View Full Version : Skill Monkey BBEG

2007-10-05, 11:50 PM
I've been thinking about making a Skill Monkey BBEG.
Good idea? Bad idea?

What do I need to do to make him effective?

Should I go with Rogue or (Generic) Expert?

Should I multiclass him?

What PrCs should I look at?

What splat books should I look at?

I'm thinking Gnoll as a race (for RP reasons).
Any templates I should consider?

Luckily since he's an NPC I can give him whatever stats and equipment I need to.

He needs to have been able to feasibly amass followers.

I'm definitely thinking: milk Use Magic Device for all it's worth.

Thoughts and ideas, please.

2007-10-06, 12:05 AM
If he's a skill monkey you're gonna have a lot more fun if you don't stat him out. Make him be like McGyver with a tool for everything. If the players cast fireball make him retroactively have a ring of spellstoring. And if the players start crying fowl you can just have him runaway and come back later to harass them again.

2007-10-06, 01:32 AM
I actually agree, for the most part, with the above. Give him, LOTS of stuff and if you must stat him out, lots of ranks in UMD.

"He just cast a fireball at us! He must be a wizard" BBEG hides his wand and activates his boots of teleportation...

2007-10-06, 07:31 AM
Complete Adventurer and Complete Scoundrel are the skillmonkey books. The Factotum from Dungeonscape is the skillmonkey class. Alternately, consider a Changeling Rogue; the substitution levels in Races of Eberron give them more skills.

Can you clarify what you want this guy to actually do? "Skillmonkey" is a broad term. What's his role as BBEG? Will he be doing a lot of stuff himself or manipulating others into doing it for him?

Gnoll seems an odd choice for any skillmonkey due to the Int penalty, however as you say you can give him whatever stats suit (remember to scale the CR for above-average stats though!). Human is obviously good (as well as having an easier time in general going unnoticed), and Changeling has the "why have eight different people accused us of burning down that building" feel.

2007-10-06, 07:40 AM
Depending on the levels for the BBEG. To make effective just play him like a PC. His goal doesn't have to be to Kill the PCs. He could be the leader of a rival adventuring party. Stealing Plum adventures, running a defaming party PC slander campaign (Bandits, Robbers and Highwaymen disguised with Change Self imitating the PCs when performing their crimes ("Accidentally" overheard using their "Names"). Con men selling Mounts disguised as the PCs and running up debts in their names. Bards and other types hired for slandering and rumormongering.

Several levels of class dips in Rogue, Factotum, Ranger (Favored Enemy Party Majority (Humans, Elves.....)), Bard, F.

The Leadership feat to provide the support organization of underlings or a PRC like the Legendary Captain from Stormwrack or the ECS Dragon Mark Heir PRC with the Favored in House benefits to a large powerful influential organization.

Membership in an organization like The Shadow Thief of Amn PRC in the Player's Guide to Faerun which spans Faerun.

A level dip or two in Assassin mostly for things like killing the NPC the PCs are bodyguarding.

2007-10-06, 01:31 PM
I thought about making a bard BBEG once. He wouldn't fight the adventurers face on, but rather the be the evil genius behind a large group.
As CASTLEMIKE said, abuse the Leadership feat, and let the rogue show up only when the situation is completely favorable to him, and get him ways to escape. A recurring villain as BBEG may upset the players, but in the end it turns out into an interesting campaign.

2007-10-06, 04:52 PM
Factotum from Dungeonscape will keep your players guessing.

2007-10-06, 08:52 PM
Sounds like a great idea. I like the idea that you could make him so skilled that the PCs are always searching for traps, can never seem to find him, can't subdue him without killing him (escape artist, etc) or something like that.

It sounds like it could make for a really intense game that focuses on planning.

2007-10-06, 08:54 PM
I might go human, or changeling.

He rallied all the tribes of beastmen (gnolls, minotaurs, catfolk, etc.) together into and army and waged war on the other the other tribes (humanoids). The beastmen army was just defeated by the PCs (The BBEG got away) and now the campaign begins.

So this guy's goal will be to amass another army somewhere and seek revenge on the PCs...then take over the world.

Thanks for the tips, I'll look into all that stuff.
I'm definitely willing to fudge things for story purposes, but I'd like to have him statted out just so that I know what she should be capable of.

2007-10-06, 09:03 PM
If you go Changeling consider starting off as a variant Changeling Rogue which gets 10 skill points a level. 1 level of Beguiler and 3 levels of Factotum would be nice before entering the PRC and you would have a SAD Intelligence BBEG NPC.

Consider adding the +0 LA Planetouched template to the Changeling or Human BBEG NPC.

The Chameleon PRC would be great for a Changeling BBEG:


Your BBEG can have more useful magic items if you prorate them out.

Boots of Teleportation normally 49,000 GP market usable 3/day are only 1,650 GP if they are usable 1/10 days so have 2 pairs. If they are custom boots only usable by your BBEG they get a 30% price break on cost.

Sharn City of Towers has some monster organizations in it if this is taking place in ECS.

For a human BBEG in ECS I'd consider a Dragon Marked Heir with the Dragon Marked Heir PRC from House Tharashk deals with monster mercenaries the most in competition with House Deneith.

An Aberrant Marked Heir could also work well and has options in Dragonmarked.

2007-10-06, 09:24 PM


2007-10-06, 10:03 PM
Actually, the guy in Oceans12 who stole things from under Danny's nose could be good inspiration for this character. Have him get the things out of the dungeons before the PCs so and leave little notes or somthing behind to tease them.

I would set a time limit for the PCs and if they don't make it, the stuff is gone. Say like 12 hours or somthing. That way, they have to rush (which makes things more challenging), and you are still giving them a chace.

2007-10-06, 10:51 PM
Yes, Cog, if you're reading this (and you shouldn't have clicked the link in the first place, and since you did you certainly shouldn't come back to see this post) leave now and never come back...to this thread.
Remember the DM can always tell when you metagame and consequences will be dire.

The time limit's a good idea, since the PCs will hopefully be hunting this guy down.

I'm not going to use the Chameleon PrC because I already ruled that one of my PCs can't use it.

2007-10-06, 11:01 PM
I would suggest that instead of a typical BBEG, have this one be NOT a threat in combat. Build him for social skills and manipulation and have him run some sort of crime syndicate with an iron fist. Sure, he'll have some decent levels in rogue or something, but have him threaten the PCs because of the muscle he can pull down on them and maybe even blackmail and extortion he can use against them.

If the PCs encounter him in combat, have him place realy smart. Use hit and run tactics, High ranks in Hide and Move Silenty, and mostly mundane gear to cause the PCs problems. Find ways to have him get away and come back to haunt the PCs.

By the time the PCs actualy manage to kill a skillmonkey BBEG, they should hate his guts with a true passion, like housewives hate cockroaches.

2007-10-06, 11:17 PM
I should mention that the setting is basically pre-civilization and that communities exist in the form of tribes rather than cities. This also limits equipment somewhat as metalwork is done almost solely by the dwarven clans and most magical items are relics of an ancient civilization.

Minion will be this guy's main offense and other than that he will use subtle ways of "hurting" the PCs.