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P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. Operative CR11 XP 12,800 Female elf arcanist 12 NE Medium humanoid (elf) Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +7
DEFENSE AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 15 (+1 deflection, +4 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 mage armor) hp 80 (12d6+36) Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +9 Immune sleep
OFFENSE Speed 30 ft. Melee+1 elven curve blade +6 (1d10, Crit 18-20/x2) Ranged acid jet+10 ranged touch (6d6+4 acid, Range 30 ft., Fort DC 20 or sickened 1d4 rounds) Special Attacks arcane reservoir (9/day, max 15), consume spells Arcanist Spells Prepared (CL 12th; concentration +16) 6th—mass suggestion 5th—dominate person (2) 4th—bestow curse, charm monster, dimension door, improved invisibility 3rd—blink, fireball, fly, major image, suggestion 2nd—blindness/deafness, detect thoughts, invisibility, mad hallucination, touch of idiocy, twisted space 1st—charm person, disguise self, liberating command, mage armor, magic missile, shield 0th—acid splash, bleed, dancing lights, detect magic, detect poison, mage hand, mending, prestidigitation, spark
TACTICS Before Combat A PRANKSTER Operative uses Silent Spell and Still Spell with her enchantments, attempting to keep any disruption of her cover to a minimum. During Combat A PRANKSTER Operative casts improved invisibility and then uses bestow curse, dominate person, and blindness/deafness to incapacitate foes before she dispatches them with her elven curve blade. Morale PRANKSTER Operatives are highly valued by the cabal but avoid capture at all costs, fighting to the death if they cannot flee when reduced to 12 hit points or less.
STATISTICS Str 8, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 10, Cha 18 Base Atk +6; CMB +5; CMD 21 Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Eschew Materials, Silent Spell, Still Spell, Toughness Skills Bluff +12, Disguise +12, Knowledge (all) +6, Linguistics +6, Perception +7, Spellcraft +15, Stealth +14, Use Magic Device +11; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception Languages Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven SQ arcanist exploits (acid jet, arcane barrier, counterspell, dimensional slide, greater counterspell, spell resistance), cantrips, elven magic, keen senses, weapon familiarity Combat Gearpotion of cure serious wounds; Other Gear+1 elven curve blade, belt of dexterity +2,cloak of resistance +1, glove of storing, periapt of charisma +2, ring of protection +1
When the tactful force of a PRANKSTER Agent is unnecessary or an even more subtle hand is needed, the cabal dispatches a PRANKSTER Operative to infiltrate, reconnoiter, and more often than not, sabotage.
Use the statistics for a Mage but replace shield with disguise self and add Bluff +6, Disguise +6, and Stealth +6 to skills.
When the royal canines have been dealt with it seems like the party is no longer in danger, but 1d4 minutes after the encounter ends a storm of hail begins raining down on the city—at their reduced size, the weather may be a deadly hazard for the PCs! Taking cover in the nearest building brings the PCs to a large common hall for palace workers, a 40 ft. by 60 ft. hall with a large table surrounded by tree-stump stools and supplies lining the far wall.
A cursory search of the barrels and crates with a DC 14 Perception check reveals that one of the containers is a contraband cypher, a sure sign that the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. are nearby! Any PC that exceeds a check result of 25 also finds a piercing needle stuck in the crease between the floorboards and the wall. Though the adventurers might want to immediately track down the nearest criminal agent, a DC 12 Intelligence check deduces a few reasons not to; with their reduced mobility the adventurers won’t be able to search very quickly or effectively and moreover, at their reduced stature, the chances of being overwhelmed by the ne’er-do-wells are much greater than normal.
1d4 hours after finding this room, a servant appears with bowls, cups, and spoons in hand, setting the huge table for a meal attended by eight palace workers. A DC 20 Sense Motive check notices that one of the individuals—a woman named Vesra, a menial laborer in the Red Palace—is acting slightly out of sorts. If the PCs fail this check there’s a 50% chance she accidentally drops a PRANKSTERS coin onto the floor for a few seconds; while it is unlikely any regular-sized folks see its face, the party instantly recognizes the criminal token for what it is.
Today happens to be Vesra’s turn to clean up after the meal and after the rest of the workers file out of the room, she makes several trips with used dishes before approaching the contraband cypher. The party has ample time to try and block the doorways out of the chamber and with no means of escape, a criminal they can interrogate to learn more of the cabal’s plans in Mohkba—provided they can subdue the prattling PRANKSTER! [Tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday, folks! —MM]
A DC 13 Intelligence (Geography) check confirms the party’s location in Mohkba. A DC 11 Wisdom (Perception) check notes the presence of a contraband cypher. A DC 9 Intelligence check deduces that waiting for a moment to strike may be a better tactic. A DC 16 Wisdom (Insight) check notices Vesra’s out-of-place demeanor.
When the PCs arrive in Mohkba they are barely as tall as a nail—only a quarter or half of an inch in height! Though they are unlikely to be found by the guards still looking for them, the adventurers have an entirely different problem on their hands: whatever magic Jesker the Great used to force their teleportation past the abjurations of the Sanctioned Practitioners of Mohkba, it is too powerful to be affected by any spell of 6th-level or lower. The adventurers are stuck with their new statures!
All of the party quickly realizes how small they’ve become and though there’s relief from being found by the guards, they land directly in the middle of the city watch’s dog pack den. Two dozen of the creatures—normally a friendly and encouraging sight—pose a deadly threat!
ENORMOUS HUNTING DOG CR 2 XP 400 N Medium animal (special size rules) [This upcoming Meta Thursday with a sneak peek below! —MM] Init +1; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +8
DEFENSE AC 6, touch 3, flat-footed 5 (+1 Dex, +3 natural, -8 size) hp 17 (2d8+8) Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1
OFFENSE Speed 40 ft. Melee bite -1 (1d6+9 plus trample and trip) Special Attacks bijou bashing (1d4), trample (1d4+9, DC 16)
STATISTICS Str 23, Dex 13, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6 Base Atk +1; CMB +7; CMD 18 (22 vs. trip) Feats Skill Focus (Perception) Skills Acrobatics +6 (+14 jumping), Perception +8, Survival +1 (+5 scent tracking); Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping, +4 Survival when tracking by scent
ECOLOGY Environment any (special size rules; Mohkba Mania) Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–12) Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES Bijou Bashing (Ex)Creatures of Medium size or larger do not resolve melee or ranged attacks that deal bludgeoning damage normally when targeting a creature of Diminutive size or smaller. On a successful hit, the smaller creature saves as though they were also being trampled by the larger creature. If the hit was a critical hit, increase the number of the trample’s damage die by 1 per critical multiplier (from 2d6 to 3d6 for a Medium creature wielding a club or other x2 modifier weapon, from 3d8 to 5d8 for a Large creature wielding a warhammer or other x3 modifier weapon, etc.) and the DC to avoid it by +5 per critical multiplier. A creature that fails their Reflex save must make a Fortitude save (DC 5 + opponent’s attack roll) or be knocked prone. On a successful Reflex save, the smaller creature takes half the damage from the trample. Unlike normal trample attacks, diminutive creatures are not able to make attacks of opportunity against their attacker.
Titanic Trample (Ex) Creatures of Medium size or larger receive trample as a special attack, dealing an amount of damage determined by size. They automatically make a trample attack against non-flying creatures of Diminutive size or smaller whenever they occupy the same square, avoided with a successful Reflex save (no damage). The DC of this Reflex save increases by +2 for every leg the trampling creature possesses beyond two. Creatures that have no Fly speed that cannot be tripped (such as oozes and shoggoths) receive a +20 bonus to the DC of their Trample attack.
Use the regular statistics for a dog with the special size rules for Mohkba Mania. [Check back on Meta Thursday later this week! —MM]
The PCs have tracked the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. operations to the Grave Morass and sure enough, floating out on the lake of tar and sludge is a fortress where the criminal cabal has been hard at work. Now is the perfect time for the adventurers to disrupt the manufacture of a deadly biomechanical threat soon to be unleashed on Mohkba, the Klavek Kingdom, and the whole of Aventyr!
This island in the Grave Morass is 250-ft. in diameter. On its southwestern shore is a 20-ft.-radius shed made from recycled metals (Bleirvar’s Workshop), on its southeastern shore is another almost identical building (slightly smaller and more angular, 15 ft. by 15 ft.) where supplies are kept, and on the north side of the landmass is a much larger shanty (40 ft. wide and across) that serves as the barracks for P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agents.
Anyone approaching the northern shore of the island risks alerting the guards in the barracks (PRANKSTER Hirelings and PRANKSTER thugs) and while approaching from any other direction is stealthier, there is a 50% chance the PCs trigger a tar pit trap when doing so. A patrol of one hireling and two thugswalk the perimeter of the island on a leisurely lookout every 30 minutes, keen for anomalies coming from Bleirvar’s Workshop or the intervention of the meddling adventurers that have plagued the cabal’s plans for some time now. When the party is detected, P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. pour out of the barracks at a rate of 1d4 hirelings and 2d4 thugs every round (in total there are 6 hirelings and 12 thugs on the island).
The primary targets of the PCs are the Storage shanty and Bleirvar’s Workshop. Within the former the party finds two contraband cyphers—though one is empty, the other is filled by a screaming cesspool of abominated heads and limbs about the size of a children’s doll. The biomancer spends most of the time in his Workshop, carefully tending to a vast array of esoteric equipment and machines that synthesize magic and science. These devices are quite fragile and in some cases volatile; if even one device is utterly destroyed (beyond the reach of mending) or lost in the muck of the Grave Morass, the entire production process will be halted for weeks as the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. restart the operation.
As soon as he becomes aware of trespassers on PRANKSTER Isle, Bleirvar ceases the rituals required to incubate skurgxon in the pool of alchemical reagents outside of his Workshop (heated by the Transgression and catalyzed by mentis quie blooms taken from the Vast Swamp) to face the intruders. If his desk hasn’t been raided and emptied by the PCs already, he grabs his crystal ball and wand of animate dead (CL 7th, 7 charges) and fills the battlefield with undead to supplement whatever PRANKSTER underlings are still fighting.
Between Bleirvar’s boasts in combat (sure of his victory, he has no compunctions or modesty regarding the age of chaos and destruction his twisted creations herald) and inspection of his Workshop, the party easily conclude that skurgxon have been prepared for a terrorizing assault in Mohkba! Anyone able to detect magic easily recognizes that powerful conjuration magic—almost certainly teleport spells—was recently used several times recently, and records in the biomancer’s desk (a DC 14 Perception check) confirm that as many as 3 agents have already received their shipment of biomechanical horrors.
A few minutes after the battle ends, Jesker the Great arrives via teleport to share what he’s learned—all information the party has recently uncovered for themselves. With such a dire threat looming ahead the wizard wastes no time, casting conjuration spells in a flurry to rapidly bring the party to Mohkba to stop the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. Unfortunately at the last minute he mumbles, “oh no, they were expecting me! Hold onto your helmets!” just as the world dissolves in white and the adventurers suddenly find themselves with a very, very big problem. [The players are in for a big—or rather small surprise. Tune in next week as the party find themselves in Mohkba! —SP]
Searching Bleirvar’s desk for his records regarding skurgxon deliveries requires a DC 11 Intelligence (Investigation) check.
BLEIRVAR THE BIOMANCERCR11 XP 12,800 Male tiefling blood kineticist 12 NE Male outsider (native) Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11
DEFENSE AC 24, touch 15, flat-footed 20 (+5 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 shield) hp 133 (12d8+72) Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +5 Defensive Abilities orc ferocity; DR 5/magic; Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5
OFFENSE Speed 40 ft. Melee+1 dagger +9/+4 (1d4, Crit 19-20/x2) Special Attacks elemental overflow +4, kinetic blast, metakinesis (empower, maximize) Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th, concentration +14) 1/day—darkness Blood Kineticist Wild Talents Known (CL 12th, concentration +17) Defense—shroud of blood Infusions—draining infusion (touch, Fort DC 21 for quarter damage, 1 burn), foe throw (Fort DC 21 negates) Kinetic Blast—blood blast +13 (6d6+12, 2 burn), water blast +13 (6d12+12 bludgeoning), wrack (3d6+6 untyped, Fort DC 21 halves) Substance—bleeding infusion (Fort DC 21 or 6 bleed; 2 burn), gut-wrenching infusion (Fort DC 21 or sickened 1 minute; 3 burn), vampiric infusion (3 burn) Utility—blood tell, kinetic cover, kinetic healer, veil of mists, water manipulator
TACTICS Before Combat Bleirvar activates shroud of blood and drinks his potion of fly. During Combat Bleirvar uses foe throw to put his enemies into the Grave Morass and otherwise inflicts as much bleed damage as possible (using Shot on the Run to stay out of reach of melee combatants). Morale Bleirvar fights to the death, drinking his potion of cure serious wounds when reduced to 40 hp or less.
STATISTICS Str 8, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 8 Base Atk +9; CMB +8; CMD 23 Feats Craft Wondrous Item, Dodge, Mobility, Point-Blank Shot, Shot on the Run, Weapon Focus (kinetic blast) Skills Acrobatics +11, Bluff +6, Craft (biomancy) +17, Heal +16, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (nature) +17, Perception +11, Stealth +15, Swim +7, Use Magic Device +7; Racial Modifiers +2 Bluff, +2 Stealth Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic SQ blood focus, burn (3 points/round, maximum 8), expanded element (blood), gather power, infusion specialization 3, internal buffer 2, supercharge Combat Gearpotion of cure serious wounds, potion of fly; Other Gear+1 glamered chain shirt of invulnerability, belt of physical might +2 (Dex, Con), boots of striding and springing,ring of protection +2, ring of sustenance
BLEIRVAR THE BIOMANCER Tiefling warlock 12, neutral evil Armor Class 17 (3 mage armor, 3 Dexterity, +1 magic) Hit Points 87 (12d8+24) Speed 30 ft.
Eldritch Invocations. Bleirvar adds his Charisma bonus when dealing damage with eldritch blasts and can fire them at a range of 300 feet, casts detect magic, disguise self, and mage armor without expending spell slots, and can see normally in all types of darkness, Spellcasting. Bleirvar is a 12th-level spellcaster that uses Charisma as his spellcasting ability (spell save DC 17; +9 to hit with spell attacks). Bleirvar knows the following spells and has a total of 11 spell slots of 5th-level:
Cantrips—blade ward, fire bolt, eldritch blast, mage hand, spare the dying, thaumaturgy, true strike
1st—command, hex, protection from good
2nd—crown of madness, invisibility
2nd (1/long rest)—darkness, hellish rebuke
4th—dimension door, fire shield
5th—hold monster, scrying
6th (1/long rest)—eyebite
Warlock. Bleirvar gains 5 temporary hit points when he reduces a creature to 0 hit points, can add +1d10 to an ability check or saving throw once per short rest, and has resistance against lightning damage.
ACTIONS Eldritch Blast. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range (300 feet), up to three targets. Hit: 10 (1d10+5) force damage per beam (3 total).
TREASURE boots of speed, hat of disguise, ring of protection