No-Prep Character: Gristleburst

Friday, July 9, 2021

The goblin alchemist Gristleburst is the fourth and final member of the protagonist adventuring party in the Pathfinder novella, The Shroud of Four Silences, by Pathfinder Tales veteran Liane Merciel. You can find the No-Prep Character (NPC) entries for his compatriots, Eleukas, Lisavet, and Wendlyn, on previous blogs. Check out the party’s full adventure here on paizo.com or on the Kindle bookstore.

Gristleburst, Inquisitive Pyromaniac

Gristleburst grew up among the Gullcracker goblins outside of Otari, but he was always a loner. His irrepressible curiosity and keen mind for chemistry earned him few friends among the goblins, even though his firebombs were always a source of good fun. When the Gullcrackers were killed and reanimated as zombies, Gristleburst took on the lonely, sad task of putting down each one of his former kin. He now wanders the world as an alchemist-for-hire, just as eager to investigate unusual mysteries as he is to set things ablaze.

Gristleburst is an unreliable ally. He’s quick to make friends—particularly because he’s otherwise all alone in the world—but he frequently pursues his own ideals without consulting his allies and hurls his bombs with reckless glee.

a goggle-wearing goblin has scraps of paper stuck to his leather armor, and wields a bomb with lit fuse in one hand

Gristleburst, illustration by Valeria Dryzhak

Gristleburst — Creature 2

Unique, CN, Small, Goblin, Humanoid
Male goblin alchemist
Perception +7
Languages Common, Goblin
Skills Acrobatics +7, Crafting +8, Intimidation +6, Nature +7, Stealth +7, Survival +7
Str +1, Dex +3, Con +1, Int +4, Wis +1, Cha +0
Items alchemist’s tools, dagger, formula scraps (as formula book), goggles, infused reagents (2), studded leather
Infused Items Gristleburst carries the following infused items, which last for 24 hours or until the next time he makes his daily preparations: lesser acid flask (2), lesser alchemist’s fire (4), lesser eagle-eye elixir (2)

AC 18; Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +6
HP 30; Resistances fire 1
Speed 25 feet

Melee [one-action] dagger +9 (agile, versatile S); Damage 1d4+1 piercing

Ranged [one-action] lesser alchemist’s fire +11 (range increment 20 feet, splash); Damage 1d8+1 fire plus 2 persistent fire damage and 1 fire splash damage

Ranged [one-action] lesser acid flask +11 (range increment 20 feet, splash); Damage 1 acid plus 1d6 persistent acid damage plus 1 acid splash damage

Ranged [one-action] dagger +11 (agile, thrown 10 feet, versatile S); Damage 1d4+1 piercing

Quick Bomber [one-action] Gristleburst draws an alchemical bomb with an Interact action and throws it as a ranged Strike.

Quick Smoke Bomb [free-action] Cost 1 batch of infused reagents; Effect Gristleburst mixes up a short-lived lesser acid flask or lesser alchemist’s fire without attempting a Crafting check. It remains potent only until the end of his next turn. When he throws this bomb, in addition to its normal effects, it creates a cloud of smoke in a 10-foot radius burst. Creatures in that area have the concealed condition, and other creatures are concealed to them. This smoke lasts for 1 minute or until dissipated by a strong wind.


Plot Hooks

Game Masters might consider the following plot hooks as a means of integrating Gristleburst into any Pathfinder Second Edition game.

  • When the heroes are following a treasure map through a dangerous wilderness, Gristleburst agrees to show them a safe path in exchange for a share of the loot.
  • The heroes are hunting an arsonist, and Gristleburst can help identify blast patterns and accelerants the arsonist used to set the blaze.
  • Gristleburst’s reckless alchemy inadvertently sets a stand of trees or a building on fire, and he needs urgent help to put the fire out before it spreads.

Ron Lundeen
Development Manager (Pathfinder)

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Tags: Otari Pathfinder Pathfinder NPCs Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Huzzah!
Finally, our goblin friend is here! :3

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

'Gullcracker' - I love this tribe name! He seems pretty cool, look forwards to reading their adventures.


Maybe all this goblin needs is a set of loyal friends to show him how to focus his bomb throwing towards those who deserve it instead of his allies as well. ;) :D

Dataphiles

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I kind of hate to be "that guy" but the apparent art credit above the statblock reads

Art credit wrote:
Wendlyn, illustration by Valeria Dryzhak

Shouldn't that read

Art credit wrote:
Gristleburst, illustration by Valeria Dryzhak

assuming that is the right artist name?

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Gristleburst has a +11 to attack with his bombs, with a +3 Dex, at level 2, which points toward Master proficiency with his bombs. He may have cracked the code on how to to be an effective bomber Alchemist - be an NPC!

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Luke Styer wrote:
Gristleburst has a +11 to attack with his bombs, with a +3 Dex, at level 2, which points toward Master proficiency with his bombs. He may have cracked the code on how to to be an effective bomber Alchemist - be an NPC!

Good catch!

If Gristleburst was a PC, he would have:

Dex + 3
Trained + 2
Level + 2
_____
+7 to hit

Whereas in NPC form he has an additional +4 on top of that out of nowhere, which, as you say, fits nice with him having Master prof in bombs. Something that is actually impossible for PC Alchemists to get.

So good for this guy!

EDIT: Hell, he even has expert prof with that dagger a full 5 levels eariler than a PC can. This is in addition to more HP and better saves than a PC would have. This guy is a straight up Super-Goblin.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

3 people marked this as a favorite.

If you want to run Gristleburst (or any other No-Prep Character, for that matter) as a PC, you will totally need to rebuild him. And as you said, he'll have lower numbers (but more overall abilities) at the same level than his NPC version.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

He does feel more like a fighter with alchemist feats, given he only has 3 possible alchemical formulae, instead of the 10 an alchemist of that level would have. Not to mention the bomber's ability to avoid hitting allies in their splash, and being shorted 3 extra bombs.

I am a little surprised that Fort was chosen as the high save, though.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Moreland wrote:
If you want to run Gristleburst (or any other No-Prep Character, for that matter) as a PC, you will totally need to rebuild him. And as you said, he'll have lower numbers (but more overall abilities) at the same level than his NPC version.

I don’t think I could bring myself to do that to the little guy. He’d be so confused when suddenly he became utterly ineffectual.

Friends don’t let friends rebuild into the Alchemist class.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
If you want to run Gristleburst (or any other No-Prep Character, for that matter) as a PC, you will totally need to rebuild him. And as you said, he'll have lower numbers (but more overall abilities) at the same level than his NPC version.

Out of curiosity, are there internal rules that the designers have for this sort of trade-off?

It looks like he has two class feats, his ancestry but no skill feats. I'd be willing to trade skill feats for master bomb prof at level 2!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Old_Man_Robot wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
If you want to run Gristleburst (or any other No-Prep Character, for that matter) as a PC, you will totally need to rebuild him. And as you said, he'll have lower numbers (but more overall abilities) at the same level than his NPC version.

Out of curiosity, are there internal rules that the designers have for this sort of trade-off?

It looks like he has two class feats, his ancestry but no skill feats. I'd be willing to trade skill feats for master bomb prof at level 2!

Read the GMG.

That's literally just running off High attack monster guidelines for level 2.

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