Alert the Watch!

On January 1, 2005, Posted by , In Campaign Workbook, With No Comments

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Summon the guards! Send for the constable! Call the watch! It’s a rare campaign where one of these cries isn’t heard at least once (usually shouted in panic by shocked commoners, more often than not in response to the PCs). Few PCs want to tangle with a city’s law enforcement, but in cases where the PCs botch their dramatic escape or harrowing chase scene, who actually shows up?

This entry of the Campaign Workbook answers that question, providing DMs with a detailed squad of watchmen that might appear whenever someone calls for the police. Whether it’s the night watch of a simple town, a patrol of city investigators, or a detachment of the palace guards, these servants of the law are primed and ready to arrive on the scene right when they’re needed (or when they’re least wanted).


Inspector Innvar is ambitious, implacable, and unwaveringly devoted to upholding the law. A grim, dark-haired man with severe features, Innvar strikes an intimidating figure, with all the righteous authority of a holy inquisitor. Disillusioned with concepts of innate goodness and the rehabilitation of the unjust, Innvar firmly believes that there are only two types of people in the world: those who abide by the law and those who break it. Some might all Innvar cruel, but he cares nothing for such labels. For him, only the laws and rules matter. Laws support all of society, and only those who are in some way corrupted are willing to go against them in any way. Whether the criminal is a pickpocket or murderer, Innvar deals with lawbreakers in the same way: firmly, ruthlessly, and with disdain. Passionate in his pursuit of justice, he eagerly uses all means available to ferret out those who try to escape the law. Once he begins pursuing a criminal he never remits.

Innvar bears two personal burdens. ‘The first, that his own parents are wanted criminals, has been a shaping force of his life, The other is his growing affection for lieutenant Taila Raynee, Recently, along with his usual daily devotions to St. Cuthbert, Innvar has begun entreating his god for the clarity to ignore the distraction she represents. But despite his prayers he still occasionally finds himself wavering slightly in his single-minded devotion to the law.

Inspector Milous Innvar

Male human rogue 5: CR 5; Medium humanoid; HD 5d6; hp 20; Init +2, Spd 30 ft; AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14; Base Atk +3;

Grp +2; Atk or Full Atk +6 melee (1d6/1820, +1 rapier) or +6 ranged (1d8/19-20, masterwork light crossbow); SA sneak attack +346; SQ evasion, trapfinding, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge; AL LN; SV Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +4; Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 14,

Skills: Appraise +7, Bluff +12, Disable Device +8, Gather Information +10, Intimidate +12, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +4, Listen +10, Open Lock +6, Search +9, Sense Motive +10, Spot +12.

Feats: Alertness, Persuasive, Weapon Finesse.

Languages: Common, Halfling,

Possessions: +1 rapier, cloak of resistance +1, potion of cure light wounds, potion of protection from chaos, masterwork light crossbow, 30 bolts, masterwork chain shirt, hooded lantern, masterwork manacles, masterwork thieves’ tools, 35 gp.


An auburn-haired beauty with a light demeanor, few who encounter lieutenant Talia Raynee suspect that she is a rising stars of local law enforcement, much less a talented spellcaster. Using a combination of disguise and magic, Talia adeptly infiltrates even the most tightly guarded criminal circles and attempts to thwart their plots from the inside. Once she pen: etrates an organization, she uses magic to subdue offenders and make arrests as peacefully as possible. An excellent judge of character, Talia tries to find the good in most people and understands that unfortunate situations might lead even the best-intentioned individuals astray. Her willingness to forgive and sometimes bend the law forces her to walk a fine line when dealing with the adamant will of her superior, Inspector Innvar.

Lieutenant Talia Raynee

Female halfelf sorcerer 3: CR 3; Medium humanoid; HD 3d4; hp 9; Init +2, Spd 30 fi.; AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 11; Base Atk +1; Grp +0; Atk or Full Atk +4 ranged (1d8/19-20, masterwork light crossbow) or +1 melee (1d4/19-20, masterwork dagger); SA spells; SQ summon familiar (owl), half elf traits, low-light vision; AL NG;

SV Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +4; Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 15.

Skills: Bluff +5, Concentration +4, Diplomacy +8, Disguise +3, Gather Information +4, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Listen +4, Search +2, Spellcraft +3, Spot +4 (+7 in shadows).

Feats: Combat Casting, Quick Draw.

Sorcerer Spells Known (6/6; caster level 3); O—dancing lights, daze (DC 12), detect magic, detect poison, message; 1st—charm person (DC 13), sleep (DC 13), ray of enfeeblement (+3 ranged touch).

Languages: Common, Elven.

Possessions: Masterwork dagger, masterwork light crossbow, 40 bolts, bracers of armor +1, wand of magic missile (40 charges, caster level 1), potion of sanctuary, disguise kit, hooded lantern, 9 gp.


In most areas, a watch patrol consists of a leader, a lieutenant, and an average of five Jower-ranking guardsmen. The NPCs presented here form a well-equipped, welltrained EL 7 group that could comprise the entire police force of a small town or a single patrol of a city’s guard. Although the specific classes and levels of these NPCs might change to suit the needs of an area, such a group might appear in any common urban setting.

Perhaps the most distinct feature of a law enforcement group is its uniforms. ‘Traditionally, such uniforms attempt to be both readily noticeable and protective. In most cases, this means that watchmen wear light suits of armor that allow them to move swiftly, as well as a symbol of their authority. Such an emblem might be an actual badge, although broad hats, brightly colored cloaks, ornate mantles, and symbols embossed on armor are also popular, Often a symbol becomes another name for the law enforcers, so a character alluding to a “badge” or a “redcloak” might refer to watchmen that carry such symbols. The watchmen presented here, for example, might wear broad black hats and amulets shaped like the heads of roaring lions.

Everyday commoners might join the watch for a variety of reasons, and thus law enforcers are just as varied as any other NPC, Although the stereotypical guardsman might be an upstanding youth eager to serve his community, DMs should consider other law enforcement archetypes like the fatherly watchman, bumbling recruit, forceful veteran, or crooked turncoat when determining who responds to a call for the guard. In addition, DMs should remember that few law enforcers are merely two-dimensional embodiments of lawful ideals, and should possess their own desires and motivations like any other NPC.

Rather than merely using a patrol of the watch when the PCs get into trouble, DMs should consider using a group of law enforcers as ongoing members of a campaign. For some parties, the watch might provide helpful allies and could offer them support in combating all kinds of city-based threats. On the other hand, if the party breaks the law, offends a member of the royal family, or is accused of some particularly heinous crime, the PCs might find watch patrols hounding their every step. PCs also might make an enemy of a specific member of the watch who doggedly pursues them. Even if the PCs outwit their opponent, a dedicated watch member might advance in level with the PCs as he continues his career and pursuit. For a high-level PC, nothing should prove more humbling than finally being arrested for picking anoble’s pocket way back at 1st level.


Male human fighter 1: CR 1; Medium humanoid; HD 1d10; hp 10; Init -1, Spd 30 ft.; AC 14, touch 9, flat-footed 14; Base Atk +1; Grp +3; Atk or Full Atk +4 melee (1d10+2/x3, masterwork halberd) or +0 ranged (1d8/19-20, light crossbow); AL LG; SV Fort +3, Ref 1, Will +2; Str 15, Dex 8, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12,

Skills: Handle Animal +4, Intimidate +5, Listen +5, Ride +1, Search +1, Spot +5.

Feats: Alertness, Cleave, Power Attack,

Languages: Common.

Possessions: Masterwork halberd, light mace, light crossbow, 30 bolts, masterwork chain shirt, masterwork light steel shield, potion ofcure light wounds, bullseye lantern, manacles, gp 10.

By Mike Mearls
Illustration by Udon Studios with Jim Zubkavich