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NPC Workshop: The Weeper, Fey Assassin

June 20, 2016

I haven’t rolled an Assassination event for my player’s kingdom… yet. But I’ve been thinking about how the BBEG might react if the players continue to be a thorn in her side. What might a faerie assassin look like, I wondered? I played around with a few different options before settling on using a lampad as a base creature, which is a nymph-like creature that always weeps. The crying visual reminded me of the Sorrowful Men from A Song of Ice and Fire – assassins that apologize before they kill you. Or the Crying Freeman manga/movie. Add on some assassin levels and you get a fairly interesting killer, I believe. In addition to the usual assassin abilities, insane beauty (sight of her face causes confusion for 1d6 rounds), and the weeping (causes everyone in 30′ to become shaken), lampads can also cast spells as 5th level druids. The standard lampad has a stone/earth theme, but I went more with a water focus on this one’s spells to go with the tears.

As an assassin, its effectiveness is largely tied up in its ability to deliver a death attack and then get away. To that end, it has a bunch of spells to confound pursuit – aqueous orb, tree shape, entangle, obscuring mist – as well as its meld into stone spell-like ability. Some of those can also double as spells to slow down a fleeing target as well, while faerie fire can be used to find an invisible target. And resist energy provides some spellcaster protection in a pinch.

With hide in plain sight, the Weeper shouldn’t have any problem getting in position to study her target for a death attack. In some respects, it’s a bit unfair – to tell a player, oh, hey, you got attacked while you were asleep, take 5d6+12 damage, roll a save vs. poison, and roll a save vs. death. My players have already taken some precautions with magical wards when they’re at home, but that just means they’re easy targets when traveling. In any case, I don’t have any plans to use the Weeper soon, especially since the fey portion of the current adventure is basically over and done with. Perhaps the BBEG will take more of an interest in them after or during book 5…

The Weeper

CR 10, XP 9,600
Female lampad assassin 8
CE Medium fey
Init +10; Senses darkvision 90 ft., low-light vision; Perception +23
Aura insane beauty (30 ft.; confused for 1d6 rounds, Will DC 20 neg)

AC 27, touch 23, flat-footed 21 (+2 armor, +7 deflection, +6 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 120 (15 HD; 7d6+8d8+60) max 166
Fort +10, Ref +16, Will +14; +4 vs. poison
Defensive Abilities improved uncanny dodge; DR 10/cold iron

Speed 30 ft.

Melee short sword +16/+11 (1d6+1/19-20 + sneak attack + poison)
Ranged shortbow +16/+11 (1d6+1/19-20/×3 + sneak attack + poison) OR
       shortbow +14/+9 (1d6+8/19-20/×3 + sneak attack + poison) Point-Blank Shot, Deadly Aim OR
       shortbow +14 (1d6+12/19-20/×3 + sneak attack + poison) Point-Blank Shot, Deadly Aim, Focused Shot

Special Attacks sneak attack +4d6, death attack (kill or paralyze 1d6+8 rnd; Fort DC 24 neg), quiet death (if kill target during surprise rnd, make Stealth to remain hidden), true death (attempts to raise killed target require DC 23 caster level check), weep (standard; all within 30’ shaken; Will DC 20 neg), purple worm poison (Fort DC 24; 1/rnd for 6 rnds; 1d3 Str; 2 consecutive saves)

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +14)
   At will — meld into stone, stone tell

Druid Spells Prepared (CL 5th; concentration +10)
   3rdaqueous orb (DC 18), spit venom (DC 18)
   2ndbarkskin, resist energy, tree shape
   1stcharm animal (DC 16), cure light wounds, entangle (DC 16), faerie fire, obscuring mist
   0thcreate water, detect magic, guidance, read magic

Str 10, Dex 23, Con 18, Int 18, Wis 20, Cha 24
Base Atk +9.5; CMB +9; CMD 32

Feats Deadly Aim (-3/+6), Focused Shot (standard; ranged attack adds Int mod to dmg), Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skills Acrobatics +20, Bluff +25, Climb +13, Disguise +13, Escape Artist +24, Knowledge (local) +10, Knowledge (nature) +17, Linguistics +9, Perception +23, Perform (sing) +20, Sense Motive +23, Stealth +24, Swim +13
Languages Aklo, Common, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Sylvan, Undercommon

SQ hidden weapons +8, hide in plain sight, poison use

Gear purple worm poison x4, +1 composite shortbow, +1 short sword, bracers of armor +2, cloak of resistance +1

Active Effects barkskin (+2 AC)

  1. Can the Lampad go straight to Assassin? Doesn’t it need alevel of (something) to get the disguise ranks to qualify? Or have I missed something?

    • It’s a custom creature, so I allocated the skill points from its fey HD to qualify for the prestige class. Hero Lab is really useful for that sort of thing! It also has 15 pts of point-buy added to its stats, NPC gear for its CR, and customized feats.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Oh frig! Added 15 pb to it’s stats?! Don’t monsters already have insane enough stats?

      • I guess you’re just supposed to give them +4, +4, +2, +2, +0, and -2 to their stats, which works out to 12-pt buy. But what’s 3 extra points between friends? And actually, using the “monster w/class level” array only results in a -2 to Con. Not much of a big deal.

      • Pinkius permalink

        I was not aware of that rule, I definitely dread AP monsters with class levels even more now.
        I suppose if the monster isn’t some beast out of the box like iunno, stuff from the tomb of horrors book, even the killer frogs from that book have insane stats

      • You can definitely break the system pretty easily by adding class levels to monsters. 3e/PF presents this illusion that monsters are built just like PCs, but in a lot of ways they just aren’t, and don’t necessarily interact well with the class system. Not that that stops me from messing around with them. 🙂 Advancing monsters in various ways – templates, class levels, or both – is a favorite pastime of mine.

        CR-wise, adding a level of, say, Fighter to a creature is (generally) a flat +1 CR, same as adding the Advanced template or maybe a HD or two. But you get the class level stat array, martial weapons, heavy armor/shields, and usable treasure. Adding a lot of armor to a creature that wasn’t built for armor (usually meaning it has a lot of natural armor already) can produce unhittable ACs. Sky-high stats can result in DCs that players can’t beat or awesome damage rolls. And so on.

        I had an early failure in this campaign on this front with the mite king. In the adventure, he’s an Advanced mite, which is not very scary. I rebuilt him with a couple of Fighter levels and a focus on mounted combat, which made him unbeatable by the PCs (especially while riding that damn tick). The DM has to be careful to not let the monster’s final numbers stray too far from what the PCs can handle.

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