View Full Version : Love and Hate for the NPC

2011-01-23, 04:00 PM
Ah NPCs, can't really run a game without them but every so often they just seem to get out of hand or just plain weird.

Anyone have intresting NPC stories? Be it NPCs you had to deal with as a player or maybe some of your own creation that you are particually proud (ashamed?) of.

I fear I'm on the verge of joke NPC overload in my current game. It's already worst enough that the Big Bad in the campaign is the puppet clown god Banjo (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0080.html), but our quest-giver is A certain butler (http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue28/search-engines/jeeves.jpg) and just this week we had a run-in with a particually annoying clerk (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_X3lNYc1hcaE/TGsIJJpY3NI/AAAAAAAAAxU/_eQ28v8s8_U/s1600/232980-jar_jar_binks_large.jpeg) in the libraiy of an aquatic city. I fear it's just going to get worst from here...

Also in the same game I also kinda have to deal with an in-party NPC that the DM likes alittle too much. It's basically an infant with off-book stats and magical aptitude (100 int and can learn any spell just by reading it once). He's a new DM and wanted up to have some sort of magical supliment to our party, but basically while we as players have little choise but to focus on moving the plot along he's really prone to slipping in 'Meanwhile, here's what Meep (the baby) is doing..."
It's really quite annoying.

2011-01-23, 04:13 PM
I started out running a campaign and gave an NPC to the group to fill the skill holes in the party. Enter Tavarand Kile, Swashbuckler 1 /Rogue 1. He had a huge ego, shot his mouth off constantly, and had no regard for his own safety. But you have to admit, he DID find the traps... and the ambushes... the ogres... the angry street thugs... He allowed the DM to talk to the party, but mostly he created encounters. :smallwink:

Somehow, I have no idea how, he lived. He even meleed two ogres when he had one hit point left... and killed them. His track record was full of stuff like this, no DM fudging involved. I'd even make his negative HP stabilization rolls in full view of the players. "Damn," they'd say, "he lived again. Guess we have to heal him."

By level 7, I was done reffing the game, and one of the players and I switched places. His barbarian became an NPC, and I took over playing... yup, Taverand Kile. A new story arc, and I saw no reason to change his behavior now. He was chasing the skirts of young noblewomen within days, looking to charm his way to the top of society... as he perceived it.

And again, he somehow survived to the end of the campaign without a single, well-deserved death. Swashbuckler 3 / Rogue 4 / Theif Acrobat 4 / Nightsong Enforcer 4... dual weilding a deadly precision weapon in one hand and a luckblade in the other.

2011-01-23, 04:59 PM
Jester in a Mutants & Masterminds game.
He was loved by the players representing the insanity of the universe I had one complaint when we moved to a new universe. One player asked how he got there my response how did you guys get here? the story some how involves a Giant Teddy Bear & a Teleporter.

The Local Crime Lord in a 4e D&D campaign
He had the players kill off zombies, goblins, disloyal men. They didn't realize until he was done with them that he wasn't part of the local guard. This masterful crafting & intelligent NPC was hated by the party for how much smarter he was then them. So they tried to take him out by stopping his business. By the time they had agreed to a plan he had left town with all his supplies. They hated him in character but loved the conflict he brought to the game.

2011-01-23, 05:20 PM
Let's see.

One game I ran was basically an island to island type game, lots of travel by sea. The party rather loved two of the NPCs aboard the ship, Captain Crisp, and the navigator Toothless Pete (which was a misnomer. He has a good three teeth left.).
Captain Crisp was your basic slightly less than reputable sailor, but served the party loyally. The party's Elven Sorceress also would regular use the good Captain infatuation with her to twist him around her finger. It wasn't long before she was sleeping in the captain's quarters and he was bunking with the rest of the crew.
Toothless Pete...In all honesty didn't do much. Except say things nobody could understand. Basically whenever they needed to discuss where they were heading next, I would mumble and gargle something unintelligent to represent what Toothless Pete was saying (with the occasional 'bugger't' thrown in), and then the Captain would translate. Despite being nothing but flavor, it has been requested that in any future campaigns that require ocean travel, Toothless Pete must be aboard.

As for hated NPCs...
In the above campaign, there was also a blackguard who had carefully positioned himself as the head of an old but deteriorating order of Paladins and was using his position to transport things with the local pirates (Including ensorcelled slaves, many of which were used to clean the keep), in addition to slowly corrupting the rest of the order. Really, the only reason the party had to hate him was that he got away by ordering the magically bound innocents to block his escape route from the party, after the confrontation. But suffice to say, tracking him down and beating him to a pulp was high on their priority list.

Silva Stormrage
2011-01-23, 06:26 PM
My players absolutely LOATHE and are terrified of one NPC in my campaign. It was origionally a Player in the campaign but had to leave half way through. He was a Thrallherd with absurdly high charisma and very very cautious (as in lots of buffs up). The player while he was still controlling it, knocked the party out, betrayed their side and than became a frost variant of the dry lich in sandstorm. The player left after the character flying away on a soarwhale after TPKing the whole party (I let him do it because it was his last session and there was an epic good aligned cleric with enough diamonds to resurrect them all) without taking a hit.

They let their paladin ally run up into a smoldering city by himself because they though that this lich MIGHT be there and were too terrified to take the risk. They later found the paladin's corpse stitched to a zombie dragon wearing jesters clothing and juggling (The original players idea, I had asked him what he would do with it. That is another reason they were afraid of this lich).

Later in the camphain they encounter him again. They spend almost 2 hours OOC trying to think of the most painful ways to kill this thrallherd. And they failed pretty badly. Another TPK. Their new PC's arrived on the spot where this evil lich was laughing after killing their old group. They charge and still are unable to really hurt him at all bringing him down to maybe 70% health before the Thrallherd runs out of PP's and flees, after using Microcosm 1 PC and dominating another.

Right now they are more afraid of this Lich than they are of the BBEG who he works for. (They will soon learn of their mistake :smallamused:)

2011-01-23, 06:41 PM
That is evil brillant but evil horrible but just so delisciously evil.

2011-01-23, 06:43 PM
My old DM was fond of hitting us with "the killer penguin" (some ridiculous abberation with 3,000 some hit dice with a list of attacks that resulted in it looking nothing like a penguin) which he said that his old DM used as a monster to chase them around before eventually serving as the true final boss after they killed the emperor of humanity. We called it "Bloodgargler" because it would always gargle the blood of it's victims in the back of it's throat and eventually grew to have a personality and become a distinct character in it's own right.

After my old DM was killed in a fatal car accident some time after my last campaign with him in early April, I decided to frame Bloodgargler's character sheet so I'd have something to remember him by.

2011-01-23, 07:27 PM
There was one NPC I created using a homebrew class which I'd found to be fairly balanced.

This was my first time using that class in gestalt.

Suddenly I had psychic warrior with full BAB good REF d12 HD and a collection of helpful class features.

I had to fiat kill him before the players started wondering why he didn't just solo the BBEG.

2011-01-23, 07:35 PM
Oh yeah Gesalt characters are over powered but are exceptionally fun to mess with the party like that.