Griffon’s Hamlet:
Town Defense

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Griffon’s Talon

      Since Griffon’s Hamlet is very small, the empire has never sent military forces to assist with defense. As such, the townspeople have created a militia force called the Griffon’s Talon. These men are professional soldiers that train year round. They are supported by a tax on the river trade.

      These soldiers all wear chain mail hauberks with coifs. Their primary weapon is a repeating crossbow and a short sword is their secondary weapon. They are stationed in three separate barracks around town. Each barracks holds 60 men and officers. The second floor of the barracks serves as holding cells for criminals until they are tried.

 

Interview with Thero Klung, Master Highwayman

      “I want to make it exceedingly clear that by no means am I to be considered or mentioned as a ‘brigand.’ A brigand is an uncouth, uncivilized savage whose primary goal is the accumulation of ill-gotten wealth at the expense of decent, law-biding folks. I am opposed to such horrific abuses of the law.

      “We, Highwaymen, are an elite and dedicated cadre that fights to preserve our way of life in Griffon’s Hamlet. Without our dedication and perseverance, this township would be as vile as most other towns on this continent.

      “Of late, we have been busier than usual because of the increased trade with people of the Dwarven persuasion. It must be noted that these persons insist upon unacceptable business practices. We completely reject their insufferable conduct and have elected to resolve these disputes through all means available.

      “Because of the increased demands on our schedules, we have had to bring on new membership from the youth of our society. These unruly youngsters are, quite frankly, ridiculous. These fools actually insist on wearing black, tight-fitting costumes, black hoods and calling each other by the most outlandish nicknames ever heard this side of Kerstall.

      “Seriously now, can you imagine someone insisting on being called ‘Dark Hood?’ It’s just plain silly.

      “For the past twenty years I have protected my beloved town and this is how I am repaid? I am now forced by the Mayor to work with Dark Hood, Night Fox, the Black Shadow and something-or-other Green. Quite frankly, I wish I could forget all these ridiculous nicknames.

      “I see a dark future before us, especially if this is what our next generation of Highwaymen relies upon. Unfortunately, the Mayor disagrees since the ignoble Dark Hood is his very own son! I need to retire.”

 

The Highwaymen

      The people of Griffon’s Hamlet are not amendable to foreign merchants that are not willing to negotiate. As a solution to this problem, the local merchants have formed a band of brigands they call the Highwaymen. This band of thugs works directly for the Elder Council of Griffon’s Hamlet.

      So, for example, if a merchant from Uttatai has come to town and refused to play ball with the local merchants, he will be watched and followed throughout his stay in town. Once he is seen leaving town, the Highwaymen will waylay him about 3 miles from Griffon’s Hamlet where they will only take an ‘acceptable’ amount of his goods, as compensation to the town merchants. Also, if a traveling merchant caravan refuses to stop in Griffon’s Hamlet they are fair game. These merchants that do not stop in town are the most common target. The proceeds of these raids are then distributed amongst all the local merchants in town, after a healthy fee is paid to the Elder Council.

      The Highwaymen are seen as heroes by most of the local people and they are protected from Kalen law. In some cases, the most respected merchants during the day are the same brigands that attack caravans at night. When the government of Kale has sent military forces to investigate the Highwaymen, the locals refused to cooperate. This does not mean that they were rude to the army; they simply had no “useful” information.

      Lately the young people of Griffon’s Hamlet have begun to join the ranks of the Highwaymen. These youths are not fully aware of the important role played by these men and women. The youths mostly believe that they are playing at being robbers when in truth the Highwaymen are the main line of defense for Griffon’s Hamlet. The few times that the town has been directly threatened, the Highwaymen have stood firm as the defenders of the town. Their knowledge of the surrounding countryside is an invaluable aide in their efforts to thwart their enemies.

 

The Elite Highwayman Prestige Class

      The Elite Highwayman is the self-proclaimed guardian and protector of Griffon’s Hamlet. They form the core leadership of a band of thieves that enforce the will of the Elder Council. Their primary duties include border defense against any incursions into the environs of Griffon’s Hamlet and the collection of unclaimed “taxes” from merchant caravans.

      When the Elder Council orders the collection of these “taxes” from a merchant caravan the Highwaymen attack in order to collect. These men and women specialize in small unit tactics using forest and terrain cover. They attack from cover using ranged weapons to take out the most threatening members of the caravan. Once the archers have finished cutting down the enemy, the ground forces attack.

      The elite highwaymen are the leaders of the Highwaymen. These are the best and most well respected members of Griffon’s Hamlet society. Currently there are only 4 elite highwaymen in the group.

      Hit Die: d8

 

Prerequisites

      Anyone wishing to become a member of this prestige class must be a resident of Griffon’s Hamlet with Renown of 4 or higher. The PC must have the feat of Improved Initiative. The PC must already be an initiated member of the Highwaymen.

      Base Attack Bonus: +5

      Hide: 8 ranks

      Spot: 8 ranks

      Move Silently: 8 ranks

      Knowledge, Griffon’s Hamlet: 2 ranks

 

Class Skills

      The class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha); Disguise (Cha); Hide (Dex); Intimidate (Cha); Intuit Direction (Wis); Listen (Wis); Move Silently (Dex); Knowledge, Griffon’s Hamlet Local (Int); Search (Int); Spot (Wis); Craft, Trap Building (Int); Use Rope (Dex); Tumble (Dex); Wilderness Lore (Wis)

 

      Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier

 

Class

Level

Base

Attack Bonus

Fort

Save

Ref

Save

Will

Save

 

Special

1

+1

+0

+2

+0

Evasion, Range/Sneak Attack +1d6

2

+2

+1

+3

+0

Known Terrain +1, Wilderness Lore +2, Terrain Defense +2

3

+3

+1

+4

+1

Range/Sneak Attack +2d6, Herbal Lore 1d8

4

+4

+2

+4

+1

Known Terrain +2, Wilderness Lore +4, Poison Lore, Terrain Defense +4

5

+5

+2

+5

+2

Range/Sneak Attack +3d6, Poison Lore Mastery

 

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the elite highwayman prestige class.

 

Evasion: As per Core Rules I

 

Range/Sneak Attack: The members of this class are experts at all forms of sneak attacks. If an elite highwayman can catch an opponent when they are unable to defend themselves effectively, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. They can use typical sneak attack weapons but they can also use ranged weapons such as bows when performing attacks.

      At first level the elite highwayman does +1d6 sneak attack damage. This increases to +2d6 at third level and finally reaches a maximum of +3d6 at 5th level. Should an elite highwayman score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

      It takes precision and penetration to hit a vital spot so ranged sneak attacks must occur within 30 feet of the intended target. The elite highwayman is not able to deal subdual damage with a range attack and can only deal subdual damage with a weapon suited to that task (i.e. blackjack, sap, etc.).

      Outside of the immediate area of Griffon’s Hamlet, this is the ONLY special ability this prestige class retains. All other special abilities are lost until the character returns to Griffon’s Hamlet.

 

Known Terrain: Because they are intimately familiar with the surroundings of Griffon’s Hamlet, all elite highwaymen gain bonuses. Therefore, at 2nd level, the elite highwayman gains a +2 bonus to all checks. This increases to +4 at fourth level.

 

Wilderness Lore: At 2nd level, the elite highwayman gains a +2 bonus to all Wilderness Lore checks. This increases to +4 at fourth level.

 

Terrain Defense: At 2nd level, the elite highwayman gains a +2 deflection bonus to Armor Class. This increases to +4 at fourth level. This is because of their familiarity with their environs. This ability is only available within 10 miles of Griffon’s Hamlet.

 

Herbal Lore: At 3rd level, all elite highwaymen gain the knowledge to create herbal remedies from flora near Griffon’s Hamlet. They are able to use a specific plant to make a healing draught that heals 1d8 hit points of damage. Creating this draught requires a successful Wilderness Lore check (DC 15) to find the flower. The flower is crushed, mixed with some water and then applied to the wound. Under normal conditions, the elite highwayman will be able to make the draught in 5 rounds.

 

Poison Lore: At 4th level, the same base knowledge the elite highwayman has learned for the creation of healing draughts can be turned to making poisons from local flora and fauna. To make the poison requires a Wilderness Lore check (DC 15) to find the flowers and plants needed. Then the elite highwayman must spend 5 minutes making the poison by mixing the proper quantities of the ingredients with water. Once made, the poison will only be effective for the next 5 hours. The first effect of the poison is to cause paralysis, and the second effect is also cause paralysis.

      At 5th level, the elite highwayman gains Poison Lore Mastery. They are able to condense the same poison they make at 4th level into a more potent version. This version of the poison is much more lethal and dangerous. To make the poison they have to follow the same steps as above but they must spend an additional 20 minutes boiling down the solution. This poison, upon a successful hit and a failure to make a Fort save (DC 18), has a first effect of a loss of 2d6 in Con and a second effect of a loss of 1d6 Con and a loss of 1d6 in Str.

 

Improved Evasion: As per Core Rules I.

 

Highwayman’s Oath

“Now I put aside my youth in service and defense of my beloved home. No longer will I be governed by selfish desires, nor will I allow fear to rule me. I am now a member of a brotherhood, a sacred trust. I swear an oath this night before all the gods and my brothers to sacrifice my life to protect my one and only home.”

 
Quoth the Evil Cow: "My, hero! Brion James!"

Sacred cows need not apply.
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