PF1e: Apprentice Mage

I’ve said before that the next in the Book of Beasts series of NPCs known as the Character Codex will cover the Magus class. The first round of edits is moving along nicely (with some unrelated delays). So today I want to share with you the first NPC in this supplement.

When I created this NPC, I couldn’t help but remember my very first D&D character—Xavier. Mind you, that character was a grey elf fighter/magic-user, back in the days when you had to keep track of your XP separately and elves had names like Swift. This NPC was made in honor of that character. The actual name this character gets will be more in line with today’s names for elves. But I hope it finds a home in our game.

Subscribe to the Book of Beasts: Character Codex today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

Apprentice Mage CR 1/2

XP 200
Elf magus 1
CN Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +1


Defense


AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +3 Dex)
hp 9 (1d8+1)
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +1; +2 vs. enchantments
Immune sleep


Offense


Speed 30 ft.
Melee rapier +3 (1d6+1/18–20)
Ranged dagger +3 (1d4+1/19–20)
Special Attacks arcane pool (+1, 3 points), spell combat
Magus Spells Prepared (CL 1st; concentration +3)
1st—magic missile, shocking grasp
0 (at will)—daze (DC 12), detect magic, ray of frost


Tactics


During Combat The magus opens combat with magic missile and then engages in melee combat, enhancing attacks from the arcane pool.


Statistics


Str 12, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 14
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +3, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Knowledge (planes) +6, Perception +1, Spellcraft +6 (+8 to identify magic item properties), Use Magic Device +4; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, +2 Spellcraft to identify magic item properties
Languages Common, Elven, Goblin, Orc
SQ elven magic
Combat Gear scroll of blur, alchemical grease APG, poison ward salve ACG, weapon blanch (silver) APG; Other Gear chain shirt, dagger (2), rapier, ioun torch APG, magus spellbook (contains all 0-level spells and all prepared spells plus 1st—chill touch, returning weapon UC, shield), 16 gp

13th Age: Beggar Thug

Personally, I consider myself a monster creator over any other part of roleplaying creation. I love making the perfect monster for the situation. It is something I enjoy more than anything else. Lately, I’ve been working on NPCs for Pathfinder in addition to the icons for 13th Age. So for today’s blog post, I decided to merge them and make an NPC for 13th Age themed to the alternate icons I’m working on. The Beggar Thug is a low-level henchman of the Queen of Beggars, one of the alternate icons I haven’t detailed yet. He’s one of those guys you see in movies where the hero punches him in the stomach, and he doesn’t flinch and then makes the hero regret getting into the fight. We’ve got that for you here.

Before we get to the stat block, I have to post my obligatory link to our 13th Age products at the JBE Shop, where the 40% off sale is ending soon. Download our products at our shop to support our 13th Age blog posts today. You can also find them at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Beggar Thug

1st level wrecker [humanoid]
Initiative +4
C: Hammer Fists +6 vs PD—3 damage and the target is dazed until the start of the beggar thug’s next turn (normal save ends).
Natural 18+—The save is now a hard save ends.
R: Thrown Object +6 vs AC—2 damage
Natural 18+—The target is stunned until the start of the beggar thug’s next turn (normal save ends).
Tough as Nails: The beggar thug has resist weapons 12+.

Nastier Special

Pissed off: The beggar thug deals double damage for the rest of the battle if it survives a critical hit.
AC 17
PD 15
MD 11
HP 27

Pathfinder 1e: Lich Slayer

Last week saw the release of the Book of Beasts: Warpriest Codex which is part of the Character Codex Subscription. So far we’ve shared with you the Mercenary Priest and the Airborne Reanimator. Both of these are low level characters. Today we are sharing with you a higher level character. This level 12 lich slayer is more than your typical warpriest. They’re a champion of the faith. One of the things we incorporated in the Warpriest Codex is the use of archetypes. The even-numbered levels are thematic, but some use archetypes, making them more unique.

Download the Book of Beasts: Warpriest Codex today at JonBrazer.com, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.com and tell your friends that are sticking with Pathfinder 1e about us. Your words are the best way for people sticking with the game we love to find us and what we produce, and we need your help to do so.

Lich Slayer CR 11

XP 12,800
Changeling warpriest (champion of the faith) of Alina BoHRAC 12
LN Medium humanoid (changeling)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2


Defense


AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 (+11 armor, +1 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 93 (12d8+36)
Fort +11, Ref +7, Will +12
Defensive Abilities sacred armor (+2, 12 minutes/day); Resist one energy type 10


Offense


Speed 20 ft. (30 ft. without armor)
Melee +1 undead-bane warhammer +20/+20/+15 (1d10+16/×3 plus 2d6 vs. undead) or 2 claws +17 (1d4+9)
Special Attacks blessings 9/day (Community: communal aid, fight as one; Law: axiomatic strike, battle companion), fervor 8/day (4d6), hulking changeling, sacred weapon (1d10, lawful, 12 rounds/day), smite chaotic 3/day (+1 attack and AC, +12 damage)
Warpriest (Champion of the Faith) Spells Prepared (CL 12th; concentration +14)
4th—divine power, holy smite (DC 18), spiritual ally APG
3rd—daylight, dispel magic, searing light, wrathful mantle APG (DC 17)
2nd—aid, arrow of law UM (DC 16), ghostbane dirge APG (DC 14), spear of purity UM (2, DC 16), spiritual weapon
1st—bless, command (DC 13), divine favor, protection from evil, sanctify corpse UM, shield of faith
0 (at will)—detect magic, guidance, light, stabilize, virtue


Tactics


Before Combat The warpriest casts aid and wrathful mantle on an ally, then gives their full plate energy resistance with sacred armor.
During Combat The warpriest begins combat by casting divine power before entering melee, using smite chaotic when engaging demons and chaotic undead.
Base Statistics Without sacred armor and divine power, the warpriest’s statistics are Resist —; hp 81 (12d8+24); Melee +1 undead-bane warhammer +16/+11 (1d10+12/×3 plus 2d6 vs. undead) or 2 claws +13 (1d4+5); CMB +13.


Statistics


Str 18, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 12
Base Atk +9; CMB +17; CMD 24
Feats Combat Casting, Divine Interference UM, Greater Spell Focus (evocation), Greater Weapon Focus (warhammer), Greater Weapon Specialization (warhammer), Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (evocation), Toughness, Weapon Focus (warhammer), Weapon Specialization (warhammer)
Skills Heal +11, Knowledge (religion) +8, Sense Motive +11, Spellcraft +8
Languages Aklo, Common
SQ detect alignment
Combat Gear lesser ectoplasmic metamagic rod APG; Other Gear +2 full plate, +1 undead-bane warhammer, cloak of resistance +2, silver holy symbol of Alina, 13 gp

Pathfinder 1e: Start a New Subscription with Warpriests

Divine Warriors and Dark Cultists

Do your PCs need to hire some divine muscle? Does your upcoming session need an evil sword wielder that can also raise the undead or call upon infernal powers? Are you seeking ideas for the terrible power at the end of your campaign? The Book of Beasts: Warpriest Codex has the solutions you need, arming game masters of the First Edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game with the following:

  • 20 ready-made warpriest characters, one for each level of play
  • Tactical combat recommendations for every character, helping you to quickly and effectively run the NPC in a fight
  • Personalities and details to give you ideas on how to use the characters both in combat and in roleplaying interactions

Populate Your Campaign With the Exact Character You Need!

Download the Book of Beasts: Warpriest Codex today at JonBrazer.com, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.com.

NPCs Assemble!

No matter how much you prepare, players will always manage to do the unexpected, often forcing you to improvise an encounter. Other times, you simply don’t have the time to create all the NPCs you need for a session.

One of our many solutions to these situations is the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription. Within this series, you’ll find 20 ready-made stat blocks for each of a dozen classes, for every level of play. As each volume covering a single class is completed, those NPCs will be delivered to your downloads section. Once the entire series is complete, you’ll also receive the compiled Character Codex!

The Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription is a must-have series for any game master who enjoys running the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

When completed, the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription will include:

  • Full stat blocks for over 200 characters, covering the alchemist, arcanist, bloodrager, brawler, cavalier, hunter, magus, oracle, slayer, swashbuckler, warpriest, and witch classes
  • Tactical combat recommendations for every character, helping you to quickly and effectively run the NPC in a fight
  • Personalities and details to give you ideas on how to use the characters both in combat and in roleplaying interactions
  • Hero Lab Classic files for each NPC, allowing you to quickly modify these characters to meet your exact needs

Subscribe today to meet all of these amazing characters!

Subscribe to the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription today at JonBrazer.com, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.com.

Pathfinder 1e: Airborne Reanimator

We are currently hard at work on the Book of Beasts: Warpriest Codex. It will be out soon, and we are so excited! This will be the first part of a new subscription that we are hard at work creating. The Book of Beasts: Character Codex will be one awesome book when completed and we hope that you will join us on this ride. Read all about what you get when you subscribe to the Character Codex here.

Today we are showing off another of the warpriests inside this Warpriest Codex. The last one was a dwarf, a race you would completely expect to see paired with the warpriest class. Today we are showing off a wyvaran warpriest, one very different than the last one. Heck, this race as the ability to fly. Clumsy, sure, but they can still get airborne. Like many evil clerics, this one loves to bring back the dead as a shambling corruption of life. If you like this one, just wait until you see what we have in store for the rest of these clerical warriors.

One thing to notice is that the Wyvaran’s deity is the Five Heroes. This deity comes from the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium. Each of the races inside have their own deities. Those are the only options we chose that do not come from one of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game line of books, and even then, we only used the deities from races in the BoHRAC. The rest we chose from mythology, deciding on alignments and domains (or blessings in this case) that best suited them. If you want a supplement that describes the mythological deities, and their domains, and the organization of their worshippers, let us know in the comments below. It is something we would love to do if you are interested in such a project.

Download the Book of Beasts: Warpriest Codex today at JonBrazer.com, DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.com and tell your friends that are sticking with Pathfinder 1e about us. Your words are the best way for people sticking with the game we love to find us and what we produce, and we need your help to do so.

Airborne Reanimator CR 3

XP 800
Wyvaran ARG warpriest of the Five Heroes BoHRAC 4
NE Medium dragon
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +3


Defense


AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+7 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 21 (4d8)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +7
Immune paralysis, sleep


Offense


Speed 20 ft., fly 20 ft. in armor (clumsy) (30 ft., fly 30 ft. [clumsy] without armor)
Melee +1 heavy mace +7 (1d8+3)
Special Attacks blessings 5/day (Death: from the grave; Magic: hand of the acolyte), channel negative energy (DC 15, 1d6), fervor 5/day (1d6), sacred weapon (1d6, +1, 4 rounds/day), slapping tail +5 (1d8+2 bludgeoning)
Warpriest Spells Prepared (CL 4th; concentration +7)
2nd—lesser animate dead UM, summon monster II
1st—obscuring mist, sanctuary (DC 14), shield of faith, summon monster I
0 (at will)—create water, detect magic, read magic, virtue


Tactics


During Combat The warpriest flies out of reach of melee attacks and casts lesser animate dead and summon monster spells, then making Flyby Attacks to stay out of reach of opponents, using sacred weapon on the masterwork heavy mace.
Base Statistics Without sacred weapon, the warpriest’s statistics are Melee mwk heavy mace +7 (1d8+2)


Statistics


Str 15, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Combat Casting, Flyby Attack, Intimidating Prowess, Weapon Focus (heavy mace)
Skills Fly –2, Heal +10, Intimidate +8, Sense Motive +10
Languages Common, Draconic, Elven
Combat Gear wand of hold person (8 charges); Other Gear +1 breastplate, mwk heavy mace, wooden holy symbol of the Five Heroes, 17 gp

Pathfinder 1e: Character Codex Coming Soon

If you follow Jon Brazer Enterprises on Twitter or Facebook, you may have seen the announcement that we are working on our next major 1e Pathfinder project. We call it the Book of Beasts: Character Codex. This book is going to be similar to the NPC Codex by Paizo in that it provides 20 NPCs—one for each level—for each class detailed in the book. This way you always have an NPC at the level you need for that class. Unlike the original Codex, this book will focus on classes not in the core rulebook. We will be covering classes detailed in the Advanced Player’s Guide, Advanced Class Guide, and Ultimate Magic.

The obvious question is, “Why do this now?” Pathfinder 1e is no longer supported by the main company and at least some portion of the audience has moved to the new edition. So why continue to support the older edition? First and foremost, we at JBE prefer the older edition. This is the edition we enjoy, and we want to continue supporting it. Why didn’t we do this book years ago when it was still the current edition? Honestly, I always expected Paizo to do it. I learned a strong lesson from the Book of the River Nations, where we took the OGL Kingmaker rules and reprinted them in a standalone book for players: namely “don’t do books that I expect the main company to do in the future.” While the book sold incredibly well at the time and is still one of our top 3 selling books of all time, sales of it essentially ended the moment that Ultimate Campaign was released. So we held off on a number of very good ideas for Pathfinder 1e that we expected to be done by the primary publisher. Now that they’ve moved on and we are still here, we think now is a good time to produce those books and adventures we talked about before. Watch this space for more Pathfinder 1e books and blog posts.

We will be releasing this book as a subscription and bundling it all up when complete. We’re borrowing this idea from some of our fellow publishers that the earlier you subscribe to this project, the lower the price will be. The price will go up as we add more PDFs to the subscription. So if you know you are going to want this, subscribe as soon as it comes out. What will subscribers get? They get the individual PDFs and a PDF of the final Book of Beasts: Character Codex Compendium as well as a coupon to order the final print version at a reduced price. As an added bonus, subscribers will also get the Hero Lab classic files of the characters. We will be selling them separately for those that are not interested in the full subscription, but subscribers get them included.

So what is the scope of the Character Codex Subscription? As mentioned above, we’re limiting the classes we’re drawing from the Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic, and the Advanced Class Guide. We will be utilizing feats, spells and archetypes from these books plus the core rulebook, Ultimate Combat, and the Advanced Race Guide. That will provide you with some excellent NPCs from a diverse set of books. Some quick math though: 18-ish pages for 17 classes in those three books comes to over 300 pages for the NPCs. Note that doesn’t include any possible appendixes we know we’ll need (eidolons, mounts, familiars, etc) let alone any we haven’t thought of yet, nor anything else that will require pages (i.e. Title Page, OGL, etc). That is more than a little intimidating for a company our size. Currently, the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium is our largest book at around 250 pages and that took 2 years and a lot of sweat to finish. So we are thinking of covering 12 classes in this outing. That puts this project at around 200 pages before everything mentioned above. While still a stretch, it is considerably more manageable.

The question then becomes which classes do we include. The warpriest is almost ready to send off to the editors, and we have artwork picked out for the arcanist, magus, and slayer classes so they’re definitely in. That still leaves us 8 classes to pick. This is where you come in. Tell us what classes you want to see by voting in the poll below. If you don’t see the poll because of the browser you are using or various settings or if there are some classes you want covered above all others, please leave us a comment below.

Are you excited for this project, for additional Pathfinder 1e support? Is there something you want us to produce that is not yet available? We want to hear your voice. Tell us your thoughts. Post a comment and let your voice be heard.

Download all of JBE’s Pathfinder 1e books at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Pathfinder: High Warpriest

When you are talking high level NPCs, their stat blocks can take quite a bit of time to create. Take the one we are featuring today, the high priest of Lirikellein, the goddess of the sun in this adventure: a high priest should be one that has accumulated quite a bit of abilities and gear. Detailing all that requires time, time a busy GM doesn’t have. Just like making high level adventures take quite a bit of time.

This is time we are happy to save you, just like how last week we showed off a very old solar dragon. With Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence, we have worshippers of the sun goddess using a ritual to pull the world into the sun. Yourdley, the high priest of the temple is one of those people involved in this endeavor. Now before you say, “killing everyone on the planet is evil,” let me ask you, is trying to bring people closer to a good deity evil? I mean, sure, most don’t take being “closer” to a deity quite so literally, but is it possibly just a good act that you may not like? If you said, “yes it is still evil,” you are right; it is still evil. But it is an act of one that is deluded into thinking that that is what their deity wants. Those that believe it can see it as an “ends justify the means” situation. Others might even believe that anything done to bring people “closer” to their god as good. What does Yourdley believe? You’ll have to read the adventure to find out.

One final point, keen observers will note that this NPC is of a CR equal to its character level. Normally the CR is 1 less than their character level but this NPC has far more gear than a heroic NPC of that level. As such, this NPC is more difficult than its heroic counterparts, raising its CR by 1.

Download Deadly Delves: Temple of Luminescence for your Pathfinder game at the JBE Shop. You can also find this 15th-level adventure at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

High Priest Yourdley CR 17

XP 102,400
Male dwarf warpriest of Lirikellein 17
N Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13


Defenses


AC 27, touch 13, flat-footed 27 (+9 armor, +4 deflection, –1 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 216 (17d8+102+17 temporary)
Fort +19, Ref +6, Will +19; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities
Defensive Abilities defensive training, fortification 50%, sacred armor (+4, 17 minutes/day) Resist fire 20; SR 29


Offense


Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 brilliant energy dispelling morningstar +23/+23/+18/+13 (2d6+12/19–20)
Special Attacks blessings 11/day (armor of flame, blinding strike, cleansing fire, fire strike), channel positive energy 9/day (DC 25, 6d6), hatred, sacred weapon (2d6, +4, 17 rounds/day)
Warpriest Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +24)
6th—blade barrier (DC 23), harm (2, DC 23)
5th—flame strike (DC 22), righteous might, spell resistance, true seeing, wall of stone
4th—air walk, blessing of fervor APG, divine power, freedom of movement, spell immunity
3rd—bestow curse (2, DC 20), blindness/deafness (DC 20), daylight, invisibility purge, protection from energy (2)
2nd—align weapon, hold person (3, DC 19), owl’s wisdom, sound burst (DC 19), spiritual weapon
1st—bane (DC 18), command (2, DC 18), doom (DC 18), liberating command UC, sanctuary (DC 18), shield of faith, sun metal UC (DC 18)
0 (at will)—bleed (DC 17), detect magic, guidance, resistance, spark APG (DC 17)


Statistics


Str 18, Dex 8, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 24, Cha 10
Base Atk +12; CMB +21; CMD 29 (33 vs. bull rush and trip)
Feats Combat Casting, Critical Focus, Dazzling Display, Deadly Finish UC, Extra Channel, Great Fortitude, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Critical (morningstar), Improved Vital Strike, Sickening Critical, Shatter Defenses, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Toughness, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (morningstar)
Skills Appraise +0 (+2 to assess non-magical metals or gemstones), Climb +3, Heal +12, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (religion) +10, Perception +13 (+15 to notice unusual stonework), Sense Motive +12; Racial Modifiers +2 Appraise to assess non-magical metals or gemstones, +2 Perception to notice unusual stonework
Languages Common, Dwarven
Combat Gear potion of barkskin (CL 12th, used); Other Gear +1 moderate fortification adamantine half-plate, +1 brilliant energy dispelling morningstar, belt of physical might +4 (Str, Con), cloak of resistance +2

5e: Vampiric Young Blue Dragon

Today I would like to share with you a fun mash up of two monsters: dragon and vampire. We are so use to vampires being humanoid that we forget that a vampire can be of any shape. So when creating it in another form, why not marry it a creature that is already scary like a dragon. Done like this, it opens up some new design space. You can make adjustments to the standard vampire abilities that fit a dragonic form much better. For example, we changed the ability Legendary Resistance to Legendary Scales. This is both familiar while still being unique for this specific monster.

As always, check out all our Fifth Edition products at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store. Supporting us lets us to bring you more monsters every Wednesday and other blog posts throughout the week.

Vampiric Young Blue Dragon

Large undead, neutral evil


Armor Class 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points 123 (13d10 + 52)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 80 ft.


STR 21 (+5) DEX 16 (+3) CON 19 (+4)
INT 22 (+6) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 20 (+5)


Saving Throws Str +10, Con +9, Wis +9, Cha +10
Skills Athletics +10, Perception +9, Stealth +8
Damage Resistances lightning, necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)


Legendary Scales (3/Day). If the dragon succeeds a saving throw that would normally deal half damage on a successful save, the dragon can choose to take no damage from the attack. Any conditions that would be applied on a successful save are still applied.
Regeneration. The dragon regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight or running water. If the vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampire’s next turn.
Vampire Weaknesses. The dragon has the following flaws:
Forbiddance. The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
Harmed by Running Water. The dragon takes 20 acid damage if it ends its turn in running water.
Stake to the Heart. If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the dragon’s heart while the dragon is incapacitated in its resting place, the dragon is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
Sunlight Hypersensitivity. The dragon takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack roll and ability checks. .

Actions


Multiattack. The dragon makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d12 + 5) piercing damage plus 5 (1d10) lightning damage and 5 (1d10) necrotic damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 18). The dragon cannot bite another target while grappling. The target’s hit points maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the dragon regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A dragon slain in this way and then buried in the ground or a mound of copper, gold, and silver rises the following night as a vampiric dragon spawn under the dragon’s control. If a humanoid is slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the dragon’s control.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d8 + 5) slashing damage.
Terrify. The dragon targets one dragon or humanoid it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the dragon, the target must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be terrified of the dragon. The terrified target regards the dragon as a imposing image that must be obeyed. Although the target isn’t under the dragon’s control, it takes the dragon’s requests orders that must be carried out or suffer the consequences. Additionally, it is a willing target for the dragon’s bite attack.
Each time the dragon or the dragon’s companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until the dragon is destroyed, is on a different plane of existance than the target, or takes a bonus action to end the effect.
Black Lightning Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon exhales lightning infused with necrotic energy in a 60-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw, taking 44 (8d10) lightning damage and 44 (8d10) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

5e: Halfling Warlock Skeleton

I just thought I would take a break from my regular posting of expanding the number of creatures you can summon with the conjure spells in your Fifth Edition game and post a monster I made just for fun. How to make NPCs for 5e is a quesiton I don’t have a good answer for since examples in the MM do not coorelate to levels in the PHB and their stats are completely off from what a monster of that challenge level should be in the DMG. The archmage is a prime example, Its an 18th-level spellcaster, is a challenge 12 monster but the hit points and armor class of a challenge 2 monster. Let me repeat that: the 18th level NPC has hit points and an armor class of a monster 16 levels below what it should be.

So how do I adjust that when I make an NPC? Short answer: The level of the NPC is it’s challenge rating. That 18th level archmage should be a challenge 18 NPC. How do I have it meet the stats of a challenge 18 monster? It gets as many hit dice as needed to be in that range. Think of it as that the NPC also has levels of aristocrat, commoner, or warrior—to use a 3.5/Pathfinder-ism. From there I make option choices to get all the other numbers where they should be.

Take the halfling warlock skeleton below as an example. I settled on a level 3 warlock, so I designed for a challenge 3 monster. We placed the 14 (from the standard 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 ability score array) in Dexterity where it gains a +2 from the halfling race, making it a 16. That +3 ability modifier means its armor class is 13, right where a challenge 3 monster should be. Sure it has only 3 levels of warlock, but that few hit points is going to put it squarely in CR 1/8 territory. So we added as many hit dice as necessary to get it in the 101-115 range. Now considering that the skeleton gave it a damage vulnerability to bludgeoning weapons and an immunity to poison, I felt letting it have 10 hit points more than the normal value was wall justified. The attack bonus on eldritch blast is +4 but its 8 damage falls short so we added repelling blast, making it push its opponents away. This will make coordinating attacks more difficult for the players. It does not make up for it fully, but it is a consideration. Having said that, the halfling warlock skeleton casts burning hands as a 2nd-level spell. That will deal an average of 14 damage each time it is used, counting as 28 considering it damages more than 1 creature. That is close enough to the damage expected for a monster of that level and can be considered balanced for its level, as described by the DMG.

I hope you enjoy this monster and remember to download our other Fifth Edition gaming material at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Halfling Warlock Skeleton

Small undead, chaotic evil


Armor Class 13
Hit Points 126 (28d6 + 28)
Speed 25 ft.


STR 8 (–1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 13 (+1)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 16 (+3)


Skills Deception +5, Intimidation +5,
Saving Throws Wis +3, Cha +5
Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Abyssal, Common, Halfling
Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Brave. The halfling warlock skeleton has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Dark One’s Blessing. The halfling warlock skeleton gains 6 temporary hit points when it reduces a hostile creature to 0 hit points.
Eldritch Invocations. The halfling warlock skeleton has the following invocaitons: agonizing blast, repelling blast
Halfling Nimbleness. The halfling warlock skeleton can move through the space of any creature that is size Medium or larger.
Lucky. The halfling warlock skeleton can reroll a 1 rolled on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, but must use the new roll.
Naturally Stealthy. The halfling warlock skeleton can hide behind a creature that is Medium or larger.
Spellcasting. The halfling warlock skeleton is a 3rd-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). The halfling warlock skeleton knows the following warlock spells:
Cantrips (at will): eldritch blast, mage hand
2nd level (2 slots): blindness/deafness, burning hands, charm person, command, comprehend language, hold person, protection from evil and good, scorching ray

Actions


Eldritch Blast. Ranged Spell Attack: +4 to hit, range 120 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) force damage. A creature hit by the halfling warlock skeleton’s eldritch blast is moved 10 feet away from the halfling warlock skeleton in a straight line.

Thanks to Nicole Cardiff for creating the image.

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