Posts Tagged ‘ NPCs ’

A Not-Haunted House

In theory, this Sunday I’m hosting a dinner and gaming night at my house featuring hillbilly cuisine and an adventure for The Cthulhu Hack entitled The Strange Case of the Bell Witch Bootleggers. The adjacent map is my not-quite-done rendering of the first floor of the bootleggers’ home. If you click on the map, it gets bigger.

I’ve also drafted six characters for the players to choose from. You can take a gander at them by clicking here. Any unchosen characters become NPCs and probably will be among the first to go insane and/or die.

I still have to draw the house’s second floor, a small section of cave, and a map of the terrain around the house. After that, all that’s left is to flesh out some details in the adventure and fix dinner. I’m aiming for stew, maybe rabbit, maybe oxtail, with carrots and potatoes, some moonshine, either some greens or a salad, and dinner rolls. If I get really motivated, I might fix a sweet potato pie for dessert. I’ve not made a sweet potato pie in quite a while.

Of course, life being what it is, it’s starting to look like my gaming plans for the weekend are going to get pre-empted by other stuff. Say, “La vee.”

July 21st, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Yozuvchi of the Endless Tales

Nestled near the center of New Motor City stands the library of Yozuvchi of the Endless Tales. Yozzie, as she is called by the locals, is a mutant human gifted with great longevity, intelligence, and a bizarre mutation. Rumors say that Yozzie has lived for centuries, and that she spent much of her time traveling the world, seeking and finding the knowledge of the Ancients.

Whatever the truth of these rumors, Yozzie’s knowledge cannot be doubted. She understands many technological artifacts, and her advice to New Motor City’s rulers has proven invaluable in improving the quality of life for the city’s residents. New hybrids of grain and farming methods help ensure that few go hungry even in the leanest of times. Her work on the city’s water purification systems has likewise been a boon to all. In her position as Prime Educator, Yozzie oversees schools as well as New Motor City’s library.

Yozzie appears very much like a human woman in late middle age, but she stands a mere 20 inches high, or so it appears. In truth, Yozzie is a woman of average height, but a strange spatial displacement effect causes her to be 30 feet away from objects that can touch her even when she is really only an arm’s length or so away from the object. What’s more, this displacement effect does not affect Yozzie. This means that Yozzie can be close enough to slap you but too far away from you to hit her even with a polearm.

Not that Yozzie worries about being able to attack enemies. She is very nearly revered throughout New Motor City. She has repaired and reprogrammed two assault bots called Bric and Brac. These formidable machines serve as Yozzie’s guards. Yozzie also carries a stun baton. If she’s expecting trouble, she’ll be wearing ballistic nylon armor.

No. Enc.: 1 (unique)
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 120′ (40′)
Armor Class: 9 or 5
Hit Dice: 8 (36 hit points)
Attacks: 1
Damage: Weapon type
Save: L9
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: XVIII
XP: 2,560

Mutations: Intellectual Affinity (Tinkerer), Regenerative Capability, Quick Mind, Unique (Paradoxical Spatial Displacement, Slow Aging)

April 25th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Z Is for Zoetic

zoetic: (adj.) of or pertaining to life

The Maisha of Dunia have achieved widespread fame for their peaceful ways and medical skill. Dunia itself is slightly smaller than Terra at a distance that gives the world a cold climate. The polar regions are inhospitable to human life, and even the middle latitudes prove uncomfortable much of the year. The Maisha cultivate coniferous vegetation which humans tend to find unpalatable but nutritious. Other agricultural staples include a wide variety of lichens and fungi, many of the latter grown in subterranean farms. Dunia’s population stands in the hundreds of millions, mostly Maishas, but the world does play host to a significant number of off-worlders.

Atmosphere: Breathable mix
Temperature: Cold
Biosphere: Human-miscible
Population: Alien civilization
Tech Level: 4 with specialties
World Tags: Pilgrimage Site, Psionics Academy

Maisha live at a tech level comparable to most of human space, but they excel in the field of medicine, including some medical psitech. The pretech manufactories that produce these wonders are zealously guarded by the Maisha, and Dunian medtech is an enormous source of income for the world and its citizens.

Maishas are insectoids, somewhat resembling humanoid grasshoppers. They have difficulty with human languages. Few humans have learned any of the various Maishan dialects at much more than a basic level, for the human mouth and pharynx cannot adequately produce many of the subtle clicks and chirrups that comprise Maishan phonemes. Maishas are herbivorous, and they tend to find the idea of consuming animal flesh repulsive in the extreme.

Maishan society is matriarchal and oligarchic, and a single religion dominates public and private life. Zoeticism is a deceptively simple faith that emphasizes preserving life and respecting the innate dignity of intelligent species. Due to Zoeticism’s influence, Maishas tend to be pacifists. They reject the use of violence as a means of gaining advantage or in the pursuit of justice. Zoeticism teaches strongly against the rightness of revenge.

The Grand Zoetic Temple in Mji, Dunia’s capital city, attracts visitors from throughout the sector. Many come just to see the site, and the Maishas welcome these interstellar tourists with open arms. A few off-worlders, however, seek enlightenment, hoping to rid themselves of burdens both physical and psychological. The most skilled devotees of Zoeticism, all of whom are Maishas, practice Pona, a semi-psionic discipline that aims at mental, spiritual, and physical perfection through ascetism, meditation, and the martial arts.

Pona is a martial art (as described in the excellent Mandate Archive Collection 2011). Maisha can buy skill levels in Pona as a class skill, while non-Maisha purchase skill levels in Pona at non-class skill point rates. This applies even to non-Maisha warriors.

Weapon Groups: Unarmed only
Level 0 (Novice): The novice can maintain the vital life processes of a mortally wounded creature with a touch. This functions like the biostasis psychic power. A non-psychic adds 2 points to his System Strain when using this ability, regardless of its success. A psychic adds half as much System Strain. Also, the novice’s unarmed strikes inflict 1d4+1 points of damage. This damage is non-lethal and a victim reduced to 0 hit points is either unconscious for 1d4 minutes or helplessly restrained by the martial artist, at the artist’s discretion.
Level 1 (Intermediate): The martial artist becomes resistant to harmful substances, gaining a +2 bonus to all saving throws versus diseases and toxins.
Level 2 (Master): The master’s strikes do 1d8+1 points of damage. This damage is non-lethal and a victim reduced to 0 hit points is either unconscious for 1d4 minutes or helplessly restrained by the martial artist, at the artist’s discretion. The master may perform a nerve strike as an attack, taking a -4 penalty on the roll. If the attack roll succeeds and the victim the fails a Physical Effect saving throw at a penalty equal to the master’s Combat/Pona skill, the victim suffers double non-lethal damage from the attack.

A Maisha’s exoskeleton gives it a natural Armor Class of 7. Otherwise, despite their appearance, they are comparable to humans in most respects. Even the largest Maisha tend to be small by adult human standards. Maisha cannot have a Strength greater than 14 or a Dexterity of less than 14. A Maisha cannot be a warrior.

Normal Maisha
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1/2
Attack Bonus: +0
Damage: 1d2 punch
Skill Bonus: +1
Saving Throw: 15+
Movement: 30 ft.
Morale: 7

Pona Master
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 4
Attack Bonus: +3
Damage: 1d8+1 unarmed
Skill Bonus: +3
Saving Throw: 13+
Movement: 30 ft.
Morale: 10

This Pona master is also a psychic. She has mastered levels 1, 2, and 3 of the Biopsionics discipline. She has up to 4 levels in as many as two other disciplines. She uses her mastered powers freely, and she has 11 power points for triggering her other discipline(s).

April 30th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

R Is for Raffish

raffish: (adj.) unconventional and slightly disreputable, esp. in an attractive manner

Nota Bene: As promised, here’s an NPC for TSR’s original Top Secret from 1980. Back in the day, we played this, Marvel Super Heroes, and Gamma World more than D&D. I still fondly remember our long-running Top Secret campaign, wherein our agents quit working for the government and went freelance in the style of The A-Team. Ah, good times with friends who I’ve long since lost contact with, and two of whom have passed away. Requiescat in pace, Fred and Big Fred.


TO: All field operatives in the Middle East

BY AUTHORITY OF: Director of Administrations MR

PURPOSE: Dossier of Bradbury, John Alexander

MESSAGE: At the outbreak of the U.S. entry into World War II, Joshua Alexander Bradbury joined the National Guard and contacted Rep. John Sparkman of Alabama, who arranged a meeting with William “Wild Bill” Donovan. The two hit it off immediately, but Bradbury nonetheless was not recruited to Donovan’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and instead joined the Corps of Intelligence Police, which became the Counterintelligence Corps in January 1942. Bradbury was stationed in London. He reportedly gained the top-secret “Bigot” clearance and took part in discussions about Operation Overlord. After the conversion of the OSS into the Strategic Services Unit on 1 October 1945, Bradbury joined what would become part of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Among Bradbury’s first post-war postings was Damascus, Syria, starting in September 1947, thus beginning a long career in the Middle East. He played a role in supporting the March 1949 Syrian coup d’état, and was instrumental in arranging Operation Ajax, the 1953 technical coup d’état against the Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh.[2]

Later in 1953, Bradbury returned to private life at the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, but he remained a non-official cover operative for the CIA. He traveled to Cairo to meet Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had overthrown King Farouk and taken power in Egypt, advising Nasser on the development of the Mukhabarat and becoming Nasser’s closest Western advisor. In this role he offered U.S. economic development and technical military assistance.

In 1955, Bradbury officially returned to the CIA. During the Suez Crisis, the U.S. backed Egypt’s independence and control of the Suez Canal. The move is said to have been advocated by Bradbury with the goal of ending British control of the region’s oil resources, and forestalling the influence of the Soviet Union on regional governments by placing the U.S. behind their legitimate national interests. After the crisis, Nasser nevertheless moved closer to the USSR and accepted massive military technology and engineering assistance on the Aswan Dam. Bradbury worked to reverse this trend at the time, which included Bradbury’s involvement in schemes to assassinate Nassar.

In 1958, Syria merged with Egypt in the United Arab Republic and King Faisal II was deposed by Iraqi nationalists. Bradbury oversaw contacts with the Iraqi regime and with internal opponents, including Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party.

Shortly after these events, Bradbury faked his own death and went rogue. He currently works out of Beirut, where he owns several safehouses. From these locations, Bradbury sells his skills as an information broker. Bradbury is generally pro-Western, and even his former CIA bosses have had reason to contract with him for his services.

Bradbury has not been photographed in more than a decade. The photo to the right is one of the last known images of him before he went rogue. Presumably, Bradbury has retained his love of high fashion. Bradbury is dapper and charming, but this facade hides a core of cold steel. Approach with caution.


Primary Personal Traits
Physical Strength: 55
Charm: 90
Willpower: 80
Courage: 70
Knowledge: 95
Coordination: 60

Secondary Personal Traits
Offense: 65
Deception: 80
Evasion: 75
Deactivation: 78
Life Level: 14
Movement Value: 195

Tertiary Personal Traits
Hand-to-Hand Combat Value: 130
Surprise Value: 155

Languages: Arabic 65, English 90, French 80, Spanish 80

Areas of Knowledge: Architecture 75, Astronomy & Space Science 75, Biology & Biochemistry 65, Computer Science 105, Economics & Finance 90, Geography 85, Law 95, Military Science & Weaponry 75, Political Science & Ideology 90, Psychology 125

April 21st, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

L Is for Lawless

lawless: (adj.) not governed by or obedient to laws; characterized by a lack of civic order

Nota Bene: My original plan was to present an NPC for TSR’s 2nd edition Boot Hill from 1979. Unfortunately, the game’s box is nearly empty, and the rulebook seems to have ridden off into the sunset. (The rulebook is somewhere in the house, but I can’t find it.) I have a PDF of the 1st edition rules, but I never played them, and I’m trying to stick to writing stuff for games I’ve played. So, here we go with TSR’s 3rd edition Boot Hill from 1990.

Luc Sansloy’s grandfather, Jean-Pierre Sanloy, fled the Terror in early 1794 with his wife, Marie Anne, and newborn son, Jean-Luc, leaving behind his ancestral home in Bretagne, first traveling to England and then later to Quebec, Canada. He parleyed his title and remaining wealth into a lucrative partnership with a Québécois mercantile business. Within the first years of the 19th century, the Sanloy family lived in the lap of luxury, and Jean-Pierre was widely respected in public circles.

But within the walls of his new mansion, Jean-Pierre was feared and hated. He ruled his wife and son with an iron fist, punishing even minor errors with the back of his hand. “For every slip, there is a slap,” Jean-Pierre often reminded. When Jean-Pierre died of a stroke in 1814, few sincere tears of sorrow were shed. Unfortunately by this time, Jean-Luc, then a young man, had learned his father’s lessons well. What’s more, he had the wealth and position to indulge in base cruelties without much fear of legal reprisals.

Jean-Luc took a young wife soon after his mother died of tuberculosis in 1817. This young lady died in a riding accident after only a few months of marriage. Persistent rumors claimed that not all of the cuts and bruises on her broken body were suffered in the fatal fall. Jean-Luc traveled for several years thereafter, visiting Europe, Africa, and South America. He returned to Quebec from these trips in 1825 with a new wife, Temitope, a Yoruba woman whose stunning beauty masked terrible cruelty.

Luc Sansloy was born in 1827 in Jean-Luc’s inherited mansion. From his earliest days, Luc received a vigorous education in vice and spite. Jean-Luc and Temitope used their son as a pawn in their twisted games of mutual abuse, and Luc quickly grew to hate both his parents. As he grew into adolescence, Luc spread his wings and inserted himself into his parents’ abusive contests. He succeeded in convincing Temitope that Jean-Luc was plotting to send her back Africa’s West Coast so that he can could wed one of his mistresses.

This led to an escalation resulting in Temitope poisoning Jean-Luc, who shot his wife in the head and chest before he died. After the official inquiry into the deaths was completed, Luc sold much of his family’s assets and then set fire to his grandfather’s house. He left Quebec for the U.S.’s frontier in 1842.

Since then, Luc has left a swath of blood and remorse in his wake. He prides himself on his lawlessness. He has worked as both a conductor on the Underground Railroad as well as a slave hunter in free territories. During the U.S. Civil War, he fought for the Confederacy at first, but then deserted and fought for the Union. After the South fell, he deserted again, and headed west, ending up in Utah territory.

Luc Sansloy is almost completely amoral. There is no crime he will not at least seriously consider, and he’s guilty of breaking most laws, both those of man and of God. Despite his brutish appearance, Luc possesses a keen mind backed by a classical education. He is not be underestimated, and no one should trust him far at all. Luc’s only laws are his whims.

Luc Sansloy
Strength: 12
Coordination: 10
Observation: 14
Stature: 13
Luck: 6

Skills: Brawling 4, Fast Draw 12, Knife/Sword 4, Linguistics 8, Literacy 11, Pistol 5, Riding 10, Rifle 5

April 14th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »