Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Personae Malevolent 3; Gory Rory

Name: Rory      
Race: Halfing (Grave-Touched Ghoul)
Classes: Rogue (3)
Alignment: CE
Religion: Doresain, King of the Ghouls
[CR 4]
This unfortunate hin has been transformed into a vile parody of his former self.  His (relatively) tall frame is hunched forward slightly, flesh appearing drawn and gaunt. A feral red light burns in his once cheerful eyes, brown hair matted with grease, and a thin layer of gore caked around his lips. At the end of his right arm, his hand has been replaced with a viscous looking blade, the hilt of which has been driven up into his wrist and affixed with several lengths of leather twine. When he speaks his voice is raspy and twisted, a note of madness evident behind every syllable.


STR 15
DEX 22
INT 18
WIS 19
CHA 18

Speed 30
Initiative +10
BAB 2/Grapple 7

AC 22 (23 vs target of Dodge)
Flat Footed  16, touch 18

Masterwork leather armor [+2 ac, max dex +7, -0 armor check penalty]
Natural armor 2
Deflection +1
Size bonus +1

HP 29

Fort 1
Ref 8
Will 5

+2 (small) corrosive stump sword
[+10 to hit, 1d4+4+1d6 acid, 19-20 x2]

Natural weapons
[+8 to hit, 1d4+1+Ghoul Fever {Fort save DC 15, incubation period 1 day, damage 1d3 Con and 1d3 Dex}, + Paralysis {Fort save DC 19, paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds}, x2]
[+8 to hit,  1d3+2+Paralysis {Fort save DC 19, paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds}, x2]


+8 to hit, 1d4+4+1d6 acid, 19-20 x2
+8 to hit,  1d3+2+Paralysis {Fort save DC 19, paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds}, x2
+6 to hit, 1d4+1+Ghoul Fever {Fort save DC 15, incubation period 1 day, damage 1d3 Con and 1d3 Dex}, + Paralysis {Fort save DC 19, paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds}, x2

Class/Racial Abilities
Dark Vision 70 feet.
Sneak attack 2d6
Trap Sense +1
Trap Finding
Turn resistance +2
Diet dependant on flesh
[If he cannot feed on living or dead flesh at least once every 3 days, Rory must make a DC 15 Will save or suffer 2d4 Wisdom damage. As his Wisdom gets lower, it becomes harder for him to fight off his need to feed, and when he eventually reaches 0 Wisdom he will fly into an uncontrollable, bestial fury, disregarding his own safety until he's satisfied his hunger. However, as dead flesh will do, (and is in fact preferred) it's relatively simple to plunder a graveyard, thereby avoiding great personal risk.]
Undead traits

Improved Initiative
Weapon Finesse
Improved Paralysis [+4 DC to Paralysis ability]
Multiattack [secondary natural attacks take -2 penalty instead of -5]

You find water, particularly deep water, frightening.
Drawback: If a Hydrophobic character is ever in water that is one foot or greater than their height in depth, they will need to make a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 character level. If they succeed, they can continue swimming. If they fail, they will become shaken and attempt to leave the water, as fast as possible, using the shortest route.
If an Hydrophobic character is ever asked to enter water that is one foot or greater than their height in depth, they must make the same Will save they would if they were immersed. If they succeed, they can enter the water. If they fail, they will refuse. The character gains +4 bonus on the will save if not going into the water would be dangerous or suicidal for them.
Hydrophobic characters are not usually afraid of shallow water, like puddles or baths, nor are they usually afraid of glasses of water.
Spells involving large quantities of water may also cause an Hydrophobic character to panic for a round. Make the same will save if an Hydrophobic character is within sight of a spell, power, or technique that they can see that produces at least as much water as their own body in volume. Failing the throw will cause the character to become shaken for as many rounds as the level of the viewed spell. A shaken character who fails the save becomes frightened and a frightened character becomes panicked.
Also, water elementals can bring a level of terror to an Hydrophobic character as well. It's pretty disturbing to have moving, sentient water approaching an Hydrophobic character and thus the character must make the will save at a DC increased by 1/2 the HD of the water elemental seen or become shaken until five rounds after seeing the elemental. A shaken character who fails the save becomes frightened and a frightened character becomes panicked.
Rain and other effects that can soak an Hydrophobic character give that character the feeling of being hopelessly immersed in water and thus cause the character to be shaken only while it's raining. Continuous rain will not increase the level of fear a character has beyond shaken but if another of the above happenings occur they are already shaken and thus proceed up in level of fear until going back down to shaken while it's raining.

You hate your own race.
Prerequisite: Non-Good
Effect: You have a severe hatred for your own people. When you interact with members of your own race, all interactions begin at hostile, as anyone close enough to see your face can sense your seething hatred. You also take a -4 penalty on all Charisma-based skills dealing with social interaction except Intimidate.

You are fast, but less sturdy than average members of your race.
Your base land speed increases by 10 feet (if you don't have a land speed, apply the benefit to whichever of your speeds is highest).
Subtract 1 from your hit points gained at each level, including 1st (a result of 0 is possible).

Your eyes are particularly well suited to using darkvision, but they are less well adapted to what others consider normal light.
Add 10 feet to the range of your darkvision.
You take a -1 penalty on Spot checks when in areas of bright light.

Appraise - Ranks (4) + (int ) + misc ()= 8
Balance - Ranks (2) +  (dex)  misc +()= 8
Bluff - Ranks (2) + (cha ) + misc ()= 6
Climb - Ranks (3) + (str ) + misc (2)= 7
Diplomacy - Ranks (3) + (cha) + misc ()= 8
Disable Device - Ranks (5) + (int) + misc ()= 9
Disguise - Ranks (5) + (cha) + misc ()= 9
Escape Artist - Ranks (2) + (dex) + misc ()= 8
Forgery - Ranks (2) + (int) + misc ()= 6
Hide - Ranks (6) + (dex) + misc (4)= 16
Jump - Ranks (1) + (str) + misc (2)= 5
Listen - Ranks (1) + (wis) + misc (2)= 7
Move Silently - Ranks (6) + (dex) + misc (2)= 14
Open Lock - Ranks (3) + (dex) + misc ()= 9
Search - Ranks (6) + (int) + misc ()= 10
Sense Motive - Ranks (3) + (wis) + misc ()= 7
Sleight of Hand - Ranks (3) + (dex) + misc ()= 9
Spot - Ranks (2) + (wis) + misc ()= 7
Swim - Ranks (1) + (str) + misc ()= 3
Tumble - Ranks (6) + (dex) + misc ()= 12
Use Rope - Ranks (2) + (dex) + misc ()= 8

+2 corrosive dagger/small-sized shortsword
Ring of protection +1
Masterwork leather armor
6d10 copper
6d10 silver
5d10 gold
5d10 platinum
50 feet of rope

Fluff and tactics:

Rory has had a rough time lately. Originally part of a ragtag adventuring band, it was his ill fortune to fall into an enchanted pool of stagnant water, near a certain Temple of a certain kind of Evil (you've probably heard of it).
He emerged from the water a changed halfling, now a ravenous ghoul. He and his former friends did battle, and in the fight he lost a hand. Deciding that he'd rather fight another day, the newly created monster fled into the night.

Since then, he's managed to steal his way in to the camps of adventurers and acquire quite a lot of nice things, from gear to money which he used to discretely purchase more gear from unobservant or unscrupulous shopkeepers.  Finding a certain pleasure in his new existence, he took to the profession of grave robbing in the interest of lining his pockets with the treasures of the departed, as well as filling his belly with their rotten flesh.

He is willing to slay anyone for even the smallest trinket he comes to covet, though he's cunning enough to lay traps and ambushes for more powerful foes, and usually has enough self-control to avoid biting off more than he can chew.

So to speak.

If he's ever inclined to try and tackle a full group of adventurers, he'd probably stalk them for awhile and observe them from hiding. Ideally, he'll strike while they're abed while out somewhere in the wilderness, waiting for the most frail-looking party member to stand watch before creeping up on the sentry and making use of his ghoulish paralysis.
Once that chore is complete, he'll tiptoe from tent to tent and silently dispatch all the others.

Failing that, he will try to use terrain to his advantage, making good use of his heightened darkvision, as well as his small size. He may engineer rock slides or falling trees. During the day he'll do his best to simply bury himself in the ground and wait for evening, and is likely to violently attack any single individual who discovers him, or flee from a group. His favorite bed is one he makes several feet beneath a coffin he's recently raided, as that's the last place somebody would look for the culprit. He absolutely loathes water, and will break off the pursuit of any prey if they escape into a large body of it. (Unless he's gone mad from flesh depravation, in which case even his new phobia won't stay his hand).

The sight of other halflings often leaves him overcome with uncomfortable feelings of loss and sorry, thereby driving him to a fury. He will attack them first if possible.


When a creature is paralyzed, it is helpless, and is treated as having both Strength and Dex values of 0. (-5 modifier, so factor that into the AC)
They are flat-footed, and so sneak attack damage would apply. Furthermore, you can perform a coup de grace against a helpless target. A coup de grace attack is a full round action, and an automatic critical. The target must then make a Fortitude save of DC 10+1/2 damage dealt or die instantly.

For example, if Rory attacked a helpless character with a coup de grace while using his sword hand, it would deal 2d4+8+1d6 acid +2d6 sneak attack. DC 10+ 1/2 possible damage (21) equals DC 31 Fort save or death.

A coup de grace provokes attacks of opportunity, and cannot be performed on creatures immune to critical hits.


Spring has come after a particularly snowy winter, and it has brought copious amounts of rain along with it. A small town lies atop a wooded hill at the bottom of a large and fertile valley and the weather and geography combine with the nearby river to result in flooding all around the village. To leave town, people need to fjord their way for a few miles before climbing from the morass, though as it's only about waist height it is little more than a nuisance to most of the residents.

Unfortunately for them, however, the rain has trapped an unwelcome visitor.

Rory had been passing through town on his travels, helping himself to the graveyard on his way through when the weather hit. He did all he could to hide from the rain, and after a few days of waiting for it to let up, he was horrified to see that he was virtually trapped. The soft soil of the cemetery did little to keep the water out, and before long he couldn't properly dig into the graves any longer without finding himself at risk of submersion.

He hid away amongst the trees for as long as he was able, but the rising water left him nervous, and being nervous always made him hungry. He killed the hermit grounds keeper (who was just feeling cheerful about the recent end of the grave robbings), who he left intact enough to rise as a ghoul (as in MM) a few days later. In the meanwhile, Rory has kidnapped a child or two, knowing that the lesser undead will take the blame when it is eventually caught, and not caring a button for the chance that the town may be in serious risk of infection.

It is to this desperate place that the adventurers come, either to escape the weather for a few days, or perhaps in response to a summons to help solve the matter of the missing persons. Rory will, of course, do his best never to tip his hand about his hydrophobia, and if he finds out that the PCs are in town about his activities, he may try to break into their inn rooms and do them in.

If it starts to look like he'll have to fight in the long term, he'll try to lure the PCs to a fake hideaway, then go off to try and create more lesser ghouls. The longer he's unable to feed, the more desperate he becomes. If the PCs are bright enough to keep everyone in town on lock down and provide regular patrols with the local constabulary, Rory may make a fatal mistake. A ranger or druid will have the chance to shine while tracking him through the woods.

This is all obviously very bare bones stuff, but it's meant to set up the premise and allow the DM to customize the scenario to their campaign's world. This could be a great first or second level adventure if arranged properly, with lesser ghouls and intrigue eventually leading up to a final encounter with Rory. Maybe this is the PC's hometown, perhaps one of their relatives has gone missing. Milk the atmosphere of a constant dreary downpour, as well as mysterious disappearances in the middle of the night. Remember to award extra XP if Rory manages to prepare an ambush, or has planned an attack on the PCs individually, as this has the potential to drastically raise the CR of the encounter.

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