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20

Firstly, it sounds as though your players are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for you in that they are being very easily manipulated without much effort on your part at all. But let's talk about manipulation. Pa-pa-pa-poker face Manipulation relies on getting people to do something without them knowing exactly why you want them to do it, or even that you ...


14

Devil's Advocate Answer: Treat this as a high DC ability/skill check, not an opposed check. For all intents and purposes, it is simply much easier to set DC checks by the handy guide reference (in PHB, p. 174) and then have the party/PCs try to make that check, rather than spend the time and effort to workup NPC skills and then spend more time doing ...


13

This guy sounds like a Warforged, from the Eberron setting. It's a sentient machine, doesn't sleep and "my only duty is to the ship" along with "I'll stand watch 24/7 without getting bored" is right up their alley. Of course, it does mean your "guy" is built from wood and metal.


9

The helmsman could be weird... Neither constructs, elementals, oozes, non-native outsiders, plants, nor undead need to sleep, therefore the helmsman could be a creature with any of these types or take feats or prestige classes that transform him into any of these types. However, a helmsman could also take... The general feat Tomb-tainted Vitality (Libris ...


8

There is no guideline for this. D&D doesn't contain the idea of spending years in training to improve, and lacking any such training rules there's no way to guesstimate the power of a character based on their years of experience in a given role. You really don't need a guideline for this, anyway. D&D hands the DM the job of determining non-player ...


5

Depends on the dirty work. And it depends on the players. But a tactic that comes to mind is the following: Make the kobold duke a jerkwad. Refuse to pay money. Order them out. Do something unlikeable. If they're good at taking story bait and generally have a soft heart, I'd probably toss out a kobold who seems half decent and have the duke dead-set on ...


4

Read up on real life evil rulers such as Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Ad Amin, Haile Selassie I, Pol Pot, Gaddafi... The list is sadly almost endless. Any one of them would make a fine model for an evil ruler. Ryszard Kapuscinski's Shah of Shahs and The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat are two fine books about two autocrats, how their control worked, and ...


4

Only using the negative qualities in the core book, if you're desperate for a mechanical explanation, I would say that the character would have a Severe "Allergy" to Stress. Anything the GM would say gets the heart pumping causes 1 damage every round until she calms down or takes her pills. Social "attacks" could be seen as weapons, therefore a damage ...


4

Don't model your NPCs like PCs D&D, in all editions, is remarkably bad at modeling people who are not adventurers, but are still skilled in their fields. The normal advancement systems that each edition of D&D uses tie combat skill and non-combat skill together in a way that prevents low-level characters from using skills at a high level of ...


3

The first thing to do is look at the overall objective of how powerful you want the character to be in combat. Worry about their skill later. The noble would likely be a level 1 character at most, so where can he get higher level skills from? The blacksmith may have some experience, due to a lot of training with the gear he uses to ensure it stands up to ...


2

You could create your own magical source (i.e., the character draws energy from the ship, etc). Or you could have the character cursed - no sleep but still able to complete the job, a la Davy Jones. One of the ways I would suggest is a constructed creature (much like Erik's Warforged). Have you explored the possibility of a Golem? Perhaps a wood golem or ...


2

Think of a comic relief as a narrative device Comic relief is a technique used by narrators (including GMs) to change the pace of the story, act as a foil, lampshade other techniques or even subvert entire genres. The idea is that your comic relief has to have both an in-universe function and narrative function. As a device it is handled pretty much the ...


1

For techniques of adding comic relief characters, think of your favorite animated movies. Often, the comic relief character is not one of the main protagonists, and thus does not critically influence the story. Importantly, the comic relief character doesn't just do comic relief. Sure, they frequently joke, or bumble, but they can be serious, sad, or angry. ...



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