View Full Version : Roleplaying Who (or what) are your favorite recurring NPCs?

2014-07-17, 11:46 AM
What I'm asking of you beautiful people is to tell who is the NPC that you like/ tolerate/ adore the most in a campaign of what ever system you use.

I'm writing this little thread because I've always thought that recurring NPCs are what truly sets the tone for a campaign and what could be expected of it.

As for my NPC: I used to play in a grayscale DnD campaign where there was an insane summoner who would always cast the same thing:

Summon Giant Frog.

His schtick was that he believed that any and all problems could be solutioned with giant frogs. The idea that he could react diferently an obstacle was alien to him. Apart from that he works kinda like Magic Man in Adventure Time. I loved him because he was so bizarre and unexpected.
Good times.

Your turn.

2014-07-17, 01:17 PM
The PCs in game I DM are really attached to these three stowaways that they met on their recent ship travels. It is really a testament to never plan whether a PC will be recurring or not, because these three characters were just three random NPC rogues whose personalities were totally improvised. However, for whatever reason they bring out the best in my players from a roleplaying perspective.

One of my players even admitted that he had been stalling/slowing down the game somewhat because he is worried that once they start the tournament (the main plot) the rogue's team will get eliminated and they will have to part ways. The game picked right up when they realized they could add two out of the three to their team down the road.

I think the interesting thing about them is that all three are inherently flawed. The older brother is overly serious (and therefore a lot of fun for one player to tease), the middle sister is kind of snarky, the youngest brother has less common sense than a bag of bricks. However, I think that is why they are amusing/likable. They aren't some precious Mary-Sue characters that are on a mission to prove their own coolness. While they are mostly competent, they get frustrated and make mistakes. As a result, my players have become fiercely protective of them. I think one character is seriously considering leaving his girlfriend for the sister. The only think holding him back is that he rolled a nat 20 to woo the current girlfriend, so he feels really bad.

2014-07-17, 01:30 PM
I intend, in any (D20) game I run, that there will always, somewhere in the world, be a surly, overworked and "I-don't-have-time-for-this-crap" mentalitied Sphinx named Lily, often with glasses and wearing business casual.

Had her in my first campaign as the player's team's handler (They were like Texas Rangers meets the MIB), and in the second campaign (and current WIP homebrew setting) as a former Goddess of knowledge. Has the capacity to be very tsundere.

2014-07-17, 03:05 PM
Well, i adopted Nordom from Planescape into my campaign.
He is funny and currently known as Nordom Oakendoor. He has an EXTREME fear of all doors and wants to conquer them, but is usually too afraid to fight. He wields a door he has "deafeated" as a shield, and calls himself Oakendoor now.
He is currently a fighter, but started as a ranger (he has crossbows, but he found them ineffective against doors), then one wizard level because he wanted to cast "hold portal". However his familiar was way smarter than him and Nordom is now a member of his ex-familiar's adventuring party.

2014-07-17, 04:29 PM
Drassus the Kobold...

I've had him in two campaigns and he even plays a minor supporting role in a novel series I'm publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing (as a slave).

In short, Drassus started out as my character in a very short lived 4e campaign (like one game session) that a friend of mine was running. I'm not a big 4e player, so I decided to go with a kobold 'what the hell' fighter that specialized in polearms. I ended up going through the first encounter without using a single one of the 4e abilities, and still managed to out-perform most everyone in the party (unnaturally good roles for me) and killed a Brown Dragon Wyrmling as a level 1 kobold using just standard attacks.

The next campaign was one I was running where kobolds were the primary foe (they were in league with a family of black dragons, lead by an great wyrm that had a mountain of class levels) and I was a bit bored in the third or fourth session and thought, what the hell.

Enter Drassus, the dimension traveling kobold... Many shenanigans later, as the campaign came to a close with the PCs starting to help rebuild from the kobold rebellion (after many months of gaming), Drassus had advanced to a level 17th fighter with the polearm master archetype.

It still makes me laugh just how effective the devious little guy was. Somehow my dice rolls tending to be a lot better when I was rolling for him.

We had a lot of major NPCs in that campaign, as the PCs tended to collect friends, followers, lovers and so forth... But the kobold that always spoke in third person is the one that's really stuck in my head since then.

2014-07-26, 02:23 PM
I have several that are regulars for my games and my players reference quite frequently

Skivven: The ratfolk trader who appears in the most strange places, never takes money but only trades items the PCs have for things found in his cart pulled by a giant dire rat. When asked how he got to wherever the party happens to be he simply replies "The Warrens."

Bambi: An incredibly well-endowed, sex-crazed, and incredibly perky female NPC that was a prostitute in my first campaign back when I was a hormonal teenager. My players always expect her to show up and I always have her do so in some way.

The Trolling Mind-Flayer: Players are fighting Gnolls during a breakout from a castle where they were being kept prisoner, in the middle of the fight a Mind-flayer appears out of nowhere, hits the party with a couple spells and then leaves with a well-timed dimension door. He was supposed to be a big bad for the dungeon, but the party just happened to avoid him completely. I felt he had to make an appearance, but adding him completely to the fight would have been unfair. Has since become a running gag.

Bianca: Typical female vampire, with a proclivity for messing with my players. My players keep begging me to bring her back since our very first game. Partially because I think they just want to murder her after what she did to them. Partially because I think they actually enjoyed it.

And now some from my groups other GM.

Lucius: A man as wide as he is tall, dressed in a pink toga. His voice is high pitched and grating like nails on a chalkboard (performed flawlessly by our GM). Always flanked by several malnourished elven slaves. Lucius had a proclivity for sins only afforded to the elite while also partaking in various drugs and sexual practices that could only be called deviant. He also just so happened to be the person who "owned" us while we were gladiators. My friend managed to turn this ridiculous character concept into someone who was simultaneously hilarious, frightening and who we dreaded angering for his wrath led to more problems for our lowly PCs than anyone else ever has.

Engron: A half-giant gladiator who was never supposed to live beyond the bout in the arena. Dour but effective in combat, he carried a viscous weapon that would deal damage to himself as he fought. This character did not care for his own life and had accepted death in the arena as his fate, and yet our party would sacrifice our entire strategy to make sure he survived. Some of my fellow PCs sort of idolized this guy. Seriously awesome characterization.

2014-07-27, 05:47 AM
Samuel, Bug Master of the Viridian Forest, in our now-complete PTU game. He first showed up offering his services as a Bug-move tutor in exchange for a rare Ghost-type Butterfree, and continued to appear in various odd ways. In the end, the campaign turned into a battle against an evil bug swarm, so he provided valuable advice in combatting them, and also served as an actual combat ally in a PBP parallel to our campaign. He was eccentric, weird, and hilarious.

2014-07-27, 07:33 AM
In my current campaign, there is a dark elf who occasionally hires the PCs to help her with the retrival of certain artifacts. It's honest work with no deception or intentions of betrayal. However, she is in the service of a naga sorcerer who is gathering clues on how to find a powerful magic artifact. When his search reaches its final phase, the dark elf will reveal her employer and ask the PCs to become part of their organization.
The players may either see it as a betrayal to trick them into helping a dangerous monster and regard her as a villain who completely screwed them over and needs to be stopped. Or they may happen to like the offer and join gladly, helping with retrieving the final treasure and getting a great reward. Or something entirely else. In either way, it's entirely up to the players to decide if she is an ally or a villain.

2014-07-27, 09:00 AM
Paco the talking skull-- He was an intelligent skeleton warrior in an old D&D game. Through a series of unfortunate fumbles his head was dislocated from his body. Despite this handicap Paco still threatened to murder the PCs... but the party held on to him. He became a weird addition to the party for a while. Eventually he went somewhat legit and became a foreman for a construction guild.

...a talking skull as a site foreman? Well he reocurred two more times. One in another D&D game as an adviser to the PCs when they needed to travel through a plane of hell. He was just a talking skull here, but was the same lovable Paco. Showed up as a mine foreman in a d20 modern campaign. Finally got a body again and it was hilarious that he took up smoking. Yeah, despite no lungs somehow he was able to puff on a cigar. We didn't question it, it was fun.

2014-07-29, 03:14 AM
Three words: Kobold mad scientist.

Five more words: ...Who was actually an idiot.

Though that was less of a "recurring NPC" and more of an "NPC whom we abducted and made the party mascot."