Friday, November 18, 2011

Colorful Characters 6: The Owlbear

When The Owlbear was born, she was called Ebrya Wucen. Her parents were nobles in good standing with both the nobility, and the common people. Her father had devoted himself to the clerical magics, and never required any payment for his healing services. Her mother was an engineer, who helped design the city's aqueduct system. Ebrya's childhood was happy.

When Ebrya was eight years old, her family visited the court of a fellow noble family of somewhat higher rank. There, they were entertained by a jester of great skill. Up until the moment she went to bed, the young girl jabbered on about how funny he had been. Three hours later she was awakened by that same jester, who bound her tightly and propped her up against the wall. From that position, she could see that her parents had been bound as well. The Jester drew a meat cleaver from within his cloak, and began to attack Lord and Lady Wucen. Ebrya closed her eyes, but she could still hear the wet chopping sounds, and her parents muffled screams, which seemed to continue for hours.

The scene wasn't discovered until the morning. There were no pieces of Ebrya's parents large enough to identify. Those in the castle tried to shield Ebrya from the slaughter, but it was far too late for that. The young girl had been forever changed. The jester was caught a mere fortnight later. As it turned out, he had merely been an assassin posing as a jester. Who sent him was never discovered, and he was executed soon after his capture. Meanwhile, Ebrya left to be raised by her parent's devoted servants, all of whom loved her dearly, and did their best to raise her as her parents would have wished.

Ebrya started sneaking out at night, just to get away from the home where she had lived with her parents. After realizing her fine clothes made her stand out too much, Ebrya took to wearing the dirtiest rags she could find. It wasn't long before she simply blended in with all of the other children living on the streets. She befriended some of them, though never really grew close to anyone. They taught her how to survive on the streets; how to hide, steal, and fight to get whatever you needed.

One evening when Ebrya was 13, she witnessed a beating. She often saw fights. Fights were commonplace, it was how many disputes were settled away from the gilded halls of the nobility. This was not a fight. A scrawny man--she recognized him as a local sneakthief--was brutally kicking a 10 year old pickpocket in the stomach repeatedly. For a moment Ebrya was at a loss for how to help. Instinctually she ran up to the man and kicked him in the back of the knee. She was as shocked as he was when he fell flat on his back. She barely kept enough presence of mind to give him two hard kicks in the head before helping the younger child up and running off.

For Ebrya, the what she felt after that was life changing. She felt really powerful for the first time since her parents' murder. Not only had she physically dominated a man who, while scrawny, was still much larger than her; but more importantly she had stopped further harm from coming to an innocent. She wanted to feel more of that, and so she convinced her caretakers to hire a hand-to-hand combat instructor for her.

Two years later, Ebrya left her home in the company of her parent's most trusted servant: Refald. The old man accompanied her as she made a long pilgrimage to the Monastery Of The Moon's Back, an ancient structure far to the north, nestled in the snow capped mountains which marked the edge of the kingdom. There lived an even more ancient order of monastic warriors. When she arrived, she begged them to accept her as one of them. They told her to wait while the deliberated, and left her outside of the monastery. She knew how much monks respect discipline, so she remained standing at attention outside the door. She remained there for seven days, save for when she slept or ate. Refald insisted that they return home, but Ebrya would not be swayed. At dawn on the eight day, the monks opened the door, and accepted Ebrya as one of them. She turned to Refald, entrusted him with the affairs of her parent's house, and disappeared inside.

No one would see the girl again for 12 years. In that time she trained constantly, mastering every aspect of the martial skills. And when she returned home a grown woman, she found things much the same as she had left them. Refald was still maintaining her parent's affairs, with a dozen other servants besides. More importantly, the city streets were still filled with crime and brutality. Ebrya began preparations as soon as she returned, dipping into her parent's impressive holdings (which had continued to grow under Refald's management) and purchasing the equipment she would need through far-off vendors, under fake names.

She constructed for herself a disguise which would strike terror into the hearts of those who would harm the weak. She kept the simple uniform of the monastery, dyed black, and added to it a great brown hooded cloak which she adorned with owl bear feathers around its edges. To cover her face, she acquired a large pair of goggles, and the beak of a real owlbear, enchanted to alter her voice. Her house staff was somewhat unsettled by this, but they had known and loved her all of her life, and supported their mistress in this endeavor.

And so did Lady Ebrya Wucen put away her name in favor of one which would give pause to those who would harm others: The Owlbear.


Ebrya is not a jovial person. You could count the number of times she's smiled since her parent's murder on your fingers. She feels a great deal of empathy for those in need, however, and will rush to their aid in whatever way is most appropriate at the time. As The Owlbear, she may save people from a burning building or beat an evildoer into submission. As Lady Ebrya, she spends much of her family's wealth establishing orphanages and hospitals which she personally visits frequently.

As the Owlbear, she speaks only when necessary. She much prefers not to be seen as well, so if possible she keeps her distance from anyone she's not fighting. As Lady Wucen, she has become a social recluse. She pours all her time into her charitable projects, and otherwise doesn't seem to leave her manor.


The Owlbear is a ferocious fighter, and could easily stand toe-to-toe with any combat veteran. However, she much prefers to strike from hiding. During an extended combat, even against inferior foes, The Owlbear will take what opportunities present themselves to hide herself. Once concealed, she will again spring out at her opponent, taking them by surprise.

The Owlbear prefers not to draw blood, avoiding strikes to areas which bleed freely such as the forehead. Though the sight of blood does not sicken her, it does bring back painful memories of the murder Ebrya witnessed as a child. She also prefers not to kill, though neither preference is set in stone for The Owlbear. If blood or death is required, then blood and death are acceptable.

Thoughts On use

The Owlbear is a vigilantee in a large city. There are a number of ways in which the players could encounter her.
  1. The players, in performing some crime, are attacked by The Owlbear.
  2. The players, in investigating some crime, find that The Owlbear has already trashed the villains the PCs were hoping to interrogate.
  3. The players are contracted by a noble who wants The Owlbear dealt with. (Evil PCs could be given the truth, while good PCs might be told that The Owlbear is a deadly criminal.)
  4. In a political game, the PCs hear about "Strange Lady Wucen, never the same since her parents died. Now she stays holed up in her house...poor lady."

Once in play, though, The Owlbear's use is very simple: a distrusting friend to good players, and a relentless foe to evil players.

Interesting Facts

-Ebrya is completely asexual. She is not interested in sexuality, no matter what. Note that she is not disgusted by it. If anything, she is completely apathetic about sex.

-Many of the nobles in the city are finding their less-than-legal methods of income are being hindered by The Owlbear's activities. There are a number of contracts out for her head.

-Ebrya has never been comfortable with jesters or other mirthmakers since her parent's murder. It's a large part of why she never laughs, the sound itself brings back the guilt she still feels over having enjoyed the antics of the man who would, hours later, kill her parents.

Statblock Notes

This character was built using the Gestalt alternate rules established in the brilliant D&D 3.5 supplement "Unearthed Arcana." Since the Gestalt system was published under the Open Games License, you can view a detailed account of it at HypertextD20 SRD. However, the simple version of the Gestalt system is that the character takes two classes simultaneously, gaining the best parts of each one as they level.

I would not recommend using gestalt in most situations. In an ideal party of at least 3 PCs, gestalt builds would unnecessarily unbalance the party. Additionally, gestalt further complicates the already complicated D&D 3.X / Pathfinder character creation system, so it is inadvisable for new players. When it comes in handy is A: when there are only one or two players, and the characters need to be more powerful in order for the party to be well rounded, or B: when the GM wants to create a truly memorable opponent for the PCs. Of course, some may just enjoy playing characters who are insanely overpowered, and that's cool too.

Ebrya "The Owlbear" Wucen (CR 17)

XP: 76,800
Female Human 16 (Gestalt Rogue 16/Monk 16)
LG humanoid
Init +8; Senses Perception +20 (+28 to find traps), Darkvision 60ft

AC 23, Flat Footed 13, Touch 23 [10 + Monk(4) + Wis(1) + Dex (4) + Ring(3) + Dodge(1)] (Cannot be caught flat footed or flanked)
Spell Resist 26
hp 116 (16d10 + 32)
Fort +11 Ref +14 (+5 vs. Traps)(1/2 dmg on success, no damage on failure) Will + 11 (+2 vs enchantments)

Speed 85ft
Melee Unarmed +17/+12/+7(3d8 + 3/x2)
Flurry of Blows +14/+14/+9/+9/+4/+4/-1
Ranged Dagger + +16/+11/+6(1d3/x2)
Sneak Attack 8d6
Ki Pool 9

Str 16 (+3) Dex 18 (+4) Con 13 (+1) Int 18 (+4) Wis 13 (+1) Cha 12 (+1)
Base Atk +12/+7/+2; CMB +19 (No AOO & +2 for Grapple, disarm, trip); CMD 29 (+2 vs. grapple, disarm, trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Fleet, Dodge, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Grappling Hook Mastery, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Deflect Arrows, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip
Rogue Talents Fast Stealth, Weapon Training (Unarmed), Finesse Rogue, Improved Evasion, Feat (Quick Draw), Feat (Toughness), Feat (Skill Focus: Acrobatics)
Skills Acrobatics (+29)(+37 for jumping, +57 for jumping if 1 point of ki is spent), Climb (+22), Disable Device (+31), Escape Artist (+23), Intimidate (+20), Knowledge(Local) (+23), Knowledge(Nobility) (+12), Linguistics (+23), Perception (+20)(+28 to find traps), Ride (+18), Sense Motive (+20), Slight of Hand (+23), Stealth (+23), Survival (+9), Swim (+11), Use magic Device (+20)
Languages Common, Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Gnoll, Halfling, Ignan, Infernal, Orc, Sylvan, Terran, Undercommon
Special Qualities
--Power attack
: May choose to take a -4 penalty on attack rolls in exchange for a +8 on damage rolls.
--Great Cleave: If you hit, you may attack an adjacent foe within reach at your full BAB, and may continue doing so until you miss. You may not strike the same foe twice while using this ability, and you take a -2 to your AC until the next turn.
--Combat Reflexes: You may make attacks of opportunity each round equal to your Dex bonus (4), and may make attacks of opportunity even while flat footed.
--Grappling Hook Mastery: When using the grappling hook to latch on to a stationary object, you gain a +4 on the attack roll. The Range Increment of the Grappling hook is also 20ft.
--Slow Fall: When a wall is within arm's reach, the character takes damage as though the fall were 80ft shorter than it is.
--Stunning Fist: In addition to damage, foes hit by unarmed attack must make DC: 19 fort save or be affected by one of the following conditions for one round as chosen by attacker: Stunned, Fatigued, Sickened, Staggered for 1d6 + 1 rounds, or permanently Blind / Deaf
--Deflect Arrows: Once per round, when you would normally be hit by a ranged attack, you may deflect the projectile, taking no damage from it.
--Purity of Body: Character is immune to all disease.
--Wholeness of Body: May use 2 points of Ki to heal 16 damage.
--Diamond Body: Immunity to poison of all kinds.
--Abundant Step: 2 points of ki allow a single use of Dimensional Door as the spell. May not take other creatures along.
--Quivering palm: 1/day, Quicering Palm attack can be declared. Roll attack normally, if damage is dealt, then within 16 days the monk may attempt to kill the target as a free action. Fortitude DC 19 negates.
Gear Goggles of Darkvision, Owlbear's Screech, Ring of Protection +3, Amulet of Protection from Scrying, 3x grappling hooks, 3x 100ft coils of silk rope, 30x throwing knives, spyglass, crowbar, 10 pair of masterwork manacles, 5 vials of acid, 5 vials of alchemists fire, 5 tunderstones, 5 smokesticks, magnifying glass, journal, ink, quill, masterwork lockpicking tools, Wand of Scrying 27 charges, Wand of Deep Slumber 10 charges, Wand of Illusory Wall 44 charges, simple black hooded cloak & monk's fighting clothes, 1000gp, belt containing 2 dozen small bags of holding

New Feat: Grappling Hook Mastery

You are extremely deft with the use of a grappling hook.
Benefit: When using a grappling hook to latch on to a stationary object, the thrower gains a +4 on the ranged touch attack required. The range increment of the grappling hook is improved to 20ft.
Normal: You must succeed on a ranged attack roll to latch on to an object. The range increment of the grappling hook is treated as 10ft.

New Item: Owlbear's Roar

Aura Faint Illusion; CL 3rd
Covers Mouth and cheeks; Price 7,500 gp; Weight 1 lb.

This real owlbear's beak has been enchanted to alter the voice of the speaker. The tone which comes forth from the beak is deep and raspy, making it impossible to distinguish who the speaker is. This item is primarily used to provide the user with an intimidating edge, granting a +2 to all intimidate checks.

Requirements Craft Wonderous Item, an Owlbear's Beak, Magic Mouth; Cost 3,750 gp

Yes, this is supposed to be Batman. I wrote it because Arkham City came out for PC today, and my life is officially going to be consumed by it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...