Following the Phandelver campaign, our group kept the same roster of players, but rotated the GM. Absolutely no disrespect to the previous GM because I think he did an awesome job (much better than I could’ve done), but that was his first campaign, whereas the current GM is more experienced, especially in the Eberron setting, which is where the game is set.
Episode 1 of D&D 5E – Eberron: Heirs Of Destiny: https://senstaku.podbean.com/e/eberron-heirs-of-destiny-01/
For this time, I had a clear inspiration for the character: the manga series Delicious In Dungeon. Branma is equal parts Senshi and Laius. She originally wanted to taste all the beasts of the land, which transitioned into a little bit of a food obsession. Unfortunately, the campaign ended up going in a direction that was non-conducive to such a singular focus, so this is also a time that having such a clear focus was a bit of a backfire.
“The House Of The Rising Sun” by The Animals
This song is a tribute to Branma’s time in House Kundarak, and the events leading to her exile. She discovered rather worrying secrets of the clan and its associates, so was asked to leave and remain silent as an alternative to prison. It also encompasses some of her time wandering the wilds (and adapting some of her skill set to creature-based cooking).
“He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” by The Hollies
To find a way into the adventure, Branma had to have someone bring her in, as it would be unlikely to happen by blind chance. Enter Vaelin, the Elf Ranger. There’s enough of a timeskip between their first meeting and the first episode proper for them to have had at least some adventure together, least of all because they travelled on foot for some time to find their way to Sharn, the City Of Towers. They would have to have supported each other, and picked up some fun stories along the way.
“People Are Strange” by The Doors
Branma was never all that social even while still in the House, so suddenly being in a group of people with vastly different personalities would be a bit of a shock. Luckily, Branma isn’t the easiest to ruffle. She views the world with a very laid-back eye.
“Popcorn” by Hot Butter
This fun little number is not only a tribute to Branma’s habits/obsession, but a reference to her near-supernatural ability to avoid the plot points whenever they’d come up. Any time something important was happening, she’d be randomly out fishing, or preoccupied with eating, or any number of other things.
“Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
This song further plays up to Branma’s easy-going attitude, while still keeping with her resolve. She’s not the kind to give up easily if at all, but things aren’t going to faze her unless it gets really intense.
“Takin’ Care Of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Branma’s preferred combat style is to turtle up, and slowly close in on a target. While she could handily deal more damage by loosening her guard, the patient hawk gets the best catch. Again, this song also plays to the dual sides of Branma: firm, but fair.
“Eat It” by “Weird Al” Yankovic
Oh, the jam. Branma’s inspiration came back in a big way in the aftermath of a fight with some Kruthiks, an insectoid-style foe. Using her skills, she managed to make a… “uniquely flavoured” jam from them. Tasty, but an acquired taste to be sure. Of course, something this nice isn’t made to be kept to oneself, but shared with friends.
“Buffalo Swan” by Black Mountain
I’m not proud, but due to another depressive episode, I was having a bit of a rough time being enthused over the game. A lot of the plot had shifted in a direction that felt like Branma was being looked over, which didn’t help matters much. This song is partially a meta-choice over those feelings of being lost and even adrift at times, and partially because of a gem of a TV show called Spirited. (If you can find this anywhere, I recommend watching it). In one episode, the main character has some really bizzare dreams while this song plays in the background. I think the reference is apt.
“Fading Like A Flower” by Roxette
After her bad dreams, Branma kept spending time (more than she already had) with Vaelin, in an attempt to learn about his personality, and how to utilise whatever techniques he had in that regard. This also led to her taking some experience as a Ranger (even if mechanically she wasn’t qualified).
“Time In A Bottle” by Jim Croce
While we never got a full confirmation on their relationship, I like to think that over time Branma and Vaelin would hook up. For my part, Branma was certainly making moves in that area, albeit slowly.
“Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
This represents the farewell from the party Branma and Vaelin made in the Aerenali city of Shae Mordai, to pursue their own interests. For me personally, this is also a cutting of the ties that I had felt were holding my back, being tied to a narrative I had been losing interest in. I’m not the most talkative of players at the best of times, but there was even a point where in a 3-hour session, I ended up saying nothing for 80 minutes straight, simply because Branma was irrelevant. In case anyone’s worried, I’m doing much better now.