The Geek’s NPC Compendium Part 5 – Dirty Assassin’s Guild Members and the Thunder Bard

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The Geek’s NPC Compendium Part 5 – Dirty Assassin’s Guild Members and the Thunder Bard

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Xavier Humberg

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This series was stalled for a bit, and for that I must apologize. The random generation just wasn’t working out for me, but I still wish to publish some of the NPCs I’ve created for my home games. That’s what this is now, a place to publish the NPCs I use (since I seldom use the Paizo ones. They aren’t strong enough to counter my players!)

With that out of the way, this week brings with it some early game NPCs. Specifically, this entry contains NPCs meant to be members of the Assassin’s Guild, sent to kill a level 2 or 3 PC. Also, starting this time, I’ll be slowly releasing some of the main villainous NPCs for my campaign dubbed Gods Among Men. These NPCs are built to handle Mythic, Gestalt NPCs, but most of them are neither Mythic nor Gestalt themselves. This week, I’ve finalized Sozzie, a childish Thundercaller Bard with a knack for finding herself directly opposing the PCs.

The Compendium can be found right here.

The Standard Disclaimer

Hello there you tabletop geeks. Due to the fact that you’re reading this article, I assume it means you’re interested, at least mildly, in my favorite hobby, the Pathfinder tabletop RPG. I’m usually the DM when I play Pathfinder, so I’m almost always on the lookout for good NPCs, and the ones provided by Paizo in their NPC Codex are not only rather lackluster, but are, let’s face it, rather bland. No archetypes, all core rulebook material, and some of them are flat out bad.

Cue the NPC Compendium. I’ve been playing Pathfinder for the past 2 years, and recently finished up a campaign for a group of power-gamers, so I learned the hard way what works and what doesn’t. This doesn’t mean all the characters I create are min-maxed to go against characters like that; they can’t be, and that’s not the purpose of the NPC Compendium. But I digress.

What is the NPC Compendium?

The Compendium is here as an aid to GMs everywhere. When finished, the compendium will have at least one character of every level for a large majority of the classes in the game. NPCs with PC wealth (and therefore given stats based on a 20 point buy) are marked with an asterisk (*).

Now, not everything here is super effective at what it does, but none of these NPCs are bad. Some are just average, while others, specifically those that aren’t randomly generated when I’m starved for ideas, are usually the best I could possibly come up with. I’ve tried to create some interesting builds. I also provide some guidelines on what to do to with the characters, including synergistic options where available. Be sure to use the asterisk denoted NPCs as Big Bad Evil Guys instead of average mooks or your gold amount will get all out of whack!

This week’s additions to the Compendium: Dirty Diplomacizers, Ruffians, Intimidators, Bull Tieflings, Highway Bandits, the Pinpoint Mage, and Sozzie the Clamorous Thunder.

Dirty Diplomacizers – Unchained Rogue 3/Bard 1 (CR 3)

Everybody loves a good rogue who can hide themselves in a crowd, but the diplomacizer specifically chooses to do the opposite. Diplomacizers are the front line faces of the Assassin’s Guild. They’re gaudy, vain, and damn good at talking in circles to get what they want. And, when all hell breaks loose, they’re not too shabby in combat either. You’ll want to make sure these baddies are put with a plethora of allies to maximize their impact.

Ruffians – Brawler 1 (CR 1/2)

Sometimes, you just need to punch something. And sometimes, you just want to punch your early level PCs. That’s what the ruffians are for. However, not every ruffian is created equal. These ruffians choose their own combat maneuver to be good at. If you plan to throw these at your players, be sure to have several of the ruffians pick up on some different feats. Have some trip, some dirty trick, and some even attempt to disarm. This is all possible due to Martial Flexibility, but that does mean that these melee fodder have a desire for a buff round. Try and give it to them!

Intimidators – Bard 4 (CR 3)

I hope you know the DC to demoralize people, because that’s what an intimidator’s job is! An intimidator controls the battlefield using a combination of their Fascinate bardic performance and their Blistering Invective spell to both immobilize and demoralize opponents. Plus, they’re capable of doing this in the thick of battle. So next time your players need a scolding, why not let the intimidator tell them of their wrongs, scare them pantless, and light them on fire for being dumb.

Bull Tieflings – Shifter 2 (CR 1)

As far as builds go, they don’t get much simpler than the Bull Tieflings’. Their one and only job is to be a paper shredder. These tieflings have 3 natural attacks, though they don’t have the best HP, and they certainly don’t have the best AC. However, you can push an encounter with a few of these to make your early level players regret their decision to stand still in combat.

Highway Bandits – Unchained Rogue 1 (CR 1/2)

Rogues should always attack as many times as possible. It not only maximizes the usefulness of high dexterity combined with Weapon Finesse and Two-Weapon Fighting, but maximizes their sneak attack damage as well. They do have one glaring problem, though: a +0 attack bonus. Still, though. When swinging twice at level 1, you can’t ask for too much!

Pinpoint Mage – Wizard 3 (CR 2)

What do you call a wizard who casts toppling magic missile? A scary, low-level wizard, that’s what! Pinpoint mages are the Assassin’s Guild’s low level snipers. They cast toppling Magic Missile before defending themselves with Mirror Image, and then fall back on their first level spells. Once those run out, they’ve still got a wand of magic missile. This build is particularly scary at lower levels, but is definitely still a threat at almost 3 levels higher! The mage almost TPKed my party due to her deadly accuracy and the fact that I rolled a 4 on her Mirror Image dice. It took them 3 rounds to get through the images, and by that time the wizard had almost knocked out the healer.

Sozzie* – The Clamorous Thunder – Bard 10 (CR 10)

Who’s as annoying as she is effective? Who’s been given a certain squid-shooting video game soundtrack when my party battles them? AND, who’s been snooping around and beating the PCs to things for several levels? Sozzie. That’s who. This build focuses around the thundercaller’s main trick: Thunder Call. As a move action (and also a standard action [yes, in the same turn]) she may call down a 10 foot burst of sound, forcing anybody in the area to take damage (no save) and to make a save against being dazed. It’s a ridiculous ability, and used well it can easily lock down (and kill) a caster. Due to the frequency and DC of the saves, as well, Sozzie can likely lock down a fighter. Two DC 24 Fortitude saves in one round is definitely nothing to shake a stick at.

Sozzie can typically be found around barbarians, other bards, and gunslingers who are capable of taking advantage of the opponents she dazes. She also benefits from a gaggle of casters, ready to take out the high-fortitude save PCs via reflex and will saves. In my campaign, her allies consist of a Fighter/Barbarian designed to sunder, a mind-control Mesmerist, a dual wielding Gunslinger, and a minion-mancer Summoner.

Next time?

That’s all I’ve got for you guys this time. I’m going to stop promising more than one NPC in my “next time” section now, since the last few haven’t really worked out. So, next time: Psycho, a menacing, tricky devil summoner with just a HINT of crazy. I’ve finished the build, but it still needs a few more tweaks. But, until then, stay lucky!