Saturday, August 4, 2018

#RPGaDay 2018 Day 4: Most Memorable NPCs

We have reached the first weekend of #RPGaDay, and the first of the supposed "easy" topics:

"Most Memorable NPC," which creates a little confusion because tomorrow's question "Favorite Recurring NPC," could have the same answer for many.

As I run games 95% of the time, I made my own list and reached out to my players to see what their favorite/memorable NPCs were.  #5 will shock you! 

Seriously, though, polling the players did help me differentiate between the questions for day 4 and day 5.

And there are only three that show up on this list

3.  Kannex, Tanasian Wizard:  Kannex was a lowly Tanasian wizard from Talislanta, that I dropped into my college AD&D campaign as a mysterious but almost passing encounter in a pretty crazy session involving long-lost mentors, defeating evil gods, and one of the PCs discovering that he now owned an estate outside of town.  Initially unable to speak Common, the party took him on, and he demonstrated a great (and wildly varying) skill in pyromancy (He maintained the Talislanta magic system in a Vancian spell level world.  BIG fireballs and much more powerful abilities than on his home world.)

When we determined that half the group would take a break over the Summer and half could continue, Kannex became by plot device to magically teleport them (and the brothel they were staying at) into the world of Talislanta.  Most of the Summer sessions were missions to get Kannex the items needed to bolster his power to get everyone home (*spoilers* He did it).

At the finale for the campaign, he made a surprise appearance to fight the same evil god they fought during his first appearance, he apparently killed the god (a red herring to the actual problem) but disappeared in the process.

Although, there are rumors that he may or may not be the fabled Red Mage of Anon-Maxis in the subsequent campaign... or possibly the future Emperor of the Senzar... but those are just rumors.
Kannex... not sure where the art is from anymore.
2. The Dag Family, Kobold Holy Warriors
Right before Kannex, the first tag-along NPC that everyone like was Dag, the patriarch of the terrified kobold family in module B3: Palace of the Silver Princess.
Instead of slaughtering them like murder hobos, or just letting them escape him their lives... the party's cleric Velandro attempted to befriend the small creatures....and succeeded beyond his wildest expectations.  By the end of the adventure, they were not just comedy relief and an excuse for me to speak mono-syllabicly with a falsetto.  The Dag Family had become part of the group.

For Velandro specifically, he made them his responsibility, taught them common, the rules of polite civilization, and the greatness of his faith in his god, Akana (God of Law and Order). 

The Dag Family didn't become NPC henchmen for the dungeon crawls.  They got a small "bungalow" on the grounds of the Chateau d'Echelon.  Dag studied theology under Velandro, his wife Groeta helped tend the Chateau and the numerous children on the grounds, including her own two, Daschelle and Scrag.

At some point, Velandro's player dropped out of school, and he decided to go on a religious pilgrimage back to his homeland of Ispatlia, sans kobolds.  

But he had taught Dag well about how to twist orders and religious edicts to fit one's needs, because Dag used the same logic to obey his orders to stay put and left with his family to find Velandro.

Like most NPCs, he made an appearance during the apocalypse. He, his family, and a new group of kobold acolytes to Akana arrived to recover the body of their beloved leader, Velandro, and help the other who befriended them long ago.  He passed away  a number of years later, as Grand Master of a kobold-only Akana monastery in Ispatlia.

1.  Snake Gandhi, Badass Mofo
I surely didn't invent Snake Gandhi (my first experience with him was on the forurms) but boy, do we use him properly!

I introduced Snake Gandhi in our first ever Illuminati University game I ran using Risus.  The characters got in between him and his assassination target, an engineering student  with a Funnelcake-fueled Mecha, and things have gotten worse every game.   A bad-ass ultra-violent version of Gandhi is enough for most people, but when I get to the two invisible katanas with laser sights, everyone knows what's up.

Of course, one of the last times we played, the PCs blew up his favorite chain restaurant, Texas Roadhouse, with him still inside.

There will be revenge!

Not my visualization of him, but others love Snake Gandhi too!  Art from

1 comment:

  1. Those are fantastic!

    Despite the fact that I also have been the GM for 90% of the role-playing I've done over the years I couldn't think of any from games I ran. The only one I could think of was a passenger who shared a room in steerage aboard the ship we sailed on to get to Egypt in Masks of Nyarlathotep. We'd started in New York and moved on to England and already had one PC die and faced a lot of powerful cultists and were starting to suspect everyone. This guy was just a little TOO friendly and made the rather suspicious player characters think he was up to no good, but in the end he was just a genuinely enthusiastic traveller interested in meeting new people on his voyages. He was totally a red herring, a character that wasn’t written into the adventure, that Bruce just added in for fun. I think BECAUSE he was just something Bruce made up on his own, perhaps he felt a little freer to get into the role of this character and "ham it up" a little bit and and do whatever he wanted with him, which actually made him seem a little more genuine and thus more memorable.