Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DF NPC: Zed Shieldbearer

Here is another DF NPC from my Felltower game. Zed is currently employed, and not available for hire, but he's a good example of a bargain henchmen with a specific niche - the shieldbearer.

Zed Shieldbearer

Background is in city militia service, with well over 30 years in service with a variety of guild-backed forces. Adventuring experience includes multiple trips to Felltower, without being slain. 30 sp ($30 DF) per day plus expenses and replacement of broken/lost weaponry, including his shield. Bonuses appreciated.

ST 12 HP 12 Speed 6.00
DX 11 Will 10 Move 5
IQ 10 Per 10
HT 12 FP 12
Dodge 8+DB Parry (Broadsword) 9+DB Block 9+DB

Cheap Broadsword (12): 1d+3 cutting or 1d+2 crushing; Reach 1.

Traits: Code of Honor (Soldier's); Compulsive Carousing (12); Easy to Read; Fearless 4 (Fright Check 14); Sacrificial Block; Shield-Wall Training; Stubbornness.
Skills: Armoury (Melee Weapons)-9; Armoury (Body Armor)-9; Axe/Mace-12; Brawling-11; Broadsword-12; Carousing-12; Knife-10; Shield-12; Sumo Wrestling-10. otherwise as listed in DF 15.

Gear: Boots (Feet DR 2); Clothing; Cheap Broadsword; Leather Helm (Skull DR 2); Leather Armor (Arms, Legs, Torso DR 2); Large Shield (DB 3); Personal Basics; Pouch; Wineskin (1 quart capacity, full!).

Notes: Shield-12 isn't great, but it's enough for Block 12, Block 14 with All-Out Defense, making for a pretty effective first line of defense for the next rank. If he ever gains XP (rare for a 62-point bargain henchmen) he'd spend them on improving his Shield skill to 14 (6 points) or more directly buying Enhanced Block (5 points). Zed's main job these days is to shield Father Hans, a cleric built on the 125-point Initiate template. Zed's mini is the old "potion taster" mini in this link - he's on the extreme left, front rank.


  1. I realize many don't do this, but I tend to give NPCs (including the bargain henchmen) XP if they do anything useful. If they are used extensively, and if they survive, they will eventually demand higher pay and/or shares. That isn't to say that they get LOTS of XP (and this is a non-DF game currently where I have made good use of DF 15 nonetheless) -- 1 point is customary for a useful session/adventure; 2 for a session/adventure where they are heavily used AND extremely useful. This is against a generic 3 points for my PCs, +/- good roleplaying bonuses. This means that over the course of a typical plot arc ( around 6 - 8 sessions for my group) a bargain henchman type might get those 6 points to up shield...

    1. That's a good progression for them. I hand them points only if they get MVP, or if they consistently pull off notable successes. In that case I might just bump something up - add a perk, raise a skill, etc. But even Red Raggi doesn't get XP routinely in my game, despite being a core member of the group at this point.

      The one thing that does change, and I track, is their Loyalty score (from DF15, p. 30). So if they do well and get rewarded, they tend to get more loyal and thus more willing to stand and fight when it counts.


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