NPC advice: Mr. Happy


Advice


Mr. Happy is an NPC in my campaign, and I'm looking for some build advice. it doesn't have to be detailed -- he won't be facing the PCs in combat. The PCs are 3rd level, and he's ~10th. Right now he's more like an alarming character that they hear about and may interact with slightly. But I want to have some better idea of what he can do -- archetype, favorite spells, tricks he likes to play, that sort of thing.

Concept: he's a Bleached Gnome who's a 10th level bard. He came out of the Bleaching as a nihilist with an odd, detached, very creepy sense of humor. Not sure if he's CN or CE -- I actually see him as right on the border. Think the Joker, if instead of giggling constantly the Joker were a pale little guy with very flattened affect... calm, understated, only very occasionally cracking a thin pale smile. People are very, very afraid of him! However, it's not clear whether he's really that deadly or whether he's just creepy and disturbing and has a terrifying reputation without being actually that murderous / evil. I'm actually not sure if he's *that* bad (CE version) or is happy to disturb and frighten people without actually inflicting that much pain and horror(CN version). I'm open to either.

So, Mr. Happy: 10th level Bleached Gnome bard, nihilist, creepy sense of humor, alarming reputation, CN or CE. Suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Doug M.


Since he's a bard, Enchantments and Illusions would be great. Have him enchant people into doing terrible things to each other that would also disrupt their own lives, but nothing illegal and nothing that can be conclusively pinned on him.

For example, he charms someone and asks them to pick up a package from one person to deliver it to another. Easy enough except that the package is addictive and dangerous drugs for another part in his grand scheme.

Using charms and illusions he gets the spouses of his rivals to cheat, not realizing that they've done so. This sows discord in their personal lives.

All the while, people funnel information to him from various sources which he uses to keep himself personally beyond reproach (like the worst kind of lawyer) while constantly building his power base and collecting favors.

EDIT: I just recalled a star wars novel where a geneticist information broker would breed genetically modified flowers with the DNA altered to store information in binary code. He would send specially bred flowers to politicians, crime bosses etc. which had their personal information stored on it just to amuse himself. How's that for creepy sense of humor?


Dirge of Doom + Spell Focus (enchantment) + Domination / Suggestion / Charm Person / Modify Memory + sky-high Bluff --> bards are the world's best gaslighters. Roger that! Also, there are several bardic archetypes that make things even worse -- the Negotiator bard, for instance, gives up a bunch of bardic powers but gets in return an additional +1 to the effective DC of charms and the extremely abusable contract power.

Just, trying to think of particularly alarming things he might do with all that.

Doug M.

Dark Archive

The first thing that comes to mind with such an idea, is Sleepwalking Suggestion.

Just think about the potential: cast it on a sleeping person he can see through a window or something. Instruct the person to open all the windows and doors, deck the table, eat a meal and don't clean up. When the person wakes up, he notices that everthing is open and that someone apparantly had a meal in his/her house. Highly disturbing thought, but nothing actually has happened.

It could also be used more devilish: order someone to go and sleep in someone else's bed, unlock the store and open it for others to just enter, paint a house, spread folders, open the cages in the zoo, etc.

It would be even more disturbing if mr. Happy has some sort of symbol (like a smiley mask) that each suggested person has to take home and place somewhere visible. Each time someone awakens and there is such a mask, they know something has happened, but not what (maybe nothing happened, which is funny in its own way).

Scarab Sages

Keep his Charisma as high as you can get it, and maybe focus on DC spells. Maybe stuff that can mess up the party or keep them distracted long enough for him to bolt. Like Entymal said, I'd focus more on Enchantment and Illusion spells, and maybe grab a masterpiece or two for some of that heavy bard flavor. And if you feel like making him a little pyromaniac if he's evil, then a flame singer wouldn't be bad. Its either Flame Dancer or Flame Singer that can summon creatures as a bard, which might make a little sense.

And if you can, grab spells like Nightmare or maybe give him a few scrolls of Grim Stalker and a high UMD.


...as I said in the OP, he isn't an antagonist. He's 10th level, the PCs are 3rd. He's going to be a mostly-offscreen creepy NPC. Maybe he can be a boss if the campaign goes on that long, but right now it's really not an issue.

Sleepwalking Suggestion is a great spell! Thank you.

Doug M.

Dark Archive

you might consider modeling him on Wednesday Addams.

Maybe even give him the feat "Childlike" (yeah, I know he's a Gnome and not a Halfling, but he's an NPC...). Children (and things that look like children) can be ... really creepy.

This guy does seem to cry out for levels of Vigilante to me though. Not totally, but a few levels just to get some of the "alter-ego" persona.

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