29 NPCS: The Merchant Sactonal

Sometimes dedication does not mean daily – it means doing the task as assigned in an orderly manner. Given my record with this project, I’m starting to look to my off days. No work, no games? Time to generate a few NPC additions to the project! If I can hit 31 by Halloween, the “how” becomes less relevant.

Sactonal – Merchant, Retired Mercenary
Owner & Operator of the Black River Outfitters, Sactonal tries to keep the fishermen and visitors to the island supplied. Her stock is limited, but filled by infrequent shipments out of Sanctus. She works with Hurlee to keep a high supply of rations for explorers (dried and smoked river fish, etc.), and personally builds canoes for rental or sale.

She’s a no-nonsense merchant with flat prices and a sense of fairness in her business. Most of her profits are put back into the business to ensure that she’s resupplied regularly. Her personal indulgence is soap. She bathes regularly, far more often than other residents of the island. Her sense of hygiene goes well with her ordered demeanor. As a former mercenary and veteran of the Shield of Sanctus, Sactonal was a part of the failed North Continent Trading Company expedition. She treats all members of the Shield (current and former) as friends.

HERE BE SPOILERS – IF YOU ARE IN THIS GAME READ AT THE RISK OF META-GAME

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30 NPCs: Inkeeper Hurlee Leckey

Anyone keeping score will notice that I missed posting yesterday. Day two and I’m already stumbling? To be honest, after hearing about Las Vegas and then Tom Petty I wasn’t in the mood to be creative. That said, part of discipline is understanding that you are going to fail at times and the critical thing to do is get back on the horse and keep moving. So, after a day of listening to the Heartbreakers and trying to understand the unfathomable, it’s time for momentum.

Hurlee Leckey – Proprietor of the Black River Tavern

Hurlee is a retired brewer and keeps a private collection of Albannich beers in her chamber. She’s been here the full 10 years with March Warden Ainsley. Her current hope is to build enough funds to add on a proper set of rooms to rent to the travelers.

Hurlee is as genuine as a person can get, and as careful to be clear as possible. She runs a simple and well-kept tavern. She’d like to take on staff but hasn’t been able to justify it just yet. She serves all functions for the tavern. Hostess, waitress, barkeeper, and cook. She’s always busy, just a little frazzled looking, but careful and deliberate.

Note: This series will follow a simple format. The main page for the blog will show everything a character in my setting might get to know about a NPC with a little bit of asking around. Clicking through the link will reveal more information, including some spoilers.

HERE BE SPOILERS – IF YOU ARE IN THIS GAME READ AT THE RISK OF META-GAME Continue reading

31 NPCs: March Warden Dougal Ainsley

Note: This series will follow a simple format. The main page for the blog will show everything a character in my setting might get to know about a NPC with a little bit of asking around. Clicking through the link will reveal more information, including some spoilers.

I’ll leave it up to my players to decide if they want to shield themselves from the meta game knowledge or not. I don’t sweat basic spoilers all that much, it’s easy to address at the table if someone goes beyond character knowledge. The super secrets won’t land on this blog, or other public space.

March Warden Dougal Ainsley

Dougal was one of the first people to come to the island and funded the rebuilding of the Lighthouse Tower to encourage others to visit and lead off their adventures there. His appearance is slightly greasy, but not disheveled – access to soap and other bathing items is a bit restricted on Black River Island. He’s healthy and fit, and works hard every day to improve the life of those who come to the island.

He’s not always sure what to do for the people. He sees the opportunity to start something good here, but isn’t the sort who understands the deeper logistical needs and relies on others to build that up. He does all he can to get to know the peoples who visit his domain, and enjoys speaking to them in their languages. To him this is a form of respect and gesture of welcome. He is loyal to a fault and will willingly put his life on the line to protect the people of his island.

HERE BE SPOILERS – IF YOU ARE IN THIS GAME READ AT THE RISK OF META-GAME Continue reading

31 NPC’s in 31 Days

NPCS

Challenge: I will create and share a NPC every single day in October.

In order to build better NPC discipline, I’m going to generate and share one every single day this month. Great NPC’s are a key part of making a campaign setting feel alive. They give it voices, personalities, and contrasts as they interact with player characters. The more I am rushed in DM work, the more flat and dull my NPCs get – and the flatter the campaign world feels. Continue reading

Reflecting on Session Zero

Middle Ages Friends

I held a Session Zero day for my part of the Detroit Marches campaign last weekend. Reflecting on everything that happened, it went well. Old friends dropped by to make characters. New friends were met, welcomed, and made characters. We talked a lot about the game, and a few board games were played.

All the appropriate boxes were checked, and people had fun.

The best part of it for me? Seeing friends I hadn’t seen in a month or so. With my prior Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Lost Mine of Phandelver campaigns wrapping up around Gen Con and Michigan Summer calling everyone to enjoy the outdoors I didn’t get to see people quite as much. As those familiar faces passed through our doorway I felt genuinely warmed and happy. It’s great to know so many good people. It’s great to share games with them.

That was my real takeaway from Session Zero. D&D is fantastic because it gets people together for fun. The adventure takes front seat, but the true joy is just sharing good times with good people. I’ll likely write-up a bit about Session Zero from the DM perspective. What’s good to cover, why it matters, etc. but really, the true takeaway is “I got to enjoy the company of many of my friends.”