View Full Version : [FRIEND/FOE] Bartholomeus, Wandering Scholar (Tears of Blood)

2007-03-21, 10:57 PM
Those who have met Bartholomeus describe him as a tall Feldarin with a talent for the mechanical, the technical, and the practical. Those who have spent time with him will describe some of his quirks: typically quiet interspersed with bursts of outgoing talkativeness; a curious and able listener; a mechanic who mutters to himself while reading, writing, or working; and an able planner with flights of inspiration that border on the fantastical. Few know more than this, as Bartholomeus rarely stays in one place for more than a few months before taking to the road again.

PCs meeting Bartholomeus are likely to meet him along major roadways and the cities and towns that are on them. If met on the road, the party is going to the same way as Bartholomeus, and see him on the side of the road reviewing maps from his packs and muttering audibly. Bartholomeus will notice the PCs and be wary of them, especially if they are obviously associated with the Empire. However, as long as the PCs show no wish to harm him or undue interest, he will brighten up and become chatty. His vast array of knowledge can likely clarify or answer a question about a person or place the PCs seek (he can be an excellent wandering plot-hook provider for DMs who want to foreshadow events to come or give the PCs a sidetrack adventure and then get them headed the right direction with Bartholomeus's intervention). Unless the DM has other plans, he will suggest they go on ahead and meet him later at the next domesticated area, since he'd like to hire them to help him retrieve some important lost texts he believes are in a nearby area, an abandoned church, ancient ruins, or cavern system.

If met in town, it is likely the PCs are looking for or gathering information and are advised to go see "that odd bookish Feldarin from out-of-town who haunts the library [or college in larger cities and tavern or smithies anyplace smaller than a true city]" for better information. In this case, Bartholomeus will be in the middle of something that he deems important to his work, and will resent intrusion, and be very wary of Imperial affiliation. He will be more open minded towards gnomes, elves, and halflings. The PCs should be able to placate Bartholomeus with tid-bits of new lore and convince him to talk, however. At this point, Bartholomeus notices they are adventurers, and proposes they help him retrieve lost texts as above for a fee appropriate to their level.

If at any point the PCs somehow trigger Bartholomeus's suspicious nature by showing too much interest in his past or studies, he comes to mistrust them and will become supremely paranoid. He will still try to hire them to help him, but will become aloof and reserved.

Bartholomeus will insist on taking a day to prepare for the the foray, and plan how things should progress, showing the PCs maps and giving them strategic advice should they run into trouble. Bartholomeus will give this advice nonchalantly, passing it off as "because anything can happen, and you never know what plauge-touched craziness is wandering about." Observant PCs, however, should roll Sense Motive checks against Bartholomeus's Bluff to pick up on his motive...Bartholomeus EXPECTS trouble. Any PC that presses the issue through Intimidation or Diplomacy will draw a confession from Bartholomeus that he knows there are guardians to the text, but he does not know exactly what they are, and suspects magic to be involved. Diplomats will keep Bartholomeus placated, but Intimidation will cause him to become reserved and distrustful.

As the adventure progresses with Bartholomeus, he will follow whatever plan layed out and stick with and battle alongside the PCs (trying to avoid obvious spellcasting) even if he distruts them...until the goal is reached. At this point, if the PCs have not and continue to do nothing to make Bartholomeus's paranoia go off will find him friendly, willingly paying what he promised and parting ways as a friend. However, those who have triggered his paranoia or are too inquisitive about the texts and his motives when the goal is reached will find him quickly become dodgy and erratic. He will draw the two military pistols he has refrained from using unless his own life is at stake and he has no other options (that are loaded and ready unless forced to use already) and threaten the one he has figured to be the weakest party member to try and get away. He will mutter about "Imperial dogs...", how "I'm just a researcher!" and "...just want to be left in peace...", and "You'll never take my work from me!" PCs who are diplomatic at this point can convince Bartholomeus to become friendly again with a sequence of checks opposed by his BLUFF with a penalty instead of bonus from Charisma [NOT normal Sense Motive...his erratic behavior and secret are affecting his judgement]. Success on three checks will get Bartholomeus to calm down and ask for forgiveness, passing off his behavior as "a misunderstanding out with a vindictive professor at an arcane college" (he will carefully avoid mentioning who or where, but will make up details involving difference of theory).

A failed check will increase the number of successful checks needed by one, and two failed checks in a row cause Bartholomeus to behave as those who are intimidating, choose to run or fight, or tell him he is crazy. Bartholomeus will fire and then make an escape using all his resources, trying to get out of town and hide in the unpopulated area nearby. He will then choose remove his disguise and track down the PCs as a human, trying to kill them before one by one if possible. If he deems such to be impossible, he will change his name, create a new disguise (still as a Feldarin and very much as his old identity, with some detail changes), and change out all of his distinctive gear and clothing for a different style.

Whether the PCs keep Bartholomeus as a friendly associate or run him off, so long as he is not dead, it is possible for them to run into him again (under his new guise if he was run off) under similar circumstances (where Bartholomeus will act as if he has never met the PCs if they ran him off, thinking he is safe in his new disguise). If the PCs prove to be good assets at least twice, Bartholomeus will not mistrust them unless they discover his real secret. Those that do discover him but can calm him down (Diplomacy as above, requires five checks, six if discovered through trickery or betrayal by PC actions) will learn of his past and "must promise to never tell anyone! I only want to travel and study, and the Empire would prove so much trouble if they found me out!" Those who do promise such will put Bartholomeus at ease, and he will be willing to help them in the future with knowledge, disguises, and discounted spellcasting.


The truth about Bartholomeus, while far from sinister, is a well kept secret. Bartholomeus the Feldarin is in truth a human wanderer named Benedikte born in the winter of 490 A.L. and raised in Kvrin. It was clear to both Benedikte and his family from an early age that he was far from typical and did not fit neatly into Kvrin society. From a young age, Benedikte trained under the metal-smiths of his hometown and when not learning the metal trades could often be found in the small communal library, reading and re-reading what little there was. He arranged quickly to keep a collection of his own in the same library, saving avidly to purchase material from merchants who came through town and expanding his knowledge base. At the young age of only sixteen, he discovered that a traveling scholar was truly a wizard, and as she was glad to see such an open and curious mind, especially after having lost her only apprentice to the Weeping just a year and half before, she took Benedikte on as her latest apprentice. While his family missed him faintly, the town as a whole was glad to have their local oddity away from them.

He took to the arcane with the same energy as his other studies, and quickly mastered the basics of theory and application. Traveling with his mentor Ismena, he had been to and spent time in all the diversity of human and Feldarin lands at only the age of 20. This was the point where he began to travel on his own, and had developed the skills to travel on his own in the world in relative safety and anonymity. Now, at the age of 24, Benedikte travels as Bartholomeus, the Feldarin persona he created to travel and learn in Feldarin lands and colleges (an art learned from Ismena). He seeks to expand his knowledge of the world and magic, continuing to wander both because it is practical to keep searching in different places and because he does not want to risk being discovered by the Empire as a human posing magically as a Feldarin. While he sees nothing wrong with this, he realizes that the Empire would view him immediately with suspicion as a terrorist and spy...an unfair but harsh reality, in his mind.

Benedikte hides the extent of his magical talent in the guise of Bartholomeus, posing simply as a Feldarin with only rudimentary arcane knowledge and multiple professions [as an expert/rouge is a scholar that dabbled in magic but didn't stick to the path with the right dedication, in other words].

Bartholomeus, Wandering Scholar
N Human Rouge 3 / Wizard 3
Initiative +2
Languages: Common, Halfling, Dwarf, Lindarin, Giantkin
AC 17 (+5 Armor, +2 Dex)
HP 21 (3d6+3d4)
Fort +2 / Ref +6 / Will +5
Special: Evasion, trapfinding, trapsense +1
Speed 30ft.
Melee +3 (+4 +1 short sword [1d6+1 piercing, crit 19-20/x2)
Ranged +5 (+6 small pistol [2d4 piercing, reload 1S/DC6, crit 19–20/x3, range 40 ft.] or +6 military pistol [2d6 piercing, reload 1S/DC8, crit 19–20/x3, range 80 ft.])
Space 5ft. / Reach 5ft.
BAB +3 / Grapple +3
Attack Options: Sneak Attack +2d6, spells (10% spell failure)
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 19, Wis 12, Cha 14
Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Small Arms), Silent Spell, Eschew Materials, Scribe Scroll, Weapon Focus (Small Arms)
Skills: Bluff +10, Concentration +9, Craft (small arms) +7, Decipher Script +13, Disguise +4*, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Knowledge (geography and culture) +13, Knowledge (religion) +9, Knowledge (nobility) +8, Listen +7, Profession (silversmith) +4, Profession (blacksmith) +4, Search +9, Spellcraft +13, Use Rope +3
*Bartholomeus's self-disguise is carefully prepared, always having taken 20 to apply his disguise (which lasts for a weeks at a time, barring combat), which is minor details only but separate race. His effective Disguise score is assumed to be 29. When using a spell to enhance his disguise because he has become suspicious, this rises to 39.
Equipment: 1 small pistol (loaded), 2 military pistols (loaded), 20 bullets and charges, +1 short sword, +1 Twilight Chain Shirt, spellbook, traveler's outfit, backpack, waterskin, one week's traveling rations, donkey, pack saddle, saddlebags, masterwork disguise kit, smith's tools, 3 torches, flint/steel, 20ft. hemp rope, 3 pages parchment, map cases with maps, books, inkpen, 2 vials ink, bedroll, 100gp on hand

Spells Prepared (typical day):
0- Gentle Repose, Mage Hand, Open/Close, Ray of Frost
1- Expedious Retreat, Obscuring Mist, Reduce Person
2- Invisibility, Rope Trick

Spellbook: 1st - Animate Rope, Charm Person, Detect Secret Doors, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, Identify, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Reduce Person
2nd - Alter Self, Invisibility, Locate Object, Rope Trick

Only non-SRD references: Bartholomeus has the Twilight enhancement, which is a +1 armor enhancement that reduces spell failure chance by 10%

2007-03-22, 06:51 AM
You're obviously new. This thread goes in Design contests.

Attention Mods! Relocation is needed.

2007-03-22, 10:17 AM
Yeah, well, I posted that this needs to be moved to the contest thread in the entry thread, so it should be covered soon. Realized it right after posting, kind of a "d'oh!" moment ^_^;

Roland St. Jude
2007-03-30, 11:16 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Moved. Make sure to provide the name of (and link to) your entry in the ENTRY thread!

2007-03-31, 12:30 AM
(*grumbles something about hummanahummanadiditfirstthinghummanahummanaeightda ysagohummana*)