Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NPC Personality and Physical Traits

Here's some awesomes I came across over on Hack & Slash.

NPC physical and personality traits.

I already ordered my copy and received notice that it shipped Monday. I expect it any day now. 

Just to give an idea of some combinations you can come up with (and I swear I plan for the alliteration of these)

Stuttering Sell Out - the party meets a stammering stranger who has just betrayed a neighboring country. Perhaps he's an awkward homeless child who witnessed something he shouldn't have and now the party must protect him until he can spit out the secret to the right people.

Frustrated Fence - a vendor of stolen goods has recently been stolen from. He hires the party to track down the thieves, but refuses to give them many details about the missing item. Maybe another circle of thieves is behind, or it could be that the rightful owner simply reclaimed what is theirs.

Handsome Hypochondriac - the group meets a wo/man who is very easy on the eyes, but they are sure they are just as diseasey. The twist could be that they are actually afflicted because a jealous, ugly witch has cursed them with failing health. You must find the spellcaster and reverse it.

Vexed Veteran - a one-eyed ex-military man who lusts for a life of adventure. But because he's lost an eye and he's old, no one wants to hire him out of the hum-drum of his daily life. He figures he can't reverse his aging - or can he?- but he can at least get his eyeball back. He offers to pay the adventurers to take him with them to either find a fountain of youth he heard about while soldiering, or to track down the villain that took out his eye and now keeps it preserved in a glass jar. The object could be hidden away, or in plain sight, but always on the bad guy's person.

Repetitive Rain Man Rembrandt Riddles - an artistic autistic knows a valuable secret and the party has to some how coax it out of him. He will repeat a certain phrase or seemingly nonsensical clues over and over. He also paints the hints into amazingly beautiful artwork. A fun way to play this would be that the artist is very lucid while painting, but is so focused on the piece that it's hard to get him to talk at all. He paints the answers to questions as symbols in the artwork. Pick a Rembrandt painting, or paintings, and write the story around clues/focal points of the piece or series. Or the first letters of the phrase he keeps repeating are an acronym that is the answer, or the keyword that unlocks him to tell the complete secret.

Bad Blooded Brit - a man has had his human blood drained and replaced with some kind of alien fluid. There are multiple side effects including impaired thoughts, hallucinations of being chased by monsters, and violent outbursts. The most noticeable features are sallow skin, haunted eyes, and rotting teeth. By the end of the adventure he is near death and vomiting a black, tarry substance. The party can drive the man away fearing he's possessed. They can help him find a magical cure. Or they can simply do the humane thing and kill him, but can they live with that? Should they keep him alive under quarantine for study in case whatever it is might be catching?

Ferret and Fidget - a junkie with a monkey on his back and a pet ferret. This potion/weed addict is going through serious withdrawals and becoming more and more desperate to slake his habit. He swears to the party that he knows of treasure and will greatly reward them if they will help him find a fix. But perhaps your group has already been tasked with eliminating the foul smugglers that have strung out and poisoned whole villages. They must use this illin' villain to get close to his dealer and eliminate him. When the junkie realizes they are not interested in helping him, in fact they want to stop his supply permanently, he flees and attempts to sabotage their efforts. The true victim in all this is the poor ferret. He's having a hard time too.

Bulbous Boar or Nosy Newt - rumors have spread of a man with an unusually large nose who mysterious emerged from the wilds/woods/swamp and has been warning townsfolk to avoid the maniacal sorcerer that has taken up residence in a tower nearby. As if his rantings weren't unnerving enough, livestock has been disappearing, strangers have been seen wandering about, and the tortured cries of animals and screams of men have been drifting on the night winds. This evil wizard, known as Dauktor Morose, has somehow been morphing animals into humans. Some victims think they are suffering from amnesia since they can recall nothing previous to their awaking as humans. Others only look human, but have no powers of speech and dreadful, primitive behavior. The particular man named either Borus or Noot, knows full well what has happened to him, but wants to remain a human for as long as possible. Once the party deduces his true form they can either adopt this would-be follower, or return him to the tower for retransmogrification. Obviously he objects to this later option. He can both hinder and help the group with his bumbling and natural talents. 

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