Web Enhancements01/19/2001


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A Sword and Fist Web Enhancement



Ravagers in the House (EL Variable)

Only a moment ago, a quiet serenity reigned. Suddenly, that's gone. Shouts, screams, and shrill cries of terror burst from nearby. Windows shatter. Wood splinters. And then the cause of the disturbance emerges. A muscle-bound human woman swings her longsword with a vengeance at anything or anyone that gets in her way. She ignores the blood splattered upon her tattooed face. The tattoos lend her a primal visage, bestial and without mercy. She is carnage incarnate and, by the sounds of it, she's probably not alone.

You, the DM, can vary this encounter's difficulty (Encounter Level) by adjusting the number of ravagers that attack. The table below offers a shortcut for doing so; refer also to page 101 of the Dungeon Master's Guide. A lone ravager has a minimum Challenge Rating of 6.

How Many Ravagers Does It Take To . . . ?

This table shows the number of ravagers who will provide a challenging encounter for a group of at least four PCs, based on the group's average level. Other factors in the fight may require you to increase or decrease the figures listed below. For example, bump the difficulty by one notch for each increment of increase in the average ravager level, as demonstrated in the CR 7 column of the table.

Average
PC Level

CR 6
Ravagers

CR 7
Ravagers

1-4

1 (very difficult)

0

5

1 (challenging)

1

6

up to 2

1

7

up to 3

<= 2

8

up to 4

<= 3

9

up to 6

<= 4

10

up to 9

<= 6

11

up to 12

<= 9

Ravager Groups

By the time one sees a band of ravagers, it's too late -- they're attacking. They usually carry out their missions in groups of three or more, killing, maiming and torturing everyone in sight. Ravagers don't travel alone unless they have a darn good reason for it. Most people know to stay out of the way of these ruthless killers. Where there's one, there are usually several more not far behind.

Tactics

Many people say that ravagers attack blindly, like rabid animals, without strategy. That myth results from the fact that few people have survived ravager attacks. Those who did survive were too busy hiding or fighting to realistically assess the ravagers' tactics. In truth, while ravagers do display savagery and a definite lack of mercy in their attacks, they do not act without control. Just because they have no morals doesn't mean they lack intelligence, nor are they martyrs. After all, these ex-kidnappers, brigands and serial killers have sworn themselves to Erythnul, the Deity of Slaughter.

Ravagers use different variations of two basic tactics. They sometimes penetrate a village like a dagger, driving in and killing everything in their path, then retreating back the way they came. Or, they cut a path straight through, slaughtering everything they meet on the way. They fight even more ferociously when cornered, ganging up on the greatest perceived threat. They will aid one another, but they will just as quickly abandon one of their own rather than fight a losing battle. When it comes right down to it, it's every ravager for him- or herself. The ravagers see no shame in retreat, since they're the ones causing all the havoc in the first place. They have no purpose to their attacks aside from spreading grief, terror and horror.

Treasure

Ravagers don't carry much of value. They don't need it. While they're not thieves, per se, they may steal a trinket or two from their victims. They do take souvenirs from their most memorable victims. Gems and gold, however, don't do much for ravagers. Their reputations make it difficult for them to find merchants willing to trade their stolen goods. Only the dirtiest black marketers manage to overcome their fear of the ravagers. Ravagers much prefer to keep objects they can use, such as weapons, magic items, food, and, sometimes, ?disposable? slaves.

Encounter Ideas

Player characters can encounter ravagers in numerous situations.

  • The PCs come across a caravan massacred by ravagers. Where are the ravagers?
  • Ravagers suddenly attack a village where the PCs have stopped to rest.
  • Ravagers have kidnapped several good clerics and intend to kill them after they've served their purpose. A dying witness reports what he saw.
  • A lone ravager comes into town. He intends to assassinate an old rival staying there. Other than spooking everyone, the ravager doesn't plan to make any trouble. Will the town and the PCs allow him to complete his business and move on, or attempt to stop him?
  • The PCs find a severely wounded ravager. Will they know she's a ravager? If not, what will they do later, when they find out? If so, will they nurse her back to health? What will the ravager do if they show her kindness? Will she betray them later?
  • The PCs accidentally stumble upon a secret temple to Erythnul hidden in the merchant district of a major city. Unfortunately, a cleric or ravager sees them, too. Within an hour, they receive threats stating they and their families will die if they reveal what they know to anyone. Of course, the ravagers can't let them live, even if they agree to keep quiet -- can they? What will the PCs do?

Sample NPCs

Feel free to alter these statistics to suit your own campaign. The first block shows complete statistics for a human ravager of 6th level, the lowest-level ravager possible. The second block shows complete statistics for a human ravager of 7th level, built so the ravager gains the second attack and bonus feat of a 6th-level fighter before becoming a ravager. The others show additions that accompany a level increase, based on the 7th-level ravager.

Ravager, Ftr5/Ravager 1: CR 6; Medium Human; hp 49; Init +6 (Improved Initiative); Spd 20 ft.; AC 17; Atk +10 melee (1d8+3/crit 19-20/2 crit, longsword), +8 ranged (1d8+3/x3 crit, mighty composite longbow); SV Fort +9, Ref +4, Will +3; Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 7.

Skills and Feats: Intimidate (+3), Knowledge (religion) (+3), Wilderness Lore (+5); Improved Initiative, Dirty Fighting, Power Attack, Sunder, Power Lunge.

Alignment: CN, NE, or CE.

Special Attacks: Pain touch (1/day).

Possessions: Masterwork longsword, mighty (Str 16) masterwork composite longbow, breastplate, potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of endurance, cloak of resistance +1, 20 normal arrows.

Ravager, Ftr6/Ravager 1: CR7; Medium Human; hp 57; Init +6 (Improved Initiative); Spd 20 ft.; AC 18; Atk +11/+7 melee (1d8+4/crit 19-20/x2, longsword), +9/+4 ranged (1d8+3/x3 crit, mighty composite longbow); SV Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +4; Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 7.

Skills and Feats: Intimidate (+5), Knowledge (religion) (+3), Wilderness Lore (+5); Improved Initiative, Dirty Fighting, Power Attack, Sunder, Power Lunge, Weapon Focus (longsword), Great Cleave.

Alignment: CN, NE, or CE.

Special Attacks: Pain touch (1/day)

Possessions:+1 longsword, mighty (Str16) masterwork composite longbow, +1 breastplate, potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of endurance, cloak of resistance +1, 2 tanglefoot bags, 20 normal arrows.

Ravager, Ftr6/Ravager 2 (changes and additions to above): CR 8; hp 64; AC 19; Atk +12/+8 melee, +10/+5 ranged; SV Fort +11; Str 17.

Skills and Feats: Ride (+4)

Special Attacks: Aura of Fear 10' (1/day)

Possessions: One additional potion of cure moderate wounds (total 2), +2 breastplate, one additional tanglefoot bag (total 3), one thunderstone, 25 +1 arrows.

Ravager, Ftr6/Ravager 3 (changes and additions to above): CR 9; hp 72; Atk +13/+9 melee, +12/+7 ranged (1d8+4/x3 crit, mighty composite longbow); SV Ref +6, Will +5.

Skills and Feats: Move Silently (+4); Dodge.

Special Attacks: Cruelest cut (1/day).

Possessions: One additional potion of cure moderate wounds (total 3), +1 mighty (Str16) composite longbow, one additional tanglefoot bag (total 4), one additional thunderstone (total 2), brooch of shielding, ring of climbing.

Ravager, Ftr6/Ravager 4 (changes and additions to above): CR 10; hp 79; AC 20, Atk +14/+10 melee, +13/+8 ranged; SV Fort +12.

Skills and Feats: Intimidate (+7).

Special Attacks: Pain touch (2/day).

Possessions: One additional tanglefoot bag (total 5), one additional thunderstone (total 3), chime of opening (or horn of fog), +3 breastplate.

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