Friday, July 6, 2018


I've been working on a major NPC for a campaign that I'm in the middle of playing through with my friends, and wanted y'all's opinion on whether he seems believable or not.

A little context: the campaign is based in a large and prosperous city state.  It's loosely based on a combination of Venice and the republic of Athens, and has been a center of power and trade in the world of the campaign for two centuries.

While formerly ruled by warriors and mages, it's now in the hands of a merchant-lord of questionable intent, one who seems to have some shady connections with the orcish realms to the east.  

So as I've messed around with his stats and characteristics, I'm looking for a reality check.  Does this guy seem believable?  Here he is:



It used to be four points higher, back when he was young.  He was and is a big man, one used to throwing his weight around.  

But he's old now.  He's still got the grip, and the mass, which he still uses to his advantage.   He remembers that strength, and doesn't totally realize it isn't what it once was.  Tells endless tales of his own prowess, but is rarely called upon to prove it.

Intelligence:  8

Slightly below average.  Enough that he can connect, easily, with the average person on their level.  Enough that he can see where his advantage lies, without the pesky clouding complexity of subtleties or nuances.  But not enough that it slows him down, or changes his propensity to make snap decisions that may or may not be grounded in reality.  This, peculiarly, is a strength.  

Wisdom:  4

It was never a strength, and it never needed to be.  The scion of a merchant family, he's been rich since he was born.  Wealth and the power wealth gives means you don't need the guidance of wisdom.  You can screw up, and it doesn't matter.  You can botch relationships, and choose wrongly, and it has no effect.  Money does that.

Does not know when he is erring, and doesn't care if he is wrong.  It has never mattered.  As far as he is concerned, he is never wrong.  Has no sense of his own limitations, and makes a point of surrounding himself with underlings and toadies who do not tell him.  Does not care to correct this.

Dexterity 9

A big man, not without some natural grace in his energies.  Still vigorous, as men driven by appetites of the flesh tend to be, but no more than average.  

Constitution:  9

Like his strength stats, not bad for his age, but also not what they used to be.  His low wisdom score masks his awareness of this diminishment, and no one around him is willing to share candidly with him just how much he has faded.

Charisma:  17

This is the heart of his power.  Completely and unquestioningly self-confident, so totally sure of self that his certainty radiates into and shapes the material plane around him.  Brash, bold, and often quite funny in the awful way that bullies can be genuinely funny.  Knows how to play with and manipulate a crowd of peasants, how to use indirection and simple, opaque language to his advantage.  High wisdom and intelligence scores are necessary to make the saving throw against his influence.

Alignment:  Chaotic Neutral

He has no moral core beyond his own interests and appetites.  If it serves his power, he'll do it.  If it gets him ahead, he'll say it.  Truth and any integrity of self are meaningless.  Capable of anything.

So that's the character sketch, and I'm pretty sure it holds up, although I might want to tweak the attributes a little bit.

What I'm really having trouble with is the name.  The only things I can think of are just too absurd. 

High Merkantor Danacious Flump?  

Lord Regent Nonar K'B'rult?  

Autarch Ona'Jae Vrunt?

None of those feel real.  I mean, the folks I'm playing with would see right through that kind of character.

Any suggestions?