I like to create NPCs. Here`s a revision of a character I posted earlier -
feel free to use for your own campaigns. The build is solid but I could use
some suggestions for the background.

Since I couldn`t reconcile the issue that Rjurik bards had to be lawful,
and barbarians had to be non-lawful, I dropped bard completely from the
Please look over the background if you could. I am trying to decide whether
I should keep the character as Rjurik, or make him a Vos now that he
doesn`t have to be a bard (Rjurik and Vos are my only options as those are
the only 2 human cultures I can see producing barbarians). Which do you
think is more appropriate, and which would make for a more compelling

The full thread on the 3e boards:


Cut/pasted from the 3e minmax boards, the build is now:

Bbn3/Ftr2/Blackguard5/Warrior of Darkness10

If you have at least Int 12, take Abyssal or Infernal as your bonus
starting language. In BR this can be justified by an "awakening" of a
latent Azrai bloodline, or something the bloodline gave you. Other than
that, you have to cross class 1 rank of spellcraft (2sp), 3 ranks of
Alchemy (6sp), 3 K:Arcana (6sp), and 2 ranks of K: Rel (4sp), for a total
of 18 points spent cross-classing 9 ranks of skills. Bbn3 with 12 int has
36 skill points, so you easily meet your requirements. WOD has Hide as a
class skill so you can buy all 5 ranks you need at WOD1.

I know it would be more optimal to go Ftr2/Bbn2/Rgr1 or Fallen Paladin1,
but I like the `tighter` build and am willing to sacrifice the slight
decrease in power. The ranger level is not that useful anyway (no TWF in
heavy armor, and this guy is going claymore besides) and the Fallen Paladin
level could be difficult to justify roleplaying-wise with the Bbn levels.
It would be a different story if you could take 1 level of Fallen Paladin
at level 5 as a `dead` level, where you didn`t expect to get anything from
it until you took a level of Blackguard. Besides, Bbn3 does give +1 Reflex
and Will save.

The feat progression is pretty much the same as the other build.

Hruskgar Blackthorn
Male Rjurik (or change to Vos?) human
Neutral Evil
Azrai, minor, 16 (Heightened Ability-Charisma, minor; Enhanced Sense, minor)

S 16, D 10, C 14, I 13, W 13, Ch 17


1. Bbn1 Rage, +10 speed, Power Attack, Iron Will
2. Bbn2 Uncanny Dodge 1
3. Bbn3 Cleave
4. Ftr1 Sunder, Cha +1
5. Ftr2 Weapon Focus: Claymore
6. WoD1 Black Magic Oil (Ensorcelled Flesh), Vile Martial Strike: Claymore
7. Blk1 Detect Good, Poison Use, Aura of Evil, Cha +1
8. Blk2 Dark Blessing, Smite Good
9. Blk3 Aura of Despair, Control Undead, Improved Critical: Claymore
10 Blk4 Sneak Attack +1d6
11 Blk5 Smite 2/day, Fiendish Servant
12 WoD2 Darkling Weapon, Divine Might, Cha +1
13 WoD3 Black Magic Elixir (Violent Knowledge: Weapon Specialization:
14 WoD4 Black Magic Oil (Rapid Step +10 speed)
15 WoD5 Scarred Flesh, Open Feat
16 WoD6 Violent Knowledge (Open Feat), Wis +1
17 WoD7 Black Magic Oil (Unholy Strike)
18 WoD8 Repellent Flesh, Open Feat
19 WoD9 Black Magic Elixir (Dark Senses: tremorsense)
20 WoD10 Black Magic Oil (Malign Fury), Str +1


As compared to the previous build, this build gets slightly better HP and
BAB at the cost of slightly weaker saves. You get an extra smite and
Fiendish Companion, which are cool, but lose bardic music 2/day, bardic
knowledge (more or less useless except for flavor), and some skill points
wasted in cross classing.

For those open feats, my NPC will probably take Leadership, possibly
Mounted Combat, and perhaps Power Critical. Can Leadership and Fiendish
Companion be combined into one super-cohort?

The Master of Shrouds can be kept, but I now prefer the Blackguard levels
for a more `focused` build. You also save skill points on the 10 ranks of
concentration and spellcraft needed for MoS.

Here`s the background:

Hruskgar Blackthorn hails from Hjorig, a Rjurik-populated country on the
western borders of Vosgaard. Originally a warrior in the service of the
Jarl of Hjorig, Hruskgar Ulldvim (as he was originally known) always
harbored a burning interest in the occult (at level 1, 2 ranks K:arcana, 2
ranks K:religion, 2 ranks Alchemy, 1 rank Spellcraft). On a minor hunting
trip, Hruskgar encountered and slew a minor awnshegh, in the process
unknowingly becoming a scion of Azrai`s blood.

Azrai`s derivation subtly increased Hruskgar`s interest in occultism as
well as further corrupting his already evil nature. When Hruskgar killed
another of the Jarl`s lieutenants in a minor dispute, he was banished from
the realm by the Jarl, who feared his growing ability and influence (again,
fueled in part by his divine bloodline).

Hruskgar, through his study of esoteric topics, knew that only with a
divine bloodline could humans use true magic. However, he still did not
know that he possessed such a bloodline thanks to the act of bloodtheft
against the awnshegh he killed. He travelled south to Khinasi lands, where
there were many repositories of arcane knowledge.

Believing that he had no ability to use true magic, Hruskgar turned to the
study of alchemy and the creation of elixirs and potions. His study and
experimentation led him to increasingly depraved rituals to create his
potions, until the point where his actions were discovered by the locals
and he was chased away from Khinasi lands.

Now wholly committed to the practice of profane rituals, perhaps because of
his dark blood, Hruskgar fled to Anuire, where he found a place to continue
his study.

Now a lieutenant of the Duke Jaison Raenech of Osoerde, Hruskgar Blackthorn
(as he is now known) has expanded his study of occultism to include
religious ritual, under the guidance of the True Church of Vosgaard hidden
in Osoerde. It is unknown whether he possesses his paladin-like powers
through supplication to Belinik and Kriesha or some darker, heretofore
unknown power.

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