A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    GWG, see if any of these options inspire you:

    • Some kind of hitman? I mean, you wouldn't necessarily have a rank or even be technically part of the organisation at all, even if you were one of the most powerful people kicking about.
    • Another kind of specialist. Explosives technician? Not that I know how you'd do that, but some kind of special job that makes you Equal But Different to everyone else.
    • Someone who could easily be a higher rank than they are now, but they're just biding their time, possibly waiting to betray the organisation.
    • Someone who's infiltrating a good organisation (while still working for an evil overlord) and that's why they don't have an explicit rank.


    There are probably way more, but this is just off the top of my head.
    • If they're freelance, they don't serve the power. At best, you're stretching the rules to make something clearly outside the spirit of the rules. I might as well make a golem or monster created by the organization.
    • This is fantasy, not sci-fi. I guess I could make a magical lab assistant, but I don't know what would be good for that. I'd basically be making a magician or what-have-you, but with funky fluff. That just feels...wrong. The mechanics and the fluff should be at least partly interrelated, not totally segregated. Something so core to the character's function as their job should have at least some reflection in their abilities, no?
    • So, basically a Starscream-in-training, a potential Big Bad or at least Dragon. Definitely outside the spirit of the rules.
    • ...Why wouldn't they have a rank in their own organization? Real-world spies and the like do, as do their equivalents from less legal or formal organizations (as much as they have any ranks, at least). Besides, being in a commanding position of another organization feels like a spiritual violation of the rules.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2016-03-03 at 12:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    The Tale of Demman, Second King of Ireland, a CKII AAR, won a WritAAR of the Week award. Winner of Villainous Competitions 8 and 40; silver for 32
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    I've been there, no inspiration, and any idea you come across just doesn't float your boat. You could just skip this round and enjoy reading the various entries. That's what I've done for a number of the Iron Chef rounds. Not every ingredient calls to everyone.

    That reminds me, I've got to finish up my entry here so that I can try to get a judging done for the current Iron Chef round. Blerg, not enough hours in the day. Well, there are, but my frail mortal body requires at least some sleep.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadline View Post
    I've been there, no inspiration, and any idea you come across just doesn't float your boat. You could just skip this round and enjoy reading the various entries.
    Thank you for dismissing my issues with the contest and the serious problems with the counter-arguments for said issues by telling me that I can do what I have planned to do for weeks. You're very helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    The Tale of Demman, Second King of Ireland, a CKII AAR, won a WritAAR of the Week award. Winner of Villainous Competitions 8 and 40; silver for 32
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Thank you for dismissing my issues with the contest and the serious problems with the counter-arguments for said issues by telling me that I can do what I have planned to do for weeks. You're very helpful.
    When you're quite done being rude to everyone, let me point out that not only have you been openly antagonistic to everyone, but you've also shut down without a thought all attempts that have been made not only to help you, but also to help anyone else. I think it honestly makes everyone very much disinclined to try to help you when you respond with flippant "So?" responses and misrepresent at least three different things that have been said just to make yourself feel like a victim. If you'd stopped doing that, then more than one of us might actually have been convinced to help you find inspiration. As it is, I think your opinion has been well and truly heard and noted, and I'll bet whatever you like that Deadline was not attempting to dismiss anyone or anything.

    I'll say it again for those in the back: just because something doesn't inspire you, personally, doesn't mean there's something terribly wrong with it and it must be antagonised and shouted down, and its flaws played up.

    If you feel like getting a character in, and quickly, here are some additions to my previous suggestions:

    • The assassin may still serve the power but not have an explicit rank; they may not officially exist. Plus, why not make a golem or monster created by the organisation (assuming you can find some kind of creature that fits the CR/HD restrictions)? As long as it's tailored to be - in some way - useful to them, you can probably do something interesting.
    • The specialist may also not have an explicit rank; ranks may be military-only and your specialist does something non-military? Also, you can think of a reason why the specialist is particularly good at being a minion in a large organisation. Maybe they're a spellcaster who provides artillery support that would be impractical for an actual big bad?
    • The "Potential big bad" may not actually ever end up being a big bad: maybe some aspect of their plan is flawed, or maybe the heroes cut their plans off without ever realising how important they could, potentially, have been. I, for one, wouldn't take points off use of theme if you did this: in fact, you could easily use their low rank as a motivation or as part of their plan.
    • The organsation doesn't have to work like a real one; it may not give its spies ranks. The spy doesn't necessarily need to hold a rank in the organsation it's infiltrating either: a normal soldier or member of a mages' guild (even an apprentice) can potentially acquire key secrets.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    • If they're freelance, they don't serve the power. At best, you're stretching the rules to make something clearly outside the spirit of the rules. I might as well make a golem or monster created by the organization.
    • This is fantasy, not sci-fi. I guess I could make a magical lab assistant, but I don't know what would be good for that. I'd basically be making a magician or what-have-you, but with funky fluff. That just feels...wrong. The mechanics and the fluff should be at least partly interrelated, not totally segregated. Something so core to the character's function as their job should have at least some reflection in their abilities, no?
    • So, basically a Starscream-in-training, a potential Big Bad or at least Dragon. Definitely outside the spirit of the rules.
    • ...Why wouldn't they have a rank in their own organization? Real-world spies and the like do, as do their equivalents from less legal or formal organizations (as much as they have any ranks, at least). Besides, being in a commanding position of another organization feels like a spiritual violation of the rules.
    As the creator of this round, I disagree mostly:
    • Freelancer serve a power even if it is only for a limited time. Maybe a judge penalizes you for it maybe not.
    • While explosive technician may be a stretch, specialists of any kind would be fine. Also maybe someone else builds a fine magical lab assistant.
    • Here I'll agree, that would be a stretching the term mook, but still it is up to the judges in the end.
    • I can imagine an organisation full of spies. So your rank would be "spy" and technically you would be a mook.


    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Thank you for dismissing my issues with the contest and the serious problems with the counter-arguments for said issues by telling me that I can do what I have planned to do for weeks. You're very helpful.
    And here you have crossed a line. This is snarky, salty and in no way in the spirit of this contest. Let me be very clear here: If you cannot restrain yourself from comments like that, please don't comment. This is not me telling you what to do, this is me asking you to restrain yourself.
    Last edited by Korahir; 2016-03-03 at 04:00 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Still hoping to get an entry in...I've got a bit over 20 hours left by my reckoning...

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Huzzah! I managed to get my entry in! That means there will be at least two builds for the reveal tomorrow. I'm not going to be able to get my second idea done, but I will post the idea after the reveal if any one is interested. Good luck all!
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Build complete, but the formatting is killing me.

    I've tried copying the OP, but not having any luck.
    Anyone else having this problem? Honestly, I copied Telonius post and I am pretty sure the table worked for me. Maybe try the Iron Chef table?

    I'll probably won't be able to reveal until saturday morning because of RL occupations. So some more hours for you.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by Korahir View Post
    Anyone else having this problem? Honestly, I copied Telonius post and I am pretty sure the table worked for me. Maybe try the Iron Chef table?

    I'll probably won't be able to reveal until saturday morning because of RL occupations. So some more hours for you.
    I don't think it's an issue with your code, just me having a meltdown

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    WYSIWYG mode helps a lot.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    I'm not gonna make it.
    Boo!
    I had sooo many ideas that eventually got killed by the restrictions or really inconvenient limitations. At least my thesis will be finished up today

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    I'm not gonna make it.
    Boo!
    I had sooo many ideas that eventually got killed by the restrictions or really inconvenient limitations. At least my thesis will be finished up today
    Yeah, I just didn't have time to write my idea up either. I'll post the stub after the reveal.

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    Sir Driscoll Conia - Silver - IC L

    Nick Snarespan - Gold - IC LIII

    Lucy "Legs" Silvertail - Bronze - IC LXVIII

    Bolfarg of Knoss - Gold - IC LXXVII

    Ivarr Deathborn - Bronze - IC LXXVII

    Ahmtel - Silver - IC LXXVIII

    Tocke of Nessus - Gold - IC LXXIX

    The Blessed Third - Silver - IC LXXXI

    Galahad Galapagos - Gold - IC LXXXIV

    Sai-don, Knight of the Tide - Bronze - IC LXXXIV

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    My submission's story section got cut in half by word limits.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiri View Post
    My submission's story section got cut in half by word limits.
    You can send it in two parts.

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    Sir Driscoll Conia - Silver - IC L

    Nick Snarespan - Gold - IC LIII

    Lucy "Legs" Silvertail - Bronze - IC LXVIII

    Bolfarg of Knoss - Gold - IC LXXVII

    Ivarr Deathborn - Bronze - IC LXXVII

    Ahmtel - Silver - IC LXXVIII

    Tocke of Nessus - Gold - IC LXXIX

    The Blessed Third - Silver - IC LXXXI

    Galahad Galapagos - Gold - IC LXXXIV

    Sai-don, Knight of the Tide - Bronze - IC LXXXIV

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Whoo, right down to the wire, but it's in.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    I'm not gonna make it.
    Boo!
    I had sooo many ideas that eventually got killed by the restrictions or really inconvenient limitations. At least my thesis will be finished up today
    Korahir said there'll be some free hours after the deadline due to RL commitments, so hopefully you'll get an entry in.
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Quote Originally Posted by ben-zayb View Post
    Korahir said there'll be some free hours after the deadline due to RL commitments, so hopefully you'll get an entry in.
    Nah. I'll consider judging.

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    I feel bad about resubmitting so many times... Poor Korahir is going to have to go through all of those.
    Last edited by Tiri; 2016-03-05 at 04:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Thanks for all the submissions!

    Due to my inbox being flooded and there are quite some resubmissions and corrections I'll have to figure them out first before the reveal.
    (Also at this point I am pretty sure, I deleted the real entry of one contestant in my inbox and kept the correction notes by accident.)

    So bare with me, I hope I'll get everyone's entry in correct. So if you have anything else than "got it" or the equivalent as a PM by me please read it and answer ;)



    .... Please do not post, until further notice reveal incoming....
    Last edited by Korahir; 2016-03-05 at 04:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Mozz'rat the Imp Hunter
    CE Quasit Rogue 8/Assassin 10
    Build
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    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    2 (3HD) Quasit +3 +3 +3 +3 Bluff 6, Disguise 4, Hide 6, Knowledge(The Planes) 5, Listen 6, Move Silently 6, Spellcraft 3, Spot 6, Tumble 3cc Weapon Finesse, Darkstalker Poison (Injury, Fortitude DC 13, initial damage 1d4 Dex, secondary damage 2d4 Dex), 2 Claws (1d3), 1 Bite (1d4), 20ft/Fly 50ft(perfect), +8 size bonus to Hide, Alternate Form (Monstrous Centipede and Wolf), DR 5/cold iron or good, darkvision 60ft., fast healing 2, immunity to poison, resistance to fire 10, Detect Good, Detect Magic, Invisibility(self only) at will, Cause Fear(30ft radius from the quasit, DC 11) 1/day, Commune 1/week.
    3 (4HD) Penetrating Strike Rogue 1 +3 +3 +5 +3 Bluff 7, Hide 7, Listen 7, Move Silently 7, Spot 7, Tumble 7 Sneak Attack +1d6, trapfinding
    4 (5HD) Penetrating Strike Rogue 2 +4 +3 +6 +3 Bluff 8, Hide 8, Listen 8, Move Silently 8, Spot 8, Tumble 8, Use Magic Device 3 Evasion
    5 (6HD) Penetrating Strike Rogue 3 +5 +4 +6 +4 Bluff 9, Hide 9, Listen 9, Move Silently 9, Spot 9, Tumble 9, Use Magic Device 6 Weapon Focus(Light Crossbow) Sneak Attack +2d6, Penetrating Strike
    6 (7HD) Assassin 1 +5 +4 +8 +4 Hide 10, Listen 10, Move Silently 10, Spot 10, Tumble 10 Sneak Attack +1d6, Death Attack, Poison Use, Spells
    7 (8HD) Assassin 2 +6 +4 +9 +4 Hide 11, Listen 11, Move Silently 11, Spot 11, Tumble 11 +1 Save against poison, Uncanny Dodge
    8 (9HD) Assassin 3 +7 +5 +9 +5 Hide 12, Listen 12, Move Silently 12, Spot 12, Tumble 12 Crossbow Sniper Sneak Attack +2d6
    9 (10HD) Assassin 4 +8 +5 +10 +5 Hide 13, Listen 13, Move Silently 13, Spot 13, Tumble 13 +2 Save against poison
    10 (11HD) Assassin 5 +8 +5 +10 +5 Hide 14, Listen 14, Move Silently 14, Spot 14, Tumble 14 Improved Uncanny Dodge, Sneak Attack +3d6
    11 (12HD) Assassin 6 +9 +6 +11 +6 Hide 15, Listen 15, Move Silently 15, Spot 15, Tumble 15, Use Magic Device 7 Point Blank Shot +3 Save against poison
    12 (13HD) Assassin 7 +10 +6 +11 +6 Hide 16, Listen 16, Move Silently 16, Spot 16, Tumble 16, Use Magic Device 8 Sneak Attack +4d6
    13 (14HD) Assassin 8 +11 +6 +12 +6 Hide 17, Listen 17, Move Silently 17, Spot 17, Tumble 17, Use Magic Device 9 +4 Save against poison, Hide in Plain Sight
    14 (15HD) Assassin 9 +11 +7 +12 +7 Hide 18, Listen 18, Move Silently 18, Spot 18, Tumble 18, Use Magic Device 10 Woodland Archer Sneak Attack +5d6
    15 (16HD) Assassin 10 +12 +7 +13 +7 Hide 19, Listen 19, Move Silently 19, Spot 19, Tumble 19, Use Magic Device 11 +5 Save against poison
    16 (17HD) Rogue 4 +13 +7 +14 +7 Hide 20, Listen 20, Move Silently 20, Spot 20, Tumble 20, Use Magic Device 16 Uncanny Dodge
    17 (18HD) Rogue 5 +13 +7 +14 +7 Hide 21, Listen 21, Move Silently 21, Spot 21, Tumble 21, Use Magic Device 21 Craven Sneak Attack + 3d6
    18 (19HD) Rogue 6 +14 +8 +15 +8 Bluff 13, Hide 22, Listen 22, Move Silently 22, Spot 22, Tumble 22, Use Magic Device 22
    19 (20HD) Rogue 7 +15 +8 +15 +8 Bluff 17, Hide 23, Listen 23, Move Silently 23, Spot 23, Tumble 23, Use Magic Device 23 Sneak Attack +4d6
    20 (21HD) Rogue 8 +16 +8 +16 +8 Bluff 21, Hide 23, Listen 23, Move Silently 23, Spot 23, Tumble 23, Use Magic Device 23 Dead Eye Improved Uncanny Dodge


    Ability Scores
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    Final Ability Scores:

    Str - 10 (8)
    Dex - 11 (19)
    Con - 10
    Int - 11 (14)
    Wis - 11 (13)
    Cha - 10

    Levels 4, 8, and 12 go to Int, Levels 16 and 20 go to Dex


    Spells per Day/Spells Known
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    Spells per Day/Spells Known
    CR 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    6th - 0 - - - - - - - -
    7th - 1 - - - - - - - -
    8th - 2 0 - - - - - - -
    9th - 3 1 - - - - - - -
    10th - 3 2 0 - - - - - -
    11th - 3 3 1 - - - - - -
    12th - 3 3 2 0 - - - - -
    13th - 3 3 3 1 - - - - -
    14th - 3 3 3 2 - - - - -
    15th - 3 3 3 3 - - - - -
    16th - 3 3 3 3 - - - - -
    17th - 3 3 3 3 - - - - -
    18th - 3 3 3 3 - - - - -
    19th - 3 3 3 3 - - - - -
    20th - 3 3 3 3 - - - - -

    Spells Known:
    1st Level: Black Bag, Death Grimace, Shock and Awe, Sniper's Shot
    2nd Level: Alter Self, Fell the Greatest Foe, Fire Shuriken, Undetecable Alignment
    3rd Level: False Life, Magic Circle Against Good, Nondetection, Wraithstrike
    4th Level: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Dimension Door, Glibness, Sniper's Eye


    CR 2
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    Mozz'rat is a lowly Quasit. He serves his superiors in the Blood War as a messenger and scout. He's unlikely to be encountered alone as a scout, and will likely be in a group with 1-2 other Quasits. He's certainly the best coward among his peers, however, and will put that talent to use by sneaking away or fleeing if it looks like his scouting party will encounter trouble the can't handle. That said, he loves to inflict pain and suffering, and will happily dish out a crossbow bolt in the back whenever possible.

    While a large swath of Demons serve in the Blood War under J'zzalshrak, the Errant General, Mozz'rat is a pathetic worm beneath her notice. His best hope at this CR is to prove himself the worthy servant of one of her lesser commanders.

    Possible Encounters:
    Demonic Envoy (EL 2) - A Succubus spymaster is looking to secure regular weapon shipments for the war effort from an unscrupulous merchant in Sigil. She is short on available resources and can only afford to send a small envoy. She sent Mozz'rat alone to negotiate terms. The merchant, having found out that the Succubus is short handed, is now price gouging on the needed weaponry. Desperate to not displease his mistress, Mozz'rat has resorted to trying to hire the party as "a show of force" to frighten the merchant into going back to the original deal.

    Interrupted Skirmish (EL 3-4) - The party comes across a small group of Quasit scouts(3) and Imp messengers(3) in mid-battle. The PC's can wait for one side to finish the other before engaging the survivors, aid one side in overcoming the other, fight everyone at once, or leave while they are still unnoticed. One of the Quasits is Mozz'rat, and he more so than his companions relishes tearing into the Imps. If the fight goes poorly however, he's the first one to flee.


    CR 5
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    Mozz'rat has proven himself to be a resourceful scout, excellent sneak, and able to lay a surprisingly deadly ambush. He is now trusted with more valuable tasks. He is frequently tasked with hunting down enemy messenger Imps, which has earned him his 'Imp Hunter' nickname. While he loves nothing more than killing or torturing an Imp, he's also an efficient guerilla fighter. He's a great hit-and-run attacker, and can harry a group of enemy scouts for days on end. He always tries to start a fight Invisible, and then takes full advantage of that to get a sneak attack off with his crossbow before hiding and turning Invisible again. He's a surprisingly good sniper as well. He has a +20 Hide check before magic items at this point, which means his hide check after sniping is an even d20 roll. He'll snipe a target using poisoned bolts until he's finally spotted, then he'll turn invisible and flee to a safe distance before repeating it again. If moderately injured or worse, he'll retreat for the day and heal up before returning to continue his hit and run tactics if needed.

    Possible Encounters:
    Trespassers Will Be Shot, Survivors Will Be Shot Again (EL 7-8) - The party are travelling through an area containing supplies guarded by a Babau commander, Mozz'rat, and a few Dretch(4). Fearing what his master will do to him if they steal the supplies, Mozz'rat will gleefully begin a hit and run attack on them in order to drive them away, force them into his compatriots, or to lead them away from the supplies. He is happy to do this for days if necessary. Once it seems clear that the party is no longer in danger of taking the supplies, Mozz'rat will flee and return to his post. If it appears that he cannot stop the party and they prove capable of possibly killing him, he does not fight to the death. He prefers to flee and leave his Babau commander to die. He's also no stranger to groveling and bootlicking when it comes to staying alive, and will be more than happy to blame the lost supplies on the now deceased Babau.


    CR 10
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    Mozz'rat is earning a name for himself now. He's a much better scout and infiltrator now (Alter Self and Undetectable Alignment are incredibly useful for killing and then impersonating an enemy spy). He also likes to capture Imps and torture them for fun, when he has the time. He's a ruthless stalker, sniping with poisoned bolts from the shadows, and his Death Attack, despite being melee and having a low DC, is still quite useful when not dealing with something that can see through his invisibility and overcome his hide check. He doesn't do well in a stand up fight, but when he can sneak up and deliver sneak attacks at range, he can deal a surprising amount of damage with +5d6 sneak attack and half his dex bonus to damage from Crossbow Sniper. He's now mostly tasked with hunting down specific targets, or infiltrating enemy camps and stealing their secrets.

    Possible Encounters:
    Ambush the Assassin (EL 10) - A local noble hires the party to defend him against a demonic assassination plot. A devil provided him information about the plot, but could not say when or where the attempt would happen, only who the assassin was (Mozz'rat). Now the party must try to find the assassin and foil the assassination attempt.


    CR 15 Sweet Spot
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    A gifted infiltrator and sniper, Mozz'rat is an infuriating opponent. With Woodland Archer and Hide in Plain Sight, he can happily snipe and relocate himself repeatedly in a fight. He starts fights invisible and hidden before opening with a ranged Death Attack, and then continues to take pot shots at his opponents while remaining well hidden. He's now a danger to many different types of devils, although he still delights in torturing, maiming, and killing Imps. He's earned enough rewards to have very nice customized gear, and is primarily geared for murdering Lawful creatures. Sniper's Eye lets him deliver his Death Attacks at range, and he's got a nice variety of spells that aid him in infiltration and information gathering. He also has Dimension Door, which gives him a low quality imitation of the greater teleport ability of his superiors. At this point, he probably personally serves the Errant General herself, or at least one of her inner circle.

    Possible Encounters:
    Death in the Shadows (EL 15) - The party has foiled a major demonic offensive, and in doing so have drawn the attention of the Errant General. She has dispatched Mozz'rat to kill one of them as a warning message to the others. He is much less likely to flee in this encounter, given that he serves such a powerful and prestigious master. However, as always, he won't fight to the death, and prefers to flee to either continue the fight after healing, or find a new powerful master to serve if he can't complete his task.


    CR 20
    Spoiler
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    The last few levels of Mozz'rat's career see him pick up the Craven feat and Dead Eye feat, along with +2d6 more sneak attack. All of that really helps him pack a punch. He also maintains his excellent sneaking and scouting skills. In all likelyhood, should he reach these lofty heights, it's highly likely that he'll be thrown back in the primordial soup of demonkind and "promoted" to a higher form of demon. It's also possible that, given his remarkable cowardice, he continues to serve the most powerful master he can as a spy and assassin for centuries to come.

    Encounters with Mozzie are best if he can flee and have the party bump into him repeatedly in their adventuring careers. While they'll undoubtedly hate him for his hit-and-run tactics, he's unlikely to actually successfully kill a PC until well after the point that they can afford to fix such a condition. And if you play him up as a cowardly sadist who has absolutely no shame, he may even become endearing to the PC's. There's also the possibility that you could decide to have Mozzie become the familiar of a PC wizard, if they can show that they are a powerful master (or at least more powerful than his previous master).


    Henchmen Gearing Up!
    Spoiler
    Show
    What sort of treasure does a henchman carry? Well, not much, to be sure. But as Mozzie grows in skill, he inevitably picks up a few trinkets here and there as spoils from his victims, or rewards from his superiors. On page 51 of the DMG under "Monsters with Class Levels", it states to use the NPC gear values for monsters with class levels which seems appropriate here, using CR in place of level on the chart. Here is some notable treasure Mozzie carries with him at each of the above breakpoints (please note that any spare NPC WBL is spent on level appropriate stealth enhancing items, standard ability score items and standard defensive items).

    CR 2 - As per the monster manual, basic Quasits generally don't have treasure. Mozzie, being the best coward, has managed to scrounge up a few goodies however. He's got a masterwork light crossbow sized for him, a silver dagger sized for him, some silver crossbow bolts, and a couple of useful defensive 1st and 2nd level potions.

    CR 5 - At this point Mozzie has likely added a Mithril Chain shirt, or had his crossbow enchanted. He still carries a few useful potions, has started to carry some useful poisons to apply to his bolts, and may have a 1st level wand with a utility spell.

    CR 10 - Due to his success, he's been well rewarded. His armor is now magical, his crossbow is not only magical, but also carries the Sizing enchantment on it so he can use it when he casts Alter Self to assume a larger form. If he knows who his targes are in advance, he'll likely pick 2-3 Bane arrows that will be useful against them.

    CR 15 - Mozz'rat's Crossbow is now Anarchic, to better damage any Lawful creatures he comes across. His assortment of Wands has grown, and likely includes a few Eternal Wands of some of the more useful buff and utility spells. A mithrilmist chain shirt is a likely candidate for armor.

    CR 20 - Mozzie's a dangerous sniper, and would do well to include the Shadow and Silent Moves enchantments to his armor. His UMD score is high enough to reliably activate most potent spellcasting items, so he'll flesh out his treasure hoard with several wands and staves.


    The Henchman
    Spoiler
    Show

    • No more than 10 caster, manifester, or meldshaper levels - Mozz'rat has 10 Assassin levels, which give him a Caster Level of 10. As per Korahir's ruling, the caster level of Mozz'rat's racial Spell-like abilities don't violate this rule, and are capped at CL 10 for purposes of evaluation for this contest. The only effect his has is that it reduces the duration of his Commune spell-like ability from 12 rounds to 10 rounds (he still only gets 6 questions), and it limits the forms he can take with his Alternate Form ability to 10 HD or less.
    • No ability to cast spells, initiate maneuvers, or manifest powers higher than 5th level, no souldmelds bound to high level chakras - The highest level spell he can cast is his Commune spell-like ability, which is a 5th level spell.
    • UMD and UPD are the only method available to use higher level spells or powers - Mozzie's got a solid UMD score from mid-levels on up to take full advantage of this.
    • Inherited templates maximum +2 CR, base creature max 2 CR and 4 RHD - As a Quasit, Mozzie has a max base CR of 2 and 3 RHD.
    • Must serve an evil Overlord, organization or any other evil power, but must not be in any commanding position - Mozzie spends his entire career serving successively more powerful commanders in the Blood War, all of whom report to J'zzalshrak, the Errant General and one of the main demonic generals in that conflict. And he spends his entire servitude as a messenger, guard, scout or assassin, none of which gives him any sort of commanding position.
    • Evil Aligned - Not only is Mozzie evil aligned, he even has the [Evil] subtype! You can't get much more evil than that.




    References
    Spoiler
    Show

    Monster Manual - Quasit
    Player's Handbook - Rogue, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, Point Blank Shot, Alter Self, Undetectable Alignment, False Life, Magic Circle Against Good, Nondetection, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Dimension Door, Glibness
    Player's Handbook II - Crossbow Sniper
    Dungeon Master's Guide - Assassin
    Lords of Madness - Darkstalker
    Dragon Compendium - Dead Eye
    Spell Compendium - Shock and Awe, Sniper's Eye, Sniper's Shot, Fell the Greatest Foe, Fire Shurkien, Wraithstrike
    Book of Vile Darkness - Black Bag, Death Grimace
    Races of the Wild - Woodland Archer
    Champions of Ruin - Craven
    Last edited by Korahir; 2016-03-05 at 04:21 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #111
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Mr. Harvey B. Hench
    Elf (Note: elves can have painted-on beards)
    NE
    Soulknife 10/ Shadowdancer 10

    Spoiler: Place in story
    Show

    Mr. Hench grew up always wanting to be a henchman. Not just any henchman, though: Henchman of the year. His father was a henchman, and his father before that, and his father before that...and so on. His father was one of the great henchmen, serving villain after villain, evil plan after evil plan, having romantic bouts with the villain's Lieutenants and sometimes even the Big Bad themselves. After all, everyone knows that the most loyal henchmen always gets the girl (or guy, depending on the orientation of your boss). Sure, those relationships never last for long, but it looks good on the resume when you apply to work for the next Big Bad. His mother only stayed with his father for a year, at most, helping out with a demonic ritual!

    And, in that way, Mr. Harvey B. Hench applied for his first job as a henchman. Due to his natural psi-sword abilities and his pedigree, he was accepted in as a low-level grunt. He was a pretty good one, too! Sneaking around, following and capturing would-be heroes, obtaining information from both captured heroes and through the long bureaucratic processes of the government, and fetching fresh coffee for his superiors from the marketplace. (After all, big villains can't go out and visit the marketplaces; they'd be recognized almost instantly.) And then pretending he was a clueless brute who was tricked into going along with the plan, before going off and finding a new villain to hench for.

    Finally, after a lot of hard work, traversing through sewers, surviving through heroes (one way or another), and romantic flings with employers, Mr. Hench finally worked his way up to his dream: Henchman of the Year. He had reached his father's level. He was happy. He could retire, if he ever got bored with henching.



    Spoiler: Ability scores
    Show

    Base Str: 10
    Base Con: 11 -2 = 9
    Base Dex: 11 +2 = 13
    Base Int: 10
    Base Cha: 10
    Base Wis: 11
    Level 4 ability score increase: Dex
    Level 8 ability score increase: Con
    Level 12 ability score increase: Wis
    Level 16 ability score increase: Str
    Level 20 ability score increase: Str


    Spoiler: Table
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Soulknife +0 +0 +2 +2 4 Autohypnosis, 4 Concentration, 4 Hide
    4 Move Silently
    Combat Reflexes Mind blade, Weapon Focus (mind blade), Wild Talent
    2nd Soulknife +1 +0 +3 +3 5 Autohypnosis, 4 Concentration, 4 Hide
    3 Move Silently, 2 Perform(Dance)
    Throw mind blade
    3rd Soulknife +2 +1 +3 +3 5 Autohypnosis, 6 Concentration, 5 Hide, Spot 1
    3 Move Silently, 2 Perform(Dance)
    Dodge Psychic strike +1d8
    4th Soulknife +3 +1 +4 +4 5 Autohypnosis, 6 Concentration, 5 Hide, Spot 3
    3 Move Silently, 3 Perform(Dance)
    +1 mind blade
    5th Soulknife +3 +1 +4 +4 5 Autohypnosis, 7 Concentration, 7 Hide, Spot 4
    3 Move Silently, 3 Perform(Dance)
    Free draw, shape mind blade
    6th Soulknife +4 +2 +5 +5 5 Autohypnosis, 7 Concentration, 8 Hide, Spot 4
    5 Move Silently, 1 Tumble, 3 Perform(Dance)
    Mobility Mind blade enhancement +1, Speed of Thought
    7th Soulknife +5 +2 +5 +5 5 Autohypnosis, 7 Concentration, 9 Hide, Spot 6
    5 Move Silently, 2 Tumble, 3 Perform(Dance)
    Psychic strike +2d8
    8th Soulknife +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 5 Autohypnosis, 8 Concentration, 9 Hide, Spot 6
    6 Move Silently, 2 Tumble, 4 Perform(Dance)
    +2 mind blade
    9th Soulknife +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 5 Autohypnosis, 8 Concentration, 9 Hide, Spot 7
    6 Move Silently, 3 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Improved Critical (mind blade) Bladewind, Greater weapon focus (mind blade)
    10th Soulknife +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 5 Autohypnosis, 8 Concentration, 10 Hide, Spot 8
    8 Move Silently, 3 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Mind blade enhancement +2
    11th Shadowdancer +7/+2 +3 +9 +7 5 Autohypnosis, 10 Concentration, 13 Hide, Spot 8
    8 Move Silently, 4 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Hide in plain sight
    12th Shadowdancer +8/+3 +3 +10 +7 5 Autohypnosis, 10 Concentration, 15 Hide, Spot 8
    10 Move Silently, 5 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Improved Initiative Evasion, darkvision, uncanny dodge
    13th Shadowdancer +9/+4 +4 +10 +8 5 Autohypnosis, 10 Concentration, 15 Hide, Spot 10
    12 Move Silently, 7 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Shadow illusion, summon shadow
    14th Shadowdancer +10/+5 +4 +11 +8 5 Autohypnosis, 10 Concentration, 16 Hide, Spot 10
    14 Move Silently, 10 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Shadow jump 20 ft
    15th Shadowdancer +10/+5 +4 +11 +8 5 Autohypnosis, 12 Concentration, 17 Hide, Spot 10
    16 Move Silently, 11 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Weapon Specialization (mind blade) Defensive roll, improved uncanny dodge
    16th Shadowdancer +11/+6/+1 +5 +12 +9 5 Autohypnosis, 12 Concentration, 18 Hide, Spot 11
    18 Move Silently, 13 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Shadow jump 40 ft, summon shadow
    17th Shadowdancer +12/+7/+2 +5 +12 +9 5 Autohypnosis, 14 Concentration, 19 Hide, Spot 13
    19 Move Silently, 13 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Slippery mind
    18th Shadowdancer +13/+8/+3 +5 +13 +9 5 Autohypnosis, 15 Concentration, 20 Hide, Spot 14
    20 Move Silently, 15 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Greater Weapon Specialization (mind blade) Shadow jump 80 ft
    19th Shadowdancer +13/+8/+3 +6 +13 +10 5 Autohypnosis, 16 Concentration, 21 Hide, Spot 16
    21 Move Silently, 16 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Summon shadow
    20th Shadowdancer +14/+9/+4 +6 +14 +10 5 Autohypnosis, 18 Concentration, 23 Hide, Spot 16
    23 Move Silently, 16 Tumble, 5 Perform(Dance)
    Shadow jump 160 ft, improved evasion


    Spoiler: Level Highlights
    Show

    Level 5: Having recently began henching, Harvey B. Hench is slowly working his way up in the favor of superiors, obeying their orders even when it might lead to failure or embarrassment. This is largely because he doesn't know better.

    Level 10: Through experience, Harvey B. Hench has learned when it's better to obey to the letter of the orders and when it's better to get creative or disobey. When the one who gave the orders will obviously lose, it's in his self-interest to push himself out ahead. Torturing, sneaking around, and other information-gathering methods, he can be more creative in and decide when to pull out and when to push further.

    Level 13 ("Sweet Spot"): This is the obvious sweet spot during his henching career, largely because Harvey B. Hench has finally worked his way up into the sexy leather level of henching. He has several romantic relationships with multiple larger villains and evil leaders, and so he receives a lot of favor from them.

    Level 15: At this point, he's so experienced in henching and has henched for so many villains that he can give very useful advice every so often to the villains. Obviously not too frequently, though, or otherwise he might be used as a fall-guy if it fails.

    Level 20: Finally Henchman of the Year, Harvey B. Hench is more of a legend than an actual 8-5 henchman. Sure, he still works for a myriad of villains, but it has come to the point that people vie for his services as a henchman. Many villains see him more as a status symbol of their villainry and their success if he henches for them, even part-time. And so, he has connections and relationships and everything all over the place.

  22. - Top - End - #112
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Filia



    "One day you see a strange little girl look at you
    One day you see a strange little girl feeling blue
    She'd run to the town one day
    Leaving home and the country fair
    Just beware
    When you're there
    Strange little girl"


    She canít remember her Mommy, it was so long ago, but she does remember her leaving her alone day alone in the woods. The nights were so cold, and there was no food to eat. She waited for Mommy, but she never came back.

    One night, she fell asleep, and then woke upÖdifferent. She wasnít cold anymore, and she wasnít hungry. Well, not exactly. She always felt a kind of emptiness in the pit of her stomach, but she knew it wasnít food that she needed.

    She dwelled in that dark forest for such a long time. Winters came and went.

    She didnít like the animals and creatures of the forest Ė they seemed so warm and yucky. Sometimes she would encounter a woodsman, or a traveller. They reminded her of the bad Mommy who abandoned her, so sometimes she would bite them to make them sick. Sometimes she would trick them with a fake image of herself, leading them into spider lairs. Other times she would make them go all funny in the head, and that always made her giggle.

    Then one day, while she was lurking in her woods, she met Daddy! He was a tall, pale man. He was warm, but not like the others. Something about him felt comforting. And he wasnít afraid of her. He smiled at her, and called her "Filia". She had another name, before, but she couldnít remember what it was. Filia feltÖright.

    Daddy was so good to her. Her taught her about magic, and awakened the dormant power in her. Daddy said she must have some dragon blood back in her family, and thatís why the magic came to her so easily.

    She didnít like the company of most of daddyís other friends, except for one. An old hobgoblin called Maelgynym. He used to shout orders at daddyís servants, but he was always nice to her. He even taught her how to give orders to the servants like he did.

    When she wasnít with Daddy (which wasnít very often) she would sit in her room. Something from her past long ago tickled at the corner of her mind. An almost forgotten memory of making baskets with Mommy, before Mommy went and left her alone. She amused herself by weaving little baskets and other odds and ends to fill in the time.

    One day, Daddy told her he was going to change, and become more like Filia. He told her not to be scared, and that even though she mightnít be able to feel his life force like she used to, his ugly little familiar Jebel the Imp would still be there, and she could feel his life force instead.

    Daddy became cold and powerful, but to Filia he was just the same Daddy he has always beenÖand oh, what wonderful and wicked adventures they would have!



    Spoiler: Build
    Show
    Advanced Evolved Phantom Slaymate Undead 8/Sorcerer 6/Marshal 3/War Weaver 5

    HD 8d12+11d4+3d8+23 (116 hp)

    Starting abilities: Str 12 (+2 Evolved) Dex 12 Con - Int 11 Wis 13 Cha 15 (+2 Evolved); all increases go to Cha.

    Final abilities: Str 14 Dex 12 Con - Int 11 Wis 13 Cha 22

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Undead 1 - CR 2 +0 +0 +0 +2 Hide +4, Listen +4, Move Silently +4, Spot +4 Improved Turn Resistance Darkvision 60 ft, Pale Wasting Disease, Undead Pale Aura, Undead Traits
    2nd Undead 2 - CR 2 +0 +0 +0 +3 Hide +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Spot +1 - -
    3rd Undead 3 - CR 2 +1 +1 +1 +3 Hide +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Spot +1 Trickery Devotion -
    4th Undead 4 - CR 2 +2 +1 +1 +4 Hide +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Spot +1 - -
    5th Undead 5 - CR 3 +2 +1 +1 +4 Hide +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Spot +1 - -
    6th Undead 6 - CR 3 +3 +2 +2 +5 Hide +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Spot +1 Improved Toughness -
    7th Undead 7 - CR 3 +3 +2 +2 +5 Hide +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Spot +1 - -
    8th Undead 8 - CR 3 +4 +2 +2 +6 Hide +1, Listen +1, Move Silently +1, Spot +1 - -
    9th Evolved Template - CR 4 +4 +2 +2 +6 - - Fast Healing 3, SLA: Confusion (1/day)
    10th Phantom Template - CR 6 +4 +2 +2 +6 - - Incorporeal Jaunt, Phantom Defense, Phantom Strike, Vulnerability to Ghost Touch
    11th Sorcerer 1 (Spell Shield Variant) CR 7 +4 +2 +2 +8 Craft (basket weaving) +2 Lifebond Spell Shield, Spells
    12th Marshal 1 - CR 8 +4 +4 +2 +10 Knowledge (arcana) +4 Skill Focus (diplomacy) Minor Aura (motivate dexterity)
    13th Marshal 2 - CR 9 +5 +2 +2 +11 Bluff +2, Knowledge (arcana) +2 - Major Aura +1 (resilient troops)
    14th Marshal 3 - CR 10 +6 +5 +3 +11 Bluff +4 Enlarge Spell Minor Aura (determined caster)
    15th Sorcerer 2 - CR 11 +7 +5 +3 +12 Craft (basket weaving) +2 - -
    16th Sorcerer 3 - CR 12 +7 +6 +4 +12 Craft (basket weaving) +2 - -
    17th Sorcerer 4 - CR 13 +8 +6 +4 +13 Concentration +2 Dragontouched -
    18th Sorcerer 5 - CR 14 +8 +6 +4 +13 Concentration +2 - -
    19th Sorcerer 6 - CR 15 +9 +7 +5 +14 Concentration +2 - -
    20th War Weaver 1 - CR 16 +9 +7 +5 +16 Concentration +2 Spell Focus (transmutation) Eldritch Tapestry
    21st War Weaver 2 - CR 17 +10 +7 +5 +17 Concentration +2 - Quiescent Weaving 1
    22nd War Weaver 3 - CR 18 +10 +8 +6 +17 Concentration +2 - Quiescent Weaving 2
    23rd War Weaver 4 - CR 19 +11 +8 +6 +18 Concentration +2 Ability Enhancer Quiescent Weaving 3
    24th War Weaver 5 - CR 20 +11 +8 +6 +18 Concentration +2 - Enlarged Tapestry, Quiescent Weaving 4


    Spoiler: Spells Known
    Show
    Spells Known:
    • Sorcerer 1: 0 - Detect Magic, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Touch of Fatigue; 1 - Mage Armor, Ray of Enfeeblement
    • Sorcerer 2: 0 - Resistance
    • Sorcerer 3: 1 - Blockade
    • Sorcerer 4: 0 - Dancing Lights; 2 - Wings of Cover
    • Sorcerer 5: 1 - Feather Fall; 2 - Invisbility
    • Sorcerer 6: 0 - Ghost Sound; 3- Haste
    • War Weaver 2: 1 - Grease; 2 - Eagle's Splendor; 3 - Fly
    • War Weaver 3: 0 - Mage Hand; 4 - Polymorph
    • War Weaver 4: 2 - Cat's Grace; 3 - Heroism; 4 - Greater Mirror Image
    • War Weaver 5: 0 - Open/Close; 5 - Wall of Force


    Sources (non-core/SRD):
    • Complete Champion - Trickery Devotion
    • Complete Scoundrel - Blockade
    • Dragon Compendium - Ability Enhancer
    • Dragon Magic - Dragontouched
    • Dungeonscape - Spell Shield (Sorcerer ACF)
    • Libris Mortis - Evolved template, Improved Toughness, Improved Turn Resistance, Lifebond, Slaymate
    • Monster Manual V Ė Phantom template
    • Player's Handbook II - Greater Mirror Image
    • Races of the Dragon - Wings of Cover



    Filia is the cohort to a Human Dread Necromancer.

    She reduces the metamagic cost of his Necromancy spells with her Undead Pale Aura. With her Marshal Minor Auras, she adds her considerable Charisma bonus to allies rolls to overcome spell resistance (most offensive Necromancy spells are SR: Yes), and also on Dexterity check (which obviously includes Initiative rolls). These bonuses increase when she uses her Ability Enhancer boosted Eagle's Splendor on herself.

    Her spellcasting is somewhat limited, but mostly there to provide support for the Dread Necromancer and his allies, as well as for self defense. War Weaver allows her to gift more of her allies with spell effects, but annoyingly, this only works with living allies. This would include the Dread Necromancer before his ascension to Lichdom, and also his Imp familiar. It seems entirely likely that a caster with intentions of conquest and personal power would also have allies such as evil Humanoids and Outsiders, who could also benefit from an Eldritch Tapestry. If this seems a far stretch, Filia's build could drop War Weaver in favour of a full casting progression PrC, and pick up an extra level of Marshal for Grant Move Action.

    When her "Daddy" becomes a Lich, she moves her Lifebond feat over to his Imp familiar.

    She has plenty of defensive options: becoming incorporeal, undead immunities, fast healing, creating a diversion with the Trickery Domain, reducing damage with Spell Shield, and spells such as Wings of Cover (which she can share with allies due to the Dragontouched feat), Invisibility and Greater Mirror Image.

    The father/daughter relationship between Filia and her Dread Necromancer adds a little creepiness, great for a horror campaign.

  23. - Top - End - #113
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    The Storyteller



    Spoiler: breakdown
    Show

    LE changeling ranger 3/swashbuckler 1/ranger4/zhentarim spy 5/cabinet trickster 5/master of masks 5


    Spoiler: abilities
    Show

    str 10
    dex 11
    con 10
    int 11 (bonuses here)
    wis 10
    cha 11

    starting languages: common, giant


    Spoiler: backstory
    Show

    Thank you very much, sir, for that rousing introduction. Far more than I deserve, Iím sure. Are you all quite comfortable? Welcome to the Wolfís Pup Inn. Finest accommodations around.

    Me? Oh, my nameís not important.

    Gather round and Iíll tell you a tale of the last foolish upstart who threatened our way of life.

    Well, sure, you might know how it ends, but itís all in the execution, isnít it?

    Our story begins when the young man in question, Fredas, of the clan Tare. No, donít worry, I wonít start with him as a baby.

    He drew the attention of our beloved leader when he triumphed at a tournament. The old, rusted sword heíd come in with, a hand-me-down from a dead relative of some sort óthis partís a little fuzzy, mind youó began to glow in a way that let everyone around know the boy holding it was important.

    It wasnít long before he fell into disreputable company. You know the kind of company Iím talking about. Rebellious company. He got it in his head he was meant to bring change to our country.

    No, Iím not sure how either.

    He began his journey and stopped at an inn. This inn, as a matter of fact! He came across a comely young barmaid. Quiet in the back, please.

    He told her all about his ignoble quest and she was all too happy to listen. After, shall we say, a brief interlude, Fredas was on his way without so much as a backwards glance.

    That sword of his needed a tune-up. His liaison led him to the blacksmith around these parts. The barmaidís father, as a matter of fact.

    The old man scraped all the rust off the thing and sent Fredas on his way. He couldnít pay the fellow, of course. Hard to make change when the only currency around is destiny, after all.

    Fredas trekked his way through the mountains and came to the swamp surrounding our leaderís stronghold. When he was there, he needed a guide.

    Luckily for him, he found one. Yes, I know, itís quite unlikely, sir, please hold all questions until the end, thank you very much.

    They fought their way through the swamp, the guide foolishly sacrificing himself to some horrible creature while Fredas went on.

    Indeed, I donít think much of that either.

    By now, he was badly wounded from the journey through that swamp. He was hardly in any condition to face our great leader.

    No, sir, not that Iím saying he wouldíve been a match for him if he were healthy.

    Barkeep, no more for him. Thank you. Behave. Yes, Iíll have another.

    All together now, Ďas luck would have it,í very good. As luck would have it, he came upon an old croneóno, not in the same sense as the barmaidóand bought a potion from her to heal his wounds and give him the strength of ten men. Thatís nearly half as strong as our great leader, you know.

    Fredas faced off against him and was scantly able to draw his sword, so filled with fear at our great leaderís presence. He quaffed his cowardly potion and felt a chill in his gut. His blade made only the barest scratch on our great leaderís armorófine stuff, made locallyóbefore his head was torn right off his body by our great leaderís bare hand. Yes, there are replicas in the gift shop.

    Why did he go down so easily? Well, you know none can stand up against our leader.

    No, wait, donít leave yet, you havenít heard the best part. Thatís more like it.

    Arenít you curious to know how I found all these things out? Thatís what I thought.

    Fredas didnít fail all on his own. He had a little help. He couldíve gone in the swamp because that was the best way to approach his foolís errand. Or his guide couldíve taken him the wrong way to give our great leader time to prepare himself. His sword mightíve failed in its task because of our armorís superior craftsmanship. Or maybe it was because the blacksmith blunted his blade. He very well couldíve been overcome by fear standing in our great leaderís presence. Or the apothecary couldíve given him poison.

    How do I know? Oh, thatís easy. Youíve guessed by now. No?

    Because I was that barmaid. That blacksmith. The guide and apothecary too.

    Of course, our great leader was never in any real danger. But itís our duty to do everything we can to take these petty concerns off his mind. Heís got more important things to think about.

    Thank you, thank you, youíre too kind. Just put the coins in this hat, if you will.

    Please, everyone, enjoy your stay and remember to tip your barmaids. You never know whoís watching.

    But what do I know? Iím just an old drunk.


    Spoiler: table
    Show

    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Ranger 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 craft (epic) 4, disguise 4, forgery 4, gather info 4, sm 4, tumble 4 city slicker Favored enemy (arcanists), track, voice of the city
    2nd Ranger 2 +2 +3 +3 +0 craft (epic) 1 (5), disguise 1 (5), forgery 1 (5), gather info 1 (5), sm 1 (5), tumble 1 (5) combat style (two weapon fighting)
    3rd Ranger 3 +3 +3 +3 +1 craft (epic) 1 (6), disguise 1 (6), sm 1 (6), speak language (abyssal), speak language (draconic), tumble 1 (6) Deceitful Endurance
    4th Swashbuckler 1 +4 +5 +3 +1 bluff 5 Weapon finesse
    5th Ranger 4 +5 +6 +4 +1 craft (epic) 1 (7), disguise 1 (7), jump 3, sm 1 (7), tumble 1 (7) animal companion
    6th Zhentarim Spy 1 +5 +6 +6 +3 umd 7 persona immersion cover identity
    7th Zhentarim Spy 2 +6/+1 +6 +7 +4 balance 2, disguise 2 (9), umd 3 (10) sneak attack +1d6, undetectable alignment
    8th Zhentarim Spy 3 +7/+2 +7 +7 +4 balance 3 (5), disguise 2 (11), tumble 1 (8), umd 1 (11) poison use, unlikely cover
    9th Zhentarim Spy 4 +8/+3 +7 +8 +5 bluff 1 (6), disguise 1 (12), tumble 4 (12), umd 1 (12) staggering strike slippery mind, sneak attack +2d6
    10th Zhentarim Spy 5 +8/+3 +7 +8 +5 bluff 4 (10), disguise 1 (13), tumble 1 (13), umd 1 (13) deep cover
    11th Cabinet Trickster 1 +8/+3 +7 +10 +7 craft (epic) 7 (14) Detect thoughts 2/day, doppelganger insights
    12th Cabinet Trickster 2 +9/+4 +7 +11 +8 perform (act) 8 craven Thought trick (daze), bonus feat (quick change)
    13th Cabinet Trickster 3 +10/+5 +8 +11 +8 bluff 3 (13), craft (epic) 2 (16), disguise 3 (16), Detect thoughts 4/day, thought trick (disrupt)
    14th Cabinet Trickster 4 +11/+6/+1 +8 +12 +9 bluff 4 (17), craft (epic) 1 (17), diplo 2, disguise 1 (17) Thought trick (confuse), bonus feat (racial emulation)
    15th Cabinet Trickster 5 +11/+6/+1 +8 +12 +9 bluff 1 (18), craft (epic) 1 (18), diplo 5 (7), disguise 1 (18) wandererís diplomacy Change shape, detect thoughts at will, thought trick (stun)
    16th Master of Masks 1 +11/+6/+1 +8 +14 +11 bluff 1 (19), craft (epic) 1 (19), disguise 1 (19), sleight of hand 5 Persona Masks, 2 masks: gladiator and faceless
    17th Master of Masks 2 +12/+7/+2 +8 +15 +12 bluff 1 (20), craft (epic) 1 (20), disguise 1 (20), sleight of hand 5 (10) 3 masks: gladiator, faceless, and assassin
    18th Master of Masks 3 +12/+7/+2 +9 +15 +12 bluff 1 (21), craft (epic) 1 (21), disguise 1 (21), sleight of hand 5 (15) boomerang daze Mask specialist
    19th Master of Masks 4 +13/+8/+3 +9 +16 +13 bluff 1 (22), craft (epic) 1 (22), disguise 1 (22), sleight of hand 5 (20) 4 masks: gladiator, faceless, assassin, lich
    20th Master of Masks 5 +13/+8/+3 +9 +16 +13 bluff 1 (23), craft (epic) 1 (23), disguise 1 (23), forgery 3 (8), sleight of hand 3 (23) Many faces (2, move), 5 masks: gladiator, faceless, assassin, lich, savage


    Spoiler: playtips
    Show

    Spoiler: lvl 5
    Show

    You function as a pretty straightforward ranger. Swashbuckler dip helps you forgo reliance on strength and keeps your base attack up.

    City slicker provides all the skills youíll ever need.

    Youíre primed for zhentarim spy next levl, laying valuable groundwork with your background in crafting epics.

    Bonk people with two weapons and enjoy your base attack. Thereís no animal companion you particularly need, so itís probably fine to go with swindlespitter.


    Spoiler: lvl10
    Show

    Congratulations, youíre all done with zhentarim spy. Youíve got some sneak attack, activating staggering strike. Persona immersionís up and running. When people try to find out what youíre up to, you can feed them false intel.

    Youíve got poison use to sneak up n your enemies and get the upper hand. deep cover is active meaning no one can see through your disguise at all.

    This also helps shore you up for your later cabinet trickster levels.


    Spoiler: lvl 15
    Show

    Youíre now into and out of cabinet trickster. You have change shape now, so have fun with that. Skulk around, read minds, stun enemies, and stay undercover. Racial emulation and quick change are operational, making your shapeshifting even more powerful. You now shift as a move action and donít take a penalty for impersonating another race, along with gaining their subtypes.

    Cravenís boosting your damage, and wandererís diplomacy makes you a more capable face, letting you communicate with even more creatures, in tandem with voice of the city, putting your huge bluff to work for you, and even helping out with shopping.


    Spoiler: lvl 20
    Show

    Youíre now in master of masks. Congratulations. You gain a variety of cool powers from your masks. Faceless blocks divination for the rare times youíre not in deep cover. Gladiator, faceless, assassin, lich, and savage bring their skills to bear. Gladiator gives proficiency with all martial and exotic weapons, so go dig up whatever weird item you want and have fun. Faceless gives a nondetection effect. Assassin boosts your sneak attack and skulk skills. Lich gives you some slas, cause fear, detect undead, and false life, in addition to letting you pas as an undead for divination, and giving passive cold resist 10. Savage gives you some claws, so thatís nice to get you more precision damage. You can also wear two at once and swap them as a move, so enjoy your versatility.Boomerang daze lets you daze enemies when you damage them with talenta or xení drink boomerangs, so take advantage, and remember sneak attack will greatly boost the DC.


    Spoiler: sources
    Show

    srd: ranger
    cityscape web enhancement: voice of the city, skilled city dweller
    complete mage: arcane hunter
    races of destiny: city slicker
    races of eberron: persona immersion, cabinet trickster, boomerang daze
    playerís guide to faerun: zhentarim spy
    complete warrior: swashbuckler
    complete scoundrel: master of masks
    champions of ruin: craven
    phb2: wandererís diplomacy

  24. - Top - End - #114
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too


    Source
    Bolphunga, Right Hand of the Blood Duchess
    NE Hooded Pupil Sunscorch Hobgoblin Crusader 9/Binder 1/Incarnate 3/Deathís Chosen 3/ Devoted Defender 3

    Stats
    Spoiler
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    Str 13
    Dex 11
    Con 13 (increases here)
    Int 10
    Wis 14
    Cha 12


    Build
    Spoiler
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    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Hooded Pupil +2 to Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot Alertness, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes Str +2, Wis +2, Cha +2, +2 Natural Armor, Clutch of Orcus 1/day, Drink Blood, Resist Cold 5, Spider Climb
    2nd Crusader 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Balance 4, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Spot 2(4), Tumble 4 Weapon Focus (Greatsword) Steely Resolve 5, Furious Counterstrike, Skilled City Dweller (Ride->Tumble)
    3rd Crusader 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Balance 5, Intimidate 2, Tumble 5 Indomitable Soul
    4th Crusader 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Intimidate 5, Tumble 6 Stone Power Zealous Surge
    5th Crusader 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Intimidate 7, Jump 1, Tumble 7 Steely Resolve 10
    6th Crusader 5 +5 +4 +1 +1 Intimidate 8, Jump 3, Tumble 8
    7th Crusader 6 +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Intimidate 9, Jump 5, Tumble 9 Shards of Granite Smite 1/day
    8th Crusader 7 +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Intimidate 10, Sense Motive 1(2), Tumble 10
    9th Crusader 8 +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Intimidate 11, Sense Motive 2(2), Tumble 11 Steely Resolve 15
    10th Crusader 9 +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Intimidate 12, Sense Motive 3(2), Tumble 12 Martial Stance (Press the Advantage)
    11th Binder 1 +9/+4 +8 +3 +5 Intmidate 13, Sense Motive 4 Soul Binding (1 Vestige)
    12th Incarnate 1 +9/+4 +10 +3 +7 Knowledge (Religion) 6 Aura of Evil, Detect Good
    13th Incarnate 2 +10/+5 +11 +3 +8 Knowledge (Religion) 8 Open Lesser Chakra (Arms) Chakra Bind (Crown)
    14th Incarnate 3 +10/+5 +12 +3 +9 Knowledge (Arcana) 1, Knowledge (The Planes) 1 Expanded Soulmeld Capacity +1, Incarnum Radiance 1/day
    15th Deathís Chosen 1 +11/+6/+1 +14 +3 +9 Spot 4 (B)Endurance Shield of the Master, Vigor of the Chosen
    16th Deathís Chosen 2 +12/+7/+2 +15 +3 +9 Search 2 Open Lesser Chakra (Shoulders) Will of the Chosen
    17th Deathís Chosen 3 +13/+8/+3 +15 +4 +10 Search 4 Bravery of the Chosen, Unnatural Aura
    18th Devoted Defender 1 +14/+9/+4 +17 +6 +10 Spot 6 Harmís Way
    19th Devoted Defender 2 +15/+10/+5 +18 +7 +10 Spot 8 Open Lesser Chakra (Brow) Defensive Strike
    20th Devoted Defender 3 +16/+11/+6/+1 +18 +7 +11 Spot 10 Deflect Attack +1

    Maneuvers:
    Spoiler
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    1st: Crusaderís Strike, Douse the Flames (trade at 8), Charging Minotaur(trade at 4), Leading the Attack, Vanguard Strike (trade at 6)
    2nd: Foehammer, Tactical Strike (at 4)
    3rd: White Raven Tactics, Revitalizing Strike (at 6)
    4th: Divine Surge, Covering Strike (at 8)
    5th: Flanking Maneuver
    Stances: Martial Spirit (at 1), Leading the Charge (at 2), Thicket of Blades (at 8), Press the Advantage (at 10)

    Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show
    Itís our 10 year anniversary today. Ten long years of busting my hump to keep her happy. I donít think she noticed. I didnít remind her, because I knew she wouldnít care. Sheís always saying this is a relationship built on mutual trust and dependence, but it always seems to me like Iím giving more than she is. I have to guard her in the day while she sleeps, I got to help her troll for prey at the taverns. I have to open up a vein to feed her when sheís got the blood shakes. I got to jump in front of her when some nutjob with a stake and hammer tries to do her in. Iím not bitter, though. I donít resent her, or anything. I know that I need her, too. In the 10 years since we met, sheís stayed beautiful as ever, but Iím starting to feel the creak in my bones after a long day of standing guard. If Iím going to last several more decades, Iím going to need more than a taste of her. Iím going to need someone to elevate me to that life beyond life, and sheís the only one I know that can do that.

    I know she will, eventually. Itís only a matter of time before she realizes what I have. Iím not getting any younger, and the older I get the harder itís going to be for me to protect her. She may be endless, but she doesnít know how to take care of herself like I do. I have the battle skill to keep her safe in this rough world. My lifespanís nothing compared to hers. Itís only a matter of time before she realizes Iíve earned it, with all Iíve done for her. She needs me too much.

    Level 5
    Spoiler
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    Letís start off with Hobgoblin. All the hobgoblins we see have CR as determined by their class levels, so we can infer it is a CR 0 race, which boosts stats, and with Sunscorch you gain access to draconic soulmelds. Hooded Pupil adds 1 CR, and is acquired so you can add whenever you want, Iíve added it at the beginning to reap the benefits of the stat boost, and spider climb to escape fights. Itís mostly for flavor of a vampireís lackey, though the other things donít hurt.
    Crusader makes for a tough, survivable character. Maneuvers chosen here are focused for teamwork, working alongside and helping his master in combat. Of note is the fact that the healing maneuvers you have can benefit both you and your vampire master.

    Stone Power adds immense survivability especially with delayed damage pool, and Shards of Granite saves you a few maneuvers by having always-available options.

    Level 10
    Spoiler
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    More Crusader means better maneuvers. Press the Advantage is worth spending a feat on, especially since your progression isnít set up to give you 5th level stances. From here on things will get more involved

    Level 15
    Spoiler
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    A level of binder here is for the primary purpose of access to Naberius, who heals 1 point of ability drain every hour. This means that you can support your vampire masterís need for blood as a bottomless source, provided they donít drink too greedily. This is especially useful if your vampire master is a lifedrinker.
    Incarnate adds a large amount of utility in its wide variety of soulmelds. We canít advance maneuvers anymore, so weíre going to focus our efforts on progressing binds. Of note here are the necrocarnum circlet, which can give you some zombie allies to benefit from your maneuvers, and the vitality belt, which gives you more health in the form of temporary hitpoints. You can juggle them combined with healing to get maximum benefit and keep yourself topped up. Itís unclear whether the open chakra feats give you more binds to work with or just the ability, but they offer plenty of power either way. Detecting good also helps find those who would oppose your master, and Incarnum Radiance boosts your melee damage rolls, which is very nice.
    After we will enter Deathís Chosen. The biggest benefit here is at first level. Needing less food and sleep is a cool symbol of increasing link to vampirisim. Shield of the Master lets your vampire master choose not to affect you when it does its thing. Best if your vampire is a spellcaster, so they can carpet bomb areas with AoEs while youíre in the thick of it.

    Level 20
    Spoiler
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    Finishing Deathís Chosen still gives some good things. Boost to saves, attack and damage essentially always on since youíre hanging out with your master. Unnatural Aura is as much a crunch ability as it is a neat fluff one. This automatically panics any animals that are brought within 30 feet of you, with no save. This means that animal companions are essentially taken out of the fight, and thereís no real way to end it other than them leaving. As we see from Predatorís Cry, if someone is riding an animal that becomes panicked they have to succeed on DC 25 Ride check to keep it from running away, so most mounts will be gone, too.

    Now we enter Devoted Defender, the ultimate in buddy protector roles. First is Harmís Way, where you simply switch places with your master and take an attack before it happens if you stay close. Note that the attack does not automatically hit you, and with the AC bonus from this and Hooded Pupil, it may not. If you canít stop it, you can still retaliate with Defensive Strike. Remember itís an AoO, so if you kill them then the hit never happens. Finally we close out with Deflect Attack, which allows you to simply make an attack not hit when standing next to your master. Itís based on Reflex save, so you can boost it with the impulse boots. Because of wording, if Deflect Attack fails, you can then take the blow for your master with Harmís Way. All the other levels are just numerical bonuses to these, so weíre not missing out.

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    the Adzorok flock

    Spoiler: Backgroud and Using the Adzorok Flock
    Show
    Background
    "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 Scores
    Show
    LE Ghostwise Halfling
    Ghost (CR+2) / Ranger 5 / Master of Many Forms 8 / Warshaper 5

    Abilities Total
    Score
    Stand.
    Array
    Race/
    Template
    Level
    Bonus
    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 +1
    Spoiler: Build Table
    Show
    CR Class Base
    Attack
    Bonus
    Fort
    Save
    Ref
    Save
    Will
    Save
    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),
    Listen 4,
    Search 4,
    Sense Motive 4,
    Spot 4
    Apprentice (Criminal)DMGII177,
    Urban TrackingCi64
    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,
    Listen 5,
    Search 5
    Sense Motive 5,
    Spot 5
    5 Ranger 3 +3 +3 +3 +1 Bluff 6,
    Gather Information 6,
    Knowledge: Local 1,
    Listen 6,
    Search 6,
    Sense Motive 6,
    Spot 6
    Ghostly GraspLM27,
    EnduraceB
    Endurance
    6 Ranger 4 +4 +4 +4 +1 Bluff 7,
    Gather Information 7,
    Knowledge: Geography 1,
    Listen 7,
    Search 7,
    Sense Motive 7,
    Spot 7
    Urban CompanionCi (Raven)
    7 Ranger 5 +5 +4 +4 +1 Bluff 8,
    Gather Information 8,
    Knowledge: Dungeoneering 1,
    Listen 8,
    Search 8,
    Sense Motive 8,
    Spot 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),
    Disguise 11,
    Gather Information 9
    Fast Wild Shape, Improved Wild Shape (Monstrous Humanoid)
    11 Master of
    Many Forms 4
    +8 +8 +8 +2 Bluff 12,
    Disguise 12,
    Gather Information 12(+3)
    Ability Focus
    (Malevolence)
    Improved Wild Shape (Fey; Tiny)
    12 Master of
    Many Forms 5
    +9 +8 +8 +2 Bluff 13,
    Disguise 13,
    Gather Information 13,
    Spot 10(+2)
    Improved Wild Shape (Vermin)
    13 Master of
    Many Forms 6
    +9 +9 +9 +3 Bluff 14, Disguise 14,
    Gather Information 14,
    Spot 12(+2)
    Improved Wild Shape (Aberration; Huge)
    14 Master of
    Many Forms 7
    +10 +9 +9 +3 Bluff 15,
    Disguise 15,
    Gather Information 15,
    Spot 14(+2)
    Alertness Extraordinary Wild Shape, Improved Wild Shape (Plant)
    15 Master of
    Many Forms 8
    +11 +10 +10 +3 Bluff 16,
    Disguise 16,
    Gather Information 16,
    Spot 16(+2)
    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),
    Bluff 17
    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
    Note: Skilled City-DwellerCi is always used whenever applicable except for Gather Information.
    * 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
    Show
    CR CR Breakdown
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tumbawadi, Kraadir Shaman-King
    Yet again my vision showed me the darkness that's about to consume our lands, my children. The corruptors are already making their move as I speak: plotting, gathering, building, maneuvering their pawns. Their kind is the craftiest and most deceitful, so keep your eyes, your ears, your mind, open and keened. The enemy's greatest strongholds are the souls of those they subvert, so make sure that the words you speak, thoughts you contemplate in, and deeds you act on, are none but yours.

    As our forefathers did, we must keep the Ordughan safely away from their hands, lest the others fall.
    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.

    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.
    Spoiler: Main Trick 1: Wight Flock
    Show
    Step 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".
    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.
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Vanguard Polyanna Creed of Saltport City
    We went from being one of the most peaceful major cities to having these series of jailbreaks, thefts, kidnappings, and murders within a span of a year...of the high profile variety, no less! Oh, what a glorious time to be alive!

    I want these criminals discovered, found, and tried, and all stolen cargos back to the merchant ships. A-SAP, of course, or it will be your neck in the noose! I'm telling you, this city is just an unsolved murder or two away from enforcing a witch-hunt that our allied cities have already done to find their mystery criminals!

    Get all your cronies to work on this, and, I dunno, feel free to hire specialists that are actually competent enough to do your job. I'm not even paid enough to deal with this kind of crap.
    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).

    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.
    Spoiler: Main Trick 2: Malevolent Shape
    Show
    After 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?
    1. 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.
    2. 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).
    3. 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)?
    4. This can direct blame/suspicion of hostility towards an unsuspecting possessed creature, giving more subtlety to her operations.
    5. 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.

    * 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.
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky-Captain Ieupolt, Greenrose 127th Fleet
    Just when I thought we've finally managed to capture Baron Chebyshev, an important pillar of our community, he managed to escape and jump off our ship! I've heard rumours about prominent people even in distant kingdoms acting very strangely as of late and all sorts of wild conspiracy theories trying to make sense of such phenomenon, but it doesn't even take a bright man to realize there's nothing but death falling hundreds of feet down. We've recovered four of the seven amulets he's stolen from the Royal Vault, but it appears he's managed to keep the rest from us.

    If that wasn't unsettling enough, we've seen a disturbingly increasing amount of ravens heading northwards for a few days now. I've honestly no idea when it started, exactly, but when you see scores of them, and then eventually hundreds, you start paying attention. Our chief navigator, as do most of us here, took it as an ill omen of sorts by the time the sages in our ship number them to at least a thousand, and decided to steer off their direction. Just the thought that the late Baron heading on the same direction not being mere coincidence sends shivers down my spine...
    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.

    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.
    Spoiler: Main Trick 3: the Adzorok flock
    Show
    Step 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.

    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?
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Archivist Xu'Lian, last Grandkeeper of the Dawnguard Imperial Bibliotheke
    "The light of day brings people new hope", so I've often read, and so have the elders taught me centuries ago. What, then, does this eternal darkness mean?

    We paid scant thought to the unfound rumours and the ancient prophecies, laughed at the ramblings of the mad sages, ignored all terrible omens, and paid no heed to the warnings of even our most learned monks.

    Is it any surprise, that apocalypse struck us in the blink of an eye? Wars ignited in all corners of the world, the oldest alliances and friendships were broken in bids for power, massive armies of heaven and hell and earth plowed through bloody fields and ruined cities, and iron fists of tyrants tightened their grip on lands where anarchy doesn't reign. Our mightiest heroes remain scattered on multiple fronts, each with their own battles against these threats--or this singular threat, as many such heroes postulated. Even the countless ravens that filled the sky swoop down to feast on our fallen, their shapes constantly changing into terrible and grotesque forms.
    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.

    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: Sources
    Show
    SRD: 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

  26. - Top - End - #116
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Spoiler: The Servitors of Blibdoolpoolp, Part 1
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    Servitor 241

    Kuo-Toa Ardent 9/Cleric 9 (double amputee)


    Spoiler: Build table
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Knowledge (religion) 4, Spot 4, Move Silently 4
    Feats Class/Racial Features
    1st Kuo-Toa RHD +1 +0 +2 +2 Knowledge (religion) 4, Spot 4, Move Silently 4 Iron Will, Alertness (bonus) Lightning Bolt, Adhesive, Electricity Resistance 10, Immunities, Keen Sight, Slippery, Light Blindness
    2nd Kuo-Toa RHD +2 +0 +3 +3 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5 - -
    3rd Ardent +2 +0 +3 +5 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 1, Concentration 1, Knowledge (arcana) 1 Quick Recovery Assume psionic mantles (2)
    4th Ardent +3 +0 +3 +6 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 2, Concentration 2, Knowledge (arcana) 2 - Assume psionic mantle
    5th Ardent +4 +1 +4 +6 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 3, Concentration 3, Knowledge (arcana) 3 - -
    6th Ardent +5 +1 +4 +7 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 4, Concentration 4, Knowledge (arcana) 4 Reserves of Strength -
    7th Ardent +5 +1 +4 +7 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 5, Concentration 5, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - Assume psionic mantle
    8th Cleric +5 +3 +4 +9 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 2, Concentration 6, Knowledge (arcana) 5 Extend Spell (bonus) Rebuke Undead, Planning Domain, Blackwater Domain, Divine Restoration ACF
    9th Cleric +6 +4 +4 +10 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 4, Concentration 7, Knowledge (arcana) 5 Persist Spell -
    10th Cleric +7 +4 +5 +10 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 6, Concentration 8, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - -
    11th Cleric +8 +5 +5 +11 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 8, Concentration 9, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - -
    12th Ardent +9 +6 +6 +12 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 6, Concentration 10, Knowledge (arcana) 5 Overchannel -
    13th Ardent +10 +6 +6 +12 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 7, Concentration 11, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - -
    14th Ardent +11 +6 +6 +13 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 8, Concentration 12, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - -
    15th Ardent +11 +7 +7 +13 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Autohypnosis 9, Concentration 13, Knowledge (arcana) 5 Divine Metamagic (Persist Spell) -
    16th Cleric +11 +7 +7 +13 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 10, Concentration 14, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - -
    17th Sea Mother Whip +11 +9 +7 +15 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 12, Concentration 15, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - Watery Death Prestige Domain
    18th Sea Mother Whip +12 +10 +7 +16 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 14, Concentration 16, Knowledge (arcana) 5 Metapower (Persisted Bite of the Weretiger)
    19th Sea Mother Whip +13 +10 +8 +16 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 16, Concentration 17, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - Independent Lightning Bolts
    20th Sea Mother Whip +14 +11 +8 +17 Knowledge (religion) 5, Spot 5, Move Silently 5, Spellcraft 18, Concentration 18, Knowledge (arcana) 5 - Inspire the Faithful


    Spoiler: Ability scores
    Show

    Str: 10+2=12
    Dex: 10
    Con: 11+2=13
    Int: 10+2=12
    Wis: 11+4=15
    Cha: 11-2=9

    All level increase go into Wisdom.


    Spoiler: Spellcasting and Psionics
    Show


    Cleric
    Spells per Day at 20th level (including bonus)
    Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st 3 3+1 - - - - - - - -
    2nd 4 4+1 - - - - - - - -
    3rd 4 4+1 2+1 - - - - - - -
    4th 5 5+1 3+1 - - - - - - -
    5th 5 5+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - - -
    6th 5 5+1 4+1 3+1 - - - - - -
    7th 6 6+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 - - - - -
    8th 6 6+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 - - - - -
    9th 6 6+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 - - - -

    Ardent
    Power Points per Day by level (including bonus)
    Level PP
    1st 3
    2nd 9
    3rd 14
    4th 15
    5th 32
    6th 47
    7th 60
    8th 74
    9th 90

    Ardent Powers Known
    Level 1: Expansion, Bite of the Wolf
    Level 2: Hustle
    Level 3: Numbing Sphere
    Level 4: Alter Self
    Level 5: Greater Magic Fang
    Level 6: Kelgore's Grave Mist
    Level 7: Create Magic Tattoo
    Level 8: Dragon Breath
    Level 9: Bite of the Weretiger
    Ardent PP at level 20: 94
    Mantles: 1st level: Magic, Physical Power
    2nd level: Freedom
    5th level: Elements

    Spoiler: Custom Mantles
    Show


    Magic
    1 Metaphysical Weapon
    2 Create Magic Tattoo
    3 Dispel Psionics
    5 Power Resistance
    6 Analyze Dweomer, Psionic
    6 Null Psionics Field
    8 Protection from Spells, Psionic


    Physical Power
    1 Expansion
    1 Bite of the Wolf
    1 Vigor
    2 Animal Affinity
    3 Greater Magic Fang
    5 Bite of the Weretiger
    5 Psychofeedback
    7 Oak Body
    8 True Metabolism

    Freedom
    1 Dimension Hop
    1 Invisibility
    2 Hustle
    2 Greater Invisibility
    2 Alter Self
    4 Dimension Door
    4 Freedom of Movement
    5 Teleport, Psionic
    6 Evade Burst
    8 Teleport, Psionic Greater

    Elements
    1 Control Flames
    1 Elemental Steward
    2 Numbing Sphere
    2 Kelgore's Grave Mist
    3 Breathless
    4 Dragon Breath
    5 Adapt Body
    6 Blackstone Hammer
    9 Tornado Blast



  27. - Top - End - #117
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Spoiler: The Servitors of Blibdoolpoolp, Part 2
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    Spoiler: CR breakdown
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    Spoiler: CR 5
    Show

    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    Servitor 241 woke from a dream. He looked around himself, unsure of where he was for a moment, then reality reasserted itself. He had been fallen asleep on one of the Libraryís stone shelves, when he was supposed to be delivering some books to the personal quarters of one of the higher-ranked priests. Not surprising, given the new timetable he had been following recently. His sleep periods had been completely displaced. A wave of fear swept through him as he thought of what his superiors might do if they found him sleeping on the job. Likely he would have been demoted, taking into account his recent acceptance into the ranks of Blibdoolpoolpís clergy just a week ago. Then he would have been one of the group called Slaves again, those Servitors who had not yet been deemed worthy to enter the priesthood, just one more bit of manual labour or some errant adventurerís sword-repository, albeit with the small amount of magical training he had already been subject to. After all, there were many Slaves vying for the next promotion. Any of them could easily take his place. Brushing the thought aside, he slipped the bag of carved stone slabs over his body and swam off through the Libraryís cavernous hallways.
    As 241 swam, he pondered the meaning of his dream. In it, he had had four limbs. It was a strange thought, having two limbs just for holding things and another two to propel himself through the undersea complex the Servitors of Blibdoolpoolp called home. Strange dream, he thought. Still, it was just a dream. He had always had two webbed appendages, no more, no less. He probably ought to focus more on getting out of his assignment to the Library. Not that it wasnít pleasant enough, but it was pretty much a dead end. As he made his way through a communal area, he passed a group of Servitors slightly more senior than himself. He recognised one of them. 187 had been in a similar position to his a couple of months ago, and would likely have stayed there if he hadnít managed to catch the notice of some of the higher-ups by emerging the sole survivor in one of the many unavoidable confrontations with the people who lived on the coast near the Servitorsí complex.

    241 wondered if that might be a possible route of advancement; engineer a disturbance and start a fight. Nobody would know, if he managed to make sure there were no other survivors. Then again, though, who was to say luck would favour him in such a conflict?

    Swimming on, he passed the caves of the Giants. The Giants were curious creatures. Outwardly, they resembled naked Servitors, with slightly thicker skin and larger stature, but their name came from their ability to spontaneously grow to immense sizes. They were incredibly stupid, though, making them easy to control. Their eventual purpose was to serve as the vanguard of the island invasion.

    Next, he passed the Temple. During services, the whole population of the complex would cram into this hall with its high ceiling and scattered altars. Now, however, it was deserted, with only a pair of Slaves cleaning the walls and floor.

    Eventually, he reached the rooms of Servitor 73, the head librarian. He knocked, but there was no answer, so he left the bag of slabs outside the door. No Servitor would disturb what was meant for another of their kind. Shaking himself awake a little, 241 set off back towards the Library.

    At this point, a Servitor can attack with its Bite of the Wolf and grow to Large if space allows it. Numbing Sphere can be used to attack from a distance. Servitors will try to target character who look less likely to dodge the sphere (A.K.A. make a reflex save). At this point, 241, the randomly-chosen protagonist of this little story, doesn't have many distinguishing features.

    Spoiler: CR 10
    Show

    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    Servitor 241 lay on his side in the dirt, blood leaking from his body through a thousand small cuts and stab wounds. One big one in his underside, too. His hood and a good portion of his face had been burned off by that accursed arcanistís acid spell, and was still stinging an indeterminate time later. A few hours ago, he had awoken in a pool of his and Servitor 306ís blood, in the middle of a small, out-of-the-way path. He had rolled the other Servitorís body into the bushes and crawled in to hide after it. As he lay there, his wounds slowly congealing, he thought about the events that had led him into this situation.

    Just half a year ago, he had been in the lowest tier of priesthood, stuck in the Library keeping records. There were brief alleviations of his boredom here and there, mostly a stray human or two on the beaches that he could hunt down without risking notice, or feeding the captured humans to the Giants. Then, an opportune death in the aerial division of the Servitors had opened up a new path for him. None of the Servitors could manage more than a fast waddle with their unwieldy limbs, so they had turned to magical flight as a more efficient means of movement above the waterís surface. It was easier to stay out of sight, too, most islanders passing them off as large birds from a distance. Mishaps of varying degree were common, so it was generally the expendable members of the Servitors who were assigned to it, and at the time there had been few more expendable than 241, who was the one of the newest members of the clergy and had yet to show any particular usefulness at anything. There was another candidate for the position, Servitor 273, a slightly more recent addition to the priesthood, but he had succumbed to food poisoning the day after 241 had first heard of Servitor 187ís unfortunate crash-landing into the side of a mountain.

    To his own surprise, 241 had taken to soaring though the air with relative ease. He already knew how to harness some supernatural power from the training he had received in the Temple of Blibdoolpoolp, but being taught the ability to grow wings for himself and soar through the open air, for one who had barely set foot on land before, had added a whole new dimension to his existence. In the aerial division, he had even gained sufficient prestige to be taught the special prayers that allowed him to channel power directly from his god. 241 had never felt so empowered in his life.

    Servitor 241 had joined the aerial division just when the invasion plan had shifted into a crucial phase. The fliers had begun the task of ambushing the wagons of supplies and messengers to and from the mainland, cutting the island off from the rest of the kingdom it belonged to. That would make it easier for the islanders to be overwhelmed, and then the holy War of Reclamation would begin. The High Priests said that Blibdoolpoolp itself had told of how the surface had once been a much more hospitable place, wetter and darker than it was before the other gods had intervened and chased Blibdoolpoolpís old people, the kuo-toa, into the seas. They had tried many times to retake it, but the kuo-toa had failed, said the High Priests, and Blibdoolpoolp had forsaken them, creating a new, superior people to conquer the surface world in its name.

    Attacking the carts and caravans with savage fanaticism, the fliers would slaughter the humans and their horses, stealing food and pitching the rest, including messages to the human capital, into the sea. It had gone wonderfully at first, and flying high above the human town, he could see fights breaking out over food and other resources. One day, however, he and 306 had attacked the wrong people. The figures on foot had seemed ordinary enough, easy targets, and the initial attack had gone well. The pair circled downwards, felling one of the travellers with several well-aimed lightning bolts, but when one of them uttered an incantation, the words of power carrying on the wind, both their wings had disappeared mid-dive. The two Servitors crashed to the ground, badly wounded already, and the humans had set about hacking them to bits. 241 had managed to take down the one of them, a burly individual with a large bladed weapon of some sort, ripping his heart out with a well-placed bite, but then a ball of undiluted acid splashed into his face, the burning pain pushing him into unconsciousness.

    Now, he lay in the dirt, the body of his dead comrade beside him. He couldnít help but feel forsaken by his deity, like the disgraced kuo-toa. He tried to banish the blasphemous thoughts, but they returned with every throb of pain through his body. He tried to stand, but as he took a step towards 306ís body, his limbs failed him, sending him crashing to the ground in an unconscious heap.

    At level 10, the Servitors can fly using Alter Self to become gargoyles, and buff their attacks with Greater Magic Fang. They can also have two bites at once from Bite of the Wolf and Alter Self, but you could just pass that off as one, devastating bite. They now have 2nd level cleric spells too and can use spells like Lesser Vigor and Cloud of Knives to help with combat, things like Substitute Domain for versatility, Silence to hinder casters and many more. Basically, the cleric list is so versatile it would better for the person actually using these henchmen to decide what to prepare. Since they can fly now, they will favour ranged attacks, and stay close to each other in numbers, so they can launch lightning bolts at enemies. They also have Extend Spell, to help lengthen some of their buffs (increasing ML to the needed level with Reserves of Strength and recovering with Quick Recovery if in combat). 241 and the other fliers in particular are likely to be encountered far from the sea and his faith in his deity is at its highest, so he will fight nearly to the death (his sense of self-preservation is still too strong).

    Spoiler: CR 15 'Sweet Spot'
    Show

    Spoiler: Story
    Show

    Servitor 241 swam at breakneck speed through the corridors of the complex, mind racing with the revelations that had shaken the very foundations of his life to the core. Weeks earlier, he had returned to the Servitors of Blibdoolpoolp, healed from his wounds but with an irreparably scarred face. Not that the face really mattered. All the Servitors and Slaves wore face-concealing hoods in public. After burning what was left of Servitor 306, he had cut his way through the dense forest that the island was replete with, avoiding human trails and fighting off wildlife, all the way to the shore.

    His return was strangely uneventful. He was given a precursory check for signs of enemy mind control, then sent back to his quarters, where a Slave had delivered a message stating that he had been reassigned to the Breeding Pits.

    The Breeding Pits were a source of constant speculation within the Servitors, as only the High Priests and a small number of trusted Servitors were allowed inside. There were 32 Pits in total, with one attendant to Pit. It was known that this was where the young Servitors, known as Slaves until they managed to enter the priesthood, and treated as such, were spawned. Now, it appeared that 241ís recent display of resilience and the informative report he had given on those dangerous humans had not gone unnoticed. Although being a Pit attendant was more prestigious a position than being in the aerial division, he found the prospect of having to spend extended periods of time underwater again distasteful. How could he go back after experiencing the pure freedom of flying unhindered through the air? However, it was his duty to his god, and he felt a need to repent for certainÖunacceptable thoughts he had had while abandoned in the wild.

    Before he had entered Pit 27 for the first time, he had been warned by one of the High Priests not to let what he saw within shock him. If his faith could survive the ordeal he had recently been through, it could survive what he was about to see, the High Priest had said.

    Steeling himself, he turned and spoke the command word to open the doorway to the Pit. Then he entered, and discovered how wrong the High Priest had been.
    The Pit didnít look that bad at first glance. It was a large, circular room with a deep pit in the centre whose bottom he could not see. To the left was an alcove with a strange contraption nestled in it. Looking into the pit, he recoiled in horror. Within it were two of the beings the Servitors despised most. Two kuo-toa, one male, strapped to the floor and a female shackled to him. Stunned, he edged his way over to the contraption, There was a stone tablet nestled under the contraption. Reading it, he realized that it was instructions on how to use the device to amputate the lower two limbs of a kuo-toa hatchling, and wrench the upper two limbs into a more central position. Healing magic was then to be applied. He stared at the tablet in horror, at the diagrams and at his own body. He had seen images of kuo-toa before, and had always thought that they looked like twisted, inferior versions of a Servitor. Only now did he realise that it was the other way around.

    Silently, Servitor 241 floated down into the pit and settled at the bottom. It was covered with jellylike eggs. He dropped the stone tablet at their feet and looked at them. Their mouths had been sewn shut. Well, that was wonderful, he thought sarcastically to himself. What could he possibly get out of them?
    As he fumed, thought processes slowed by the sheer mental weight of what he had just seen, he heard a faint scratching. Emerging from the cocoon of his thoughts, he looked up. The female was scratching a number through the dust and hardened slime that lined the pit and the male gesturing frantically at him, then at the writing on the floor. He stared for a moment, then looked at the numbers, seemingly confused. Suddenly, comprehension dawned on him. He knew what these numbers were-they were the numbers of a shelf in the Library.

    Soon, he had reached the entrance to the Library. Passing through the rough granite archway, he searched frantically for the right shelf. Instead, he found only a blank space where the shelf should have been. He cast a few cursory divinations in its directions, and was rewarded with a surprisingly strong magical aura. He concentrated for a moment, and released a thought, charged with power, to strip whatever protections the area had. He hadnít expected what came next. There was the sound of a muffled explosion from within, and the walls crumbled down, releasing a rush of warm, dust-filled water at him. There was a small room behind it, occupied by a bedroll, a book on a table, an old kuo-toa skeleton and a bowl. Snatching up the book, he resealed the stone wall with a surge of divine energy and fled back to Pit 27 under the veil of invisibility. Time to find out the truth.

    At level 15, the Servitors have finished the Ardent class and have enough ML and PP to Persist powers like Dragon Breath for an all-day offensive weapon, and things like Expansion and Bite of the Wolf, using Overchannel, Reserves of Strength, Magic Tattoo (brought up to 13th level by those two feats and Adept Spirit to get their ML high enough. They can also use DMM in conjunction with Eagle's Splendor and Substitute Domain (Charm) to get their Charisma high enough for six turning attempts. Then they can have whatever buff is the most useful up the whole day. If 241 is encountered now, his zeal is more tenuous and if he is found in his Breeding Pit, he will defend the breeders but, failing that, escape through a pre-prepared escape route (maybe bored out with acid Dragon Breath). He may also try get PCs to investigate 'Blibdoolpoolp' if encountered before he learns the truth. This is probably the 'sweet spot' of the build, before it becomes a mentally retarded slave.

    Spoiler: CR 20
    Show
    Spoiler: Story
    Show

    Servitor 241 was on the surface, where the War of Reclamation had officially started. The Giants led the charge, each with a pair of Servitors on its back, directing it and loosing bolts of lightning at the fleeing humans. The rest of the Servitors followed close behind, the fliers picking off human combatants from high up. 241, as a high-ranking Servitor, had the privilege of being allowed to watch from the back with the High Priests and others of similar stature.
    Three months ago, 241 had learnt of something that changed his view of the world forever. He was not, as he had thought, a member a race created by Blibdoolpoolp, god of kuo-toa, to succeed where the kuo-toa had failed-in retaking the surface. He, and all the other Servitors of Blibdoolpoolp, were simply kuo-toa twisted and mutilated at birth for unknown reasons, lied to about their god and their very purpose in life. A kuo-toa prisoner had led him to a book, hidden in a room, hidden in the great Library of the Servitors. It was a book, like the humans used, but with pages covered in a waterproof film of some sort. He had smuggled it back to Pit 27, a place only he could go. While plucking up the courage to actually read the thing, he had gotten to know his captives better. It wasnít their mating season, so they mostly just lay around and murmured. He had to feed them through little pipes in their throats and watch the eggs mature. Relaxing, really, compared to his last job. Despite his doubts, he still prayed to his god. He was used to it. Until he finally opened the covers of the book and read the truth.

    The book, it seemed, was a text on the true Blibdoolpoolp, a goddess the kuo-toa had revered as the Sea Mother. The more he read, he knew that this so-called goddess was something he could never worship. The book itself seemed an unwitting treatise on madness, the Sea Mother being described as a some nude human female with crustacean extremities tacked on to her. Pure lunacy! Then, at the back of the book, he found the uneven scribbling that detailed the rise of the Blibdoolpoolp he knew, and it was no better. His ĎBlibdoolpoolpí was nothing more than a mad aboleth who had deluded itself into thinking it had usurped the goddessí name and powers after destroying an animated statue. Seething, he threw the book onto the floor, cursing and blasting indiscriminately with magical power. No matter what society he had been born into, he would have been forced into service to false idols and blind priests.

    241 concluded that there was no such thing as a god. Or goddess. There was nothing more than the insane idols of diseased minds. Filled with rage at the falsehoods he had built his life upon, he formulated a plan to topple the false god from its position. He would wait for the invasion, and when the High Priests were outside commanding the battle, he would return to the Temple and confront the aboleth, but first, he would turn the High Priests still inside the temple to his side. He knew protocol called for two High Priests to occupy the inner sanctum of the Temple at any one time. Perhaps they knew of the abolethís deception, or they did not. Most likely they did. No matter. When he showed them the book, they would see how insane the very idea of a deity was, how they could no longer allow the rogue aboleth to command them as it did. The three of them together could certainly overpower one mad aboleth, and if he did not succeed, then at least he would have died knowing the truth, unlike all the ignorant fools throwing away their lives in service to a lunatic oversized fish.

    In the midst of all the fighting, all he had had to do was step out of sight for a moment and cloak himself in invisibility. Then, he dived into the ocean for possibly the last time in his life and swam towards the gates of the complex. Reaching the gates, he found them locked and guarded by six Servitors. Calling up supernatural power from within himself, he opened mouth and spewed a giant spray of vitriol in the direction of the gates. The guards were killed instantly, the gate melting off its hinges.

    The halls and corridors of the complex were mostly deserted, he swam past the few Servitors who remained invisibly. Reaching Pit 27, he retrieved the book, and tucking it under his coat, set off again. He soon found himself in front of the stone doors of the Templeís inner sanctum. The outer areas were wide open spaces punctuated only by the occasional pillar or altar, but the doors to the inner sanctum looked utterly impassable. He battered the doors with all the magical might he could bring to bear, but they stood unmoving, barely scratched. He floated in place for a moment, feeling slightly foolish, when there was a creaking noise and the great, elaborately carved slabs of stone swung inwards. He paddled slowly in, wary of his surroundings. He was in a vast stone chamber, devoid of furnishing or a light source.
    Suddenly, both his limbs were grabbed by oily black tentacles which twined round them and had him fast. The book tumbled out from under his cloak and landed with a thump on the floor. The two High Priests swam out from behind the opened doors. Struggling, he snarled and cursed at them, but suddenly a high-pitched piercing noise filled his head. Recoiling in pain and struggling against the grip of the tentacles sprouting from the floor, looked around for the source. His heart almost stopped there and then when, in the shadowy depths of the chamber, three red, glowing, slit-pupiled eyes opened, the ends of slimy green tentacles flailing out of the darkness. Words boomed inside his skull, and knew that only he could hear them. ďSo, you thought you could blaspheme against me, Blibdoolpoolp?Ē
    ďNo!Ē screeched 241, struggling against his bonds, already inwardly cursing for his planís rapid failure. ďThere is no blasphemy! There are no gods!Ē
    ďYou are wrong, my creation,Ē said the voice. ďI will make it so that you never doubt my divinity again.Ē
    ďYou are not-ď was as far as Servitor 241 ever got. After that, he remembered nothing.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Servitor 347 stood at the summit of the hill overlooking the dragonís cave. The invasion of the island had been successful, and the Servitors now controlled the entirety of it except for one small area. A pesky black dragon had made its lair in the cave in the valley below, and so far had slain all who dared approach. There was good news, though. The dragon seemed reluctant to leave its home and his little group, consisting of Numbers 318, 362 and 403 had received word that a new Giant was on its way to help flush the beast out. A new Giant, he thought. Where did those come from?
    A few kilometres away, a Giant plodded through the forest, grown to about the size of an elephant. There was a single Servitor perched on its back, directing it with sharp jabs with a wooden stick. The duo were headed assist in a spot of dragon-extermination. As the Giant moved through the trees, its head protruding just above the treetops, its limited mind tried to process the strange memories within it. Images of rows and rows of stone patterns, walking through the air, making noises. Noises that somehow meant more than noise. It remembered anger too, the source of which it was unsure of. It felt frustrated at its own inability to divine the meaning of its recollections, but was getting nowhere and soon abandoned the attempt.

    At this point, the aboleth Blibdoolpoolp has enslaved any Servitors powerful enough to challenge him or who discover his secrets by turning them into living zombies. This happens at 18th level in 241's case, but it can be applied at any time after 15th level if so wished. Most of any Servitor's character will be non-existent at this point. DMM Persist is no longer a viable option due to the Charisma decrease, but Bite of the Weretiger (or a different power if you want, just select a different 5th-level power to Metapower) can now be persisted, making the Servitor doing so much more formidable in combat. The Servitors at this point also have 5th-level cleric spells, although the intelligence decrease means he is less likely to use it intelligently, probably just preparing something simple like Righteous Might. 241 is now spends most of his time with a persisted augmented Expansion on.


    Spoiler: Notes and Sources
    Show
    Apart from Core and the SRD, sources are
    Sea Mother Whip, Watery Death: Underdark
    Ardent, Metapower: Complete Psionic
    Overchannel: Expanded Psionics Handbook
    Reserves of Strength: Dragonlance Campaign Setting
    Blackwater: Stormwrack
    Divine Restoration: Dungeonscape
    Planning Domain: Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
    Magic Mantle lets powers be persisted.
    Feel free to give the Servitors legs.


  28. - Top - End - #118
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    Ezekiel, the Celebrant
    Request for an image has been DENIED by the Church of the Chosen One. Information is classified on this person. Please contact the Arbiter for further information. Glory to the Chosen One.

    Spoiler: Who am I?
    Show
    Ezekiel Origen is a humble priest of a tyrannical regime... nominally. He works in a perfectly ordinary Evil ChurchTM but apart from that, doesn't appear to do much interesting...

    ...but of course, he does.

    Every night, someone is taken from the city by the high priest, and Ezekiel takes the hapless creature into a back room, and they never leave. No-one asks what happens there, and honestly, no-one wants to find out.

    Of course, Ezekiel isn't actually the boss of anything. Technically, he's actually a fairly low-ranking priest in his church. Of course, that doesn't really matter when his power far exceeds any of the others, except for the strange being known as the Arbiter, who leads the church. Together, they serve the Chosen One, a lawful evil deity of unknown origin and little following...

    ...until now.

    Due to Ezekiel's non-formidable personal power, his battle strategy tends to be "Call someone stronger and get them to handle it." Fortunately for him, there's always someone on call for the right price...
    Spoiler: Build Stub
    Show
    Illumian(RoD) Truenamer (ToM) 20. Oh, by the way, anything that isn't core is ToM if it doesn't say otherwise.

    Stats start as 11 STR/CON/INT and 10 DEX/WIS/CHA. Fortunately, truenamers haven't got the weird minimum casting stat minimum that casters and manifesters do, so hurrah. Of course, everything goes in INT. The illumian sigils boost your INT and DEX (If you don't feel like cracking open RoD, I end up with +1 to all skill and stat rolls (including initiative) per level up to 3rd, when it stops (The feat adds the extra one on third level; normally it only goes to second).
    Spoiler: Build Table
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st Truenamer 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 4, Truespeak 4, Skill Focus (Truespeak) Known Personal Truename
    2nd Truenamer 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 5, Truespeak 5, - Knowledge Focus (Religion)
    3rd Truenamer 3 +2 +1 +1 +3 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 6, Truespeak 6, Enhanced Power SigilsRoD -
    4th Truenamer 4 +3 +1 +1 +4 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 7, (The Planes) 1, Truespeak 7 - -
    5th Truenamer 5 +3 +1 +1 +4 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 8, (The Planes) 2, Truespeak 8 - -
    6th Truenamer 6 +4 +2 +2 +5 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 9, (The Planes) 3, Truespeak 9 Truename Research*, Craft Wondrous Item -
    7th Truenamer 7 +5 +2 +2 +5 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 10, (The Planes) 4, Truespeak 10 - Knowledge Focus (Religion)
    8th Truenamer 8 +6 +2 +2 +6 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 11, (The Planes) 5, Truespeak 11 Recitation of Mindful State* -
    9th Truenamer 9 +6 +3 +3 +6 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 12, (The Planes) 6, Truespeak 12 Extend Utterance See the Named
    10th Truenamer 10 +7 +3 +3 +7 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 13, (The Planes) 7, Truespeak 13 - Knowledge Focus (Religion)
    11th Truenamer 11 +8 +3 +3 +7 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 14, (The Planes) 8, Truespeak 14 - -
    12th Truenamer 12 +9 +4 +4 +8 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 15, (The Planes) 9, Truespeak 15 MortalbaneBoVD -
    13th Truenamer 13 +9 +4 +4 +8 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 16, (The Planes) 11, Truespeak 16 - Sending
    14th Truenamer 14 +10 +4 +4 +9 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 17, (The Planes) 13, Truespeak 17 - Knowledge Focus (Religion)
    15th Truenamer 15 +11 +5 +5 +9 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 18, (The Planes) 14, Truespeak 18 Recitation of Vital State, Empower Utterance -
    16th Truenamer 16 +12 +5 +5 +10 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 19, (The Planes) 15, Truespeak 19 - -
    17th Truenamer 17 +12 +5 +5 +10 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 20, (The Planes) 17, Truespeak 20 - Speak Unto The Masses
    18th Truenamer 18 +13 +6 +6 +11 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 21, (The Planes) 19, Truespeak 21 Quicken Utterance -
    19th Truenamer 19 +14 +6 +6 +11 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion) 22, (The Planes) 21, Truespeak 22 - -
    20th Truenamer 20 +15 +6 +6 +12 Knowledge (Arcana, Nature, Religion, The Planes) 23 (Local) 1, Truespeak 23 - Say My Name and I am There

    *Truenamer bonus feat. Of course two of them appear at the same level you got a feat anyway.

    (Truename research gives +2 to checks to research a true name, which barely anyone bothers doing.
    Mortalbane allows you to add 2d6 to a SLA's damage against living creatures 5 times/day/SLA
    Recitation of Mindful State gives you a level/3 bonus on craft checks and a bunch of others you don't care about.
    All the metautterance feats do exactly what you'd expect, but add +5/level adjustment to the DC
    Recitation of Vital State neutralises disease on you.)
    Spoiler: Utterances
    Show
    Level Evolving Mind Crafted Tool Perfected Map
    1st Universal Aptitude - -
    2nd Inertia Surge - -
    3rd Hidden Truth - -
    4th Temporal Twist Keen Weapon -
    5th Archer's Eye - -
    6th Energy Negation - -
    7th Seek the Sky Analyse Item -
    8th Greater Speed of the Zephyr - Fog from the Void
    9th Moderate Word of Nurturing - -
    10th Magic Contraction - -
    11th Spell Rebirth Rebuild Item -
    12th Word of Bolstering - Energy Vortex
    13th Morale Boost - -
    14th Sensory Focus - -
    15th Greater Energy Negation Transmute Weapon -
    16th Essence of Lifespark - Master the Four Winds
    17th Greater Seek the Sky - -
    18th Mystic Rampart - -
    19th Breath of Recovery Metamagic Catalyst -
    20th Ether Reforged - Conjunctive Gate

    Yeah, you're basically kitted out as a support build. Which is fine; you stand at the back of the church surrounded by low-level clerics, adepts and whatever else and start throwing buffs out, or debuffing the enemies with things like reversed mystic ramparts. Of course, you can throw down mean things like the 20d6 (later 40d6*1.5) damage from mortalbane reversed energy negation (later empowered and extended) as well, but you're mainly a buffing type of person.

    Oh, except for the part where you kidnap people and feed their souls to a hungry god. Yeah, about that...
    Spoiler: Power Demands Sacrifice!
    Show
    Pretty much all of this section is BoVD.

    Ezekiel's Knowledge (Religion) bonus starts as 10 (With Universal Aptitude) at level 1, and ends up as 56 (With Universal Aptitude and Hidden Knowledge). Also, if you sacrifice a good creature with at least one hit die on an altar on unhallowed ground for an hour, you get a +7 on the check. This means that Ezekiel can quickly start calling up planar allies or making dark craft materials which means he's gonna be rich! Or rather, he can make his own stuff, given that Recitation of Mindful State and Universal Aptitude give him a decent bonus to craft checks (he ends up getting a +11) so he can make decent stuff without even needing to roll. Also, he can make his own Greater Amulet of the Silver Tongue, and (with several rolls to get dark craft stuff) make it early. The sad part is that you can only apply a single type of dark craft material to one thing, but crafting makes money anyway, so he can just farm for experience and use that to make much money.

    Weirdly, I can retry failed sacrifices so long as I have enough victims. Also, the victims don't even have to be sapient, only sentient, so I can sacrifice, I dunno, puppies. Or my own planar allies if they annoy me. Not that I'm going to be trying to strap a pit fiend to an altar any time soon, but shh.

    As far as the restrictions on high-level spells goes, it's quite clear that you are never the one casting the spells; your god casts them on you, for you, or as directed by you. He nearly always uses his own caster level of 20 and has a fetish for persist spell, which I'm entirely okay with, but it's definitely not me casting the spells because I can't even cast spells! Also, the "You get the service of a fiend" things aren't even spells, they just serve as described in a spell.

    I get that this seems odd, but that's okay. We know that lots of things like divine power and lesser planar ally are okay, even if control weather and limited wish are out (though you get into a third layer of confusion if you use the limited wish to emulate lower level spells...), so tactics can be adjusted accordingly.
    Spoiler: Level 1-5
    Show
    Until 4th level, I freely admit that you are basically an aristocrat in combat. Even at 4th, you don't have a great deal going for you. However, that's not really the point. If anyone threatens you, set a CR 5 Barbazu on them. Go on, it'll be fun! With your +23 on Knowledge (Religion) checks, plus your altar and other nice stuff, you can actually hit a DC 30 and throw a CR 11 Hamatula at your enemies instead! Whoever said the BoVD sacrifice rules were overpowered?

    At this point, Ezekiel is just some guy who summons up devils to help with the effort to rebuild his smashed-up church, which his boss has just decided that they're going to move into. If the PCs speak to Ezekiel, he seems absent-minded, friendly enough but a little bit elsewhere. He carries a book on the Chosen One, and is happy to produce copies for the PCs if they choose to side with the church. Ezekiel uses his universal aptitude ability to aifd with the reconstruction, or to aid his master's notorious lack of social skills. He also wears an odd mouthpiece; it happens that the book and the mouthpiece are masterwork tools for knowledge (religion) and truespeak, fashioned by his own hand.
    Spoiler: Level 6-10
    Show
    Level 6 gets you your ridiculous 20d6 whatever damage, at level 7 you can fly and stop other people flying (also at-will identify only better, but that's just gravy at this point), at 8th you can throw haste on people - oh, and you also get access to at-will solid fog, so I hope your PCs enjoy their newfound 5 foot movement rate (oh, and you can drop an Archer's Eye on someone so they can shoot (or make ranged touch attacks against) the occupants with impunity - at 9th you can throw fast healing 5 out like cotton candy (do people throw out candyfloss? I dunno), at 10th level you can give people spell resistance or empower all of someone's spells (or your own utterances, in case your mortalbane reversed thingamijig wasn't looking deadly enough already. Also by this point we can get practically any listed sacrifice effect without too much fuss. Pit fiend? Pit fiend. Yes, this is a CR 20 encounter that you can throw at people, without fail, when your own CR is about a third of that. Problem, officer?

    If Noone is trying to attack the PCs, Ezekiel will use Solid Fog to block off doors, and throw a devil at someone. He may also seek the sky on Noone's wolf, because nothing, I repeat nothing, beats sailing through a window with a lance on a flying wolf. Hey, it's Noone's spotlight, not Ezekiel's. Hasting Noone is also a possibility, but it can't charge and get the extra attack, so... haste the wolf? Oh, and remember to empower all Noone's spells, because apparently automatic quickening isn't enough. Stupid battle blessing, who thought that feat was a good idea?
    Spoiler: Level 11-15
    Show
    Spell Rebirth and Rebuild Item may not necessarily be amazingly powerful, but they are possibly the coolest utterances in existence. I can't tell you off the top of my head any other abilities that actually undispel or undestroy things. Also you can just use reversed spell rebirth to dispel anything the PCs can cast on you or your allies. Or your pit fiends. Or anything that in any way affects a creature you can target. Including the PCs themselves.

    Speaking of which, we're approaching "Cannot fail limited wish" territory, and also control weather. Control weather is a fun spell to make the PCs have to fight through raging winds to get to wherever. We're a bit fuzzy on where the range is measured from - is it measured from the celebrant? The deity? Not measured at all? - but whatever, we can make it fit. If it's not available, we can instead throw out magic weapons, divine powers, and all that, and go on a killing spree with our assembled congregation.

    Oh, the rest of out utterances are largely buffs, but energy vortex is a nice damage dealer - an area of effect version of our other killer utterance, and they stack (not to mention that you can use your Solid Fog effect to trap people inside) - and transmute weapon may or may not be able to turn a weapon into paper, uranium, caesium, etcetera. Even if it can't, greensteel (damage as one size higher) or adamantine are nice buffs, whereas bone and gold are good nerfs. I think there's an ice special material that melts except at freezing temperatures too.

    Reversed Greater Energy Negation, unfortunately, is not a better version of reversed energy negation, but it does deal 20 damage to anyone who attacks you with a nonreach weapon (which in true WotC-bad-wording style, of course includes ranged weapons, though assuming you're a sane DM, you won't inflict that - literally - on your players). Yes, you can mortalbane it.

    Ezekiel may by this point have reason to fight the PCs, in which case he'll buff his master with reversed greater energy negation, throw down energy vortices and solid fogs with reckless abandon, and come to the aid of any priests who need it. If not, he is present when his master attempts to kill the PCs (again), so he can use the same tricks on it and its wolf as he did last time, give it a greensteel lance, and generally blow up anything that tries to kill it back.
    Spoiler: Level 16-20
    Show
    By now we understand that you can basically sacrifice for whatever you like. Go crazy.

    Master the Four Winds is nice for taking the tops off random buildings, especially since perfected map utterances are basically at-will. Reversed Essence of Lifespark is one of only two abilities that I know of that can inflict no-save negalevels from a distance, the other being the psionic power stygian conflagration. It only inflicts one, but it drains a second spell from the hapless PC targeted. I've officially given up on deciding whether or not that's deliberate. Greater Seek the Sky is basically an air superiority thing - throw the good version on your allies and drop your enemies on the floor with the bad version. Mystic Rampart can increase or reduce all saves by 5. Also, enjoy your newfound ability to quicken it. Breath of Recovery cures anything or paralyses people. Metamagic Catalyst is another one of those cool abilities - one of the clerics is trying to cast a spell off a scroll? Oh, now it's maximised. Have fun.

    Ether reforged is a really silly utterance because it's duration instantaneous, meaning that you can make your entire congregation able to attack corporeal creatures, and then shunt them all to the ethereal plane. Of course you're not meant to be able to do that, but honestly, I'm not sure how the utterance is meant to work. Can you see a common theme?

    Ugh, remind me why I'm using truenamer... oh, yeah, gate. Conjunctive gate. Fourth-level utterance. I guess I'll just drop a 40-HD big beastie onto the battlefield... Dream Larva would be obvious, but it kills me if I get within 30 feet. Uhm, an infernal! Yeah, let's gate in an infernal! And it can summon 4 pit fiends to join in the fun! Unfortunately, the infernal can't use most of its spell-like abilities, but whatever. It can just, like, animate dead or whatever. That would be a neat boss fight: an infernal, four pit fiends (or five, if I grab another one from sacrificing), and all the undead from the corpses of sacrifice victims. An utterly lethal boss fight, of course, but a fun one nonetheless.

    So I guess Ezekiel will either be sitting back protecting the church, sending stuff to help his boss, or both. If Noone dies, Ezekiel will try to take command of the city himself. When the PCs close in on him, he will defend the church to the last... or at least, until the fight no longer favours him, in which case he'll wander through a conjunctive gate and skip town. Or rather, skip plane. I hear Mechanus is nice this time of year...

  29. - Top - End - #119
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too

    The Mage-Hunter
    It is too terrible to behold, and none may witness it until the time is right.

    This creature looks like a human gone badly wrong. Its hair is thin and frail, its body bloated, its mind fractured. It wields a massive piece of spiked chain in its long arms, sweeping its foes off their feet before they can even reach it. Practically impervious to magic, and mocking of those who attempt it, the mage-hunter is an experiment gone terribly wrong, and yet terribly right...

    Spoiler: Prologue
    Show
    Commander Vayne looked at the creature before him. "Corporal, what is this?"

    "The alchemists say it's their newest invention, sir. Apparently it's for tracking down mages."

    Vayne considered. Yes, he supposed that something like this would do for his army. After all, enemy spellcasters disrupting his formations was something that wouldn't do at all.

    "I do speak Common, you know," hissed the... thing. It looked as though it might once have been human, or something similar in basic precepts to a human, anyway. Vayne was slightly taken aback. "Some invention. Corporal, why are the alchemists experimenting on... no, scratch that, why can it still speak?"

    "Sir, I'm not sure. I would recommend lodging it as a special unit, sir, if I may be so bold."
    "You may, but I'm not sure whether it's so bold. Uhm, do you have a name?"
    "No. They didn't give me one."
    The commander and the corporal side-eyed each other.

    "Well", supposed Vayne out loud, "I can't make you work for me, but I can promise to be a good leader."
    "That, and the head of the alchemist responsible." Bargained the creature.

    Vayne smiled. "See to it, Corporal. You're dismissed."
    Spoiler: Build Stub
    Show
    Chaotic Evil ProtoBoK-KarsiteToM Ranger (Arcane Hunter)CA 5/Occult SlayerCW 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 10/Monk (Spell Reflection)CA 3

    Proto-creature is utterly bizarre about how the CR works, which is why three of the CRs are doubled-up on the table, because I have the same CR with or without the level increase. Positively absurd. Oh well.

    STR 11(+4), DEX 11, CON 10(+4), Int 10(-2), Wis 11, Cha 10(-2) are my starting stats and racial adjustments. All bonuses go to Wis.
    Spoiler: Build Table
    Show
    Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1st (Karsite) - - - - - - Spell Resistance, Damage Reduction, Magic-Draining Attacks, Spell Healing
    2nd Arcane Hunter 1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Knowledge (Arcana) 2, Hide 3, Move Silently 3, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Survival 3, Spellcraft 2 Track*, Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Spiked Chain Favoured Enemy (Arcanists +2)
    3rd Arcane Hunter 2 +2 +3 +3 +0 Knowledge (Arcana) 2, Hide 4, Listen 3, Move Silently 3, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 3, Survival 4, Spellcraft 2 Rapid Shot* Combat Style (Archery)
    4th Arcane Hunter 3 +3 +3 +3 +1 Knowledge (Arcana) 3, Hide 4, Listen 3, Move Silently 3, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 4, Survival 4, Spellcraft 3 Endurance*, Improved Initiative -
    Also 4th Arcane Hunter 4 +4 +4 +4 +1 Knowledge (Arcana) 3, Hide 5, Listen 5, Move Silently 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Survival 4, Spellcraft 3 - Animal Companion
    5th Arcane Hunter 5 +5 +4 +4 +1 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Survival 5, Spellcraft 3 - Favoured Enemy (Arcanists +4, Humans +2)
    6th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 1 +6 +4 +4 +3 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Survival 5, Spellcraft 4 Weapon Focus: Spiked Chain Magical Defence +1, Weapon Bond
    7th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 2 +7 +4 +4 +4 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Survival 5, Spellcraft 5 - Vicious Strike, Mind Over Magic 1/day**
    Also 7th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3 +8 +5 +5 +4 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Survival 5, Spellcraft 6 - Auravision, Magical Defence +2
    8th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1 +8 +5 +5 +6 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Survival 5, Spellcraft 6 Hyena Tribe HunterSS,Improved Trip* -
    9th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 1 +9 +5 +5 +8 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 4, Survival 5, Spellcraft 6 - Favoured Enemy (Psions +2), Enemy Sense
    10th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 2 +10 +5 +5 +9 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 8, Survival 5, Spellcraft 6 - Brain Nausea
    11th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 3 +11 +6 +6 +9 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 12, Survival 5, Spellcraft 6 Knock-Down Lucid Buffer
    12th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 4 +12 +6 +6 +10 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 6, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 15, Survival 6, Spellcraft 6 - Favoured Enemy (Psions +4)
    Also 12th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 5 +13 +6 +6 +10 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 8, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 16, Survival 6, Spellcraft 6 - -
    13th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 6 +14 +7 +7 +11 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 8, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 17, Survival 6, Spellcraft 6 Abberation BloodLoM Cerebral Blind
    14th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 7 +15 +7 +7 +11 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 8, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 18, Survival 8, Spellcraft 6 - Favoured Enemy (Psions +6)
    15th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 8 +16 +7 +7 +12 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 9, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 19, Survival 9, Spellcraft 6 - Breach Power Resistance
    16th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 9 +17 +8 +8 +12 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 10, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 20, Survival 10, Spellcraft 6 Inhuman ReachLoM Cerebral Immunity
    17th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 10 +18 +8 +8 +13 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 6, Listen 11, Move Silently 5, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 21, Survival 11, Spellcraft 6 - Blast Feedback, Favoured Enemy (Psions +8)
    18th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 10/Monk 1 +18 +10 +10 +15 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 8, Listen 11, Move Silently 8, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 21, Survival 11, Spellcraft 6 Improved Unarmed Strike*, Stunning Fist* Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Blows
    19th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 10/Monk 2 +19 +11 +11 +15 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 10, Listen 11, Move Silently 9, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 21, Survival 11, Spellcraft 6 Deflect Arrows*, Extended ReachSS Spell Reflection
    20th Arcane Hunter 5/Occult Slayer 3/Psychic Warrior 1/Slayer 10/Monk 3 +20 +11 +11 +16 Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Hide 11, Listen 11, Move Silently 11, Search 1, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 5, Spot 21, Survival 11, Spellcraft 6 - Fast Movement, Still Mind

    *Bonus Feat.
    **As written, Mind Over Magic is pointless unless you cheat and do something complicated involving using it while talking. I assume you're meant to be able to take the free action outside of your own turn.
    Spoiler: Powers
    Show
    The powers learned by this character are Expansion, Prevenom Weapon, Chameleon, Animal Affinity, Psionic Lion's Charge, Prowess, Dimension Slide, Vampiric Blade, Greater Concealing Amorpha, and Truevenom Weapon. You get them at CR 8 and 10-17 at a rate of 1/level.
    Spoiler: CR 2-5
    Show
    Early on, the mage-hunter is just a slightly odd ranger. Its spiked chain allows it to disrupt spellcasters, and it's also resistant to magic. It also gets bonuses against you if you cast spells, and is honestly nasty against human wizards.

    At this point, you're best off standing near Commander Vayne and trying to kill or trip anyone who's vaguely threatening (or rather, threatened - that is, by your 10 ft inclusive reach).
    Spoiler: CR 6-10
    Show
    Now we have enemy sense, allowing you to know the location of each spellcaster, psionic creature and human in 60 feet, which, yes, is practically everything. You also get a +2 on saves against spells to go with your spell resistance, deal even more damage to casters, can reflect spells and - how could I forget? - you get a special ability that stops people eating your brain!

    Yeah, that ability is oddly specific. Never mind that the capstone (which you don't have yet) only works against one specific ability.

    At this point, you're actually legitimately good at tripping, since improved trip (fun fact: Hyena Tribe Hunter removes all the prerequisites for improved trip) allows you to hit someone and knock them down. There's also a MiC weapon enchantment to improve your trip checks, which is nice. Consider getting that.

    Your psionics can make you bigger, or make your weapon poisonous, rapidly knocking down a creature's constitution which is the main source of caster hit points.
    Spoiler: CR 11-15
    Show
    At CR 11, you get access to an absolutely mean trick, whereby you use Knock-Down to get a free trip, use the free trip to trigger your free attack from Improved Trip, ad infinitum. Yep, so long as you can consistently deal 10 damage or more (easy enough against one of your favoured enemies, especially if they're a caster too or you're near enough you Vayne that he can buff you) you can keep doing this. You'll miss or fail the trip eventually, so it's not actually an infinite loop, but nasty enough on a full attack because you can stick your enemy in a big loop 3 times, or 4 times from CR 15.

    You also get more neat anti-caster stuff, but your psionics are the real MVP, allowing you to make a full-attack charge from a ridiculous distance away, and take an extra attack of opportunity at that. Oh, and healing half the damage you deal can't hurt.

    Right now, you want to be rushing up to casters, knocking them about a lot, throwing attacks of opportunity/readied actions (also, your readied actions deal double damage because of your 2nd-level occult slayer ability), and essentially locking the enemy down.
    Spoiler: CR 16-20
    Show
    You have a 30-foot reach. It can go up to 70 feet with your psionics. Just in case you wanted to know. By this point, you can possibly afford the everwhirling chain, which is an utterly ludicrous bit of gear which lets you lock down a field of enemies. If not, you can just sit there deflecting arrows, spells, and people to your heart's content. You're immune to three schools of magic and two psionic disciplines. You move fast enough to chase down anyone who can get away from you. You're a monster in every sense of the word. Plus, if someone disarms you, you still have a 15 foot reach, so go ahead and stun them in the face. Or, because you're a monk, your fist counts as a weapon for truevenom, so feel free to take off 1d8 points of constitution with each hit.

    At this point, the mage-hunter is Commander Vayne's special weapon, used only on special occasions. The mage-hunter makes a serious mess of anything it fights, especially with its commander watching over it...

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Villainous Competition X: Henchman are Villains too


    Xerth, the Ghost in the Machine
    Male CE Draconic Trap Haunt Kobold Wilderness Rogue 2/Dragonblooded Sorcerer 3/Combat Trapsmith 5/Unseen Seer 7

    Do you work to unlive, or unlive to work?

    Spoiler: Story
    Show
    Spoiler: Background
    Show
    Over two centuries before Xerth's birth, a young black dragon going by the name of Krogathamar stumbled upon an abandoned swamp temple. The dragon, quite pleased with his discovery, made his lair in the temple's deepest reaches, where he lived unbothered for years.

    Krogathamar pillaged nearby towns, hunted crocodiles, turtles and the occasional dire toad, and slowly attracted a number of loyal kobolds. The dragon grew older and older, his hoard greater and greater, and rumors of his presence spread further and further.

    Krogathamar's lair was filled with gold, guarded by a dragon, and only a few days' travel from a nearby town, so when adventuring parties started swarming towards the dragon's lair, no one was surprised.

    The dragon didn't mind. The adventurers were a nice distraction and a good source of magical loot. And sure, a few kobolds died in every attack, but who cared? They were just kobolds.

    In the 269th year of Krogathamar's reign over the swamp, Xerth was born. From the moment of his birth, it was plain the kobold was different from his brethren. His scales were harder, his eyes a little brighter, his features more dragon-like.

    When the tribe's shaman announced that the child possessed sorcerous power, the tribe rejoiced. A sorcerer would protect them from the adventurers. A sorcerer would guide them. A sorcerer would make them great.

    And Xerth himself? He grew up in the ruined temple, always exploring and playing with scraps of metal. The kobold learned how to fight with his claws, how to set traps, and how to spot danger before it spotted him. And Xerth was happy.

    Then, Xerth came of age.


    Spoiler: The Refusal
    Show
    Xerth looked around. Many kobolds had gathered in what had once been the temple's main hall. Now, it was an overgrown ruin.

    "Xerth Dragontouched" the shaman spoke. "Today is the day you come of age, and today is the day you embark on your fated path. Your blood is the blood of a dragon. Your breath is the breath of a dragon. Your claws are the claws of a dragon. Will you accept my help, and let me learn you to master this power?"

    Xerth knew he had to agree. Everyone expected him to agree. Becoming a sorcerer would mean he'd be respected and obeyed. It meant he'd wield strange and mighty powers. More than that, it was his duty to the tribe. Yes, agreeing was the only reasonable choice.

    Yet it would also mean he'd have to learn of spells and rituals. It would mean he could not longer explore the swamp as he pleased. It would mean his entire further life would be determined by others. Xerth didn't like that.

    "Xerth Dragontouched, do you accept my help?" the shaman asked again. Xerth turned, and knew he would have to decide now. Freedom or power? Xerth prepared to give the answer that would determine his future.

    "I shall..."

    "ADVENTURERS!" the cry came. Xerth turned and saw one of the sentries running through the crumbled gate. A moment later, an elf, a dwarf, a halfling, and what looked like the hypothetical offspring of a fey and a human charged in and started flinging spells and throwing axes. The other kobolds drew weapons and attacked.

    --------------------------------

    "Oh great Krogathamar, lord of the swamp, terror from the temple, after a fierce battle we repelled the intruders but at great..."

    "How many dead?" the dragon bluntly asked. He wasn't really interested, though, but the sooner this conversation was over the better.

    "Twenty-seven good kobolds were killed, sir. Oh, and that young dragontouched kobold, Xerth, is missing. He probably got blasted to pieces by that damned elf."

    "Yes, yes, very tragic. Bring me the adventurers' items and bury the dead. Now leave, you're disturbing my slumber."

    Krogathamar turned away from the kobold and went to sleep.


    Spoiler: The exile
    Show
    Xerth woke up as the moon rose. He walked over to the pool, drank some water, then went to check his traps, just like he had done every day for the past decades. Today, he'd captured three lizards and a fat toad; not bad at all.

    When he was about to start eating, however, Xerth heard something behind him. The kobold turned quickly, and drew his sword, ready to fight whatever monster had tried to ambush him. To his surprise, it was another kobold.

    Why was there a kobold in this part of the swamp? He'd gone here to avoid them! They weren't supposed to know he was here!

    Panicked, Xerth rushed forward and stabbed the other kobold. He stabbed and stabbed and stabbed, driven by some primal desire to remain hidden, until at last his discoverer was dead.

    Only then did Xerth realize there had been others. In the trees above him, something moved and muttered a few words in draconic.

    I should just have learned magic... Xerth thought before losing consciousness.


    Spoiler: The judgement
    Show
    When Xerth finally came to, he was back in the temple's main hall again, with hundreds of kobolds staring at him. The faces had changed, but it was a familiar scene.

    "Xerth the Traitor. You have abandoned your tribe when they needed you. Because of you, we were left without leader when the shaman died. Our tribe grew weak, and we were forced to travel further and further to keep our food supplies from running out. Ironically, it was such on such a trip that we found you, but what did you do? You murdered one of us, one of your own brethren."

    "You have betrayed, deceived and killed. By all laws of kobold and dragon, you deserve death."

    "Yet, we are prepared to give you a second chance. Descend into the temple's catacombs and be taught to master your magic. Protect us, fortify us, and kill our attackers, and you shall live. Even if you serve us well, you will never be free, you will never leave the tunnels, and you will never have a mate and young. Neither death nor age shall free you from servitude."

    "However, should you refuse, you shall die slowly and painfully."


    Xerth swallowed. Fifty years ago, he had escaped from this question at the last possible moment. This time, there was no such respite. He would have to choose right here, right now. Fear and pride clashed within his draconic heart. Fear won.

    "I... I shall serve." Xerth spoke. The words disgusted him.


    Spoiler: The trapmaker
    Show
    Xerth spent many years underground. He learned how to master his sorcerous powers. He developed his trapmaking skills. Day after day, week after week, year after year was Xerth forced to create traps. When Xerth's frail body was spent, he was forced to craft an item that would reinvigorate him.

    His tribe grew great and powerful, protected from adventurer attacks, but Xerth was not happy.

    Then, one day, everything changed.


    Spoiler: A trap is a grave for fools
    Show
    The aged kobold fastened the last cord, and looked at his creation with satisfaction. To call it a mere trap would be an insult. This was death in machine form. It wasn't a trap, it was a Trap.

    For the first time in years, Xerth felt happy. With this, with this he truly had outdone all other trapmakers that had ever existed.

    A scream sounded from down the corridor, and Xerth turned. A moment later, the kobold guard tasked with keeping him from escaping dashed down the corridor. Another moment later, something that looked like the hypothetical offspring of a half-ogre and a minotaur jumped into his darkvision's range and chopped the guard in half with a single swing of his axe.

    Adventurers, Xerth thought. The kobold looked around desparately, but found no exit but the one blocked by the ogretaur. There was no escape.

    The brute started charging down the corridor. Xerth knew he couldn't win in a fight. He was old, weak and unarmed, and the only trap in this room was plainly visible.

    The trap.

    For decades, Xerth had been locked in. No escape had been possible. Now, however, he realized that all this time, escape had been easy. He had merely been too cowardly to acknowledge this fact.

    With the half-minotaur-quarter-ogre-quarter-human only a few feet away, Xerth took a step back, right into the trap's mechanic.

    The kobold had been right. It was indeed perfect. He barely suffered as the trap's steel jaws crushed him.

    ---------------------
    "Why didn't I prepare Shivering Tou... AAAAAAAAARGH!"

    With a blast from his breath weapon, Krogathamar destroyed the last intruder. These had been quite powerful. In fact, the dragon didn't recall any other parties actually coming close to killing him.

    A kobold, perhaps a descendant of the one from a few decades ago, told him fifty-nine kobolds had died, including some prisoner they'd been keeping. Krogathamar didn't really care. After all, they were only kobolds. The dragon yawned, commanded the kobold to add the loot to his pile, and went back to sleep.


    Spoiler: The awakening
    Show
    The thing that had once been Xerth awoke. It perceived gears, bolts, and bars around itself. A strange desire for freedom seized the being, and it floated through the bars. Ecstatic with its newfound mobility, the being slowly floated up, towards the ceiling. It moved through the stone, faster and faster. Finally, it would be free!

    Then it stopped. Something... something was keeping him here. Why? The being screamed, but none could hear it. It thrashed about, but its claws touched nothing. It tried to destroy itself, but reappeared time after time.

    In that moment, Xerth knew the true extent of his punishment.


    Spoiler: Traps from beyond
    Show
    Searching for those who had survived the adventurers' attack, a pair of kobolds entered his room. Xerth immediately killed them and animated their bodies.

    The sudden display of power had scared the other kobolds away. A few days later, one returned with a simple message from Krogathamar.

    'Continue your work and I may grant you freedom one day. Continue to oppose me, and I will seal this room, destroy all passages that lead to it, and forbid the kobolds from ever speaking of you again. You would be imprisoned here forever, with no one but your zombies to keep you company.'

    Xerth calmed down then. What choice did he have? The kobold had agreed to return to his ancient task: create traps and protect other kobolds. And so he did. Slowly, more and more traps littered the kobold warren, and adventurers died by the dozen trying to get past them.

    Four centuries have passed, and yet Xerth still dilligently crafts in the deepest tunnels of the temple. Unaware of the passage of time and the world outside the small room he inhabits, the kobold waits until he is finally given his freedom: one way or another.


    Spoiler: Ability scores
    Show
    Starting array:

    STR: 10
    DEX: 10
    CON: 11
    INT: 10
    WIS: 11
    CHA: 11

    Racial modifiers + draconic template:

    STR: 8
    DEX: 12
    CON: 9
    INT: 10
    WIS: 11
    CHA: 13

    Middle-age (CR 2):

    STR: 7
    DEX: 11
    CON: 8
    INT: 11
    WIS: 12
    CHA: 14

    Ability increase (CR 5):

    STR: 7
    DEX: 11
    CON: 8
    INT: 11
    WIS: 12
    CHA: 15

    Old age (CR 6):

    STR: 5
    DEX: 9
    CON: 6
    INT: 12
    WIS: 13
    CHA: 16

    Ability increase + Venerable (CR 9)

    STR: 2
    DEX: 6
    CON: 3
    INT: 13
    WIS: 14
    CHA: 18

    Trap Haunt template (CR 9)
    STR: 2
    DEX: 6
    CON: -
    INT: 3
    WIS: 14
    CHA: 18

    Ability increase (CR 15)

    STR: 2
    DEX: 6
    CON: -
    INT: 4
    WIS: 14
    CHA: 18

    Ability increase (CR 19)

    STR: 2
    DEX: 6
    CON: -
    INT: 5
    WIS: 14
    CHA: 18


    Spoiler: Build table
    Show
    CR Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
    1 Draconic Template - - - - - - +2 STR, +2 CHA, +1 natural armor, low-light vision, +4 on saves against sleep and paralysis, +2 on intimidate and spot checks
    2 Wilderness Rogue 1 +0 +0 +2 +0 Craft (trapmaking) 4, Disable Device 4, Hide 4, Search 4, Sense Motive 4, Spot 4, Survival 4, Use Magic Device 4 Craven Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding
    3 Dragonblooded Sorcerer 1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Craft (trapmaking) 5, Spellcraft 1 Draconic Heritage (black)B -
    4 Dragonblooded Sorcerer 2 +1 +0 +2 +3 Craft (trapmaking) 6, Spellcraft 2 Versatile Spellcaster -
    5 Dragonblooded Sorcerer 3 +1 +1 +3 +3 Craft (trapmaking) 7, Spellcraft 3 - -
    6 Wilderness Rogue 2 +2 +1 +4 +3 Craft (trapmaking) 8, Disable Device 6, Search 6, Spellcraft 4, Use Magic Device 5 - Evasion
    7 Combat Trapsmith 1 +2 +3 +6 +3 Craft (trapmaking) 9, Craft (alchemy) 2, Search 8 Craft Wondrous Item Combat Trapping, Trap Sense +1
    8 Combat Trapsmith 2 +3 +4 +7 +3 Craft (trapmaking) 10, Craft (alchemy) 4, Spot 8 Skill Focus (Craft (trapmaking))B -
    9 Combat Trapsmith 3 +4 +4 +7 +4 Craft (trapmaking) 11, Craft (alchemy) 10 - Trap Sense +2
    10 Trap Haunt Template +4 +4 +7 +4 - - Incorporeal Undead, 30 ft. fly speed (perfect), charisma to AC, incorporeal touch attack (1d6 cold)
    11 Trap Haunt Template +4 +4 +7 +4 - - Animate Dead, Animate Trap, Chill Aura, Energy Drain, Bonded Trap, Invisibility, Turn Resistance, ability score adjustments
    12 Combat Trapsmith 4 +5 +5 +8 +4 Craft (trapmaking) 12, Craft (alchemy) 11 Ghostly Grasp Improvised Materials
    13 Combat Trapsmith 5 +5 +5 +8 +4 Craft (trapmaking) 13, Craft (alchemy) 12 - Expert Trapsetter, Trap Sense +3
    14 Unseen Seer 1 +5 +5 +8 +6 Craft (trapmaking) 14, Hide 5 - Sneak Attack +2d6
    15 Unseen Seer 2 +6/+1 +5 +8 +7 Craft (trapmaking) 15, Hide 7 Practiced Spellcaster, Silent SpellB Advanced Learning (See Invisibility)
    16 Unseen Seer 3 +7/+2 +6 +9 +7 Craft (trapmaking) 16, Hide 9 - Divination Spell Power +1
    17 Unseen Seer 4 +8/+3 +6 +9 +8 Craft (trapmaking) 17, Hide 11 - Sneak Attack +3d6
    18 Unseen Seer 5 +8/+3 +6 +9 +8 Craft (trapmaking) 18, Hide 13 Extra Spell (Glyph of Warding) Advanced Learning (Lesser Telepathic Bond), Guarded Mind
    19 Unseen Seer 6 +9/+4 +7 +10 +9 Craft (trapmaking) 19, Hide 15 - Divination Spell Power +2
    20 Unseen Seer 7 +10/+5 +7 +10 +9 Craft (trapmaking) 20, Hide 17 - Sneak Attack +4d6

    Spoiler: Spells and traps
    Show
    The CR at which each spell or trap is learned is given in parenthesis.
    Spells known:
    Level 0:
    -Acid Splash (CR 3)
    -Caltrops (CR 3)
    -No Light (CR 3)
    -Mending (CR 3)
    -Detect Magic (CR 4)
    -Launch Item (CR 14)
    -Mage Hand (CR 16)
    -Prestidigitation (CR 18)
    -Ghost Sound (CR 20)

    Level 1:
    -Create Trap (CR 3)
    -Magecraft (CR 3)
    -Golem Strike (CR 5)
    -Blockade (CR 15)
    -Sticky Floor (CR 17)

    Level 2:
    -Unseen Crafter (CR 14)
    -Ghoul Glyph (CR 15)
    -See Invisibility (CR 15)
    -Greater Alarm (CR 17)
    -Arcane Lock (CR 19)

    Level 3:
    -Explosive Runes (CR 16)
    -Skull Watch (CR 17)
    -Glyph of Warding (CR 18)
    -Lesser Telepathic Bond (CR 18)
    -Sepia Snake Sigil (CR 19)

    Level 4:
    -Wall of Salt (CR 18)
    -Halaster's Fetch I (CR 19)

    Level 5:
    -Fabricate (CR 20)

    Traps:
    -Glitterburst (CR 7)
    -Scorcher (CR 7)
    -Entangler (CR 8)
    -Spiderweb (CR 9)
    -Sleeper (CR 12)
    -Flashbang (CR 13)


    Spoiler: CR breakdown
    Show
    CR 2.
    Xerth isn't as much a 'villain' as he is a random encounter. At this level, he's got a weak sneak attack and some trapmaking skills, but compared to his CR Xerth is easy XP. The PC's might stumble in Xerth's traps as they travel through the wilderness, but are unlikely to actually encounter him.

    CR 5.
    At this level, Xerth has already been imprisoned, but his spells are put to good use by his brethren. While the dragonblooded sorcerer levels remove Craft from your skill list, being a kobold returns it to you. Create Trap helps him secure the warren (with Versatile Spellcaster, he can make four traps last all day). Alternatively, Xerth could focus on mundane crafting aided by Magecraft. It's unlikely to come up, but if he's ever attacked by a construct Xerth can cast Golemstrike and sneak attack away.

    CR 9.
    Xerth takes a few levels in Combat Trapsmith, which lets him create traps as a full-round action that last for one hour. He also gets skill focus (craft (trapmaking)) for free, so his trapmaking check is through the roof (+1 intelligence, +11 ranks, +2 racial, +3 feat, +2 masterwork tools, + up to 30 from a magic item he can craft). Also note that Xerth can create both alchemical items and poisons, to further enhance his traps. He can also craft magic items should the situation call for it, and will probably need one to keep himself from dying (a scroll of Bear's Endurance (easy to get at this level) will let him craft an amulet of health).

    CR 15.
    Becoming a Trap Haunt has somewhat changed how Xerth operates. he can no longer walk around the warren, so he now relies on other kobolds to provide him with supplies for his traps. And speaking of traps, Xerth has a small army of Unseen Crafters ready to help him (and who, through an amusing rule quirk, are actually better crafters than he is).

    Xerth has also started protecting his own chambers. A bunch of Ghoul Glyph castings will paralyze all intruders but leave Xerth and his zombies unbothered, and Greater Alarm will prevent even ethereal creatures from sneaking up to the kobold.

    On top of all that, Xerth is a decent combatant. He gets four attacks per round, with each getting 2d6 points of SA damage (yay permanent invisibility!), another +13 points of damage from Craven, and a negative level. Alternatively, Xerth can hide in the walls or floor and quickly use Combat Trapsmith features to place traps in the room above him. As the traps appear in an adjacent square, he can place them without leaving full cover. Oh, and did I mention he returns 2d6 rounds after being killed, unless someone figures out his life essence is linked to one of the room's many traps and smashes it before Xerth rises again.

    CR 20.
    Xerth just keeps getting new tricks. Arbitrary numbers of Explosive Runes, a mobile detection system through Skull Watch, infinite gold with Wall of Salt, and large numbers of fiendish critters to use for poison-harvesting or as expendable scouts.

    Also interesting is the rate at which Xerth can now produce traps. With Fabricate and (again!) Versatile Spellcaster, he can create four traps per day (even during combat) as long as a standard action as he possesses the raw materials. Guess what a dragon-controlled kobold city has in spades? Oh, and those four traps are before taking his own crafting and that of his Unseen Crafters and zombies into account.


    Spoiler: Using Xerth as a villain
    Show
    A quick note: while Xerth can be used in the entire CR 2-20 range, he takes several centuries to fully develop. Consider what power level he has reached in your campaign, and know he'll stay there for most of the story.

    CR 5.
    "That black dragon and its kobolds have been causing trouble lately. You guys think you could take care of them?"
    -Nordam Pornumitnat the random unimportant farmer.

    At this level, Xerth possesses a few tricks, most noticeably the already mentioned ability to keep four traps semi-permanently summoned. Still, apart from the dungeon being somewhat trap-heavier, nothing really sets this apart from your standard slay-a-dragon-and-his-kobolds adventure. You might want to make Krogathamar a young or juvenile dragon if you're planning to use Xerth this soon.

    CR 9.
    "These traps are exceptionally well-made, guys. I'm not sure if I can disarm this one..."
    -Last words of Finn the rogue.

    Xerth's warren is now filled with a bunch of Trapsmith traps, too, and Xerth has a few defensive abilities in case he is located. However, being an aged kobold his chances of winning a fight are miniscule. Krogathamar should probably be a (young) adult dragon.

    CR 15.
    "So apparently there's a trap-making spirit that guards the underground tunnels? Well, doesn't sound like anything we can't handle."
    -Borgror the Berserker, deceased leader of the Courageous Company.

    Xerth's network of traps continues to grow. He may be unmoving now, but anyone trying to kill him is going to have a hard time. Zombies, Ghoul Glyphs, and 'normal' traps all guard him. Krogathamar should be old or very old by now.

    CR 20.
    "How did all those kobolds get poisoned weapons? Where did they get those magical skull guardians? Why did that book explode the moment I picked it up? And why are there so. many. traps. here?"
    -Yrgulf, Theurge of Shadowvalley

    At this point, Xerth's city is nearly impregnable. Skull Watches continuously hover around and report every non-kobold entering their field of view with shrieks. Every intruder is swarmed by kobolds wielding poisoned weapons (thanks to Halaster's Fetch calling centipedes and vipers). Those who reach the tunnels that lead to Krogathamar (a great wyrm) find that those are trapped, too. Even worse, most of the 'loot piles' are littered with Sepia Snake Sigils, Explosive Runes, Glyphs of Warding, Arcane Locks, and a few cursed items Xerth made.

    Even if someone makes it to Xerth's sanctum, they are immediately attacked by dozens of traps and undead. The kobold will probably seal off escape with a Wall of Salt, then use Fabricate to create traps in his opponent's squares, remaining invisible throughout the fight.

    Finally, Xerth can cast Lesser Telepathic Bond on a kobold and have him walk around the warren to get a better understanding of what to craft, or just to coordinate counter-adventurer assaults.


    Spoiler: Sources
    Show
    Rogue, Sorcerer, Skill Focus, Craft Wondrous Item, Silent Spell - Player's Handbook
    Kobold - Monster Manual + Races of the Dragon
    Trap Haunt - Dragon Compendium
    Draconic, Dragonblooded Sorcerer, Draconic Heritage, Versatile Spellcaster - Races of the Dragon
    Wilderness Rogue - Unearthed Arcana
    Unseen Seer - Complete Mage
    Combat Trapsmith - Complete Scoundrel
    Craven - Champions of Ruin
    Ghostly Grasp - Libris Mortis
    Extra Spell, Practiced Spellcaster - Complete Arcane
    Spells that I'm not going to find and name separately - various sources

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