View Full Version : [Pirate] Mandible Bones, the Worst Pirate Ev-arrr

2006-09-21, 07:19 AM
Part 1: The Pirate

Mandible Bones, the Worst Pirate Ev-arr

A kobold, tall for his race with scales as black as night, approaches you. It wears a jaunty cap, has an eyepatch slung over one eye and walks with a swagger. Ridges at its eyes and tail suggest more draconic ancestry than most, and the twin rapiers slung at its hips betray intelligence and combat prowress.

In a flash, it leaps on the table of the bar, and as its blue eyes flash like the sea before a storm, it says in a voice like crashing waves the following.

“I leave at dawn in sssearch of treasssure: gold and gemsss beyond your wildessst imagination! I require but a ssship and a crew – who be with me!?”

You find yourself oddly drawn to this kobold scoundrel, and from the ragged cheers and raised glasses echoing around the bar, you are not the only one.

Mandible Bones is the worst pirate ever. This is not to badmouth his combat skills: he is a duelist par excellance. Nor is he incompetant in the ways of the sea: he is a better sailor than most, and as at home on a sailing ship as most kobolds are at home in the mountain mines.

No, Mandible Bones is simply a terrible pirate. His ego gets in the way, you see. It's Mandible's belief that he is the foremost pirate in the seas, deprived of his beloved ship and the Perfect Treasure through some cruel twist of fate. None of that is true, of course. Mandible simply makes a steady stream of poor choices. He knows the right course and deliberately chooses to ignore it, because he believes that he is better than “all those other fools who did it that way.”

Bones, as his crews sometimes call him, was born fifty years ago to an ordinary kobold mother and an ancient black dragon named Jamarakrag in a swamp that ran out into the sea. His mother died giving birth to the difficult child, and his father abandoned him as soon as he could walk, according to the custom of black dragons.

Jamarakrag taught the young kobold only one thing: take care of yourself. Nobody else really matters. Mandible took it to heart, except in one case: he became a pirate to prove his worth to his father (who he has never seen since and who, unknown to Bones, died on the end of a paladin's lance three days after abandoning the young kobold).

Mandible is bombastic, overly dramatic and full of pomp and flare. He prefers to speak common, with a pronounced draconic accent, so that all will know and understand his words and his heritage.

To date, Mandible has lost almost a thousand ships (all belonging to other people, and all officially christened “The Black Dragon” once he convinced the crews that he should be captain) in pursuit of a single goal: The Dragon at the Heart of the Ocean. You see, Mandible isn't content being the best pirate the world has ever known. He's got a grander goal:

Mandible Bones wants to be a god of the sea. And the gods help anyone who gets in the way.

Mandible Bones
Small Dragon (Augmented Humanoid)
Hit Dice: 6d8 + 72 + 42 (162 hp)
Initiative: +9
Speed: 90
Armor Class: 48 (10+5natural+12insight+12luck+9dex)
BAB/Grapple: +6/+1, +31
Attack: Kinslayer +41 melee (1d4+33 damage, crits 16-20) or Claw +36 melee (1d3+29 damage)
Full Attack: Kinslayer and Godslayer +39/+38/+34/+33 melee (1d4+33 and 1d4+32 damage, crits 16-20) or 2 claws +36 melee (1d3+29 damage) and bite +36 melee (1d4+29 damage)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/5ft
Special Attacks: Breath Weapon: 60 ft. line of Acid, 6d8 damage (DC 17 for half)
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., Lowlight vision, Light sensitivity, Fire and cold resistance 10, Acid immunity, immune to sleep and paralysis effects, DR 10/epic, SR 31, Fast Healing 20, Spell-like abilities
Saves: Fort +22, Ref +24, Will +21
Abilities: Str 29, Dex 28, Con 25, Int 27, Wis 25, Cha 27 (Base stats all 10s)
Skills: Climb +28, Heal +26, Hide +28, Jump +28, Knowledge (Geography) +27, Knowledge (Nature) +27, Listen +28, Move Silently +28, Profession (Sailor) +26, Search +29, Spot +28, Survival +26, Swim +28, Use Rope +28.
Feats: Alertness, Endurance, Improved Critical (Rapier), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Iron Will, Track, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Rapier)
Environment: The open sea, and pubs in port towns.
Organization: Not very
CR: 20
Treasure: See below
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Light Sensitivity (Ex): Kobolds are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp): 3/day: greater dispel magic, haste, and see invisibility, CL 15th.

Favored Enemy (Ex): Mandible Bones gains a +2 bonus on bluff, listen, sense motive, spot and survival checks when using these skills against humans. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures. This bonus increases to +4 against dragons.

Wild Empathy (Ex): Mandible Bones can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. The ranger rolls 1d20 and adds his ranger level and his Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. To use wild empathy, the ranger and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time. Mandible Bones can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a -4 penalty on the check.

Animal Companion (Ex): At 4th level, a ranger gains an animal companion. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the ranger on his adventures as appropriate for its kind. This ability functions like the druid ability of the same name, except that the ranger's effective druid level is one-half his ranger level. A ranger may select from the alternative lists of animal companions just as a druid can, though again his effective druid level is half his ranger level. Like a druid, a ranger cannot select an alternative animal if the choice would reduce his effective druid level below 1st.

Languages: Draconic, Abyssal, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Common, Giant, Infernal, Terran

Ranger Spells: Mandible Bones can prepare and cast 3 level 1 ranger spells per day.



Kinslayer and Godslayer are Mandible's weapons of choice. Kinslayer is a small +4 brilliant energy dragonbane rapier, and Godslayer is a small +3 anarchic vorpal bane of good outsiders rapier. Both weapons are made from adamantine, and rather than glow, they seem to suck light into them. Parting gifts from Mandible's dragon father before he was abandoned, Mandible has carried these with him since long before he was able to wield them to their full power. Kinslayer is acid-etched with a scene of a kobold driving a sword through the heart of a metallic dragon. Godslayer is etched with a single draconic eye, the iris of which reflects the world. Both weapons exude strongly evil auras, as well as magic auras of the evocation school. Godslayer's aura is also strongly chaotic.

Eyepatch of Greater Darkvision: This magical eyepatch is an example of the treasure Mandible has picked up during his time as a pirate. It is translucent black, hiding the wearer's eye but not completely stifling the wearer's vision. During the day it has no effect other than imposing a -1 penalty to ranged attack rolls, but in the dark, it grants a 30-foot extention to existing darkvision (or grants a wearer without darkvision the darkvision ability out to 30 ft.). The Eyepatch of Greater Darkvision exudes a faint magical aura of transmutation.

Resplendant Cap of Shade: A giant black hat with a huge blue feather that Mandible wears at all times while outside to avoid being dazzled. While the shade-providing properties are non-magical, the cap has been enchanted to stay on Mandible's head unless he wants to remove it, to stay clean and dry, and to be undamaged by acid (note: the hat does not provide the wearer with acid immunity). The Resplendant Cap of Shade exudes a faint magical aura of transmutation.


Designer's Notes: Mandible Bones uses the Paragon Creature template and the Half-Dragon template, applied to a 6th-level kobold ranger. Everything used to build him can be found in the SRD.

2006-09-21, 07:19 AM
Part 2: The Sidekick

Raisa, the Most Auspicious Wind of the Sea

On the kobold's black and scaly shoulder, what looks like a green parrot perches. A maliscious glint shines in its eyes, though it might be the light reflected off the rings it wears on its legs. Your party's cleric, having drunk enough wine to see more than he should of the world, gasps and clutches his holy symbol. Looking right at you, the bird speaks in a voice that sounds almost like a crow.

“Awwk! Blood and gold, Bones! Blood and gold!”

You could almost swear the bird winks.

Mandible Bones' ego is so vast, he failed to notice when he attracted an animal companion (a small squid) in the first place. So when that squid was eaten, he certainly wasn't paying attention. He was paying attention when a dark-feathered parrot landed on his shoulder during one of his famous last stands (the two-hundred-and-thirty-seventh loss of “The Black Dragon,” to be precise), but he just assumed he'd finally attracted an animal companion.

Not so. Raisa, as he called the bird, was no parrot at all, but an undead creature – a shadow made years ago from an albatross that had annoyed a wizard. After the wizard and his entire crew drowned, the shadow (known before she died as The Most Auspicious Wind of the Sea) made her way across the sea, searching for a new crew to hide with.

Every crew she visited suffered horrible bad luck, and died to a man. Still, she pressed on – until she found Mandible Bones: the one pirate on the high seas who couldn't be made worse by the presence of a murdered good luck charm.

Knowing of Mandible's goal, she has stayed with him, her true shape hidden behind magical items salvaged from earlier crews. She is rarely far from his side (or out from under his hat) - after all, how better to return to the realm of the living than at the request of an unlucky pirate god?

Tiny Undead
Hit Dice: 5d12 (32 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: Fly 40 (good)
Armor Class: 17 (10+3size+4dex)
BAB/Grapple: +2/ --
Attack: Beak +9 melee (1d3+2 damage)
Full Attack: Beak +9 melee (1d3+2 damage)
Space/Reach: 2.5 ft/0ft
Special Attacks: Strength damage
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., incorporeal traits, +5 turn resistance, undead traits
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +5
Abilities: Str --, Dex 18, Con --, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 14
Skills: Hide +12, Knowledge (Geography): +9, Listen +13, Search +7, Spot +13, Tumble +12
Feats: Alertness, Weapon Finesse
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
CR: 4
Treasure: See entry below
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Stregth Damage (Su): Raisa's touch, when she intends it to, deals 1d6 strength damage to a living foe. This is a negative energy effect.

Skills: Shadows have a +2 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks and a +4 racial bonus on Search checks. A shadow gains a +4 racial bonus on hide checks in shadowy illumination and takes a -4 penalty on hide checks in bright illumination (neither of the latter changes apply to Raisa when she is not in her natural form).

Languages: Common, Draconic, Abyssal. Raisa can only understand these languages, and cannot speak in her natural form. In her altered form, she can only speak short phrases in the Common language.



Ring of Alter Self: Raisa's right leg wears a ghost-touched ring, which confers the benefits of alter self spell on her at all times. Her form is a black, semi-corporeal parrot with blood-red eyes. The ring of alter self exudes a faint magical aura of tranmutation.

Ring of Turn Resistance: Raisa's left leg wears a ghost-touched ring which confers an additional +4 turn resistance. The ring exudes a moderate magical aura of abjuration.


Designer's Notes: Since shadow isn't a template, and anyway I couldn't find an albatross to put a template on, I stacked levels of undead and added a few of the special abilities of a shadow to it - we'll see how it works out, but I think it fits, flavor-wise.

2006-09-21, 07:19 AM
Part 3: The Booty (Yarr)

The Dragon at the Heart of the Ocean

The first night of the voyage, when the sun has gone but the moon has yet to shine, the kobold weaves a tale of treasure to you and the others who hav e joined the crew. He tells you of a cave, hidden on an island guarded by dragonmen – a cave that leads below the waves, down to the heart of the ocean. Deep inside this cave, past traps and creatures designed to daunt any pirate crew, lies a vast vault – a horde of dragontreasure.

Though some among the crew express outrage at the idea of having to fight a dragon, Bones is quick to calm their fears. The dragon that gaurds the treasure is not a living dragon, or even a dead one, but a stone statue, carved in the shape of a black dragon.

It waits, he says, for one who is worthy of it, a paragon of dragonkind, to claim it. Once it is claimed, the rest of the treasure will be open for the taking – but until it is claimed, any who try to leave with the horde will die a horrible death.

“I've never heard of this dragon, in all my studies,” says your wizard, lounging as far away from Bones' parrot as possible. Bones turns to fix him with his blue-eyed stare.

“It iss a legend among our kind,” he says mysteriously, “that when one who iss born of a Dragon True, who himssself has become a dragon in all the wayss that matter, lays hiss handss on the Dragon at the Heart of the Ocean, the treassssure of the agesss will be hisss.”

You begin to feel that same lust for treasure you felt back in the tavern – clearly, the kobold paints such a picture in your minds that you can't help but want to help him.

“Of courssse, sssince you've agreed to help me, a ssshare of that treassssure is yourss...” he stands, triumphant, “But the Dragon musst be mine!”

The Dragon at the Heart of the Ocean: The dragon is an acid-etched adamantine statue, made in the days when the world was young by the gods of the dragons. Bahamut and Tiamat were not in agreement at the numbers of the gods – Tiamat wanted more, Bahamut wanted less. Finally, they agreed – Bahamut would make a statue that would confer godhood to a mortal dragon, but anyone who could use it would have to meet strict criteria: be born of a True Dragon and have, through their own actions, destroyed 1000 of his parent's kind. For example, Bahamut said, the child of a black dragon would have to destroy 1000 black dragons to claim the statue. Tiamat agreed.

If such a “worthy” dragon (through a technicality, Mandible Bones is fairly close to qualifying – much to Bahamut's consternation and Tiamat's amusement) were to claim the statue, they would become a God of Sea Dragons.

If an unworthy creature should touch the statue, they would be slain instantly with no save. The treasure that surrounds the statue is under a similar curse – if the statue has not been claimed, anyone who touches the treasure is affected by a maximized disintegrate spell cast by a 20th-level caster, dealing 240 points of damage (Fort save, DC 35 to take 30 points of damage instead) and instantly vaporizing anyone reduced to 0 or fewer hit points. This effect repeats every day until the treasure is returned or the statue is claimed.

God of Sea Dragons
Divine Rank: 5 (Demigod)
Symbol: A statue of a dragon
Home Plane: As fits the alignment of the claiming creature
Alignment: As the alignment of the claiming creature
Portfolio: Sea dragons, the sea
Worshippers: Sea dragons, any others the claiming creature can get
Cleric Alignments: Within one step on any one axis from the claiming creature
Domains: Water, (Alignment), (Alignment OR Travel)
Favored Weapon: Claiming creacture's choice

2006-09-21, 07:32 AM
As a side note, this is my first contest, making this a first-time entry.

Fax Celestis
2006-09-21, 01:46 PM
I'd like to see what would happen if Malcolm and Bones ever decided to team up.

Or fight. Jesus, that'd be awesome.

Good call on the "albatross," by the way. I think it works out fine.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-09-21, 11:32 PM
Looks pretty good, and the Eyepatch of Greater Darkvision is a nice touch.

Very solid entry. Good luck on your first contest :)

2006-09-22, 12:14 AM
Very well done! It's funny how many of the first-timers are making catastrophically poor pirates (Mine is one of at least two that have been shipwrecked, and now we have Bones as well). It'll be a tight race for 1st time entry (and for funniest- the mental image of Tiamat snickering as Bones puts another "Black Dragon" into the briny deep ;D)

2006-09-22, 06:17 AM
Thanks, one and all - Bones' story's actually been running around in my head for a while, I just hadn't fleshed it out. I'm glad people like it, though.

2007-08-25, 09:41 PM
Absolutely loved the entry. Thumbs up.