Content of the article: "I’m having trouble with the stats/mechanics for a NPC Cleric."
In my setting, eventually the party is going to decide to do something about the Lich in the Basilica. And because they are a bunch of people that when offered directions, do not pick the expected one very much. So I am developing a backup plan if they decide that attacking a Lich in his lair isn't exactly what they want to be doing. We're playing on Roll20. I sort of poorly modeled the Basilica of St. Francis of Assissi to use as a map.(I've got it done up as jpgs(took 2 for the ground floor and another for the lower area))
So I came up with the story hook that they aren't the first party of adventurers to do so. About 70 years ago, the only remotely successful group managed to make it to the upper Basilica, which they found to be still consecrated and safe. The wizard and rogue wanted to see the state of the library. They fought their way across the courtyard, losing the bard, and managed to enter the study and meetings area. They were still set upon by undead, and were unable to search the library. From there they were driven through the buildings until they ended up at the dormitory, they lost the wizard and the fighter before they managed to barricade themselves in a room that had two representations of the Clerics god(haven't picked one yet, because it only matters in story terms, this world is very pantheistic). The rogue and paladin managed to hold the doors until the room reached its initial consecration and the doors were safe. They rested for a couple days, while the Cleric and Paladin consecrated the room, then they decided that they were going to get back to the Basilica and check the lower level over quickly before resting up and trying to escape for reinforcements. They found the liches lair in the lower basilica and its surrounding crypts. Only the cleric survived, and just barely managed to escape to the upper basilica and fell at the foot of the altar of a vengeance god, praying that he would find a way to make his comrades deaths not be in vain.
The vengeance god(haven't picked one of these out yet either, but I think the story will work better if it is not the same god that the Cleric was in primary service of in the first place), and the Clerics primary god decided to bind the Cleric to their altar if he was willing. So now, the Cleric spends his time trying to clean the basilica, and to defeat the lich. For 70 years the Cleric has been cleaning, fighting, dieing, resurrecting, and praying. In that time, he has managed to activate a shrine in the same room as the phylactery, though he doesn't know that is what he did, which causes the lich to reconstitute itself outside the reach of his phylactery, as the lich cannot enter the room with that shrine. He has also managed to clean the crypts and suppress the movement of the lesser undead in a few spaces.
Here are my mechanical thoughts/problems, that I don't have the experience to trust myself to get close to right.
So my thoughts on the quest for the players goes in three main ways 1. They meet the cleric and full of knowledge and zeal, go to try to confront the Lich in his lair. I have a murderhobo plan for that, and a them trying to talk the Lich into leaving plan for that. 2. They find the phylactery(I thought a +1 helm with a magical aura in a fancy chest with nice splint mail or half plate would be good bait, the phylactery is a gem built in to the scalp side of the helm that does its soul sucking thing once it touches the scalp of the wearer of the helm) before meeting the cleric or the Lich, and then I just wing it from there. 3. They meet the Lich first and he explains that he is done with this place and wants to go back to his original lair in the north, he misses the snow very much. So he asks them to get his phylactery, and warns them of the angry cleric that will surely interfere with them once they have the phylactery in hand. His offered reward, is all the loot of the place, and he will cast almost any spell they request.(I'm sure that giving them a Wish will yield crazy results, but if they aren't doing crazy things the fun isn't maximized.)
Which brings me to the Cleric, I don't know what his statblock should look like, or what domains are the best match. I'm sure that he needs to be high enough level to cast hallow, but don't know what level would be too high for the purposes of this story.
-I was thinking his rebirth time needs to be counted in minutes or hours, instead of the days that the Lich has. Which makes for some actual tension if they knock him down and think its smooth sailing from there to the end of the mission.
-He needs to be able to wear down the lich enough to score a win every now and then, but not often. I was thinking that he's managed a win like 2 times in 70 years of constantly trying.
-Is spirit guardians a good match for what he's doing? Because that gives steady damage output and might help with the action economy if the party decides that he is an antagonist instead.
- Giving the party a nuclear bomb.
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