Thursday, March 26, 2015

Denizens of Freeport: Bryn Cooper

By Tim and Erika Emrick

Bryn Cooper

Bryn Cooper grew up in Drac's End, the daughter of two coppersmiths. Her older brother, a diligent, humble craftsman like their parents, inherited the struggling business after their deaths, but Bryn chafed under this humdrum existence. Her rebellious streak led her to fall in with a local gang, who she served as a messenger and spy. Her curiosity and natural intelligence led to her befriending a number of students from the Freeport Institute, and she used these contacts to earn a scholarship to study there herself for a time. Thanks to a brief romance with an infatuated bard at the Institute, she picked up a great deal of knowledge about magic, though she never learned to cast more a couple minor spells herself.

Throughout her studies, Bryn maintained her criminal contacts, and expanded upon them as her interest in academics waned. She found that her strengths lay in acquiring secrets, whether through casual conversation, eavesdropping, or the occasional kidnapping and interrogation. (She carries a sap and merciful bolts at all times, just in case she needs to "take someone aside for a little talk.") She took up the adventurer's life for a while and amassed a small fortune in the process, but she prefers to work from the shadows and let others work for her. She now has a wide network of informants--mostly street urchins, beggars, fortune-tellers, and food vendors--scattered through Drac's End and other districts.

Bryn is a pretty but otherwise nondescript blonde woman in her mid-20s. She prefers plain, drab clothing so that she can blend easily into a crowd anywhere in Freeport. Her glamered armor allows her to instantly change her wardrobe as needed, and she will choose more impressive garb when the occasion calls for it, such as when she is meeting with a powerful client or spying on the city's elite.

Bryn is naturally secretive, and usually takes pains to not draw attention to herself. However, when dealing with her contacts or potential clients, she can appear outgoing, even chatty, in order to get what she wants. Occasionally, she will join a lively conversation just for the joy of banter and to feed her insatiable curiosity--and she can do so in nearly every major language spoken in Freeport. But woe to those who experience her other side. She can project a quiet menace with a few well-chosen words (or crossbow shots), and she is a skilled and ruthless interrogator.

Secrets, Goals, and Plans
Between the size of her operation and her skills at gathering sensitive information, Bryn has come to the attention of both Finn and Mr. Wednesday. She has no interest in overseeing petty crime or running a cartel, and will gladly do business with representatives from both crime lords. So far she has successfully avoided making herself appear as a threat to either of them--at least, as far as she knows.

XP 12,800
Female human rogue (crime boss) 11 [Freeport: The City of Adventure 390]
CN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4; Senses Perception +18 (+23 locate traps)
AC 24, touch 17, flat-footed 20 (+6 armor, +3 deflection, +4 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 64 (11d8+11)
Fort +5, Ref +12, Will +4
Defensive Abilities evasion, fortification (25%), improved uncanny dodge; Immune ring of mind shielding
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 rapier +13/+8 (1d6/18-20) or mwk sap +13/+8 (1d6-1 nonlethal)
Ranged +1 seeking crossbow +14/+9 (1d8+1/17-20)
Special Attacks dispelling attack, snap shot, sneak attack +6d6, sniper's eye
Rogue Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +13)
3/day--detect magic
2/day--ray of enfeeblement (ranged touch +12)
Str 9, Dex 18 [16], Con 12, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 22 [18]
Base Atk +8; CMB +7; CMD 21
Feats Crossbow Mastery, Improved Critical (light crossbow), Leadership (17/25), Point Blank Shot[B], Precise Shot, Rapid Reload (light crossbow), Weapon Finesse
Skills Appraise +16 (+18 mwk tool), Bluff +20, Diplomacy +20 (+24 vs. 16+ HD), Disable Device +25, Escape Artist +8, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (local) +16, Linguistics +16, Perception +18 (+23 locate traps), Sense Motive +13, Sleight of Hand +8, Spellcraft +13, Stealth +18, Use Magic Device +22
Languages Aquan, Azharan*, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Mercenary Tongue*, Orc, Semaphore*, Thieves' Cant*, Valossan* [* Freeport: The City of Adventure 405]
Traits Ambitious [Ultimate Campaign 59], Classically Schooled
SQ cohort (Kasha Kneebreaker), dangerous reputation (+3) [Freeport 390], major magic, minor magic, trapfinding, underworld connections [Freeport 390]
Combat Gear +1 merciful bolt (20), scrolls (10 1st-level spells of GM's choice), wand of cure light wounds (10 charges), wand of identify (10 charges); Other Gear +2 glamered light fortification mithril shirt, amulet of natural armor +1, ring of protection +3, +1 rapier, mwk sap, +1 seeking light crossbow and 40 bolts, belt of incredible dexterity +2, cloak of resistance +1, efficient quiver*, figurine of wondrous power (silver raven) named "Burble," handy haversack**, headband of alluring charisma +4, lesser bracers of archery, ring of mind shielding

* Efficient quiver holds bolts and wands (see above), everburning torch, javelins (10), quarterstaff, spears (2), sunrods (2), and a 10-ft. pole (can be detached into two 5-ft. sections; 50 gp).

** Handy haversack holds deck of cards (2: one marked, one unmarked), mwk fortune-teller's deck (superior; 50 gp), magnifying glass, merchant's scale, silk rope (50 ft.), superior loaded dice, waterskin, a set of clothing, and 167 gp.
Kasha Kneebreaker is Bryn's personal bodyguard. Like her employer, the halfling woman tends to dress in unremarkable clothing, with her armor hidden beneath loose outerwear. She is a thug, pure and simple, and will eagerly beat to a pulp anyone who she or Bryn decides needs punishing. Kasha owes a great debt to her boss--though only the two of them know why--and she can be trusted to put herself in harm's way to protect Bryn.

XP 4,800
Female halfling rogue (thug) 9
CN Small humanoid
Init +2; Senses Perception +13
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+5 armor, +2 Dex, +2 dodge)
hp 62 (9d8+18)
Fort +5, Ref +8, Will +4; +2 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities evasion, improved uncanny dodge, offensive defense, underfoot
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 morningstar +11/+6 (1d6+4) or mwk sap +9/+4 (1d4+3 nonlethal)
Ranged mwk sling +10 (1d3+3)
Special Attacks brutal beating (4 rounds), low blow, powerful sneak, sneak attack +5d6
Str 16 [14], Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 12
Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 20
Feats Bodyguard, Combat Reflexes, Counterstrike [Freeport 413], Dodge, Improved Dodge [Freeport 419], Intimidating Prowess[B], Weapon Focus (morningstar)[B]
Skills Acrobatics +14, Disguise +13, Escape Artist +14, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (local) +11, Perception +13, Sleight of Hand +14, Stealth +18
Languages Common, Halfling
SQ fleet of foot, frightening, strong impression, weapon familiarity, weapon training
Combat Gear dust of tracelessness, escape dust [Advanced Race Guide 67], potion of cure moderate woundsOther Gear +1 mithril shirt, +1 morningstar, mwk sap, mwk sling and 20 sling bullets, belt of giant strength +2, 190 gp

Design Notes 

  • Bryn was my wife Erika's character in a v.3.5 ("3rd Era") Freeport campaign. She was originally a rogue/diviner who intended to become an arcane trickster. During play, she tended to rely on her rogue skills much more then her magic, so we've converted her to Pathfinder as a straight rogue and given her a more focused schtick (a crime boss specializing in information, whose fighting style focuses on ranged attacks from a safe distance).
  • Bryn's CR equals her character level, rather than CL-1, because she has PC-level wealth and uses the High Fantasy purchase level. 
  • She has the maximum number of followers for the Leadership feat. 
  • Her cohort, Kasha, is a new, original NPC, though she owes her name to another past character of Erika's.

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