While doing some preparation for the Lost Age Campaign I just started, it became painfully aware that I needed more texture in the NPCs who were coming to Nifton’s Inlet – this little fishing village with a reputation for great fish all year round. It seemed logical that there would be folks coming to take advantage of a popular shopping area and sell or trade their own wares. But who might these sellers or shoppers be?
This called for a new set of random tables that is going to become a new Insta-NPCs product eventually.
I came up with a set of seven tables:
- Who? Generally who are they – male, female, other?
- Purpose? Are they selling or buying?
- Product? What are they selling or buying? Food/drink, weapons/armor, livestock?
- Success? Has their trip been successful, a failure, or somewhere in-between?
- Transportation? How’d they get here and how will they leave? On foot? With a cart? On an animal?
- State of Mind? Are they happy or sad? Regretful? Angry?
- Complete? Is their business done or not quite finished?
And that led to these five NPCs:
- (Male/Seller/Food/Total Success/On Foot/Happy/Not Quite Done) Jaqar brought his bright orange melons to the market at Nifton’s Inlet. His goal was to bring a barrel of salted fish back to his farm to feed his family for a few lean growing months. With only two melons left to sell out of the three dozen he brought in a large sack on his back, he is sure to have enough coin to purchase the barrel. Once he does, he’ll be on the trail hiking back to the farm without delay!
- (Female/Seller/Drink/Qualified Success/On foot with cart/Sad/Finished) Bellna came to Nifton’s Inlet with high hopes that the owner of Two Cuppa would purchase her new batch of honey wine. It was a good batch for the season and she was excited to share her hard work with the village. Unfortunately, several of her bottles were tainted with rot from the man she had purchased them from the year before. A mere two days after bottling the meade and loading it into her hand cart for transport, half the batch was spoiled. She sold the unspoiled bottles to Osold at a reduced rate and gave the remainder to the blacksmith to burn in the fires of the forge. Her task complete, she headed home determined to find a new potter so this would not happen again…
- (Undetermined/Shopper/Clothing/Qualified failure/On animal/Satisfied/Not quite done) Raffin arrived in Nifton’s Inlet yesterday on horseback, riding for the first time from the Temple of the Ragged Moon since starting school. A newly appointed wrapped priest of Dhwty (Thoth), the thought was to acquire suitable frockery for a lifetime of seeking some of the lost pages to the Book of the Dead for the order. Members of such a prestigious following required respectable clothing before revealing their true nature to the world. This was the nearest village to begin the search. Though clothes were easy enough to find and purchase, the time for revelation had not yet arrived…
- (Inhuman/Shopper/Pottery/Animal cart/Bitter/Finished) Ewis, a high-functioning homunculus serving his master Osbeoth, came to Nifton’s Inlet for one reason: to purchase a dozen clay pots from the potter Alin. She was to meet him here, take his coin, and give him her wares. She was late. He had to find shelter for his two mules and a place for his cart while he waited. After three days, she arrived full of excuses and apologies, but took her coins just the same. Cart loaded, animals hitched, Ewis was on his way out of this hive of activity. He longed for the silence of his home in the lowest level of the Tower of Dukura and hoped his master would not be too angry when he arrived days later than expected…
- (Alien/Seller/Weapons/Wagon/Angry/Not quite done) Zoar was a Devilman from the boundary of the Mountains of Flame, set to traveling the plains to sell the marked blades of Zithan. Zithani weapons are known across the Lost Age world as unbreakable, but few were willing or able to afford them. He had been on the road peddling his wares for nearly a year and still had half a cart full of blades big and small. He would give the people of the fishy hole of Nifton’s Inlet one more day to purchase his fine weapons and then be on his way. Eventually he could return home where the cold could no longer seep into his bones…
There are some fun things that came up in this creative exercise:
- A priesthood dedicated to Thoth whose members cover themselves head to toe during their training, then reveal themselves to the world when that training is finished. It is almost a reverse mummification process. What do these individuals look like when they are done?
- There’s a wizard nearby who has the power to create homunculi. What is he (or she) doing with the pots Ewis was sent to procure?
- Zithani weapons are unbreakable and come from one place in the Lost Age world – the Mountains of Flame. What do they do?
Ah yes, this could be interesting…
Would you be interested in such a product for your own games and worlds? This was quite helpful in creating a handful of fun characters in a short amount of time.