Thursday, April 15, 2010

BoL: an NPC for every game

I love a back story. From every character I create to the NPCs that inhabit my worlds, I like everyone to have a bit of a motivation and a life outside of the 20 seconds they're "on screen".
Of course the trick is to make sure you don't become too attached to your NPCs - what happens if they die, the pcs never eve speak to them, etc?
At the same time, it can shit the pcs to tears if every blacksmith they run into is a retired fighter and every inn keeper has an ancient family curse and a kidnapped daughter.
So, a fine balance is needed.
But just for funzies: I've thrown together a list of quick and dirty BoL NPCs.

The gimpy merc
This experienced sell sword has seen it all. At some point during his career he suffered a horrible leg injury and is now reduced to a hobble. Now he mainly takes the low rent jobs: caravan work, body guarding, etc, and has been forced to become canny and wily to survive.
St: 2 Ag: -1 Mn: 1 Ap: 0
Bwl: 0 Mle: 2 Msl: 0 Dfc: 0
Mercenary: 2
Protection: d6 (medium armour & shield)
Sword (d6+2)
LB: 10

Desert raider
A member of one of the nomadic clans that prowl the desert outside Oxy. He and his small band have been forced to raiding caravans and travellers to survive.
St: 0 Ag: 2 Mn: 0 Ap: 0
Bwl: 0 Mle: 1 Msl: 1 Dfc: 0
Barbarian: 1 Hunter: 1
Protection: none
Sword, d6, bow, dagger
LB: 9

Adept of the death god
Sworn to the Grand Temple of Nemmereth in Oxy, this young Adapt is in her first few years of training. Children are given over to the temple at a young age or taken from the orphanages by the priests to serve and will spend many years learning the secret rituals and rites.
St: 0 Ag: Mn: 2 Ap: 0
Bwl: 1 Mle:0 Msl: 0 Dfc: 1
Priest: 1
Scribe: 1
Protection: none
Black robes, holy symbol, staff
LB: 8

Temple Guard
The priesthood rules the city through fear but enforces its rules and regulation through the thousand strong Temple Guard. These "Swordsmen of the Long Sleep" are experts at using the great, two handed swords of their order and wear long dark robes under their iron breastplates and helms.
They might not care for Nemmereth but they are totally devoted to their mistress, the High Priestess.
St: 2 Ag: 1 (0) Mn: -1 Ap: 0
Bwl: 0 Mle: 1 Msl: 0 Dfc: 1
Soldier: 1
Priest: 1
Protection: Heavy armour (d6) and helm.
Two handed sword, (d6+3) short sword.
LB: 10

Free trader
This greasy tub of lard serves no master and knows full well that all laws are only there to be broken. He trades with the city of Oxy, the desert nomads and even the far-off Plainsmen, buying, selling and trading gems, fine ivory, wooden furniture, spices and silver hilted swords cunningly made by dark skinned smiths in the shadow of the Fire Mountains.
St: 0 Ag: 0 Mn: 1 Ap: 1
Bwl: 1 Mle: 0 Msl: 0 Dfc: 1
Merchant: 2
Protection: Fur-lined robes and cape. (1)
Sling, club.
LB: 8

Street thief
She's just a wee lass that should still be at home helping her ma, but she's already carved out an excellent reputation as a pickpocket and pilferer.
Raised on the streets and hardened by the tough life she's found there, this thief is an expert at her trade.
St: -1 Ag: 3 Mn: 0 Ap: 0
Bwl: 0 Mle: 0 Msl: 1 Dfc: 1
Thief: 2
Beggar: 0
Dagger, rags.
LB: 6

Tomb raider
Oxy is built on the ruins of a far older city which is rife for plundering. Every year, thousands of tomb raiders descend into the catacombs seeking riches and fame. Few return.
St: 1 Ag: 1 Mn: 1 Ap: -1
Bwl: 1 Mle: 0 Msl: Dfc: 1
Thief: 1
Mercenary: 1
Proection: d6-2 (light armour)
Short sword (d6+1), crossbow, climbing gear, thieves tools.
Lifeblood: 9

Temple prostitute
While the temple of death holds supreme, other gods are still worshiped in Oxy. Temples ofLilandra "the Seductress, Goddess of Love" tend of resemble high-class whorehouses.
They regularly host services that revolve around getting your gear off. 13 temple prostitutes, all beautiful women aged between 16 and 32, are always on hand.
St: -1 Ag: 1 Mn: 0 Ap: 2
Bwl: 1 Mle: 0 Msl: Dfc: 1
Dancer: 1
Prostitute: 1
Jewellery. They don't wear anything else...
Lifeblood: 5

This huntsman from one of the small communities outside Oxy ranges through the arid lands with his bow.
An expert at surviving the rocky barrens he feels very out of place on the few occasions he finds himself inside the city walls.
St: 2 Ag: 1 Mn: 0 Ap: -1
Bwl: 1 Mle: 0 Msl: 1 Dfc: 0
Hunter: 2
Bow, knife, woodsman's' axe.
LB 10

With great power comes great responsibility. Or so they say. This young sorcerer is only just out of his apprentice robes but reckons he knows it all.
From a noble house he was packed off to study with a wizard when his talent became apparent.
Now he's out to prove his worth.
St: -1 Ag: Mn: 2 Ap: 1
Bwl:0 Mle:0 Msl:0 Dfc: 2
Sorcer: 1
Scribe: 1
Robes, staff.
LB: 8

Tavern keeper
When you order an ale - you ask this lady very nicely. A former sellsword she settled down to run a local tavern. She keeps the place ship shape and is more than happy to spill the latest gossip or just bore you with tales of her day soldiering.
St: 1 Ag: 0 Mn:0 Ap: 1
Bwl: 1 Mle: 1 Msl:0 Dfc:0
Soldier: 1 Merchant: 1
Tavern. Sword (kept under the bar)'
LB: 7

Noble scion
This strutting peacock is the heir to a vast fortune and lives in the lap of luxury in the Tower quarter.
He doesn't mind occasionally slumming it by touring the lower class dives to see how the other half lives, but spends most of his time enjoying himself.
St: 0 Ag: 0 Mn:0 Ap: 2
Bwl: 0 Mle: 1 Msl:0 Dfc:1
Noble: 2
d6-2 (light armour), duelling sword.
LB: 6


  1. Once again nice post. And this one will be even more useful than usual. Thanks.

  2. Cheers! And once again thanks to my best reader for commenting.
    With just a little bit of fiddle I think these npcs could slot into any BoL saga.
    Hope they're helpful

  3. Considered this post swiped. Well done!

  4. Cheer Rob. The NPCs are all pretty generic so they can pop up in anyone's game, anywhere, anytime.
    I'm rather proud of my temple prostitutes. Hopefully they crop up in my soon to start BoL campaign.

  5. More importantly, Rob, I want to see some more BoL stuff on Vargold! Hurry up and update how our pcs are doing.

  6. Better late than never, but I just want to chime in and say "Nice work!" on these, GK!

  7. Also, in case you hadn't noticed, Big Daddy Washbourne hisownself has pointed these out on the BoL forums. Now *that* is some high praise!