Monday, December 17, 2012

Elmo, Ranger of Verbobonc

Elmo is a drunken lout the PCs find about town in Hommlet who's interested in adventure!

Okay, so not really. Really, he's a 4th-level ranger in Hommlet on orders from the Viscount of Verbobonc 'for the purpose of observing newcomers, to insinuate himself in their expeditions'. Using Collective Restraint's level guide for GURPS, I built him off 210 points.

Here's his statblock in T1:

Elmo: AC 1 (equipped) or 8; Level 4 Ranger
(HD 5); hp 41; #AT 1; D 5-12 (battle axe)
or 6-9 (dagger) each including magic and
strength bonuses); XP 375
S 18/43 I 15 W 16 D 16 Co 17 Ch 11
and also:
 If employed, he
dons his own mail (see below) in place of that
given (or under a lighter type), and uses his
own magical battle axe as well.
Elmo's valuables are hidden in a lead-
lined oaken chest buried in the dirt floor of
the barn: chain mail +1, shield +2, battle
axe +1, 100 sp, 50 gp, 10 pp, and and small
pearls worth 100 gp each. The lead will foil
all attempts at magical detection. He also
owns a longbow with two score arrows,
half of them silver-tipped, though he does
not bring this weapon on adventures.
This guy is serious! Look at those stats! Also, as someone who never played AD&D, it was at first a surprise to me that he'd leave his bow at home. After all, rangers are ranged weapon folks, right? Of course I was wrong, and pleasantly so; rangers in 1st edition seem much closer to the source material, being fighters with some wilderness experience. Here's the character sheet.

Update: It has been asked what Elmo's role would be in my game. Really, I should have included a piece on that here without prompting, but it slipped my mind.

Elmo will try to latch onto the PCs and go adventuring with them, attempting to make himself attractive first as a hireling, then as a cut-rate fellow adventurer. He'll go so far as to take only a half-share of the treasure, if need be, to induce them to take him...which should make the players suspicious, but what's a King's spy going to do? At any rate, if they don't take him along, he'll shadow them into the dungeon, coming forward to aid them if they look like they need it and are worth aiding, or making their lives difficult if they seem likely to be working for the Temple.

Specifically, he could become a thorn in their collective side if they ally themselves with Lareth, or if they seem too willing to work for the traders. Also, he offers a way to help the party come to grips with the deeper plots surrounding the village, especially if he goes adventuring with them - an observant party will quickly see through his ruse of incompetence once actually in the dungeon.


  1. What's his role going to be in your game?

    More specifically, what point value are starting PCs? At 210 (and ST 16 skill 15) he's okay, but he's not up to snuff with any starting DF PC at 250. So if he's meant to be more powerful than the PCs, he needs to be a lot more than 250. 300+, probably. If the PCs are less than 250 to start, it's a lot less of an issue. He'll own any 62 pointer, and do well against a 125 pointer who isn't totally combat-oriented, though.

    Also, Outdoorsman is 10/level, not 5, unless you've deliberately recosted it of course.

    1. I've been meaning to write up a post about character generation in my game...

      In short, he will be more powerful than starting PCs, who will be 150 points. As for Outdoorsman, I've re-costed it by taking out Fishing, since the point cost break falls unfavorably on that talent and Fishing isn't too liable to be that useful. (Technically, I've allowed folks to choose which skill to drop from Outdoorsman.)