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A Dwarven Monster Hunter

A Dwarven Monster Hunter

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Published by chris_c___
Ranger Professional with Profession (monster hunter). Some further developments on NPC development starting with average ability scores.
Ranger Professional with Profession (monster hunter). Some further developments on NPC development starting with average ability scores.

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Published by: chris_c___ on Oct 28, 2012
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Ability Scores 10, 10, 8, 11, 9, 7 Str 10, Dex 10, Con 8, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 7 Average strength and dexterity and above-average

intelligence. Abysmal charisma with constitution and wisdom following after. An unfriendly, manipulative backstabber with gossipy tendencies and obsession over hygiene. Completely subservient to authority and those in power and switches completely around in the face of hierarchical change: contempt becomes submissive scraping. Cannot be trusted except to serve his own ends. Jealous and easily embittered, but fights mightily to hide this with fawning compliments above and stinging hatred to those below. Rule 1: Agents are leaders. Love them or hate them – or fight them – agents are destined to lead. Professionals can make it by daily forcement and their employers may not care for every trait, but self-direction is a prerequisite of jumping ship to shape the world. These ability scores, terrible as they are, describe a Professional. Rule 0: Every NPC you stat lives in the upper economy. There are two kinds of monsters in the Monster Manual: minions and majors. Minions are the default, as-shown, stereotypical statistics block of a creature. They are usually interrupted or confronted by PCs in combat and live at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy. Agents and Professionals have levels in PC classes. Agents usually possess levels in a prestige class to reflect their versatility and independence. Professionals tend to be higher level to represent their skill and salary. For whatever reason, PCs should find agents and professionals too useful or too powerful to kill. They have stakes in their lives and interests, and seek to advance in the world. This is the key differentiating factor between minions and folks in the upper economy. Race: dwarf In a society built on tradition, stoicism and survival, this character is an outcast. Scorned by fellow dwarves by his attitude and mien, he would likely take the first chance out. In human lands, foreigners with behavior problems are tolerated if they provide a useful service, and this one is no exception. His talent due to his racial heritage allows him an income to live among those who appreciate his less goodaligned tendencies. Dwarves receive +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom and -2 Charisma. Ability scores adjusted becomes Str 10, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 5. Given these ability scores, this dwarf is no longer a direct outcast. His race has a tendency for low Charisma, but even among them he’s on the lower end. This can be displayed as temperamental outbursts – with real consequences on the receiving end – and give him a reputation for it. On the other hand, it could be a hygenic issue, causing him to pursue perfumes or odor-masking materials. This might

explain his obsession with scents, and perhaps make him more knowledgeable about creatures with blindsight or blindsense [list]1. In that case, he’s quite useful to the dwarven community – if a little eccentric – and makes him feel a part of a group2. He can most likely be found in [environments] where there are rumors of such creatures, in the hopes that he may learn more about them3. Rule 2: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t be too eager to assign negative behaviors based on the default ability scores. Wait until racial modifiers are applied before attempting to put a “hopeless” label on a character. Just with a few ability score adjustments, a character becomes an accepted member of his community and reinforces his position as a Professional4. Class: barbarian ranger Barbarians don’t have Profession as a class skill, so I pick ranger, which is – by round-robin séance5 – too perfect to be true: as a ranger, the dwarf is gifted with the training or talent (independent of ability scores) to stalk, pursue and perhaps even survive against creatures with whom his interest first began due to his own loathsome odor. All the class features of the ranger fit him perfectly. Are blindsight/blindsense creatures best approached up close or from a [distance]? Now that we’ve picked his class, we sort of rent a place here for a bit while we figure out his details. He’ll max out Profession, of course. We’ll go with Profession (monster “hunter”). He has average Intelligence, so he starts with 6*4 = 24 skill points. Rule 3: Add levels later. It’s no good for survivors to be only level 1, and Professionals don’t have a level limit. They’re not working for anyone – but they’re also not out to change others. Their biggest ambition is to become

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These give me an excuse to get to know the game better by compiling NPC-relevant, custom lists of things. In this example, I get to look through the MM and see which creatures have blindsight and/or blindsense. Interesting way to analyze data (by emergence). 2 Another reason to classify an NPC as a professional or an agent is to look at his group identity. Agents define themselves by their own goals separate from race: they serve powerful ideological patrons, wrestle against conflicting ideals, and make autonomous decisions. 3 Even when you’ve decided between Professional or Agent, there are two kinds of Professionals: those who make a living with their profession check and those who craft items. It seems this character would be a profession-type person: his output is an intangible good – knowledge – rather than a specific magic item or trap. He is a knowledge worker! Lol. 4 Maybe the general trend is that agents, apart from their racial adjustments, have higher ability scores in more abilities than Professionals. Agents are supposed to be flexible. Professionals are focused on only what they’re good at (or desired to be good at). 5 My original naïve goal was to pick by race and class directly according to the Pathfinder SRD. So it would have been dwarf barbarian, elf bard, and so forth. But the dwarf’s racial adjustment sent this character on a different, fated path: chosen to be a Professional living off his profession check (monster hunter?), and with barbarians lacking it as a class skill, I pick the eighth class, or ranger. (Monster chasers or monster survivors might call themselves “hunters” when there’s a job interview with the PCs.)

better at what they do6. “Their life is their career7.” So for now, determining this character’s final level will be left till the end as a gut intuition choice. We already have Profession (monster hunter), leaving us five skills to max. Let’s assign Climb, Craft, Survival, Stealth and Perception. I don’t give him ranks in Knowledge because his experience with any creatures are based on prior contact. He has to have survived at least one dark cavern or rough-hewn passage. Any athletics checks – like Climb or Swim – made under duress would have likely been while attempting to flee after discovery. It’s also possible that most dungeons are not teeming with extraordinary monsters, but mainly vacant and in disrepair8. He may encounter only Small or Tiny versions, barely scraping enough to purchase more crossbow bolts – hence the Craft skill – and lodging9. The character’s skills are Profession (monster hunter) +4, Climb +4, Craft (crossbow bolts) +4, Survival +4, Stealth +4 and Perception +4. *** any relevant racial features As for feats, Skill Focus (Profession) is the most straightforward. That increases his check to +7. In the first year, he earns 630 / 2 = 315 gp. His starting wealth is 130 gp, giving him a total wealth of 445 gp. His skill checks determine his expenditures and losses. Given a starting DC of 13 plus current level, he makes at least one skill check per month, representing a significant investment of concentrated effort. At DC 14: Month 1-3 Skill Climb +4 Survival +4 Stealth +4 Perception +4 Check 14, 6, 16, 15: fails Stealth Loses 14 – 6 = 12 gp. Total gp: 445 – 12 = 433 gp. 11, 1, 11, 12: fails every check! Loses 3 + 13 + 3 + 2 = 21 gp. Total gp: 433 gp – 21 = 412 gp. 17, 9, 18, 3: fails two checks Loses 5 + 11 = 16 gp. Total gp: 412 – 16 = 396 gp. 7, 12, 19, 4: fails two checks Loses 7 + 2 + 10 = 19 gp. Total gp: 396 – 19 = 377 gp.

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7-9

10-12

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Although it comes at the end of a skill check, not from spells or sword. This raises the question of whether PCs may inculcate the desire for change in a Professional to make them turn into agents, a powerful opportunity. Bear in mind that the character should hardly be affordable for PCs in general, as he is not a hireling, cohort or follower, but someone even more expensive. If he does become an agent, he will court majors. 7 http://www.scribd.com/doc/110691836/Ideas-on-the-Development-of-Good-Plots p. 3 8 Which means any dungeons worth a PC’s time are heavily inhabited, regularly patrolled, rigorously organized and represent the equivalent of strongholds underground! Designed to be protected or to protect something, or to keep things away, these dungeons require planning and maybe a little luck. 9 Now we have the idea of inns as places for characters to rent out, and taverns as good places to frequent for information, gossip and stories. Finally, “you meet at an inn” makes sense to me. Nowhere else will there be a greater concentration of varied, indifferent Professionals with which the PCs may boast of their tales, hold performances, and exchange news, items or alliances.

His total loss from skill checks is 12 + 21 + 16 + 19 = 68 gp, or 15.28% of his wealth. In order to minimize his losses, he will have to improve his skills and invest in the right items. I don’t track upkeep costs for PCs, so I will skip it here. That leaves the character the maximum amount to invest in gear. Acquiring, managing and protecting his equipment is limited until he can get his own place, but first he will need to have too many things to carry or to store items too important to lose. A locked door in a shared living space can only go so far, especially if the PCs figure out where he rents. Gear Leather armor, 10 gp Heavy crossbow, 50 gp. 1d10 damage, 19-20/x2, range 120 ft., 8 lb., piercing 10 crossbow bolts, 1 gp, 1 lb. Handaxe, 6 gp. 1d6/x3, 3 lb., slashing Explorer’s outfit (free) Backpack, common, 2 gp Sack, 1 sp Terrap sap, distilled, 30 gp Bedroll? Waterskin, 1 gp Total: 101 gp Remaining wealth: 276 gp Level, description, alignment As a ranger, doesn’t he have a duty to protect the woodlands or something similar? Since there’s no exranger penalty, his profession subsumes his ranger experience. His level advancements are for the following reasons. First, he needs to survive at least the first encounter with monsters; that is, he is not a sedentary Professional. Second, his profession involves regular forays into dangerous areas. Third, he has gathered extensive knowledge of the surrounding area. This is represented in his improved skills. Fourth, he has built up a reputation outside his clan by his profession, and this makes him useful to agents. Fifth, he has contacts among other Professionals due to constant resupply and barter. He is not a self-sustaining professional, but dependent on an existing societal network. Because he lacks Appraise, he may sell his components to a intermediary involved in an alchemical trading network. The following acquaintances are part of his professional network: a trader or buyer and a supplier or outfitter. If he keeps a kit of specific potions, he may know an alchemist. All these factors make him a 5th-level ranger. Profession checks during the intervening five years nets him *** gp. Starting age: 48

Height: 4’ 5” Weight: 220 lb. Alignment: Chaotic Good
Creature ankheg assassin vine barghest behir blink dog bugbear bulette carrion crawler chimera darkmantle delver destrachan12 digester (dinosaurs) (dire animal) (dragons) dragon turtle dragonne cloud giant girallon gorgon gray render grick griffon grimlock hell hound hippogriff hydra krenshar lycanthrope manticore minotaur gray ooze ochre jelly otyugh owlbear pegasus phasm remorhaz rust monster sea cat shadow mastiff spider-eater tarrasque thoqqua
10 11

Trait tremorsense blindsight 30 ft. scent scent scent scent scent, tremorsense 60 ft. scent scent blindsight 90 ft. tremorsense 60 ft. blindsight 100 ft. scent scent scent or keen scent blindsense 60 ft. scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent scent blindsight blindsight scent scent scent scent tremorsense 60 ft. scent scent scent scent scent tremorsense 60 ft.

CR 3 3 4 8 2 2 7 4 7 1 9 8 6 varies varies varies 9 7 11 6 8 8 3 4 1 3 2 varies 1 varies 5 4 4 5 4 4 3 7 7 3 4 5 5 20 2

Source10

Environment Warm plains Temperate forests Bleak Eternity of Gehenna Warm hills Temperate plains Temperate mountains Temperate hills Underground Temperate hills Underground Underground Underground Warm forests varies varies varies Temperate aquatic Temperate desert Temperate mountains Warm forests Temperate plains Temperate marshes Underground Temperate hills Underground Nine Hells of Baator Temperate hills Temperate marshes Temperate forests Forests Warm marshes Underground Cold marshes Temperate marshes Underground Temperate forests Temperate forests Underground Cold desert Underground Temperate aquatic Plane of Shadow Temperate forest Any Elemental Plane of Fire

MM pp. 14 20 22 25 28 29 30 30 34 38 39 49 59 61 62 68 88 89 120 126 137 138 139 139 140 151 152 155 163 170 179 188 202 202 204 206 206 208 214 216 220 222 234 240 242

Trend11 A merged trend cell to act like a FAQ!

Learned from (source, person [instant network!] or book or whatever) Trend (summary box, merged cell, answers questions like a FAQ; i.e., most creatures best approached from a distance or in melee?) 12 No need to make elaborate details to fill in seeming gaps in defense. Just clever placement of useful monsters. The theme in a magic world being organic advantage versus mechanics. Also see arrowhawks, which are immune to most elemental forms of magic as well as resistant to fire and cold! Vaults and lairs to protect are stocked with creatures. Their care and feeding may be relegated to followship, a caretaker or ignored.

troll unicorn winter wolf worg wyvern xorn yeth hound yrthak (animals)

scent scent scent scent scent tremorsense 60 ft. scent blindsight 120 ft. scent

5 3 5 2 6 varies 3 9 varies

Cold mountains Temperate forests Cold forests Temperate plains Warm hills Elemental Plane of Earth Gray Waste of Hades Temperate mountains varies

247 249 256 256 259 260 260 262 268

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