Creative Characters – Morrivan “Scrolls”


Welcome to Creative Characters. This is where I indulge myself a bit and create an unusual character, based on a concept, idea, theme, feat or whatever else catches my fancy. These characters are NOT supposed to be optimized, but they ARE supposed to be INTERESTING. For the sake of reference, and consistency, all characters here are created with the Elite stat array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) and all hit points are rolled as averages (and rounded down). They are also written so that they can be used as either NPCs or PCs as the reader chooses, and are written with all special abilities typed out, so as to ensure a minimum amount of book-flipping throughout your game.

This is a recurring series, and you should be seeing installments of it each week. Should you wish to see a particular build or idea featured here, then please don’t hesitate to comment

This week, I intend to do things a little differently, for the next few weeks actually. In this case, that’s because I have a specific theme in mind for the next 5 characters. These will all be members of a specific holy order, and come with a built-in reason to adventure together. Morrivan “Scrolls”, the head of research of the Order of Sct. Gregor.

Morrivan “Scrolls” CR 7

XP 3,200
Male gnome bard 8 (Archivist)
CG Small humanoid (Gnome)
Init +0; Sense low-light vision., Perception +7

19, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+5 armor, +3 shield, +1 size)
hp 69 (8+7d8+21 (constitution)+7(favored class bonus)
Fort +4, Ref +11, Will +13

20 ft.
Melee masterwork rapier +6/+1 (1d4-2/19-20×2)
Ranged +1 shortbow +8/+3 (1d4-1×3)

Gnome Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +13)
1/daydancing lights, ghost sound (DC 17), prestidigitation, speak with animals

Bard Spells Known (concentration +13)
3rd (3/day)charm monster (DC 18), confusion (DC 18), good hope
2nd (5/day)bestow insight, blur, cure moderate wounds, disrupt silence (DC 17)
1st (6/day)adoration, cause fear (DC 16), cure light wounds, read weather, summon monster I
0 (at willdaze (DC 15), detect magic, message, read magic, resistance, spark (DC 15)

6 (-2 race), Dex 10, Con 16 (+2 race), Int 16 (+1 level, +2 magic), Wis 12, Cha 20 (+1 level +2 race, +2 magic)
Base Atk +6/+1 CMB +2; CMD 13
Feats Armor Proficiency Light, Armor Proficiency MediumMartial Weapon Proficiency (longsword, rapier, sap, shortsword, shortbow, whip), Shield Proficiency, Skill Focus (Perform (oratory)), Skill Focus (Perform (sing)), Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Simple Weapon Proficiency (all),
Skills Appraise +14, Escape Artist +11, Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (local) +18, Knowledge (religion) +18, Perform (oratory) +19, Perform (sing) +19, Spellcraft +21, Use Magic Device +16
Languages Common, Gnome, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven

Magical Gear +1 chain shirt, +2 heavy steel shield, headband of mental prowess (+2, Intelligence and Charisma (set skill of Appraise and the Dwarven language)), cloak of resistance (+2), mnemonic vestment, scrolls: (cure serious wounds (bard), dispel magic (bard), displacement (bard), haste (bard), invisibility sphere (bard), reviving finale (bard)),  Non-magical Gear 20 arrows, backpack, bedroll, blanket, explorer’s outfits (2x), small tent, trail rations (7 days); Coin 742 gp, (these remaining coins can be spent at the GM or player’s discretion before the start of the game session).


Some gnomes are more academically inclined than their kin. Gnomes with this racial trait gain a +2 bonus on any single Knowledge skill. (Morrivan gets the bonus on Knowledge (arcana)

Bardic Knowledge (Ex)
Morrivan adds half his class level (+4) to all Knowledge skill checks and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained. (the bonus is already included in his Knowledge skills above).

Bardic Performance
Morrivan is trained to use the Perform skill to create magical effects on those around him, including himself if desired. He can use this ability for 23 rounds per day. Each round, Morrivan can produce any one of the types of bardic performance that he has mastered.

Starting a bardic performance is a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. Changing a bardic performance from one effect to another requires Morrivan to stop the previous performance and start a new one as a standard action. A bardic performance cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if Morrivan is killed, paralyzed, stunned, knocked unconscious, or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round. He cannot have more than one bardic performance in effect at one time.

Each bardic performance has audible components, visual components, or both.

If a bardic performance has audible components, the targets must be able to hear Morrivan for the performance to have any effect, and many such performances are language dependent (as noted in the description). A deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use a bardic performance with an audible component. If he fails this check, the attempt still counts against his daily limit. Deaf creatures are immune to bardic performances with audible components.

If a bardic performance has a visual component, the targets must have line of sight to Morrivan for the performance to have any effect. A blind bard has a 50% chance to fail when attempting to use a bardic performance with a visual component. If he fails this check, the attempt still counts against his daily limit. Blind creatures are immune to bardic performances with visual components.

Morrivan can use the following Bardic Performances:
Countersong (Su): Morrivan has learned to counter magic effects that depend on sound (but not spells that have verbal components.) Each round of the countersong he makes a Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing) skill check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard himself) that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the Morrivan’s Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use Morrivan’s Perform skill check result for the save. Countersong does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. Countersong relies on audible components.

Dirge of Doom (Su): Morrivan can use his performance to foster a sense of growing dread in his enemies, causing them to take become shaken. To be affected, an enemy must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear Morrivan’s performance. The effect persists for as long as the enemy is within 30 feet and Morrivan continues the performance. The performance cannot cause a creature to become frightened or panicked, even if the targets are already shaken from another effect. Dirge of doom is a mind-affecting fear effect, and it relies on audible and visual components.

Distraction (Su): Morrivan  can use his performance to counter magic effects that depend on sight. Each round of the Distraction, he makes a Perform (act, comedy, dance, or oratory) skill check. Any creature within 30 feet of Morrivan (including himself) that is affected by an illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack may use the Morrivan’s Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the Distraction is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous illusion (pattern) or illusion (figment) magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it sees the Distraction, but it must use Morrivan’s Perform check result for the save. Distraction does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. Distraction relies on visual components.

Fascinate (Su): Morrivan can use his performance to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and capable of paying attention to him. He must also be able to see the creatures affected. The Distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. Morrivan can target 3 creatures with this ability.

Each creature within range receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the bard’s level + Morrivan’s Cha modifier, i.e. a DC of 19 ) to negate the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and observes the performance for as long as Morrivan continues to maintain it. While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat to the target allows the target to make a new saving throw against the effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect.

Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability. Fascinate relies on audible and visual components in order to function.

Inspire Competence (Su): Morrivan can use his performance to help an ally succeed at a task. The ally must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the bard. The ally gets a +3 competence bonus on skill checks with a particular skill as long as she continues to hear Morrivan’s performance.
Certain uses of this ability are infeasible, such as Stealth, and may be disallowed at the GM’s discretion. Morrivan can’t inspire competence in himself. And inspire competence relies on audible components.

Lamentable Belaborment (Ex): Morrivan can bewilder a creature already fascinated by his performance. Using this ability does not disrupt the fascinate effect, but it does require a standard action to activate (in addition to the free action to continue the fascinate effect). The target must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 Morrivan’s level + the bard’s Cha modifier, I.e. a DC of 19). Success renders the target immune to this power for 24 hours, but failure leaves the target either dazed or confused (Morrivan’s choice) for as long as the performance continues. If the target takes damage, this effect ends immediately. This mind-affecting ability relies on audible components.

This ability replaces suggestion.

Naturalist (Ex): If Morrivan has has identified a creature with a Knowledge check appropriate to its type can use performance to share strategies for defeating it with allies in combat. Morrivan and any allies within 30 feet gain a +2 insight bonus to AC and on attack rolls and saving throws against extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities used by creatures of that specific kind of monster (e.g., frost giants, not all giants or all humanoids). This language-dependent ability requires visual and audible components.

Gnome Magic:
Morrivan adds +1 to the DC of any saving throws against illusion spells that they cast. He also gains the following spell-like abilities: 1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation, and speak with animals. The caster level for these effects is equal to the Morrivan’s level (8). The DC for these spells is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + Morrivan’s Charisma modifier. (i.e. +5).

Illusion Resistance:
Morrivan gains a +2 racial saving throw bonus against illusion spells and effects.

Jack of All Trades (Ex)
Morrivan can use any skill, even if the skill normally requires him to be trained.

Keen Senses:
Morrivan receives a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.

Lore Master (Ex)
Morrivan may take 20 on Knowledge checks twice per day.

Magic Lore (Ex)
Morrivan gains a bonus on Spellcraft checks to identify magic items or decipher scrolls equal to half his bard level (i.e. +4, already included above) and may take 10 on such checks. Morrivancan use Disable Device to disarm magical traps as per a rogue’s trapfinding ability and gains a +4 bonus on saves against magical traps, language-dependent effects, and symbols, glyphs, and magical writings of any kind.

Warden of Nature
Gnomes must often protect their homes against unnatural or pestilential infestations. Morrivan gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC against aberrations, oozes, and vermin, and a +1 bonus on attack rolls against them because of their special training.

During combat:
Morrivan hangs back during combat, assisting his allies and hindering enemies as best as he is able, through the use of his spells and abilities. He also does double-duty as the backup healer for Eve Narcassa, healing those that she is unable to assist, and even healing her if required. Mostly however, Morrivan knows that combat is not his forte, so while he provides useful advise through the use of his Naturalist ability, he normally hangs back and waits for the combat to end, so that he can swoop in and perform his research afterward. If everything else looks lost, he will use his mnemonic vestment  to cast one of the spells located on his scrolls.

Morrivan (nicknamed “Scrolls”) was raised within the confines of one of the smaller cloisters of the Order of Sct. Gregor, not knowing how other gnomes lived their lives, beyond what he could find in books. Books were his lifeblood, and he immersed himself in ancient lore, and through the years in the cloister he became known as a learned scholar, one with intimate knowledge of many subjects, and what he didn’t know, he could research.

Disaster struck one day when the cloister was attacked by a group of strange beings. To this day Morrivan does not know who they were, but they ransacked the cloister, killed or drove off the inhabitants, and most painfully to him, they destroyed all his research while he hid.

He is convinced that his research was their target, and he painstakingly tried to figure out where he revealed himself to these strange beings. He was unable to figure out what happened exactly, so he has now decided that the best way to continue his research was to transfer to the main cloister of the Order.

Once there, he was greeted by a young woman named Panoril. She struck him dumbfounded with her purpose and conviction, and something clicked in his mind. His research would no longer take place solely within the confines of the cloister library, but HIS way would now be the acquisition of knowledge and the recovery of relics, and he instantly signed up for the active part of the order, under the leadership of Panoril. Now he uses his knowledge, and his keen insight to help his allies on their mission, and while his zeal is not quite the equivalent of the other members, none can deny his dedication to the obtaining of knowledge, often valuing it above even his own safety.

About Kim Frandsen

Kim is a freelance writer for various companies (including Publishing, Fat Goblin Games, Flaming Crab Games, Outland Entertainment, Purple Duck Games, Rusted Iron Games and Zenith Games) as well as an editor of the Pathfinder and D&D 5th Edition product lines for Publishing. Hopes to one day rule the world!

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