Fighter Stat Blocks! #NPCNovember

Back in the day, one of my favorite supplements for Dungeons and Dragons was The Rogues Gallery. In fact, I still have a copy of it. For those of you unfamiliar with The Rogues Gallery, it’s basically just a book full of NPC stat blocks, with dozens and dozens of ready-made characters representing every possible race and class combination and running the gamut of levels. Need a rival adventuring party at a moment’s notice? Consult The Rogues Gallery. Need some more information on that pick pocket target? Did a nameless NPC suddenly get thrust into the spotlight? Consult The Rogues Gallery.  It was also a good starting point for any important NPCs you wanted to flesh out. It was a one stop shop for all of your NPC needs.

One thing I find interesting about 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons is that the adversaries in Appendix B: Nonplayer Characters from the Monster Manual are not designed in the same way that Player Characters are designed. That is, while you have Acolytes, Assassins, Bandits, and Magi, these foes are not Clerics, Rogues, Fighters, or Wizards like what you find in the Player’s Handbook. I actually like this; the NPCs in the appendix are interesting, with diverse abilities that showcase some different approaches to “monster” design. But I also think that there should be NPCs that are just PCs with an “N” added to the front end. Surely there are other fighters in the world with the same abilities as your player character fighters, right? The same thing goes for all of the other classes as well.

To that end, I have decided to create stat blocks for playable classes, creating them in the same way I would create a player character and then assigning a challenge rating using the monster creation rules from the Dungeon Master’s Guide. This will by no means be as exhaustive of a list as what can be found in The Rogues Gallery, but I hope to eventually have a substantial list of fairly generic NPCs that represent each class from the Player’s Handbook. To start, I decided to create some fighter stat blocks, since that seemed to be the easiest class to figure out, with the fewest moving parts. I’ll talk a bit about my methodology, and then get making with the stat blocks.

Methodology

I decided that for ability scores, I will use the points buy system described on page 13 of the PHB. This gives me a nice, consistent way to create some average stats without over-thinking things.  Here are the ability scores I will be using to create each character, before applying any racial modifications: 10, 10, 10, 13, 14, 15. I also decided that for each “type” of character I create I will be making a 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 10th level version of that character type. I feel like this will provide a decent mix of challenge ratings without being exhaustive. I focused mainly on lower level characters because I feel like generic characters of this sort should generally be of a lower level. The higher the level the more permutations can come into play, and powerful NPCs with PC class levels should be as unique as the PCs themselves with a more tailor-made approach to design. Truthfully, I feel like level 10 is a bit too high even, but I wanted to include it for comparison. I’m sure there are other schools of thought here, but this is what I decided to do. If you disagree with what I’ve done that’s fine; go make your own stat blocks. I’d love to see them.

Like I said previously, I decided to start by creating some stat blocks for a generic fighter. I decided to go with a classic, “sword and board” style human fighter for my first go at things. I’ll likely do a stat block for an archer and a great weapon fighter as well in the very near future. I decided to make these guys Battle Masters, since it’s tactically more interesting than the Champion option. I picked some maneuvers for the sake of completeness, but really you could choose whatever maneuvers you wanted since they ultimately have little bearing on the challenge rating. One more note on challenge ratings: if you follow along in your DMG then you may notice that I’ve rounded down instead of up a couple of times when determining a final challenge rating. I did that because that’s what felt right.

Ok, I’m done rambling. Here are my fighters:

Sword and Shield Fighter, 1st level
Armor Class 19 (Chain and shield, Defensive Fighting)

Hit points 8 (1d10 + 2)

Speed 30 ft.

STR

16 (+3)

DEX

14 (+2)

CON

15 (+2)

INT

11 (+0)

WIS

11 (+0)

CHA

11 (+0)

Skills – Athletics (+5), Intimidation (+2), plus choose any 2 (+2 proficiency bonus)

Saves – Strength (+5), Constitution (+4)

Challenge – 1/2 (100 XP)

Defense – +1 Bonus to AC while wearing armor (included above)

Second WindUse a bonus action to regain 6 (1d10 +1) hit points. Must finish short or long rest to use again.

ACTIONS

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit. Hit. 5 (1d6+2)

Sword and Shield Fighter, 3rd level (Battle Master)
Armor Class 19 (Chain and shield, Defensive Fighting)

Hit points 24 (3d10 + 2)

Speed 30 ft.

STR

16 (+3)

DEX

14 (+2)

CON

15 (+2)

INT

11 (+0)

WIS

11 (+0)

CHA

11 (+0)

Skills – Athletics (+5), Intimidation (+2), plus choose any 2 (+2 proficiency bonus)

Saves – Strength (+5), Constitution (+4)

Challenge – 1 (200 XP)

Defense – +1 Bonus to AC while wearing armor (included above)

Second WindUse a bonus action to regain 8 (1d10 +3) hit points. Must finish short or long rest to use again.

Action Surge – Take one additional action on your turn. Must finish short or long rest to use again.

Combat Superiority Four Superiority dice (d8). Maneuvers (PHB 74): Feinting Attack, Parry, Precision Attack (or choose any 3).

ACTIONS

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing.

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit. Hit. 5 (1d6+2) piercing.

Sword and Shield Fighter, 5th level (Battle Master)
Armor Class 20 (Splint and shield, Defensive Fighting)

Hit points 40 (5d10 + 2)

Speed 30 ft.

STR

18 (+4)

DEX

14 (+2)

CON

15 (+2)

INT

11 (+0)

WIS

11 (+0)

CHA

11 (+0)

Skills – Athletics (+7), Intimidation (+3), plus choose any 2 (+3 proficiency bonus)

Saves – Strength (+7), Constitution (+5)

Challenge – 3 (700 XP)

Defense – +1 Bonus to AC while wearing armor (included above)

Second WindUse a bonus action to regain 10 (1d10 +5) hit points. Must finish short or long rest to use again.

Action Surge – Take one additional action on your turn. Must finish short or long rest to use again.

Combat Superiority Four Superiority dice (d8). Maneuvers (PHB 74): Commander’s Strike, Maneuvering Attack, Riposte (or choose any 3).

ACTIONS

Multi-attack. Makes two attacks when taking the attack action.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) slashing.

Crossbow, light. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) piercing.

Sword and Shield Fighter, 10th level (Battle Master)
Armor Class 22 (Plate and Shield + 1, Defensive Fighting)

Hit points 80 (10d10 + 2)

Speed 30 ft.

STR

20 (+5)

DEX

14 (+2)

CON

15 (+2)

INT

11 (+0)

WIS

11 (+0)

CHA

11 (+0)

Skills – Athletics (+8), Intimidation (+4), plus choose any 2 (+4 proficiency bonus)

Saves – Strength (+9), Constitution (+6)

Challenge – 6 (2,300 XP)

Defense – +1 Bonus to AC while wearing armor (included above)

Second WindUse a bonus action to regain 15 (1d10 +10) hit points. Must finish short or long rest to use again.

Action Surge – Take one additional action on your turn. Must finish short or long rest to use again.

Indomitable – Reroll a failed saving throw, must take second roll. Must finish a long rest to use again.

Combat Superiority Five Superiority dice (d10). Maneuvers (PHB 74): Commander’s Strike, Feinting Attack, Maneuvering Attack, Parry, Precision Attack, Pushing Attack, Riposte (or choose any 7).

ACTIONS

Multi-attack. Makes two attacks when taking the attack action.

Longsword +2. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit. Hit: 11 (1d8 + 7) slashing.

Crossbow, light. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) piercing.

Final Note

Obviously there are many more ways I could have went with these guys. In particular, changing equipment options or adding magic items can have a significant impact on the listed challenge ratings. And I know for a fact that no self-respecting 10th level fighter in any game I was ever near would be running around with nothing but a +2 sword and a +1 shield. I was deliberately conservative here, adding what I did add to bump the challenge rating up to what I felt the minimum baseline should be. If you decide to use any of these guys, feel free to give them whatever magic items you think suit them. Just remember to recalculate the challenge rating after significant changes to damage output, armor class, or special abilities, and remember that if you don’t want your PCs to have a certain equipment (magic or otherwise) then you probably shouldn’t outfit your NPCs with it.

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