Okay, I know that this is edging into a grey area, but when I saw the villain proposed by the middleagedm, I noticed a problem.
This is what I said:
I have a mechanical concern. Unseen Killer will do 32.5 damage on average, but it requires a zero damage round as a set-up. Just using Double Attack against a single target will do 68.0 damage over those two rounds. (34.0 if the boss misses half the time). If it were me, I would add a trait where he does more damage if attacking while invisible (meaning that he only gets it for the first target of double attack) and have Unseen Killer apply some sort of status effect.
Alternatively, you could change Shadow Blend to a minor or move action and require a check, give it a recharge or make it situational (no adjacent enemies, for example).
Now, he responded that he had noticed the same thing that I had and that he had some ideas, but I couldn’t resist tinkering with it.
Let’s be fair, my version illustrates my tendency to be, well, evil. My players would nuke this guy from orbit – hard. If he makes Shadow Blend work and hits with both attacks, that’s a whopping 5d10+12 (39.5 damage on the average). There are, however, a lot of levers you can push:
- This version of Unseen Killer is intended to give the boss more longevity (opponents will hit less) and be a viable alternative to just spamming Double Attack. You could always say that From the Night is already included, which would reduce the damage.
- The recharge on Shadow Blend assumes that the party is aware that he uses invisibility and they prepare for it. You could always dial back the recharge (I think 5-6 would work at softer tables). You could also make it recharges when first bloodied, though that detracts from the lurker feel.
- From the Night could just as easily allow him to reroll attacks (more accuracy, but less damage), add ongoing poison damage (more thematic and more reliable damage, potential for more damage with missed saves) or daze.
There is one last thing to be considered. In game design, they teach you to account for the absolute best and worst case scenarios, as well as the average. Let’s say that one of the PCs pisses this guy off – he hits really hard and bloodies the boss, insults the boss’ mother, whatever. The boss uses Shadow Blend at the end of his turn (a very reasonable play), then rolls a recharge the next turn. He then uses Double Attack – Action Point – Shadow Blend – Double Attack on the offending character… I’m sure you can do the math. Whether or not you actually do this depends on your players. Some people will see it as fair game, some will not.