D&D Fight Club01/01/2000


Ryershil: Tiefling Shadowdancer



Spawned in the infernal planes, Ryershil knew death as a commonplace feature of existence from infancy. He grew up regarding life as cheap, and suffering derision and abuse because of his nature. As a youth, he was brought to the Prime Plane and abandoned. He was found by a monk who took him into the local monastery and raised him. The monks could sense that something was "wrong" with him. His red eyes may have been a strong hint. The monks trained him in their disciplines, hoping that through this training he would come to know the right way to live.

Leaving the monastery upon the completion of his training, he fell in with various evil people, and drifted from one bad crowd to another. Eventually he chose the way of the shadowdancer, but turned the abilities to assassination. At higher levels, he works as a highly paid and virtually unknown assassin. Very few see him, and even fewer live.

Ryershil always makes best use of his abilities, but really comes into his own in the third version presented below. One of his favorite tactics is to combine his shadow jump ability with spring attack and the haste ability of his monk's belt. He rushes a target from a shadow, attacks with his dagger of venom, runs into another nearby shadow, and uses his shadow jump ability to jump to another shadow nearby before the target can react. It's a very effective combination for killing, provided the dagger of venom is effective on the first strike.

Ryershil is very patient and stalks a target for days or even weeks to find the right opportunity for the kill. Though he does not have the quick-kill abilities of an assassin, he makes up for it by staging attacks that wear down his target. He uses poisons that drain Strength, uses his shadow companions, and strikes as much terror and panic into a target as possible with shadow illusions.

At lower levels, he uses his monk abilities for quick strikes. He cannot take a lot of damage or shrug off spells as easily as other more powerful creatures, so he favors quick attacks, hit-and-run forays, and the use of animals from his bag of tricks or darkness effects to confuse opponents.

In public, Ryershil hides in plain sight as an entertainer. Though not as good as many bards, he is a compelling storyteller and balladeer. He never dances in public, nor does he usually wear the traditional robes of a monk.

In a campaign, Ryershil makes a good long-term villain, one that can haunt the PCs for many levels. He could hire lesser villains to attack the PCs, and then lead them on a wild goose chase. First, though, they would have to come to his attention. Unless you have an NPC who wants the PCs dead badly enough to hire an assassin to kill them, it is likely that the PCs and Ryershil cross paths because they are guarding a target of his, and prevent him from killing that target. From then on, Ryershil would make a point of frustrating them, snatching victory from them, confusing them, scaring them, and basically playing with their minds as much as possible.

Here we offer three versions of Ryershil, for varied challenge levels. He is presented with magic items equivalent to the value of equipment that a NPC of his level should have.

3rd level Monk 7th level Monk/1st level Shadowdancer 7th level Monk/6th level Shadowdancer

Challenge Rating: 4

Challenge Rating: 9

Challenge Rating: 14

Alignment: Lawful Evil

Alignment: Lawful Evil

Alignment: Lawful Evil

Strength: 13

Strength: 14

Strength: 14

Dexterity: 14

Dexterity: 14

Dexterity: 14

Constitution: 12

Constitution: 12

Constitution: 12

Intelligence: 13

Intelligence: 13

Intelligence: 13

Wisdom: 15

Wisdom: 16

Wisdom: 16

Charisma: 9

Charisma: 9

Charisma: 10

Languages: Common, Infernal

Languages: Common, Infernal

Languages: Common, Infernal

Hit Dice: 3d8+3

Hit Dice: 8d8+8

Hit Dice: 13d8+13

Hit Points: 17

Hit Points: 44

Hit Points: 72

Initiative Modifier: +2 (Dex)

Initiative Modifier: +2 (Dex)

Initiative Modifier: +6 [+8] (+2 [+4] Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)

Speed: 40 ft.

Speed: 50 ft.

Speed: 50 ft.

Armor Class: 15 (+2 Dex, +2 Wisdom, +1 armor from bracers)

Armor Class: 19 (+2 Dex, +3 Wisdom, +1 Monk class, +2 armor from bracers, +1 natural armor from amulet)

Armor Class: 20 [22] (+2 [+4] Dex, +3 Wisdom, +1 Monk class, +2 armor from bracers, +1 natural armor from amulet, +1 deflection from ring)

Attacks (favored weapons):

  • Unarmed Attack +3 melee (1d6+1)
    OR
  • Nunchaku +3 melee (1d6+1)
    OR
  • Javelin +4 ranged (1d6+1)
    OR
  • Dagger +3 melee or +4 ranged (1d4+1 [crit 19-20]

Attacks (favored weapons):

  • Unarmed Attack +7/+4 melee (1d8+2)
    OR
  • Nunchaku +8/+5 melee (1d6+3)
    OR
  • Javelin +7 ranged (1d6+2)
    OR
  • Dagger +7 melee or +7 ranged (1d4+2 [crit 19-20]

Attacks (favored weapons):

  • Unarmed Attack +11/+8 melee (1d8+2)
    OR
  • Nunchaku +11/+8 melee (1d6+2)
    OR
  • Javelin +11 [+13] ranged (1d6+2)
    OR
  • Dagger +11 melee or +11 [+13] ranged (1d4+2 [crit 19-20]

Face/Reach: 5 ft. x 5 ft./5 ft.

Face/Reach: 5 ft. x 5 ft./5 ft.

Face/Reach: 5 ft. x 5 ft./5 ft.

Saving Throws:

Fortitude +4

Reflex +5

Will +5

Saving Throws:

Fortitude +6

Reflex +9

Will +8

Saving Throws:

Fortitude +8

Reflex +14 [+16]

Will +10

Skills: Balance +7, Escape Artist +7, Hide +10, Move Silently +8, Perform (ballad, chant, dance, drama, storytelling) +4, Tumble +5.

Skills: Balance +10, Escape Artist +9, Hide +14, Craft (poison-making) +5, Move Silently +12, Perform (ballad, chant, dance, drama, storytelling) +6, Spot +7, Tumble +8, Use Rope +3.

Skills: Balance +10 [+12], Escape Artist +11 [+13], Hide +14 [+16], Craft (poison-making) +9, Move Silently +16 [+18], Perform (ballad, chant, dance, drama, storytelling) +7, Sense Motive +7, Spot +11, Tumble +8 [+10], Use Rope +6 [+8].

Feats: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge

Feats: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Trip, Mobility

Feats: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Mobility, Spring Attack

Special Attacks/Qualities:

  • Darkvision 60 ft.
  • +2 racial bonus to Bluff and Hide checks (included above for Hide)
  • Cast darkness once per day as 3rd level sorcerer
  • Cold, fire, and electricity resistance 5
  • Monk Unarmed Strike (see p. 39 in the Player's Handbook)
  • Stunning Attack (Fort save DC 13)
  • Evasion
  • Still Mind (+2 bonus to saves vs Enchantment spells)

Special Attacks/Qualities:

  • Darkvision 60 ft.
  • +2 racial bonus to Bluff and Hide checks (included above for Hide)
  • Cast darkness once per day as 8th level sorcerer
  • Cold, fire, and electricity resistance 5
  • Monk Unarmed Strike (see p. 39 in the Player's Handbook)
  • Stunning Attack (Fort save DC 13)
  • Evasion
  • Still Mind (+2 bonus to saves vs Enchantment spells)
  • Slow Fall (30 ft.)
  • Purity of Body (immune to non-magical diseases)
  • Wholeness of Body (can cure 14 hit points per day on self)
  • Leap of the Clouds
  • Hide in Plain Sight

Special Attacks/Qualities:

  • Darkvision 60 ft.
  • +2 racial bonus to Bluff and Hide checks (included above for Hide)
  • Cast darkness once per day as 13th level sorcerer
  • Cold, fire, and electricity resistance 5
  • Monk Unarmed Strike (see p. 39 in the Player's Handbook)
  • Stunning Attack (Fort save DC 13)
  • Evasion
  • Still Mind (+2 bonus to saves vs Enchantment spells)
  • Slow Fall (30 ft.)
  • Purity of Body (immune to non-magical diseases)
  • Wholeness of Body (can cure 14 hit points per day on self)
  • Leap of the Clouds
  • Hide in Plain Sight
  • Uncanny Dodge (Dex bonus to AC, can't be flanked)
  • Shadow illusion (as silent image spell but made from shadows, once per day)
  • Summon shadow (+2 HD, can have two)
  • Shadow Jump (40 ft.)
  • Defensive Roll

Equipment: The bonuses for these items are included in the statistics above. +1 bracers of armor, potion of wisdom, potion of cat's grace, bag of tricks (gray)

Equipment: The bonuses for these items are included in the statistics above. +2 bracers of armor, +1 amulet of natural armor, +1 nunchaku, potion of wisdom, potion of cat's grace, bag of tricks (gray)

Equipment: The bonuses for these items are included in the statistics above. +2 bracers of armor, +1 amulet of natural armor, +1 nunchaku, dagger of venom, monk's belt, gloves of dexterity (modified numbers from the gloves are shown in parentheses), ring of protection +1, eyes of the eagle, potion of wisdom, potion of cat's; grace, bag of tricks (gray)

In version 3 (as 6th-level Shadowdancer), Ryershil has two shadow companions:

Shadows (2): Medium Undead; HD 5d12; hp 32; Init +2 (Dex); Spd 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (good); AC 13 (+2 Dex, +1 deflection); Atks +2 melee (1d6 temporary Strength, incorporeal touch); SA Strength damage, create spawn; SQ Undead, incorporeal, cannot be turned/rebuked/commanded; AL CE; SV Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +5.

Str -, Dex 14, Con -, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 13.

Skills: Hide +9, Intuit Direction +6, Listen +8, Spot +8. Feats: Dodge.

SA: Strength damage—shadows do temporary Strength damage instead of hit point damage. Create spawn—a humanoid reduced to 0 Strength by a shadow becomes a shadow under the control of its killer in 1d4 rounds.

SQ: Undead—immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease; mot subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage. Incorporeal—can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, or magic; 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source; can pass through solid objects at will, and its attacks pass through armor; always moves silently.

About the Author

Robert Wiese never knew his parents. He was raised by kindly middle-class people, and grew up on the mean streets of suburbia. There, he learned important life lessons, such as the quickest route to the mall on a bicycle, how to borrow the car, and how to hang Christmas lights on a two-story house. Later in life, he discovered D&D, and gave up on all outdoor activities. Now he lives like a hermit, coming out of his cave only to fix the Internet connection or go to work at Wizards of the Coast.

About the Author

Robert Wiese never knew his parents. He was raised by kindly middle-class people, and grew up on the mean streets of suburbia. There, he learned important life lessons, such as the quickest route to the mall on a bicycle, how to borrow the car, and how to hang Christmas lights on a two-story house. Later in life, he discovered D&D, and gave up on all outdoor activities. Now he lives like a hermit, coming out of his cave only to fix the Internet connection or go to work at Wizards of the Coast.

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