This one comes from the mind of captaindialup with a little of this and that from rorrik and I.
Given the idea of co-dungeon mastering there is a chance that two NPCs that never would have met otherwise, find themselves in the same spot. So we're proposing that those two completely different NPC characters who otherwise wouldn't cross paths do so due to player machinations. We are going to kick things off with a random NPC that will meet the NPC that the next person posts!
Starting NPC: Selfish Half-Elf Barbarian from a high end gambling house who is really (I mean really) afraid of the dark.
Here are some additional questions that could help combine the two NPCs into a scene: 1. Who are they and what do they do?
2. Why wouldn't they normally interact with the previous NPC?
3. What has come about that these two have come together?
Are we doing it where each subsequent post must use the NPC of the post before it? I think that would be fun.
I feel with the half-elf you've set up both the kind of NPC they'd never encounter as well as a reason they'd encounter them!
J'Lyle, drow Debt Collector.
The half-elf (I'll name him George, after his daddy) tapped into his barbarian recklessness in a game of chance in an adventurer's tavern. Unfortunately, he had never learned not to play in a game of chance against a drow matron's spies. Once George recognised the mark of a drow house on his poker opponent's fore-arm, he grabbed all of the gold pieces on the table and made a break for it.
The drow matron sent her debt collector after him.
J'Lyle herself committed a great crime against her matron and carries out her duty as a way of recompense for her failed treachery (weirdly similar to the plot of Cuphead, funnily enough). She is equipped with a spider's ghost as a familiar that telepathically communicates with the matron to keep tabs on her.
J'Lyle had some trouble capturing George, given that he was able to use his elven heritage to resist her poisons. In the chaos, they both ended up captured by Duergar in the Underdark. Reluctantly, they worked together to escape and now must rely on each other's skills to survive the dangers of the Underdark.
George needs J'Lyle to keep him from having a panic attack in the darkness. J'Lyle needs George because he's actually pretty effective at bashing in skulls, and a lot of skulls need smashed in the caves.
They actually have a lot in common: both of them despise their elven heritage, both of them are prone to giving in to their darkest impulses, and both of them enjoy a good fistfight.
Over time, they can almost forget that they came together under duress, but the little eight-legged ghost on J'Lyle's shoulder is always there as a reminder to keep moving in the direction of Mezzoberanzzen. They haven't yet worked out that little hiccup yet.
It's a classic Stockholm Syndrome story.
You can introduce them pretty naturally in an Out of the Abyss campaign. They will certainly ask the players for help. They might be having lunch in a grotto, or struggling to escape a spider's lair, or might be in the midst of fighting off Duergar slavers.
Man I'm excited to be able to contribute to creating a DM-Nastics challenge.
1. Count Sergio Lostinov currently rules over a few thousand acres on the edges of the northern realm. Between needing to pay tithes to the governing church and near constant threat of all manner on his borders, Sergio falling short on being able to keep everyone paid
2.Normally, a woman such as J'Lyle would never enter into Sergio's purview being of two different worlds.
3. But recently, one of the mines the Count had been visiting over had a strange occurrence. A wall in one of the shafts collapsed revealing a eclectic group of adventurers escaping from the tunnels of the underdark. Among them were J'Lyle and George. Though the adventurers were pressed to move on, the pair were seeking sanctuary. Sergio can offer this in exchange for enlisting in his patrols and maybe seeing what the church in his lands can do about her spectral familiar.
4. Count Sergio sees J'Lyle with a healthy amount of suspicion but wants to believe her plight. He has been burned before.
5. The Count has to hold himself with an air of authority and competence. It doesn't take a long conversation for the Count show that he indeed cares for the honest folk he lords over and pains him to be so stretched thin as he is.
6. Surprisingly, they have a shared interest in wines though J'lyle doesn't have a taste for the ice wine the Count produces.
7. Sergio: "Spider Poison? That's absurd!" J'Lyle: "More absurd than making wine from frozen fruit? Shouldn't plants die off in this cold? I know I'm about to if we stay out much longer." Sergio:"You'd think that but the plants are as resilient and stubborn as the folk who dwell here. You'll be fine."
8. Though providing sanctuary for J'Lyle from the underdark, Sergio must also provide safety for her from the other people above ground because of some folks preconceived notions about Drow.
Edit: Oops, meant to switch back to preview from BBCode and accidentally posted the blank form I had created.
1. Who are they and what do they do? Bellamy Flunderstrom was a princess of a barbarian clan living to the North of Lostinov County and the realm at large. Unfortunately, her clan, including her parents and husband, were slain when her clan fell, leaving her pregnant, without family, and without clan.
2. Why wouldn't they normally interact with the previous NPC? While Count Lostinov frequently has to repel attacks from the barbarian clans, the princess herself would never be seen in a raiding party. With diplomatic talks having failed for generations, Sergio doesn't put in effort anymore to initiate such meetings, and Bellamy would probably not attend, even if her clan did.
3. What has come about that these two have come together? When Clan Flunderstrom was destroyed by a rival clan, a band of adventurers was there to get her out of danger, guided by a prophesy they wildly misinterpreted that brought them to the North. After talking to Bellamy, they realized their error, but couldn't just leave her alone in the wilderness. Having witnessed Sergio's generosity first-hand in the past, they thought it prudent to bring her to his County for protection. While Sergio can't take in every stray that comes within his borders, her bloodline and the bloodline of her unborn child open options for bringing peace to his Northern border that he would need months or years to consider. She is welcome while he works those options out.
4. What is there initial thoughts of this person? Bellamy doesn't trust Count Lostinov, who has long been an enemy of the clans of the North, but she recognizes that she is in danger and that he is offering her sanctuary. She believes that this is some kind of political move and is wary of him.
5. How do they present themselves? As a result of her distrust, Bellamy refuses to speak more than she absolutely has to in answering questions and avoids answering if possible, using barbarian platitudes such as "if the sky is broad and the clouds low" to give the appearance of an answer without giving away information.
6. Any interests they may have in common? As barbarian nobility, Bellamy was trained in shamanistic practices to predict the weather. While Bellamy is slow to share her knowledge, she is happy to provide warnings of omens she has observed to help preserve crop yields. Sergio is greatly interested in this knowledge and takes whatever opportunity he can find to talk about the weather with her, and it's actually a meaningful conversation.
7. Possible small talk they might make? While politics and the clans are strictly off limits in conversation, it is generally safe to appreciate the beauty of nature together. Though they have very different perspectives, they both love the cold, harsh land in which they live.
8. Anything else? In the distant future, Count Lostinov's son and Bellamy's daughter grow up fast friends, and are married. The new count is able to bring peace with the clans and grow his County into a March.
Post by DM Onesie Knight on Feb 14, 2019 19:44:44 GMT
1. Who are they and what do they do? Gib Pendlebrot, appointed Master Cartographer of the Kingdom of Glint. Master Pendlebrot is charged with charting a maritime trade route through the glacial north seas; sages in Glint have reason to believe that the summer thaw opens a temporary, seasonal window into the eastern seas, which presents a singular opportunity for the merchant guilds and the king’s treasury.
Gib is an adventurous gnome with an affinity for song and heroic poetry. Boisterous, energetic, and relentlessly optimistic.
2. Why wouldn't they normally interact with the previous NPC? Princess Bellamy’s tribe was an inland-ranging deer hunting tribe, not fishermen. Furthermore, most of the northern tribes are distrustful of southern city-folk.
3. What has come about that these two have come together? With Bellamy now living in the Count’s estate, she suddenly finds herself on one of Gib’s supply stops early in the expedition. As an official agent of the king of Glint, propriety demands that the Count receive and entertain him.
4. What is there initial thoughts of this person? “A northland barbarian, here in a civilized county? And a chieftain’s daughter no less! What fortune! I simply must ask for the epics and songs of her people! Barbarians tell a heroic tale like none other!”
5. How do they present themselves? “Flashy” is a good word. He wears fine clothes, appropriate for the frigid climate, but richly dyed and embroidered in thread-of-gold to a degree seldom seen this far from the great cities of the south. He wears a leather harness over his clothes which features a fine rapier, a small journal and pen, and a holster for a shining brass spyglass. He uses the journal at his hip to sketch landmarks and terrain features, and he logs his travels religiously every evening.
6. Any interests they may have in common? Any self-respecting barbarian loves an epic poem. Gib’s traveling lifestyle has common ground with the nomadic tribesmen; they could share stories for a long time
7. Possible small talk they might make? Gib is familiar with a few places Bellamy’s tribe used to frequent. They could chat about the landmarks therein and talk trash about the other tribes nearby
8. Anything else? Though he would never bring such a precious item on a journey like this, Gib can *shred* a lute, and his fingers are itchy to play after so long away from home
Here are some additional questions that could help combine the two NPCs into a scene:
1. Who are they and what do they do?
Souni Barefoot, the half goblin; Trapper, Fur trader, and ranger. She also does spy/espionage work for at least 3 Barbarian/goblin/orc tribes and bandits.
2. Why wouldn't they normally interact with the previous NPC?
Souni spends almost all her time in the wilderness areas tracking and trapping. The rest of her time she spends in various camps/settlements selling her wears, gathering roomers, and scouting defenses.
3. What has come about that these two have come together?
Souni is on the run from at least 3 barbarian/goblin/orc tribes and bandits that have found out she is double dealing information. She is desperate enough that she has fled to the city and stowed away on Master Pendlebrot’s ship. From inside the crate where she hides they still would not have met, had the box not been broken open in the Sahuagin attack. Luckily, it did. As Souni tried to sneak about she found Gib locked in a Sahuagin’s grapple and managed to save him. That and the crew ending up being shorthanded after the attack were the only reasons she wasn’t thrown overboard into the icy waters straightaway.
4. What are their initial thoughts of this person?
From inside the crate, Souni thought Gib had the most beautiful voice she had ever heard. The first night aboard, curled up in her crate of cheese, he sang a song that reminded her of a little girl she had seen sitting at the fireside and she actually started crying. She would have given anything to have been that little girl.
5. How do they present themselves?
Souni Barefoot is quiet and introspective, her intelligence is low but wisdom is fair. She does not wear shoes. What she does wear are thick furs and hooded cloak made from a wild boar, the hooded cloak still looks like a boar. She had greasy hair the color of frost, oily skin, and smelled like smoke (camp fire). She now looks and smells like someone freshly Prestidigitationed (thank Master Pendlebrot). She has fleas, but not lice, which she eats when she catches them.
6. Any interests they may have in common?
Souni and Gib are both happy that Gib is alive; they also both love to hear him talk. Souni loves his stories and songs, has never heard any of them before, and accepts them all as fact (even those that don’t make sense to her). Gib likes her faces of astonishment when he tells his stories.
7. Possible small talk they might make?
Souni is quiet but a good listener. If she does talk it’s about business: the weather patterns and seasonal changes around the northern seas, her observations about the local wild life, migration patterns, and more of that kind of stuff.
8. Anything else?
• She has a “pet” centipede that crawls about her and her furs. It eats fleas, would really enjoy eating lice if it got the chance, and can be very unnerving if you happen to see it crawling about her.
• She has built up a high tolerance to centipede poison.
• She is an expert at bow fishing.
• She can tell you just about anything about an animal except its name after observing it for 1 minute. Rather than using the animals name she will describe it with adjectives.
The woods would be very quiet if only those birds sang there that sang best. Henry van Dyke The tables would be very empty if only those DM's spoke there who spoke best.