GM Workshop April 2017: "I was only trying to help!"
The Minister of Sinister
United States
Pennsylvania
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Time is a stripper, doing it just for you.
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For this, our very first GM Workshop, we're looking for you to create an ally to the PCs. A NPC who wants to, and very well may, be a boon to them. The twist? There's something that prevents this ally from being as helpful as they would like to be. Maybe they are simply just a bumbling fool, or perhaps some dark force follows them around like a rain cloud, always casting a shadow on their life.


The details are up to you! You may include artwork, a stat block, a full blown background story, or whatever else you like, as long as it is all of your own creation. The sky is the limit, there are no minimum, or maximum size limits to your submission. You may even submit multiple designs if you like!

Your NPC can be designed for a specific RPG system if you like, but there are no requirements as such.

This geeklist will remain open, there is no deadline for submitting a design.

Everyone is encouraged to comment on the design submissions, by posting comments to the individual geeklist items. Tipping your favorite submissions is encouraged as well!

Enter your design as an item on this geeklist... now!



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1. RPG Item: Basic Role-Playing [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:7167]
RPG Item: Basic Role-Playing
Danny Stevens
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Role playing since the beginning.
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NPC Story Archetype : Rash Expert

“I am good at what I do but I tend to act first before considering all consequences”

You have seen the character in a thousand stories. “Yes, I can get an extra 20% out of the warp engines its easy! Look connect this matter stream conduit here to this baffle container and flip this modulator switch. There you go and.....hey, where are we? Why are the sirens blaring?”

You can design almost any NPC expert in any game with this particular character flaw.
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2. RPG Item: Great Goblin! [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Great Goblin!
Robb Minneman
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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Artur is a boon companion. Loyal. Brave. Honest. Virtuous. He's a highly skilled retainer whose ability to pick a lock or defuse a trap has proven invaluable. He's saved the whole party more than once with a well-timed strike from ambush.

There's only one problem with him: He's a goblin.

Whenever he comes into a village with the party after an adventure, the local housewives screech, and summon their children indoors. The local farmers spit on your shadows. Whenever you try to sell your loot in town you get the evil eye from the merchant, and he always reduces his offer by 20% when he sees Artur standing with you.

That doesn't even count what happens when you head into the local inn. Rooms cost double. Service is surly. You think the cook spits in your food, but you're never sure.

Artur takes it all with good graces. He never complains or argues. He never blames you or your companions. He never even sneers at the locals. Somehow, his serenity in the face of contempt makes it even worse for you.
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3. RPG Item: 1539: Automaton [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: 1539: Automaton
The Minister of Sinister
United States
Pennsylvania
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Time is a stripper, doing it just for you.
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The Apologetic Automaton

When the PCs first encounter this NPC, it turns out to be quite helpful, possibly even providing a key bit of information, a code allowing them access to a secure area, maybe even saving them from being captured or killed.

The automaton should probably prove its worth in more ways than one, in order to assure that the PCs want to keep it around. Maybe it saved them once, but there's something else they will need down the road, something it can provide.

The first signs of a problem should be subtle. The bot starts to stutter, or repeat itself. Maybe it talks in another language for a short span of time.

Then things get worse. It shuts down at a most inopportune moment in order to reconfigure its settings.

Then things get really bad. The automaton really screws up, making a costly mistake.

What's really happening is even worse than that! The automaton is now in full-on meltdown stage. Smoke, grinding gears, and showers of sparks might occur.

Eventually, if the PCs don't repair it or get rid of it somehow, this thing is gonna blow!



All the while, the automaton apologizes for its mistakes, and the apologies get more intense the more that it screws up. The PCs should be getting annoyed by now, but who knows? They might decide to tinker with the automaton and try to help it.

I had the game Numenera in mind when I came up with this NPC. Here's some quick stat ideas. Adjust as needed.

Quote:

Poor Andy, the Bomb Bot

Level 5(15)
Armor 3
Damage 6 (Blasters? Fists?)
Health 10

Level 5 Intellect for PC to realize what is happening to the automaton.

Level 6 Intellect to repair it.

8 damage to those within immediate distance if it explodes, and 4 damage to those within short distance.
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4. RPG Item: Dark Conspiracy [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2553]
RPG Item: Dark Conspiracy
Danny Stevens
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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The Conspiracy Theorist

An NPC that is useful to have around but they see conspiracies everywhere. They are convinced a conspiracy has targeted the PCs and keep "getting them out of trouble" by "rescuing them from their perils" which prevents them from doing useful things.
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5. RPG Item: 15116: Dark Secret [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: 15116: Dark Secret
M. B. Downey
United States
Suitland
Maryland
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Did I Forget To Mention Why I Needed That?

At first glance, they are everything you need. They have all the right connections, provide access to hard-to-find equipment, and are powerful enough to provide sanctuary and shelter without fear of reprisal when you are being hunted by something that wants to do you wrong. And best of all, the only thing they ask in return is a small favor here and there: pick up this package, deliver this message, bring them one of those weird things if you come across one.

The catch? Oh, they have an evil plan and you've been unwittingly helping them the whole time. And you're deep enough into things that the other good guys think you're no good, and you don't know enough about the plan to do much to stop it.
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6. RPG Item: "P" is for "Pets" [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: "P" is for "Pets"
Jonas (he/him)
Germany
Bovenden
Niedersachsen
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The Pet

Simple to the point of boring as a concept, but useful nonetheless: The PCs have a pet. It's trained and can perform certain tasks, but not others.

E.g. a dog: It can sniff out certain goods or recognize certain person regardless of disguise. It can break the ice with a new NPC which the PCs want to befriend.
But if it sees a chicken or cat, it loses control. And it always follows the characters around (so everyone knows if the dog is around, the PCs can't be far). And it charges right into battle and needs some extra protection.
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7. RPG Item: War of the Bard [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: War of the Bard
john Whyte
New Zealand
Hamilton
None
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Whoever the five of you are who nominated me for Citizen Recognition I am truly touched
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Steve [STE-eee-VE] is a face the player's see when they look up from the crowd, a familiar face, one they think they've seen before.
Steve is seen when rescuing babies, stopping bar brawls, and particularly when the players have to jump out of a burning building.

After a couple of sightings, just long enough to get the players suspicious curious Steve will with some trepidation hand one of the players an item to sign. Roll a d6 and consult the below chart:
1) Pickled head of a recently slain foe by the PC
2) Poster depicting the party wizard killing an orc with his bare hands.
3) Silver Dagger engraved with various names of party members
4) Copper Amulet (with picture of party inside)
5) His Limited edition copy of The Bare Chested Barbarian (The one with the really high resolution pictures)
6) Steve's chest so Steve's tattoo can be perfect.

Steve will sell his belongings so that the can keep watching the party 'to keep seeing the awesome'. He will regularly accost other passers by to regal them with the tales of the party's heroic deeds. He is particularly good at mentioning their beauty, majesty, and sexual prowess (real and imagined). He is also good at following along (noisily) during night time excursions by the party.

In later days he may form a fan club of sorts. 2d6 additional fans will join Steve making the party's presence in any area immediately obvious.

Steve is delighted to run errands and favours for his heroes. He will telegraph the errand across the city in short order.

If roughed up by the party Steve will get his wounds tattooed on his body as a reminder of "the best experience of my life man! You haven't lived until a true hero has fought with you!"

To the GM
Mechanically Steve is a bard with low dexterity & wisdom.

He has three important in game features.
1) In any city large enough to have fans players are usually trying to do something covert. Steve is a wonderful foil for this.
2) Steve signposts the players whereabouts. If your players ask how the evil villain knew where they were, or what they were planning blame Steve.
3) Steve for all his failings might just recognise when the party have been gone for too long in a dungeon and call in the cavalry. Sometimes the timing might be right. Other times it might not be.
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8. RPG Item: APG07: The Apothecary [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: APG07: The Apothecary
What ails you my friend? There's nothing a good drink won't cure...

Meet the owner of the hospital-inn-apothecary-tavern. He will sell you a potion that cures anything you might encounter. He will fix your cuts and bruises and broken bones.

Anything this guy sells is alcoholic, halucinogetic or mind/awareness-expanding. He distills his own liquors and brews his own beer and is doctor/surgeon on top of that. His potions tend to have some unexpected side effects...
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9. RPG Item: Mummy: The Resurrection [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1503]
RPG Item: Mummy: The Resurrection
Craig Truesdell
United States
Uniontown
Ohio
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The Seen Too Many Battles Veteran.

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This person is usually a fighter but can be any class. They have extensive battle experience and have obviously come out on top. Their only flaw is that they completely lack a fear response. Handy in some cases, can get a party killed in others.

It doesn't mean this person's friends made it however and they may miss them are looking for an honorable way to die and so will want to join the party if at all possible, the more dangerous the quest the better which could be a hint to the party that something is wrong. People in the town may also know that this person is completely fearless.

Otherwise, this person is well adjusted and shows no other faults.

Another reason could be that they are too elderly to make go adventuring but are weary of retirement. They will do everything they can to appear much more capable then they actually are. Asking around or talking to them may reveal that they have been around a LONG time and their vigor is a facade.

Inspired by Winston from the Mummie movie.



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10. RPG: The Holly & The Ivy [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
RPG: The Holly & The Ivy
Craig Truesdell
United States
Uniontown
Ohio
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Stop that!!

This one is very basic.

Make this person whatever you want and any class.

As the GM, constantly scratch some phantom itch will playing this NPC.

It won't be too long before the party leaves them behind although they may not even know why.

Inspired by my bout with poison ivy, my spouse was about ready to toss me out of the house.

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