Created as a challenging opponent for a party of six 10th level characters, these four 8th level characters are a CR 12 encounter. This group is meant to be its own adventuring party, so will be fairly well balanced. Two front line tanks, one archer, one offensive spellcaster, and one healing spellcaster comprise the party.
The Franz Brothers Edit
Each of the five Franz brothers is outlined in detail in the following sections. This band of five ‘brothers’ makes their living by going out and hunting dragons, then returning with the carcass pieces to craft wares for sale. Occasionally their skills at taking down big game have earned them mercenary assassination jobs, but mostly they stick to dragon affairs. They have a shop that they sell their wares at, and have hirelings who can help with the crafting. There are three trusted hirelings (a smith and two armorers (craftspeople)) who are used most frequently. They are seventh level NPC Experts, and thus have 10 ranks in their skill, +3 Int, +3 Skill Focus, for a total of +16 modifier to their skill checks to craft items. As skilled hirelings, they all cost 3sp/day of work. See Edwin's page for more information on the crafting that goes on in the shop.
The dragonslayers’ shop is a simple wood building in the marketplace, and is converted to storage rather than show. When the five are in town, they spread out a tent and booth into the marketplace, and bring out their wares from storage. While out slaying, the tent is packed up and locked away for the duration. There is a sample floorplan for their shop and tent available here as a PDF file.
They all have the same last name not due to blood relation but due to their common state. “Franz” means “Free” (actually an Old German name) in their native land, and as these five have given up their past lives, they also give up the association to their past households. They also don’t commonly go by their true first names, instead calling each other by their nicknames, which represent what part they play in combat.