Sunday NPCs Kickoff

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June 20, 2021 by klspeedling

It occurred to me that this website actually has a blog function on it that I haven’t touched in…. *checks date* …six years. That’s a bit embarrassing, and I should probably use the front page space for something so people don’t think the site is defunct. (My credits listed are all up to date! I’m just bad at being a blogger.)

So I’m doing an experiment. A lot of people do design diaries and things like that, but I’m not very good at talking about my work in the abstract, so instead I’m just going to make some stuff! Specifically, NPCs, since making characters is one of my favorite things to do for TTRPGs.

The tentative plan is to do this biweekly, alternating between Pathfinder and Starfinder. Each post will have a fully statted NPC (in both PF1 and PF2 for the Pathfinder entries) along with a little bit of flavor to aid GMs in adding them into games. NPC codexes seem to be a popular idea, so hopefully this will help some people out!

In honor of my absolute favorite fictional type of character, I’m making this first one a Pathfinder rogue.

Pathfinder First Edition

Saira Beseri               CR 4

XP 1,200

Half-elf unchained rogue (sharper UI ) 5

CN Medium humanoid (elf, human)

Init +7; Senses low-light vision, Perception +11

Defense

AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor, +3 Dex, +1 dodge)

hp 29 (5d8+5)

Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +3; +2 vs. enchantments

Defensive Abilities evasion, uncanny dodge; Immune sleep

Offense

Speed 30 ft.

Melee +1 dagger +7 (1d4+4/19-20)

Ranged mwk hand crossbow +7 (1d4/19-20)

Special Attacks debilitating injury, sneak attack +3d6

Statistics

Str 8, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 16

Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 15; +2 to and vs. steal combat maneuvers

Feats Dodge, Extra Rogue Talent, Improved Initiative, Improved Steal, Skill Focus (Bluff), Weapon Finesse

Skills Acrobatics +11, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +11, Disguise +11, Knowledge (local) +9, Perception +11, Sense Motive +9, Sleight of Hand +13, Stealth +11

Languages Common, Elven, +1 regional language

SQ elf blood, finesse training (daggers), lucky save +1, rogue’s edge (Bluff), rogue talents (one of those faces PC: SH), scam artist +2
Combat Gear
potion of cure light wounds (2), potion of invisibility; Other Gear masterwork studded leather, +1 dagger, pliability elixir VC, masterwork hand crossbow, quick-change outfit UI, wrist sheath UE

Special Abilities

Audacious Overconfidence (Ex) After failing an attack roll, skill check, or saving throw, Saira can reduce her saving throw bonus from lucky save by 1 for 24 hours in order to reroll the failed roll. She can use this ability once per day.

Lucky Save (Su) Saira gains a +1 luck bonus on all saving throws.

One of Those Faces (Su) Each day, Saira can use disguise self as a spell-like ability for up to 50 minutes (10 minutes/character level). This duration need not be continuous, but it must be used in 10-minute increments. Once she has used this ability, whenever she uses it for the next 24 hours she must take the same alternate appearance.

Pathfinder Second Edition

Saira Beseri               Creature 4

CN, Medium, Elf, Human, Humanoid

Perception +13; low-light vision

Languages Common, Elven, +1 regional

Skills Acrobatics +11, Deception +13, Diplomacy +13, Society +11, Stealth +10, Thievery +11 (+1 to Steal), Underworld Lore +11

Str +1, Dex +4, Con +2, Int +3, Wis +3, Cha +5

Items dagger, hand crossbow (20 bolts), studded leather armor

AC 21; Fort +8, Ref +15, Will +13

HP 58

Deny Advantage Saira isn’t flat-footed to flanking, hidden, or undetected creatures of 4th-level or lower, or creatures of 4th-level or lower using surprise attack.

Luck Reversal Once per day, Saira can reroll a failed attack roll, skill check, or saving throw, taking the higher of the two results. If this turns a critical failure into a critical success, she gains a +1 status bonus to attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws until the end of her next turn.

Speed 25 feet

Melee (one action) dagger +13 (agile, finesse, thrown 10 ft., versatile S), Damage 1d4+8 piercing

Ranged (one action) hand crossbow +11 (range increment 60 feet, reload 1), Damage 1d6+4 piercing

False Face (two actions) Saira can cast illusory disguise once per day.

Scoundrel’s Feint When Saira successfully Feints, the target is flat-footed against her melee attacks until the end of her next turn. On a critical success, the target is flat-footed against all melee attacks for that time, not just hers.

Sneak Attack 2d6

Orphaned at a young age, Saira Beseri grew up fending for herself on the streets. She quickly learned the benefit of a silver tongue and trickery to get by…after all, it’s a lot easier to steal from your marks if they don’t realize you’re doing it until it’s too late! Saira has a keen wit and a dry sense of humor, and she can often be found in city taverns, looking for her next mark. Though she’s a charming and genial conversationalist, she takes care never to let anyone get too close, lest she end up with a knife in her back. In her experience, the two most valuable things are information and leverage, and she never lets an opportunity to gain either go by.

Saira prefers to operate as a freelancer rather than as a member of any organized gang. PCs might encounter her as an ally, enemy, or someone who shifts between the two. An ally of the PCs may be scammed by Saira and ask for the PCs’ help, or she may have information that the PCs need to carry out a job of their own. She prefers to stay out of direct combat if possible, as her skills lend themselves more to social situations, but may even accompany the PCs as an ally with the right incentive. Alternatively, the PCs may end up at cross-purposes with one of her schemes and have to take her down.

Design Notes

I started with the 1st edition version of the character. I prefer the unchained version of the rogue, as it has more tools in its toolbox, so I usually use that one when making NPCs. I like playing around with 1st ed. archetypes, so I chose one that fit the concept I had in mind. Saira’s intended more as a tricky sort of NPC than a straight-up combatant, so her abilities reflect that. For the 2nd edition version, I based her on a scoundrel rogue, though statting her up with the creature rules rather than trying to make her with PC stats. I kept a few of the particularly thematic abilities from her old archetype as special abilities, as well as including rogue abilities like deny advantage and scoundrel’s feint. Though the stats don’t correspond precisely due to the differences between the systems, I tried to make her relative strengths and weaknesses the same across both versions.

And there you have it! A ready-made NPC to drop into your game however you wish.

Sources Used

First Edition:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook (Jason Bulmahn et al.), Pathfinder Unchained (Jason Bulmahn et al.), Pathfinder Player Companion: Spymaster’s Handbook (Alexander Augunas, David N. Ross, and Owen K.C. Stephens), Ultimate Equipment (Jason Bulmahn et al.), Ultimate Intrigue, Villain Codex

Second Edition:

Pathfinder Core Rulebook (Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-McFarland, and Mark Seifter), Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide (Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-McFarland, Mark Seifter et al.)

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