This month, Fight Club departs from its usual format of giving you a monster at three different points in its career, and focuses on the new Complete Scoundrel supplement. This could have been done with a monstrous scoundrel, but instead you are treated to three famous scoundrels from a campaign setting long, long ago and far, far away. See if you can guess who they are in their D&D incarnations; if you can't, I haven't done a very good job with them.
In considering famous literary or film characters, there are many ways to "convert" them to a D&D world. Thus, I like to use the concept of re-imagining them in the new world (since a true "conversion" from a futuristic setting to a fantasy one is poor). There are many ways to imagine these famous scoundrels in D&D terms, especially with all the rules options available now. I have chosen to consider them as scoundrels and use material from that book. One of them, a smuggler with a big furry companion, turns out very different from any other version I have seen of him, but remarkably in line with how one might think of him in the films.
Enjoy, and may the. . . be with you!
The Bounty Hunter
Reis Uleka was raised by his single father, a bounty hunter of some renown, and trained in all the techniques of tracking people down. When Reis was 13, his father was involved in apprehending some powerful renegade wizards. When the wizards attempted to escape, one of them slew Reis's father. Thus was born Reis's hatred of all spellcasters, which lasts to this day. Taking on the mantle of his father, Reis became one of the greatest hunters of fugitives known in the world. His armor, which belonged to his father before him, projects a fearsome appearance and its powers help him overcome many a foe.
Reis "Fetterer" Uleka, Bounty Hunter CR 12
Sudden Strike (Ex) When Reis's target is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, Reis can strike for +1d6 points of damage. Merely flanking is not enough to use sudden strike. This applies to ranged attacks within 30 feet.
Bloody Blade (Ex) Whenever Reis deals sudden strike damage with a melee weapon, the target of the sudden strike and all opponents within 30 feet of Reis who can see the target are shaken for 2 rounds. A successful Will save (DC 13) negates this effect, and creatures with more than 12 HD are not affected. Bloody blade is a mind-affecting fear ability.
Bring 'em Back Alive (Ex) At Reis's option, any melee attack that would reduce a foe to -2 or fewer hit points reduces the foe to -1 hit points instead. He must choose to use this ability immediately upon reducing his foe to -2 or fewer hit points, and before making any other action (or even continuing a full attack).
Crippling Strike (Ex) Reis can deliver strikes against his mark with such precision that each successful attack also deals 2 points of Strength damage to the mark. He can deliver a crippling strike with a melee attack, or with a ranged attack from a distance of up to 30 feet.
Mark (Ex) Reis can target, or mark, an individual humanoid or monstrous humanoid foe by studying it (or a description) for 10 minutes. Reis adds a +5 insight bonus on all Gather Information, Listen, Search, Spot, and Survival checks made to determine the whereabouts of a mark. As a bloodhound gains levels, he gains additional abilities that can be used against a mark. He can have two marks. If he gives up apprehending a mark, that creature becomes unmarked, and Reis loses experience points equal to the amount he would have earned for defeating that creature. Reis can choose a mark only once a week, and both marks must be chosen during the same process of study.
Nonlethal Force (Ex) Reis can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead without taking the usual -4 penalty on his attack roll.
Rapid Intimidation (Ex) Reis can attempt to demoralize an opponent as a move action instead of a standard action. See the Intimidate skill (PH 77) for details. He can add his favored enemy bonus to Intimidate checks made to demoralize foes of the chosen type (and subtype, if applicable).
Ready and Waiting (Ex) Reis can ready an action against his mark, even outside of the initiative sequence. If the mark triggers the bloodhound's readied action at any point within the next 10 minutes, the bloodhound can carry out his readied action as if the two were engaged in combat (as long as the bloodhound is capable of carrying out that action).
Hunter's Dedication (Ex) Reis adds his Constitution bonus (if any) to Will saves made to resist the special attacks or spells of his mark.
Move Like the Wind (Ex) Reis no longer takes a -5 penalty on Hide and Move Silently checks when moving at any speed up to his normal speed, and he takes only a -10 penalty (instead of a -20 penalty) on Hide and Move Silently checks when running. (He takes the normal -20 penalty when attacking or charging.)
Tenacious Pursuit (Ex) When Reis is tracking a mark, he gains a +4 bonus on Constitution checks made to resist nonlethal damage from a forced march (PH 164). In addition, he can increase his own speed by 10 feet, up to a maximum value equal to the mark's speed. This bonus stacks with all other speed increases.
Track the Trackless (Su) Reis can track a creature moving under the influence of pass without trace or a similar effect, though he takes a -20 penalty on his Survival checks when doing so.
Tain Dras grew up in a populated city in the central part of the world, and he entered the military as soon as he was old enough. The military was corrupt, however, and in one incident involving enslaved humanoids he felt he couldn't obey orders. He was later court-martialed and thrown out of the military. Having rescued one of the enslaved humanoids, the two became fast friends and they drifted from one part of the world to another doing whatever they could. Some years later, Tain won a small corsair sailing ship in a Three-Dragon Ante game against a professional gambler, and he began carrying illicit cargo. Relying on his luck, and his humanoid friend, Tain has gotten out of more scrapes than most people get into during their lives. His only real misfortune was when he lost a valuable load carried for an unforgiving client, and the client decided that Tain owed the value back to him. When the money did not come, this client (a crimelord in a remote area) put a bounty on Tain's head that could be removed only by repaying the (unfair) debt.
Tain Dras, Smuggler CR 11
Lucky Strike (Ex) Once per day as a swift action, Tain can add a +5 luck bonus on all attack rolls made until the start of his next turn.
More Luck than Skill (Ex) Once per day as a swift action, Tain can add a +5 luck bonus on all skill checks made until the start of his next turn.
Easy Luck (Ex) The swift or immediate action to use a luck feat (Complete Scoundrel, page 72) does not count against Tain's limit of one swift action per turn.
The Big Boss
Theran Kolos became a smuggler at an early age, and in a governmental upheaval he took control of his former boss's organization when that boss was killed. Using his diplomatic skills, he forged a network of contacts, clients, and buyers and built the smuggling operation into a very successful one that traded information as well as goods. Theran is obsessed (almost) with information of all kinds, spending a lot of time taking disparate pieces of information and making a coherent whole that no one else could see. As a result, he is seen as being almost prescient. He treats his crew well and never resorts to murder when he doesn't have to. Thus, he has a reputation as someone of honor who can be trusted to keep his end of a deal.
Theran has the Leadership feat. His cohort (second in command) and crew are left to your imagination.
Theran "The Talon" Kolos, Human Crimelord CR 15
Fearsome Reputation (Ex) Theran gains a +4 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks.
Fight to the Death (Ex) Each ally affected by Theran's rally the crew ability also gains 13 temporary hit points, gains a +3 dodge bonus to Armor Class, and is treated as having the Diehard feat even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites. These effects are lost if Theran loses consciousness.
Rally the Crew (Ex) Theran can inspire his allies (including himself) to great bravery in combat twice per day. This inspiration grants them a +3 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +3 morale bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls (including bardic music bonus). To be affected, an ally must be able to see or hear the dread pirate. The effect requires a free action to activate and lasts for 1 minute per class level, even if the dread pirate moves out of range or loses consciousness. This is a mind-affecting ability.
Luck of the Wind (Ex) Theran can reroll any failed attack roll, skill check, ability check, or saving throw. He must take the result of the reroll, even if it's worse than the original roll.
Seamanship (Ex) Theran adds his class level as an insight bonus on all Profession (sailor) checks. Allies within sight or hearing of a dread pirate add an insight bonus equal to half this number on their Profession (sailor) checks.
Skill Mastery (Ex) Theran can take 10 on Balance, Climb, Jump, and Tumble skill checks even under stress.
Steady Stance (Ex) Theran is not considered flat-footed while balancing or climbing, and he adds a +9 bonus on Balance or Climb checks to remain balancing or climbing when he takes damage.
These feats are not presented in the Player's Handbook or Monster Manual, so take a look at a few summaries about each one.
Better Lucky Than Good(from Complete Scoundrel): If you roll a natural 1 when making an attack roll, you can expend one luck reroll as a swift action to instead treat the roll as a natural 20. You can use this feat once per day. You gain one luck reroll per day.
Cool Head(from Complete Scoundrel): You immediately learn up to two mental skill tricks at no cost, and your limit on skill tricks known increases by one. See page 82 for details on mental skill tricks.
Lucky Catch (from Complete Scoundrel): You can expend one luck reroll as an immediate action to reroll a Balance, Climb, or Jump check. You gain one luck reroll per day.
Lucky Start (from Complete Scoundrel): You can expend one luck reroll to reroll an initiative check. You gain one luck reroll per day. Unlike most other luck feats, using Lucky Start requires no action.
Obscure Lore (from Complete Adventurer): You gain a +4 insight bonus on checks using your bardic knowledge or lore class feature.
Quick Reconnoiter (from Complete Adventurer): You can make one Spot check and one Listen check each round as a free action. You also gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
Unbelievable Luck (from Complete Scoundrel): As long as you have at least one luck reroll remaining for the day, you gain a +2 luck bonus on whichever of your saves has the lowest base bonus. If two or more of your saves tie for the lowest base bonus, choose when you select this feat which save it applies to. If your base save bonuses later change so that the chosen save no longer has the lowest base bonus, the luck bonus from this feat immediately applies to the save that now has the lowest base bonus. You gain two luck rerolls per day.
Victor's Luck (from Complete Scoundrel): You can expend one luck reroll as a swift action to reroll a critical threat confirmation roll. You gain one luck reroll per day.
Skill tricks are presented in Complete Scoundrel. The ones used in this article are provided below.
Clarity of Vision: As a swift action, you can attempt a DC 20 Spot check. If successful, you focus your vision so clearly that you can pinpoint the location of invisible creatures within 30 feet. This clarity lasts until the end of your turn.
Clever Improviser: When making a Disable Device or Open Lock check without using thieves' tools, you ignore the normal -2 penalty. You can use this trick any number of times per day until you fail a Disable Device or Open Lock check made without using thieves' tools. After a failure, you can't use Clever Improviser again until after you have rested for 8 hours.
Collector of Stories: When you attempt a trained Knowledge check to identify a creature or to learn its special powers or vulnerabilities, you gain a +5 competence bonus on the check.
Listen to This: Whenever you make a successful Listen check to hear a noise, you can describe that sound any time up to 1 hour later with such clarity that any individuals hearing the description are treated as if they had heard the sound themselves.
Nimble Charge: You can run or charge across a difficult surface without needing to make a Balance check (PH 67).
Point It Out: When you make a successful Spot check, you can spend an immediate action to grant a single ally a free Spot check to see the same thing (with a +2 circumstance bonus). Your ally must be within 30 feet of you and able to see or hear you to benefit from this effect.
Social Recovery: If your Diplomacy check to influence an NPC's attitude fails, you can spend another full round talking to the NPC, then make a Bluff check with a -10 penalty. Use the result of this check in place of the Diplomacy check result, except that it can't improve the NPC's attitude by more than one step. Once you use this skill trick (successfully or not), you cannot use it against the same target again for 24 hours.
Spot the Weak Point: As a standard action, you can attempt a Spot check to find a weakness in your opponent's defenses. The DC of this check equals the opponent's AC. If the check succeeds, your next attack against that opponent (which must be made no later than your next turn) is treated as a touch attack. If you use a ranged weapon to deliver the attack, your opponent must be within 30 feet of you in order for you to benefit from the trick.
Sudden Draw: If an opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, you can draw a weapon that you have successfully concealed using Sleight of Hand (PH 81) as an immediate action to deliver the attack of opportunity with that weapon. That opponent is treated as flat-footed against the attack with the concealed weapon.
Twisted Charge: When you charge, you can make one turn of up to 90 degrees during your movement. You can't move more than your speed as part of this charge. All other restrictions on charges still apply, and you must have line of sight to the opponent at the start of your turn.
We hope you enjoyed an alternate galaxy far, far away version of some famed scoundrels. Of course, there were more bounty hunters than "Fetterer Uleka" tasked with searching out "Tain Dras". In fact, the topic proposed for Creature Incarnation's "Assassin Golems" came about from a conversation regarding a hypothetical fantasyversion of IG-88. If you have any similar conversations you'd be interested to share with us, feel free to send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Robert Wiese entered the gaming hobby through the Boy Scouts and progressed from green recruit to head of the most powerful gaming fan organization in the world. He served as head of the RPGA Network for almost seven years, overseeing the creation of the Living Greyhawk and Living Force campaigns, among other achievements. Eventually, he returned to private life in Reno, Nevada, where he spends as much time as possible with his wife, new son Owen, and many pets.
He is still involved in writing, organizing conventions, and playing, and he models proteins for the Biochemistry Department of the University of Nevada, Reno.
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