Zokusho (3.5e NPC)

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Zokusho

CR 14

Male human vampire fighter 6, monk 6
CE medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init/Senses +8/Blind Fight; Listen +16, Spot +16
Languages Common, Abyssal
AC 28, touch 22, flat-footed 24; Dodge, Mobility
(Dex +4, Natural +6, Monk +8)
hp 84 (12 HD); DR 10/Silver and Magic; Fast Healing 5
Immune mundane disease
Resist cold 10, electricity 10, evasion, +4 turn resistance
Fort/Ref/Will +10/+11/+9; +2 vs. enchantments
Speed 50 ft. (10 squares); Run, Spider Climb; Gaseous Form
Melee Unarmed Attack +20/+15 (1d10+8 and 2 negative levels; 19-20, +4); or Unarmed Attack +18/+18/+13 (1d10+8 and 2 negative levels; 19-20, +4) with Flurry of Blows; or Slam +19/+14 (1d6+9 and 2 negative levels)
Base Atk/Grp +10/+23
Atk Options Flurry of Blows, Stunning Fist (DC 22), Blood Drain, Combat Expertise, Power Critical
Special Actions Dominate (DC 20), Alternate Form, Children of the Night, Ki Strike (Magic)
Abilities Str 29 (23), Dex 18, Con —, Int 12, Wis 22 (16), Cha 14
SQ Slow Fall 30 ft., Create Spawn
Feats Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike), Combat ExpertiseB, Improved Unarmed StrikeB, Stunning FistB, Deflect ArrowsB, Blind-Fight, Run, Improved DisarmB, Improved GrappleB, Power CriticalB, Mobility, Weapon SpecializationB (Unarmed Strike), Ability Focus (Dominate), Improved CriticalB (Unarmed Strike), AlertnessB, Combat ReflexesB, DodgeB, Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB
Skills Balance +15, Bluff +10, Climb +18, Hide +21, Jump +20, Listen +16, Move Silently +21, Search +9, Sense Motive +14, Spot +16, Tumble +15
Possessions Monk's Belt, Belt of Giant Strength +6, Periapt of Wisdom +6, Portable Hole, and an adamantine coffin

Zokusho, a legendary vampire lieutenant of the infamous Lich King Varyx, once ruled the northern regions of Vayyx's vast kingdom. The primary tool of his oppression was a dreaded sword which could be used to quickly destroy a living creature. The sword, called the Greatsword of Zokusho, was a personal gift from King Varyx. Since, item has disappeared, only to resurface periodically in times of great strife.

Description[edit]

Zokusho has long since passed from existence, but a tiny portion of his soul is contained within his sword, so he can never truly rest while it is in use. When the greatsword is missing from his tomb, Zokusho awakes. He is utterly mad, and despite his great skills of stealth and infiltration, the crazed red glint in his eyes— like a rabid, caged beast— always gives him away. Every day he rises renewed with wild, long black hair, long fingernails, and pallid, chilled flesh. Zokusho is tall and thin and generally adopts pieces of archaic leather armor that have long since passed from usefulness.

Supernatural Resonance[edit]

Zokusho is inactive whenever his greatsword is in its proper resting place in the Catacombs in northern Anselm. Whenever it is removed, however, his corpse animates. Because of the periods of sleep, Zokusho is rather mad and has little concept of reality. He knows, though, that he can return to slumber if the sword is returned to its resting place. Thus, he pursues its thieves with singleminded zeal. He has a mystical connection to the greatsword and always knows the direction and distance to the sword (even across planar boundaries). This connection is not magical; it is a supernatural resonance between the vampire and his weapon.

Furthermore, whenever Zokusho wields the sword, the resonance strengthens. He seems to be cast in a pale, flickering white light (even during the daytime) and gains damage reduction 10 against all attacks (this replaces his previous damage reduction) as well as spell resistance 21.

Combat[edit]

In combat, Zokusho fights unfairly and with the sort of abandon that only true madness can generate. Confident that he has hidden his coffin well, the vampire will fight to the death with the (mostly correct) belief that he can win any war of attrition. Nonetheless, he is also intelligent and is not hesitant to secretly dominate and control any people necessary to foil his enemies or to lure them into a trap.

Once combat is joined, Zokusho generally attempts to either bend enemy warriors to his will or simply ignores them and instead focuses upon neutralizing enemy spellcasters as quickly as possible. In his madness, the vampire is willing to stand and continue to attack a spellcaster even while soldiers hack him to pieces. To get close to enemy spellcasters, Zokusho uses the following tactics:

  1. Dominate weak-willed enemy soldiers and use them to tie up other enemy warriors or have them attack very high priority targets to move attention off of himself.
  2. Move directly toward enemy spellcasters. With the combination of 50 feet of movement, the Run feat, Mobility, Combat Expertise, Spider Climb, Damage Reduction, Fast Healing, elemental resistances, high saving throws, and skill in tumbling and rolling, Zokusho can do this extremely quickly and safely. Be ruthless in his use of direct frontal assault and ability to run straight through the front lines to attack spellcasters.
  3. Keeping Combat Expertise maximized for further protection from physical rebuttals, Zokusho will either use Stunning Fist or a normal Flurry of Blows to quickly destroy enemy spellcasters (and to possibly prevent them from fleeing).

Zokusho also has a variety of other tactics that he uses in certain circumstances.

  1. Before an ambush, Zokusho will sometimes summon a pack of wolves. He will then transform himself into a wolf and attack the group. Whenever they discover which animal is the vampire, or whenever he is seriously wounded, he will order the pack to withdraw while he heals his wounds and allows magical buffs to expire off of the party before renewing the attack in human form.
  2. If Zokusho sees an enemy wielding or carrying his greatsword, he will attempt to disarm them and then will use the sword against the party. When wielding the sword, Zokusho's power continues to swell and his emits a pale, flickering white light (see above).
  3. Zokusho generally works alone, but, against particularly persistent enemies, will not hesitate to create a few spawn and dominate weaker soldier allies to assist him in a fight, especially in early encounters when, with the addition of his wolf companions, the veritable number of his allies can leave his enemies distracted long enough for him to snatch his sword and then flee.
Abilities[edit]

These abilities should not be neglected during encounters with Zokusho:

Ambushing skills, especially Hide and Move Silently.
Damage Reduction and Fast Healing.
Zokusho's speed (especially with running, spider climb, and mobility).
Combat Expertise, especially when used in a single round with:
Stunning Fist: 8 times per day, DC 22.
Dominate: DC 20.
Flurry of Blows, especially against spellcasters or light skirmishers. Remember that Zokusho gets back 5 HP for each negative level bestowed (once per round).
Disarm: No attack of opportunity; Zokusho has a +0 bonus if attempting the disarm while unarmed.
Children of the Night and Alternate Form.
Deflect Arrows: Once per round.

Coffin Management[edit]

Zokusho keeps his adamantine coffin inside his portable hole. The coffin looks like a dull, silver coffin that has wide bands of metal welded all around it. Zokusho enters the coffin through a tiny hole bored into the top (in Gaseous Form, as that is the only way to fit through the small hole). Once materialized inside the coffin, Zokusho can close up the hole with a sliding metal plate, and thus can escape having water or fire put in through the hole (for example). The coffin has 400 hit points and hardness 20.

Before entering combat, Zokusho painstakingly hides the portable hole within a mile of the upcoming confrontation. If he is vanquished, he will attempt to lose pursuers (e.g. by flowing under doors, through windows, etc. and then hiding) before going to his coffin. He is extremely clever at this and should be played ruthlessly (he is extremely difficult to kill).



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