Gladiator Champion CR 8
During Combat In a gladiator match, the warrior fights with dramatic showmanship, performing unnecessary acrobatic maneuvers, intimidating foes with flashy weapons displays (using Dazzling Display), and otherwise prolonging the fight. Depending on the style and theme of the match, he may go for blood with his sword and mace, hold the high ground with his trident, or capture and drag his opponent with the net. Outside the arena, he is quick and brutal with his attacks, wasting no time before killing his opponent so he is out of danger as soon as possible.
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 11
Base Atk +10; CMB +12; CMD 27
Feats Dazzling Display, Dodge, Toughness, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (short sword)
Skills Acrobatics +12, Intimidate +8, Perception +4, Sense Motive +9
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of heroism; Other Gear studded leather, +1 short sword, darts (10), net, masterwork light mace, trident, belt of giant strength +2, ring of protection +1, antitoxin, 240 gp
The gladiator champion rose up from hopeless slavery to great fame, winning match after match with luck, skill, and the approval of the crowd. He has defeated single opponents and dozens of warriors at once, fought tigers and strange beasts, and even battled a minotaur and things that have no name in any human tongue.
Now at the top of his game, the champion fights every public battle as if a grand audience were watching. Though he is still a slave, he is a valued slave with thousands of fans, and his owner is careful to not put him in matches where he will likely be slain. The gladiator lives for the fighting, the glory, the wet heat of his opponent’s blood, and the noise of the joyous crowd. Within the halls of the gladiators he lives like a prince, albeit a prince bound with a thin golden chain that he cannot break on his own.
In the arena he has played the role of mighty hero and god of war, but deep in his heart he knows his time of greatness will eventually come to an end. He hopes that someday his owner will grant him his freedom, allowing him to retire to a place of comfort where he can live off a small stipend—an honest reward for a lifetime of dangerous service. He fears that his master will discard him before he gets too old, throwing away his life in some grand spectacle or to win a bet against a rival’s champion—a humiliating, pointless death for a seasoned performer.
The longer he remains a gladiator, the more this voice of fear speaks to him. He is a hero to the other slave gladiators, and enough fear may push him to lead them in an armed rebellion against their captors. Depending on the skill of his fellows, use the stat blocks for recruits (warriors 1), brigands (warriors 2), veteran buccaneers (warriors 4), or tavern champions (warriors 5). Having killed hundreds over the years just for the sake of entertainment, he is more than willing to sacrifice his comrades if doing so means he and the survivors have a chance to live out their last years in peace.
Above all, the gladiator wants to survive. If he is losing a fight—even a public one—and has reason to believe his opponent will be merciful, he surrenders rather than fighting to the death.
This stat block can also be used for a retired military hero, tribal champion, or loyal retainer of a noble family. If used for this purpose, change his melee weapon choices and his armor to alternatives that are more suitable for his revised role.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game NPC Codex © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Alex Greenshields, Rob McCreary, Mark Moreland, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Patrick Renie, Sean K Reynolds, and Russ Taylor.