Now that our intrepid adventurers have been in town a couple of weeks, bringing in steady coin and impressing people, they’re going to start noticing other faces around Arica. Truth be told, they have already caught the eye of several members of the populace, some we’ve met, and others yet to introduce themselves. I’m going to cover a few different class of citizens, both to familiarize our readers and the party, with who they’re likely to run into. These people are are, with possibly one exception, NPC’s (Non Player Characters) and are controlled by the GM, Me.
In the Dungeon Fantasy game I played in, most recently, town was described to be much like the “town” screen in a video game. Think Diablo. There are people there, but basically they only have a few dialogue options, such as “Buy”, “Sell”, or “Heal me, Please” and do little else. These options still exist in my world, because such things are important, and even I don’t want to flesh out the personalities of every newsboy and cleric in the village. I consider town to be a safe place, you don’t get attacked while there, as long as YOU don’t make trouble first. (Note: This is the golden rule. Don’t MAKE trouble, won’t BE trouble.) Because these folks are docile and simple, I’ll deal with them first.
First, The Church in town has a number of faceless priests around to sell people goods and services, such as healing potions, holy water, and blessings among others. As well, they offer healing and restoration magics, for a contribution to the church. Healing a few Hit Points will be cheap, but bringing a dead companion back from the death will cost several thousand gold. The only real difference is that when you sell holy relics and such to the church, the reward isn’t in cash, but credit within the organization.
Additionally, there are wizards in town. Many of them, in fact. Arica tends to be a haven for wizards looking to experiment, and in that vein, enchanters are always looking to sell off their projects, useful and.. Otherwise. If you want random magical items, there are plenty around to chose from. There will be posts to come here, just give me time.
For more mundane goods, the town has a general store, geared more towards adventurers than townsfolk, but let’s be honest, who cares about them? The main store in town is run by a Catfolk merchant named Khajiit, I never said I was original. Who sells weapons and armor, dungeoneering gear and minor magical concoctions such as alchemist’s fire, Luminous Dust, and Siege Stones. These items and more can be found in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventurers. Khajiit is more than willing to buy all manner of treasures off returning adventurers, for a fair price. (Note: Herein lies the value of the advantage “Wealth”. After character creation, Wealth is mostly business contacts, and raises the percentage of Full Market Value that you can sell things for, adjusted only by your Merchant Skill. Standard wealth nets you only 40%, generally. We will revisit this some other time.)
Also in and about town, we have other, more well-defined NPC’s, who offer more than just 3 conversation options, which is good, if they like you, but also means that what the players do, can make or break these relationships. These characters would have an exclamation point over their head, if in a video game. They give quests, hand out rewards, and might even be helpful in an adventure or two themselves.
First, an old friend,
-Elan A young initiate priest of Mishakal, serving the local Church, Elan has been gifted by his goddess with the powers of an Oracle. Granted the ability to glimpse the future, Elan has provided our party more than one adventure, and has even survived one of them himself! The priest was impressed by the group, showing that while he is far wiser than his age might imply, he is still a young man.
-Tessreene Called “Tee” by most, this buxom and impassioned young woman is the proprietress of the local inn & tavern, The Salacious Unicorn. Prone to fall deeply and instantly in love with patrons, only to move on at a whim, Tee is always a source of knowledge and fine ale, and on rare occasions, has a task or two that might pay well. One thing that you should never do, is refer to Tee as “Wench”. Unless you aren’t fond of your teeth.
–Lady Penelope The eldest daughter of Lord Winslow Aberdeen, the towns magistrate. Lady Penelope is well known about town, but not for really doing much, aside from spending her fathers money. With their wedding soon approaching, the lady is never seen without her groom-to-be;
-Emry Longblade A sickly young noble who holds some position in town, if only in name. Emry comes from a powerful local family, but as the youngest son, has little aside from his name. If the boy had a sword, he would likely be unable to lift it. Most often Emry is referred to as “Milktoast” around town. The party met Emry once, but the boy never said a word.
–Lord Theos De’Scoiattolo; Respected Sensei, Brotherhood of Echos
one of the three mages who met with The Red Lady in Episode 3, Lord Winslow is a well respected member of the magical community. Being a high ranking Brother of Echos, Lord Winslow wears the green robes of his order, and maintains a seat on the local Court of Nobles. Most of Lord Winslow’s time is spent in study of the Mysteries of the Old World, and it’s said he has a rivalry with others in town.
Last on our tour of the populace, are Hirelings! These folks are townsfolk that while looking for adventure, aren’t really on par with our players. They can be hired for coin, to join the party in or out of town, but mistreating the help will not only make it harder to find a willing henchman the next time.. Let’s see who’s hungry for coin? (Note: Humans being the most common race in Arica, all hirelings are human unless otherwise noted. Most of the listed henchmen are 125 or 62 points, but 250 point versions DO exist, and can be stated up if a player requests.)
–Shecky the Schlep; 62 point Laborer –(Real name: Stephen Stalwart III) Shecky was born and raised on a farm near Arica, but having little inclination for farming, and too little intelligence for much else, he decided to make do with what he had, a strong back and an empty wallet. Shecky signs on with adventuring parties who need things carried, and don’t mind paying for it. The only thing Shecky really cares about is a full belly and a comfy place to nap, so if you want a hireling who doesn’t ask questions beyond “When’s lunch?”, Shecky is your man.
-Lady Elsea, Initiate of Sarenrae; 125 point initiate Lady Elsea is a priestess in training of Sarenrae; a goddess of redemption and healing. Not a combat cleric, Lady Elsea is happy to call on the goddesses blessing to cure wounds, perform first aid, or surgery, but she has taken a vow never to kill, even to save her own life. She would be willing to wear armor on a delve, but doesn’t own any herself, as she tithes most of her coin to the church, as is required by her training.
-Abner Stoutfist; 125 point Squire – Abner is a young dwarf, seeking a knight to squire for, or, failing that, a stout warrior from which to hone his art. He has little interest in partying, and tends to be more of a downer, preferring to talk only about “His Craft”, even when no one cares to listen. Abner is decently skilled with his mace and shield, but doesn’t always have a level head in battle, and can be hard to reign in once he’s gotten started. Green as grass but willing to learn, Abner wants only to be a hero, even if he doesn’t really know what that means yet.
-Ralphio Je’an; 125 point Agent – A local schemer and businessman about town, Ralphio claims to be a Half-Elf, but in truth its maybe more like a 16th. Always working on his next score, Ralphio does have some skill in buying and selling, but is more often more interested in a “Big Score” than doing his job and making his employers any coin. Burdened with both a compulsion towards spending and partying, he rarely keeps any coin in his pocket, whether or not it was his to begin with. Ralphio might bring you a good return on your investment, or a day wasted tracking him down trying to collect.
-Tough John & Skeeves A pair of “Sailors” who ended up stuck in Arica when they lost their money in a card game instead of getting back on their ship, the two have taken to mercenary work, but only together.
- Tough John; 125 point Brute; Tough John is the bigger of the two, but certainly not the smarter. Head and shoulders taller than most humans, Tough John tends to remain quiet and wait for instruction, but given insult, he takes his own initiative in righting the slight, most often with violence. Not prone to using hand to hand weapons, John prefers to throw his trusty harpoon, and pull the target back to him for up close pummeling. Letting him get his hands on you is always a bad idea.
- Skeeves; 125 point Cutpurse – Skeeves is as surly a gnome as you’re ever likely to meet, is the thinker of the pair, and most of the time, what he’s thinking isn’t good. Skeeves is only interested in how make money, and where to spend it on women and strong drink. Skeeves prefers not to fight, if he can help it, simply taking what he wants before his target knows he was there. When it does come to a fight, he prefers to slip up from behind, and take down his prey fast, with either a knife to the kidneys, or a garrote around the neck. He leaves the heavy stuff to his partner, who he never works without.
This is a basic glance at henchmen available for hire if the party wants to pay their going rate. Any player can hire their own custom henchmen paid for with character points, costing from 1 to 12 points, if they like, from among any of the templates in the Hirelings Book, and given their input I will craft one (or more) to suit their requests. For a basic overview, I can provide a list of templates in person, but don’t think doing so here is fair to the people that publish such fine books. If the party wants to hire other laborers, apprentice wizards, or shied bearers, I’m happy to stat those up for hire as well, but don’t expect them to be as specialized, or created 5 minutes before a session. 😉
Next time: Good vs Evil, as far as deities are concerned. If you have questions or request, feel free to leave comments in the box below.