbarian, Morsaw the Warsaw.
So my basis was a hero that was down on his luck. From my initial idea I start forming questions to guide creation. Why was he washed up? What was he before that? What would he need to do to get back to being a hero? Race and class often come later in creation for me, I like to wait and see if they come out naturally in the process.
Creating a Dwarven Barbarian
Okay, so why was he washed up? As my thoughts unraveled answering that question I actually came to answer the other two as well. The problem comes down to Morsaw’s medallion. It broke; half of it was lost. Why is this so important? It’s because the medallion is a treasure of his clan used to signify the one member who is currently the chosen hero of his clan’s deity. Suddenly all my previous questions are answered.
Looking at options for deities that would match the style of hero I wanted Morsaw to be, I settled on Clangeddin Silverbeard. As a deity of battle and honour, I felt he would be an excellent choice for a wandering hero. Following this, I decided that Morsaw would be a dwarf from a barbarian clan dedicated to Clangeddin. Thus my race, class and backstory fell into place and Morsaw the Warsaw was born. “Warsaw” is his clan’s title for the chosen of Clangeddin.
Fun fact: The name "Morsaw the Warsaw" originates from my friend and I playing Champions of Norrath many years ago. His character was named Morsaw and he was a warrior, but on the status bar at the top of the screen his class was cut off and it simply said "Morsaw the War...". We had a good laugh about it and I decided to revive it for my character!
A Little Bit About Stats
An important and somewhat unpopular opinion about stats, embrace your bad ones. I rolled stats for Morsaw and they came out quite nice, but he has a four for wisdom. A four. I know at a lot of tables you can reroll a four, or there is a minimum that’s allowed for stats, I don’t do that. I believe that weaknesses make a character just as must as strengths.
Due to this, I decided that Morsaw is extremely naive. He is almost childlike in the way he approaches the world. He’s quick to trust strangers, terrible at keeping watch (he once allowed two bears to enter the party’s campsite and stand on one of this companions), and lacking in any sort of subtly in combat/planning.
@epicfreddnd #stitch with @dndoingmybest Morsaw the Warsaw #dndtiktok #dnd #hesa10but #dungeonsanddragons #ttrpg ♬ original sound – EpicFredDnD
Initially Morsaw was a washed up hero. It’s been years since the medallion broke and after a time of searching he gave up and fell into wallowing. He spent most of his time drinking and the rest of the time being taken advantage of by his best friend, a bard known only as Purple Man. Purple Man convinced Morsaw to travel with him, throwing fights until the bets got high enough. Then, when Purple Man gave the signal, Morsaw would rage and win the fights. The two would then leave town with their winnings before there were too many questions.
The campaign started when Morsaw and Purple Man were offered some legitimate work. This lead to a renewed sense of purpose for Morsaw and eventually to recovering the other piece of his medallion. He hasn’t found a way to repair it yet, but he is ready to be a hero again.
Now that you’ve read about my experience in creating a dwarven barbarian, we’ll end with a quick story about the first roll of the campaign. It definitely set the tone for Morsaw as a character.
@epicfreddnd First roll of the campaign, success! (Also, if you never have, go watch Galavant!) #dndtiktok #dndstorytime #dnd #dnd5e #dungeonsanddragons #ttrpg #storytime #barbarian ♬ original sound – EpicFredDnD