Torchlight II (TL2) is a cool action-adventure computer RPG, much like Diablo. It was made by key guys from older Diablo games. It was released in 2012 on PC, Mac and Linux.
It’s a bit of a comfort game for me. I hadn’t played it in yonks, but insomnia led to sinking most of a weekend into a TL2 game. Because I was gonna be useless anyway.
So let’s have a sample character writeup or three.
(The photograph used as this entry’s header’s mood picture was taken by M. Albisser . It was altered to better fit the page).
The player characters in Torchlight are blank slates. Therefore, almost all the background and details in this entry is made up, and is unique to this character, to flesh them out.
As with our other TL2 sample characters, I started with the visuals and gameplay then entirely made something up.
The actually-in-the-game build was a berserker with :
- The wolfpack skill. Which doesn’t do what’s in this writeup, it’s more of an AoE attack.
- Some points in shadow burst.
- The rest mostly in passive skills.
Powers & Abilities
- The pack is seven large, European wolves. These all are ghosts.
- Each wolf oscillates between a mostly-material-looking form and a spectral, translucent form. The cycle’s duration for each wolf varies.
- The more spectral a wolf is, the more its bites are a sort of spiritual cold attack. And the less it otherwise interacts with material obstacles.
- The more material the wolf is, the more it bites normally.
The entire pack has some sort of shared consciousness. It might be a telepathic link, but it instead seems that the whole is a single creature. This becomes apparent if hit by a psychic attack.
Furthermore ! At any given point, at least one wolf is morphingImpossibly shifting into another form. into the shape of a woman.
It is always the same person, with the same equipment. So as far as one can tell, she’s a/ the ghost, b/ of a wifwolfPedantically correct way to call a female werewolf., c/ who’s part of a supernatural pack hivemind.
There is some overlap. So one of the wolves might start turning into the woman even as another wolf is still in the process of reverting to beast form.
The lady is equipped with cold weather, low-tech fighting equipment. That includes wicked, Wolverine-like bone claws (wielded a bit like a katar) and hide armour. Most pieces are magically reinforced.
She can also :
- Fight and/or run at unnatural speeds. This clearly looks supernatural in a flickery, jittery way.
- Use her claws to bat projectiles back with little loss of speed. This works even against musket balls.
- Recreate herself and her pack if slain, during the next full moon.
- Drain life force to restore herself.
The Pack has been around for thousands of years. In real-world terms, it would harken well back into prehistory.
Presumably it comes from the Wiesental river in the great Northern forest.
But it could just be where it was first seen. Or a misattribution by somebody who died generations ago.
The Pack is at war with several wolf nations, such as the Bloodfangs or Corpsefire.
From there it extended to allies of the wolves – such as goblin clans that cooperate with wolves. And from there it extended to other parties — such as certain sleuths of Sturmbeorn raiders — for reasons lost to time.
Since this behaviour has remained unchanged for centuries, factions can be pretty sure whether they are friends or foes to the Pack.
The former therefore have little problem with having scary killer ghost wolves run around their turf – or even their streets. They never attacked anyone there, for centuries.
The Pack marks territory by peeing over its dead foes. The three she-wolves on the Pack also do that, so it’s not male canine territorial instinct.
The females’ behaviour is the main reason to think that their fight is over politics or a vendetta, where symbols count.
The human manifestation seems to be 40-ish. But it’s entirely possible that it’s premature ageing from harsh, low-tech conditions and she’s actually younger. Well, was.
The wolves are just that. The main observable personality is from the one currently assuming the human form.
Unfortunately, the language she speaks is incomprehensible. It is probably a known language… as it existed thousands of years ago. Some spirits still speak it, but that requires being very much immortal and having perfect linguistic memory. Or communication magic.
She also seems a bit disoriented by buildings that are bigger than a hut, machines, stone bridges, cities, etc.. Presumably, she can’t really process things that appeared after her death.
Interactions (such as buying raw meat) are thus usually done through pointing, gestures and raising fingers to indicate numbers.
Other Universe History
(This section proposes ways of using this character in other fictional universes).
Der Pack is meant to be usable in any setting with a sufficient magic level.
It’s more of a heroic fantasy presence, but it could work in a number of genres, such as horror or low fantasy.
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 05||Str: 03||Bod: 04|
|Int: 05||Wil: 03||Min: 04|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 04||Spi: 05|
|Init: 018||HP: 025|
Analytical smell/tracking scent: 03, Invulnerability: 06, Jumping: 01, Running: 05, Self-Link (Spirit travel): 06, Vampirism: 05
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Invulnerability can only be used during a full moon, and from the Spirit Travel form. It can recreate a physical body ex nihilo.
- Spirit Travel can only be activated if physically slain.
- Vampirism has a Range of Touch.
Acrobatics: 06, Martial artist: 06
Expertise (Wilderness survival), Immortal, Lightning Reflexes, Pets (wolves), Misc.: Not affected by effects that specifically target the living.
Exile, Misc.: Very low-tech ; Misc.: Language is extinct in this form, Misc.: Affected by effects that target ghosts, Misc.: effects that do RAPs against MIN or SPI also affect the Pets.
- Bone claws [BODY 08, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 09), Reflection/Deflection: 07, Descriptor: Slashing].
- ENCHANTED HIDE ARMOUR [BODY 04, Blunting: 02, Cold immunity: 02, Damage capacity: 04, Enhance (Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing RV): 01 (cap is 06), Flame immunity: 02, Lightning immunity: 02, Stealth Penalty 2/1, Bonuses & Limitations: Damage Capacity has the Full Recovery With Infrastructure Bonus.]
Spectral wolves (x6)
|Dex: 05||Str: 03||Bod: 03|
|Int: 03||Wil: 02||Min: 04|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 02||Spi: 04|
|Init: 014||HP: ////|
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 07, Claws: 04, Cold Immunity: 01, Directional Hearing: 04, Extended Hearing: 03, Ice production: 04, Invulnerability: 06, Jumping: 01, Magic blast: 04, Running: 05, Shrinking: 01, Shrinking (Squeeze thru only): 02, Self-Link (Spirit travel): 06, Super Hearing: 3, Ultra Vision: 03, Vampirism: 04
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Ice Production has a Range of Touch, and can only be used for cold damage.
- Invulnerability and Spirit Travel are triggered when the main character’s are, with the same modifiers.
- Magic blast has a Range of Touch, and uses DEX for AV.
- Shrinking always on, already figured. It stacks with Shrinking (Squeeze thru only), for a total of 3 APs of the latter.
- Vampirism has a Range of Touch.
Charisma (Intimidation): 03, Thief (Stealth): 04
Again, the links with the actually playable build in TL2 are tenuous at best.
In fact, the level 42 wolfpack ability was kinda a disappointment. Might use an editor to respec… idk… yeah, trying :
- Priority is Dex (see below) and Strength. Zero focus or vitality.
- Spells are all passive – weapons exp, armour exp, dual-wielding, treasure hunter.
- Pet has heal all, frost, silence and a summon.
- Equipment emphasises health and resists.
- At least one weapon with health stealing, weapon slots have +% crit or (preferably) +% execute gems.
- Hunter skills: Blood hunger and executioner to max, one in rampage (more eventually).
- Tundra skills : Iceshield to 5, will eventually go to 10.
- Shadow skills: Shadow burst 5, battle standard 5 (eventually max), frenzy mastery and shred armour to max, red wolf 1 (eventually more), wolf shade max.
The goal is to quickly ramp up to a charge state (using executes, the iceshield, the battle standard and perhaps +% charge gear), then have it last as long as possible. Remember that you auto-crit in this state.
It’s deliberately passives-heavy. Shadow burst on RMB to get out of tight spot, heal pot on 1, iceshield on 2 (keep up whenever fighting or shot at), standard on 3 (drop when mobbed or facing a boss), wolf shade on 4 (for any tough situation). That’s it, no more buttons to press.
The Dex early on is to land some more crits while building up charge is still slow. These help with survivability. Later on, Dex helps reach the dodge cap when the battle standard is active. So you need 35% dodge from Dex and other not-the-battle-standard sources.
Source of Character: Loosely inspired by a Torchlight 2 Player Character.
Writeup completed on the 11th of November, 2021.