Abilities, Strategies, & Resources
To the casual observer, Farron is merely an overweight schemer with no remarkable equipment or abilities.
Although Farron has many of the skills of a bard, it is because he trained long ago with a bard-in-exile, disbarred from the bardic colleges, who had mentored him in the Thieves’ Guild. By collecting lore, he has trained himself the rest of the way. He belongs to no formal bardic college and conceals most of his abilities. Asked about an item, he’ll say he needs to consult his “sources” before getting back to a client. Then, once he is alone, he will cast legend lore himself. For much of his other specialized work, he relies whenever possible on his servants, whom he has often recruited from the urchin or immigrant classes and trained himself, to ensure they are loyal to him.
As the stat block below reveals, Farron has spent a lot of time training himself in useful skills, ranging from additional languages to various tools. In particular, Farron practices the brewing of potions of healing, poisons, and the occasional potion of poison for people who have crossed him. These potions and poisons are worth considerable sums for their weight and bulk, and as such, make excellent trade goods–alternatives to currency. Being able to craft such potions himself helps to fund his operation. Accordingly, Farron may have stored away in hidden places around his lair potions, poisons, spell scrolls, and similar items that he has crafted. He tells no visitors or clients that he makes these himself or has such items stored away. His thugs know nothing of these devices, though his agents and Taciturn do. The agents know that he sometimes attends meetings through an illusory double, but they do not know how he does it and do not know about the prism.
If Farron faces hostile adventurers outside of his Throne Room, he might use sanctuary or enthrall to forestall shedding of his blood, or employ mislead, dimension door, and then disguise self to make a getaway. He can use cure wounds to heal himself once he’s safe, if need be.
If confronted by hostile adventurers in his Throne Room (whether he is there physically or as a projection), Farron can draw on additional resources. The King of Baubles has equipped the room with several traps he has commissioned, two of which he can activate by voice — even while there as a projection:
- The Force-Kill Trap. At a single word, Farron can unleash a cloudkill from the ceiling above the throne while surrounding the throne itself — and a secret trap door beside it — with a dome-shaped wall of force. Obviously, he only does this if he would be within the wall of force, or if he is a projection. The cloudkill effect (Constitution DC 15) travels along the length of the Throne Room toward the entrance through which the PCs arrived, hitting the dining table in the second turn. This trap can be detected only by characters who step onto the raised level where the throne is located — which the thugs do not allow. If Farron is physically at the dining table, he can dimension door to the protected spot by the throne and then utter the command word for the trap, and will typically do this as his first move. He has equipped his agents and the assassin with antitoxins that they have been told to take immediately if the trap is triggered. The trap door Farron uses as an exit leads to a tunnel to an alley by a main street. Farron uses disguise self upon reaching the street. This trap may be activated once per day.
- The Antipathy Ward. At a single word, Farron can trigger an antipathy effect, centered on the throne, that affects everyone but himself (including his allies), driving those who fail their saving throws (Wisdom DC 16). If PCs are near the throne, Farron uses the Antipathy Ward to clear them from that area before he triggers the Force-Kill Trap above. Note that the Antipathy Ward may drive characters from the Throne Room into the Foyer. If it does, the third trap becomes relevant. This trap may be activated once per day.
- The Flooding Foyer. As noted above, the chambers immediately in front of the Throne Room are also part of an old cistern system. Farron has set up a lever near the throne that he can hit as a bonus action while escaping through the trap door. If this lever is thrown, heavy iron barriers fall into place at both the Throne Room entrance and at the one other entry to the “Foyer” chamber in front of it. (These barriers are DC 10 to spot. A PC can attempt to jam the path of the barrier — DC 15 — by hammering in an iron spike or similar obstruction, provided that the barriers haven’t yet been triggered. Failure on the check to jam the doors means that the spike or obstruction does not hold once the barriers fall.) Immediately after the barriers fall, a sluice in the ceiling, 15 feet above the floor, releases a torrent of water into the Foyer. After 1 round, occupants are up to their knees and in difficult terrain. In 2 rounds, occupants must swim or be submerged. In 3 rounds, the room is full and all characters in the Foyer must hold their breath until they get free. The sluice in the ceiling is grated and cannot be passed without the grate being removed, which takes a character 2 rounds under normal conditions (4 while submerged). Even then, it takes each character three DC 15 Athletics (Strength) checks to swim far enough through that passage to reach air at the surface of the cistern above. Each of those checks requires a full round, during which drowning is a danger. The iron barriers to the room aren’t locked, but they are heavy and difficult to lift (DC 20). Once a barrier is lifted, water begins to rush out of the chamber through the gap between the barrier and the floor — forcing the person holding the barrier to make a DC 25 Strength check to keep the barrier up while remaining on their feet. If the person holding the barrier fails the Strength check, that person must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw. Success means the character fell through the gap and is now out of the Foyer, wet but unharmed. Failure means the character takes 4d10 bludgeoning damage as the barrier falls on him or her, pinning her to the ground with his or her head now at floor level in the Foyer. Until rescued or able to lift the barrier again, the pinned character is in danger of drowning. Taciturn and the other agents all know about the lever to trigger this trap and can do so if Farron isn’t present and the Antipathy Ward hasn’t been activated. The flooding trap takes a week of manual labor by hirelings to clean and reset.
Next page: Stat blocks for Farron and the agents of Farron.