Category Archives: NPC’s

Henchmen, villains, and other folks.

Night Shift: Jennifer the Sound Girl and Whisper

I did say that I’d do something gameable next for my crazy rants on the Night Shift Kickstarter. So here you go. But let me give you a little background first.
My personal urban fantasy setting is New Bay City. You can read a bunch more about it here. The recent work on it is for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets but along came Night Shift so I’m considering that system too. It all depends on when I get to run it again which will probably be after I run Frog God Games The Blight. In a nutshell, New Bay City is a fictional town in east Texas on the Gulf. It’s part Houston, part New Orleans, a little bit of San Francisco, and a whole bunch of Sunnydale.
At first I was going to do these two characters as PC’s but I just don’t feel confident that I can do it well based on what I know about all of the mechanics of the game. So heck. They’re NPC’s. So make them NPC’s. And that’s one of the many cool things about old school games. NPC’s and monsters don’t have to follow the same rules as player characters. So without further ado, here’s Jennifer and Whisper.

Jennifer the Sound Girl (Fledgling Vampire)

Jennifer has an interesting back story dating back to the first I ran New Bay City. It was the very first adventure where the PC’s where tagging along with the crew of a documentary about a famous serial killer. They end up facing off against said magically empowered serial killer. Jennifer was a no name NPC, just the Sound Girl. She was supposed to be just another slasher victim. But no. She was the only NPC to survive. She became sort of the party mascot for the first run of the campaign. Unfortunately at the end of that campaign, she was kidnapped and forcibly turned into a vampire. During the second run of the campaign, she turned into a key provider of information to the player character about the local vampire factions and the party scene and since it was mostly the same group of players. They were glad to see her back.
Jennifer was never trained in the use of her vampire powers so she isn’t fully aware of what she can do. While she hates her current existence, she’s compensated by adopting the party all night, sleep all day life style. What else is a vampire going to do? She does her best to keep a low profile and doesn’t to get involved in of the machinations going on between the supernatural factions in the city. She really just wants to get on with her life and be as “normal” as possible.
AC: 6
Move: 30ft.
Hit Dice: 4
Special: 2 attacks (claws, bite), when Jennifer attempts any of the “standard” vampire powers (expect blood drain type power) use the Rule of 2 for her chance of success.

Whisper the Hot-Tempered Sorceress

Whisper comes from the second time that I ran New Bay City. We were using the Dresden Files RPG and one the players wanted his character to have girlfriend. Cool, so what do you want? I dunno but make her interesting. So here’s what we ended up with.
Whisper is a street-smart spellcaster who puts on an air of being cool and tough but she’s really a closet nerd. She’s one of the regulars and the Four Horsemens D&D Game. (Note: Not those Horsemen. This is four buys that were inspired by the Lone Gunmen from the X-Flies.) Whisper’s biggest problems are that she can be insanely jealous and she has a really bad temper. Her bad temper even influences her magic and she’s gain a reputation that she may be a powerful spell caster, she has very poor control of her magic and is known for causing more than her fair share of collateral damage.
AC: 7
Move: 30ft.
Hit Dice: 5
Special: Attack: by weapon or Firebolt! (ranged attack) (2 in 6 chance of starting something else on fire if she hits; 4 in 6 if she misses). Spells(Spell Casting: 75%)*: 1st Level: Read Languages, Light, Protection from Evil, Detect Magic; 2nd Level: Hold Person, Phantasmal Force; 3rd Level: Monster Summoning
*Note: I used Swords & Wizardry as my source for spells for her. So I’m not sure if the quantity of spells match up with Night Shift.

There you go a couple of NPC’s for Night Shift with my own take on it. And please check out the Night Shift Kickstarter.

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Valcerak The Lich King

In the first issue of the Gazebo Gazette, I did a little adventure called the Lost Crypt of Valcerak. Valcerak is this big bad lich of legend. Playing around with my own little world I had the so-called Lich King and played around with a few ideas with him. Then it struck me. Valcerak is the Lich King. What makes him different than you run of the mill lich. He inhabits the undercity and catacombs of the bustling and decadent city of Ularax and just about everybody knows it. So why in the world would anyone tolerate a lich in their city?
Catacombes I
The Council of Skulls: Valcerak has collected the skulls of the greatest leaders, sages, heroes, generals, philosophers, and thinkers in history. In sanctum surrounded by undead guards and servants, he is able to speak with souls of the minds the world has seen. He is more than willing to offer the advise and council of his collection to any who are willing to pay a price for information and wisdom that has been lost to the ages. Even so-called good kings and heroes have secretly asked for guidance. Ancient lore that would otherwise be unavailable to anyone could possibly be found through The Council of Skulls. Valcerak is even willing to help common adventurers for trade. He may send them off to find the lost crypt of an ancient, legendary hero or he may ask them to expedite the passing of a sage or wizard just for the opportunity to add another skull to the Council.

Durth: Lord Skullmancer and The Skelenoids

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Remember Not Skeletor. If you go back to early posts on Durth, crazy Saturday morning cartoons are one of the inspirations. The two biggest ones are Thundarr the Barbarian and He-Man. This leads us to our first epic villain, Lord Skullmancer.
Lord Skullmancer is an insane and powerful lich, necromancer and super science sorcerer. He rules the Dead Realm from Black Skull Mountain Fortress (carved in his own likeness by slaves) with his army of Skelenoids. He’s always messing around with some forbidden arcane tome or an insane bit of alien technology. Or to put it more simply he’s lich with freaking laser beams.

Skelenoid Grunt
Armor Class: 6[13]
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: Laser-Staff (1d6+1) Range 60 feet can also be used in melee
Total Attack Bonus: +2
Saving Throw: 16
Move: 12
HDE/XP: 3/60
Special: Immune to poison, illusions, fear, charm, and mind control.

The shock troops and minions of Lord Skullmancer.

The Dead Realm is blasted, twisted, and barren. An eternal storm keeps the land is state of twilight constantly. No living creature calls the Dead Realm home. This is the land of the restless dead.
Special Rules for the Dead Realm:
Clerics cannot Turn Undead here.
Any character who dies cannot be brought back. Instead they are turned into an undead. The GM determines what type based on the character’s level. Low-level characters should be zombies. Higher level should be more powerful undead.

Not Skeletor Riding A Black Dragon for Swords & Wizardry

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I was digging through an old box this weekend and I happened upon an old action figure I picked up at the dollar store years ago. So the first thing I did was plop on the back of my black dragon mini. Then someone on Google + suggested that I stat this up. So by request, here you go.

Not Skeletor (AKA Not Venger)
Hit Dice: 10
Armor Class: 0[19]
Attacks: +2 Magical Battle Staff (1d8+2, usable as melee weapon or magical bolt), Spells
Saving Throw: 5
Special: Spells, Undead (or Undead like abilities)
CL/XP: 14/2,600
Casts the following spells
3x/Day: Darkness 15 ft Radius, Hold Portal, Levitate, Mirror Image, Shield
2x/Day: Haste, Hold Person, Lightning Bolt
1x/Day: Animate Dead, Teleport

Black Dragon Mount
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 2 claws (1d4), bite (3d6)
Saving Throw: 9
Special: Spits acid (5ft by 60 ft line doing 28 points damage)
Move: 9/24 (when flying)
Challenge Level/XP: 9/1,100
May cast the following spells 1x/day: Charm Person, Magic Missile, Shield

A Quick Gaggle of Pregens For Swords & Wizardry

With Free RPG Day coming up and my schedule being totally crazy, I figured what the heck. Everybody can use some quick pregenerated characters for pick up games or whatever.
They’re all second level characters. 3d6 in order and Hit Points rolled for both levels. And they were rolled up with the official Swords & Wizardry Complete Kickstarter Dice. I didn’t bother putting a name or a gender to the characters. Heck that’s the easy part.
I really threw this together so it ain’t pretty and there might be typo something in there. So you’ve been warned. Enjoy!

Seven Player Characters

Henchmen & Hirelings

There’s a good chance that might be a little OSR style mini-campaign (probably Swords & Wizardry) in the near future but it’s going to be for very few people. That got me thinking about henchmen and hirelings.
First, the easy part. Hirelings are 0-Level dudes. They’re the porters, torch bearers, and trap detectors (for an evil party). They have 1d4 HP, a Save of 18, and no bonus to attack. Armor Class and Weapon damage depends on what equipment they have. They never gain XP. That’s it.
Henchmen are either Fighters, Clerics, Thieves or Magic-Users. HP and Save is determined by their class. Only Fighters gain any kind of Attack Bonus. AC and Weapon Damage is determined just like the Hirelings’. They gain one level per two levels of advancement of the party and expect a share of the treasure.
Don’t bother generating any stats for these guys or keeping track of XP. I’m guessing each could easily fit on a 3 x 5 card. Hell. my very first D&D character fit on a 3×5 card.
And I know somebody will bring it up, just use the normal rules for specialist hirelings. This whole idea came up as easy way to throw some help for the PC’s with a bare minimum of bookkeeping.