6/14/2015

d30 Challenge Day 14

d30 Challenge Day 14
This is my 14th entry in the d30 Challenge, which is a bastardization of an idea I first saw on Mark "CMG" Clover's feed. Now I'm a sucker for these things and I know some folks aren't so while I'm committed to answering one question about my favorite hobby each day, and putting together a d30 table before the end of the month, I know not everyone is so interested. I'll put the question & answer after the break, posting late in the day, and not promoting this on G+ so those who don't like this kind of thing should be exposed only minimally.

I think this is the best I can do....
Day 14's question is "Favorite NPC".

Wow, this one is a toughie. I tend to favor whatever NPC I'm currently playing, or maybe the most recent party villain/foe, but some of those guys are real [not-so-nice]....

The NPCs I tend to enjoy the most are those I can remember the most. Three notable NPC from my last campaign, all from the town of Twin Forks:

  • Johann Highdancer was a "nobody" bookseller...a cast-off NPC that I based off of a gay friend of mine....if that friend was more foppish than he is in real life. He was just fun to play.
  • Chryser Deathwhite didn't have any direct interaction with the PCs, but this dude was just eeeeevil. I don't think I could have used this NPC with just any group.
  • "J" (always changes names but they all start with "J") was a lovable street urchin that latched on to the party because they spoiled him rotten with tips. The party really got attached and risked life & limb over somebody nobody else would've missed.
There are two more NPCs that really stand out to me, but they were used years ago and hell if I can remember either name. Both were in the same town I used, probably over-used, for multiple groups in 4th Edition HackMaster. I liked to use the rural village in Goblin Tooth I (Dragonsfoot.org link) as my PC's starting point and I had their interactions with the town carry over to the next group. There were two important NPCs in Goblin's Tooth:
  • The Trader was a major NPC for the party because he served as a bank and employer for the group. He would essentially charter the players, get them work, and see to their needs on a couple of conditions. The biggest thing was that he basically issued "dog tags" the the PCs that served as identification to the rest of the town, which helped out quite a bit with the locals. He would also serve as a bank for PC's coins and loot, offering not only storage of their excess coinage which literally would weight them down, but he'd buy just about anything they brought back as loot. For the "high-end" stuff he'd act as a broker. The deal was that the PCs were duty-bound to act in the defense of Goblin's Tooth and the Trading Post. If they were not available the Trader was allowed to use their stored wealth to enough hire men-at-arms to equate to the PC's relative firepower. The Trader was actually a near-immortal representative of a good-aligned organization and the trading post, which pre-dated the town, was situated on a powerful magic site (essentially a series of magic portals that was an unused plot-device). At least one of the adventures that he set the PCs on were to gather ingredients for a Potion of Longevity/Youth that allowed him to "retire" and pass the business over to his "son".
  • The Innkeeper's Wife Hazel has a couple of sentences in Goblin's Tooth I, but what set her apart from the other NPCs was what happened to her. My 1st group was staying at the Shady Oak Inn when I ran them through an old tournament adventure. Through the course of the adventure the Dark Elf Necromancer, who was played by the person who "inspired" Johann Highdancer from above,  started his way-too-nice streak. That Necromancer, Verimeth The Black, had somehow gained a favor from Queen Titianna of the Fairy Realm.....not a small thing. A problem arose when the party failed to properly secure the McGuffin from the adventure and took it back to the Shady Oak Inn where it caused the bloody and violent death of Hazel. Now in Goblin's Tooth I Hazel is described as "a portly, middle-aged woman whose caring demeanor and common sense have earned her a seat on the Village Council". Having met a few kindly Gausthouse owners I played her as a rather kindly Bavarian grandmother-type. The players loved her and the Neutral-Evil Necromancer used his favor to summon Queen Titianna to raise Hazel from the Dead (without penalty no less). About a year later another player with a Dark Elf (one who was horribly disfigured at that) fully expected to be chastised by all humans was really surprised when Hazel was so cordial and friendly. Since that was only the second Drow she's ever seen she just assumed that they were related and the 1st one was so nice.......