View Full Version : Best NPC's ever.

2013-02-21, 08:29 AM
You know how sometimes you can just get inordinately attached to an NPC? Or there is an NPC so annoying that you think up particularly creative deaths for them? They become part of your roleplaying groups memes?

This is a thread for those guys. I'll get us started with some NPC's from my games over the years.

The Good: A one armed hermit named Edmar Cuulin. He was a 7th level druid that was there to be the Obi Wan to our party. Most of the players were under 18 and we dubbed him 'Hermy'. We loved Hermy, we saved magic items for him on our adventures, we lived for his kind and eccentric praise. During the big war scene he was sadly killed and our party was devastated, even more so when we couldn't raise him. A month later in game time we were losing a fight quite badly against some Cthuloid abberrations when a glowing one armed warrior with a flaming scimitar descended from the heavens to aid us. Every member of the party immediately switched to worshiping Hermy Quasi-God of Mentors.

The Bad: In a Rokugan campaign our very first mission involved killing a gaki, a kind of asian ghoul. Little did we know gaki regenerate so for a few sessions he kept popping up in fights to harass us and run until our sorcerer got off a charm spell and made him fight for us. Considering they like to eat dead flesh and the amount of things a party kills is staggering he stayed with us even after the charm wore off, helping us dispose of bodies, getting into trouble, even gaining XP and levels. He even got a name, after an incident with a Drum of Thunder, we dubbed him Parum. The DM had a particularly hilarious way of miming his eating habits that sent us into tears every time. At one point we lost him to a tribe of gaki that attacked us. We won that fight without taking a single hit and torched all the corpses (very lucky on dice rolls) The sorcerer looks at Parum and says "Enjoy" and Parum feasted on his own kind and thanked us. He never betrayed us again

The Annoying: Madame Xenda the fortune teller. We encountered her when we had lost a party member. Picture the following in a ridiculously high pitched faux Romani accent
Party: Whats your name?
X: Ahh you wish to know my name. One gold coin please!
Party: Fine
Xenda: I am Madame Xenda fortune teller!
Party: Oh great we need some answers. Do you know where Zen is?
Xenda: Yes. One gold coin please!
Party: Ok where is he?
Xenda: With the rats. One gold coin please!
Party: Didn't we already pay you for that answer
Xenda: No. You paid to know whether i knew where he was. And there you go again! One gold coin please!
Party: Right fine whatever we have heaps. Where are the rats then?
Xenda: With Zen. One gold coin please!
Xenda: Together!
One gold coin please!

Every one who played that game and has run a campaign has since included Madam Xenda in some way

2013-02-21, 08:48 AM
In Shadowrun, we have "Ms. M" the Johnson.
She's a tall, red-haired elf who runs a business called "Minutemen Mechanics", which specializes in hiring inexperienced Runners and networking them with low-level jobs to help them get a foot in the door to the underworld of shadowrunning.

Thing is, so little is known about her. Various campaigns and adventures have gone by and rumors about like she's an immortal, she's not really an elf but an alien in diguise, to the really high-end conspiracy that she's Dunklezhan's mother. No one knows for sure what the truth is.
Part of the problem is Ms. M will agree to be whatever makes you comfortable in getting the job done right.

So yeah, my players LOVE the mystery surrounding this character. She's the only Shadowrun NPC we've had that has continuously appeared in over 3 years worth of Shadowrun adventures with my group. Ms. M even cameo'd in a GURPS Superhero adventure. My players love to have her as a contact because her expertise is in knowing "Who's Who" in the underworld and that's important.

2013-02-21, 08:50 AM
Thats pretty dang cool but since im not a Shadowrunner could you explain why she's Mrs M the Johnson? is Johnson a title?

The Dark Fiddler
2013-02-21, 09:14 AM
Thats pretty dang cool but since im not a Shadowrunner could you explain why she's Mrs M the Johnson? is Johnson a title?

I'm not much of a Shadowrunner myself, but one of the few things I've picked up about the system is that, yes, Johnson is a title (or at least a job description). The person who gives you the job, pretty much.

2013-02-21, 10:25 AM
In my first ongoing campaign with some buddies from junior high, my dad introduced an NPC to accompany the party as our healer--Saguaro, the half-elven shaman. Through some insanity on the part of my friends, he quickly evolved into Saguaro, the Legendary Chain-smoking Mexican, a title our DM embraced by using a Mexican accent whenever Saguaro spoke. I think he's worthy of inclusion here just for that title.

Gnomish Wanderer
2013-02-21, 10:48 AM
I had a running gag going of the annoying variety, from an 'alchemist' named Sal. He sold questionable herbs that the party got hooked on, suffering ill-effects from withdrawal, but he always seemed to be in the town they were visiting next so it was tooo convenient to just keep buying supply rather than get through the symptoms and get over the party's drug habit. He was a stoner coward who was constantly suspicious of the players being lawmen, no matter how many times he'd met them before, and on at least two occasions they had to chase him down to be able to buy from him.

Also, I think I'm going to steal Madame Xenda. ^.^

Jay R
2013-02-21, 11:22 AM
It's going to be hard to top an NPC I dealt with in a game of Flashing Blades once.

Bob's research was excellent. He played the historical character, not the movie version. But we did not want to get on the bad side of Cardinal Richelieu.

2013-02-21, 12:59 PM
Mme Xenda is pretty awesome. :smallbiggrin:

The Good
Marsara Greydon was a beautiful, half-elven paladin with sad eyes and no sense of humor. She was a half elf and always taking on extremely dangerous quests alone, particularly when they involved fey. The party eventually discovered her secret past while on a quest of her own. 20 years prior, Marsara had been on a diplomatic mission to the Shadow Wood with her mentor, when the mission was spectacularly disrupted. Dark fey had escaped a dimensional prison, due to a godling's fall to earth (and imprisonment in the forest), and in the fight to protect the imprisoned demigod from the dark fey, Marsara's mentor sacrificed herself. The death of this high-level paladin awoke the godling (imprisoned in a crystal) from his deific coma, and he radiated a protective aura that forced the evil fey back. Marsara herself had been critically wounded in the fight and nearly died as well, but she instead lay unconscious in the newly-formed pond that had begun to spread from the godling's crystal prison.
Contact with the godling's aura (a demigod of fertility and water) had given her a baby, and that baby grew quickly into a young child, but the baby could not survive without the presence of the godling's pond. Duty-bound and torn between worlds, Marsara returned to her citadel to report, but then when she tried to return to the forest, found herself repelled by the now-entrenched dark fey presence that maintained a siege upon the godling's pond. Eventually, the party was able to help her, and reunited Marsara with her daughter. People were just about in tears at the end of it. :)

The Bad
Massan Bokarik, lich emperor of the crown of the world. Massan had been a powerful (good) wizard who lost the love of his life to the magic of a dark elf rival. With his wife's soul lost on the winds of time, Massan obsessively devoted himself to greater heights of magic so that he could rescue her. As old age approached, he could see that he'd need many decades more to master the magic necessary to pluck her soul from the timestream and restore her to life. He opted for lichdom, and the experience changed him tremendously. Several hundred years later, he still hadn't discovered how to undo the magic that had stolen his wife away, but had begun a secret war on every non-human race (except dragons, who he had allied himself with).
In his obsessive madness, Massan had come to believe that humans and humanoids should never have mingled. In a fit of pique, he sterilized all gnomes and gnolls in the same year. His soldiers hunted halflings to near-extinction. The Dark Elves were constantly fighting for their very existence against the powerful lich, but managed to hold out thanks to their pacts with demons. In time, Massan learned that Humans were never actual children of the world, and instead had come in a gigantic craft that carried them across the stars and crash-landed thousands of years ago. Only the dragons remembered. And the dragons wanted to help him return the humans to the stars. Just as long as he took all the humans.

The Annoying :D
Yondi Stormhand has been my favorite NPC ever. A handsome, friendly man with a broad, plumed hat, dapper clothes, and spectacularly ornate longsword, Yondi acted as the harbinger, and chief recruiter, of Massan Bokarik. Yondi acted with the nonchalance and grace of someone who means no one in the world any harm and is firmly convinced that no one in the world could possibly harm him. He would tease and taunt the PCs and representatives of the towns he'd visit, pointing our the shortcomings of whatever they were most proud of.
More than a few times, he goaded one party member or another into attacking him, and until they made it up to level 10, he never even bothered to draw his sword - he'd simply disarm them with a deft bit of aikido and toss them into a convenient puddle or whisper a small spell that caused their pants to fall down in mid-charge. Any magic they cast at him, Yondi either cheerfully batted away with a jocular quip, or used his amazingly ornate cloak to shield himself from.
They tried all manner of spells and ruses to try to best Yondi, and never even managed to figure out his alignment.
He never attacked, and never hurt them (except that one time he delivered a 'gift' from Massan Bokarik that detonated a widened, heightened, disjunction spell a few minutes after he left), but for a while my players hated Yondi more than anyone else in my game. Then one day, two years into the campaign, the rogue got his hands on a gem of true seeing, and used it on Yondi while safely hidden in the shadows.
Through his gem, he saw a very old bronze dragon! (Yondi spent most of his time masquerading as a human spellsword thanks to an advanced version of his Alternate Form transformation ability that allowed him to keep his draconic attributes while in his preferred human form.)
In time, they came to learn Yondi's story. When Massan Bokarik was still just a mortal wizard, he found a dragon egg that had survived a terrific fight between a pair of bronze dragons and a pair of black blue dragons that were moving in on the territory. Massan arrived late in the fight and couldn't prevent the death of the bronze dragons, but managed to finish off the badly-wounded blues. He resolved to keep the egg and raise the dragon as best he could, in order to make up for not saving its parents (and because the hermit-like wizard was lonely as all get-out).
As a young dragon, Yondi saw his sad and kindly adopted father starting to spiral first into madness and then fall to evil. But the juvenile dragon was powerless to stop Massan's descent - and more than that, because he was Massan's only confidant, he actually understood Massan's motivations. Yondi was saddened by Massan's decision to become a lich, but he understood why, and dedicated much of his extremely long life to helping his adopted father on his quest for his lost love.
Massan - with his astronomical intelligence and wisdom - understood that there were limits to which he could push Yondi, and never pushed father. He never directly involved the dragon in assaults on goodly people, and worked carefully to prevent the dragon from seeing the worst of him. In Yondi's mind, Massan was a tragic, misunderstood figure who, in time, the world would come to thank.
Eventually though, an innocent died due to Massan's direct action, and Yondi was there to see it. Things changed quite a bit after that, and in my player's minds, Yondi quickly went from the ultimate annoyance to the ultimate ally!

A Tad Insane
2013-02-21, 01:28 PM
Definately Yamis, the evil philisophical healing demon.
He knew being good was hard in the mortal world, but you had heaven to look forward to, so he wouldn't let anyone with a good alignment die, ever, and would throw out healing spells very forcelly
"f*** you! You're not getting your break! Go back to getting punched by skeletons you pious swine!"

2013-02-21, 05:23 PM
I will preface this by saying; I've only ever been a member of a single, eccentric group, and almost all non-combat interactions end up being player driven (as well as most of the combats). However, there was one game that stood out. It was a d20-esque homebrew called 'Space', and it brought us... Her.

In the eternal quest for one-upmanship that characterized most sessions, my character eventually became separated (read: exiled) from the main group with their starship and its all-important AI, mouthpiece of the DM. So, first course of action was to contract with the Swiss in a bid to acquire an AI of my own. The result was a cheap, slightly outdated synthetic intelligence who I immediately named SUE (I never came up with a good meaning for the acronym, but the capitalization was kept by the group regardless, probably as emphasis).

Of course, soon my group forgot what we had disagreed over and welcomed me back, at which point I forgot about SUE for several in-game months. As it turned out, cheap software can accumulate faults rather quickly.

Long story short, when the DM finally reintroduced SUE, the next few sessions were spent containing the damage. It was by far the most 'fun' and memorable arc of the game; after several separate instances of her going rogue, a few thousand credits in damage to the shuttle bay and simulator rooms, significant loss of life, and one particularly horrifying incident involving a ficus tree, she forcefully implanted herself into my character's brain and lived happily ever after. Also helped me scheme and design giant robots.

Good times.

2013-02-21, 05:47 PM
Well, we were in an Anima: Beyond Fantasy campaign where the party started making a habit of collecting NPCs. Well mostly myself as the Dark Paladin (Who everyone liked apparently as I wasn't all that Ruthless because I was almost never required to get all Iron Fist to control people), and the Lawful Good styled Warrior-Summoner who liked to collect and trade NPCs (He'd only keep one around at a time, and trade up anytime he found someone who was shinier).

Favorite was probably Princess Palnette of the Great Divide. Who ended up being the Dark Paladin's love interest (Oddly enough after the Lawful Good type seduced her, used her, and tossed her aside because he had someone better). She was naive and inexperienced... but was willing to do almost anything the more experienced warriors told her to do. And we dragged her along throughout the whole adventure, right up to the bloody end. Trained her up to fight like my Dark Paladin, used her as a front to my own ambitions, etc. She was this naive, charismatic royal figure who would go and tell everyone about her dreams of Peace and Unity. She was so shiny good and pure that no one ever would have questioned that her love interest was such a Pure Evil Glorious Bastard. By the time the campaign was ending she was still my "pupil" and throwing down with the elite warriors of nations and coming out on top. Of course as her bardic PR agent as well I was spreading the "legend" of Princess Palnette wherever we went, telling stories about OUR deeds all being attributed to her. Came to a point where, when we went back to her hometown to liberate it from Orcs the legend had spread so much that it inspired the locals to throw out the Orcs all on their own. And they were painting murals of the Legendary Princess (Who was like 5'4" and 110 lbs soaking wet) as some hulking bruiser who was ripping Orcs in half with her bare hands, soaked in the blood of her enemies as she stacked up corpses like firewood. Much to her embarrassment.

The Bad would probably be the NPC we were MEANT to team up with, Leifon, a Sand Walker who was skilled in Ki use and was supposed to fill a Jedi Knight style roll in the Great Divide. She was... kinda clueless. Never really knew what to do (But my Dark Paladin was so full of plans, lore, and the ability to do research it wasn't really needed). Also got used by the Lawful Good character as his first NPC claim/conquest (Traded in for the Princess, the Princess was traded in for the Queen of Succubi oddly enough). And despite the fact she was supposed to be some kickass warrior, the DM just played her as tactically stupid. Combined with the fact the character was "Cursed" and the DM never rolled anything decent for Leifon... We just wanted her out of the picture most times. No one wanted Leifon to be the one watching their back, or who a plan hinged upon, etc. We were more "Stuck with her" while we were in the Desert of the Great Divide rather than seeing her as an asset.

The Annoying in that campaign probably would have been "Duke Fatass" (We never did actually learn his name), who was the father of Princess Palnette and ruler of the Great Divide. He was fat, lazy, incompetent, and stupid. He however seemed to have the unquestioning loyalty of everyone in the nation even as he made horrible decisions. Even as people pointed out they were horrible decisions. He was constantly showing up to ruin whatever the hell the party was doing. He was that guy that, if it was a Lovecraftian game would have been constantly poking the evil artifact that summons the Tentacle Rapist Gods to the world (as he had such similar artifacts and was constantly trying to use it). It was hatred on first sight. For some reason instead of thanking us for, well, saving his lard loaded ass as we did when we first met him (Not to mention actually saving his daughter from a coup attempt)... he tried to lock us in a room as Ogre Bait so he could run away from an Ogre he could have easily dealt with his guards who were attending him. In the end as Palnette was building up the Empire of Peace, Duke Fatass even ordered the death of his daughter as a traitor for daring to try to make peace with clans that The Great Divide wasn't even at war with to start...

He got regicided.

2013-02-21, 09:28 PM
The Good - Gregor

First home campaign I ever joined I came in as a lvl 3 Magus (PF). By the end of level 4 we had ourselves a decrepit keep to call home and about a dozen refugees from the surrounding farms come together to rebuild because of the recent orc invasion. Gregor was their de-facto leader, a middle aged half orc carpenter with a good reputation in the area. He rallied the locals into a functional workforce and by the time we finished clearing the surrounding land of threats they had fixed up most of the basic parts of the keep and had set up some small farms for themselves. We placed Gregor in charge of most things while we were gone until level 6 where we had a small village going, appointing a small committee as leadership. Happy with the progress, we left for the nearest city to open up a trade route, gather supplies and hire some more professional bodies for our village. By the time we got back Gregor was lounging around 'his' keep with two a half elf lady hanging off each arm. When he noticed we were back the expression on his face was exactly like the kind of look you would expect from a four year old that had been caught raiding the sweet stash in the pantry.
Whenever we returned to our thriving little town we always made time to visit Gregor, where he would often be found with some lady or other.

The Bad - Velar the Gnoll Shaman

In a mini-campaign we ran as a testbed for some home homebrew and houserules Velar was the Gnoll Shaman advisor/wise-man to the local Ogre lord that ran the smaller Gnoll tribe on the side, as well as co-operating with a nearby humanoid bandit camp for use of their water source (water was a big deal in the game). Aside from some mildly interesting scars from being clawed in the chest He was nothing but a low level caster but the Players latched onto him and hated his guts right through the two sessions he existed. They came up with wild assumptions and inventive conspiracies that placed him in the middle of all the strife in the region, and that he was somehow responsible for any calamity more severe than a broken arm. In the one fight he was in with the party he was targetted almost exclusively, and it was comical from my point of view (as the DM) that the party was trying so very hard to kill this one sniveling Gnoll hiding behind the Ogre lord, who was standing at the rear of a sizable force of Goblinoids and Monstrous Humanoids.
Long after the mini-campaign ended the player that originally instigated this hatred confessed that he had watched the Lion King with his younger nephew the night before Velar made his appearance.

The Annoying - 'Chief'

Chief was a cocky young Planetouched fellow. Nobody could pick whether he was aasimar, Tiefling, a combination or something else. His actual name was Adahn Valserric, but he got his nickname from the fact that 'Chief' is what he constantly addressed us as when speaking, even the ladies in the party. Anyway, he would often be found as we travelled around Sigil in this Planescape game, getting in our way, aggravating us and generally being a pest. We beat him in fights again and again, but no matter how often we 'made sure he was dead' he would pop back up in another session or so, confident and incompetent as ever. As the game progressed we found out that there was a curse placed upon him that traded his soul for that of a random animal when he died, and that he only got in our way because it was amusing to him, being centuries old and all. By the time we found a means to get rid of his curse (deliberately steering away from the main plotline to do so) he knew our characters (and we him) on a personal level and we loved to hate him. He actually helped us out a few times just so he could keep taunting us as, so we decided to not cure his curse and let him do his thing for another decade or so.
After the campaign ended the DM revealed that his entire character was a nod to Planescape: Torment.

2013-02-22, 08:33 AM
Thats pretty dang cool but since im not a Shadowrunner could you explain why she's Mrs M the Johnson? is Johnson a title?

What the Dark Fiddler said.
In Shadowrun, you primarily play as a team of mercenaries hired by a corporate figure that usually goes by the anonymous title of "Mr. Johnson". The idea is that they don't want the law to trace your actions back to them should you get caught.

Sorta like the mantra of "Mission Impossible".

2013-02-22, 09:40 AM
Oh man those are golden. The philosophical demon and the coward stoner are hilarious and the Bronze dragon is exactly what a NPC should be.

Gregor however reminded me of another great NPC.
So we play multiple parties in the same campaign world. One group went to Erili Cinlu the home of the Drow, which was getting subverted by Cthulu. We wanted to get the people to rebel and we started with this hobo drow outside a tavern. We told him some things about the invasion but not terribly much.
However whenever we got stuck talking to any other citizens we just directed them to that hobo "He knows the story" we'd say despite him not knowing more than us. We realized our mistake about 2 sessions in and rushed back to the poor guy to find he'd started a little cult of followers and was much further along in revolution than we were. Long story short we won and evicted the bad guys.

4 years later in real life 30 years in game time the drow in our evil party got her hands on the Crown of Evil and headed back home to restore Lolth. When we arrived we found statues dedicated to the memory of that hobo.

Also i love how you guys ran with the good bad and annoying thing

2013-02-22, 10:56 AM
I have introduced Nordom to my game.
The NPC is feauted in planescape:torment and is a mad modron, his name is infact "modron" backspelled.

He's kinda strange, he's a modron cube that talk to his crossobows, and during the first adventure with the PCs, he tried to "disable device" a locked mechanical door complete with electronic card reader.
He failed, and started insulting the door, claming she was insulting him, because she told him that he was "invalid"
He hated all doors after that, and fears especially strange looking ones.
He then decided to become a wizard, and he chooses only spells like "hold portal", "knock", etc.
He has researched a spell, called "subdue doors" that allows him to take control of a door and use them as a mount.
He is now in the process of researching a spell called "charm doors" and later "dominate doors"

2013-02-22, 11:25 PM
So ... ia hae to ask. How would he react to a dimension door?

2013-02-23, 01:47 PM
So ... ia hae to ask. How would he react to a dimension door?

Well, if we imagine the dimension door spell as actually opening a shimmering door from where the caster can pass through, he would regard it either as a BBEG, a dimensional horror, or most probably the goddess of doors, and he would flee in terror or try to destroy it, depending on which foot he got up with that morning.

2013-02-25, 10:44 AM
Best NPC's from our group:

Mr Stanley: Based off a high school Chemistry teacher, same name, an imitation of him when he speaks, we loved this guy. He would give us quests, and we could buy random things from him. Like coconuts. Exploding coconuts. Among other things. Sadly the real one was forced to retire :(

Halaster Blackcloak: Many of you will recognize the name. Yes, he made an appearance as an extremely insane guy! Our 4e paragon adventure featured him, met while he was arguing with a tree about it blocking his sun.
This wizard, obssese with circles (Don't touch my circles! Was quite common) liked to polymorph foes into a turkey club sandwich and eat them.

2013-02-27, 12:53 AM
Easy- the good old gnoll Slaygar the Nightblade.

A level 9 CN Ranger Gnoll, Slaygar specialized in Jumping. His father was a powerful wizard and so enchanted his legs so that he has -6 dexterity to his original score and -3 charisma, but +20 to jump. Then, he had someone put a permanent jump on him, giving him a total +50 to jump. Then, he buffs himself as much as he can with magic items, and his total jump was +74. He would jump into battle, smashing his enemies from above. Not only that, but Slaygar eats everything. When you down a fighter boss, the fighter may call dibs on the sword. The mage may want some items off him. Slaygar wants the body afterwards. He started the campaign as ruler of a goblin/ gnoll group that enslaved people who then went and slaughtered towns so he could eat. After we (the PCs) stopped him, he jumped away and then we were sent to a political system where things had changed to find Slaygar had gotten into a tussle with the corrupt leader in which he accidentally stabbed the leader violently and then ate him and dressed as him so that he could help deal with the corruptness. However, he saw the PCs as evil and sent them against the leaders of the government to get rid of both the groups then jumped away to continue to try and kill the survivors.