This past week we had a follower on Twitter @ThomasMeyler propose a fun character concept. We love the opportunity to take imaginative character stories and turn them into rules, flesh, and bones that players can bring to their gaming table. Thomas suggested a “Puppet Master” who can animate and control puppets.

This turns out also to be a great opportunity to showcase a new-ish feat, proposed by one of the players in my developer “inner circle”. So fist bump to Kyle Willey for the great suggestion.

The core of the character concept as I decided to build it, revolves around “cheating” a bit to get early access to the Animation boon, which allows a character to create minions out of nothing. This could be a necromancer who raises a legion of undead, a druid who summons a horde of wild animals, or in this case, a Puppet Master who can breathe life into lifeless dolls or puppets.

The way we get early access to the Animation boon is with the Boon Access feat, which allows us to pay 6 feat points to gain access to one specific Power Level 6 boon. In this case we are choosing the Animation boon with the feat. It’s worth noting that a 1st level character could use the same feat to gain access to the Flight boon, so you could play a 1st level Pixie Ranger / Sorcerer if that’s up your alley!

So, with that inspiration in mind, I quickly came up with a Puppet Master build to scratch the itch from @ThomasMeyler:

The fun part is that the story is really flexible with this particular character build. The core character concept is to summon or create a large group of smaller minions that obey the characters bidding. Through the Enchantment attribute, the Dominated and/or Charmed banes, and the Unending Charm feat the same abilities could have different associated stories, including

  • A dark, twisted Puppet Master who animates (through the Entropy attribute) lifeless puppets (I recommend treating these as animals in terms of subhuman intelligence and use of the Dominated bane). The character then gradually gains increased ability to control them and create more powerful puppets.
  • A Druid that summons up a pack of wild animals and gradually gains the ability to call upon more powerful ones and form permanent bonds with them.
  • A Necromancer that can (from first level!) summon up minor undead minions and use Enchantment to dominate them and command them to do her bidding.


Featured illustration courtesy of Qyrara Art

About The Author

Brian is a lifelong tabletop RPG gamer & GM, as well as an engineer, programmer, designer, creative director, and publisher. Being self-taught with no college degree, the things he finds best in life are creating, building, and learning. While he enjoys all of his various projects, gaming has been closest to his heart from childhood and so, it seems in some sense inevitable that he would eventually write his own game system (Open Legend RPG).

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