I came up with an idea that amused me and posted it on Mastodon yesterday:
A D&D sorcerer is supposed to have a source of their magic, right?
What if it’s Geoff? Geoff just… doesn’t have time for adventuring anymore. Has a collection of artifacts, but you know, family has to come first. The best stuff is on display, but some is in storage. If an adventurer wants to borrow magical power, then sure… but only if they bring it back later! Just part of being a good neighbor.
“I don’t know, I guess I’ve just outgrown magic?”
I really liked the idea of a magical patron who looks down on you because they’ve grown up and become the equivalent of a suburban dad… they’ve “made it.”
The problem with Geoff as your magical patron is you sometimes feel like he’s holding it over your head, so you can’t turn down an invite to his BBQ, even though his kids are annoying and he overcooks everything.
He seems way too eager to hear about your adventures, and says stuff like “Yeah, I probably would have done it slightly different, but… I’m just glad the magic is getting some use, you know?”
“Never grow up,” Geoff sighs, not even realizing the insult.
Geoff would have magical artifacts he could loan out as if they were power tools from his shed.
“A blood sacrifice? Oh heck no, neighbor. I got this blood cauldron out back, it never goes empty. I’ve been tinkering with it to reduce the hum, you know? Annoys the spouse, but if it’s not humming, it’s not drawing blood from some infinitely renewable blood dimension! Hey, you want another beer? Can you grab me one while you’re in the cooler? I just got comfy in this lawn chair.”
His casual condescension would be infuriating, but if you want to keep on as an adventuring warlock, you had to put up with him, even though every time he thinks he’s being supportive, it comes off as passively denigrating… especially galling if your obligations to him are actively keeping you from adventures.
“Oh man, you got invited to go to the Tombs of Deathmaw? Next time you HAVE to go. Did I ever show you my slides from there? But seriously, I really appreciate you helping me prime the wood for this fence. With the stormy season coming, it was now or never, right? Besides, those Tombs aren’t going anywhere. You’ve got time, you’re young.”
Anyway, a super-exciting result of all this scribbling is that it caught the eye of Nick Wedig (an actual writer of role-playing games), who took the idea and ran with it, creating a useable outline for a D&D warlock patron based on this idea of mine.
So now anybody could roll up a character with a Geoff of their own on their side. For as long as they can put up with him.
[original image source credit: Amanda Kerr on Unsplash]