It’s National Nude Day today in the US, so I figure what better time to start making some blog posts about a TTRPG topic that often gets interested responses but which a lot of people aren’t sure how to approach. Specifically, Player Characters who do their thing in the buff.
Here’s a quick introduction to the topics I’ll be covering (or have already covered) in greater depth.
The first thing, which you ABSOLUTELY MUST DO to start playing a naked adventurer, is use safety tool or other means of confirming consent from the other players. That includes the GM. Nobody wants to be in an RPG Horror Story, and nothing ruins the fun of playing a lewd disaster bisexual adventurer more than someone getting squicked and the game being derailed.
Clear the character concept with the group and find out what level of focus or explicit detail they are comfortable with. Bring up the theme of nudity when discussing Lines and Veils/doing consent checklists/etc. during Session Zero. Here are some handy consent tools for more sexually charged content that you can utilize for free or use for inspiration.
The second consideration is to answer why. This is going to vary quite a great deal based on which game you are playing, the genre the game is in, the tone of the game, what setting you are playing in, and so on. Obviously a lot of this is going to have to be done on a table-by-table or even campaign by campaign basis, but the important thing is that the character isn’t disrupting play, because having fun playing the game is the whole goal here.
Towards that purpose I’ll be spending some time doing overviews of where and how naked PCs will already fit into popular settings and providing new pieces of lore or character concepts that can slide into a game without much difficulty. Sometimes this blog will spend a post covering the rites and rituals of a particular deity of beauty and how their devout might express their faith bodily. Sometimes it will be descriptions of new warlock patrons, deities, philosophies and such that a character might follow. Sometimes it will zoom in on a particular character concept and show how to make it using various mechanical builds and potentially include pregenerated examples ready to drop into your next game.
The third thing to know (but the one I will cover before lore and in-character concerns, just to get some tutorials down that will be used many times later on) is how to make sure your character can keep up mechanically. Some groups put a strong emphasis on having optimized characters and some don’t, but even in a game where it isn’t a priority, having a paladin with AC 9 is just going to be a bad time for everyone involved. And after all, the goal of naked adventuring is fun, right?
That doesn’t mean you can’t be a paladin, it just requires a little bit of preparation. I will be spending plenty of time getting into the ins and outs of all sorts of builds for 5e and other systems (including examples and sample builds for every class in 5e, yes including that paladin) so they aren’t a liability in a fight.
The most important part of this in most campaigns is Armor Class, since most of the times the rules come into play is for fighting. I’ll dedicate an entire post to this soon, but the very very short version for 5th edition is this:
Unarmored Defense and Mage Armor are your friends. There are some other ways too, but if you want to get the character rolling easily, one of those (or something equivalent to them) are going to be doing the heavy lifting for you. Surviving hostile environments are highly conditional so I’ll be approaching that separately.
See you next time for How to Handle Armor Class at 1st Level, and until then, happy naked adventuring!