Ruins of Adventure
A Zhent agent with a heart of...well not gold...but burnished copper at least.
The Zhentarim are a massive organization and employ many agents of all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Miero Bloodsong (not his true name but the one he is most known by) is one of the more unassuming, but still very effective of these. Miero was born and raised in Zhentil Keep, fighting his way up through the ranks of the city’s poor urchins to earn the attention of the Zhentarim. While not particularly politically minded, nor strong in opinions or convictions, Miero was nonetheless an eager and loyal recruit. Once taken in by the Black Network, the young, scrappy halfling learned everything the organization had to teach—weapons, combat magic, thievery, stealth, and espionage. He took to it all naturally, particularly the more larcenous and social aspects of it, becoming, if not the Zhent’s top spy, at least a competent agent.
Miero is a talented fighter, versed in fencing and throwing, and equally adept fighting with either, or both, hands. He is also a talented lock-breaker, second story man, and false-facer able to easily traverse from bold-faced burglary to bold-faced lying. He learns new skills and assimilates into new cultures quickly and efficiently.
Despite his training, skills, and faults, and his love of deceit and confidence games, Miero dislikes politics. He avoids the machinations of the powerful, preferring to do what he is told, get the job done, and get out. While loyal to the Zhentarim, especially the pay-masters who keep his account open, he is not particularly concerned with their greater schemes and long-term plans of world conquest, preferring instead to focus on the task at hand.
Miero’s most recent mission was exactly the kind he likes least—playing politics. More specifically, he was tasked with recruiting the kobold kingdoms of the Twilight Marsh to join with the Zhent-backed Council of Phlan in their battles against the other humanoid tribes occupying the old city, or, barring their successful assimilation, to assassinate the leaders of the kobold tribes. Despite his mastery of the kobold language and his best lies, promises, and flattery, the kobolds insisted on their loyalty to “The Boss”. He would have been content to carry out his contingency mission, but the witchdoctor of the “Squatters in Onyx” tribe managed to incapacitate him before he could kill the kobold king.
Now, Miero likes to boast that he can charm a lock with his hands tied behind his back with no tools, using only tongue, but there is one thing that he could just never get the knack for. Ropes and knots. And, wouldn’t you guess, the kobolds decided to tie him up instead of chaining him up. It’s been three weeks since he was thrown in their smelly prison, and he has no idea what they plan to do with him, but he doesn’t care. His only goal now is to get loose, kill that annoying witch doctor, and then get on with his mission.
Homeland: Zhentil Keep
Class: Thief / Lone Wolf
Alignment: True Neutral
Level: 3rd / 3rd
Next Level: 5000 / 6000
Max Level: 16th / 13th
Ability Scores: http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/search/1541217/
|Fitness||16||+2 hit points per level|
|Int||16||Reason||15||21 spells per level|
|Knowledge||16||65% chance to learn spells|
- Initiative: +0
- Surprise: +0
- NPC Reaction: +2
Hit Points: 14
Armor Class: 14 (Dex, Swashbuckler)
Base Attack Bonus: +1
- Paralyzation/Poison/Death: 13 (+4 vs. Poison)
- Rod/Staff/Wand: 14
- Petrification/Polymorph: 12
- Breath Weapon: 16
- Spells: 11
|Weapons||# Att||Att Bonus||Dmg||Dmg (L)||Speed||Range||Special|
|Bloodsong Blade||1||+2||1d6+1||1d8+1||3||melee||magic, parrying, flammable|
|Throwing Knives||3||+3||1d3+2||1d2+2||1||10 / 20 / 30|
Thief Skills: (no armor)
Non-Weapon Proficiencies: General, Rogue
|Modern Languages (Common)||16||Local History||14|
|Modern Languages (Luiric)||16||Alertness||14|
|Modern Languages (Tharian)||16||Looting||14|
|Modern Languages (Zhent Argot)||16||Dancing||14|
|Modern Languages (Shadow Cant)||16||Etiquette||14|
|Modern Languages (Yip Yak)||16||Assimilation||16|
|Modern Languages (Erakic)||16||Disguise||13|
|Detect Sloping Passages||17||Heraldry||16|
|Determine Direction Underground||13||Tumbling||15|
|Chicanery||14||Quick Study||X -3|
Two-Weapon Style (Specialized)
Small Throwing Weapons Group
Fencing Blades Group
- All halflings gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls when using thrown weapons and slings.
- A halfling can gain a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if the halfling is not in metal armor. Even then, the halfling must either be alone, or with a party comprised only of characters with similar abilities (such as elves, bugbears, or other halflings), or 90 feet or more away from his party to gain this bonus. If he fulfills any of these conditions, he causes a -4 penalty to opponents’ surprise rolls. If a door or other screen must be opened, this penalty is reduced to -2.
- Halflings have infravision to a range of 30 feet.
- Zhentil Keep natives get unlimited access into and out of the Keep.
- The spellcasters of Zhentil Keep are masters of combat-oriented spells and can bring down even the mightiest enemies with their devastating magic. They cast all direct attack spells as if they were two experience levels higher than they actually are. Direct attack spells cause damage immediately upon being cast, like a magic missile, fireball, or lightning bolt.
- Backstab: Thieves are weak in toe-to-toe hacking matches, but they are masters of the knife in the back. When attacking someone by surprise and from behind, a thief can improve his chance to successfully hit (+4 modifier for rear attack and negate the target’s shield and Dexterity bonuses) and greatly increase the amount of damage his blow causes (2x damage).
To use this ability, the thief must be behind his victim and the victim must be unaware that the thief intends to attack him. If an enemy sees the thief, hears him approach from a blind side, or is warned by another, he is not caught unaware, and the backstab is handled like a normal attack (although bonuses for a rear attack still apply). Opponents in battle will often notice a thief trying to maneuver behind them—the first rule of fighting is to never turn your back on an enemy! However, someone who isn’t expecting to be attacked (a friend or ally, perhaps) can be caught unaware even if he knows the thief is behind him.
Backstabbing does have limitations. First, the damage multiplier applies only to the first attack made by the thief, even if multiple attacks are possible. Once a blow is struck, the initial surprise effect is lost. Second, the thief cannot use it on every creature. The victim must be generally humanoid. Part of the skill comes from knowing just where to strike. A thief could backstab an ogre, but he wouldn’t be able to do the same to a beholder. The victim must also have a definable back (which leaves out most slimes, jellies, oozes, and the like). Finally, the thief has to be able to reach a significant target area. To backstab a giant, the thief would have to be standing on a ledge or window balcony. Backstabbing him in the ankle just isn’t going to be as effective.
- When wielding a weapon from the Fencing Blades group, the Swashbuckler uses the attack bonus of a warrior of his level, regardless of his class.
- A Swashbuckler is extremely nimble and hard to hit. When he’s wearing leather or lighter armor, or no armor, a Swashbuckler receives a +2 bonus to his AC. This increases to +3 if he is wielding a Fencing Blade that he has specialized in.
- The Swashbuckler is such a romantic figure that he always receives a +3 adjustment on his reaction roll from NPC members of the opposite sex.
- If he wishes, the Swashbuckler, like the Noble can live with his relations indefinitely, enjoying a life of ease and luxury. Even when not living with relatives, the swashbuckler can choose to accept a stipend of 10gp per level each month from his family. Many noble families are none too pleased by the foppish behavior of their children, and swashbucklers could be disinherited, or lose their financial aid, by their kin if they overly abuse their privileges.1
- Zhentil Keep has been the source of much evil in the Realms for quite a long time. All NPC encounters are penalized at -4 for Zhentil Keep natives.
- Hillsfarran Red Plumes attack Zhents on sight.
- Zhentarim and Zhentilar agents are forced to funnel 50% of their funds (before expenses) back to Zhentil Keep. Failure to do so results in the issuance of a death warrant that few can escape.
- Zhent spellcasters suffer a reduction in magical ability when casting divination spells, all such spellcasters must lower their effective caster level by two when casting such spells (minimum 1st). This reduction applies to spells cast personally or invoked with magical items.
- Halflings are small-sized. They cannot use Large-sized weapons and must wield Medium-sized weapons in two hands.
- As small-sized creatures, halflings have 2/3 the carrying capacity of a human of equal strength.
- As a noble, and something of a fop, a swashbuckler only buys the highest quality goods. He must spend 125% of the normal price on all weapons and armor, and 200% on clothing.
- Trouble seeks out the Swashbuckler. This is something that the DM will have to play very carefully. When there’s another Swashbuckler around, intent on proving that he’s the best swordsman in the world, it’s the PC Swashbuckler he settles upon and challenges. When a certain young lady is being pursued by the king’s guards, who are intent on stopping her from revealing secrets in her possession, it is the Swashbuckler she stumbles across when fleeing. When a prince is too drunk to attend his own coronation, miraculously he looks just like the Swashbuckler. Life conspires to make things difficult for the Swashbuckler, and the DM should always throw just a little more good-natured bad luck at these characters than at any other.
Lone Wolf Spells: as 3rd-level Wizard
Allowed Schools: Evocation (only)
Paths Known: Path of the Thug, Bigby’s Path, Forceful Path, Frozen Path, Path of Swords
- 1st level: Bigby’s Feeling Fingers, Frost Fingers, Gauntlet, Magic Disk, Sand Jambiya, Shield, Snilloc’s Snowball
- 2nd level: Belsham’s Mace, Bigby’s Dextrous Digits, Decastave, Flame Dagger, Forcewave, Ice Knife, Thump, Whirling Blade
- Prepared Spells: Caster level 5th for damaging spells
- 1st: Frost Fingers, Shield
- 2nd: Flame Dagger
Armor Allowed: Leather, Padded, Studded Leather, or Elven Chain. No shields.
Weapons Allowed: Any weapons.
- Each time the thief rises a level in experience, the player receives another 30 points to distribute.
- Rogues from Zhentil Keep gain an additional 15 discretionary points to spend on their thief skills per experience level.
- Use Scrolls: At 10th level, a thief gains a limited ability to use magical and priest scrolls. A thief’s understanding of magical writings is far from complete, however. The thief has a 25% chance to read the scroll incorrectly and reverse the spell’s effect. This sort of malfunction is almost always detrimental to the thief and his party. It could be as simple as accidentally casting the reverse of the given spell or as complex as a foul-up on a fireball scroll, causing the ball of flame to be centered on the thief instead of its intended target. The exact effect is up to the DM (this is the sort of thing DMs enjoy, so expect the unexpected).
- Once a thief reaches 10th level, his reputation is such that he can attract followers — either a gang of scoundrels and scalawags or a group of scouts eager to learn from a reputed master. The thief attracts 4d6 of these fellows. They are generally loyal to him, but a wise thief is always suspicious of his comrades.
- At 17th level, the Lone Wolf gains a +1 bonus to saving throws vs. invocation/evocation spells and against magic items duplicating the effects of these spells. This increases to +2 at 20th level.
- Silent Shoes
- Gnomish Cloak
- Steel Reinforced Gloves
- Neckpurse (w/ 5sp for emergencies)
- Spellbook (black leather cover, paper-back sized, 100 pages, 25 empty)
- Spider Brooch
- Fine Quality Stiletto (+1 attack, damage, speed)
Things stashed elsewhere:
- Leather Baldric & Scabbard
- Dagger Sash
- Adamantine Stiletto
- 5 Master-quality Throwing Knives (+1 attack, damage, and speed)
- Lock Picks
- Spell Component Pouch
1 His stipend actually comes from the Zhentarim, the foppish noble routine is only a cover.