NPC Hook: The Betrayed Priest

I’ve just finished The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and it really hit me that there’s a great NPC archetype that doesn’t get enough attention. Warning, looking at this archetype is an unavoidable spoiler! The priest in TBatN, Father Konstantin, is a very typical vainglorious, priest full of his own glory as a…

Fictional Recreations: The Isacariot Organization

Every so often, I like to take a literary or film character/group and re-build them for a game. One organization I’ve used multiple times is the Isacariot Organization from the Hellsing anime. The Isacariot Organization, also known as Vatican Section XIII, is a top secrete organization within the Roman Catholic Church. This orgnaization is so…

NPC Hook: Jason

I thought I’d do a series of quickies for Halloween. So let’s take some quick NPC hooks based on our favorite stars of horror films! For today’s character, we’ll look at Jason from the Friday the 13th franchise. Let’s be honest, Jason is a pretty two-dimensional character. I know that there’s a backstory there, but…

NPC Snapshot: Martial Arts Thug

The martial artist thug isn’t the main foe in a story arc. Instead, he’s best thought of as a mini-boss. If your game was a movie, he’d be the thug that steps forward, throws a few fancy kicks and then beckons the PCs to fight. But where did he come from? He didn’t learn all…

Send in the Mutants!

One of the most oft-cited pieces of advice for GMs is to modify the stat lines of stock antagonists. This became such a truism in D&D that the 3/3.5 editions of the game actually introduced character class levels for stock creatures! But class levels aren’t the only way to mix things up with your antagonists!…

NPC Hook: The Negotiator

The negotiator is a well loved archetype in gaming. So much so that in games like Shadowrun, it’s an established character concept and NPC concept! Here are a few ideas for negotiators you can use in your games: The Telepath – This is the negotiator who already knows what your’re thinking. Maybe they’re open about…

NPC Hook: Alternative Intelligent Items

Continuing our series on intelligent items, let’s take a look at some unusual ideas for intelligent items. There isn’t a lot of popular backing for intelligent items in fiction in general, and even less so when you stop talking about intelligent weapons. So let’s take a look at some “alternative” intelligent items: How about a…

NPC Hook: Intelligent Weapons

In yesterday’s post, we plotted out the intelligent device, the first in our series looking at intelligent items in RPGs. That one was straightforward with lots of examples from fiction. Today, we’re going to look at something a bit trickier – the intelligent weapon. Why are intelligent weapons more difficult than other intelligent items? Simply…

NPC Hook:The Intelligent Device

Intelligent items are one of my least favorite forms of NPC. Simply put, they’re hard to do well. All too often, they become a really useful item that never appears as a fully developed character. That’s a shame. If the GM is going to the trouble of creating a recurring NPC (and that’s what intelligent…

NPC Hook: The Publicist

Keeping up with our theme of Blood Bowl-inspired hooks (you did read the original idea, right?), today we’re going to look at a new NPC hook: the publicist.  In any campaign where the PCs are public figures, a publicist can be a useful NPC whose primary purpose is to make the PCs even more famous…

NPC Hook: The Coach

We looked at Blood Bowl-inspired campaigns in yesterday’s post, which got me to thinking about the sorts of NPCs a party might encounter.  Chief among these is the figure of the coach. If you’ve got a team, you’ve got a coach. The great thing about the coach is there are so many types of coach: the…