top of page

20 D&D Tavern NPCs with Dark Secrets

Updated: Aug 8, 2023




Table of contents: 20 D&D Tavern NPCs with Dark Secrets




Introduction


You're looking to spice up your next D&D adventure with some intrigue and mystery. As the DM, you want to give your players a chance to do some roleplaying and interact with interesting NPCs that aren't just quest-givers or shopkeepers.


Taverns are a classic location for shady dealings and secret exchanges in fantasy worlds, so you've created 20 tavern patrons with dark secrets.


Each of these NPCs has a hidden agenda, secret past, or double life that could create chaos if discovered. Connections between the characters create a web of deceit and blackmail that threatens to unravel at any moment.


Your players may stumble upon these secrets through clever questioning, eavesdropping at the right time, or following suspicious characters into the night. How they choose to act upon these revelations is up to them - will they use the information for their own gain or work to prevent the impending disasters? The fate of the tavern and its patrons is in their hands.


The Brooding Bard

The Brooding Bard sits in the corner, plucking mournfully at his lute and staring into his ale. At first glance, he seems a typical angsty minstrel, but his sorrow runs deeper. Years ago, he was part of an adventuring company that delved too deep into an ancient crypt, unleashing a curse that transformed his companions into hideous undead mockeries of their former selves. Though he escaped, their tormented spirits haunt his dreams.


Now he wanders the land, singing cautionary tales of tampering with forces beyond mortal ken. His dirges warn of the doom that awaits those who disturb the dead’s slumber. Most dismiss him as a madman, but for a few coins, he’ll share what he knows of the evil that lies beneath the old crypt - and the dark secrets that may redeem his lost friends.


Beneath his gloom, a spark of hope remains. The Brooding Bard is on a quest for redemption and salvation, though he knows not where it may lead. His knowledge could prove useful to adventurers brave or foolish enough to explore the crypt’s depths. But beware: help him in his quest, and you may find yourself snared in a web of tragedy from which none have yet escaped.


The Brooding Bard Race: Human Class: Bard (College of Spirits) Alignment: Neutral Good Level: 6 Hit Points: 45 Armor Class: 15 (leather armor) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 10 (+0)

  • Dexterity: 16 (+3)

  • Constitution: 12 (+1)

  • Intelligence: 12 (+1)

  • Wisdom: 14 (+2)

  • Charisma: 18 (+4)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma

  • Skills: Performance, Persuasion, Insight, History

  • Tools: Lute, Flute

  • Languages: Common, Elvish, Abyssal (knowledge from his tragic past)

Bard Class Features:

  • Spellcasting: As a 6th level bard, he can know 8 spells and can have 4 cantrips.

    • Cantrips: Vicious Mockery, Mage Hand, Light, Prestidigitation.

    • 1st Level Spells: Dissonant Whispers, Healing Word.

    • 2nd Level Spells: Phantasmal Force, Song of Rest.

    • 3rd Level Spells: Speak with Dead (reflects his connection to his undead friends), Dispel Magic.

  • Bardic Inspiration (d8): He can inspire others, granting them an inspiration die (1d8). This represents the Brooding Bard's innate ability to lift the spirits of others, despite his sorrow.

  • Countercharm: He has the ability to ward off frightening or charming effects with his music.

  • College of Spirits: The Brooding Bard has an innate connection with the spirits, especially his haunted past. Using "Guiding Whispers" and "Spiritual Focus" features from this college makes him even more connected to the otherworldly entities.

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Rapier (+6 to hit, 1d8+3 piercing damage)

  • Musical Instrument: A worn-out lute that has seen better days.

  • Other: Flask of Endless Ale (to drown out the sorrow), A diary containing his haunting dreams, and a single locket containing a picture of his old adventuring party.

Background: Haunted One Feature: Harrowing Event - His harrowing event is the unfortunate incident at the crypt that led to his companions' transformation into undead beings. This gives him a grim determination to prevent others from experiencing similar fates. Personality Traits:

  • Sings cautionary dirges in a melancholic tone.

  • Struggles with survivor's guilt.

  • Holds onto the hope of redemption.

Bonds:

  • The lost souls of his adventuring party, who he is determined to save.

Flaws:

  • Sometimes too consumed by his past to notice the present.

  • Often drinks to numb the pain.

Ideals:

  • Redemption: He believes that every soul, even those cursed, can find redemption.

Adventure Hooks:

  • The Brooding Bard can provide cryptic hints about the cursed crypt, leading adventurers on a quest to reverse the curse.

  • The haunting spirits from his dreams might be trying to communicate a way to undo their fate, requiring unique magical items or rituals.

  • An undead companion from his old group might have surfaced, causing havoc and needs to be subdued or saved.


The Cloaked Conman

This shady character always has his face hidden under a dark cloak. At first glance, you might mistake him for a mysterious wizard, but his charismatic charm and silver tongue reveal he's no mage. This conman frequents the tavern, swindling naïve adventurers out of their hard-earned gold through rigged games of chance and extravagant tales of treasure.


Though cunning, he has a weakness for wine and women. After a few drinks, his cloak may slip, revealing a brand on his cheek from when he was caught cheating at cards. The barmaids know to water down his wine, as when drunk his boasts become outrageous, like claiming he stole a lock of the Queen’s hair or sacked a dragon’s hoard.


While a scoundrel, he means no real harm. He seeks thrills, gold, and glory but avoids violence. The Cloaked Conman may try to befriend the party, professing to know secret entrances into the local lord’s keep or where bandits stash their loot. He’s willing to “share” this information for the right price. However, any treasure hunt with this knave is sure to lead to an empty chest and danger. Tread carefully, for not all is as it seems under that cloak!


The Cloaked Conman Race: Half-Elf Class: Rogue (Mastermind) Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Level: 5 Hit Points: 32 Armor Class: 14 (without armor, relies on agility) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 10 (+0)

  • Dexterity: 16 (+3)

  • Constitution: 12 (+1)

  • Intelligence: 14 (+2)

  • Wisdom: 10 (+0)

  • Charisma: 18 (+4)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Deception, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Insight

  • Tools: Thieves' tools, Dice set, Playing card set

  • Languages: Common, Elvish, Thieves' Cant, and one more language of your choice (reflecting his diverse clientele).

Rogue Class Features:

  • Sneak Attack (3d6): Can deal extra damage if he has advantage on an attack or if another enemy of the target is within 5 ft.

  • Thieves' Cant: Secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows him to hide messages.

  • Cunning Action: Can take a bonus action to Dash, Disengage, or Hide.

  • Mastermind Features:

    • Master of Tactics: He can use the Help action as a bonus action to assist allies.

    • Insightful Manipulator: If he spends at least 1 minute observing or interacting with another creature outside combat, he can learn certain information about its capabilities.

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Dagger (+6 to hit, 1d4+3 piercing damage)

  • Other: A heavy dark cloak with many hidden pockets, a small purse filled with gold (ill-gotten gains), a set of weighted dice, marked playing cards, and a flask filled with wine.

Background: Charlatan Feature: False Identity - He has created a second identity that comes with forged documents and disguise. He uses this identity when his cons catch up with him. Personality Traits:

  • Smooth talker who can charm his way out of most situations.

  • Has an inflated sense of self, boasting about exaggerated feats.

Bonds:

  • The thrill of the con. It's not just about the gold, but the art of the deception.

Flaws:

  • Weakness for wine and women, which often leads to his undoing.

  • Can't resist boasting when inebriated.

Ideals:

  • Freedom: Chains are meant to be broken, as are those who would forge them.

Adventure Hooks:

  • The Cloaked Conman approaches the party with an offer they can't refuse - a map to a "guaranteed" treasure, but it leads to a trap or an empty chest.

  • A local lord offers a bounty for the capture of the notorious conman. Whether the party aims to capture him or protect him is up to them.

  • He drunkenly boasts of a heist he's planning, either involving the party or warning them to stay out of his way.


The Sinister Sorceress

You spot a mysterious woman in dark robes brooding in the corner, nursing a goblet of wine. This is Vistra, a sinister sorceress with a hidden agenda. Vistra is chaotic evil and seeks to sow discord wherever she goes.


Vistra was once a renowned mage, but was banished from the academy for dangerous experimentation with dark magic. Now she wanders the land, selling her services to the highest bidder. Vistra is a master of deception and manipulation. She uses her charm and magic to coerce others into doing her bidding, whether they realize it or not.


If the party encounters Vistra, she will appear friendly at first. She may offer to join them on their quest, claiming her magic will aid them. But Vistra cares only for herself, and will betray the party to advance her own ends. Her spells focus on illusion, charm, and necromancy. Vistra always has a trick up her sleeve and an escape plan ready. Thwarting her schemes will prove challenging, as she is a cunning and ruthless opponent.


Vistra can be a recurring villain in your campaign, constantly causing trouble for the party from the shadows. Her ultimate goals are shrouded in mystery, but if left unchecked she may become too powerful to stop. The party will need to outwit the sinister sorceress before her dark magic consumes the realm!


Vistra, the Sinister Sorceress Race: Human Class: Sorcerer (Shadow Magic) Alignment: Chaotic Evil Level: 8 Hit Points: 52 Armor Class: 12 (with mage armor) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 8 (-1)

  • Dexterity: 14 (+2)

  • Constitution: 14 (+2)

  • Intelligence: 16 (+3)

  • Wisdom: 12 (+1)

  • Charisma: 18 (+4)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma

  • Skills: Deception, Arcana, Persuasion, Insight

  • Languages: Common, Abyssal, Infernal

Sorcerer Class Features:

  • Spellcasting:

    • Cantrips: Mage Hand, Chill Touch, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation

    • 1st Level Spells: Mage Armor, Charm Person

    • 2nd Level Spells: Mirror Image, Misty Step

    • 3rd Level Spells: Counterspell, Major Image

    • 4th Level Spells: Greater Invisibility, Blight


  • Sorcerous Origin (Shadow Magic):

    • Eyes of the Dark: Can cast Darkness using sorcery points and can see through this darkness.

    • Strength of the Grave: When damage reduces her to 0 hit points, she can make a Charisma saving throw to drop to 1 hit point instead.

  • Metamagic:

    • Subtle Spell: Allows her to cast spells without any somatic or verbal components.

    • Quickened Spell: Allows her to cast a spell as a bonus action.

Equipment:

  • Arcane Focus: A black obsidian pendant, which she uses to channel her dark spells.

  • Other: A dark, hooded robe that conceals her features, a leather pouch with gold coins and various magical reagents, and a goblet which she's never seen without.

Background: Sage (specifically a researcher) Feature: Researcher - When she attempts to learn or recall a piece of lore, if she does not know that information, she often knows where and from whom she can obtain it. Personality Traits:

  • Always seems to be plotting or scheming.

  • Speaks in riddles and veiled threats.

Bonds:

  • Obsession with unlocking the true potential of shadow magic.

Flaws:

  • Overconfident in her powers and underestimates others.

  • Thirst for power often blinds her to potential dangers.

Ideals:

  • Power: Knowledge is the path to power and domination.

Adventure Hooks:

  • Vistra has been sighted in a nearby village, and the local lord seeks the party's help to uncover her motives.

  • An ancient artifact is said to amplify shadow magic. Vistra is after it, and the party may need to secure it first to prevent her from gaining unimaginable power.

  • A member of the party starts having disturbing dreams or visions, which are revealed to be manipulations from Vistra. The party must find a way to shield themselves from her mind tricks.

The Grizzled Mercenary

You spot a gruff, scarred man sitting alone in the corner, nursing an ale. His worn leather armor and the notches in his sword show he's no stranger to battle. Approaching with caution, you strike up a conversation.


He tells you he's a sellsword who has fought in wars across the realm. "Seen and done things no man should have to," he says grimly, staring into his drink. You sense there are dark chapters in his past he'd rather forget.


Though he seems like a tough customer, you notice his eyes occasionally drift to a group of playing children with a hint of sadness. Perhaps this hardened warrior once had a family of his own before tragedy struck.


If you're looking to hire a skilled fighter, this mercenary's blade can be bought. But be warned, there may be a hefty price for awakening the demons that haunt his memories. His desire for redemption could prove useful, if you have need of a protector. But cross him, and you'll face a rage honed from years of spilling blood on the battlefield.


This grizzled mercenary has a complex backstory and could serve as an interesting ally or enemy in your campaign. His mix of world-weariness, regret over past misdeeds, and lingering humanity beneath a rough exterior provides lots of potential for multidimensional roleplaying.


The Grizzled Mercenary, Thrain Race: Human Class: Fighter (Battlemaster) Alignment: Neutral Level: 7 Hit Points: 65 Armor Class: 17 (with worn leather armor and shield) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 17 (+3)

  • Dexterity: 14 (+2)

  • Constitution: 16 (+3)

  • Intelligence: 10 (+0)

  • Wisdom: 13 (+1)

  • Charisma: 12 (+1)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution

  • Skills: Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, Survival

  • Tools: Dice set (from the days he'd pass time in the barracks)

  • Languages: Common, one other language of choice (perhaps from a region where he fought)

Fighter Class Features:

  • Fighting Style (Defense): +1 AC while wearing armor.

  • Second Wind: Can use a bonus action to regain hit points once per short rest.

  • Action Surge: Can take an additional action on his turn, once per short rest.

  • Extra Attack: Can attack twice whenever he takes the Attack action.

  • Battlemaster Features:

    • Combat Superiority: He knows a number of maneuvers like Riposte, Trip Attack, and Menacing Attack. He has 5 superiority dice (d8s) to use with these maneuvers.

    • Student of War: Proficiency with one type of artisan's tools. Given his reflective demeanor, perhaps he's taken up something contemplative like Woodcarving tools, to make small trinkets and reminders of past times.


Equipment:

  • Weapon: A notched longsword (+7 to hit, 1d8+3 slashing damage) and a dagger (+6 to hit, 1d4+3 piercing damage).

  • Other: Worn leather armor, a shield with a faded emblem (perhaps from a company or lord he once served), a flask filled with strong liquor, a pouch with some gold coins and a small wooden carving of a family, symbolizing the one he lost.

Background: Soldier Feature: Military Rank - He was an officer in a past war and can use his rank to exert influence over other soldiers and gain access to certain military facilities. Personality Traits:

  • Talks little about his past, preferring to keep his memories to himself.

  • Tends to be protective, especially of those weaker or more vulnerable than him.

Bonds:

  • His lost family, who he still mourns deeply.

Flaws:

  • Haunted by past deeds, he often drowns his sorrows in drink.

  • Quick to anger when reminded of past traumas.

Ideals:

  • Redemption: There's a path to redemption for everyone, and he seeks to find his.

Adventure Hooks:

  • Thrain hears rumors of an enemy from his past who has come back to settle scores. He might need the party's assistance to confront them.

  • He might be recognized by veterans or survivors of the wars he fought in, leading to complications or unexpected assistance.

  • An old comrade reaches out for Thrain's help in a new mercenary endeavor, pulling him back into a world of combat and potentially ensnaring the party in a morally ambiguous situation.

The Charismatic Cultist

Your players spot an elf in elegant robes working the crowd, his charming smile and honeyed words enticing many to join his cause, his name is Latheril. Little do they know this cultist secretly worships the demon lord The Idiot. This cultist was once a cleric of Alearis but turned to the dark side, now devoted to spreading The Idiot's’ evil. He uses his high Charisma and Deception skill to recruit new cult members, luring them with promises of power and purpose.


This sinister NPC works to secretly spread the cult’s influence, recruiting new members to help with profane rituals and sacrifices to Orcus. He may try to get the party’s help, playing the part of a charming cleric while hiding his true evil intent. His high Charisma makes him a dangerous foe, able to manipulate others and talk his way out of trouble. If discovered, he will fight fiercely to protect the cult.



Race: Elf (High Elf) Class: Cleric (Trickery Domain) Alignment: Chaotic Evil Level: 8 Hit Points: 58 Armor Class: 17 (with chainmail and shield) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 10 (+0)

  • Dexterity: 14 (+2)

  • Constitution: 12 (+1)

  • Intelligence: 14 (+2)

  • Wisdom: 16 (+3)

  • Charisma: 18 (+4)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

  • Skills: Deception (+8), Persuasion (+8), Religion (+6), Insight (+7)

  • Languages: Common, Elvish, Celestial (from his former days of worship), Abyssal (reflecting his new dark devotion)

Cleric Class Features:

  • Divine Domain (Trickery Domain):

    • Blessing of the Trickster: Can grant another creature advantage on Stealth checks.

    • Channel Divinity: Invoke Duplicity: Can create an illusionary duplicate of himself.

    • Channel Divinity: Cloak of Shadows: Can use his channel divinity to become invisible.


  • Spellcasting: As a 8th-level cleric, Larethil has access to spells up to 4th level. Given his sinister nature and new allegiance, his spell choices might lean towards enchantment and illusion spells, as well as some necromantic ones reflecting his devotion to Orcus.

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Mace (+5 to hit, 1d6 bludgeoning damage) and a dagger (concealed) (+6 to hit, 1d4+2 piercing damage).

  • Other: Chainmail armor, a shield with the emblem of Alearis (though tainted or altered subtly to fit his new devotion), a holy symbol (now corrupted), and a book containing encrypted cult rituals.

Background: Acolyte (altered for his dark path) Feature: Shelter of the Faithful - He might have safe havens among those who are still unaware of his dark transition or among those within the cult. Personality Traits:

  • Master manipulator; believes everyone has a price or a weak point.

  • A silver-tongued devil, always having the right words for any situation.

Bonds:

  • Devoted to The Idiot, and will do anything to spread its influence.

Flaws:

  • Overconfident in his ability to manipulate, sometimes underestimating those who are truly wise.

  • Holds a deep grudge against the Church of Alearis for some past slight, real or imagined.

Ideals:

  • Power: The true path to divinity is through power, no matter how it is obtained.

Adventure Hooks:

  • Larethil holds a public sermon, enticing the populace with grand promises. The party might be hired to investigate his true intentions.

  • An old associate from the Church of Alearis seeks the party's help in confronting Larethil, hoping to bring him back to the light or stop his malevolent plans.

  • The party stumbles upon one of the profane rituals conducted by Larethil and his cult, placing them squarely in the crosshairs of this sinister cleric and his followers.


The Dockworker with gambling problems

You spot a burly half-orc arguing with the barkeep over an unpaid tab, claiming his coin purse was stolen. This dockworker, Grumbar, frequents the tavern after unloading cargo, spending most of his wages on ale and losing the rest gambling. To fund his habits, Grumbar has been stealing valuables from the ships and selling them to a fence in the city.


Grumbar is chaotic neutral and cares little for laws or morals. However, his thievery has made enemies of several sailors and he lives in fear of being caught. He tries to blend into crowds, but his size and green skin make him easy to spot. Grumbar will do almost anything to avoid trouble, including ratting out his fence or offering a cut of his takings to anyone who can make his problems disappear.


If confronted about the thefts, Grumbar will deny all knowledge. Evidence of his crimes or threats against his person will make him talk. He has no loyalty to anyone and will turn on allies to save his own hide. Grumbar can reveal the location of his fence, details of past thefts, and rumors of future targets. However, he will disappear at the first opportunity to avoid further trouble.


Grumbar, the Sneaky Dockworker Race: Half-Orc Class: Rogue (Thief archetype) Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Level: 3 Hit Points: 24 Armor Class: 13 (with leather armour) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 16 (+3)

  • Dexterity: 14 (+2)

  • Constitution: 14 (+2)

  • Intelligence: 10 (+0)

  • Wisdom: 8 (-1)

  • Charisma: 12 (+1)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Athletics (+5), Stealth (+4), Intimidation (+3), Sleight of Hand (+4)

  • Languages: Common, Orc

Rogue Class Features:

  • Expertise: Grumbar has double proficiency bonus in Stealth and Sleight of Hand, increasing these skills to +6 and +6, respectively.

  • Sneak Attack: Deals an extra 2d6 damage when he has an advantage on an attack roll or another enemy of the target is within 5 ft. and isn't incapacitated.

  • Thieves' Cant: A secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows Grumbar to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation.

  • Cunning Action: On each of his turns, Grumbar can use a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Shortsword (+5 to hit, 1d6+3 piercing damage) and a dagger (+5 to hit, 1d4+3 piercing damage).

  • Other: Leather armor, thieves' tools, a worn coin purse (often nearly empty), a few items recently pilfered from the docks.

Background: Urchin Feature: City Secrets - Grumbar can navigate the city's streets and alleyways quickly, avoiding trouble. Personality Traits:

  • Trusts no one completely, always looking over his shoulder.

  • Quick to anger but equally quick to beg or bribe his way out of trouble.

Bonds:

  • Deeply indebted to a loan shark, which pushes him to thievery.

Flaws:

  • Easily intimidated when confronted with undeniable evidence or strong threats.

  • Gambling addiction constantly leaves him in debt.

Ideals:

  • Survival: Whatever it takes, Grumbar's primary concern is to live another day.

Adventure Hooks:

  • The party is hired by ship owners to find the person responsible for a series of thefts on the docks. This leads them to Grumbar.

  • Grumbar might approach the party offering information about potential treasure or goods in exchange for protection or a small fee.

  • As the party gains renown, Grumbar might try to hire them to intimidate or eliminate his loan shark or to help him in a particularly risky heist.


The Dark Mage

This mysterious mage sits alone in the corner, his face obscured by the hood of his cloak. His standoffish demeanour and the faint crackle of magical energy surrounding him are enough to make most patrons steer clear. But every so often, someone approaches seeking his arcane services.


Little do they know the sinister secrets he hides. This mage dabbles in forbidden magic and dark rituals to increase his power. He cares not who gets hurt in the process. In fact, the suffering of others seems to fuel his magic.


If confronted, the Menacing Mage will not hesitate to unleash a few cantrips to defend himself before vanishing in a puff of smoke. His true identity and the extent of his dark powers remain unknown. For now.

  • Specializes in necromancy, curses, and mind control spells

  • Carries a gnarled staff and a spellbook bound in human flesh

  • Has a secret lair filled with sinister artefacts, trapped souls, and the remains of failed experiments

  • Offers magical services for the right price but always has an ulterior motive


This menacing mage can add an element of mystery and danger to any tavern encounter. Adventurers may hire his services at their peril or make an enemy if they get too close to discovering his dark secrets


Menacing Mage, Keeper of Forbidden Arts Race: Human (or could be any other race as preferred) Class: Wizard (Necromancy School) Alignment: Neutral Evil Level: 10 Hit Points: 58 Armor Class: 12 (with Mage Armor) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 8 (-1)

  • Dexterity: 14 (+2)

  • Constitution: 14 (+2)

  • Intelligence: 18 (+4)

  • Wisdom: 12 (+1)

  • Charisma: 13 (+1)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom

  • Skills: Arcana (+8), History (+8), Insight (+5), Investigation (+8)

  • Languages: Common, Elvish, Abyssal, Draconic, and Infernal

Wizard Class Features:

  • Arcane Recovery: Can recover spell slots on a short rest.

  • Necromancy Savant: The gold and time spent to copy a necromancy spell into his spellbook is halved.

  • Grim Harvest: Can regain hit points equal to the spell level of a necromancy spell that kills a creature.

Spellcasting:

  • Cantrips: Chill Touch, Minor Illusion, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation

  • 1st-5th Level Spells (selected): Mage Armor, Shield, Counterspell, Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Dominate Person, Geas, Magic Jar

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Gnarled staff (can be used as an arcane focus).

  • Other: Spellbook bound in human flesh, Robes, Component pouch, Several sinister artifacts, and Dark reagents.

Background: Sage (Specialized in Dark Arts) Feature: Researcher - Can find almost any information about a topic, especially when it comes to dark and forbidden arts. Personality Traits:

  • Often deep in thought, only to be interrupted by fits of malicious laughter.

  • Observes more than he speaks, usually calculating potential benefits.

Bonds:

  • The bound spellbook carries the souls of those he has personally sacrificed; he protects it with his life.

Flaws:

  • Obsession with power and control, leading him to underestimate others.

  • Has made numerous enemies and trusts no one fully.

Ideals:

  • Power Above All: Magic is the key to ultimate power, and he will do whatever it takes to obtain it.

Adventure Hooks:

  • The mage offers a high reward for retrieving a forbidden artefact; but will the party hand it over once they discover its power?

  • Tales spread of a mage who can lift any curse, but his services come at a dark price.

  • A rival seeks to expose the Menacing Mage's true identity and seeks the party's help to do so.

  • Disappearances in the town are traced back to the mage's experiments; can the party stop him before it's too late?


The Elven Druid

You spot a wood elf casually leaning against the bar, swirling a mug of mead. At first glance, he seems harmless enough, but there’s a cunning gleam in his eye that gives you pause. This is no ordinary druid.


Rumour has it he was once part of a circle that protected the nearby forest, but he grew power-hungry and resentful of the restrictions placed on him. He began dabbling in forbidden magic and was eventually exiled from the circle. Now he offers his skills to the highest bidder, for the right price.

  • He is willing to cast entangle, spike growth, and other hazardous spells to waylay travellers or hinder pursuers.

  • For a hefty sum, he may agree to summon dangerous beasts to attack a target of your choosing.

  • His knowledge of poisons and potions is unparalleled. He can create concoctions to incapacitate, paralyze or even kill if the pay is right.

Though cunning and self-serving, the druid’s ultimate loyalty is still to nature. He despises the civilized world and those who would exploit the land for profit. His dark deeds are merely a means to finance his true passion: protecting the wild places in his own twisted way.

This devious druid could be a useful ally or a dangerous enemy. His skills and inside knowledge of the nearby forest would be invaluable to any adventuring party. But beware—if you cross him, you may find yourself on the receiving end of his sinister magic with no one around to hear your screams.


Race: Wood Elf Class: Druid (Circle of the Land - Forest) Alignment: True Neutral with Chaotic tendencies Level: 8 Hit Points: 64 Armor Class: 16 (natural armor and Dexterity) Speed: 35 ft. (Wood Elf speed) Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 10 (0)

  • Dexterity: 16 (+3)

  • Constitution: 14 (+2)

  • Intelligence: 12 (+1)

  • Wisdom: 18 (+4)

  • Charisma: 10 (0)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom

  • Skills: Nature (+5), Survival (+8), Medicine (+8), Stealth (+7)

  • Languages: Common, Elvish, Sylvan

Druid Class Features:

  • Wild Shape: Can transform into creatures he has seen.

  • Land's Stride: Moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs him no extra movement.

  • Natural Recovery: Can recover spell slots during a short rest.

Spellcasting:

  • Cantrips: Poison Spray, Thorn Whip

  • 1st-4th Level Spells (selected): Entangle, Goodberry (potentially modified as a poison), Spike Growth, Moonbeam, Summon Animals, Conjure Woodland Beings, Freedom of Movement, Grasping Vine

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Quarterstaff (can be used as a druidic focus) and a dagger with a hilt shaped like intertwined vines.

  • Other: Herb pouch, Several vials of various poisons and potions, Druidic focus (a small wooden totem).

Background: Outlander (Exiled Druid) Feature: Wanderer - Excellent memory for maps and geography, can always recall the general layout of terrain, settlements, and other features around him. Personality Traits:

  • Calculative and observant, always watching for opportunities.

  • Takes great pleasure in the discomfort of city folk and those who harm nature.

Bonds:

  • Bound by ancient oaths to protect specific groves or creatures, even if it means making morally gray decisions.

Flaws:

  • Overly prideful and resents being restricted or told what to do.

  • Has a deep-seated grudge against his former circle and is out to prove his might.

Ideals:

  • Nature’s Retribution: The land will reclaim its own, and he will be its instrument of vengeance.

Adventure Hooks:

  • The druid offers to guide the party through the nearby forest, but has his own agenda that may put them in danger.

  • A local settlement seeks to expand into the nearby woods, and the druid is rumored to be behind the mysterious disappearances of workers and builders.

  • The druid may have information on a rare plant or magical creature the party needs, but his assistance comes at a steep price.

  • An ancient relic from the druid's past is discovered, and he seeks the party's aid in retrieving it before it falls into the wrong hands.


The Secretive Cleric

You spot a mysterious figure in the corner, hidden beneath a dark cloak. At first glance, you assume it's just another patron enjoying their privacy. But there's something strange about this one.


Every now and then, you notice them chanting in a hushed whisper. The words sound familiar, like an ancient prayer or ritual. Are they casting a spell? You can't quite make out the details under that cloak, but you think you spot a holy symbol hanging around their neck.


This secretive stranger is a cleric, though of which god or faith, none can say. They seem to observe the tavern's goings-on with a keen and watchful eye, as if waiting or searching for something...or someone.


Every patron has a story, but this cryptic cleric's tale remains shrouded in mystery. What divine mission have they been sent here to fulfil? What sinister secrets might they be hiding beneath that cloak? Approaching them could provide answers, if you dare. But be warned: their devotion may lead down a dangerous path with unforeseen consequences.


Tread carefully, adventurer. Not all clerics use their gifts for good.


Cryptic Cleric of Unveiled Secrets Race: Any (for added mystery, use Aasimar, Tiefling, or Changeling) Class: Cleric (Domain of the Unknown, a homebrewed or lesser-known domain) Alignment: Neutral Level: 9 Hit Points: 70 Armor Class: 18 (Chainmail and Shield) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 13 (+1)

  • Dexterity: 10 (0)

  • Constitution: 15 (+2)

  • Intelligence: 14 (+2)

  • Wisdom: 18 (+4)

  • Charisma: 12 (+1)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

  • Skills: Religion (+6), Insight (+8), Arcana (+6), Perception (+8)

  • Languages: Common, Celestial, Abyssal

Cleric Class Features:

  • Channel Divinity: Use the powers given by their domain.

  • Destroy Undead: Disintegrates undead of certain challenge rating.

  • Divine Strike or Blessed Healer: Depending on the domain.

Spellcasting:

  • Cantrips: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Sacred Flame, Word of Radiance

  • 1st-5th Level Spells (selected): Command, Detect Evil and Good, Zone of Truth, Divination, Commune, Detect Thoughts, Silence, Sending

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Mace (with runic symbols) and a simple dagger hidden beneath the cloak.

  • Armor: Chainmail

  • Other: Hooded dark cloak, holy symbol (ambiguous in nature, allowing for both reverence and intimidation), a satchel filled with various religious texts and scrolls.

Background: Acolyte (Secret Sect) Feature: Shelter of the Faithful - In any temple of the cleric's faith, they can receive free healing, resting, and aid. Personality Traits:

  • Quiet and observant, preferring to let others reveal their intentions.

  • Intrigued by riddles and challenges of faith and intellect.

Bonds:

  • Bound by a vow of secrecy about their true mission and origins.

Flaws:

  • Tends to speak in cryptic verses and allegories, which can be off-putting or confusing to others.

  • Trusts no one completely, always suspecting hidden motives.

Ideals:

  • Unveiled Truth: Every hidden thing will eventually come to light, and they're here to expedite that process.

Adventure Hooks:

  • The cleric needs assistance in tracking down a heretic or a stolen holy relic.

  • They may have visions or prophecies that intertwine with the party's journey.

  • A dark force is at play in the town, and the cleric is here to uncover and combat it, potentially recruiting the party for aid.

  • Rumors circulate that this cleric is a harbinger of an upcoming apocalypse or divine event. The party must decide if they are a force of good or a sign of impending doom.


The Conspiring Cook

As the cook at the tavern, Ol’ Sal knows all the local gossip and rumour. But don’t let his jovial nature fool you - he’s got sinister motives. Sal conspires with a secret culinary guild to poison nobles and steal family recipes.


By day, Sal serves up hot meals and cold ale, all with a smile and laugh. But at night, he meets in shadowy corners with the guild to exchange poisons, potions and pilfered recipes. His signature dishes often contain rare, exotic ingredients - some with deadly effects that won’t be detected until after the victim has left the tavern.


Sal knows discretion is key. He spreads rumours and plants false evidence to throw off suspicion, ensuring the murders appear natural or accidental. The guild rewards him handsomely for his services, lining his pockets with gold and filling his mind with dreams of one day becoming the head chef for the royal family.


Little do the patrons know, their favourite cook may be plotting their demise. Sal sees each customer as a potential target, whether for poisoning or for stealing secret family recipes handed down through generations. His jolly demeanour hides sinister motives and a cunning mind. Beware the conspiring cook, for his meals may be your last.


Ol’ Sal, the Conspiring Cook Race: Human Class: Rogue (Assassin) Alignment: Chaotic Evil Level: 7 Hit Points: 45 Armor Class: 14 (Leather Armor) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 12 (+1)

  • Dexterity: 16 (+3)

  • Constitution: 12 (+1)

  • Intelligence: 13 (+1)

  • Wisdom: 10 (0)

  • Charisma: 14 (+2)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Deception (+6), Stealth (+7), Sleight of Hand (+7), Investigation (+5), Insight (+4)

  • Tools: Poisoner’s Kit, Cook's Utensils

  • Languages: Common, Thieves' Cant

Rogue Class Features:

  • Sneak Attack: Deal an extra 4d6 damage when the prerequisites are met.

  • Thieves' Cant: Understand and use a secret language known only to rogues.

  • Cunning Action: Take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action as a bonus action.

  • Assassinate: Advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn. Any hit you score against a surprised creature is a critical hit.

  • Evasion: When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Dagger (treated with various poisons) and a shortsword.

  • Armor: Leather Armor

  • Other: Poisoner's kit, cook's utensils, a small collection of stolen recipes, various vials of poison, small pouch containing gold coins and a signet ring (a symbol of his membership in the culinary assassin’s guild).

Background: Guild Artisan (Culinary Guild) Feature: Guild Membership - As an established and respected member of a guild, Ol’ Sal can rely on certain benefits that membership provides. Personality Traits:

  • Always wears a wide smile and chuckles at everything.

  • Seems to know a bit about everyone and has a rumor or tidbit for any occasion.

  • Obsessed with rare ingredients and exotic dishes.

Bonds:

  • Is fiercely loyal to the culinary assassin’s guild and dreams of rising through its ranks.

Flaws:

  • Overconfident in his skills, believing he is the best cook in the realm.

  • Will do anything for a prized recipe, even if it means betraying those close to him.

Ideals:

  • Ambition: Sal believes that one day he will serve as the royal family’s head chef, and nothing will stand in his way.

Adventure Hooks:

  • There's a sudden increase in mysterious deaths of nobles after they've dined at the tavern. Investigation leads the party towards Sal.

  • A rare ingredient, known to be deadly in large doses, goes missing from the local apothecary and is rumored to be in Sal's possession.

  • An NPC close to the party gets seriously ill after eating one of Sal's dishes. This pushes the party to uncover the truth about the conspiring cook.

  • A rival guild or an avenger seeking justice for a poisoned relative is on Sal’s trail, and the party might be hired or caught in the crossfire.


The Conniving Barkeep

The barkeep, Thom, always has an ear out for any useful information he can gather from drunken patrons. Don't let his jolly demeanour and ready flagon of ale fool you - he's cunning and manipulative. Thom uses secrets and rumours as leverage to get what he wants, not caring who he hurts in the process.


Thom appears as a portly, balding man in his 50s who heartily greets everyone coming into his tavern. But his friendly smile hides a conniving mind that is always plotting his next scheme. Thom has dirt on almost everyone in town and won't hesitate to reveal secrets if someone crosses him or refuses his demands. The local guards and even some shady organizations pay Thom handsomely for any useful bits of gossip or blackmail he uncovers.


Nobody really knows Thom's background before he took over the tavern 10 years ago. Some suspect he may have ties to the thieves' guild or other criminal groups, using the tavern as a front for less-than-legal activities. Whatever Thom's past may hold, one thing is certain - don't share anything with the barkeep that you wouldn't want your enemies finding out. Thom the barkeep sees all, hears all, and tells all - for the right price.

  • Portly, balding barkeep in his 50s

  • Conniving and manipulative personality

  • Gathers secrets and rumours to use as blackmail

  • Works with thieves' guild and shady groups

  • Mysterious background and motives

  • Sees and hears everything in the tavern

Thom, the Conniving Barkeep Race: Human Class: Rogue (Mastermind) Alignment: Neutral Evil Level: 8 Hit Points: 50 Armor Class: 12 (wearing simple clothes, no armour) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 10 (0)

  • Dexterity: 14 (+2)

  • Constitution: 12 (+1)

  • Intelligence: 15 (+2)

  • Wisdom: 14 (+2)

  • Charisma: 16 (+3)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Persuasion (+7), Deception (+7), Insight (+6), Perception (+6)

  • Tools: Brewer’s supplies

  • Languages: Common, Thieves' Cant, plus two additional languages of choice (reflecting his connections and diverse clientele).

Rogue Class Features:

  • Sneak Attack: Deal an extra 4d6 damage when the prerequisites are met.

  • Thieves' Cant: Understand and use a secret language known only to rogues.

  • Cunning Action: Take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action as a bonus action.

  • Master of Intrigue: Thom can mimic other people’s speech patterns and accent, making him an effective spy.

  • Master of Tactics: Can use the Help action as a bonus action to assist allies in combat.

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Dagger (usually hidden) and a small crossbow beneath the bar.

  • Other: Brewer’s supplies, ledger of patrons’ debts and secrets, various vials and bottles containing alcoholic beverages of different kinds, a pouch containing gold coins from various realms, and a signet ring from an unknown origin.

Background: Urban Bounty Hunter Feature: Ear to the Ground - Thom is in frequent contact with people in the segment of society his chosen quarries move through. These people might be associated with the criminal underworld, the rough-and-tumble folk of the streets, or members of high society. Personality Traits:

  • Always appears jovial and friendly to patrons.

  • Observant, noting every little detail and change in his tavern.

Bonds:

  • Thom is fiercely loyal to his tavern and will do anything to ensure its prosperity.

Flaws:

  • Greedy and cannot resist a good deal or bribe.

  • Holds grudges and will act vindictively against those who cross him.

Ideals:

  • Power: Information is power, and Thom believes that by gathering enough of it, he can control any situation.

Adventure Hooks:

  • Thom offers the party information they need but at a hefty price, either in gold or a service.

  • A local noble's child has gone missing, and the party discovers Thom might know something.

  • Thom approaches the party with a job to recover a stolen item from a rival, hinting it's more than just a simple theft.

  • A member of the party realizes they've been poisoned after drinking in Thom's tavern, and they need to confront him to get the antidote.


The Scheming Stablehand

You spot a shifty-looking stablehand lurking in the shadows, eavesdropping on conversations. His name is Kevan, a half-elf down on his luck. Kevan is plotting to steal valuables from the inn’s patrons to pay off gambling debts.


Kevan overhears that a wealthy merchant is staying in the inn tonight. He hatches a plan to sneak into the merchant’s room once he’s asleep, rifle through his belongings for anything of value to sell, and slip out unnoticed under cover of darkness. If caught, Kevan will claim he saw suspicious individuals near the merchant’s room and was checking to ensure his safety.


Little do the patrons know this seemingly innocuous stablehand has a hidden dark side with larcenous intentions. Kevan is willing to go to unlawful lengths out of desperation and greed. His life has spiraled out of control, and he’ll do whatever it takes to claw his way back to solvency, even if it means hurting others in the process.


Under the guise of a hardworking stablehand, Kevan’s sinister schemes unfold right under everyone’s noses. His duplicitous nature makes him a threat to all who cross his path. If discovered, there’s no telling how far Kevan might go to protect his secret life of crime.


Kevan, the Scheming Stablehand Race: Half-Elf Class: Rogue Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Level: 1 Hit Points: 8 Armor Class: 12 (leather armor) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 10 (0)

  • Dexterity: 11 (+0)

  • Constitution: 12 (+1)

  • Intelligence: 13 (+1)

  • Wisdom: 12 (+1)

  • Charisma: 9 (-1)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Deception (+1), Stealth (+2 with expertise), Perception (+3), Animal Handling (+3), and Thieves' Tools (+2 with expertise).

  • Tools: Thieves’ tools

  • Languages: Common, Elvish, and one additional language of choice.

Rogue Class Features:

  • Sneak Attack: Deal an extra 1d6 damage when the prerequisites are met.

  • Thieves' Cant: Understand and use a secret language known only to rogues.

  • Expertise: Doubles proficiency bonus for two chosen skills or tools (Stealth and Thieves' Tools for Kevan).

Equipment:

  • Weapon: Dagger.

  • Armor: Leather armour.

  • Other: Thieves’ tools, stablehand’s gear (like a brush, rope, a bit of feed), and a small pouch containing a few gold and silver coins.

Background: Urban Bounty Hunter (modified for his situation) Feature: Ear to the Ground - Being a stablehand, Kevan often hears travellers and patrons discussing all kinds of things. This puts him in a unique position to pick up gossip and important tidbits of information. Personality Traits:

  • Quick to notice details and changes in his surroundings.

  • Often appears nervous and easily startled.

Bonds:

  • Kevan owes a significant debt to a local gambler or crime lord and is desperate to pay it off.

Flaws:

  • Greedy, often takes unnecessary risks if he believes there's a monetary gain.

  • Lacks self-confidence and often second-guesses himself.

Ideals:

  • Desperation: Kevan believes he's backed into a corner and has to take desperate measures to survive.

Adventure Hooks:

  • Kevan approaches a party member offering to sell a valuable item at a suspiciously low price. Is it stolen from a recent guest?

  • A local crime lord, whom Kevan owes money to, tasks the party with tracking him down after Kevan bungles a theft and goes into hiding.

  • While stabling their horses, the party catches Kevan trying to pilfer through their saddlebags. What will they do with him?

  • Kevan, regretting his decisions and wanting to turn his life around, seeks the party's protection from those he owes money to.


The Devious Merchant

This merchant always has a scheme brewing to swindle coin from unwary travellers. With a silver tongue and charming smile, he convinces people to invest in “get-rich-quick” plans that are too good to be true.

  • He sells shoddy goods at inflated prices, passing them off as high quality. His wares seem fine at first but soon fall apart, break, or prove useless.

  • He organizes “treasure hunts” and charges admission for maps to locations of supposed buried gold and jewels. The treasure is never found, and he skips town with the proceeds.

  • He starts Ponzi schemes, paying early investors returns from new victims’ money until the whole thing collapses. He then disappears with everything.

This con man has left a trail of cheated customers and swindled marks behind him. However, he is cunning enough to avoid serious trouble and changes locations frequently. Adventurers may encounter him peddling some new scam in a tavern, market, or town square. His glib tongue and charming façade hide a ruthless manipulator within.


Alric, the Silver-Tongued Swindler Race: Human Class: Rogue (subclass: Mastermind) Alignment: Neutral Evil Level: 5 Hit Points: 35 Armor Class: 13 (with leather armor) Speed: 30 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 9 (-1)

  • Dexterity: 15 (+2)

  • Constitution: 12 (+1)

  • Intelligence: 14 (+2)

  • Wisdom: 10 (0)

  • Charisma: 16 (+3)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Deception (+7 with expertise), Persuasion (+7 with expertise), Insight (+4), Sleight of Hand (+6), and History (+6).

  • Tools: Forgery kit

  • Languages: Common, two other languages of choice.

Rogue Class Features:

  • Sneak Attack: Deal an extra 3d6 damage when the prerequisites are met.

  • Thieves' Cant: Understand and use a secret language known only to rogues.

  • Expertise: Doubles proficiency bonus for two chosen skills or tools (Deception and Persuasion for Alric).

  • Mastermind Features:

    • Master of Intrigue: Proficiency with disguise kit, forgery kit, and learns two more languages.

    • Master of Tactics: Can use Help action as


The Crooked City Guard

This guard is on the take, willing to look the other way for a few gold coins. He’s been on the job for years and knows all the ins and outs of the city, as well as where bodies are buried. For the right price, he’ll share secrets or make problems disappear.

You spot the guard lounging near the bar, not really paying attention to the patrons. His armor is dented and worn, his belly protrudes over his belt. He looks bored and in need of entertainment. A few coins slid his way and a round of drinks may loosen his tongue.

If confronted about corruption, he’ll deny it vehemently while nervously eyeing the exits. “I’ve served this city faithfully for 20 years!” he’ll proclaim. But his protests ring hollow. This guard is rotten to the core, but too comfortable in his position to quit. For now.

  • Knows the city’s secrets and criminal underworld

  • Can be bribed for information or to look the other way

  • Will deny any wrongdoing if accused

  • Has grown complacent in his job over many years

This jaded city guard could be an interesting foil for your players. Will they expose his corruption or use it to their advantage? His knowledge of the city’s seedy underbelly could prove useful, if they can get him to talk. Of course, trusting the word of a crooked guard may not be the wisest choice.


Gruff, the Corrupt City Guard

Race: Human

Class: Fighter (Champion)

Alignment: Neutral Evil

Level: 3

Hit Points: 28 (3d10 + 6)

Armor Class: 15 (Chain mail, minus the condition)

Speed: 30 ft.

Ability Scores:

  • Strength: 15 (+2)

  • Dexterity: 10 (+0)

  • Constitution: 14 (+2)

  • Intelligence: 10 (+0)

  • Wisdom: 12 (+1)

  • Charisma: 8 (-1)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution

  • Skills: Insight (+3), Intimidation (+1)

  • Languages: Common

  • Weapons: All simple and martial weapons

Fighter Class Features:

  • Fighting Style (Défense): While he wears armour, he gains a +1 bonus to AC.

  • Second Wind: Once per short rest, he can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + his fighter level.

  • Action Surge: Once per short rest, he can take one additional action on his turn.

  • Improved Critical: His weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

Equipment:

  • Weapons: Longsword and a shield.

  • Armor: Dented chain mail.

  • Other: Badge of his city guard rank, a pouch filled with bribed gold, a flask (often filled), a small notebook with names and information about his contacts and deals.

Background: Soldier

Feature: Military Rank - Gruff can invoke his rank to exert influence over other guards and soldiers.

Personality Traits:

  • Lazy, often looking for the easy way out.

  • Enjoys the finer things in life, especially if someone else is paying.

Bonds:

  • He has a family back home, and although he's corrupt, he believes he's doing everything for their betterment.

Flaws:

  • Can be easily swayed by gold or strong drink.

Ideals:

  • Survival: Gruff does what he must to get by, even if it's at the expense of others.

Adventure Hooks:

  • The party is arrested for a minor offense, and Gruff offers to let them go for a price.

  • A local merchant hires the party to find out who has been tipping off the thieves about his shipments. The trail leads back to Gruff.

  • The party stumbles upon Gruff in a compromising situation, which they could use to their advantage.

Relations with the Party:

  • Gruff is a complex character who can be both an obstacle and an asset. He's not above taking bribes or looking the other way, but he's also not a pushover. If the party earns his respect or offers the right incentive, he might become a valuable ally. However, his corrupt nature makes him unreliable and potentially dangerous.



The Cunning Smuggler

You spot a shifty-looking halfling lurking in the shadows of the tavern. His leather armour is worn and travel-stained, and he casts furtive glances around the room as he nurses an ale. This is Theron, a smuggler who uses his skills in stealth and deception to move illicit goods.

Theron makes his living smuggling valuable items between cities and kingdoms, avoiding taxes and tariffs. He charges high fees for transporting goods while evading detection. Theron is charismatic and street-smart, able to talk his way out of trouble. But cross him, and you’ll face his wrath. Theron fights dirty, using daggers and poisons to gain the upper hand.

Part of a smuggling ring, Theron moves stolen goods and contraband for thieves’ guilds and crime syndicates. He knows secret routes and hideouts, and has connections with corrupt guards and officials. Theron’s loyalty is to coin, and he’ll work for anyone who can pay.

Theron, the Shady Smuggler


Theron, the Shady Smuggler Race: Halfling Class: Rogue (subclass: Swashbuckler) Alignment: True Neutral Level: 5 Hit Points: 35 Armor Class: 15 (due to his leather armour and high Dexterity) Speed: 25 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 8 (-1)

  • Dexterity: 18 (+4)

  • Constitution: 14 (+2)

  • Intelligence: 12 (+1)

  • Wisdom: 10 (0)

  • Charisma: 15 (+2)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Stealth (+8, thanks to his halfling nature and proficiency), Deception (+6), Persuasion (+6), Investigation (+5), Acrobatics (+8)

  • Tools: Thieves’ Tools (+8), Poisoner’s Kit (+4)

  • Languages: Common, Halfling, Thieves' Cant

Racial Traits:

  • Lucky: Can reroll natural 1s on attack rolls, ability checks, or saving throws.

  • Brave: Has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

  • Halfling Nimbleness: Can move through the space of any creature that is a size larger.

  • Naturally Stealthy: Can attempt to hide even when obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger.

Rogue Class Features:

  • Sneak Attack: Deals extra damage when he has an advantage or when an ally is within 5 ft of the target.

  • Evasion: Can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects.

  • Cunning Action: Can take a bonus action each turn to Dash, Disengage, or Hide.

  • Swashbuckler Features: Fancy Footwork and Tasha’s Audacious Strike to enhance his duelling capabilities.

Equipment:

  • Weapons: Two finely crafted daggers, several vials of poison.

  • Armor: Worn leather armour that blends well with shadows.

  • Other: A satchel containing a mix of gold, silver, and copper coins, lockpicks, and a small ledger with coded notes about his transactions.

Background: Criminal (smuggler specialization) Feature: Criminal Contact - Theron has a reliable and trustworthy contact who acts as his liaison to a network of other criminals. Personality Traits:

  • Can't resist swindling people who are more powerful than him.

  • Would rather make a new friend than a new enemy, but won't hesitate to strike if crossed.

Bonds:

  • His word is his bond. If Theron promises something, he delivers, no matter the cost.

Flaws:

  • Greedy. If there's a chance to gain more wealth, he'll take it without thinking of the consequences.

Ideals:

  • Freedom: People deserve to be free, and it's not his job to judge what they do with their freedom. (Chaotic)

Adventure Hooks:

  • Theron might approach the party with a smuggling job, either moving illicit goods or getting the party into/out of a location without detection.

  • The party may be hired to investigate a smuggling ring, leading them to Theron, who might become an ally or an adversary.

  • Theron might need protection after a deal goes south, making him a temporary ally of the party.

  • If a party member is arrested, Theron could be hired to smuggle them out.

Relations with the Party:

  • The party might use Theron’s services, but they should always be wary of his primary loyalty to coin.

  • Theron can be a source of valuable information about the criminal underworld and political corruption.


The Deceitful Dwarf

You spot a dwarf in the corner, nursing an ale that seems to never empty. His beard is unkempt and his clothes are worn, but his eyes gleam with a cunning intellect. This is Drogo, a dwarf rogue exiled from his clan for dishonest business practices. Drogo is always looking for easy coin through deceit and trickery.


Drogo frequents this tavern to find marks for his cons and scams. He listens for rumours of treasure or wealthy travellers passing through, then spins elaborate lies to try and swindle gold from the greedy or gullible. Drogo is a smooth talker and quick thinker, adept at altering his stories to suit whatever will convince his target to hand over their coin.


Despite his exile, Drogo remains proud of his dwarven heritage. He loves to boast of his clan’s accomplishments and history over drinks, though most of his tales are exaggerated or fabricated. Drogo pretends to be a dwarf of status and means, hoping to gain the trust and admiration of others before taking advantage of them.


In truth, Drogo is a lonely dwarf who misses the community of his clan. His deceit and trickery are a means to fill his coffers and drown his sorrows. Drogo could potentially be redeemed, but it would take a patient and perceptive soul to break through his web of lies and see the dwarf within. Until then, Drogo remains a deceitful menace, spinning falsehoods and emptying purses at the local tavern.


Drogo, the Deceitful Dwarf Race: Dwarf Class: Rogue Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Level: 6 Hit Points: 40 Armor Class: 14 (due to studded leather armor) Speed: 25 ft. Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 14 (+2)

  • Dexterity: 15 (+2)

  • Constitution: 16 (+3) [Dwarven Toughness]

  • Intelligence: 13 (+1)

  • Wisdom: 11 (0)

  • Charisma: 14 (+2)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Deception (+6), Persuasion (+6), Insight (+4), History (+5)

  • Tools: Thieves’ Tools (+6), Brewer’s Supplies (from Dwarven background)

  • Languages: Common, Dwarvish, Thieves' Cant

Racial Traits:

  • Darkvision: Can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light.

  • Dwarven Resilience: Advantage on saving throws against poison and resistance against poison damage.

  • Stonecunning: Add double proficiency bonus to Intelligence (History) checks related to stonework.

Rogue Class Features:

  • Sneak Attack: Deals extra damage when he has an advantage or when an ally is within 5 ft of the target.

  • Uncanny Dodge: Can use a reaction to halve the damage of an attack made against him.

  • Evasion: Can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects.

  • Expertise: Double proficiency bonus for Deception and Persuasion skills, making him a masterful liar.

Equipment:

  • Weapons: A finely crafted dwarven shortsword and a set of throwing knives.

  • Armor: Studded leather armor.

  • Other: A satchel filled with various currencies, a set of loaded dice, fake jewelry and a small flask with fine dwarven ale.

Background: Guild Artisan (exiled merchant) Feature: Guild Membership - Drogo was once a member of a prestigious dwarven merchant guild, though he's no longer in good standing. Still, he may have old contacts or favors he can call upon. Personality Traits:

  • Hides behind a mask of charm and wit.

  • Enjoys the thrill of a good scam.

Bonds:

  • Deep down, he yearns for acceptance and to rejoin his clan.

Flaws:

  • Can't resist a chance to make easy coin, even if it risks exposure or harm.

Ideals:

  • Independence: If I can't trust my clan, I can only trust myself. (Chaotic)

Adventure Hooks:

  • Drogo might approach the party with a dubious "business opportunity."

  • He could have information on a genuine treasure, but it's mixed in with his many lies.

  • Drogo might be pursued by those he's conned, leading to potential trouble for anyone associated with him.

Relations with the Party:

  • Party members might be sympathetic to his loneliness and seek to help him find redemption.

  • Conversely, they might see him as a threat or nuisance, especially if they fall for one of his cons.

  • Given his knowledge of trade and dwarf history, Drogo can be a source of valuable information—if they can sift through the lies.

The Sly Elf

You spot a lone elf in the corner, nursing an ale and watching the tavern door. His eyes seem to miss nothing, constantly scanning the room. Everything about him seems calculated and guarded.


This elf is hiding something - but what? His name is Lorien, a ranger who claims to protect travelers in the nearby forest. But rumors swirl that he leads them into danger instead, for a cut of the profits from bandits.

  • Lorien is chaotic neutral and values gold over life. He will switch allegiances easily if the price is right.

  • His high dexterity and perception make him a skilled scout, but his charisma suffers from a lack of trustworthiness.

  • Lorien pretends to be helpful, but sells information about travelers and caravans to thieves and raiders.

  • If confronted, Lorien will attempt to bribe or threaten his way out of trouble. He cares little for laws or ethics.

Travelers beware - this elf cannot be trusted. His charming words and helpful demeanor mask sinister motives. Those who wander into Lorien's forest may find themselves walking into a trap, as he leads them straight into danger for a handful of gold.


Lorien, the Deceitful Elf Ranger

Race: Elf

Class: Ranger

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Level: 7

Hit Points: 55

Armor Class: 15 (studded leather armor)

Speed: 35 ft. (from Elven racial trait)

Ability Scores (Using Point-Buy System):

  • Strength: 12 (+1)

  • Dexterity: 18 (+4)

  • Constitution: 14 (+2)

  • Intelligence: 12 (+1)

  • Wisdom: 16 (+3)

  • Charisma: 8 (-1)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity

  • Skills: Perception (+7), Stealth (+8), Survival (+7), Deception (+1)

  • Languages: Common, Elvish, Thieves' Cant

  • Weapons: Finesse and ranged weapons

Racial Traits:

  • Darkvision: Can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light.

  • Keen Senses: Proficiency in Perception.

  • Fey Ancestry: Advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic cannot put him to sleep.

  • Trance: Only needs 4 hours of meditation to gain the benefits of a long rest.

Ranger Class Features:

  • Favored Terrain: Forest

  • Favored Enemies: Humanoids (e.g., bandits, thieves)

  • Natural Explorer: Excellent at navigating and surviving in the wild.

  • Primeval Awareness: Can sense certain types of creatures nearby.

  • Evasion: Can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects.

Equipment:

  • Weapons: A finely crafted elven longbow and a shortsword.

  • Armor: Studded leather armor.

  • Other: A pouch filled with various currencies, stolen trinkets, and a collection of forest-related maps and notes.

Background: Outlander (exile)

Feature: Wanderer - Lorien has an excellent memory for maps and geography and can always recall the general layout of terrain, settlements, and other features. He can also find food and fresh water for himself and up to five others.

Personality Traits:

  • Paranoid and always on high alert.

  • Views most situations in terms of potential profit.

Bonds:

  • His loyalty lies only with gold and himself.

Flaws:

  • Trust issues lead to isolation and betrayal.

Ideals:

  • Self-Preservation: It's every elf for himself. Others are just obstacles or opportunities. (Chaotic)

Adventure Hooks:

  • Lorien might approach the party with a “safe” route through the forest, leading them into an ambush.

  • He might possess information that the party needs, but it comes with a steep price.

  • The party might be hired to track down and confront Lorien due to his duplicitous actions.

Relations with the Party:

  • Party members might try to bribe or intimidate Lorien for valuable information or safe passage.

  • They might seek to bring him to justice or expose his treachery.

  • If they prove to be a more lucrative opportunity, Lorien might try to genuinely help them, but his loyalty remains fickle.


The Treacherous Tiefling

You spot a tiefling in the corner, nursing an ale and watching the room with wary eyes. His name is Zaxas, a rogue who will sell information to the highest bidder.

Zaxas is cunning and deceitful, willing to betray anyone for the right price. His infernal heritage means he is adept at deception and thrives in the shadows. Although Zaxas seems content to simply gather information for now, his true motives are unclear. He may be scouting the tavern for future marks or looking to uncover secrets he can sell to enemies of the realm.

Tread carefully around this treacherous tiefling. Zaxas has a quick tongue and even quicker dagger, and will not hesitate to use either against anyone who crosses him. His stats are:

  • Chaotic Evil

  • Rogue (Thief) level 5

  • Str 10, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 16

  • Expertise in Deception and Stealth

  • Knows Thieves' Cant

Rumor has it Zaxas once sold information to a rival kingdom that led to a massacre of his own people. None dare confront him about this, fearing they may become his next victim. Although Zaxas seems content to gather information for now, be wary of the day he decides to act against the city that has given him refuge. His sinister smile hides malicious intent, and there is no doubt he will betray again if the reward is great enough.


Zaxas, the Treacherous Tiefling Information Broker

Race: Tiefling

Class: Rogue (Thief)

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Level: 5

Hit Points: 32 (5d8 + 5)

Armor Class: 15 (Studded leather armor)

Speed: 30 ft.

Ability Scores:

  • Strength: 10 (+0)

  • Dexterity: 18 (+4)

  • Constitution: 12 (+1)

  • Intelligence: 14 (+2)

  • Wisdom: 8 (-1)

  • Charisma: 16 (+3)

Proficiencies:

  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence

  • Skills: Deception (+9 due to Expertise), Stealth (+8 due to Expertise), Perception (+3), Insight (+2), Sleight of Hand (+6)

  • Languages: Common, Infernal, Thieves' Cant

  • Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords

Racial Traits:

  • Darkvision: Can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light up to 60 ft.

  • Hellish Resistance: Resistant to fire damage.

  • Infernal Legacy: Can cast the Thaumaturgy cantrip. Once he reaches 3rd level, he can cast the Hellish Rebuke spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when he finishes a long rest. Once Zaxas reaches 5th level, he can also cast the Darkness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when he finishes a long rest. Charisma is his spellcasting ability for these spells.

Rogue Class Features:

  • Sneak Attack: 3d6

  • Thieves' Cant: Secret language known only to thieves.

  • Cunning Action: Can take a bonus action on each of his turns in combat to Dash, Disengage, or Hide.

  • Uncanny Dodge: Can halve the damage of an attacker he can see.

  • Second-Story Work: Climbs faster than normal