the Adzorok flock
Spoiler: Backgroud and Using the Adzorok FlockBackground
"What is this...form? We made a pact!", whispered Azorok while looking at her spectral body. She would've gasped, except she no longer finds the urgent need to breath.
"Oh, verily we did. And your reward shall come, after your service to the Jade Minister! Once she has this material plane wrapped around her finger, your soul, as does many others who share your faith in her, shall leave their fragile coil and be reborn on the same immortal form as us." The fiend was shrouded in thick, sickening, green smoke, though the deep, gravelly voice behind is audibly clear.
"But I've already done so. I even died in her service!" She protested, despite having already realized that she's been perfectly tricked.
"And apparently, even death isn't strong enough to break your honor and conviction to our cause! Admirable. Although, if that's not your intention, maybe you should've read the fine print first, comrade. However, consider this: I can guarantee you that by the time you ascend to immortal existence, you'll be fully prepared and accustomed to our culture, on a plane that would now be dominated by our own master! Not to mention, you'll be far more useful to us and even far more powerful like this." The infernal voice replied confidently, and Adzorok could've sworn some sense of reassurance and thoughtfulness in his tone.
Adzorok fled from the fiend, intent on taking her own life to finally get her reward, only for her soul to reconstitute days later. Many times over she fled again and took her life, and many times over she has failed. She was stuck inside this broken shell, never resting and never getting her true immortality until the pact has been fulfilled.
Using the Adzorok Flock
Like the Baatezu hierarchy that she serves, Adzorok operates subtly, which means she is best used in a campaign on encounters that rely on heavy social interactions, puzzles, goose chases, and murder mysteries. Plot-critical scenarios involving capturing key people and macguffins can also be used on the Adozrok flock. While combat encounters are best served for other baatezu minions that specialize on brute force, the Adzorok flock isn't no slouch in combat, and will have options other than escape whenever the PCs finally uncover her scheme.
At higher levels, a realistic approach would be that the PCs will only face a small part of the Adzorok flock (unless they are in a very high-op, possibly TO campaign), in the specific quest where the PCs are involved in. Fluffwise, it could be assumed that other bands of heroes are doing their own quest, although facing the same Adzorok flock that the PCs are plagued with. Indeed, the end game of the Jade Minister is to conquer the entire world from multiple fronts of her actual, battle-worthy forces, while having all bands of heroes distracted with quests related to many other (and possibly insignificant to this campaign) macguffins by the adzorok flock.
Spoiler: Build Stub and Ability ScoresLE Ghostwise Halfling
Ghost (CR+2) / Ranger 5 / Master of Many Forms 8 / Warshaper 5
Aging STR - 10 -2 -1 DEX 11 10 +2 -1 CON - 10 -1 INT 12 11 +1 WIS 12 11 +1 CHA 20 11 +4 +4 +1Spoiler: Build TableNote: Skilled City-DwellerCi is always used whenever applicable except for Gather Information.
CR Class Base
Skills Feats Class Features 2 Ghost Malevolence, Draining Touch, Energy DrainMon88, Lore LM151, +4 to Knowledge (Arcana/Dungeoneering/Geography/Local/Religion) checksLM151 3 Ranger 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Bluff* 4,
Gather Information* 4,
Knowledge: Arcana 1(CC),
Knowledge: Religion 1(CC),
Sense Motive 4,
Favored Enemy (Construct, Undead), Urban TrackingCi, Voice of the CityCi 4 Ranger 2 +2 +3 +3 +0 Bluff 5,
Gather Information 5,
Handle Animal 1,
Sense Motive 5,
5 Ranger 3 +3 +3 +3 +1 Bluff 6,
Gather Information 6,
Knowledge: Local 1,
Sense Motive 6,
Endurance 6 Ranger 4 +4 +4 +4 +1 Bluff 7,
Gather Information 7,
Knowledge: Geography 1,
Sense Motive 7,
Urban CompanionCi (Raven) 7 Ranger 5 +5 +4 +4 +1 Bluff 8,
Gather Information 8,
Knowledge: Dungeoneering 1,
Sense Motive 8,
Wild Shape (1/day) 8 Master of
Many FormsCAd58 1
+5 +6 +6 +1 Disguise 5 MindsightLoM126 Shifter's Speech, Improved Wild Shape (Humanoid) 9 Master of
Many Forms 2
+6 +7 +7 +1 Disguise 10(+5) Improved Wild Shape (Giant; Large) 10 Master of
Many Forms 3
+7 +7 +7 +2 Bluff 11(+3),
Gather Information 9
Fast Wild Shape, Improved Wild Shape (Monstrous Humanoid) 11 Master of
Many Forms 4
+8 +8 +8 +2 Bluff 12,
Gather Information 12(+3)
Improved Wild Shape (Fey; Tiny) 12 Master of
Many Forms 5
+9 +8 +8 +2 Bluff 13,
Gather Information 13,
Improved Wild Shape (Vermin) 13 Master of
Many Forms 6
+9 +9 +9 +3 Bluff 14, Disguise 14,
Gather Information 14,
Improved Wild Shape (Aberration; Huge) 14 Master of
Many Forms 7
+10 +9 +9 +3 Bluff 15,
Gather Information 15,
Alertness Extraordinary Wild Shape, Improved Wild Shape (Plant) 15 Master of
Many Forms 8
+11 +10 +10 +3 Bluff 16,
Gather Information 16,
Improved Wild Shape (Ooze) 16 WarshaperCW89 1 +11 +12 +10 +3 Balance 3 Morphic Immunities, Morphic Weapons 17 Warshaper 2 +12 +13 +10 +3 Balance 5(+2),
Combat Reflexes Morphic Body 18 Warshaper 3 +13 +13 +11 +4 Gather Information 19(+3) Morphic Reach 19 Warshaper 4 +14 +14 +11 +4 Bluff 20(+3) Morphic Healing 20 Warshaper 5 +14 +14 +11 +4 Bluff 21,
Gather Information 21(+2)
Robilar's GambitPHBII82 Multimorph
* These assume that the feat Apprentice (Criminal) is applied first before purchasing ranks. If that's not the case, lower them to 2 ranks each.
Wild Shape: 11/day, duration is either 15hrs (based on Wizard CustServ's statement on MoMF stacking duration) or 5hrs (default)
Spells per Day (starting CR6): one 1st level spell
Spoiler: CR Breakdown
CR CR Breakdown 5 At this point, Adzorok is a novice special operations agent with: 1. massive subterfuge via skills, telepathic communication, incorporeality, malevolence, and ethereal travel, 2. unparalleled information dump via skills, malevolence+bluff, and Lore, and 3. solid scouting via skills, urban tracking, and ethereal travel. She can also stow things away by using Ghostly Grasp to put them on her person, even letting her "hide" them in the ethereal plane.Originally Posted by Tumbawadi, Kraadir Shaman-King
She prefers to avoid combat, which is easy when you are nigh untouchable. Still, she has Energy Drain for 2 negative levels per touch, and Malevolence for control and minionmancy. In fact, the combination of Malevolence, Energy Drain, Drain Touch, and enough supply of living creatures enables a steady source of wight minions.While this pretty much implies that Adzorok is capable of bringing total wightapocalypse, doing so is a stupid waste of time and resources, and will just attract too much attention from higher-level PCs/gods/etc too soon. Her far more powerful master, who is fully capable of crushing her fragile wights anyway, guides her on how to methodically utilize her resources on missions for optimal use.Spoiler: Main Trick 1: Wight FlockStep 1: Use Energy Drain to kill someone, turning its corpse into a wight (call it W1) that isn't under control.
Step 2: Use Drain Touch to bring W1 to 0 Wisdom, so that Malevolence now has a 90% success rate against it.
Step 3: Slay another humanoid while possessing W1, which will trigger Create Spawn. The new wight (call it W2) is now under W1's control.
Step 4: As W1, "Transfer control" by ordering W2 to completely obey the ghost that will come out of "your body", as though that ghost is W1.
Great! Now Adzorok has a wight spawn completely under her control. Repeat steps 3-4 as needed to increase W1's "flock".
10 Mindsight for 20ft. is invaluable in her espionage. Raven Urban Companion is a great addition, as it more or less doubles up her good skillmonkeying, provides a body to possess for situationally more superior espionage than being in ghost form, and is an easily availablde/replaceable (24hrs, no XP loss) source of living body for 1st-generation-wight* creation, and is a decent meat shield (3/4 her HP) chassis for utilizing Wild Shape (see below).Originally Posted by Chief Vanguard Polyanna Creed of Saltport City
Adzorok also gets MoMF and Wild Shape to greatly increase her versatility (Small to Large Animal/Humanoid/Giant/M.Humanoid up to 8HD). These make blending in, gathering information, and scouting easier. Unlike cookie cutter MoMFs, Adzorok combines her Wild Shape with her ghostly abilities and takes them to new heights.* Since a wight's appearance is a weird and twisted reflection of the form it had inlife, Adzorok's custom raven-wight could look like this. Additionally, the Wight-Flock tricks becomes more flavor appropriate, since the "matriarchs" moving forward will be raven-wights.Spoiler: Main Trick 2: Malevolent ShapeAfter using Malevolence on a creature, use Wild Shape to transform its body. Furthermore, if the possessed creature is an ally, Adzorok can exit the body to let the creature control their own Wild Shaped selves while she gets her full complement of actions for doing something else.
So, what are its most obvious uses for Adzorok?
- This gives another layer of defense that keeps her combat-viable if needed. Possessing a high HP creature (such as her raven) is the optimal choice for this.
- This can be used to take advantage of the possessed creature's type/subtype and retained abilities, such as undead immunities, or her wight's Create Spawn and Energy Drain automatic abilities (provided that the new form still has a Slam attack).
- This gives an easy means of disguise for things such as covert insertion or retrieval of other creatures. Who would suspect an eagle or two? Or a nondecript possessed commoner with a generic mule (wild-shaped wight)?
- This can direct blame/suspicion of hostility towards an unsuspecting possessed creature, giving more subtlety to her operations.
- This gives her a "nova" strategy for creating her "flock", which is a specialized party of Wild-Shaped allies. Possess an ally (such as her wights), use wild shape, and then exit the body; repeat as necessary. So now, instead of having a single powerful Wild Shaped body via MoMF, Adzorok can have up to four powerful Wild Shaped body at the same time. The downside is any fragility of possessed creatures, which means this will be more useful in situations where either the possessed creatures have high HP, taking damage won't be an issue, or Adzorok will try to quickly take out the opposition before it can retaliate.
15 On her own, Adzorok now has Alertness even without her Urban Companion, her Malevolence improves, her specialty skills linearly improve, and her Wild Shape exponentially increases versatility by adding Extraordinary Abilities and allowing Tiny to Huge Animal/Humanoid/Giant/M.Humanoid/Fey/Vermin/Aberration/Plant/Ooze forms of up to 13HD. The sheer surge of Wild Shape options and the 11/day limit increase also directly improve her Malevolent Shape trick.Originally Posted by Sky-Captain Ieupolt, Greenrose 127th Fleet
Most importantly, however, the Adzorok flock becomes fully realized at last on the high point of the build (Level 15). So, what is the Adzorok flock, you ask? It's an unkindness of innumerable ravens blotting out the sun, all at her master's disposal, to be sent on any mission where the flock's specialty will be needed.The trick above also shows that the Adzorok flock can be used as a force multiplier, capable of duplicating any and all of the master's forces at the cost of such forces having halved hit points: basically trading quality for quantity. This is actually far more useful for certain creatures, like Legion Devils (FCII122) that pool their HP anyway and still get massive perks for being near more Legion Devils. Did I mention that the Adzorok flock's master happens to be a Duke of Hell?Spoiler: Main Trick 3: the Adzorok flockStep 1: Use the Malevolent Shape trick on raven, turning it into a Black Pudding with the Split(Ex) ability.
Step 2: Have the body take slashing/piercing damage, to Split into two duplicates of itself except with half HP. Do note that due to how Malevolence works, the HP halved isn't Adzorok's, it's her raven's. Since these are duplicates of the original, there will now exist two "Half-HP Raven being possessed by Adzorok, and currently being Wild Shaped for X hours into a Black Pudding", which means there will also be two Adzoroks that can leave each raven's body (although the Wild Shape form to Black Pudding remains until X hours passes).
Step 3: Each Adzorok kills its half-HP raven (possibly by repeating Step 2 until the latest generation of raven dies) and gets a new full-HP raven after 24hrs.
That's it--a means to exponentially multiply Adzorok without harming her own health, using easily replaceable raven urban companions as "hosts". Unlike her initial multiperson Malevolent Shape nova, each individual of the Adzorok flock is now rocking 13d12s, each is a master of many forms with full complement of daily abilities, and each is a ghost capable of using energy-drain/malevolence/ability-damage. Adzorok basically becomes an entire spy network and special operations division for her master.
Also if you are into this sort of thing, the Adzorok flock officially sets the record of gathering as much rangers as possible, decisively beating this one.
20 The addition of Combat Reflexes and Robilar's Gambit will further improve the flock's combat capability, and using Malevolent Shape even negates one the "Gambit" part of the feat. Energy Drain from Ghost or Wight (using Morphic Weapon to create a slam attack), which is actually retained while Wild Shaped, can even be combined with these feats to have AoOs grant negative levels.Originally Posted by Archivist Xu'Lian, last Grandkeeper of the Dawnguard Imperial Bibliotheke
Most importantly, Multimorphs means the flock can change their shape as often as they like to further increase their flexibility. The Adzorok flock finishes on a high note with a +14 BAB, which is just a +1 lower than straight-classed average-BAB characters, +14/+11/+4 saves, and 18d12s.Spoiler: SourcesSRD: Ranger, Shape-changing Ranger, Ghost, Wight, Raven familiar
Complete Adventurer (CAd): Master of Many Forms
Complete Warrior (CW): Warshaper
Races of Faerun (RoF): Ghostwise Halfling
Monsters of Faerun (Mon): Ghost ability (Energy Drain)
Libris Mortis (LM): Ghostly Grasp, Sagacious Ghost abilities (Lore, Knowledge check bonus)
Cityscape / Web Enhancement (Ci): Urban Tracking, Skilled City-Dweller, Urban Companion, Urban Tracker, Voice of the City
Dungeon Master's Guide (DMGII): Apprentice (Criminal)
Lords of Madness (LoM): Mindsight
Player's Handbook II (PHBII): Robilar's Gambit