Bigger Bads: Cult NPCs

Bigger Bads: Cult NPCs

What would your game be without formidable and memorable NPCs? So let’s build more great options!

Options for Cultists

The core game presents a couple NPC stat blocks geared toward cult activities. The cultist (CR 1/8)is your basic adherent—a commoner with some skill at half-truths, some knowledge of holy books and perhaps more courage than common sense. The cult fanatic (CR 2) is a 4th-level cleric with a silver tongue, multiple attacks, and ample hit points. Tome of Beasts offers the scorpion cultist (CR 1/2), Emerald Order cult leader (CR 8), and even the devilbound gnomish prince (CR 9). And Creature Codex offers the void cultist (1/2), gnomish knife cultist (CR 5), Doomspeaker (CR 6), void speaker (CR 7), and scorpion assassin (CR 8). (This list ignores a few possible NPCs but is sufficient for our purposes here.)

More Villainous Cultists

To expand on our options, below are two new cult NPCs: the true believer and the prophet. Both serve important roles within a cult.

The true believer, much like it says on the packaging, is an elite cultist who has complete faith in the cult’s teachings. Unlike most cultists, the true believer enlightens skeptics with their many longsword attacks.

The true believer never presents a risk to the cult fanatic’s leadership. The true believer instead serves as the cult’s protector, frequent recruiter, and sometimes scapegoat for leadership when schemes invariably go wrong.

The prophet is a cultist so devout they claim to receive revelations of future events. Unlike the cult fanatic or doomspeaker, this NPC claims a direct connection—and sometimes serves as the voice in the mortal world—to the unholy power the cult reveres. The prophet is rarely encountered without a throng of supporters to be directed against those who intrude upon the cult’s activities.

TRUE BELIEVER

Medium Humanoid (Any Race), Any Alignment
Armor Class 11 (leather)
Hit Points 45 (7d8 + 14)
Speed 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
16 (+3)10 (+0)14 (+2)10 (+0)10 (+0)12 (+1)

Skills Deception +3, Intimidation +5, Religion +2
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages any one language (usually Common)
Challenge 1 (200 XP)            Proficiency Bonus +2

Dark Devotion. The true believer has advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The true believer makes two weapon attacks.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage or 8 (1d10 + 3) if used with two hands.

Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.

REACTIONS

Opportunist. When a creature that the true believer can see misses them with a melee attack, the true believer can use their reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.

PROPHET

Medium Humanoid (Any Race), Any Alignment
Armor Class 15 (chain shirt, 17 with Fanatical Bulwarks)
Hit Points 130 (16d8 + 48)
Speed 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
11 (+0)16 (+3)14 (+3)10 (+0)8 (−1)18 (+4)

Skills Deception +7, Persuasion +7, Religion +3
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Senses passive Perception 9
Languages any three languages
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)         Proficiency Bonus +3

Agitating Attack. The prophet’s attacks agitate the soul of even their bravest enemies. A creature struck by one of the prophet’s attacks must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened until the start of the prophet’s next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to this ability for 24 hours.

Fanatical Bulwarks. The prophet surrounds themselves with devoted followers who would suffer grievous harm for their leader. Whenever the prophet is within 5 feet of a friendly creature they can see, the prophet’s AC increases by 2.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The prophet makes two weapon attacks.

Quarterstaff. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage or 4 (1d8) bludgeoning damage if used with two hands.

Sling. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

Spellcasting. The prophet casts one of the following spells, using Charisma as the spellcasting ability (spell save DC 15):

  • At will: dancing lights, message, shocking grasp
  • 3/day each: comprehend languages, enlarge/reduce, sleep, suggestion
  • 1/day each: counterspell, dispel magic, tongues
REACTIONS

Vatic Murmurs (Recharge 5–6). The prophet sees hints of future events, mumbling these revelations during battles. When a creature the prophet can see makes a saving throw, the prophet can make the creature reroll the saving throw. Alternatively, the prophet can reroll their own saving throw.

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