Thursday, May 21, 2015

An urban campaign

I broke up a lot of my finals studying malaise by reading RPG-related materials and thinking about how they could get turned into a fun campaign.  For awhile now, I've been toying with the idea of a Kaer Maga campaign.  I have some basic ideas, which I'll share in depth at another time.  This campaign would be a good mix of combat and social RP/problem solving.  I feel like the City of Strangers presents some good opportunities to make that happen.

But, one of the challenges with doing something like this is that you need lots and lots of NPCs.  You also need to have scalable NPCs.  This is important both to keep the PCs' challenges in line but also to ensure that you've got a plausible opponent for any time.  To that end, I've been busy creating gangs and monsters.  I'm pretty pleased with the low-CR sandstone golem I've created that monitors the streets of Bis for the Ardoc family.

But, my favorite faction in Kaer Maga is the Tallow Boys.  Gentlemen of ill repute who are devoted gatherers of information from the beds they frequent, they are fantastic possible NPCs.  I actually like the idea of just working them in here and there.  I've built them to be combination rogue (chameleon archetype) and enchanters.  If the PC has a conversation with a rando on the street or in a tavern and then finds his belt pouch missing hours later, will she even consider the possibility of who took it?  Even a sense motive check could be suspect if the Tallow Boy charmed the PC first.

PC: I pay for the [insert item here].
GM: As you reach for your money pouch, you notice that it isn't there.
PC: Damn!  It must have been that guy that accosted me in the bar.
GM: Make a sense motive check
PC: I rolled a 19.  That's a 26 with my sense motive.
GM: You don't feel like that's who took it...

So, without further ado, here are CR 1, 3, and 5 Tallow Boy stat blocks:

Tallow Boy CR 1
XP 400

CN Medium rogue (chameleon) 1/enchanter 1
Init +7; Senses Perception +6

Defense
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10
hp 10 (1d8-1; 1d6-1)
Fort +0 (2/3), Ref +2 (+5/6), Will +2 (+5/6)

Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee  masterwork cold iron dagger +4 (1d4)
Ranged masterwork hand crossbow +5 (1d4)
Special Attacks dazing touch (5/day), sneak attack +1d6
Spells (CL 1, Concentration +4)
               1st Level – charm personS, comprehend languages, expeditious retreat
               0th Level  – ghost sound, message, prestidigitation
              
S = Specialist school spell

Statistics
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 8, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 13
Base Atk +1; CMB +1;  CMD 14
Feats Improved Initiative; Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand), Weapon Finesse
Skills Appraise +2, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +8, Disable Device +7 (+9 thieves tools), Disguise +5, Escape Artist +3, Intimidate +3, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (notoriety) +6, Perception +6, Sense Motive +5, Sleight of Hand +11, Spellcraft +6, Stealth +3
Languages Common, Elven, Osirian, Ulfen
SQ arcane bond (dagger), arcane school (enchantment), enchanting smile, finesse training misdirection (4), opposition schools (conjuration & necromancy),

Ecology
Environment Downmarket, Hospice, Oriat
Organization Single, band (1d4)
Combat Gear masterwork arcane bond dagger, masterwork hand crossbow, crossbow bolts (10), belt pouch,  spellbook, masterwork thieves tools, scroll of invisibility
Spellbook 0th Level: arcane mark, dancing lights, flare, light, ray of frost, daze, detect magic, detect poison, ghost sound, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic, resistance
First Level: charm person
S, comprehend languages, disguise self, expeditious retreat, sleepS

Special Abilities
Dazing Touch (Sp) You can cause a living creature to become dazed for 1 round as a melee touch attack. Creatures with more Hit Dice than your wizard level are unaffected. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.  Dazed: The creature is unable to act normally. A dazed creature can take no actions, but has no penalty to AC.
Misdirection (Ex) Every day she gains a pool of stealth points equal to her ranks in Bluff. These points refresh at the start of each day. Before making a Stealth check, she can choose to put stealth points into the roll, gaining a bonus on Stealth checks equal to the number of stealth points she puts into the roll. If she gains a bonus on Bluff checks because of a feat (such as Skill Focus [Bluff ]), she adds a number of points to her stealth pool equal to the bonus the feat grants.

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Tallow Boy CR 3
XP 800

CN Medium rogue (chameleon) 2/enchanter 2
Init +9; Senses Perception +9

Defense
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10
hp 20 (2d8; 2d6)
Fort +2 (2/3), Ref +3 (+2/3), Will +3 (+2/3)
Defensive Abilities evasion

Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee  masterwork cold iron dagger +5 (1d4+3)
Ranged +1 hand crossbow +6 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks dazing touch (5/day), sneak attack +1d6
Spells (CL 1, Concentration +4)
               1st Level – charm personS (DC 14), comprehend languages, memory lapseAPG (DC 14), expeditious retreat
               0th Level  – ghost sound
(DC 12), message, prestidigitation, ray of frost
              
S = Specialist school spell

Statistics
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 13
Base Atk +2 (5/12); CMB +1;  CMD 14
Feats Improved Initiative; Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand), Spell Focus (enchantment), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +7, Appraise +2, Bluff +9, Climb +4, Diplomacy +8, Disable Device +7 (+9 thieves tools), Disguise +6, Escape Artist +7, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (local) +8, Knowledge (notoriety) +6, Linguistics +6, Perception +9, Sense Motive +5, Sleight of Hand +12, Spellcraft +6, Stealth +10, Survival +3, Use Magic Device +6
Languages Common, Elven, Osirian, Ulfen
SQ arcane bond (dagger), arcane school (enchantment), enchanting smile, finesse training misdirection (6), opposition schools (conjuration & necromancy), rogue talent (favored terrain: urban).

Ecology
Environment Downmarket, Hospice, Oriat
Organization Single, band (1d4)
Combat Gear masterwork arcane bond dagger, +1 hand crossbow, crossbow bolts (10), belt pouch,  spellbook, masterwork thieves tools, scroll of invisibility
Spellbook 0th Level: arcane mark, dancing lights, flare, light, ray of frost, daze, detect magic, detect poison, ghost sound, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic, resistance
First Level: charm person
S, comprehend languages, disguise self, expeditious retreat, magic weapon, magic aura, sleepS

Special Abilities
Dazing Touch (Sp) You can cause a living creature to become dazed for 1 round as a melee touch attack. Creatures with more Hit Dice than your wizard level are unaffected. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.  Dazed: The creature is unable to act normally. A dazed creature can take no actions, but has no penalty to AC.
Favored Terrain (Ex) The stats above reflect the Tallow Boy in his favored urban terrain.  When outside of the city, the Tallow Boy has the following stats: Init +7; Skills Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +7, Stealth +8, Survival +1.
Misdirection (Ex) Every day she gains a pool of stealth points equal to her ranks in Bluff. These points refresh at the start of each day. Before making a Stealth check, she can choose to put stealth points into the roll, gaining a bonus on Stealth checks equal to the number of stealth points she puts into the roll. If she gains a bonus on Bluff checks because of a feat (such as Skill Focus [Bluff ]), she adds a number of points to her stealth pool equal to the bonus the feat grants.

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Tallow Boy CR 5
XP 1,600


CN Medium rogue (chameleon) 3/enchanter 3
Init +9; Senses Perception +11

Defense
AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+3 dex, +1 natural)
hp 28 (3d8; 3d6)
Fort +3 (1/3), Ref +7 (+1/2), Will +5 (+1/2)
Defensive Abilities evasion

Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee  +1 cold iron dagger +7 (1d4)
Ranged masterwork hand crossbow +6 (1d4)
Special Attacks dazing touch (5/day), sneak attack +2d6
Spells (CL 1, Concentration +4)
               2nd Level – detect thoughts, invisibility, touch of idiocyS (DC 17)
               1st Level – charm personS (DC 16), comprehend languages, disguise self, expeditious retreat
               0th Level  – ghost sound
(DC 13), message, prestidigitation, ray of frost
              
S = Specialist school spell

Statistics
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 13
Base Atk +3 (1/2); CMB +3;  CMD 16
Feats Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Improved Initiative; Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Sleight of Hand), Spell Focus (enchantment), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +7, Appraise +2, Bluff +11, Climb +4, Diplomacy +10, Disable Device +8 (+10 thieves tools), Disguise +6, Escape Artist +7, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (notoriety) +7, Linguistics +6, Perception +11, Sense Motive +5, Sleight of Hand +14, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +11, Survival +3, Use Magic Device +7
Languages Common, Elven, Osirian, Ulfen
SQ arcane bond (dagger), arcane school (enchantment), effortless sneak (urban), enchanting smile, finesse training misdirection (8), opposition schools (conjuration & necromancy), rogue talent (favored terrain: urban)

Ecology
Environment Downmarket, Hospice, Oriat
Organization Single, band (1d4)
Combat Gear +1 arcane bond dagger, masterwork hand crossbow, amulet of natural armor, crossbow bolts (10), belt pouch,  spellbook, masterwork thieves tools
Spellbook 0th Level: arcane mark, dancing lights, flare, light, ray of frost, daze, detect magic, detect poison, ghost sound, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic, resistance
First Level: charm person
S, comprehend languages, disguise self, expeditious retreat, magic weapon, magic aura, sleepS
Second Level: detect thoughts, invisibility, touch of idiocyS

Special Abilities
Dazing Touch (Sp) You can cause a living creature to become dazed for 1 round as a melee touch attack. Creatures with more Hit Dice than your wizard level are unaffected. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.  Dazed: The creature is unable to act normally. A dazed creature can take no actions, but has no penalty to AC.

Effortless Sneak (Sp) While in urban terrain, a Tallow Boy can take 10 on any Stealth check he can make within that terrain.

Favored Terrain (Ex) The stats above reflect the Tallow Boy in his favored urban terrain.  When outside of the city, the Tallow Boy has the following stats: Init +7; Skills Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +7, Stealth +8, Survival +1.

Misdirection (Ex) Every day she gains a pool of stealth points equal to her ranks in Bluff. These points refresh at the start of each day. Before making a Stealth check, she can choose to put stealth points into the roll, gaining a bonus on Stealth checks equal to the number of stealth points she puts into the roll. If she gains a bonus on Bluff checks because of a feat (such as Skill Focus [Bluff ]), she adds a number of points to her stealth pool equal to the bonus the feat grants.