Jarlaxle Baenre is one of the big villains involved in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Today we’ve got a look at his stats and some of his lore, come see this high-powered villain for a low-level adventure.
One of the big features about Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is that it’s a low level adventure that pits players against high level villains. The object being that these are powerful forces that players shouldn’t confront in combat, but rather try and stay ahead of, escape from, or otherwise outwit. The Xanathar is one such villain, and he’s a Beholder, clocking in at Challenge 14, assuming a standard Beholder stat block–and there’s nothing at all standard about Xanathar. Another villain was spoiled this last week during the Fireside Chat.
Jarlaxle Baenre–the Dark Elf Pirate Captain. He’s an amazing villain, a ton of fun to play: he’s charming, cunning, and enough of a magnificent bastard that even if he gets what he wants, you kind of can’t help but be a little impressed by it. After all, he’s the Pirate King of Luskan–complete with giant floating parade and everything.
He’s a drow who cast off the shackles of repressive drow society to dwell on the surface of Faerun–but unlike certain other drow, he’s used this freedom to gain unchecked power. And he has a Hat of Disguise!
…among other powerful magic items! And as you can see, he’s a proper villain. Challenge 15 and packing 123 hit points, Jarlaxle here is quite the capable combatant. Especially when you factor in his AC of 24(!), which means that even the most optimized archer cheese build will need to work hard to actually hit him (needing a 14 under the most ideal circumstances). Even without seeing his abilities, it’s very clear that a low level party won’t be thrashing him in combat.
Add to that a score of abilities, including the plethora of possibilities that using a Hat of Disguise opens up, and you’ve got a lot of power packed into a villain who can literally pop up anywhere, anytime. For best results, see if you can get one of your players to be impersonated by him–just pass them a note that says something like “while you’re out shopping, Jarlaxle is impersonating you, you’re delayed still buying that cloak” or what have you, and watch the fun ensue.
If in doubt, have him play ol’ Zed here.
And if you’re down here, why not enjoy a glimpse of yet another monster that awaits within Undermountain: the Skalander (sp?), a winged monster that lurks somewhere in the depths in greater numbers than you’d expect.
That’s it for now–but there’s more exciting news coming next week. So stay tuned folks, and we’ll be delving into Waterdeep, Undermountain, and points beyond.