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Ettina
2014-11-11, 08:44 PM
In a campaign I'm working on, the (evil) PC will be conducting a diplomatic mission with a bunch of trolls, one of whom is actually an oni in disguise. I'm planning for him to meet the same oni in a different disguise later on, and was thinking of tipping him off with a minor quirk the oni has in both forms. To make it less obvious, I need to give the trolls quirks as well.

The oni is the main villain, who's been trying various groups of giants into fighting each other in the goal of getting them all enslaved to the hill giants, because he's secretly posing as the leader of the hill giants' trusted adviser. He's already pulled this trick on the ogres, and is just starting work on the trolls when the PC shows up. There are four troll tribes, and he kidnapped and is posing as the leader of one tribe. (A shaman.) The other three tribes are led by another shaman, a cleric of Vaprak, and a druid.

Cleric of Vaprak: The first one the PC meets, because he befriended a member of her tribe. Fanatical about worshipping Vaprak, talks about him a lot.

Shaman: Fanatical hatred for the humans (to the point where he got the feat Bane Spell (humanoid)).

Druid: Doesn't want trouble. She'll do what she feels is best for her trolls, but is generally inclined to stay out of (fair) fights. She tends to focus on hit-and-run tactics to survive, sneaking into human lands and attacking caravans, then running off with prisoners and food and using druid skills to make sure no pursuit is possible.

So, what kind of minor quirks could I give these guys?

Red Fel
2014-11-11, 09:00 PM
Not all quirks need to be behavioral. If this is an NPC with whom the PC(s) will have non-combat interactions, a verbal tic or speech-related quirk is not only subtle, it's awesome.

Think about it. If you take the extra time to mention that he walks with a slight limp, that his shadow seems to crawl, or that one of his eyes never seems to look right at you, the players will see a "Hey! Look! Listen!" flag. But if, while the character is talking, he simply does something - like overemphasizing the letter T at the end of a word, or periodically making a clicking sound with his tongue and teeth - you can effortlessly work that into dialogues, and then the players will either notice it or miss it at their own peril.

The clicking thing is a favorite of mine. You may know the sound I'm thinking of if you've seen a lot of anime - many villains will make a sort of "tsst" or "chk" sound, lip curled, to express disgust or disappointment. In fact, it's not an uncommon trope for that very sort of affectation to be the giveaway.

Another option is to give him a particular fascination. It could be something esoteric, like the idea of freedom, or grandiose, like the full moon, or even something simple, like fashion. It can be a general fascination, which might involve him making an offhand remark about the subject in any given conversation, or it can be a specific catch phrase, although that tends to be a bit of a dead giveaway.

Fouredged Sword
2014-11-11, 09:35 PM
He could collect crystal unicorns!

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/a6/86/ce/a686ce47c01ade9f5eb440f131ed6368.jpg

I kid you not. I had a VtR game that the player slowly realized that a bunch of important vampires all had a gestalt mindmeld going on when they slowly realized that it was strange that a bunch of elder vampires all seemed to collect My little pony (friendship is magic) figurines.

Funniest plot reveal EVER.

Mark Hall
2014-11-12, 02:04 PM
Cleric of Vaprak: The first one the PC meets, because he befriended a member of her tribe. Fanatical about worshipping Vaprak, talks about him a lot.

Shaman: Fanatical hatred for the humans (to the point where he got the feat Bane Spell (humanoid)).

Druid: Doesn't want trouble. She'll do what she feels is best for her trolls, but is generally inclined to stay out of (fair) fights. She tends to focus on hit-and-run tactics to survive, sneaking into human lands and attacking caravans, then running off with prisoners and food and using druid skills to make sure no pursuit is possible.


I would make the cleric of Vaprak a glutton... always eating, somewhat vulnerable to being bribed with food (not in the "take leave of your senses for a Klondike bar" sense, but in the "tends to value food as if it were gold in negotiations"); it fits with Vapraks rapacity.

The second? Use human as an insulting curse word, like Americans might use racial slurs, sexist remarks, or animal comparisons.

The last? It's harder to give quirks to competent people. I like to throw in some physical tic that the DM can do... like tapping fingers together, Mr. Burns style. Physical, noticeable, doesn't interfere with the character.