While dungeons often conjure images of deadly traps and lurking monsters, they first and foremost serve as places to confine criminals and captives. Whether locked away and forgotten in the oubliettes of evil lords or serving out just punishments in heavily guarded cells, a prisoner must acquire unique skills to survive incarcerated life. By the same token, the guards who watch over dangerous wards gain their own expertise, both at dealing with sneaky captives and wresting what they desire from even the most uncooperative convict.
Prisoner CR 2
Human expert 4
N Medium humanoid
Init –1; Senses Perception +8
AC 9, touch 9, flat-footed 9 (–1 Dex)
hp 26 (4d8+8)
Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee improvised dagger +2 (1d4)
Str 9, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 11
Languages Aklo, Common
Boon A prisoner can impart secrets of a prison they have inhabited, granting a +2 circumstance bonus on Perception, Survival, and Knowledge (dungeoneering or engineering) checks within that prison. A prisoner can also draw a map of a prison, or might have information about other prisoners or know which guards are corrupt.
Prisoners are hapless wretches who have spent uncounted years locked away in the deepest cells. Battered and bruised, their minds assaulted by the endless imprisonment and the mad ravings of weak-minded cellmates, prisoners endure through sheer force of will and the hope that one day they shall see their freedom. Prisoners may be found in town jails, large prisons, or underground dungeons, either as convicted criminals, political prisoners, or wretched captives.
Prisoners can be used for escaped convicts, beggars, galley slaves, shipwreck survivors, escaped slaves, or similar outlaws or desperate folk. Giving a prisoner the Throw Anything feat makes a prisoner skilled with improvised melee and ranged weapons. Giving him a Skill Focus feat makes an expert being held prisoner for his skill or knowledge, perhaps someone the PCs are hired to rescue. Prisoners might have Great Fortitude, Iron Will, or Lightning Reflexes to represent the hardships they have overcome.
Prisoners may be found alone or in a work gang of a half-dozen under the watchful eye of a slaver (CR 6). Five prisoners can serve as the crazed flock of a cultist (CR 7). A dozen prisoners outfitted with pitchforks and other farm implements makes an angry peasant mob (CR 9).
Turnkey CR 3
Human warrior 5
N Medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception +4
AC 19, touch 10, flat-footed 19 (+9 armor)
hp 37 (5d10+10)
Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +0
Speed 20 ft.
Melee mwk guisarme +9 (2d4+4/×3) or
spiked gauntlet +8 (1d4+3) or
sap +8 (1d6+3 nonlethal)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with guisarme)
Str 16, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 9, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +8 (+10 bull rush); CMD 18 (20 vs. bull rush)
Combat Gear tanglefoot bags (2); Other Gear +1 half-plate, masterwork guisarme, sap, spiked gauntlet
Boon A turnkey can allow the PCs to locate and speak to prisoners, and potentially even release them. Like prisoners, turnkeys possess detailed knowledge of specific prisons.
Turnkeys are jailers and wardens, walking through prison halls and keeping the inmates in line with public beatings. Though dim-witted, most turnkeys are experienced enough to see through attempts to deceive them unless the talker is quite clever.
Turnkeys can also be used as armed porters, gate guards, or well-armored warehouse guards. In non-good cities, turnkeys might be used as thuggish city guards or brute squads.
Changing a turnkey's feats creates a variety of different NPCs. A turnkey with Skill Focus (Sense Motive) instead of Improved Bull Rush is an even more canny judge of character, while Skill Focus (Intimidate) creates an even scarier jailer. Replacing Improved Bull Rush with Improved Overrun or Improved Sunder gives turnkeys alternate combat maneuvers to use. The Blind-Fight feat allows turnkeys to operate more effectively in dark dungeons, and Combat Reflexes combined with Stand Still makes turnkeys almost impossible for escaped prisoners to slip by.
A turnkey will usually have a pair of guards to assist in his patrols (CR 5), or four guards in particularly dangerous prisons (CR 6). Four turnkeys might be found together in a well-staffed guardroom (CR 7). A slaver might be accompanied by two turnkey guards (CR 6), and a torturer often has two turnkeys as guards for her charges (CR 7).
Torturer CR 5
Human expert 5/fighter 2
NE Medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +11
AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 18 (+8 armor, +1 Dex)
hp 52 (7 HD; 2d10+5d8+19)
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +5; +1 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 heavy flail +10 (1d10+7/19–20) or
unarmed strike +9 (1d3+4 plus Scorpion Style) or
mwk whip +10 (1d3+4 nonlethal)
Reach 5 ft. (15 ft. with whip)
Str 18, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +9 (+11 grapple); CMD 20 (22 vs. grapple)
Combat Gear vials of acid (2), alchemist's fire (2), greenblood oil (2 doses), tanglefoot bags (2); Other Gear +1 banded mail, +1 heavy flail, masterwork whip, masterwork torturer's tools (+5 competence bonus on Profession [torturer] checks)
Boon A torturer can question an individual delivered by the PCs, arrange for an NPC of up to 6th level to be detained for 24 hours, or release an individual from the torture chambers.
Torturers, hated by nearly everyone, are kept in the dark corners of tyrannical lords' castles to subject their prisoners to unspeakable torments with fire, acid, persuasion, intimidation, delicate instruments, or even their bruising fists. Sometimes these encounters are quests for truth, other times merely grim entertainments, but they always involve inflicting pain.
Torturers can be used as pit fighters, royal headsmen, gladiatorial trainers, or drill sergeants in cruel armies. Torturers might also be sadistic castle guards or even members of the city watch in especially brutal cities. The dungeons beneath a temple to an evil god could also have torturers on hand for sacred rituals.
A torturer often has a turnkey or a pair of street thugs as brutish assistants (CR 6). Some torturers are accompanied by four guards or two slavers instead (CR 7). A torturer might be paired with a slayer (CR 9), or two torturers could serve a guild master (CR 11).