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Darth Stabber
2011-06-07, 01:32 PM
So after explaining to one of my players that dragons often assume human form, and live in human society for any reason that suits them, she asked me if it was possible that the Lord Mayor's secretary was a dragon. I answered with "it's possible, but highly unlikely".

This of course led the players to believe incontrovertably that she is infact a dragon in disguise.

The secretary is an oldish human woman (~65), who doesn't much care for the PCs (she dislikes undead and one of them is a necromancer who insists on bringing her skeletal wolf into the mayor's office), and generally has an "I am not amused" look and tone, basically I'm channelling Roz from Monsters Inc (including voice).

Now, I can't let the PCs be right on her being a dragon, but I love the idea of her being something else in disguise. What type of creature should the secretary be?

Constraints:
1) Not an evil, or usually evil creature. The Lord Mayor already has a Demilich paper weight (he doesn't know that, he just thinks it's a neat jewelled gold skull) on his desk, so I don't really want to clutter the city with more villians than it already has (they already have running vendettas with the city's High Priestess of Pelor and the goblin swordsage who runs the local martial arts dojo).
2) The secretary shouldn't be an epic creature (though strong outsiders are not off the table), and should not likely know about the Demilich.
3) There is absolutely nothing about this woman that is in anyway faerie, so fey is probably off the table.

Doc Roc
2011-06-07, 01:36 PM
May I commend to you the joys of the chronotyryn or the hilarity of the elemental weird?

While the tyryn is evil, it's actually more of a petty tyrant by description, despite its immense power.

Forbiddenwar
2011-06-07, 01:38 PM
This of course led the players to believe incontrovertably that she is infact a dragon in disguise.


This has made my day. Thank-you. In fitting the seemingly humorous approach I immediately thought the secretary should be a complex puppet manipulated by the desk, which is a mimic. Why does the Mimic use a puppet dressed as a secretary? How else is a mimic to get a job in this economy!

But that might be too wacky.

Alternatively, what about inevitables? Maybe a broken one that thinks it's a human secretary. Are are they too powerful?

Keld Denar
2011-06-07, 01:39 PM
You know...not all fey are "frolick nekkid through the forest" types, right? Lots of fey are downright cranky.

Anyway, most higher level archons and angels have "change form", which could be kinda fun. Archons in particular would fit, given their lawful-anal nature. Make her a Trumpet Archon or something, sufficiently strong but not too strong.

Darth Stabber
2011-06-07, 01:41 PM
May I commend to you the joys of the chronotyryn or the hilarity of the elemental weird?

While the tyryn is evil, it's actually more of a petty tyrant by description, despite its immense power.

What sources are these in?

As a note, I am currently considering planetar, but that seems kinda boring. good alignment is preferable.

A suitably cranky fey could work, actually that might make player heads explode. If someone knows of Good (and good) fey that is fairly crotchety i could see working that. Infact cranky, but good or neutral leaning good is ideal. Lawful is optional but very fitting.

Cog
2011-06-07, 01:41 PM
She's a human, in disguise as a half-elf. The disguise is so bad that nobody even notices it's there.

She's a young woman, in disguise as an older woman. She got tired of adventurers constantly hitting on her.

She's a Kolyarut, tracking some quarry that's rumored to be in town, and she's using the mayor's office to catch rumors.

I know you don't want something to compete with the demilich, but what about something to match? Just a servant, perhaps, running a few errands here and there so that the demilich isn't setting off any divinations by communicating magically.

Urpriest
2011-06-07, 01:43 PM
Go for a Nimblewright. I could definitely see a construct in disguise as a cynical old woman.

averagejoe
2011-06-07, 01:45 PM
I've always liked the shapechanging variety of the aranea (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/aranea.htm) (in that it can shapechange into one unique humanoid form.) The natural form also seems to fit this lady's mood.

SilverClawShift
2011-06-07, 01:49 PM
Werebear. Just werebear.

Zale
2011-06-07, 01:51 PM
Maybe a genie that's bored/senile/insane enough to pretend to be human?

Doc Roc
2011-06-07, 01:54 PM
What sources are these in?

As a note, I am currently considering planetar, but that seems kinda boring. good alignment is preferable.

A suitably cranky fey could work, actually that might make player heads explode. If someone knows of Good (and good) fey that is fairly crotchety i could see working that. Infact cranky, but good or neutral leaning good is ideal. Lawful is optional but very fitting.

Fiend Folio and MM II, with more weirds in Frostburn and Sandstorm..

Undercroft
2011-06-07, 01:58 PM
I'm partial to changelings for my shapeshifty needs.

Hmm, how about somethign constructy? Maybe an awakened effigy human (effigy template from complete arcane i think). Essentially clockwork old lady. Needs a DC20 spot check to notice its a construct, and you could probably throw disguise skills on top of that.

Zale
2011-06-07, 01:59 PM
I've always liked the shapechanging variety of the aranea (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/aranea.htm) (in that it can shapechange into one unique humanoid form.) The natural form also seems to fit this lady's mood.

I second this.

Go grumpy old spider woman! :smallmad:

Eldan
2011-06-07, 02:13 PM
Eladrin?
As opposed to most other outsiders, Eladrin can freely travel to the material plane, as long as they do it disguised as a mortal. Their usual approach is to find someone influential and support and guide them towards actions that help the Eladrin agenda.

The Cat Goddess
2011-06-07, 02:23 PM
To quote a famous movie line... "She's a MAN, baby!"

subject42
2011-06-07, 02:31 PM
I know you don't want something to compete with the demilich, but what about something to match? Just a servant, perhaps, running a few errands here and there so that the demilich isn't setting off any divinations by communicating magically.

I rather like this, especially if she's being forced to serve the demilich against her will.

Just use an extremely fresh corpse along with a shirt of gentle repose. Bonus points if she doesn't even realize she's dead.

Darth Stabber
2011-06-07, 02:44 PM
I know you don't want something to compete with the demilich, but what about something to match? Just a servant, perhaps, running a few errands here and there so that the demilich isn't setting off any divinations by communicating magically.

I love this suggestion, but the demilich is already known to the PCs (infact they are the ones that gave it to the mayor), and the PCs are the unwitting servants at the moment.

Randel
2011-06-07, 02:54 PM
Perhaps some kind of fey/nature spirit/elemental being who is bound to the area? She didn't take the job of secretary, the office was built around her. She was probably tasked with protecting some natural formation (I suppose 'protect the forest' would be a bit lousey if the city is built on the land the woods were in. Maybe she's protecting a dormant volcano of earthquake faultline beneith the city. Every 1000 years or so she lets people know that the local geography is going to get a bit active and everyone goes on vacation while the faultline releaves its stress).

Or she could just be a changeling who wants a steady and reputable job. During the weekends she turns into a beutiful woman and goes clubbing or something.

Or a hag of some kind. Not an evil one, she just looks really ugly if she doesn't put on her makeup and her skin is tough as tree bark.

And finally she could be a werewolf, just an old lady werewolf who takes her vacaition days during the full moon and bitterly complains about wolves, dogs, and "those sparkly vampires and werewolves the girls are into these days". Her being a werewolf could be the result of her wild teen years (and close examination might see she has some tatoos on her arms under her sleeves and such).

Telonius
2011-06-07, 02:59 PM
The mayor is actually a figment; the secretary is a Gnome Illusionist who's been running the town for the last several hundred years. She changes the form of the illusion every once in awhile to keep people from catching on.

Metahuman1
2011-06-07, 03:00 PM
screw with them a bit and make her a 20lvl Wizard, Archivest, Artificer, Psion, Factotum or Warblade with a well optimized build who's doing the secretary's job simply because she wants too get out periodically, and have the Demi litch know she's there, she knows the Demi litch is there, and they have an agreement to leave one another alone as long as the other does the same and does not interfere in there respective plans.

Silly enough to have fun with, still fairly believable, and she should be powerful enough to give them a run for there money if **** happens.

mabriss lethe
2011-06-07, 03:01 PM
Lemme see:

She could be an Ogre mage

Maybe she's simply a retired adventurer, maybe a Factotum.

She could be a copy (of nearly anything) created by a deepspawn for the purposes of gathering intel on the town.

DarthCyberWolf
2011-06-07, 03:21 PM
Be prepared for an absolute crazy, whacky idea:

She's a human. Old age catagory. Maybe couple levels of expert.

They'll 'never' see that coming! :smallwink:

Darrin
2011-06-07, 03:21 PM
Now, I can't let the PCs be right on her being a dragon, but I love the idea of her being something else in disguise. What type of creature should the secretary be?


Hengeyokai Carp.

Start with the Lord Mayor complaining to the PCs about his "goldfish" isn't feeling well, do they know any decent fish doctors? At the same time, the secretary starts hacking and coughing, putting her in an even more foul mood than usual.

A few days later, the Lord Mayor announces he's found a fish doctor who can help, but he's a hermit that lives out in the middle of B.F.E., could they go get the medicine for him? After the usual "find and then get humiliated by the grumpy old hermit" routine, the PCs come back, only now the Lord Mayor is screaming about his goldfish has been kidnapped! Hurry, they have to get the goldfish back and administer the medicine before the potency expires! (The secretary is also mysteriously absent.)

PCs track down the kidnappers (involving some plot to use the secretary/goldfish to get at the Lord Mayor's *other* set of books... the ones that are written in blood and smell like brimstone), liberate the goldfish, administer the medicine, and then have to convince an exceedingly uncooperative secretary back to the Lord Mayor's office (she apparently tendered her resignation a few days ago over some dispute about her backpay/vacation time), only to arrive at exact same time as some huge demonic chunk of badass with class levels in Epic Lawyer shows up, demanding to know why he hasn't been paid on time... and the Lord Mayor would very much like to pay him, but apparently the secretary changed the command word on his extradimensional lockbox just before she resigned.

MammonAzrael
2011-06-07, 03:24 PM
I think that above anything else, she should have a solid, believable reason for being a secretary. It'll make her more memorable.

She could be the greatest Favored Soul of Primus. When the god died at the hands of Tenebrous, she was cast to the wind, wandering. due to her power/race/whatever, she is extremely long-lived. She wound up putting down roots in this city for some reason, and wanted to impose order and regularity. without politics. Hence the secretary to the mayor. Every mayor.

She could be the mayor's mother.

It could be an awakened tree, carved into the shape of a human female.

Or best, you could just make her reaaally crotchety and grumpy. Never giving the players more than she has to. It may seem like she has a secret, but really she just doesn't like people, especially murderous hobos. Make her a level 1 commoner, and build her up and up, see if you can get your players to read her general dislike and unhelpfulness into something malicious.

Karoht
2011-06-07, 03:37 PM
The secretary is an oldish human woman (~65), who doesn't much care for the PCs (she dislikes undead and one of them is a necromancer who insists on bringing her skeletal wolf into the mayor's office), and generally has an "I am not amused" look and tone, basically I'm channelling Roz from Monsters Inc (including voice).

Now, I can't let the PCs be right on her being a dragon, but I love the idea of her being something else in disguise. What type of creature should the secretary be?
Question, has she done anything that might give us a direction to work with? Maybe a high stat of some sort? High Wis, low Cha? Decent Int maybe?

First thing that came to mind was merely something keeping tabs on the mayor. Maybe even neutral. Maybe working for something neutral. Maybe both? In fact, Neutral Evil is starting to sound good.

Or, you could make her a complete red herring, for no reason beyond annoying your players.

Autopsibiofeeder
2011-06-07, 03:56 PM
Well, you could make her a human that knows how to [wild shape / polymorph / whatever] into a dragon. If your players are that paranoid, that could really mess them up :smallwink:.

Othniel Edden
2011-06-07, 04:09 PM
This of course led the players to believe incontrovertably that she is infact a dragon in disguise.
Dragons

Something evil's watching over you
Comin' from the sky above
there's nothing you can do

Prepare to strike
There'll be no place to run
When your caught within the grip
Of the evil Tiamat

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-lizards in disguise

Strong enough to break the bravest heart
We have to pull together
We can't stay worlds apart

To stand divided we will surely fall
Until our darkest hour
When the light will save us all

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-Lizards in Disguise
Dragons

Metallic Dragons wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of
The Chromatic Dragons

Dragons

It's judgment day and now we've made our stand
And for now the powers of darkness
Have been driven from our land

The Battle's over but the war has just begun
And this way it will remain til the day when all are one

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-Lizards in Disguise

The Metallic Dragons wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of
The Chromatic Dragons

Dragons

Darth Stabber
2011-06-07, 04:09 PM
Maybe she's simply a retired adventurer, maybe a Factotum.


Elegant in it's simplicity, love it. Besides, tombraiding isn't really a career known for it's pension plan.

Metahuman1
2011-06-07, 04:55 PM
Dragons

Something evil's watching over you
Comin' from the sky above
there's nothing you can do

Prepare to strike
There'll be no place to run
When your caught within the grip
Of the evil Tiamat

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-lizards in disguise

Strong enough to break the bravest heart
We have to pull together
We can't stay worlds apart

To stand divided we will surely fall
Until our darkest hour
When the light will save us all

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-Lizards in Disguise
Dragons

Metallic Dragons wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of
The Chromatic Dragons

Dragons

It's judgment day and now we've made our stand
And for now the powers of darkness
Have been driven from our land

The Battle's over but the war has just begun
And this way it will remain til the day when all are one

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-Lizards in Disguise

The Metallic Dragons wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of
The Chromatic Dragons

Dragons

This. This is win!

Darth Stabber
2011-06-07, 05:08 PM
Question, has she done anything that might give us a direction to work with? Maybe a high stat of some sort? High Wis, low Cha? Decent Int maybe?


The players know that she can see right through a bluff result of 34.

In their first encounter with her, they got involved in a 15 minute arguement about whether or not the necromancer's skeletal wolf violated the no animals in the building policy. She saw through the bluff, but eventually let it go after a 10gp bribe, the mayor doesn't actually care about animals in the building.

Also the players are not hobos, the first session they went in together on a house, and they met the secretary while trying to aquire a foreign national housing permit (they were exiled from a boardering country).

The mayor is a TN Bard 14, and actually is a key NPC, the secretary was supposed to be anormal random NPC, but the players keep trying to make plot hooks out of windowdressing (not that it is a bad trait, just ocassionally weird when all of a sudden I have to throw away a good plot to follow the story of a random shopkeep or functionary).

TheAzrael
2011-06-07, 05:10 PM
Tibbit! Not sure where you can find it. Its an inteligent cat with a humanoid form. As said factotum fits realy well as a class for a secretery.

SuperFerret
2011-06-07, 05:13 PM
She's a human, in disguise as a half-elf. The disguise is so bad that nobody even notices it's there.

She's a young woman, in disguise as an older woman. She got tired of adventurers constantly hitting on her.

This sort of stuff. If they want to find a hidden secret, have it be so mundane they'll never look for that stuff again.



And then you make the local stray cat a great wyrm.

Darth Stabber
2011-06-07, 05:18 PM
Tibbit! Not sure where you can find it. Its an inteligent cat with a humanoid form. As said factotum fits realy well as a class for a secretery.

The necromancer is already a Tibbit. Plus tibbits are small and the secretary has been described as human.

Arbitrarious
2011-06-07, 05:19 PM
She is a high level truenamer. High skills and knowledges and can put you in your place with a word, once per day, maybe twice (if she's lucky) provided you don't save. Also explains why a high level character isn't an adventurer.

Othniel Edden
2011-06-07, 05:20 PM
A Lillend with access to a magic artifact?

big teej
2011-06-07, 05:24 PM
Werebear. Just werebear.

I see your werebear and raise you one were-bison

SilverClawShift
2011-06-07, 06:06 PM
Were-snake? Fits the steely eyed stare cold shoulder effect.

Were-bear would be good just for being the opposite of what's expected. The little old lady turns into an angry (but still lawful good) polar bear once in a while. Then you have to start wondering how she got afflicted with POLAR bear lycanthropy. And suddenly she's the most intriguing character ever.

Or, were-hyena. Just for the reveal. The stoic unfliching hardline secretary starts trying to stifle a cackle. That turns into full blown insane maniacal laughter while she bursts out of her outfit with maniacal screeching.

NineThePuma
2011-06-07, 06:14 PM
were-hyena

MALE were-hyena. Hyena are weird.

Qwertystop
2011-06-07, 06:16 PM
Unbodied. It's an incorporeal floating brain, somehow classified as Humanoid, that can change its appearance to any small, medium, or large creature.

A mass hallucination. She is actually a hallucination caused by something in the building's window-frames that gets into the air. Upon investigation, she seems a bit different to everybody, nobody immune to mind-affecting notices her, and she never leaves.

Tvtyrant
2011-06-07, 06:18 PM
She is a good Green Hag who realized that the safest spot to avoid getting killed by humans is in the middle of the human town. She gets pluses to spot, the ability to mimicry people's voices, and some other variable abilities. Ironically her only disguise is to make her skin and hair normal, otherwise she looks exactly the same.

Urpriest
2011-06-07, 06:19 PM
Were-bear would be good just for being the opposite of what's expected. The little old lady turns into an angry (but still lawful good) polar bear once in a while. Then you have to start wondering how she got afflicted with POLAR bear lycanthropy. And suddenly she's the most intriguing character ever.


Obviously she used to be the princess from the Polar Bear King.

Thurbane
2011-06-07, 06:35 PM
How about a lycanthrope - the secretary is a Were-secretary Bird (maybe use stats for Were-eagle)!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary-bird

http://i54.tinypic.com/mtxahc.jpg

Nyarai
2011-06-07, 06:37 PM
Aasimar? Not as uber as planeatar, but still celestialish.

Runestar
2011-06-07, 07:01 PM
An incantatrix with persistent shapechange into solar, then using alternate form to appear as human (herself). :smallamused:

BlueInc
2011-06-07, 07:12 PM
If she can see through a 34 bluff check, my instinct is to come up with something that explains that. A few ideas:

-Some kind of diviner (someone who can determine the true nature of things outside of what they're told).
-A psionic / caster capable of casting "detect thoughts" or has an item that constantly casts this for her.
-A very high level character with an absurdly high Wisdom. Preferably a class that can abuse a high WIS, such as a monk or cleric. I especially like the idea that an anal-retentive secretary is a master of martial arts.

As for not being a human, I like doppelgangers and Titans.

zyborg
2011-06-07, 07:31 PM
Dragons

Something evil's watching over you
Comin' from the sky above
there's nothing you can do

Prepare to strike
There'll be no place to run
When your caught within the grip
Of the evil Tiamat

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-lizards in disguise

Strong enough to break the bravest heart
We have to pull together
We can't stay worlds apart

To stand divided we will surely fall
Until our darkest hour
When the light will save us all

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-Lizards in Disguise
Dragons

Metallic Dragons wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of
The Chromatic Dragons

Dragons

It's judgment day and now we've made our stand
And for now the powers of darkness
Have been driven from our land

The Battle's over but the war has just begun
And this way it will remain til the day when all are one

Dragons
More than meets the eye
Dragons
Super-Lizards in Disguise

The Metallic Dragons wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of
The Chromatic Dragons

Dragons

Completely off-topic, but you need to post that here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=198167). Anyways... make her human, but make the Mayor a dragon.

Qwertystop
2011-06-07, 07:31 PM
If she can see through a 34 bluff check, my instinct is to come up with something that explains that.

AFAIK, a bluff check only makes the target believe that you are being honest. It isn't a Suggestion spell. It's not necessarily that she resisted it so much as that she just thought he was misinformed about whether animals are allowed.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-07, 07:57 PM
From the Fey angle, I would suggest a Kelpie from Fiend Folio. It doesn't need to be mired to a body of water, unlike most aquatic fey, and it can turn into a human from either gender. It also has Detect Thoughts at will (explaining, perhaps, why it succeeded versus the big Bluff check), plus Charm Person and Emotion 3/day each. Depending on how you see alignment and whether there can be individual exceptions to an Always Chaotic Evil monster, you can have her be any alignment that suits your fancy, and come up with any reason for her job.

Personally, I'd have her be an unusually intelligent Kelpie who realised just how futile and idiotic life as a predator of humanoids was (you're basically just waiting for an adventurer to end your life sooner or later), so she decided to do away with conventions and expectations of her kind. She turned vegetarian and decided to get an administrative job in the closest human city.

I'd furthermore give her an Eternal Wand of Magic Missile precisely so that she can force-smack people who make horse jokes after finding out her true identity.

MammonAzrael
2011-06-07, 08:04 PM
I'd furthermore give her an Eternal Wand of Magic Missile precisely so that she can force-smack people who make horse jokes after finding out her true identity.

If you're going to do that, I'd recommend power word pain. :smallbiggrin:

Solaris
2011-06-07, 08:16 PM
I think this remains a question best left unanswered. Perhaps let slip a spot of magic here or there, but otherwise don't answer the question. It'll take all the fun out of the mystery.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-07, 08:20 PM
Make the secretary like king Bumi. Have her be very physically able (not necessarily strong, she could be agile instead), and either make her a high level caster or a bender (http://theanteheroes.com/Avatar%20d20/BendingChapter.pdf).

Urpriest
2011-06-07, 08:21 PM
Make the secretary like king Bumi. Have her be very physically able (not necessarily strong, she could be agile instead), and either make her a high level caster or a bender (http://theanteheroes.com/Avatar%20d20/BendingChapter.pdf).

When I clicked that link, I was really hoping it was a class that made you into an alcoholic robot.

Forbiddenwar
2011-06-07, 08:59 PM
When I clicked that link, I was really hoping it was a class that made you into an alcoholic robot.

It's not?:smallfrown: I guess you saved me a click.

What about a living illusion spell?

Jade Dragon
2011-06-07, 09:01 PM
When I clicked that link, I was really hoping it was a class that made you into an alcoholic robot.


It's not?:smallfrown: I guess you saved me a click.

What about a living illusion spell?

If you're referencing something, I have no idea what.

Zale
2011-06-07, 09:04 PM
Bender. Futurama?

http://blog.prospect.org/blog/weblog/bender.jpg

Darth Stabber
2011-06-07, 09:38 PM
I think this remains a question best left unanswered. Perhaps let slip a spot of magic here or there, but otherwise don't answer the question. It'll take all the fun out of the mystery.

That is the best answer yet, and I am pretty sure that resolves my question. Though for a while I was really strongly considering thr were-polar bear

Re'ozul
2011-06-07, 09:42 PM
Doppelgangers (greater) get no love.

DMofDarkness
2011-06-07, 10:42 PM
That is the best answer yet, and I am pretty sure that resolves my question. Though for a while I was really strongly considering thr were-polar bear

...Really? While it is a good answer, it isn't actually fun to run with... the reveal, at the end, would be the best.

That said, a factotum ((dire) were-polar bear) might work, actually, especially with the secretary's LA bought off. The secretary uses some minor magic here, someone is mauled by a polar bear there, the secretary sees through an epic bluff check with inspiration points... and has the startling ability to know absolutely everything on any briefing, high-level martial arts (if she's a level 19 factotum, anyways... but also with Improved Unarmed Strike), the ability to rebuke the next **** undead to go in there to death... the list goes on. Massive unrelated abilities, reasonable explanation that will make the eventual reveal worth it. Best of both worlds, IMO.

NecroRick
2011-06-07, 11:01 PM
It's a gazebo.

TechnOkami
2011-06-07, 11:26 PM
My two cents.

Make her a Shifter. She looks like whatever the hell she damn well pleases to look like.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-07, 11:27 PM
My two cents.

Make her a Shifter. She looks like whatever the hell she damn well pleases to look like.

You're thinking Changeling. Shifters are werepeople lite.

holywhippet
2011-06-08, 12:45 AM
She could be the high priestess of the god of bureaucracy - very high level, don't tick her off.

Darth Stabber
2011-06-08, 12:49 AM
You're thinking Changeling. Shifters are werepeople lite.

Can you be a shifter were-X?

Another thought with less LA, bear warrior (no bear puns please). She obviously picked up reading and writting from her fighter level (though technically bear warrior gives literacy).

Shadowknight12
2011-06-08, 12:52 AM
Can you be a shifter were-X?

Another thought with less LA, bear warrior (no bear puns please). She obviously picked up reading and writting from her fighter level (though technically bear warrior gives literacy).

Yes, yes you can.

If you want bear power, just make her a druid. Make her a werebear shifter druid with a bear companion, even. Hell, I'm sure we can fit even more bear into that.

blazingshadow
2011-06-08, 01:21 AM
i also vote for changeling or doppelganger. if changeling make her one of those changeling specialist wizards. then again she is probably a dragon in disguise and you just don't know it yet

Darth Stabber
2011-06-08, 01:45 AM
i also vote for changeling or doppelganger. if changeling make her one of those changeling specialist wizards. then again she is probably a dragon in disguise and you just don't know it yet

Well I do tend to GM by rule of cool, and that would fit. Expert6 would probably be the most surprising thing at this point. Given they have a demilich boss, and the creature they are about to run into*, there might be a bit too much weird here.

*the character is a nezumi samurai (originally made for L5R 3E), and his bag. It contains everything except what is needed at the moment at hand. The bag is a bag of holding+gate, and if the ratling climbs inside the bag, he still has the bag on his person

Cicciograna
2011-06-08, 06:21 AM
My vote for this is on Phasm (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/phasm.htm).

SillySymphonies
2011-06-08, 06:40 AM
A very high level character with an absurdly high Wisdom. Preferably a class that can abuse a high WIS, such as a monk or cleric. I especially like the idea that an anal-retentive secretary is a master of martial arts.
http://content9.flixster.com/rtmovie/13/55/13555_gal.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_fu_hustle)

The_Admiral
2011-06-08, 06:48 AM
To quote a famous movie line... "She's a MAN, baby!"


She's a lady,
woah woah woah,
She's a lady,
Talking about a little lady,
and the lady is a maaaan.

Cog
2011-06-08, 07:22 AM
Can you be a shifter were-X?
You can even change into your hybrid/animal alternate form and then kick your shifting traits in on top of that.

Tancred
2011-06-08, 07:39 AM
How about a LN hobgoblin clerk (with levels in expert) from a minor noble family, exiled from hobgoblin society after a reincarnation spell didn't yield the desired result. Unfortunately Raise Dead was unavailable, since the only cleric in the village (a necromancer) refused to help because [insert reason here]. Throw in a Girdle of Femininity for laughs.

(S)he's cranky about the exile, embarrassed about the girdle, and is just trying to do his/her best to bring order to the exhausting, (relatively) chaotic humans about him/her to make a living the only way (s)he knows how.

Edit: Ah, nuts. I had it in my head that hobgoblins were on the table in the PHB. They're not.

Darth Stabber
2011-06-08, 08:56 AM
...Really? While it is a good answer, it isn't actually fun to run with... the reveal, at the end, would be the best.

Well even before the players thought she was a dragon, they thought that she was the same person as Ragga the Hutt's receptionist in the previous SWSE game, so she could the nezumi samurai P'tik'k'tir as a running gag character (he was a character in L5R, then made an appearance in SWSE and is about due for one in D&D, possibly reenforcing the running theory that he is a time lord), and if that is the case I can keep them guessing for years. To be fair to the players I accidently gave them the same voice and a similarly cranky demeanor (I can only do so many distinct voices, female voices especially so).

Also I talked to one of the playes and appearantly the voice comes out as a mix of Fran Dresser and Mrs. Bighead of Rocko's Modern Life.

Leon
2011-06-08, 09:45 AM
A Construct crewed by a race of smaller beings similar to the movie Meet Dave with a bureaucratic bent

Darth Stabber
2011-06-08, 10:06 AM
A Construct crewed by a race of smaller beings similar to the movie Meet Dave with a bureaucratic bent

It would work, except it was already decided that warforged are gnomish gundams (actually more like the gnomish equivilent of 40k SM dreadnaughts).

Mauther
2011-06-08, 10:52 AM
I think this remains a question best left unanswered. Perhaps let slip a spot of magic here or there, but otherwise don't answer the question. It'll take all the fun out of the mystery.

I'd go with some variation of this. Nothing you can come up with will match the wackness your players imagine. Just make her a magical creature with what ever minor/trivial powers needed to inspire your PCs (have her know some random, trivial piece of background info that she shouldn't know; have her burn her finger on a candle and take no damage) and never explain it. Next time the players challenge her and you need to roll a skill check, whip out a book like the Fiend Folio or Planar handbook, or better yet just some random 2ed book to "consult" for her stats or abilities. For instance, if a PC tries to read her mind say "hmm, just one second while I see if you can do that...(flip flip flip), huh okay, so what did you get on your spellcraft/caster level whatever? Oh she can't wait for you to leave so she can go back to her lunch."

The other suggestion is as someone said, just a mundane but exceptional plain vanilla mortal, Expert 6 or 10. But leave hints that she's something else. Have her refuse to touch silver or cold iron. Point out that the PCs have never seen her in full daylight. Have her deathly afraid of cats, and refuse to enter a room that has a cat. While the PCs are talking to her, have a delivery man arrive with a large box (say coffin-sized) and have her mysteriously say to put it with the others. When the PCs arrive, have a fiendish looking warlock finishing an arguement with her with the line "you can't protect him forever! I will have JUSTICE!" poof-teleport. "You'll have your blood money, witch!" poof-teleport. "As you wish mistress." poof-teleport. In whatever case, nothing should actually be definitively evil, just sound damn strange. and it should end of course with poof-teleport.

In either case, if the PCs decide she's evil and must die she has like 10 hp, and will fall over way dead and it the first lethal damage. Her funeral should be huge as the entire city comes out for this beloved citizen. In her youth, she was a great beauty and she was the first love of many of the older lords. Make the PCs pay socially

Karoht
2011-06-08, 11:02 AM
I'd go with some variation of this. Nothing you can come up with will match the wackness your players imagine. Just make her a magical creature with what ever minor/trivial powers needed to inspire your PCs (have her know some random, trivial piece of background info that she shouldn't know; have her burn her finger on a candle and take no damage) and never explain it. Next time the players challenge her and you need to roll a skill check, whip out a book like the Fiend Folio or Planar handbook, or better yet just some random 2ed book to "consult" for her stats or abilities. For instance, if a PC tries to read her mind say "hmm, just one second while I see if you can do that...(flip flip flip), huh okay, so what did you get on your spellcraft/caster level whatever? Oh she can't wait for you to leave so she can go back to her lunch."

The other suggestion is as someone said, just a mundane but exceptional plain vanilla mortal, Expert 6 or 10. But leave hints that she's something else. Have her refuse to touch silver or cold iron. Point out that the PCs have never seen her in full daylight. Have her deathly afraid of cats, and refuse to enter a room that has a cat. While the PCs are talking to her, have a delivery man arrive with a large box (say coffin-sized) and have her mysteriously say to put it with the others. When the PCs arrive, have a fiendish looking warlock finishing an arguement with her with the line "you can't protect him forever! I will have JUSTICE!" poof-teleport. "You'll have your blood money, witch!" poof-teleport. "As you wish mistress." poof-teleport. In whatever case, nothing should actually be definitively evil, just sound damn strange. and it should end of course with poof-teleport.

In either case, if the PCs decide she's evil and must die she has like 10 hp, and will fall over way dead and it the first lethal damage. Her funeral should be huge as the entire city comes out for this beloved citizen. In her youth, she was a great beauty and she was the first love of many of the older lords. Make the PCs pay socially

This. Many times over.
Bonus points if there is a Paladin in the party who now has to Atone.

Darth Stabber
2011-06-08, 11:43 AM
I'd go with some variation of this. Nothing you can come up with will match the wackness your players imagine. Just make her a magical creature with what ever minor/trivial powers needed to inspire your PCs (have her know some random, trivial piece of background info that she shouldn't know; have her burn her finger on a candle and take no damage) and never explain it. Next time the players challenge her and you need to roll a skill check, whip out a book like the Fiend Folio or Planar handbook, or better yet just some random 2ed book to "consult" for her stats or abilities. For instance, if a PC tries to read her mind say "hmm, just one second while I see if you can do that...(flip flip flip), huh okay, so what did you get on your spellcraft/caster level whatever? Oh she can't wait for you to leave so she can go back to her lunch."

The other suggestion is as someone said, just a mundane but exceptional plain vanilla mortal, Expert 6 or 10. But leave hints that she's something else. Have her refuse to touch silver or cold iron. Point out that the PCs have never seen her in full daylight. Have her deathly afraid of cats, and refuse to enter a room that has a cat. While the PCs are talking to her, have a delivery man arrive with a large box (say coffin-sized) and have her mysteriously say to put it with the others. When the PCs arrive, have a fiendish looking warlock finishing an arguement with her with the line "you can't protect him forever! I will have JUSTICE!" poof-teleport. "You'll have your blood money, witch!" poof-teleport. "As you wish mistress." poof-teleport. In whatever case, nothing should actually be definitively evil, just sound damn strange. and it should end of course with poof-teleport.

In either case, if the PCs decide she's evil and must die she has like 10 hp, and will fall over way dead and it the first lethal damage. Her funeral should be huge as the entire city comes out for this beloved citizen. In her youth, she was a great beauty and she was the first love of many of the older lords. Make the PCs pay socially


This. Many times over.
Bonus points if there is a Paladin in the party who now has to Atone.

Sadly no paladin, infact somewhat evil party (ce dreadnecromancer {she would be good if alignment was based entirely on intentions, but her insane misunderstandings about the nature of life and undeath undermine it}, cn swordsage who purposefully toes the line (partially due to a refluff of shadowsun ninja that requires neutrality on the good evil axis), and a tn psion who is of the "don't give a crap" school of neutrality). Though this should be somewhat obvious since they take their marching orders from a demilich.

Maybe I can homebrew some sort of fey or abberation for this. Racial bonuses to wis and sense motive, general dislike of people, combined with a compulsion to be around them, and a love of menial labor.

Karoht
2011-06-08, 12:14 PM
Homebrew solution sounds excellent. It does somewhat take away from the familiarity though.

"She was a WHAT?"
A general abberation/fey thingy is cool and all.
But actually being able to turn to a page in the monster manual and watch your players jaws hit the floor as they look in horror at the creature who they were filing their 37b Pro Forma's with? Worth the effort to search for a good fit in my opinion.

But homebrew is cool too.

Kyouhen
2011-06-08, 12:19 PM
I vote she's a dryad. Why's she cranky? Because some jerks built the mayor's office out of her tree and you're tracking mud all over the hardwood floor. :smallannoyed:

Nachtritter
2011-06-08, 12:20 PM
My vote: Originally, she was some lesser woodland creature that was polymorphed and given intelligence by some drunken wizard as a party trick. She has since adapted enough to deal with the pressures of human society, but that doesn't means she likes it.

Alternatively: Six intelligent squirrels with rings of disguise.

Doug Lampert
2011-06-08, 12:51 PM
Be prepared for an absolute crazy, whacky idea:

She's a human. Old age catagory. Maybe couple levels of expert.

They'll 'never' see that coming! :smallwink:

I'm with this. Seriously. Why complicate things when your players are doing it for you? Conversely, when your players go off for no reason whatsoever on a random tangent why reward them by always making there be something there?

The players in this game don't NEED yet another plot added to the town, it sounds like it's got plenty. And they don't need you encouraging them to be creative, it sounds like they're over the top on that anyway and I doubt that they'll stop just because the secretary is a secretary, while the paperweight is a demilich.

Necroticplague
2011-06-08, 01:31 PM
"She" could be a protean. She's bitter and cranky because A: proteans are naturally xenophobic jerks, and B: she's being forced to maintain a constant form, a major pet peeve of theirs. Also, the example has a sense motive of +29, and they have detect thoughts at-will, so she could easily tell the person was lying by taking 10 or reading their mind.

Okizruin
2011-06-08, 01:56 PM
Here's something simple: a phasm. It's in the 3.5 Monster Manual.

Apophis775
2011-06-08, 04:48 PM
I'm with this. Seriously. Why complicate things when your players are doing it for you? Conversely, when your players go off for no reason whatsoever on a random tangent why reward them by always making there be something there?

The players in this game don't NEED yet another plot added to the town, it sounds like it's got plenty. And they don't need you encouraging them to be creative, it sounds like they're over the top on that anyway and I doubt that they'll stop just because the secretary is a secretary, while the paperweight is a demilich.


Agreed. I recently used a plot hook of a mysterious note referencing something once and the PC's mistook it as the relative who sent the note being in danger. They rushed to his house after some shenanigans, so I thought, the note explains everything, who not make him recently murdered (the note was about a mysterious cult). Instead of investigating where the note said the cult was, they switched into CSI mode and began searching the town for the murderer and despite many NPCs blaming the cult, they were not satisfied and continued their search (instead of going to where the cult was and asking them). Eventually, they wanted to go examine the body, but I told them it was burned in accordance with the deceased's wishes.

Eventually, I told them that while they were wasting time the guards found the murderer and executed him. They thought that this was a giant conspiracy and began accusing the drunk paladin in the inn of knowing something. They went to see the body of the murderer and were told his remains had been sent off (further fueling their conspiracy).

Eventually, the NPCs were able to convince them that nothing crazy besides the cult was going on and they actually moved beyond the adventure hook.

So a full 6 hour session after we rolled chars, they BEGAN "the return to the temple of elemental evil".



Sometimes small sub-plots and things like that can just cause delays. Best to keep it simple with minor characters less they become recurring villains...

Coidzor
2011-06-08, 10:42 PM
What, no Steel Dragon suggestions?

Steel and Song Dragons are pretty much made for this sort of thing.

Then again, Song Dragons only appear as young women, don't they? So that'd be a bit out/tweak-necessary.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-08, 10:43 PM
What, no Steel Dragon suggestions?

Steel and Song Dragons are pretty much made for this sort of thing.

Then again, Song Dragons only appear as young women, don't they? So that'd be a bit out/tweak-necessary.

No, it has to be something other than a dragon.

Coidzor
2011-06-08, 10:45 PM
No, it has to be something other than a dragon.

Still surprised it wasn't pointed out.

Especially since the point of the Steel Dragon is that you never find out it's a Dragon.

Thiyr
2011-06-08, 11:00 PM
Fiendish Gelatinous Cube with levels in dragonfire adept and the Humanoid Shape invocation. Make them a warlock if you want to avoid dragon-y classes, and just let them take the humanoid shape invocation, alternatively. Why is it a secretary? Because it can be, and it has nothing better to do with its time (seeing as it's so easy to eat once you're capable of thinking). Perhaps its mental stats are boosted significantly from some spell effect or something. Who knows.

And some of the DFA invocations just seem fitting. Frightful Presence? Potentially Draconic Knowledge? Terrifying Roar, for when she decides to "raise her voice"?

Coidzor
2011-06-08, 11:14 PM
Fiendish Gelatinous Cube with levels in dragonfire adept and the Humanoid Shape invocation. Make them a warlock if you want to avoid dragon-y classes, and just let them take the humanoid shape invocation, alternatively. Why is it a secretary? Because it can be, and it has nothing better to do with its time (seeing as it's so easy to eat once you're capable of thinking). Perhaps its mental stats are boosted significantly from some spell effect or something. Who knows.

And some of the DFA invocations just seem fitting. Frightful Presence? Potentially Draconic Knowledge? Terrifying Roar, for when she decides to "raise her voice"?

Or even just go with the infamous half-dragon black pudding that decided to take some DFA levels. Give them the satisfaction of being half right and yet the gut-wrenching twist of being oh-so-very-wrong at the same time.

I mean, there's a demilich being used as a paperweight, so it's not like it's going to be an issue balance-wise.

Darth Stabber
2011-06-09, 01:14 AM
Or even just go with the infamous half-dragon black pudding that decided to take some DFA levels. Give them the satisfaction of being half right and yet the gut-wrenching twist of being oh-so-very-wrong at the same time.

I mean, there's a demilich being used as a paperweight, so it's not like it's going to be an issue balance-wise.

Half dragon Black Pudding? That is awesome, but raises questions I really don't want to think about (namely how).

The demilich is in the office because the mayor has a permancied anti divination effect in his office (he can scry out but no one can scry in), and rather than batter down the mayor's defences and alert him, it decided that it would be far easier to be placed in the room as a decoration, where it could spy very discretely and mundanely. It is there as part of it's plan to take control of the Necromancer nation to the north that it was ruler of 250 years ago (where the PCs were exiled from by the latest in long line of sort reigning dictators). Metanarratively I have it serving as an emergency reroute to put the player back on rails if we get to a part that needs rails (the game is 99% sandbox, but it's nice to have an "oh crap" button. It also fits into the swordsages backstory, but that is neither here nor there. Also the PCs were just told by the mayor to investigate the tomb of an ancient necromancer that has the same name the demilich gave them, and the demilich won't answer them over Telepathic bond.

LE Dwarf Demilich wizard(diviner)3/beguiler1/ultimate magus10/archivist3/mystic theurge10/psion3/cerbramancer10/Binder2/Anima Mage10. Deliberately inspecific gender, It's a dwarf skull; no beard, how can you tell?

It serves as a part of an over-arcing narrative I am designing to play out over decades (I am pretty sure I can have 2 of the players in it for the long haul). For 200 years several epic NPCs have charted out the course this universe will take based on the alignments of every object in the universe, and have played a shadow manipulation game getting everything to line up for some as of yet unknown purpose I the next few decades. The Nezumi P'tik'k'tir, serves as a butterfly to throw them off since he came from outside the universe. He will set the characters off of the rails of "destiny", which will eventually place them in a position to oppose the nefarious, as of yet undetermined, plot.

Coidzor
2011-06-09, 01:27 AM
Half dragon Black Pudding? That is awesome, but raises questions I really don't want to think about (namely how).

There is a reason it's infamous. Though maybe it's a half-dragon gelatinous cube or just the idea of any kind of Ooze having the Half-dragon template applied to it.

...Now the only thing I'm thinking of now after reading your description of the demilich is of a dwarf demilich that replaced the beard strand by strand with gold and latticed jewelwork. :smalleek:

Or just a Demi-lich with a full dwarf beard.

Feytalist
2011-06-09, 02:47 AM
Someone previously mentioned Truenamer, which I think is perfect for a secretary-type character. We all know secretaries have some awesome unknowable power over words, don't we?

The players think there's something odd about her, right? So why not just make her a strange class, than some eldritch abomination in disguise.


Otherwise, make her something weird but innocuous, like a reincarnated hobgoblin or something. Could explain why she's so cranky. Remember, if you indulge the players their every mad idea, they're going to start expecting it.

Darth Stabber
2011-06-09, 02:52 AM
Remember, if you indulge the players their every mad idea, they're going to start expecting it.

I've already gone too far down that path, especially when the players found a magic teddy bear that casts inflict minor wounds when hugged.

Coidzor
2011-06-09, 02:52 AM
The players think there's something odd about her, right? So why not just make her a strange class, than some eldritch abomination in disguise.

To be fair, Truenamer is kinda both... :smallamused:


I've already gone to far down that path, especially when the players found a magic teddy bear that casts inflict minor wounds when hugged.

Please tell me they sent it to an orphanage or gave it as a gift to some child of the nobility.

NineThePuma
2011-06-09, 02:54 AM
I've already gone to far down that path, especially when the players found a magic teddy bear that casts inflict minor wounds when hugged.

Darth, for some reason, I love you.

Feytalist
2011-06-09, 02:57 AM
I've already gone to far down that path, especially when the players found a magic teddy bear that casts inflict minor wounds when hugged.

Okay, my new campaign's death god is officially a stuffed bear.

Dark Kerman
2011-06-09, 11:14 AM
Reformed Yuan-ti halfblood? Or a Yuan-ti spy against them? :smalltongue: Hates humans, but has to deal with them to stay in a position to get intelligence. :smallbiggrin: