Monster Analysis: The Broker

  • First Appearance: 25 Crimson Diplomacy
  • Armor Class 18
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Trickster Rogue, Int-based caster
  • Tiefling, Hellish Rebuke available
  • 194 damage taken, 21 HDYWTDT overkill by Percy
  • Old woman: 75 taken, 31 killing blow by Tiberius
  • Masked monk: 60 taken before incapacitated 

The Broker was a reward and custom character for a contest winner in the chat the day before the episode aired. In game, he was a bounty hunter, hired in this case by Lillith’s sisters (who there seems to be no love lost after the pale tiefling did something to her face). His defeat ending the tracking spell placed on Lillith, giving her another chance to flee from her sisters’ advances.

For the Broker and his associates’ sakes, it was most unfortunate that they stumbled upon Vox Machina with essentially all of their spell slots intact and a strong sense of frustration over not taking the Briarwoods. These factors resulted in what can only be described as overkill, with The Broker dying before the first round ended, and his elderly female associate dead without having cast a single spell or attack. The only PC to take any damage was Tiberius, who swallowed the Broker’s reactionary fire attack for a measly 4 damage.

The encounter with these bounty hunters form a noticeable deviation from the pattern of the battles Vox Machina fought up until this point. First of all, this is the first battle since the show started streaming that has taken place in a public location, within city limits, under the dominion and protection of a lawful government, with a group of otherwise lawfully present individuals. All other encounters to the death had been either with notable menaces to the city (e.g., the naga abomination in Kraghammer), a definitive act of war against a government whose rule the party did not recognize (e.g., the duergar and the illithid), or far from the view of the public (e.g., the rakshasa battle). The mental toll of fighting so many battles outside of civilization skewed the perspective of several members of the party, all who were eager to obtain some sense of victory from the evening. This naturally backfired, causing many of the allies in Emon to question their reliability. (It also didn’t help that the Briarwoods have already infiltrated Tal’Dorei’s political system, or that war has been brewing outside the walls of Emon for some time.)