|Race: half-dragon rakshasa
First Appearance: “Breaking Free”
“You can’t stop what you can’t see!”
Jasmine was born of a liason between a disguised brass dragon and a female rakshasa of a minor noble house. When her father’s deception was exposed, he attempted to flee, and only her mother ever knew of his ultimate fate. (“A Dangerous Love”)
Having lost face due to this, her mother was forced to raise her daughter alone. While her draconic heritage did not manifest directly for many years, Jasmine found that magic did not come easy to her, instead finding solace in swordplay and her natural stealth.
As she came of age, she began to appear very attractive to other rakshasa, with several making passes despite her tainted bloodline. Seeing this, her mother sought to marry her off to regain influence, but Jasmine discovered this during one of the many secret passages laced throughout their home and the city itself. Unwilling to give herself to the male chosen by her mother, she instead took what she could and escaped through the city’s planar portal to destinations unknown. (“Breaking Free”)
Since then, she has ended up in Sigil, the City of Doors, and established a name for herself as being able to get in or out of any place imaginable. She initially attempted to locate her father, but after a few years of fruitless journeys to various prime material planes, she eventually gave up and fully took on the lifestyle of a rogue-for-hire among the planes.
Jasmine is a master of stealth, despite what one would think with the color and shine of her hide. She also is adept at mechanical devices, allowing her to disable traps or locks with ease. In combat, she favors paired scimitars, despite the reduced capability for finesse such a combination causes. She has also picked up a few mystical techniques that allow her to meld with shadows or instantly step across short distances without crossing the space between.
Due to an odd quirk of her mixed heritage, Jasmine is unable to draw upon her magical nature for any form of spellcasting, leaving her with only her innate shapeshifting abilities, and the few supernatural techniques she has picked up over the years. She also has a preference for up-close fighting, to the point of eschewing ranged combat unless absolutely necessary, which can be exploited by a canny fighter
REAL LIFE ORIGINS
Unlike most characters here, Jasmine actually started in a game adaption – specifically Neverwinter Nights. On top of that, she actually started as a joke as well, before becoming a “real” character.
Right after I got NWN, I found out about a huge addon pack called “Player’s Resource Consortium” or PRC for short. They added a bunch of classes, races, and other options from the 3.5 books, including playable Rakshasas, with all their bonuses. I commented to someone at the time that I wondered how far I could push it by combining the half-dragon template you get from the Dragon Disciple class with all the bonuses they get, which started wheels turning. So when I started the main story campaign, that’s exactly what I created – a Rakshasa rogue, with a level of sorcerer and eventually full Dragon Disciple. To keep from being total cheese, I also turned on the ECL option – which in this case treated me like I was 7 levels higher, to balance the character out.
I then reused the same build for both expansions, and then went looking for a Persistant World that allowed the PRC – with all the PnP options, I didn’t want to give that up. (For those unfamiliar, Persistant Worlds were like MMO shards – privately-run NWN servers running 24/7 running some module or other that you could log into and play a consistant character with.)
I found an RP world, and created her and started playing her there. Now originally there was little restrictions, but after I’d been playing there a bit the GMs decided to add some restrictions on the higher power races besides the ECL that was already in place – namely, we needed to write a background on how and why we were there for GM approval. I’d already been thinking about how she had come about, as writing a background also got you bonus XP, so I knocked out her story, and was able to keep on going.
The GMs kept dialing back some of the higher power stuff however, including adding requirements to continue to advance in the Epic level range(level 21+). I was already epic by this point(level 25 but ECL 32) and was plotting out how to make it work, but even in Epic apparently I was still too powerful, so the GMs asked me to retire the character. They didn’t have any problem with the character or the RP with said character; it was purely a power issue. And thus, she left that world to go find her father.
So far I haven’t ever gotten to play her in a pen and paper campaign, but I have come up with a couple ways to re-build her in Pathfinder, so she may yet see the light of day outside NWN.
My preferred version continues to run with the “OP but not” joke, making her a Unchained Rogue with the Hidden Blade archetype gestalted with the Two Weapon Warrior archetype Fighter. On the surface it sounds powerful, but the end result actually feels fairly balanced, ignoring a few of the more powerful racial quirks which will lose a lot of value at higher levels. This version would probably be doable without the fighter half too, as that’s mostly to assist with making two-weapon-fighting more viable.
Unfortunately, the group I was going to play her in broke up, so I’m left without a game to play her in, at least for now. The hard part is going to be finding a group with high enough power level where I can use her(and that allows Path of War), but low enough that they won’t out-optimize her and make her useless.