The forest quakes as the heavy footsteps of the dragon shakes the trees. The critters are running away from the flames of the dragons breath. The village, not too far away is raising the alarm with a clanging bell, but that seems to be drawing…
We’re back with the next round of how to build an NPC with Weasel Bob. Last time we figured out his motivations. The next thing is going to be more of the look and feel of Weasel Bob. How squishy is he?
Or maybe by that, I mean, what race is Weasel Bob, how tall, what body type, does he have any distinctive physical features? Does he have any unique mannerisms. Now, these are things that I said in my first article about NPC’s that can be come up with on the fly for role playing the NPC in the moment if the players want it. But it’s also something that you can plan for if you know you have an NPC that you want to be important, like Weasel Bob.
Weasel Bob is going to be a fairly unique character, we’ve already gotten that he’s motivated with money and likes to have unique items. But he himself tries not to stand out. He spends his money on food, but that’s about it, and as a gnome, he’s a smaller person with a pot belly. So that also helps me know that he’s going to move slowly. He also has grey hair, so Weasel Bob has been around for a while.
His clothes are generally brown or grey, probably because that’s the color they were originally, not because they are dirty, but it’s hard to tell, because whenever you come in, he’s always dusting or sweeping. His store might be spotless, but he is not. That also means that he’s fairly particular about the people in his shop, and while he won’t openly say anything about anyone who is too dirty, he’ll pay more attention to them than if the person looks like they are neatly dressed.
But what most people notice as unique about him, is that his beard is long and braided in a Dwarven fashion, and that he speaks with a bit of a Dwarven accent. Though, you speak to everyone in the town, and he’s been around there for a long time, at some point in time before he must have been around Dwarves more then a mixture of races. But no one really knows, because he won’t talk about it, or talk about his life or anything all that much, but he loves to listen to stories about the items that he’s getting in. Those stories he’ll remember well and then pass along as he tries to sell an item, but ask him how his day is going, and you’ll just get a grunt in response.
So we’ll wrap up Weasel Bob next week, talking about family or relationships. This might not be information that the players get about Weasel Bob at first, but it is something that you can leverage later on if you plan it out now.
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I’m back with some more Drinking in D&D. Tonight I brought up two Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA, but I only drank one of them. It’s one of my favorite beers, a good IPA. The topic for Drinking in D&D was looking at the Character Sheet…
We’ve already talked what Greenfang is known for and why it was built where it was. We’ve talked about how the merchant guilds run the show around Greenfang and how they have mercenaries to keep the peace, but how well do they really keep the peace?
I think that the criminal underworld is one of those things that is tricky to get right in a city. I find that it tends to go to one of two extremes. Either, there is little to none criminal activity in the city because you’re just supposed to shop there and not look for trouble or look beyond the surface of where you’re at, or everyone is involved in a conspiracy. Now, both have some issues, the main one being that it isn’t all that realistic. We know that organized crime and gangs exist in the real world, and they have throughout history, so why is a D&D town different? It shouldn’t be.
Let’s get back to Greenfang though, what sort of criminals are going to be there?
Outside of the town you’re definitely going to have a larger number of bandits than you would normally watching the roads because they are going to be trying to hit up caravans, or, more likely, they are going to try and deal with adventuring parties that come into town for the auctions on goods because they are going to be loaded with money and not yet have the gear that they want. Most likely there is going to be more organized group that is pretty specific on whom they hit. Then there will be a few who have split off from that group or who try and go it on their own from the start who end up having shorter careers as bandits.
The organized group of bandits, The Green Falcons, are going to know to avoid the merchant guild caravans because those are going to have better guards, and even if they don’t, the merchant guilds are going to hit back hard with their mercenaries if they lose a caravan. So, the Green Falcons are likely going to try and keep the random bandits down as well, like the merchant guilds would want, because the merchant guilds would crack down on all bandits if they lost a caravan. The Green Falcons would also have people in the city who are sending information back out to the bandit camp wherever that is located. It probably wouldn’t be someone in every guild, but there would probably be a couple around who are gathering information when a guild is going to send out mercenaries to crack down on the bandits.
Beyond that, I think Greenfang is going to be more focused on the white collar crimes. That’s what the guilds are going to crack down on but also what the cons that people are going to try and pull. You likely always have dirty money changers who are keeping some extra for themselves. The merchant guilds are probably going to consider that the cost of doing business and as long as it’s not too much, they won’t make a stink about it.
I think, also with so much money being in town you are going to find that there is gambling. I would suspect that there is some guild in town that all they do is run different fights, tournaments and stuff like that to keep people entertained, especially since it’s in the middle of no where. But that’s probably fairly tame and while someone might die, it probably doesn’t happen too often. So, most likely there is going to be something going on under the table, a secret gambling den either for fights, games or chance or possibly both. This is going to be ignored by the merchant guilds because it doesn’t take any money from their pockets, just the pockets of their employees.
So Greenfang is definitely going to have a criminal side to the town. There’s probably even a good amount of money to be made if you are careful about it, and at all points in time there is probably someone trying to get rich by scamming one of the guilds. In your game, that’s useful for your story because you can either have your adventuring party brought in to help stop it sometime. Your adventuring party, though, might be blamed for it if they have been in the town too long and because they are the “new” people. Also, a battle or two with bandits seems very likely since they aren’t probably going to be coming in with a caravan. Or it’s possible that the players are brought in to deal with some bandits as part of a larger crackdown and some extra bodies are needed. The thing with all of these story hooks is that they aren’t going to be your whole game, but a good bit of combat if you want something simpler and also a good way to get your players involved with the guilds if you need it for your story line.
Next, we’re going to talk about religion in the city as well as how the city might physically be laid out.
Alright, time to wrap up the city build, there is so much more that I could talk about, there is actually building out shops and places like that, but I wanted to keep this at a slightly higher level since you don’t need to see…