Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tavern Tables: NPCs for Hire

Making your way through the crowd, your eyes spot several fresh faces that look hungry for work. After the losses sustained during your last delve, you and the rest of the party have agreed to increase your numbers for the next attempt. You approach some likely-looking candidates and inquire if they’re looking for work.

Twenty Random NPCs Looking For Work
1) Wregor Mooseblood [Neutral 3rd level Barbarian, AC 4, H: 22, DG 1d10 (two-handed sword)] – Wregor is a hulking, brooding tribesman of the Tribe of the Moose. He believes he’s doomed to die in an unglamorous battle and, accepting his fate, will join foolish quests for pay.
2) Cleopos Myrthmunt [Lawful 2nd level Magic-user, AC 9, H 3, spells - magic missile, sleep] – Cleopos is a perpetual apprentice. Now entering middle-age, her love of pranks and less-than-devoted pursuit of magic has stunted her advancement. She has a potion of clairvoyance.
3) Rolf Sheepminder [Neutral 1st level Hireling, AC 6, HP 3, DG 1d6 (spear)] – This laconic shepherd lost his flock to wolves. With no money to replace them and limited options, he’s taken to hiring himself out as a torch-bearer and pack mule to adventurers. Rolf saves his wages and avoids strong drink.
4) Rondo Fleagle [Neutral 2nd level Dwarf, AC 3, Hp 13, DG 1d6+1 (war hammer +1)] – Rondo has a very low opinion of anything not dwarvish, believing his race to be the epitome of all things. He’ll work for non-dwarves but will constantly criticize their actions and decisions by saying, “That’s not the way a dwarf would do it.”
5) Sigguard Bloodhammer [Lawful 2nd level Barbarian, AC 5, Hp 18, DG 1d8 (battle axe)] – Sigguard is a convert to a more civilized religion. Having embraced his new faith, Sigguard seeks to do good and charitable deeds to the point where he puts some paladins to shame.
6) Siobhan of the Black Woods [Chaotic 3rd level Elf, AC 4, Hp 14, DG 1d6 (short bow) spells – hold portal, magic missile, detect invisible] – Siobhan comes across like your favorite kid sister. She’s pleasant, cute, and always has a kind word for everyone she meets. She’s also completely insane and serves a powerful demon lord, but she hides that well. Siobhan owns a set of chain mail +1.
7) Greybeard Longtooth [Lawful 2nd level Barbarian, AC 7, Hp 13, DG 1d6 (short bow)] – Greybeard is an ancient member of the Tribe of the Caribou. When he reached senility, he was left on an ice flow to die per tribal law. Greybeard merely wandered south and now hires himself out as an archer during his moments of lucidity. Despite his eighty years of life and his harsh treatment by the tribe, Greybeard remains a trusting soul and takes people at their word.
8) Dirk Sodbuster [Neutral 1st level Hireling, AC 7, Hp 4, DG 1d4 (club)] – Dirk spent his whole life as a simple farmer. Now, wracked with disease and sensing his end approaches, Dirk seeks to have one glorious adventure after seventy-seven years of tilling the soil. Despite his failing health, Dirk remains perceptive of falsehoods, white lies, and has a knack for spotting overlooked details.
9) Ulba Gippfold [Neutral 3rd level Thief, AC 5, Hp 7, DG 1d6+1 (short sword +1)] – Ulba laughs too much—except when she’s picking pockets. Her laugh is more of a cackle and it grates on the nerves. Combined with her nosy nature, this makes Ulba a real pain in the ass to travel with.
10) Haggar Houri-Tosser [Chaotic 3rd level Dwarf, AC 2, Hp 18, DG 1d6+2 (mace + STR)] – Haggar sports black plate mail and shield, which makes his resemble a walking anvil. He is dour and moody, and his sole joy is smashing things bigger than himself into a pulp. If you can offer that, he’ll sign on.
11) Pootak MacDinn [Neutral 1st level Barbarian, AC 5, Hp 7, DG 1d6+1 (hand axe + STR)] – Pootak has journeyed to the civilized lands to learn about the soft ways of the cities (and about something called “chariot racing”). Rather than being dismissive of culture and civilization, Pootak is inquisitive and wishes to learn more of these strange practices. He owns a potion of invisibility.
12) Ervin the Prodigy [Neutral 3rd level Magic-user, AC 9, Hp 6, spells – floating disc, shield, knock] – Ervin is eleven years old but a genius at magic. Despite his age, he’s reached a level of competency some apprentices never see. Regardless of his magical aptitude, Ervin is still a child and acts as one.
13) "Basher" Noggin-Knocker [Neutral 3rd level Fighter, AC 4, Hp 24, DG 1d8+2 (long sword + STR)] – Basher is a seething kettle of insecurities. He’s quick to anger, convinced everyone’s out to get him, and has never known love. As a result, he looks at every problem as one to be solved with violence. He owns a potion of extra-healing.
14) Quilliaramoia-Vell-Shim [Neutral 1st level Elf, AC 7, Hp 3, DG 1d4 (dagger) spells – sleep] – Although he knows how to fight, Quill prefers magic over swordplay and will only engage in melee if it means his life. His studious nature makes him covet magical writing and he will demand first choice of scrolls before he joins the party.
15) Shelia Copperpot [Chaotic 2nd level Halfling, AC 6, Hp 8, DG 1d6-1 (short sword - STR)] – Shelia once worked for the Syndicate, but her greed got the best of her. Now on the run, she hopes to lose herself amongst adventurers. Her obsessive-compulsive disorder, however, makes her stand out even amongst those odd characters.
16) Cecile Zebullah [Neutral 1st level Thief, AC 5, Hp 2, DG 1d4 (dagger)] – Cecile is a young, freckled-faced lad with a mischievous love of pranks. He also has a greedy streak a league wide. At the end of each adventure, Cecile must make a Loyalty check or rob his employers blind—usually in a manner he finds humorous. Cecile owns a pair of elven boots.
17) Rahyk Three-Born [Neutral 2nd level Fighter, AC 4, Hp 14, DG 1d8 (long sword)] – Rahyk suffers from black depressions that greatly inhibit his ability to hold a steady job. In his better moments, he hires out as a sellsword, but he’ll punctuate such employment stints with predictions of doom and gloom for both himself and his fellow party members.
18) Nuada Holyoake [Neutral 1st level Elf, AC 4, Hp 4, DG 1d6 (quarterstaff)] – Nuada is desperate for acceptance and praise, which makes him fawningly servile to his employers. He’s also a bit unbalanced and he will take his employer's commands (or even their unvoiced or unconscious desires) to extremes.
19) Bifferton Blondehair [Neutral 2nd level Fighter, AC 2, Hp 13, DG 1d8+2 (long sword + STR)] – Everyone wants a lackey like “Biff.” Handsome, competent, and completely trustworthy, Biff is an employer’s dream come true. Unexpectedly, he’s also everything he seems to be, which drives some employers mad. They’re convinced that he’s hiding something.
20) Tobias Widdershins [Lawful 1st level Hireling, AC 7, Hp 4, DG 1d6 (spear)] – Tobias is fresh off the farm; looking to earn a fortune so he can marry his sweetheart, Elizabetta. A mere youth, Tobias is neither worldly nor careful – two traits unlikely to lead to a long adventuring career. Under the wing of a more experienced and concerned leader, however, Tobias just may have a chance of making it back to his love’s side.

Note: The NPCs above were generated using a combination of Cook/Marsh Expert, The Rogues Gallery, and the Labyrinth Lord rulebook. The classes of Barbarian and Hireling are from my own "New Classes and Racial Variants for Basic Dungeons & Dragons".


Al said...

"your favorite kid sister. She’s pleasant, cute, and always has a kind word for everyone she meets. She’s also completely insane and serves a powerful demon lord"

marvelous! :)

Vanadorn said...

I'm so happy that Pootak Macdinn made the list! I am so going to hire him, I hear he's pretty handy and capable (plus, I heard at the bar that he fell off a mountain once and lived).

Too bad Geezer isn't here - although the 80 year old archer works for a decent stand in. :)


David The Archmage said...

I think Biff and Siobhan are my favorite, and Rondo would be such fun to play.