Saturday, September 29, 2012

20 Quick NPCs

Roald Amundsen and his South Pole Expedition
Every expedition needs its fodder, and here on the Swordfish Islands where crabs can grow to such magnificent heights, there needs to be fodder aplenty. We're hoping to have around 100 random non-player characters that your party can bump into in town, the jungle, the ruins, the mountains, or even drowning in the ocean.

Each NPC will have a quick (and hopefully evocative) paragraph of descriptive flavor that can be used, or thrown out, as the DM sees fit. When your party hears cries for help in the jungle and discover a throwaway NPC being drained of fluids by a swarm of Vyderac, there's no reason for it to just be "throwaway adventurer #107". Instead, it could be "Walter and Wendel" a pair of good for nothing thieving drunken bastards, or it could be "Carter" the son of a lesser noble seeking to restore honor to his father's debt-ridden house through the treasures he finds on Swordfish. It's all about making choices interesting ones.

Many of the character descriptions below reference an "invitation" or "letter". The common way one reaches the Islands is by receiving (or perhaps stealing) an invitation that secures passage aboard one of the Captain Rand's trading vessels.

Twenty Quick NPCs, written by The Diviner, are below the break

Wendel and Walter - 
Two brothers who fled the mainland because they are thieving bastards. They stole the invitation letters from drunken adventurers and secured passage to SFI. They are cutthroats in the truest sense and will align themselves with anyone for the right price. Rarely will you find one without the other. They fight with anything, but favor stabbing weapons.
Charles -
A man down on his luck, he received this letter just as the last of his coin ran off with wenches and mead. He hopes to change his fortune and eventually retire on the riches gained from the islands. He is an expert gambler and can scheme his way around places. He is skilled with a bow.

Sally -
A young wizard in search of adventure. Her brother received an invitation to SFI, but he has fallen ill and is still unable to attend. She has generously taken his letter and is now on the islands in his place. She hopes to make a name for herself here and test her magical abilities.

Maxine -
A warrior by trade, she is quite tall for a woman (standing just over six feet.) Her long brown hair is kept in a tight braid. Her recent tenure with a  wealthy merchant came to an end when she would not succumb to his advances (she also broke his nose.) She received the letter hours after her termination and believes the fates have a higher calling for her. She fights with a long sword and shield.

Carter -
The son of a lesser noble, Carter wants to help his father restore the honor of their debt-plagued kingdom. He hears the islands are filled with riches for the taking. He is here with his faithful servant Milton to explore and bring the island's riches back with him. He is an expert with the rapier and main gauche.

Milton -
An ex-thief that was saved from the gallows when put his life in danger to save a nobleman's son. He is now charged with watching over the young man on his adventurers (and ensuring his safety) until his debt is considered paid. He is a patient man and will serve out his duty, but not one minute more. He is skilled with throwing daggers and the sap.

Annie -
A sorceress, Annie is drawn to the islands by mysterious visions of a grand party held at a bathhouse. She is obsessed with finding the bathhouse and discovering the meaning behind "dream-walking". She is skilled in many magics, but also possesses and uncanny knack for seeing what is to come moments before they transpire.

Rachel -
Once an enterprising businesswoman, she was double crossed by her partner and thrown out of the shipping business she built from the ground up. With no family and little resources, she took a job as an "escort" for a wealthy merchant and escaped to SFI. She is looking to reestablish herself as a top level merchant and get revenge for the double cross.

Maximilian -
A man with nothing left to lose, he has come to islands to find an honorable death. He was once the champion of his lord, but a moment of weakness caused his title to become forfeit. Instead of death, his lord chose exile. Maximilian hopes to find death in the hands of a large beast or worthy foe. Though an expert in most melee weapons, Maximilian favors the two handed sword.

Delilah -
An assassin posing as a prostitute on a mission to find and eliminate the wizard known as Anora. She was commissioned by a jealous rival and sent to the islands to find out what she is up to and steal anything she may be researching. Delilah's specialty lies in poisons and has come to "sample the local fare."

Jules -
A con man looking for his next score. He heard there was easy money to be made on some island owned by an ex-pirate. He found an invitation on a man was killed in an alley. He wants to find a few, men to go out and find treasure. His favored weapon is words, but he will use a dagger in a pinch.

Omar -
A man who is unfulfilled with life. He is a mercenary that is looking for a challenge. He has guarded the elite, fought in a war, and slain the most terrifying of beasts. He is skilled in the use of twin long swords

Marisol -
A bounty hunter, "Mari the Midget" is a skilled tracker and rarely loses her mark once she is on the trail. Her nickname comes from her height (standing 4'8") with most mistaking her size for weakness. She has come to the islands in search of a thief of renown named "The Fang". She is a dead eye with the crossbow and uses a short sword and dagger combination when things get messy.

Paul -
A rugged outdoorsman, he has come to the islands to hunt the famed tiger Xerxes. He will speak little and drink alone. But if joined at a table he will recount several of his conquests, showing a tooth for each kill. He hopes to add Xerxes to his collection. He fights with a two handed sword, long spears of his own design, and a custom crossbow the fires cruel barbs.

Abigail -
A woman looking to start over, she has fled to the islands to avoid the law. She was the wife of a merchant, who was abusive. She was beaten for several years until she one day plunged a knife into his chest and fled with a bag of valuables. She was able to sneak onto a ship bound for the islands as a cook's assistant. After the ship docked, she went overboard and swam to shore. With very little left to her name, she is looking to start over. She has no weapon skills, but can cook and has some knowledge as a seamstress.

Manuel -
Known to most as "Manny", he is a smart guy looking to make some coin on the islands. He is an expert treasure seeker and wants to test his skills against the dangers of the island. He is fluent in elven. He uses twin axes weighted for throwing in combat.

Stephen -
A learned scholar, he has traveled to the island to learn from the great Matthias Mayford. Stephen is a lover of books and ancient lore and hopes to discover and record the history of the islands. He is proficient with a rapier, which he considers a weapon of skill.

Andrew -
A flame haired firebrand, he has a temper to match his quick spells. A wizard by trade, he also dabbles in alchemy and will make a potion or salve for extra coin. He can use a quarterstaff, but enjoys blasting his foes to oblivion.

Martha -
A world-class archer, the half elf has come to the islands in search of the famed bow, "Harmony". She hopes to test its owner in an archery contest and win the bow for her own. She will ask around and will follow up on leads as necessary. The bow is her primary concern, and any adventures bringing her closer to the bow or its owner will definitely pique her interest. If it's not obvious already, she prefers to use a club in combat. Just kidding, she uses bows.

Samuel -
A bard that enjoys bringing a good time to all he encounters. He loves spinning a tall tale, telling a joke, or playing a song on his mandolin, "Misty." He loves to speak to other bards and swap stories. He is proficient with most instruments and sings rather well. His weapon of choice is an old lute enchanted with a spell to increase its hardness.

"For goodness sake, don't hurt Misty!"


Post a Comment