Favorite tabletop NPCs


#1

What are some memorable/funny npcs from your campaigns?

One of my finest fan-serving creations so far is a bardish-type npc who looks an awful lot like Carly Rae Jepsen, so I called her Jersey Parlance because I am weak for anagrams. I created her because half of my group has an insatiable thirst for CRJ, and in the end one of the PCs ended up getting it on with her because we are at that point in the campaign where “I roll to seduce fantasy!Carly Rae Jepsen” is what my players are interested in.


#2

I love the absplute scoundrels my friend brings in. Swadwads the Sneaky being a Lizardfolk who swindles everyone in someway who I think helped a fantasy methlab startup?

Xzibbit another scoundrel of a Kenku who stole a patch of my tent of endure elements destroyed my comfy home dammit. My possessed sword tried to kill him and I didn’t stop it but he didn’t get killed so he knew and it was awkward.

The scoundrel npcs garner such a reaction from everyone I love every one of them.


#3

One of my GMs created a shy, blind beholder Oracle named something like Zigaranthrus who we ended up calling “Ziggy” or “Zack Galifianakis”. The party made him nervous at first but we calmed him down by pulling out fuzzy pets for him from the wizard’s bag of wonders. That lucky beholder ended up with two badger friends and a dire elk and he loved them so much. It was excellent.


#4

I made a 4 armed skeleton that wielded an entire tree as a weapon, I made everyone in the room laugh when I named him Hank


#5

Jersey Parliance is an amazing name!

My favorite NPCs are:

Kendrick Jacinto Steiger and Sake Karensky: former paramilitary operators who just want to live in peace and don’t fuck with their new job or try to dig into their history or they’ll ice you.

Trivia Rust: an operative in the Heuristic Collective. Mostly just like these names.

Both coming from Sprawl games.


#6

Jersey Parlance is a great name.

In college I played a game with some coworkers. We were on the tail of the big bad and they barred the door to their secret passage with one of those logic puzzles where you have a set of pitchers and you have to fill them one of them up to an exact amount. Normally these puzzles have pitchers of sizes that don’t add up to any of the others.

However, our DM misread his notes when he presented the puzzle to us. We had to fill one of the pitchers to 8 liters and we had one pitcher that fit 1 liter and another that fit 4. When he read the puzzle out to us we all paused and asked “Are you sure?” He swore that he had it right, not realizing what he’d done. So we solved the puzzle right away and he realized what he’d done.

And that’s how we caught up to the big bad in the second play session and got our butts handed to us.

ETA: Now that I’ve written this out I realize the NPC isn’t so memorable as his bad puzzle. Oh well.


#7

I like names that roll off the tongue with a certain weight or solidity–for instance, at the start of the campaign I’m currently running, there was a pro-nonhuman Robin Hood avian named Iiriak (EE-ri-ack), who squared off alongside the party in the second session against a crime boss named Berlenger. Also in that arc was Executor Aia Marsh, an intimidatingly competent spymaster of the empire with whom the party had an uneasy relationship–they collaborated with her a few times, but in the end she tried to arrest them for various crimes and they fled the city as fugitives.


A couple of plot arcs later, with a different party (we’re doing something ambitious with this campaign where the players rotate between several parties of characters that I’m trying to lead together into one location to see how they bounce off each other for the campaign’s endgame), there’s my favorite set of NPCs yet:

A family of the setting’s beetle-species, highly positioned in their megahive, of FMA-style haemonculi/liches. About 60 years prior to the campaign, they took advantage of a magical WMD in order to consume tens of thousands of souls. The family members are the venerable and widely respected Grandmother Comfort, her husband-in-exile Temperance (who regrets his necromantic deeds), their son General Tumult, and their (poorly-resurrected) daughter Susurrus.

A human crusade is starting up against these beetle-species hives (after that 60 years of uneasy peace), so this party (whose nominal leader is a paladin of Death) has to weigh their Abhorsen-esque duty to preserve the balance of life and death… against the fact that these liches want to help defend their nation’s vastly outnumbered armies by shackling the souls of the dead into an immortal legion of tireless defenders.


#8

our game had a medium named Wanda Psyches who worked out of Cursedy Alley