Nov 012013

“What? Two posts in one day? What madness is this?”, I imagine all of my regular readers exclaiming as they read this post. Well there’s good reason for it. Firstly, I’m on holiday so can blog a bit more until Monday, and secondly, I had such a good time with a certain project, that I have decided to run it again this year, and picked the entire month of November for it to run through.

You see, around about this time last year, I had hit a particular milestone, and decided to celebrate by doing something for anyone who had taken the time to check out my fledgling blog. I offered anyone who posted a comment a free NPC for the game of their choice.

I’m doing that again starting from today, and it’s just as simple. You don’t need to subscribe, like the Facebook page, or even follow me on Twitter. All you need to do is write up a basic idea of what type of NPC you want, and I’ll do the rest. It could be as simple as a Steampunk fighter, as detailed as a young women with engineering fluid pumping through her heart who longs to travel the galaxy while hunting for her long lost brother.

I will take whatever you have to offer and write up a prose description of said character, adding in some plot hooks and a physical description for good measure. I won’t be able to work out stats and what have you, as I cannot promise to be familiar with all systems, but I will do my research and make sure that the character makes sense in whatever game world you have in mind.

Last year I managed to get 33 NPCs done in a month, and later collated them all together and put the final product up on Drivethru for less than a buck. This time I hope to get even more, and to do that I’m going to need lots of help. So please share this post with anyone who might be interested, and if you have a blog, feel free to put the character I make for you up, with a link back here so other people can find it. I will be adding all new NPCs the original document too, so if you’ve already paid for it, you will get a whole bunch more, and if you haven’t then you there’s even more incentive.

So get to it, and let me know what you want.

  11 Responses to “It’s free NPC time again!”

  1. Perfect timing! I’ve come up with an archetype that I’d like to play around with some, so feel free to do an NPC write up on it. The prodigal apprentice: after spending several months of arduous and unproductive study under a master wizard, the apprentice has finally decided that he/she simply cannot deal with the demands and odd habits of his/her master. He/she has learned how to read, though the finer points of arcane mysteries are beyond him/her, but before taking his/her leave of his/her master, he/she did take the time to abscond with a handful of scrolls and trinkets that may make life a bit easier.

    • He’d been set up for a month before he started to worry about what would happen when the scrolls ran out, and the potion flasks ran dry. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. Malefectus, although skilled in the arcane arts made for a terrible teacher. He was quick to anger, and when faced with a student as stubborn and willful as Crathe, he had lost his temper often.

      Crathe had gone in with high hopes of mastering unknown forces before the end of his first year of study, and had done well to last six months. It wasn’t that he didn’t try; he just expected so much to come naturally to him that he was often frustrated and struggled to concentrate even more as result. He had picked up the language and pronunciation required to cast from a book or scroll, but couldn’t get the words written in a way that contained the magical power he sought to unleash. He knew which ingredients were needed to make the oils and unguents that were so desirable to the common folk, but never managed to get the proportions right.

      And the more he got wrong, the angrier Malefectus became with him. Eventually it all spilled over into the kind of argument usually only seen been child and parent, and Malefectus demanded he be gone from the keep by the next sunrise. Crathe was happy to oblige, believing himself a naturally gifted that just needed some time away from the strictures of the classroom to get a feel for the magic. So he had done the only thing that made sense, and taken as much as he could carry in a couple of trips, and loaded the items into a waiting cart, then fled into the night.

      So here he was, a newly established practicing Wizard, with no clue how anything worked, but enough knowledge to use the right words when hoodwinking his clients, and a stock of magic that would soon run dry. For now, the townsfolk trusted him, but if he was to keep up the charade without actually learning magic, he was going to need some help.

      • Awesome! I’ve put it all together with the class write-up I did. Behold, at long last, the Cirsova-Shortymonster RPG supplement collaboration! Or something.

        Thanks! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of them.

  2. […] again, Shortymonster is doing a round of free NPCs.  Hit him up, and he’ll make someone nice for […]

  3. This is so great! The group that I’m running actually has an NPC that they’ve come to be friends with but I dont actually have any ideas to flesh him out.

    The rp i’m running is a homebrew with a steampunk skycity rebellion theme (Think bioshock infinite but without any skylines or tonics.) The NPC is your stereo typical bar tender. The bar he was running got attacked by soldiers who then condemned everyone inside to an execution without trial. The players who were inside the bar fended off the soldiers but the bar tender was slammed into the cabinets behind him, causing shards of glass to bury into his back. The players got him to safety and he’s now being treated by a doctor.

    Currently my players want to interact with him more (one is a boose hound so it’s pretty hilarious) but I don’t really have a personality or backstory or characteristics or plot hooks for him :(

    • He came to the city as a young man, full of vim and vigour, looking to make a name for himself as a weapons designer. He had so many ideas that it constantly felt as though they were trying to force their way out of his head, and an explosion would follow. As a young man he had little to keep him any place unless he wanted to be there, but also little money to do anything with. The City was a promise though.

      Full of wealthy business men just looking for the next ticket to back, the next big idea to invest in and make their fortune from. Everyone was always telling him that money was out there, it was just in the wrong hands, and as soon as they heard his ideas, they’d be thrusting fists full of at him. His entire life had been made to fit into one ruck sack, with a messenger bag full of his drawings and notes.

      It had been a hard first month. Even getting to see the people with the money had proven almost impossible; a great idea only goes so far if you don’t know who to share it with. Eventually though he made contact with people in the know, but the the way it turned out, he would have been better off just staying at home, fixing the tractor when it threw a wheel.

      the creeps had taken him for everything, but not straight away. They wined and dined him, showing him the life he would have when the City’s forces were armed with weapons of his design, and they got even more designs from him. The time passed in a blur of drink, narcotics, and false smiles.

      And then one day it was over. The ideas were coming slower, and the drawings were almost incomprehensible. The creeps knew their cash cow was out of milk, so cut him lose into the back streets with a drug problem, and not a real friend in the City. years were spent in the worst kind of self inflicted hell, until he eventually hit rock bottom. From there that was nowhere to go but up, and he dragged himself out of the stinking gutter as if his life depended on it.

      These days, he has his bar – the biggest test he can give himself each and every day – and some new ideas. He just doesn’t want anyone to know about them just yet…

  4. New subscriber, brought by your post on EN World. :)

    An NPC, eh? Okay, I got one for you. I’m working on a new character for a Ravenloft (D&D 3.5e) campaign. The character is a Nova Vaasan mob enforcer. I’m looking for his ultimate boss, the head of his ‘family.’ Since this is Ravenloft, humans are predominant. The mob boss should be dark-hearted in nature, the kind of person who would enjoy attending the Cirque du Cambion (the Night Circus), a circus dedicated to pain, torture, and suffering, believing it necessary to cleanse the soul.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    • Inherited wealth and power is not an unusual concept; most royal families exist and prosper because of dynastic lines and hereditary respect. The powerful lines within crime ‘Families’ are not that different. In settled times the same line can rule over a clan for several generations, until they get fat and lazy. They get so used to people propping them up to maintain stability that they forget they once struck down a family head and built up power of their own to rule the clan.

      The Mithan family were the last to go down, and they went down hard. No knives in the darkness to remove them from the comfort of their thrones. Blood ran through the streets and it ran thick and fast, enough to attract the attention of even those citizens who knew nothing about the game. They were so entrenched that family heads weren’t the only to roll, with captains and lieutenants also falling, along with any number of friends.

      If the the Thorne’s had just waited another generation, gone in slowly, surgically, they could have avoided a lot of blood shed. But Treek Thorne was not a man to either be kept waiting, or have any reservations about shedding blood to get what he desired. The blood that flowed through the streets was like a drug to him, and made him push harder and faster. Many of his own men went down in skirmishes, but he was happy to make the sacrifice; if they didn’t deserve to die, the Gods would have kept them alive.

      His grip on the city is tight now, for various reasons. Although he would kill a man as soon as look at them, he also understands the loyalty one engenders when in possession of hostages. Kept under permanent guard by his most trusted men are the offspring, wives, and friends of anyone who he suspects may raise a hand against him. They are married off, adopted, and sometimes just chained in a dark pit, just to make sure he can keep people in line.

      If that wasn’t enough, no one wants that much blood on the streets again. Anyone foolish enough to even think about starting a war to unseat the Thorne’s has the city’s government to contend with. They know who is calling the shots, and would rather than placate the monster than have it ravage their streets once more.

  5. A new subscriber brought on by your post on

    I’m making a campaign in New World of Darkness that is heavily based on Silent Hill. As it’s based on Silent Hill, I’m looking for a a kind of creepy character like Vincent from Silent Hill 3, a kind of all knowing but cryptic character that talks in half truths and gives vague hints.

    • There’s a whole bunch of strangeness out there in the world, the kind of strangeness that would be happy to rip the face off a person and lovingly lick the blood from the damp side of the flesh. In this kind of world, your options are kind of limited, either let yourself become prey – knowingly or otherwise – or find out about the predators, and use this information to keep yourself safe.

      Michael knows what’s out there, and he’d love to share this knowledge and save everyone. He’d love to, if everyone out there would just make it worth his while that is. he knows that knowledge is power you see, and just adores having that power over the rest of the cattle. Especially since they have no idea about where he comes by his knowledge.

      It all came down to a question that Michael had to answer: would he happy as a pet or a play thing? he didn’t like the idea of the latter, as it struck him that being played with would not end well, and likely quickly unless he was suitably entertaining. A pet he could handle though, especially as he was more than willing to lead others to his master.

      He played the part well, knowing his smugness would seem earned as he filled their heads with half truths and snippets that seemed useful, making sure they never got the full picture. And they would follow where he lead, with the promise of answers only he could give. Once it might have bothered him, but he knows that in the grand scheme thing of things, he’s actually saving them from something worse; there are things out there that even he can’t comprehend or reason with…

  6. […] a little while ago.  For the time being, he’s doing free NPC write-ups, so if you want one, you’d better ask him before he gets swamped.  Last time he did it, he wrote up over 30 of […]

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