(Argh. I thought I had this set up for auto-post but I was tricked! So, here’s the NPC for last week. Bonus? You get two NPC’s THIS week.)
I’m continuing on the NPC of the week series. For this NPC I will be using Rory’s Story Cubes. I was just able to purchase the third set, Voyages, over the New Year so I’m anxious to give them a go. I’ve placed all three sets into a central pile and will randomly pulling out three cubes. After a quick roll I will have my three choices for each of the set of character elements below. Here we go!
The Setting – We’ll stick with another modern setting, perhaps Superheroes, perhaps Pulp heroes? Regardless, a modern setting from, let’s say, 1930’s onward?
1st Set of Cubes
Obvious NPC Story Elements
(Things that are immediately apparent about the NPC or that can be learned through casual conversation.)
The NPC’s role in the world: discerned by clothes, demeanor, initial introduction, etc.
Plane/Flying – At first I thought of this as an international traveller/athlete (see 3rd question below.) However, I decided to be a bit more literal as it would be more engaging with the PC’s. The NPC is a commercial bush pilot flying freelance jobs wherever and whenever needed. The NPC might work for a big airline but I don’t think so. I believe he/she is a bush pilot which will hopefully open up many more options for the PC’s.
The NPC’s current home or home-base: learned through initial introduction, casual conversation, etc.
Snowflake – The pilot lives in a northern clime like Alaska or Canada. Again, the bush-pilot theme works here. The NPC is used to the hardships and joys of living in colder, remote areas. They know how to fly in unique weather which makes flying anywhere else kind of like a walk in the park.
The NPC’s signature/unique talent: learned through casual conversation, simple getting-to-know-you questions, etc.
Jumping Person – The NPC is a hardcore athlete who trains themselves almost daily with running and exercise. They are incredibly fit and in excellent shape. They compete in obstacle course races, marathons, mountain climbing and other outdoor events. More endurance focused than strength.
2nd Set of Cubes
Personal NPC Story Elements (This was a tough grouping!)
(Requires more trust with the PC or a shared view of the world and some things in common.)
The NPC’s special item/tool/useful possession:
Laughing Person – The NPC’s special item is laughter. Not in a clowning, over the top kind of way. They just have a hard time taking things too seriously. Ever since the fire that claimed everything in their life (see last set of questions), the NPC has learned you just can’t take life seriously and they never fail to see the humor in a situation. The NPC is probably sarcastic with a dry and cutting sense of humor.
The NPC’s ally/allegiance to a group or organization: requires the certainty that the PC is not an adversary to the ally or allied group or shares their POV.
Listening to Music – The NPC pilot actually has ties to the music/recording industry and has flown famous musical celebrities around to see the wintery/mountainous areas of his locale. They are known to several agents and recording companies and flies musicians to gigs as well as on sight-seeing/tourist flights. They have more than one celebrity’s phone number on their phone and has contacts both in Los Angeles, New York and Europe because of it.
The NPC’s view of the world:
Snake – Well, I had thought to go the route of “Oh, that’s just my pet snake, Reggie!” and place this with the first question of this set, but, no, I’ll go a slightly different direction. Let’s be a bit more totemic and say the NPC has several features of the snake and not in a Slytherin, sneaky kind of way. Though well humored, the pilot is quiet, careful and moves gracefully. They test situations very carefully and when the NPC does move, they do so confidently. The NPC also has an attitude of moving away from trouble unless cornered or stepped on. Then, well, they are not afraid to lash out with a fast, debilitating strike.
3rd Set of Cubes
Intimate NPC Story Elements
(Requires that the PC’s are good friends and/or that the NPC trusts the PC’s)
A past experience that has shaped the NPC’s current self.
Fire – As a young adult, the NPC’s home caught fire and their family lost everything. It is possible they lost family members in the fire. It etched into them the reality of how things are impermanent and that nothing lasts. Because of this, the NPC can seem a bit distant to people they meet and they have very little in the way of personal possessions. They live a very spartan lifestyle.
A present situation that the NPC is embroiled in that could affect the PC directly or indirectly.
Dropping/Missing the Ball – I think this would depend greatly on what was going on with the campaign at the time. Some initial thoughts would be perhaps a shipment has been delivered incorrectly and either the NPC has been hired to go get it OR the NPC has been assigned to take care of someone else’s missed shipment. It could be a missed connection while the PC’s travel and they hire the NPC to get them somewhere? I think, depending on the in-game situation, it could mean quite a few different things.
An idea that came later – Perhaps a musical celebrity is missing or is lost and the NPC is wrapped up in the search party or, possibly, even on of the suspects?
Got a good idea on this one? Let me hear about it in the comments! If I like it, I’ll copy and paste it into the post.
A future goal the NPC is hoping to attain…could the PC help?
Drying in the sun – At first I saw a vacation (I think it was the sunshine and the striped shirt), then I saw “dirty laundry.” I bounced back and forth between these two. I also thought of the just the everyday chore of “laundry.” Well, that didn’t come up with any ideas that might spark memorable game play so I had to think a while longer. I then came back to vacation and to warmer weather. Perhaps the NPC is finally done with the cooler climate and would like to move southward but is afraid to because they would lose business? Maybe the PC’s could help the NPC by offering to hire the pilot or to help them make the move?
The Bush Pilot
Gender: Could be either male or female
Attributes of Note: Endurance, Intelligence
Skills: Bush Pilot, Athletics, Survival, Self-Employment, Mountain Climbing, Observant, Quietly Charming, Area of knowledge (whatever remote area they are flying for the story.)
Contacts: Known in the Music Industry, Celebrities
Equipment: 1 Bush plane seating 4 – 6 people, possibly a float plane. Backpack of personal supplies, first aid kit, 1 pistol, 1 hunting rifle, cold weather gear
Perhaps the PC’s are in a remote location and run into the pilot at the local watering hole or buying supplies? Perhaps the PC’s are needing transportation to a remote location as part of their story? Regardless, when they first meet the pilot the PC’swill be struck with the pilot’s quiet demeanor and perhaps a bit of a humorous or devilish glint in their eye. The pilot’s skill and calm will be evident quickly. The pilot moves slowly, carefully and gracefully until they need to speed it up and when they do, they are obviously in good shape and strong. If there is any kind of skirmish the pilot is not necessarily skilled in fighting but is tough and has endurance. The PC’s might notice that the pilot lives a spartan life and seems to be highly observant and intelligent. (All good traits for a fellow adventurer!)
The pilot will only share their backstory after they have gotten to know the PC’s. They do not talk about the fire that changed their life easily. More easily, they might mention the last obstacle race or event they participated in, especially if one of the other PC’s show’s an interest in such things. The pilot might also mention they’ve been flying in this area a long time and now have a desire to get someplace warm or a change of scenery. The only thing holding them up is that they do not want to lose the business and contact they’ve worked so hard to build.
Hooks for the PCs
— The PC’s are hired to find a missing celebrity musician/singer that has disappeared under “unusual” circumstances during a vacation to the “remote area.” The pilot is the one that flew the celebrity to their remote cabin and might be interviewed by the PC’s or hired to fly them around?
— The PC’s are in the “remote area” and hire the Bush Pilot to get them from Point A to Point B when the gamemaster could play the “drama ensues” card. Possibly the pilot could then be a standard re-occurring character helping them with transportation?
— The PC’s are hired to find a missing shipment that was last seen heading in the direction of the Bush Pilot. The PC’s go to track down the pilot and already find the Pilot in a “sticky situation” or possibly being framed for cargo theft. Do they help the pilot?
— One of the PC’s knows the Pilot from an outdoor competition circuit. The Pilot contacts the PC for assistance in a case involving either a missing shipment or a missing person, possibly mashing up one or two of the options above?