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Pathfinder: High Warpriest

When you are talking high level NPCs, their stat blocks can take quite a bit of time to create. Take the one we are featuring today, the high priest of Lirikellein, the goddess of the sun in this adventure: a high priest should be one that has accumulated quite a bit of abilities and gear. Detailing all that requires time, time a busy GM doesn’t have. Just like making high level adventures take quite a bit of time.

This is time we are happy to save you, just like how last week we showed off a very old solar dragon. With Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence, we have worshippers of the sun goddess using a ritual to pull the world into the sun. Yourdley, the high priest of the temple is one of those people involved in this endeavor. Now before you say, “killing everyone on the planet is evil,” let me ask you, is trying to bring people closer to a good deity evil? I mean, sure, most don’t take being “closer” to a deity quite so literally, but is it possibly just a good act that you may not like? If you said, “yes it is still evil,” you are right; it is still evil. But it is an act of one that is deluded into thinking that that is what their deity wants. Those that believe it can see it as an “ends justify the means” situation. Others might even believe that anything done to bring people “closer” to their god as good. What does Yourdley believe? You’ll have to read the adventure to find out.

One final point, keen observers will note that this NPC is of a CR equal to its character level. Normally the CR is 1 less than their character level but this NPC has far more gear than a heroic NPC of that level. As such, this NPC is more difficult than its heroic counterparts, raising its CR by 1.

Download Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence for your Pathfinder game at the JBE Shop. You can also find this 15th-level adventure at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

High Priest Yourdley CR 17

XP 102,400
Male dwarf warpriest of Lirikellein 17
N Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13


Defenses


AC 27, touch 13, flat-footed 27 (+9 armor, +4 deflection, –1 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 216 (17d8+102+17 temporary)
Fort +19, Ref +6, Will +19; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities
Defensive Abilities defensive training, fortification 50%, sacred armor (+4, 17 minutes/day) Resist fire 20; SR 29


Offense


Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 brilliant energy dispelling morningstar +23/+23/+18/+13 (2d6+12/19–20)
Special Attacks blessings 11/day (armor of flame, blinding strike, cleansing fire, fire strike), channel positive energy 9/day (DC 25, 6d6), hatred, sacred weapon (2d6, +4, 17 rounds/day)
Warpriest Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +24)
6th—blade barrier (DC 23), harm (2, DC 23)
5th—flame strike (DC 22), righteous might, spell resistance, true seeing, wall of stone
4th—air walk, blessing of fervor APG, divine power, freedom of movement, spell immunity
3rd—bestow curse (2, DC 20), blindness/deafness (DC 20), daylight, invisibility purge, protection from energy (2)
2nd—align weapon, hold person (3, DC 19), owl’s wisdom, sound burst (DC 19), spiritual weapon
1st—bane (DC 18), command (2, DC 18), doom (DC 18), liberating command UC, sanctuary (DC 18), shield of faith, sun metal UC (DC 18)
0 (at will)—bleed (DC 17), detect magic, guidance, resistance, spark APG (DC 17)


Statistics


Str 18, Dex 8, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 24, Cha 10
Base Atk +12; CMB +21; CMD 29 (33 vs. bull rush and trip)
Feats Combat Casting, Critical Focus, Dazzling Display, Deadly Finish UC, Extra Channel, Great Fortitude, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Critical (morningstar), Improved Vital Strike, Sickening Critical, Shatter Defenses, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Toughness, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (morningstar)
Skills Appraise +0 (+2 to assess non-magical metals or gemstones), Climb +3, Heal +12, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (religion) +10, Perception +13 (+15 to notice unusual stonework), Sense Motive +12; Racial Modifiers +2 Appraise to assess non-magical metals or gemstones, +2 Perception to notice unusual stonework
Languages Common, Dwarven
Combat Gear potion of barkskin (CL 12th, used); Other Gear +1 moderate fortification adamantine half-plate, +1 brilliant energy dispelling morningstar, belt of physical might +4 (Str, Con), cloak of resistance +2

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5e: Vampiric Young Blue Dragon

Today I would like to share with you a fun mash up of two monsters: dragon and vampire. We are so use to vampires being humanoid that we forget that a vampire can be of any shape. So when creating it in another form, why not marry it a creature that is already scary like a dragon. Done like this, it opens up some new design space. You can make adjustments to the standard vampire abilities that fit a dragonic form much better. For example, we changed the ability Legendary Resistance to Legendary Scales. This is both familiar while still being unique for this specific monster.

As always, check out all our Fifth Edition products at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store. Supporting us lets us to bring you more monsters every Wednesday and other blog posts throughout the week.

Vampiric Young Blue Dragon

Large undead, neutral evil


Armor Class 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points 123 (13d10 + 52)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 80 ft.


STR 21 (+5) DEX 16 (+3) CON 19 (+4)
INT 22 (+6) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 20 (+5)


Saving Throws Str +10, Con +9, Wis +9, Cha +10
Skills Athletics +10, Perception +9, Stealth +8
Damage Resistances lightning, necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)


Legendary Scales (3/Day). If the dragon succeeds a saving throw that would normally deal half damage on a successful save, the dragon can choose to take no damage from the attack. Any conditions that would be applied on a successful save are still applied.
Regeneration. The dragon regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight or running water. If the vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampire’s next turn.
Vampire Weaknesses. The dragon has the following flaws:
Forbiddance. The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
Harmed by Running Water. The dragon takes 20 acid damage if it ends its turn in running water.
Stake to the Heart. If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the dragon’s heart while the dragon is incapacitated in its resting place, the dragon is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
Sunlight Hypersensitivity. The dragon takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack roll and ability checks. .

Actions


Multiattack. The dragon makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d12 + 5) piercing damage plus 5 (1d10) lightning damage and 5 (1d10) necrotic damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 18). The dragon cannot bite another target while grappling. The target’s hit points maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the dragon regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A dragon slain in this way and then buried in the ground or a mound of copper, gold, and silver rises the following night as a vampiric dragon spawn under the dragon’s control. If a humanoid is slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the dragon’s control.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d8 + 5) slashing damage.
Terrify. The dragon targets one dragon or humanoid it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the dragon, the target must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be terrified of the dragon. The terrified target regards the dragon as a imposing image that must be obeyed. Although the target isn’t under the dragon’s control, it takes the dragon’s requests orders that must be carried out or suffer the consequences. Additionally, it is a willing target for the dragon’s bite attack.
Each time the dragon or the dragon’s companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until the dragon is destroyed, is on a different plane of existance than the target, or takes a bonus action to end the effect.
Black Lightning Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon exhales lightning infused with necrotic energy in a 60-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw, taking 44 (8d10) lightning damage and 44 (8d10) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

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5e: Halfling Warlock Skeleton

I just thought I would take a break from my regular posting of expanding the number of creatures you can summon with the conjure spells in your Fifth Edition game and post a monster I made just for fun. How to make NPCs for 5e is a quesiton I don’t have a good answer for since examples in the MM do not coorelate to levels in the PHB and their stats are completely off from what a monster of that challenge level should be in the DMG. The archmage is a prime example, Its an 18th-level spellcaster, is a challenge 12 monster but the hit points and armor class of a challenge 2 monster. Let me repeat that: the 18th level NPC has hit points and an armor class of a monster 16 levels below what it should be.

So how do I adjust that when I make an NPC? Short answer: The level of the NPC is it’s challenge rating. That 18th level archmage should be a challenge 18 NPC. How do I have it meet the stats of a challenge 18 monster? It gets as many hit dice as needed to be in that range. Think of it as that the NPC also has levels of aristocrat, commoner, or warrior—to use a 3.5/Pathfinder-ism. From there I make option choices to get all the other numbers where they should be.

Take the halfling warlock skeleton below as an example. I settled on a level 3 warlock, so I designed for a challenge 3 monster. We placed the 14 (from the standard 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 ability score array) in Dexterity where it gains a +2 from the halfling race, making it a 16. That +3 ability modifier means its armor class is 13, right where a challenge 3 monster should be. Sure it has only 3 levels of warlock, but that few hit points is going to put it squarely in CR 1/8 territory. So we added as many hit dice as necessary to get it in the 101-115 range. Now considering that the skeleton gave it a damage vulnerability to bludgeoning weapons and an immunity to poison, I felt letting it have 10 hit points more than the normal value was wall justified. The attack bonus on eldritch blast is +4 but its 8 damage falls short so we added repelling blast, making it push its opponents away. This will make coordinating attacks more difficult for the players. It does not make up for it fully, but it is a consideration. Having said that, the halfling warlock skeleton casts burning hands as a 2nd-level spell. That will deal an average of 14 damage each time it is used, counting as 28 considering it damages more than 1 creature. That is close enough to the damage expected for a monster of that level and can be considered balanced for its level, as described by the DMG.

I hope you enjoy this monster and remember to download our other Fifth Edition gaming material at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Halfling Warlock Skeleton

Small undead, chaotic evil


Armor Class 13
Hit Points 126 (28d6 + 28)
Speed 25 ft.


STR 8 (–1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 13 (+1)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 16 (+3)


Skills Deception +5, Intimidation +5,
Saving Throws Wis +3, Cha +5
Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Abyssal, Common, Halfling
Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Brave. The halfling warlock skeleton has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Dark One’s Blessing. The halfling warlock skeleton gains 6 temporary hit points when it reduces a hostile creature to 0 hit points.
Eldritch Invocations. The halfling warlock skeleton has the following invocaitons: agonizing blast, repelling blast
Halfling Nimbleness. The halfling warlock skeleton can move through the space of any creature that is size Medium or larger.
Lucky. The halfling warlock skeleton can reroll a 1 rolled on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, but must use the new roll.
Naturally Stealthy. The halfling warlock skeleton can hide behind a creature that is Medium or larger.
Spellcasting. The halfling warlock skeleton is a 3rd-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). The halfling warlock skeleton knows the following warlock spells:
Cantrips (at will): eldritch blast, mage hand
2nd level (2 slots): blindness/deafness, burning hands, charm person, command, comprehend language, hold person, protection from evil and good, scorching ray

Actions


Eldritch Blast. Ranged Spell Attack: +4 to hit, range 120 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) force damage. A creature hit by the halfling warlock skeleton’s eldritch blast is moved 10 feet away from the halfling warlock skeleton in a straight line.

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Any Traveller NPC On The Fly

D66 Compendium 2

When I am prepping a Traveller game to run at home or a convention, I will always take the time to stat up an NPC and come up with a full backstory. This way, I always have consistent skills, the right number of dice for weapons damage and the exact equipment the character should have. This should be part of any good GM’s prep before running a game. Yet when the players catch me off guard and I have to have a Traveller character on the fly, I don’t bother looking in any books. I just remember these simple rules:

1) Pick a Theme

This may seem obvious, but it must be stated upfront: have a theme for the NPC. If I don’t, I quickly have NPCs that are good at everything. To combat this, I pick a theme and I stick to that theme for the character. It can be as simple as “doctor” or as complex as “down on their luck stock trader who took up painting.” Either way, their theme is pretty simple as it only needs to get me through the game session so I can stat them out fully (should the NPC survive that long). That theme dictates what skills, characteristics, and other bonuses the person should and should not have.

2) Bonus Tree from Competent to Incompetent

In much the same way that the difficulty goes up or down depending on how difficult any particular challenge is, I keep a ladder in my head of what bonus to add to any roll. Here’s what I use:

Bonus When To Use How Many Skills
+4 Exceptional Max 1
+2 Professional 1-3
+1 Above Average 2-4
+0 Average 3-6
–1 Below Average 4-8
–3 Never Exposed Before All the Rest

Take the Doctor for a second. For an exceptional brain surgeon, I’d give them a +4 Medic, but for your average family doctor, their Medic would be +2. Related skills like Science (biology) and Admin would be +2. If the subject of art came up like if the doctor was talking to the stock trader, I could assume the doctor took an art history class in college for fun so is not a complete noob at it and would get a –1.

The down on their luck stock trader, well that person is down on their luck because they are not all that skilled at it to begin with. So I would give them a +1 in Broker, Carouse, and Gambler, +0 in Admin, Art, Persuade, and Streetwise.

Even then, I wouldn’t write these numbers down. This is just what I’d assume based based on the theme. If, by the end of the session, it looked like the NPC would return, I would write down those stats after the game while it was still fresh in my mind so I had it for next time.

3) Weapons and Armor

While I can fudge weapons and armor in a pinch, I pretty much keep these stats on a sheet close by.

User Armor Bonus Weapon Damage
Military +15 5D+3 Zero-G or 4D, AP 5, Auto 3
Police +10 3D Stun, Zero G or 3D, AP 3, Auto 2
Survivalist +8 3D, Auto 3
Paranoid +3 3D-3 or 2D Melee, Stun
Stealth +1 2D Body
Unprepared/Civilian +0 1D unarmed

Like I said, I keep this with me. Even if I remember what the police officer’s weapons and armor is, that doesn’t mean that the players will strip them of it after knocking the person out and then they are left with being an unprepared/civilian entry. This little preparation makes running a game quick and easy for when (not if) the players run the game off the rails.

If you really want to be prepared for any name you could possibly need, get yourself the d66 Compendium and its sequel, the D66 Compendium 2. Both are available at in Print and PDF at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow. Order your copy today.

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13th Age: Beware the Lich Queen and Her Agents

Age of Icons: 100 Lich Queen AgentsIn a long running campaign involving the the forces of undead, you are going to need lots of NPC names. Age of Icons: 100 Lich Queen Agents is here to help. This list of 100 names will give you the inspiration you need for when you are planning your next gaming session. Additionally, 5 of the agents in the list receive full stat blocks; each comes complete with relations to the other icons, giving you hooks to create your own adventures with. Beautifully illustrated, this supplement is ideal for your 13th Age campaign.

The 5 NPCs detailed inside are

  • Crematys, the Dragon-Lich (10th level caster)
  • The Devouring Dark, Colossal Shadow (8th level blocker)
  • Gravedigger Bob, Ghoul Commoner (5th level leader)
  • Gravewing, Diseased Roc (12th level spoiler)
  • Ihar the Rusted Blade, Wight Mercenary (7th level troop)

Never be caught unprepared when GMing a lich and her agents.

Age of Icons: 100 Lich Queen Agents is available now at d20PFSRD and DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.com.

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Pathfinder: Beyond Monsters, Legendary NPCs

Book of Beasts: Legendary FoesAll week long, we are sharing what is in the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes monster book for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Monday we showed you a listing of all monsters, NPCs, demigods and traps by CR. Yesterday, we showed you some of the beautiful full-color art within. Today we want to talk to you about the NPCs.

Originally, I was going to post another a monster from the book, but I have actually posted several monsters from the book both here on JonBrazer.com (such as the millennial worm and the blightrat) as well as some in our newsletter (sign up here for exclusive previews). So today I decided to share with you details on the NPCs.

At its core, the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes is a monster book, it is, however, so much more than that. This book contains within some of the hardest to build NPCs out there. You will not find any dwarf fighters here. We are talking about monsters with archetyped class level and templates stacked on top of each other to make a truly dizzying array of ability to throw at your players. We know how difficult it is to come up with some really spectacular array of NPCs across multiple books. So we took care of that for you.

Here are all of the options you will find within the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes:

  • Banshee witch 12
  • Awakened fortune-blessed unseelie dire tiger rogue (thug) 11
  • Half-fiend drider sorcerer 9
  • Fire giant ranger (skirmisher) 14
  • Oread worm that walks cleric 19
  • Wyrm magma dragon ravener
  • Aasimar lich sorcerer 13 dragon disciple 6
  • Ghost cyclops rogue 9
  • Shadow demon fighter 14
  • Ratfolk diviner (foresight) 3 oracle 6 mystic theurge 10
  • Dark stalker juju zombie antipaladin 19

Download the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo.com or d20PFSRD. Pre-Order the print version from your local game store or your favorite gaming website.

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Fate: Don’t Let Zombies Gnaw Your Face Off

Powered by Fate Final Light BGThe few games of Fate Core I have played, I really enjoyed it. It was a quick and simple system that made a fun evening. Now I want to help you to have your own fun games of Fate. So for a fun Friday, we are posting a zombies for you to use in your own zombie survival game. And if you are a player in a Fate Core game may your character lives longer than my own did. I hope these enhance your world and your game.

Zombie (Average)
Aspects: Eat! Flesh!
Skills: Average (+1) Fight and Stealth

Tough Zombie (Fair)
Apsects: Grab and gnaw.
Skills: Fair (+2) Fight, Average (+1) Notice and Physique
Stress: One Stress Box

Zombie Mob (Good)
Aspects: Grab, attack, and eat!
Skills: Good (+3) Fight, Fair (+2) Physique, Average (+1) Notice
Stress: Two Stress Boxes

If you would like to see more for Fate Core RPG from Jon Brazer Enterprises, please let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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Pathfinder: Release the Ratfolk!

Get Personal

Fully fleshed-out hirlings and arch-nemeses for your characters await within! The Book of Friends and Foes: Ratfolk of the Ruins delivers seven NPCs to expand your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. These ratfolk will keep your characters guessing who to trust and what deadly danger lurks around the corner. Covering CR 1/2-8, these NPCs will steal your evil Game Master’s heart along with the player’s gold pouches. Use these friends and foes to hang plot hooks and move your adventure along.

This 12-page PDF includes 7 ratfolk NPCs with complete statblocks using options from beyond the Core Rulebook. Enhance your World and Your Game Today. Available now at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.com or at Paizo.com.

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Pathfinder: An Advanced Racial Fighter

Taking a break from my normal writing, I decided to write up a quick Oread Fighter, using options presented in the Advanced Race Guide and the Advanced Player’s Guide. If you have yet to see it, this will give you a small preview of some of the options for the oread race contained within.

And incase you are wondering, this has nothing to do with tomorrow’s announcement.


Artist: Marc Radle
Cove Granitefist           CR 6
XP 2,400
Male oread** fighter (two-handed fighter*) 7
LN Medium outsider (native)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2


Defenses


AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (+9 armor, +1 natural)
hp 57 (7d10+14)
Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +4


Offense


Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee +1 greatsword +14/+9 (2d6+9/19-20)
Ranged mwk composite (+4) longbow +8 (1d8+4/x3)
Special Attacks backswing*, overhand chop*, treacherous earth (1/day, 7 minutes)


Statistics


Str 18, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 6
Base Atk +7; CMB +11 (+13 sunder); CMD 21 (23 vs sunder, 28 vs bull rush, drag)
Feats Dwarf Blooded**, Lunge, Oread Burrower**, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack (-2/+4), Stony Step**, Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword)
Skills Knowledge (dungeoneering, engineering) +11, Profession (miner) +12
Languages Common, Dwarven, Terran
SQ granite skin**, shattering strike*, slow speed, stonecunning, weapon training (swords)
Gear +1 greatsword, +1 half plate, mwk composite (+4) longbow, arrows,


Special Abilities


Burrow (Ex) Cove Granitefist can burrow through sand, dirt, clay, gravel, or similar materials, but not solid stone. He leaves no hole behind nor is his passage marked on the surface.
Treacherous Earth (Su) Once per day, Cover Granitefist can can transform a 10-foot-radius patch of earth, unworked stone or sand into difficult terrain. This area is centered on on an area he touches. This last for 7 minutes and then returns to normal.

Having worked with the dwarves most of his life, Cove Granitefist knows the mountains near the River Nations well. He has helped out with more than one mining operation, passing through the looser earth, helping the dwarves to locate veins of precious materials. He also stood by their side, fighting the foul creatures that live deep beneath the surface.

When the dwarves disappeared, he was arranging for goods to be sold to a neighboring nation. He returned to find plates of uneaten food, buckets and carts full of dirt as if dropped by their owners and toys ready to be played with but without owners. Instead of investigating by himself, he decided to hire others to investigate. When he returned, the entrance had been sealed off, preventing him from and his fellow adventurers from discovering the truth. Also, he and his companions were not powerful enough to overcome the new wards guarding the place.

Cove considers himself constantly training, looking to gain enough power to get past the wards and allow himself entrance. He wants to know what happened in that cave and hungers for a way to bring them back from whereever they may be.

* Advanced Player’s Guide
** Advanced Race Guide