Kingsley Margaux, Failing Upwards

The third character of the month is Kingsley Margaux (pronounced Mar-go), a human wizard.

What makes players unique in D&D is that they are adventurers, individuals who standout from the many and most with either the potential and/or passion to go out to confront the world. So, we make mighty persons. We look for maximum impact. We automatically assume our characters are superior.

But what if they weren’t? What if your character didn’t have talent? What if your character just barely graduated from Hogwart’s? What if your character was a rich kid who always failed upwards and had no self-awareness of that fact?


This is Kingsley. He comes from a noble family, one where his mother secured his entry into a mage’s college through her legacy admission and where his father pulled the strings to get him his first ‘job’ as a middling-high ranked individual in service to the royalty. Handsome because he’s never had to work in the sun and has had personal physicians keeping him soft and pink his whole life, Kingsley has failed upwards his whole life. It never occurred to him he wouldn’t succeed.

But Kingsley is not unique or talented. His privilege allowed him the comfort to learn just enough to be forgettable when it comes to his arcane ability. And yet, he considers himself an adventurer. Kingsley is the squishiest character I’ve yet made. His -2 in Constitution means he’ll have a steep hill to climb to build-up his Hit Points. And while he may wear some truly fine robes and elegant cloaks, his Armor Class is no better than the lowliest commoner. His only perks come from his Noble background and even then it’s not so impressive.

During his studies, Kingsley took to spells involving cold. The crisp, clean arcane knowledge of Cryomancy drew him in, and Kingsley thinks of himself as a Cryomancer, an ice mage. With almost no interest in any other kind of magic, Kingsley only really works hard to learn spells dealing cold damage, creating wintery effects, or bringing out deathly chills. Unlike most else in his life, he is actually interested in and adept at using his cryomantic spells (Frostbite, Ray of Frost, and Ice Knife) and feels drawn towards certain necromantic spells. With the Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma of a dandy, Kingsley hides on his person as many different knives and daggers as possible, a firm believer in death by a thousand cuts (yet he’s never killed anyone and responds to violence with fear).

Kingsley is either a spoiled little shit or an earnest, ignorant rich kid. I think the arch in his personal development would be an interesting roleplaying opportunity. I also think other players would love to see him get his comeuppance.


One thought on “Kingsley Margaux, Failing Upwards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s