View Full Version : [3.5] Class suggestions for a BBEG and an NPC?

2010-08-14, 06:56 PM
So I'm currently running a sandbox-style D&D 3.5 campaign for my group, and I'm deciding how to stat up a pair of NPCs for the game, one potential BBEG and one plot-important ally. Problem is, I can't decide on which classes to give them.

The two characters are as follows (stolen from Suikoden V and Fire Emblem, respectively):

Salum Barows
(Link) (http://i422.photobucket.com/albums/pp302/Aquatrez/Suikoden%20V%20Character%20Art/SalumBarows.jpg)
The campaign's likely BBEG. Politician who's currently on course to take over the country the PCs live in. Deceptive and patient, works through agents and cats-paws, never gets his hands dirty but instead bribes and manipulates other people into doing his work for him. Lawful Evil. The PCs have never met him but hate him already.

In a way his class almost doesn't matter because he does everything behind the scenes; he's unlikely to ever face the PCs in combat, but PCs being PCs, I figure I should stat him up just to be on the safe side. He's primarily a social manipulator and will never get involved in a fight voluntarily.

Aristocrat is the obvious choice, but it's very low-powered. Bard is Cha-based and skill-heavy, but feels a bit weird. I can't think of any spellcaster class which is social enough.

Elincia Ridell Crimea
(Link) (http://i481.photobucket.com/albums/rr174/demonslayer/fire%20emblem/Princess_Elincia.jpg)
Princess of the PCs home country - the fact that she's a princess is currently secret, although not for much longer. As things are she's likely to become heir extremely soon; the PCs will have the option to help her out against Lord Barows or leave her to fend for herself. Brave but hesitant, somewhat sheltered, not very experienced, but charismatic. Somewhere between Lawful Good and Neutral Good. She's also supposed to get a pegasus mount later on.

Paladin kind of fits with the Charisma and special mount, but the code of conduct might be too restrictive. Cleric is too religious. Ideally I want a class with a fair bit of Charisma which has the social skills to lead but which also can fight on the battlefield. She's much more likely to get involved in battles alongside the PCs, so I'll need her stats.

Any ideas?

2010-08-14, 07:01 PM
For the BBEG, have you considered Beguiler? Seems perfect to me.

2010-08-14, 07:02 PM
Ooh, that sounds good. Skills plus sneakiness, and fluffwise it would fit perfectly. I think I'll use that.

2010-08-14, 07:13 PM
For princess, crusader? It has social skills, some Cha-synergy, and very good combat prowess. You can combine it with bard for even more Cha and social abilities. Bard 4/Crusader X with Song of the White Raven is a very reasonable build (and the PCs will love her if she optimizes Inspire Courage at all).

No idea how to get pegasus mount by RAW though. Wild Cohort is the closest one I can come up with. But since you're the DM, that's not really a problem.

2010-08-14, 07:17 PM
For the villain, I'll also suggest you look at Mountebank from Complete Scoundrel. It's a sneaky magical sort that would mesh well with bard, can put on new faces to interact by proxy without having to get involved "himself" and comes with its own BBEG getaway power (something like dimension door.) And yes, I think bard fits great. As the DM, you're free to make his bardic powers work with things other than the perform skill if you want, and bard spels would fit this guy nicely. Bardic Knowledge can reflect extensive contacts and information gatherers.

For the Princess, if the Paladin Code is too restrictive for you, then just change how the code works. Personally I like when a Paladin's Code has actually been written out by the player/DM rather than just relying on vague opinions and such. Just put down a few things she must and mustn't do and have her stick to that if you want. If you don't like that, maybe Knight for a similar feel without the actual code.

EDIT/PS: If you don't want to just give her a pegasus, you can also multiclass her as a bard for at least three levels, give her the Obtain Familiar (Complete Arcane I believe) and then the Improved Familiar feat and make a Pegasus an option.

2010-08-14, 07:17 PM
Wild Cohort is possible, but it's more likely she'd just get one the normal way (just ask it nicely). What's the appeal of Song of the White Raven - is it for the stacking of the classes for IC, or for doing IC as a swift action?

I'd been vaguely thinking of factotum for her, but an inspiring/leading build like that does sound better.

Edit: Haven't heard of Mountebank. I'll go look it up.

2010-08-14, 07:19 PM
I say just go with aristocrat. I know it's low powered, but that should almost be the point.

It sounds like he's the sort of character who never gets his hands dirty. His power isn't through magic or physical might, or even through the skills a bard possesses. It's purely political and economic. To fight an enemy that ISN'T strong in and of himself seems a refreshing change from the stereotypical "battle the evil wizard" style plots.

He bribes and manipulates. That's what an aristocrat would be great at doing! He could have skills like diplomacy and bluff statted as high as possible, but otherwise I say just go aristocrat. Showing the villain in all his patheticness in the end, after beating his strongest minions will make them hate him even more, I bet. Which would be totally perfect. They would see the banality of evil, instead of it being some kind of over the top awesomesauce.

Edit: Heck, to add insult to injury, make him a level 1 aristocrat. His power is in his money, not his CR.

2010-08-14, 07:23 PM
Another possibility for the BBEG is Changling Cabinet Trickster, it opens the possibility of some of the pawns being just as bewildered (or secretly pleased) about the rumors that swirl around about them. Plus it leaves a good avenue for another page to dig into plotwise with the cabinet of faces fluff if you decide to go that way later or the PC's somehow manage to assassinate the main BBEG but you want to have a second in command quickly step in... maybe he was just a clueless fop who didn't care what was being done in his name as long as he was living the high life :).

2010-08-14, 07:23 PM
I say just go with aristocrat. I know it's low powered, but that should almost be the point.

I was tempted to do exactly that, but PCs have a tendency to take the sledgehammer approach to problems, so I'm expecting them to try an assassination attempt on Lord Barows sooner or later (probably of the scry-and-die variety). I don't want him to be too easy to knock off.

2010-08-14, 07:24 PM
He could always use a more powerful body double. Like some wizard or something, maybe a changeling, that is made to look like him.

2010-08-14, 08:16 PM
Wild Cohort is possible, but it's more likely she'd just get one the normal way (just ask it nicely). What's the appeal of Song of the White Raven - is it for the stacking of the classes for IC, or for doing IC as a swift action?
The swift action probably interferes more than it helps if you're optimizing IC (due to Inspirational Boost). So yeah, definitely for stacking.

2010-08-15, 04:33 AM
Addendum: Ahh. Scry or die type. I didn't see that when I responded before.

Well, at that level you'll have to play a little more inventively, sure. Anti-scrying things can work... but that's not quite so fun.

It'd be much better to make it so that even though they CAN find out where he is with such powers, they must also know that directly attacking him would be a capital letters BAD IDEA.

If they haven't proved he's the real villain, or don't have any hard evidence, and if this guy is the sort of manipulator you say, I'd imagine just killing him would bring down the arm of the law.

And then, have his cleric "cat's paw" just cast "raise dead" on him. If he's smart enough to manipulate things in a D&D setting, he almost certainly has a "raise myself from the dead" bank account hidden somewhere. (sorry for the anachronism. You know what I mean.) Make killing him make things harder and hint enough that they decide it's worth more to try something less direct. Or make them face the consequences.

2010-08-15, 05:11 AM
My post, about half way down. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-94139.html)

Another behind-the-scenes villain I made a while back went something like Conjurer 3/ Master Specialist 3/ Mindbender 1/ Thaumaturgist 5, and then eight levels of pretty much anything you think would be appropriate for the final build. Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil would be a strong/survivable choice, but it would take a few feats. More Master Specialist and then Archmage would work, or Incantatrix could make him almost impossible to kill in a direct confrontation. Divine Oracle is another option. I'd picked Evocation and Enchantment as prohibited schools, with Arcane Disciple for the Lust domain to get Charm Person and Lesser Planar Ally. Mindsight is strongly advised, and be sure to get Able Learner at 1st level for all the necessary social skills. I'd use the Abrupt Jaunt ACF in PH2, and maybe even spend a feat on Obtain Familiar to trade it for the Rapid Summoning ACF in UA/SRD. His contingent conjuration should be Call Zelekhut/Kolyarut/Marut since any assassination attempt on him would be an unlawful murder. You may want to keep enchantment and instead drop illusion, but it's up to you. It would also work as something like Beguiler 5/ Mindbender 1/ Beguiler 2/ Thaumaturgist 5/ Beguiler 7, with Arcane Disciple for the Summoner domain, though it would be considerably weaker in combat.

As for the friendly NPC, I'd make her a Sorcerer with Phantom Steed and a Lesser Rod of Extend. You could also just give her Leadership and a Pegasus cohort, which is available by 8th level. Consider making her a Sorcadin (Paladin 2/ Sorcerer 4/ Spellsword 1/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Sacred Exorcist 8), or maybe go with a Jade Phoenix Mage build. Maybe even go something like Duskblade 2/ Crusader 4/ Suel Arcanamach 4/ Spellsword 1/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Crusader 5 for her build.

2010-08-15, 07:30 PM
You can buy a Pegasus. It doesn't have to be a class feature like a familiar or a special mount.

Pegasus eggs are worth 2,000 gp each on the open market, while young are worth 3,000 gp per head. Pegasi mature at the same rate as horses. Professional trainers charge 1,000 gp to rear or train a pegasus, which serves a good or neutral master with absolute faithfulness for life.

So either she can pony up the cash, or a trainer who supports your cause could donate one.