d12 Unusual NPCs

  1. Keetsa Quick: a kobold courier. She’s fast enough on her own, having an extra two squares’ worth of movement (or whatever unit you use) on foot per round, but she usually rides an Acrotholus audeti (update: link was broken; found a new one) or war dog for wilderness jobs. She’s not allied with any particular tribe, instead serving as a neutral go-between discreetly ferrying small goods or messages. She and her mount can hide and move silently as a ranger. Keetsa advertises in a local tavern as a “communications and shipment solutions expert” and charges 10 g per item / message per day of travel, with double pay for any hazards encountered. She’s worth every penny. If attacked, Keetsa uses a boomerang which will always return to her hand, even on a successful hit, dealing 1d4 damage to its target and also stunning for 1d4 rounds on a critical.
  2. Ikikik: a dolphin ranger. He might not dual-wield, but he’s got sonar. His mollusk deity has granted him cutaneous chromatophores, allowing him to change color like an octopus. He uses this ability to sneak around and learn about the plots of his species enemy, the sahuagin. What he really wants is a magic ring sized to slip over one of his tail flukes. He’d be willing to owe a big favor to anyone who could find or make something like that. He’s sometimes accompanied by a small school of piscoid animal companions.
  3. Grumbles: a grizzled veteran who frequents the local dive. He doesn’t respond to anyone if directly approached. Instead, he speaks to and answers himself out of either side of his mouth. His conversation sounds as though he’s relaying his impression of what’s happening around him to a distant comrade through a long-distance communicator, then receiving analysis and response. Savvy parties might sit at his otherwise empty table and “ignore” him, talking amongst themselves about local politics or the abandoned mine just outside of town. If they listen, his autoconversation will clue them in to what he knows. He and himself will favorably remember people who leave a few copper to cover a pitcher of ale.
  4. Black Locust: It’s said that there is only one black locust tree in the world – a single root system with many upshoots. You can cut down a locust tree, split it into posts, and make a fence with it, but the posts will soon begin budding new branches, and before you know it (generationally speaking) your fence is now a row of locust trees connected to the hive. Maybe the one-tree theory is true, because there’s only one known black locust dryad. If you make friends with her, you can contact her just about anywhere you can find a copse of woods. If you’ve made her your enemy, stay out of the forest. Every forest.
  5. The Archer: an intelligent, animated statue of an impressionistic humanoid drawing a bow who stands in a collection or museum. It stays totally still until after viewing hours are over, whereupon it moves about and begins maintaining its home. The Archer is not only the curator of the collection, but also secretly the collector itself. Beyond guarding and maintaining the items on display, The Archer employs an elven friend to act as its agent in procuring new objects or negotiating with sages to discover the history of a particularly interesting piece. If your party has just discovered an unusual art object in some dank dungeon, the agent of The Archer will almost certainly be interested.
  6. Cryptic Crissy: Your party may run across strange messages scrawled across dungeon walls. In some places they are a series of numbers, in others jumbled letters. Sometimes the scribbles form shapes or patterns. These are the leavings of Crissy, a sometime sage, naturalist, and archaeologist. Crissy doesn’t like not knowing. If she’s consulted about a topic in her capacity as a sage and she can’t research the answer in her library, she doesn’t stop there. She’ll write the damn book herself from firsthand experience. The marks on the walls are her notes. She doesn’t trust paper in a dungeon or the wilderness, so she scatters her notes on the walls. But first she encodes them so that no one can steal her hard-won knowledge before she can publish it.
  7. Edger Jack: the ordinary fellow who handles landscaping duties for the wizards’ enclave. He’s no spy, but he always seems to find himself trimming outside the eaves when dark conversations take place, and he – quite literally – knows where the bodies are buried. He also knows the price he’d pay if he revealed the mages’ secrets or provided a way for the party to break into the enclave, so be sure the PCs are willing to beat that price when seeking his services.
  8. Siblissic: The aquifer drow are aquatic elves of the Underdark. Siblissic is the chief speaker for a great clan of aquifer drow who know every inch of the underground waterways from the mountains to the Great River. Aquifer drow prefer to remain hidden, so it is Siblissic’s duty to interact with the world. She is given broad agency to engage in diplomacy and make decisions on the clan’s behalf. An ordinary day might find her negotiating peace with an aboleth or declaring war on a human mining guild pumping water out of their realm in order to chase a vein of gold. She is the nexus of the web of connections between surface and cavern, land and water, and she can make your day simply miserable if you cross her.
  9. Spenglicus: classed as a paladin, his true vocation is more of a ghost hunter. He seeks the unquiet dead in order to resolve whatever causes them to walk the earth. Spenglicus investigates the long-abandoned crime scene haunted by a phantom. He hunts the necromancer raising the dead of battlefields and graveyards. He helps the ghost take care of what it could not accomplish in life, and he assesses the revenant’s cause to determine whether to destroy it or assist it on its quest. His shield has the special quality of trapping the spirits of the dead who cannot be otherwise dismissed (generally like turning, but focused on no more than one target at a time). Spenglicus fears what would happen if the magic of the shield were ever dispelled, for every spirit within would escape and wreak havoc upon the world with renewed purpose.
  10. Blessed Tessed: a dedicant of a bardic god. She has been blessed with tongues – she can understand, speak, read, and write in literally any language she encounters (probably not abstract “languages” like calculus or encrypted messages, though). It comes with a small price – she must speak in rhyming couplets.
  11. John and Steve, Herald Boys: a pair of town criers who, on top of their ordinary duties, deliver a synopsis of news of court in humorous and scathing monologues daily at noon in the town square. John plays it relatively straight, while Steve, “in character” as a sympathetic observer at court, mocks the courtiers without mercy. They can get away with it because they’re so funny… and because, no matter how ridiculous the intrigues at court get, the public is too complacent to do anything about their leadership anyway.
  12. Shiftless Shane: he’s inherited his parents’ caravan trading business, but he doesn’t want to run it. He’d much rather go to Hollywood and star in some dancing flick with Fred Astaire or something. Shane is operating the caravans in the meantime, and he’s got all sorts of resources and contacts which have come along with it, but he’s not interested in maintaining them long-term. He just wants enough capital to inflate the business short-term, sell it off, and move away.What that means is that your players can ask for almost anything and Shane will burn through his sources to get it for them, so long as they’re willing to pay his finder’s fees. They can get some incredible requests fulfilled, but he’s only around for a limited time – after he’s accrued enough of the PC’s (and others’) money, away he goes.

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