Sunday, February 7, 2016

The (N)PC Dump: Voldis Sambel

 Naal'suul by Blackmyst of Studio Drowtales

You ever get that onslaught of inspiration for a new character idea you really want to play in an RPG, but don't want to give up the PC you already have?  Maybe you have a cool wookie martial artist concept, but nobody in your regular gaming group wants to play Star Wars.  Sometimes your concept sits around for weeks or months, waiting for that day you spring it into the world.

Well, I decided that if I can't play them immediately, I can always blog about them.  Even better, they may provide some inspiration for your own games!  This child necromancer is but the first of many I have cooking in the ol' skull meat.

The Character: Voldis Sambel

Backstory: Voldis Sambel grew up in a drow enclave as the daughter of a priestess.  Unlike her mother she expressed a strong interest in the arcane arts, although even then her maternal influence edged her towards a more spiritualistic approach.  She gained a deep interest in necromancy, but unlike many of her peers she grew to view the undead much like the living.  Not as automatons to control, but as potential friends and allies.  Perhaps due to this, sentient undead are more likely to enter bargains with her, much to the consternation of her more traditionalist peers in the field.

One day a vindictive rival sought Voldis' demise, where she surely would've joined her undead compatriots beyond the veil were it not for them guiding her to safety.  Now she is far from home yet not alone, with a ghostly guardian watching over her.

Role-Playing Tips: You are still a child (11 to 13 years old in elf years), so you don't have as nuanced a view on the world as adult adventurers do.  Your magical tradition has oddities which seem normal to you, but creepy to most people: carry around a skull to talk to as though it were an old friend; visit graves at night to leave treats and similar things you think the dearly departed liked in life at their gravestones.  Death is still a sad affair, but it doesn't faze you as much as it does others due to the fact that reuniting with those you love is but one spell away.

Adventure Hooks:

A door in a necropolis remains warded, containing great treasure.  It only opens by the command of a long-dead warlord, whose spirit was last said to be accompanying a dark elf child.

Professor Rodurn of Highstone Academy has a 1,000 gold piece wager for an enterprising mage to prove to him that the necromantic arts can be utilized in a non-coercive fashion.  Many common folk and mages believe this to be impossible, but there's rumors of an obscure tradition known as white necromancy.  Perhaps bringing back one of these spellcasters in the flesh might be all the proof needed to get that prize.

A particularly dangerous specter haunts the forbidden wing of the king's castle.  Voldis is accused of summoning it and being held in the royal dungeons.  The PCs are called in to handle the specter, but as time goes on it becomes apparent that the drow girl is not the culprit.

System Information: Voldis is a drow and almost definitely a spellcaster.  I originally had a Pathfinder game for her in mind, and the White Necromancer by Kobold Press was a major inspiration.  As spells in 5th Edition aren't restricted by alignment, a Wizard with the Necromancer specialty can work for her as well with some reflavoring.  A Necromancer with the Redeemer talent from 13th Age also matches well thematically.  For an OSR game, the Necromancer subclass from Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is appropriate both mechanically and thematically.

Swords & Wizardry Stat Block

Voldis Sambel; HD 4; AC 6 [13]; Attacks dagger/hand crossbow (1d3); Saves 14; Special: Summon the Departed; MV 12; AL N; CL/XP 4/120

Summon the Departed: Twice per day, Voldis can call forth a spectral entity from beyond the veil.  Treat this as a 1 hit die skeleton or zombie.

Pathfinder Stat Block

Voldis Sambel CR 2 
XP  600
Female Young Drow White Necromancer 4
N Small Humanoid (Elf)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 120 feet; Perception +2


AC  14 (+1 size, +3 dex); Touch 14; Flat-Footed 11;
HP 7 (4d6-8)
Fort -1; Ref +4; Will +4
Defensive Abilities ; Immune sleep; Resist +2 vs. enchantment; SR 10


Speed 30 feet
Space 5 ft; Reach 5 ft
Melee dagger +3 (1d3-2, 19-20/x2)
Ranged hand crossbow +7 (1d3, 19-20/x2)
Ranged ray spell +6 (varies)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th): dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire 1/day each
Spells Known (CL 4th):

2nd (4/day)—Lesser Animate Dead
1st (7/day)—Cure Light Wounds, Mage Armor, Sanctify Corpse
0    (at will)—Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Guidance, Mending, Ray of Frost, Touch of Fatigue


Str 6 , Dex 16, Con 7, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 16
Base Atk +2; CMB -1; CMD 9
Feats Eschew Materials (B), Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (Necromancy), Turn Undead (B)
Skills Diplomacy 3 (+6), Heal 3 (+8), Knowledge (Arcana, Religion) 2 (+6), Perception 0 (+2), Spellcraft 2 (+6); Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Elven, Undercommon
SQ Light Blindness, Lore of Life and Death (+2 Heal), Poison Use, Power Over Undead (Channel Energy 4/day), Rebuke Death (1d4+2 hp 6/day), Weapon Familiarity (hand crossbow, rapier, short sword), White Necromancy
Combat Gear 2 Potions of Cure Light Wounds, masterwork hand crossbow, dagger
Other Gear 60 gold pieces, 50 feet of silk rope