Welcome one and all to a Tuesday night here at Brazen Wolfe Tabletop. Tonight is generally reserved for NPCs, people or creatures that people run into during the weeks adventure and tonight is no different – except tonight instead of a single NPC I have a few options in play for us this week.
The idea behind tonight’s post is to look at a few frameworks that we can apply to a character, or several for the party to interact with while avoiding fleshing out thorough and compelling backstories for each person.
The Red Fleets crew
How to use the below. Roll once on each table to establish a brief backstory on the person, or people, for who the party is interacting with. Assign Gender and appearance based on the portrait selected but the other characteristics can be chosen or rolled from the table to make it a quick NPC generator *(except the name.. I am poor with names..).
|1||The person walks with a slight limp, seeming to favour their right leg as they walk across the ship. Despite the obvious impairment they are still quick to move across the deck|
|2||The person is exceptionally timid and will shy out of the way from all other crew members, passengers, the party and especially the captain. When the captain is around they seem to stutter, mumble and rush off to do what ever order is backed at the first chance that’s presented to them.|
|3||The person is nimble, unnaturally so. They swing from one side of the ship to the other and climb ropes with effortless ease.|
|4||The person is broad and strong. Able to move almost any crate, barrel, person or piece of cargo by themselves the other crew mates seem to rely on them to do the heavy lifting.|
|5||The person is lazy. Plain and simple. They can be found laying down when the captain is not around napping or ignoring their duties. Despite being lazy they are extremely adept at the ship life and are first to fix something if there is trouble.|
|6||There is nothing too obvious about this person, except their broken common. They barely speak and when they do its fractured sentences and very few words|
Background before joining the ship
|1||They are a third generation sailor and have spent most of their life on the waves.|
|2||Joined the crew at the last port, they are very green to this type of life.|
|3||Used to be a soldier back home but gave that up for a simpler life on the waves.|
|4||Family member of the captain – seems to be treated the same if not more harshly than the other crew members.|
|5||Farmer who is now seeking their fortune.|
|6||Not much is revealed, they wont tell any one but they are jumping from ship to ship to avoid being sent to prison for a crime they committed.|
Otherwise notable thing
|d6 result||Notable thing|
|1||Has a tattoo of a wingless dragon curling up their shoulder onto their neck.|
|2||Singles sea shanties almost any time they are working (or whistles/ hums if they don’t otherwise talk)|
|3||During downtime they whittle wood with a small knife they keep at their belt. A small statue of a child (their son/daughter) can be seen on a string around their neck.|
|4||Missing a hand of foot – a crude tool/replacement has been fashioned for them that they use deftly as if they have had the foreign appendage most of their life.|
|5||Barely wears any clothes (just enough to be modest) – can be found praying to a deity and chanting prayers during their downtime.|
|6||Nothing stands out in particular.|
After the quick-rolls are made from the above pick a portrait from below (or any) to help describe the NPC to your party.
And that’s it, using the above and picking the more-blonde women from above we could have a NPC such as..
Visual-3-Strong, background-5-Strong, Role-2-Deckhand, Otherwise Notable – 4- Missing a Hand/Foot.
Kim is an impressive specimen, broad, strong and tall and able to carry and shift things around the boat with ease. The rest of the crew can be heard calling out her name when something is too heavy or bulky for regular people and she rushes over to help her crew. What makes it even more extraordinary is that she is missing her left hand and a set of short spikes are on a metal plate where her hand used to be. She uses these metal spiked nubs to help grip onto wood and other cargo and to also fend of those who are daft enough to want to brawl with her.
She hasn’t always been a sailor but when she lost her hand in her families farm she decided to try her luck elsewhere, the sea – using the first pouch of gold she earnt to pay for her spiky replacement she now considers the ship her home and being a deckhand her true calling.
I am relatively happy with how that panned out, I am a fan of random generators as a way of driving, steering or even assisting me in coming up with a new something for the table top and I find that, in a pinch, they are especially handy. Now all that is left to do is come up with a name….
Don’t forget to come back each day this week for the ship bound adventure, tomorrow we look at twists and turns that may affect our party out at sea (an obvious writeup this week I might add). If you do use the random tables above let me know how it goes! If you like what you create don’t forget to let me know in the comments below and I will look at creating a few more quick tables for NPC generation down the track.
Oh, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe