Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beria Annis: Finder of People and Things

+Mike Evans has gotten me thinking about games I'm not in again. So, I will take a small break from the Ten Freaks for Hubris series to put forward an NPC idea for your city games...

I'm presenting the details I settled on eventually first, but further down I just throw down the process by which I arrived at my idea and cite the places I'm pulling things from. There are no stats per-se...just a kind of conceptual map that I'm hoping will be useful for any type of game. You can make your own stats when you decide how you want to use her. Plus, I'm linking to a few stat blocks that were inspirational.

Beria Annis: Finder of People and Things

The Details

Beria is a towering (even though bent), ancient-looking, female humanoid; twisted of limb, sinewy, and with hard, nobly skin. Her teeth are metal and rusty red, her skin is iron hard, dark blue, and she is immune to cold temperatures / effects. Fitting her barbaric ancestry, she is able to handle herself in a fight and forgoes the use of weapons. She is particularly good at finding things using her wits, and the ancient magical practices of her people, the Marzanna.

Skills & Strengths

Weaknesses & Complications

  • Fire is a problem.
    • The Marzanna never had need of the promethean gift, and are 'vulnerable' to it.
      • Experiences pain within 10 feet of naked flames and x2 Damage from fire.
  • She must observe her taboos or lose her gifts until she can correct the problem. (Would you like a list of her taboos, or want to make them up yourself?)
    • Must eat the flesh of a freshly dead sapient once every new moon or can't 'Speak w/ Dead'
      • An expensive magic ritual is needed to attune herself to the Otherworld if the moon phase is not favorable.
    • Must conceal her skin in motley rags and deep hoods or lose her Iron Skin.
      • Has to go 24 hours without someone's gaze falling upon her, make new motley, and bathe in blood.
    • Cannot accept payment in the form of money, or loses half her health/wounds.
      • Must do a favor unasked, and without thanks to be able to heal to full.


  • To keep living off the decadence of civilization.
    • Her disdain for the decadent and moneyed is well-known and hard to conceal.
  • To find things to amuse, and interest her voracious intellect.
    • Ala Sherlock Holmes, she loves mysteries, puzzles and occasionally drugs. 

The Seed

Beria Annis is an intelligent problem solver after the fashion of Sherlock Holmes. You could use her as a Special Inspecktor attached to the City Watch or as a particular type of Bounty Hunter Employed by the Influential. You know, an IG-88 for your Vornheim game or whatever.

In your game, she might be a Warrior Priest who can 'Speak w/ Dead' ... but in my own Pathfinder Basic games, I like to look for a monster entry that captures the "feel" I'm thinking of. In the case of this character I'm thinking: "witch" & "hag" with a tweak or two to make her seem new...the two images that best capture her in my mind are...

Inspirational Pictures

And then I started sorting through "Hags" and "Iron Ladies" until I arrived at an idea for basically a Black Hag, or Annis Hag, or an Iron Hag...and tried to get an idea for a story out of that creature.

Inspirational Links

WrathofZombie's Monster Manual entry 'G' (for Green Hag)
Zak S. ~ Vornheim
Wikipedia ~ Beira
Forgotten Realms ~ Marzanna
D20PFSRD ~ Annis Hag

And again, I'd love to hear some feedback on this if you've got the time. Thanks again to Mike, for inspiring me on a day off!