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intothenight

Character Build Advice: Anzati Gangster

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Hello, all. Been a while. Hope the Force has been with you.

I'm currently working on developing a recurring threat for my party: an up-and-coming criminal organization whose leader is convinced that my party members could be a great asset or his biggest threat. While he tries to work behind the scenes to drive the party into obligation so deep that the only way out is through him, his chief lieutenant has other plans.

I've had a lot of fun coming up with this character, and I already have a good idea of how to roleplay with him. The issue I'm having is running him mechanically, particularly in battle. Let me detail what he's like, and let's see if we can come up with some good ideas on how to build and run him. And for the record, my campaign runs in the Legends continuity.

Kirm is an Anzati, a race that can usually pass for human. However, they're much longer lived, tend to have superior physical strength, and, most notably, have tentacles concealed in cheek pouches that they can unfurl in order to enter a victim's nose and feed on their brain. By feeding on what amounts to the sum total of their victims, they can gain not only sustenance, but power, skill, bad habits, and potentially even a connection to the Force.

While Kirm makes a public show of being loyal to his boss, he's actually jealous of his boss's uncanny knack for reading people's potentials, especially since that often means he has to hear the boss talk for hours on end about all the good points of any being to catch the boss's eye. Any being... but Kirm. Unacceptable. The boss needs to learn who should really be respected. These days, the boss is obsessed with a small crew of bounty dodgers. Despite being wanted criminals deeply in debt, this strange crew keeps surviving situations that should take down bigger groups with better connections. Kirm can see why the boss is so impressed. All the more reason to take those impressive qualities for himself. Feasting on them would be the perfect way to rub his dissatisfaction in the boss's face. All he needs to do is get this group to lower their guard... and do it without the boss learning what he's up to.

Now, let's talk build. I'm thinking a human template isn't a bad place to start, but he'll need high Brawn (and by extension Soak). It should serve as a nice wake-up call to the PCs when they realize he's nowhere near as fragile as he looks. Anzati have been known to have mind-affecting powers similar to hypnosis, so I think it might not be a bad idea to simulate that with Force Influence and a Force Rating of no higher than 2. I don't think I'll give him much extra to work with in the way of mental Characteristics. He hasn't eaten many people in his life, and he's too shallow and narrow-minded to see that he's even more obsessive than the boss he looks down on. I can't see him using a blaster or other ranged weapon, as he doesn't want to damage his meal. Likewise, he doesn't want to rely on rendering his foes unconscious, since he'll want to savor their frenzied thoughts at the end, and unconscious food is terribly bland. I'd imagine him relying on martial arts or a blunt weapon. If he goes the blunt weapon route, it would be something far more lavish than a staff or club. Perhaps even something with the Concussive quality. Defensively, he'll probably rely mostly on the Soak and high Wound threshold provided by his Brawn. As a high-ranking member of a growing criminal enterprise, his clothes provide more fashion than defense. I could see giving him an additional Soak of 2 with his equipment. That or 1 Soak and 1 rank in Defensive.

The trickiest part is dealing with those brain-eating tentacles. I want them to be seen as a serious and dangerous threat, but I don't want to have half my party make new characters because the last encounter got them in one blow. I'm thinking of treating the tentacles as a Brawl weapon, but tying them to Agility instead of Brawn, since they're only useful if he can "thread the needle." Base damage would be 0, Crit rating would be 4 or 5, but it would be extremely Vicious, adding at least 50 to the Critical result. Not sure if I should add a Disorient quality to make tentacle attacks less of a one-note affair. I could justify it as him playing with his food, I suppose.

So, those are my basic thoughts. Think I'm on the right track? Think I'm coming at this completely the wrong way? Think it just needs a little tweaking? Have you run an Anzati that puts Kirm to shame? I want to hear all about it.

Insert "picking your brains" pun here.

 

tl;dr edit: Making an alien NPC who can eat brains, and I want to find the right balance to make the encounter preceding the final boss a good one.

Edited by intothenight

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I would, of course, recommend my Anzati stats from the Complete Species Guide.

Cunning 3, Presence 1

WT 10+Brawn, ST 10+Willpower

90 XP

1 rank in Stealth

Masters of Disguise: Receive the talent “Indistinguishable.”

Recognition of the Force: When tracking a Force-sensitive target, add boosts equal to the target’s Force Rating.

Feeders: When attacking a target, may spend 2 advantage to hit with proboscis. This requires the target to make a Discipline check opposed by Coercion. If failed, the target is subdued, becoming incapacitated and receiving the injury “The End is Nigh.” If first time feeding, gain a 15 point obligation of addiction towards feeding in this method.

 

I feel that since the Feeders ability is optional and using it comes with a massive obligation, it shouldn’t affect XP. If you feel otherwise, then you could always decrease XP or set their characteristics at 222221.

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My suggestion is not to worry at all about the stats for brain eating. Have the danger of it shown through the tentacles affecting/being used on NPCs that are important (you could add a mystery aspect to it as well), but in the fight with the PCs I would only show it by having an NPC the players care about being “held hostage” by Kirm under threat of his tentacles.

If it were me I’d go this route: the PCs investigate some brutal murders of NPCs the crime boss has been interested in. As they investigate them (could happen over a series of sessions, some even as a subplot), signs start to point to Kirm. When the players confront Kirm, have the enforcer finally snap and take his boss hostage under the threat of being eaten.

Dangerous in another way (in this case one of their employers possibly being killed as well as other contacts) is still dangerous.

Edited by Flavorabledeez

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