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Kingmaker: Stolen Land, Meanwhile…

October 21, 2013

Bandit JourneyThree nameless bandits escaped from the attack on the Thorn River camp. What happened to them?

I gave each outlaw a DC 10 Will save as a sort of off-the-cuff morale check. Would they melt into the woods, or try and warn the Stag Lord? The bandits have a Will save of -1, giving each one a 50% of fleeing. One failed the save and disappeared into the Narlmarches.

Next I looked at the map and figured that the remaining two bandits would have to cross about 3 hexes worth of hills to make it to the fort – following the Thorn River down to where it meets the Shrike River, and then heading south along the Shrike to the fort. This would normally take about 3 days on foot. However, the outlaws have no provisions, so they’ll have to forage along the way, cutting their speed in half.

Given their negative Wisdom modifier and lack of Survival ranks, foraging is not a given, even with only needing a 12 total (or 10 to get enough food for only one of the bandits). However, I roll pretty well here. The duo goes hungry on day 1, but finds enough food for both of them on days 2, 4, & 5. On days 3 & 6, only one of them gets to eat. But it’s not enough to trigger any damage or fatigue from starvation.

Next I look at wandering monsters, which I probably should have done first, on the off chance they run into a troll or something on day 1 and get eaten. There’s a 5% of an encounter when entering a hex, and a 15% chance when camping. Miraculously, they do not run into any encounters on their journey.

Six days after the bandits of the Thorn River camp are (mostly) slaughtered in their sleep, 2 survivors pound on the gate of the derelict fort claimed by the Stag Lord. When prompted for the passcode, they say, “By the Bloody Bones of St. Gilmorg, who wants to know?” and are granted entry…

What does this mean for the players? I put together a hunting team that will head back to the Thorn River camp and try to track down the responsible party. None of the inhabitants of the fort are really capable of that task, however (aside from the Stag Lord himself), so I created a half-elf Druid (Eagle Shaman) / Ranger* to lead that expedition – Searos the Skinchanger. Half-elf because I want to keep the human flavor of the adventure, but I get to foil Mestinous’ favorite trick (sleep immunity!). And druid because I get to use some of Iofur’s tricks against the party (entangle!). I used the Eagle Shaman archtype for earlier access to Wild Shape. And ranger for the favored enemy bonus against humans, which applies to almost all of the PCs. Dovan from Nisroch and some generic bandits might also come along to provide back-up. At some point, maybe next session, they will ambush our heroes once they are a safe distance away from Oleg’s.

* In the end, I remade Searos as a Druid 4 with no archetype, as I misunderstood how the Animal Shaman archetypes worked. I wanted him to have wild shape, and the PCs had leveled up by that point.

Here is Searos’ combat stat block. It assumes that he’s cast magic fang on his and his eagle’s talons (+1 hit & damage), and drank his potions of mage armor (+1 AC in human form, +4 AC in eagle form) and shield of faith (+2 AC). As the party is still level 1, I thought it best to make him level 3. Kressle (also level 3, as per the 6-player conversion) put the hurt on the group but ultimately wasn’t a match for their combined firepower. Since I will be using Searos in an ambush, I have to be careful not to hit them too hard.

Putting this stat block together made me realize that for all of its seeming simplification in Pathfinder, wild shape (or perhaps, polymorph in general) is still an over-complicated mess. I’ve been using Hero Lab to build NPCs, which is normally a godsend, but for some reason it doesn’t handle wild shape adjustments to the stats.

Searos the Skinchanger  CR 2
XP 600
Half-Elf Druid (Eagle Shaman) 2/Ranger 1
NE Medium Humanoid (elf, human)
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +14/+16 (vs. humans)
Defense
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +2 deflection)
hp 27 (1d10+2d8+9) max hp 35
Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +7
Immune magic sleep; Resist +2 vs. enchantments

Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Talons +5/+5 (1d4+2), Bite +4 (1d4+1) or
      Talons +7/+7 (1d4+4), Bite +6 (1d4+3) vs. humans or
      Dagger +4 (1d4+1/19-20) or Dagger +6 (1d4+3/19-20) vs. humans
Ranged Longbow +4 (1d8/x3) or Longbow +6 (1d8+2/x3) vs. humans

Druid (Eagle Shaman) Spells Prepared (CL 2; Concentration +5):
1st: Produce Flame (ray or touch, 120 ft., 1d6+2 fire dmg), Entangle 
    (Long, 40’ radius, difficult terrain, recurring saves, Refl DC 14),
    Magic Fang
0th: Guidance, Know Direction, Detect Magic, Light

Statistics
Str 12, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 7
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 17

Feats Natural Spell, Weapon Finesse, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Fly +8, Handle Animal +2, Knowledge (geography) +4, Knowledge 
    (nature) +6/+8 (vs. humans), Perception +14/+16 (vs. humans), 
    Stealth +7, Survival +11/+13 (vs. humans; +1 to track)
Languages Common, Druidic, Elven

SQ animal companion link/share spells, eagle wild shape (1/day, 
    standard action, 2 hrs), eagle's totem transformation (standard 
    action, natural weapons, 2 min/day), elf blood, spontaneous 
    casting, wild empathy +1, woodland stride

Gear Potion of cure moderate wounds (2d8+3), Potion of mage armor, 
    Potion of shield of faith +2, Masterwork Hide shirt, Arrows x20, 
    Dagger, Longbow, Cloak of resistance +1, silver stag amulet, 23 GP

Eagle Form
NE Small Animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +17/+19 (vs. humans)

Defense
AC 21, touch 16, flat-footed 18 (+4 armor, +3 Dex, +1 size, 
                                 +1 natural, +2 deflection)
Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +7

Offense
Speed 10 ft., flight (30 feet, average)
Melee Talons +7/+7 (1d4+2), Bite +6 (1d4+1) or
      Talons +9/+9 (1d4+4), Bite +8 (1d4+3) vs. humans

Statistics
Str 12, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 7
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 17
Skills Fly +11, Perception +17/+19 (vs. humans), Stealth +12

Rip, Eagle Companion
N Small Animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +10

Defense
AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 size, +1 natural)
hp 16 (3d8+3)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +3

Offense
Speed 10 ft., flight (80 feet, average)
Melee Talons +6/+6 (1d4+1), Bite +5 (1d4)

Statistics
Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 13

Tricks Attack, Come, Defend, Down, Fetch, Fighting, Seek, Stay
Skills Fly +8, Perception +10, Stealth +6

Next: guess who’s coming to dinner!

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