Employers and Patrons

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

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While most adventuring parties work for many different employers over the course of their careers, occasionally a party’s relationship with an employer deepens to the point that he or she becomes their patron, sponsoring their expeditions and helping them pay their bills. Although some patrons are no more than what they seem, many use adventurers to further an ulterior motive or an alternate agenda that they do not openly profess. Even if their desire to have a job performed is genuine, their reasons often differ from what they tell the PCs.

THE SCHOLAR OF THE ESOTERIC

Professor Gerard Marsden has won some acclaim in the academic community for his work in the field of ancient history. He often hires adventurers to explore ruins and tombs and bring him any rel- ics or antiquities they find. When a new ruin or archeological site is uncovered, Gerard may hire more powerful PCs to protect himself and his assistants from monsters while they explore and catalogue the find. Gerard pays full market price for premium relics and ancient art objects. Though his harmless appearance may attract suspicion, Gerard is just what he seems; a sharp (and sharp-tongued) old man whose mind only grows keener as his body ages.

Gerard Marsden

Male human expert 5: CR 4; Medium humanoid; HD 5d6 plus 3; hp 20; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 13; Base Atk +3; Grp +2; Atk or Full Atk +2 melee (1d6- 1/19-20, short sword); AL LN; SV Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +5; Str 8, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 12.

Skills: Appraise +13, Decipher Script +13, Diplomacy +11, Gather Information +13, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge (history) +11, Knowledge (local) +11, Pro- fession (academic) +10, Search +13, Sense Motive +10.

Feats: Diligent, Investigator, Toughness.

Languages: Celestial, Common, Draconic, Elven.

Posessions: +1 glamered leather armor, short sword, traveling clothes, notebooks, pen and ink.

THE SLY PHILANTHROPIST

One of the richest nobles in the kingdom, Baron Hanoval Corwin makes a habit of offering rewards to those who defeat beasts and monsters that threaten the common people. Characters who bring him proof that they have slain a monster on which he placed a bounty find him both generous and gracious, as Baron Corwin often pays a 10% bonus on a group’s first kill.

Baron Corwin is genuinely concerned for the welfare of the kingdom’s commoners, but he also seeks to raise his standing at court and in the eyes of the public. If the characters make a habit of slaying monsters for him, the baron gives them gifts of fine clothing and minor magical items. These items function normally and are emblazoned with the baron’s crest. If the characters wear these gifts openly, the people begin to give the baron credit for any good deeds the party does. If the party performs infamous or disgraceful deeds while openly wearing the baron’s gifts, he becomes ashamed of his connection with the PCs, and hires thugs to track the party down to administer a fitting punishment.

The barons bodyguard, Wilmeena the Large, escorts him everywhere. On the rare occasions that she speaks, it’s to quell the baron’s excessive enthusiasm.

Baron Hanoval Corwin

male half-elf aristocrat 7: CR 6; Medium humanoid; HD 7¢8; hp 31; Init +2; Spd 30 ft; AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15; Base Atk +5; Grp +6; Atk or Full Attack +9 melee (1d6+2/18-20, +1 rapier); SQ elven traits, low-light vision; AL CG; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +4; Str 12, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 15.

Skills: Bluff +12, Diplomacy +20, Knowledge (history) +12, Knowledge (nobility) +12, Listen +1, Ride +12, Search +3, Sense Motive +9, Spot +1.

Feats: Combat Expertise, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (rapier).

Languages: Common, Elven, Gnome.

Posessions: +1 rapier, +1 glamered chain shirt, noble’s clothing, 2 potions of cure moderate wounds.

Wilmeena the Large

female human fighter 9: CR 9; Medium humanoid; HD 9d10+27; hp 76; Init +5; Spd 20 ft; AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 20; Base Atk +9; Grp +14; Atk +17 melee (2d6+10/17-20, +1 greatsword); Full Attack +17/+12 melee (2d6+10/17-20, +1 greatsword); ALNG; SV Fort +9, Ref +4, Will +7; Str 21, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.

Skills: Listen +10, Ride +13, Spot +13.

Feats: Alertness, Greater Weapon Focus (greatsword), Improved Critical (great- sword), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Spot), Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword).

Language: Common.

Posessions: +1 greatsword, +2 full plate, gaunilets of ogre power.

THE INSIDIOUS FINANCIER

Lann Fairweather is a prominent gnome merchant and one of the social lions of his hometown. He has a smile for everyone, and always has a few spare gold pieces for beggars and candy for the town’s children. Whenever a monster visits the area or a nearby ruin is uncovered, Lann quickly hires adventurers to ensure the safety of the community.

His motives are far from pure, however. Lann secretly controls most of the town’s businesses, either legitimately or through blackmail and usury. The town’s most prom- inent citizens tremble when they receive an invitation to his home, for he will undoubt- edly request favors which they cannot afford to refuse. The town mayor is his puppet, and the commander of the watch and the officers of the guard are all in his pay.

Lann conceals his underhanded deal- ings with a facade of generosity and good- will, and his home and person are pro- tected against magical surveillance. Over time, they might notice that aristocratic NPCs tremble when they mention Lann’s name, or Lann might use them as pawns in an operation to extend his influence into a nearby city. Lann is a powerful wiz- ard, and his connections provide him with allies at court and dozens of agents he could throw against the party. Of course, less-perceptive heroes might never real- ize that their patron is a power-hungry schemer.

Lann Fairweather

male gnome wizard 12: CR 12; Small humanoid; HD 12d4+24; hp 54; Init +1; Spd 20 ft; AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 13; Base Atk +6; Grp +1; Atk +7 melee (1d3/19-20, +1 dagger); Full Attack +7/+2 melee (143/19-20, +1 dagger); SA spells; SQ low-light vision, summon familiar; AL NE; SV Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +9; Str 8, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 12, Cha 14.

Skills: Bluff +12, Concentration +17, Diplomacy +11, Knowledge (local) +20, Spellcraft +20.

Feats: Combat Casting, Forge Ring’, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Quicken Spell®, Scribe Scroll®, Skill Focus (Bluff), Spell Focus (enchantment), Spell Focus (necromancy).

Languages: Celestial, Common, Elven, Gnome, Halfling.

Wizard Spells Prepared (caster level 12):

0—daze (DC 17), detect magic, mes- sage, touch of fatigue (+6 touch, DC 16);

1st—cause fear (DC 17), charm person (DC 18), mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement (+8 ranged touch, DC 17);

2nd—blindness/deafness (DC 18), false life, mirror image, scorching ray (+8 ranged touch), Tasha’s hideous laughter (DC 19);

3rd—blink, fireball (DC 18), fly, hold person (DC 20), suggestion (DC 20);

4th—charm monster (DC 21), enerva- tion (+8 ranged touch, DC 20), greater invisibility, stoneskin;

5th—dominate per- son (DC 22), quickened magic missile, quickened shield, teleport;

6th—eyebite (DC 22), geas/quest (DC 23).

Spellbook: 0—all, 1st—alarm, disguise self, cause fear, charm person, erase, mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, shield, unseen servant; 2nd—arcane lock, blindness/deafness, detect thoughts, false life, glitterdust, knock, mirror image, mis- direction, scorching ray, Tasha’s hideous laughter; 3rd—blink, dispel magic, explo- sive runes, fireball, fly, hold person, illusory script, nondetection, ray of exhaustion, sug- gestion; 4th—charm monster, enervation, fear, greater invisibility, Leomund’s secure shelter, scrying, stoneskin; Sth—cone of cold, dominate person, hold monster, Mor- denkainen’s private sanctum, permanency, teleport; 6th—chain lightning, eyebite, geas/quest, mass suggestion, true seeing.

Posessions: +1 dagger, brooch of shielding, headband of intellect +2, pearl of power (1st level), potion of barkskin (+4), ring of mind shielding, ring of protection +2, 4 vials of diamond dust (worth 250 gp per vial).

BY ALEC AUSTIN
BY JEFF CARLISLE