What's The Most Memorable NPC?

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Looking for some inspiration for a few different NPCs for a game this weekend. What was the most memorable NPC you've brought into your campaign? 
I have never bought like a NPC from a suppliment or prefab stuff. But a couple Homebrew NPCs stick out in my mind ....

  • First one, his name changes from game to game, but it is a Silver Dragon that has shape shifted into human form. He is either a historian in a major city or a mayor of a settlement.

  • Cephas DePage, Drow Archer & Assassin. He is a general pain to most parties that are in my world. He is not inherently evil, just works for the highest bidder. He rarely speaks, even when caught or accepting a job. The funniest thing that was ever done with him was once a PC tried to higher him to go after the BBEG, he stone face looked at the them and said "No", then walked out of the taveren ... leaving the party to pay his tab.

  • Only other one I can think of is Whitepaw the Great, a Wemic. He was the champion of a major city's arena for many years. He eventually retired. But he still was sort of a bully to the PC, he knew he could take them at a drop of a copper. I liked him as a DM cause I could be crass and talk down to them ... kinda vent all my bad week's worth of stuff  through this NPC. He was loyal to the town through and through. He stood fighting with one group of PC when an army of undead tried to take over the city.

Fibi was one of my favorites.  Based on a real-life person mixed with something from the Night Angel Trilogy.  She was an apprentice Assassin (his slave in truth) who could make her physical appearance change dramatically (or you could make her a changeling).  She was base human, and her physical description was to be fairly pretty, short blonde hair with webbed toes and a sparkling tiny diamond set into her right canine.  She liked to use her change-shape ability to constantly mimic whatever her target thought was attractive, but she wasn't sold on the whole idea of being an assassin.  She tried to convince people to leave areas and if she was contracted to get something she would often poison to knockout and then steal whatever it was without killing.

A player favorite was a shop owned named Kidukan Jadu.  He spoke extremely quickly and was obsessed with very small intricate things (the kind of guy who would find the world's smallest petro engine a massive accomplishment).

A character I played that was well loved at the table was a bareknuckle boxer with a heavy Ukranian accent and a mean left hook.  He was obsessive compulsive about having clean hands and wore a bib to keep blood and grime off his hands.  He also had a pet sheep who carried his gear and used the sheep's wool in cases of emergency to clean his hands.  His name was Mani and his sheep's name was Pedi.  She sheep wore specially crafted old-western style boots.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here

 Ali Al'Rasghul...
(If you say the name realy fast it comes out "a little rascal", lol)

 Ali Al'Rasghul was based on every bad stereotype of a greasy, sleazy fast-talking comic-relief used-camel salesman from every movie ever. Although I'd been using him in campaigns for over a decade before they came out, there were two things that really helped to set his character - physically he was based mainly on the prison warden from the Mummy movies, while his personality was taken in part from a fat, eccentric, fast-talking merchant who was much more than he seemed in Steven Erickson's Malazan Book of the Fallen.

 Ali dresses in somewhat typical Arabian-style garb, but in loud clashing colors and styles, all in expensive materials but slightly run down and shabby. He rather resembles a disheveled, disreputable genie who got dressed in the dark. He sells his merchandise out of a desert-style tent in the marketplace of whatever city the party starts the campaign in. Ali is fast-talking, gregarious, curious, loud, overbearing and has no respect for personal space - he adresses the party (and everyone else) as "my very good friends" in something approaching a bad Middle Eastern accent, and always has some bit of news or gossip to relay to the party. He's constantly trying to interest the party in some odd bit of junk he's "just acquired". He's also a good quest-giver, as he always has some "favor" that he'd like the party to perform or some "cousin" or "friend" who needs their help.

 It quickly becomes apparent that Ali, despite his clownish appearance and con-man demeanor, is an extremely sharp individual and knowledgeable about many things. Once he's established a good relationship with the players, he will begin to subtlely hint that he can find them slightly more "esoteric" items than just what's on the standard equipment list - not just thieves' tools and magic items, but also just some really bizarre stuff, like art items from the Astral Chaos or slaad claws for example. His tent seems to hold a lot more merchandise than it's outer dimensions would indicate, and a brief glimpse through the curtained door to his "back room" reveals a number of large chests and cabinets. Ali also seems to know things, much more than a typical merchant should - he's well-informed about all the local political and social intrigues, as well as topics such as geography, religion and the planes.
 When the players move on to a different city, they will often find that Ali and his tent have arrived before them.  He always just happens to show up when the players want something or just in time to pass on something important. It doesn't take long for the players to realize that Ali Al'Rasghul is clearly just using his mercantile enterprise as a cover for his own agenda, working toward whatever causes he serves. It will eventually become apparent that Ali has a far-reaching network of associates, spies and informants, and his spere of influence is much larger than the players imagine.

 The whole truth is that Ali is actually a very powerful planes-hopping information broker and intelligence agent, moving in all sorts if different circles, working with whoever and whatever furthers his own mysterious ends. His tent not only contains a large number of magical storage containers, but is also a nexus to different planes of reality. (Yes, he's essentially cruising around in an old-school Tardis...) Ali always seems to be in the center of a swirling storm cloud of chaos, although it's usually something he's deviously scripted down to the very last detail.


I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)


I am the Lawnmower Man.



I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)


There are reasons they call me Mad...

You'd have to ask my players which NPC was the most memorable.

As a player, one of the most memorable NPCs I ever encountered was Captain Eegar, the pirate. He was a loud-talking, red-bearded drunkard with a twisted sense of fun. Eegar was famous for raiding costal villages and towns, looting them, then painting the town red. Litterally. His fleet (the Bantam, the Orpington, and the Vorwerk) never raided a town without barrels of red paint. They'd plaster walls, streets, cows, pigs, people, plants, and anything else they saw with the stuff. Where the classic pirate captain has a parrot, Eegar had a pair of hummingbirds.

My group spent months chasing Eegar and his fleet all over the ocean to arrest him, and, when we finally caught up to him, he managed to convince us to join him on a raid of the capital city.  
Boraxe wrote: "Knowledge of the rules and creativity are great attributes for a DM, but knowing when to cut loose and when to hold back, when to follow the rules and when to discard them, in order to enhance the enjoyment of the game is the most important DM skill of all." Keeper of the Sacred Kitty Bowl of the House of Trolls. Resident Kitteh-napper.
Sign In to post comments