Icons statted out

Written by Martin K.

Statting out the Icons is an inconceivable, even preposterous undertaking. There is a good reason the Icons don't have stats in the official game books. Game Masters are meant to take the Icons as a template and fill them with life as their own, custom NPCs. If you give them stats, you normalize them, standardize them, press them into a form.

And there's a second danger. Players can and will treat everything that has stats as killable. 

So why give the Icons stats? If past campaigns are any indication, stats or no stats, at some point, the players will get into a fight with them, as allies, enemies, sometimes horrified and helpless bystanders. And as GM, you cannot prevent the inevitable, but you can prepare for it.

Treat the stats I present below as inspiration, guideline, starting point for your own campaign. Always put your own spin on things to keep your players guessing. If you read this and ask yourself, hey, why doesn't the Lich King... you're on the right track. And you have the tools to answer these questions yourself, and make the Icons truly your own. The numbers and rules below represent one way of interpreting the icon, but there are many others.

The Diabolist

The Diabolist is a very versatile villain. You can use her as the menacing, slowly corrupting force in the background, the evil power behind the throne, as the schemer who has her hand in everything, just as well as the overlord amassing an army on the other side of the border, the driving force behind an avalanche that will consume the Dragon Empire if it is not stopped in time.

You can introduce her to the campaign slowly. Seemingly innocuous events start to connect, the PCs uncover a cult here, a coven there, until they start digging deeper and face ever more powerful foes, both in terms of combat prowess and political clout. Her ability to corrupt the minds of ordinary mortals as well as the land itself, and her ability to call in unsettling creatures from the abyss make her a foe that requires both smarts and steel to defeat.

A direct confrontation with the diabolist should be a truly terrifying experience. The PCs will find her in a lair guarded by devout, brainwashed cultists as well as demonic creatures of all kinds. They will have to fight not just herself and her supernatural powers, her servants and the creatures she summons, but also the threat of corruption to their own minds.

The Diabolist
Size/Strength Triple; Level 12th; Role Spoiler; Type Humanoid Initiative +16

Corruption: When fighting the Diabolist, track a special corruption score for each PC and each important NPC present. The starting corruption score is equal to the number of icon relationship points with the Diabolist.

Barbed Whip +19 vs. AC (2 attacks)—66 damage and 33 ongoing fire damage.

Natural odd hit: The target gains a Corruption point and is hampered (save ends).

Miss: 33 damage.

R: Open Hellmaw +16 vs. PD (1d4 nearby or far away enemies in a group)—66 fire and 33 acid damage. The target must immediately succeed at a saving throw or it falls into the open maw, where it is sucked into a portal to the abyss. The target is removed from the combat and takes 33 ongoing acid damage, until it manages to claw its way back (hard save 16+ ends both). It gains a Corruption point for the ordeal.

C: Personal Hell: +16 vs. MD: The target is teleported in to a pocket dimension with one or more of the nearby demons, where it is stuck until either the demons are defeated or it dies. Gain a Corruption point for each defeated demon.

C: Diabolical Laughter: +16 vs. MD (all nearby enemies)—66 psychic damage and the Diabolist can end a condition on herself.

Master of Hell: Only the Diabolist, nearby demons, and PCs with an icon relationship to her can use the escalation die.

Demonic Gift: Each creature that reaches 6 Corruption points gains a random ability from the demon abilities table.

Accepting Sacrifice: When the Diabolist takes damage, each nearby creature can volunteer to take 33 or 66 points of that damage in place of the Diabolist. Each volunteer gains a Corruption point and the ability to use the escalation die until the end of their next turn.

Demon Summoning: Once per turn, when the escalation die is even, the Diabolist can summon demons as a free action. Roll 3d6. Demons with a total level equal to the result enter the battle as her allies.

The Abyss Always Has a Champion: After the Diabolist dies, compare the Corruption score of each present creature. The target with the highest Corruption score can teleport into the heart of the Abyss and sign a pact with the Demon Princes to be elevated as the next Diabolist. If that target refuses, the creature with the next higher Corruption score can choose to go, and so on.

AC PD MD HP
28 26 24 966

The Lich King

The Lich King is a classic campaign villain. There's no question he's evil, dangerous, and powerful. He controls necromancy, making him an enemy of life itself. His background pits him directly against the Emperor. His nature as a lich makes him an enemy of the High Druid and the Priestess. The relationship to the Archmage is more complicated, but it's not amicable either.

He's not easily killed. Even if the PCs attack him on sight, they cannot defeat him permanently until they undertake the major quest of finding and destoying his phylactery.

With undead, he has a varied and near endless supply of minions, servants and champions to throw at the PCs.

Defeating the Lich King should be a major high point, if not the pivotal moment of the campaign. The stats below are balanced accordingly. Against an unprepared party, even at epic level, the Lich King can easily score a TPK, especially if he brings powerful undead allies. The idea is that the party spends time and ressources to acquire items and allies that will help them in this fight, either to protect themselves from the Icons nastier attacks or to weaken him.

The Lich King
Size/Strength Triple; Level 13th; Role Spoiler; Type Undead Initiative +18

Mummyfied Hand +18 vs. AC—60 damage, 80 negative energy damage, and the target is weakened (hard save ends, 16+)

Natural even hit: The target starts making last gasp saves as it slowly dies from mummy rot. (Successful save also ends the weakened effect)

Miss: 40 damage.

R: Purple Lightning +18 vs. PD (up to 3 nearby or far away enemies in a group)—75 lightning and negative energy damage, and the target must roll a normal save; on a failure, it loses 1d6 points of a random defense until the end of the battle.

Natural even hit or miss: The target is hurled across the room out of the window, into an open pit, or a similar convenient location.

C: Look upon your doom +18 vs. MD (each enemy engaged with the lich’s servants)—The lich gains a fear aura against the target until the end of the battle

Fear aura: While engaged with this creature, if the target has 150 hp or fewer, it’s dazed (–4 attack) and does not add the escalation die to its attacks.

C: Soul rend +18 vs. PD (each nearby enemy)—50 negative energy damage, and ghostly hands reach up from the ground and grab the target (as they try to pull the target’s spirit out of its body)

Ghostly grasping hands: When a creature is being grabbed by the ghostly hands, it takes 30 negative energy damage at the start of its turn and must make a last gasp save. On the fourth failed last gasp save, the creature’s soul is torn from it and it dies. Unconscious creatures take a –4 penalty to their last gasp saves. Note, grabbed creatures take a –5 penalty to disengage checks.

Master over All Necromancy: The Lich King gains a bonus standard action each turn, which he can use to cast any Necromancer spell with an attack bonus of +18. The Lich King has unlimited access to daily spells.

Pact with Death: Whenever a nearby creature makes a last gasp save or death save, the Lich King regains 100 hp and makes a saving throw.

Pesky Insect: Once per round, when an attack would hit the Lich King, the attack misses instead and the attacker is teleported away. If the attacker succeeds at a save, he or she can redirect the attack to a nearby servant of the Lich King. On a miss, the attacker ends up in a pool of acid or similar.

Heartstopper: When the Lich King scores a critical hit, if after taking damage the target still has hit points, it drops to 0 hp, falls unconscious, and begins making death saves. When the target saves against this effect, it regains hit points equal to the amount it had before dropping to 0 hp (after the crit damage). In addition, the crit range of attacks by the lich against the target expands by an amount equal to the escalation die.

Plead Allegiance: When a PC with an icon relationship with the Lich King is slain while he is nearby, they can pledge allegiance to him upon death. At the start of their next turn, they rise as an appropriate type of undead. Such undead are under the control of the Lich King, unless they succeed at a hard save 16+ at the start of their turn, in which case they can act freely for the turn.

Immortality: When the Lich King drops to 0 hit points, he crumbles to dust but does not die. He begins to reform near his phylactery, taking roughly two weeks to regain full strength. Frankly, any attempt to attack the Lich King without finding and destroying his phylactery first is utter foolishness. And yes, the Lich King's phylactery is without doubt the most well-hidden item in all of the Dragon Empire. If you allowed a PC with a One Unique Thing "I am the Lich King's phylactery" at level 1, now is the time to regret.

AC PD MD HP
29 26 27 1200

The Orc Lord

The Orc Lord is a recent upstart among the icons. While he is a credible threat with the united force of orcs, ogres, hobgoblins and other humanoids behind him, he is no match for the alliance of the Emperor, the Archmage and the Priestess, especially if they are supported by the Dwarf King and Elf Queen. To topple the empire, he would have to ally with other threats, like The Three, the Lich King or the Diabolist, or at least wait until they have weakened it to give him an opportunity to strike.

Unlike threats like the Lich King and the Diabolist, he doesn't have great supernatural powers to back him up, he's not a massive, fire-spewing creature by himself like The Three, and his natural life span is short. All of these factors make him well-suited as a champion level end game villain, or a supporting villain at epic level.

The Orc Lord
Size/Strength Triple; Level 9th; Role Leader; Type Humanoid Initiative +14

Skullsplitter Axe +14 vs. AC (2 attacks)—70 damage

Natural 16+: Recharge a tactic you have used this battle.

Miss: 15 damage.

Gifted Commander: The Orc Lord can use tactics from the Commander list. Known Tactics are: Enforce Clarity; Scramble, Swordwork, Advanced Tactical Strike, On Your Feet, Maggots! (heals half hp); Saving Will, Supreme Tactical Strike

Induce Rage: As a quick action, the Orc Lord can send on of his allies into a Berserker Rage (as per the Barbarian class feature, roll twice on attacks, and if both rolls are 11+, the attack is a critical hit)

Escalating Command: The Orc Lord, and all humanoids under his command, benefit from the escalation die.

Last Stand of Our People: Any humanoid under the Orc Lord's Command fights until they are at negative half hit points.

If He Falls We All Fall: When an attack against the Orc Lord is a natural odd hit, a nearby ally steps in and takes the hit instead.

Nastier Special:

Battle Frenzy: When the escalation die is 2+, the Orc Lord and all humanoids under his command gain a +2 bonus to their critical threat range.

AC PD MD HP
25 23 20 550

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