Villainous Spellcaster (3.5e NPC Class)

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Villainous Spellcaster (3.5e NPC Class)
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Status: First Draft
Editing: Constructive edits welcome

Villainous Spellcaster[edit]

The villainous spellcaster is an NPC class. This class is designed to provide the nameless minions serving a bad-guy. The class is designed to produce an appropriately effective NPC sneak with minimal design overhead and without having to provide those minions with magic items in order to be appropriate challenges.

If the villainous sneak is a villain, rather than a faceless follower, he gains minions along with additional abilities based on his encounter level (ECL). He and his minions have a challenge rating of his ECL + 2. This should produce a "boss" style battle that is somewhat harder than a standard encounter, but not so difficult as to produce a likely player-character death.

Every villain is a little different from the next. They gain their abilities through a variety of methods. They each have different agendas. They each operate in a different sphere of expertise. A villainous slaver may be a brute thug, while an infiltrator from an evil kingdom may be suave and sneaky.

This class does not multiclass.

This class is not intended for PC play.

Alignment: Any Evil

Hit Die: d6
Table: The Villainous Spellcaster

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Role, (Villain)
Scheduled Bonuses
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3
4th +2 +1 +1 +4
5th +2 +1 +1 +4
6th +3 +2 +2 +5
7th +3 +2 +2 +5
8th +4 +2 +2 +6
9th +4 +3 +3 +6
10th +5 +3 +3 +7
11th +5 +3 +3 +7
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12
Abilities in (brackets) are only gained by villains.

The villainous spellcaster's skills are: Concentration, Craft, Control Shape, Decipher Script, Knowledge (choose two), Speak Languages, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device. The villainous spellcaster has ranks in these skills equal to his ECL. The villainous spellcaster does not receive synergy bonuses.

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the villainous fighter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A villainous spellcaster is proficient with simple weapons and light armor.

Spellcasting:

  • The villain's primary spell/power level is (ECL/2), round down.
  • The villain gains one spell/power equal to his primary spell level.
  • The villain gains two spell/powers equal to his primary spell level - 1.
  • The villain gains three spell/powers equal to his primary spell level - 2.
  • The villain must choose whether he is using divine (Wis) or arcane magic (Int, Cha), or Psionics.
  • If you use divine magic, you may wear armor and shields without risking spell failure. You choose spells from the cleric or druid spell list.
  • If you use arcane magic, you gain your shield enhancement bonus to your AC while you are holding a rod, staff, or wand. You cast spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list.
  • All villainous spellcasters can cast magic missile once per day per ECL. The missile may optionally be an elemental rather than force damage. Psionic casters gain energy ray augmented to 1/2 their level.
  • All villainous spellcasters may counterspell once per day as if they had the appropriate counterspell readied. This rises to twice at twelfth level and three times at eighteenth.

Scheduled Bonuses: Villains gain enhancements as they advance it level.

Level Totals* Bonuses
4. +2 AC
+3 Attack
+1 armor enhancement, +1 shield enhancement, +1 enhancement to all saves
6. +4 AC
+4 Attack
+1 weapon enhancement, +1 deflection, +1 natural armor class, +1 armor enhancement, +1 shield enhancement, +1 enhancement to all saves
8. +6 AC
+5 Attack
+1 weapon enhancement, +1 deflection, +1 natural armor class, +2 armor enhancement, +2 shield enhancement, +2 enhancement to all saves, +2 enhancement to one ability and Con
12. +10 AC
+7 Attack
+2 weapon enhancement, +2 deflection, +2 natural armor class, +3 armor enhancement, +3 shield enhancement, +3 enhancement to all saves, +2 enhancement to one ability and Con
14. +14 AC
+9 Attack
+3 weapon enhancement, +3 deflection, +3 natural armor class, +4 armor enhancement, +4 shield enhancement, +4 enhancement to all saves, +4 enhancement to one ability and Con
15. +16 AC
+9 Attack
+3 weapon enhancement, +3 deflection, +3 natural armor class, +5 armor enhancement, +5 shield enhancement, +5 enhancement to all saves, +4 enhancement to one ability and Con
16. +18 AC
+11 Attack
+4 weapon enhancement, +4 deflection, +4 natural armor class, +5 armor enhancement, +5 shield enhancement, +5 enhancement to all saves, +6 enhancement to one ability and Con
18. +20 AC
+12 Attack
+5 weapon enhancement, +5 deflection, +5 natural armor class, +5 armor enhancement, +5 shield enhancement, +5 enhancement to all saves, +6 enhancement to one ability and Con
20. +20 AC
+13 Attack
+5 weapon enhancement, +5 deflection, +5 natural armor class, +5 armor enhancement, +5 shield enhancement, +5 enhancement to all saves, +6 enhancement to one ability and Con

Armor enhancement is gained, no matter which armor (if any) the NPC wears. NPC gains shield enhancement only when he is not using a ranged weapon, not using a two-handed weapon, and not dual-wielding. Weapon enhancements apply to whatever weapons they are using. These weapons are not magic.

Minions[edit]

Minion Roles: All humanoid minions have roles. Other creature types may have roles. The default role is thug.

  • Cultist: Cultists are followers of a religious leader and divine casters. They are not magically sophisticated, and tend more towards brute force. They add skills in Intimidate and Sense Motive and equal to their ECL. They gain the Warcaster and Immune (Charm) villainous abilities.
  • Apprentice: Apprentices are assistants and students of arcane spellcasters. They gain the skills Knowledge (Arcana), Spellcraft, and the language Abbysal or Infernal (depending on alignment). They have the villainous ability Additional Good Save (Fort).

Villains[edit]

If this character is a villain, rather than a minion, he gains the following additional abilities:

Villain: This character is a villain. Villains gain the following benefits:

  • Evil Aura: This character detects as evil using the detect evil spell.
  • Twisted Worldview: There's nothing that you can say to him that he won't twist into his own dysfunctional world view. No matter what you say to him, you are always assumed to angling to murder him. If he views you in a friendly light, he's likely to think that your murder attempt will come sooner than later. This villain only really trusts those he hates and despises. He knows where those people stand. Since his nature is so twisted, most spells which attempt to make the villain more friendly or cooperative backfire badly, and that behavior which is most violent or vile earns his respect. Intimidation, rather than diplomacy, is the key to dealing with these black hearts.
  • Minions: This character gains minions. They use their minions to do their dirty work. The villain controls minions whose total CR equal his effective character level (ECL). No single minion may have an ECL greater than the villain's ECL - 4.
  • Not So Easily Foiled (Ex): Once per encounter, the villain automatically makes a Will save. This ability may be used after the villain has already missed his saving throw. This ability allows the villain to avoid all of the effects of the avoided spell, even those that affect the target on a successful save.
  • Villainous Ability: You gain special villainous abilities, as described below.

Villain Roles: All villains have roles. Each role gives a villain a unique set of abilities.

  • Minion: You are a tougher than normal minion. See minion roles above.
  • Necromancer: This villain has learned to control the undead. Her minions are all undead. The villain's major spell must be necromancy.
  • Summoner: This villain has learned how to summon unspeakable evil things to do his bidding. His minions and lieutennants may include Outsiders.
  • High Priest of a Dark God: This divine spellcaster seeks to bring a dark god into the world. He gains Knowledge (Religion) with ranks equal to his ECL.
  • King's Advisor: This villain uses Divination to outwit his enemies. He gains the villainous ability Orator.
  • Evil Witch: Evil witches are masters of curses and manipulation. They frequently have considerable skills in charms or illusion.
  • Other: There are many types of villains out there. A villain should always have the skill list to do his villainish duty, and any key abilities (one or two) that are iconic for this villain type.

Villainous Abilities[edit]

See: Villainous Abilities (3.5e Variant Rule)

Example Villainous Spellcaster[edit]

Worm Eater the Necromancer

CR 12

Male Villainous Spellcaster 12
NE M Humanoid (Human)
Init/Senses +1/Listen +2, Spot +2
Aura Evil
Languages Common, Infernal, Abyssal, Draconic
AC 29, touch 14, flat-footed 28
(+4 mage armor, +4 shield, +3 armor enhancement, +4 shield enhancement, +3 deflection)
hp 56 (12d6+12 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +5/+8/+10
Speed 30 feet (6 squares)
Melee Masterwork Staff +8 (1d6+2) *favored weapon
Ranged magic missile
Base Atk/Grp +6/+5
Atk Options Cast magic missile (12/day)
Combat Gear Wand of darkness
Abilities Str 8, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 10
SQ Counterspell (2/day)
Skills Concentration +13, Craft +16, Control Shape +14, Decipher Script +16, Knowledge (arcana, religiono) +16, Spellcraft +16, Use Magic Device +13.
Advancement
Spells Can cast the following spells (1/day) at 12th level: (DC 18) bestow curse, enervation, fear; (DC 19) symbol of pain, waves of fatigue; (DC 20) circle of death
Villainous Role Necromancer: This villain is a necromancer. All his minions are undead. He may control more undead than is normally allowed by animate dead. No undead servant may be higher than ECL-4.
Minions Minion: This character has four Mournknight minions and eight gray render zombies as extra minions.
Loyal Lieutenant Left Hand Sam is the loyal lieutenant of Worm Eater.

Worm Eater is a necromancer of the worst sort. He seeks to raise an undead army to conquer the world. To do that, he must build power faster than his neighbor, the Voice of Corruption, who seeks to summon an ancient god to destroy the world.

Worm Eater is usually protected by his mournknights.



References[edit]



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