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-   -   Some NPCs for you. (http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=5624)

ChalkLine 03-10-2018 05:07 PM

Some NPCs for you.
I've run this game so here are some slightly fleshed out PCs for the characters to include in their convoys. These were originally designed for a train adventure

Train Civilians

Bernie Howell

Physical:early 40s, has a bad leg (injury a few months old that just won't heal, has to change dressings once a day or so). Bernie's a pretty common body-type these days - someone who was really heavy before the war, and has lost a lot of weight since then. And not in a healthy way, y'know. But he can pull his weight, mostly, or would if it weren't for the leg.

Personality: In the struggle to survive, Bernie's has had to suppress his lifelong tendency to criticize stupidity. Pointing out the grievous flaws in someone's thinking these days is a great way to get shot - and he's seen it happen in this very enclave. The people in charge are desperate and mean, and it's only going to get worse, which is why he wants out. He's intelligent - he was in IT, back before - but he's also smart enough to know what problems he can tackle and which others need help.

Ties: Bernie rode out the War in a loose company of friends and co-workers, but the group splintered along the way. Some folks died, others decided to try their luck elsewhere, and only Bernie and one other guy From Before ended up in this cantonment. That was Edward, and the War's changed Eddie. When Bernie talks about mean and desperate, he speaks from experience. In fact, escaping Eddie might be more difficult than just escaping the enclave. Eddie still thinks of Bernie as a friend, his last tie to the human being he was Before, and he'd be loath to see Bernie go... and Eddie is a (very) junior member of the cadre of gunmen that runs the cantonment...
Bernie's only other tie is to Mirabelle, who he met just before he and Eddie and a couple others were swept in this cantonment.

Useful skills: If you can find a working computer network, you'll find that Bernie's one hell of a sysadmin. From his previous hobby in medieval re-enactment, Berne’s a fair amateur blacksmith, and he'd done plenty of leatherworking and sewing. He’s a lousy shot, but reasonable in a melee. If he ever gets his hands on a sword, he’s surprisingly good (or would be, if his footwork was anything like Before.)

Mirabelle Flores

[b] Physical: Mirabelle is a tallish gaunt woman with long dark hair. While she normally wears her hair up in a bun under a cap, she lets it down before bed and spends the time to comb it out. In a way, taking care of herself this way reminds her of better times. Even after months of privation, with her hair down, she’s a striking woman – though she takes care to conceal that fact most of the time.

Personality: When she gets going, you can still see flashes of the advertising agency exec Mirabelle was before the war. She’s intelligent, forthright, very good at negotiating, and she had years of experience dealing patiently and productively with unreasonable people (clients, creative staff) even before the End Of The World.

Ties: Mirabelle and Bernie met shortly before they reached the cantonment, so they’ve been together just a few months. Though they don’t make a point of labels (“marketing, branding, advertising” as she puts it) they’re very much a couple, and will basically kill or die for each other. Mirabelle knows Eddie and is afraid of him. Also, she was away from her home city on War Day, which saved her life, but she finds herself listening for the distinctive speech patterns of the native New Yorker, just to meet someone else “from home”. Any survivor they meet who was originally from the Five Boroughs will get extended a reasonable benefit of the doubt, along with a friendly grilling (“Where did you live? Park Slope? Did you ever go to Elliot’s, on Eighth and Avenue B?” etc.)

Useful skills: As previously noted, Mirabelle’s level-headed and a good negotiator. She’s brave, and since the War has vastly expanded her Red Cross basic first-aid training.

Jennifer Hall


Jennifer wasn't anyone special before it happened. Just another soccer mom in upper middle class America. Her kids are her life. Her husband was working downtown when the event occurred. She hasn't seen him since.

Afterwards her focus has been in keeping Madison (age 7) and Ethan (age 10) alive and well.

Jennifer led the cheerleading squad in high school which has left her some athletics training (she is still an avid jogger) and an ability to command. Though she tends to defer people who seem more experienced (police officers, military, elected officials) when they fail or her children are at risk she will try to organize those around her.

Her other secret skill is driving. Beating rush hour traffic and driving fast is guilty pleasure of hers.


Lean and fit, Jennifer keeps her bleached blond hair tied back. Since the end of the world, she's learned to use John's (her husband) old hunting rifle. Thus far she's prioritized keeping her kids fed and hauls around a cooler of edible goods. She also holds onto her old purse and the useless credit cards and chequebooks within.

David Polk

Physical: Mr. Polk (and he politely insists on the “Mister”, and returns the courtesy) is a tall, worn black man in his late 50s. He wears a neat moustache and keeps his silvering hair carefully clipped. The callouses and scars on his hands are relics of the hard life he’s lead since War Day – Before, it’s clear his hands were soft and well cared-for. Mr. Polk stands out from most refugees because he carefully stands very straight, never slouching, and he takes pains to keep himself looking neat. He keeps a sewing kit and he’ll take the time to repair any rips or tears as soon as he can. “A man has to maintain himself”, he’ll explain if asked. For all his height, he’s got a quiet voice.

Personality: Mr. Polk is a stoic, withstanding trials and privation without complaint, but he’s also very aware of the people and situations around him. Also, behind his deliberately low-key façade, there’s a lot of carefully restrained anger. Naturally, he’s angry at the enemy that caused all this devastation and death, but he’s also angry at people who have failed to behave as he believes people should. “All these people still walking around – not all of them survived, if you understand me. Pain and grief made some people less than they were, but others chose that change and for them I have nothing but utter contempt.” The swaggering bravos and gunmen who ran the cantonment were clearly objects of this, and concealing the attitude was becoming difficult. That’s why Mr. Polk has joined the exodus.

Ties: Almost alone among the escape group, Mr. Polk had a fairly secure position in the cantonment. He’s a barber and, more and more, his professional time was being monopolized by the cadre of gunmen and “local aid officials” who ran the cantonment. He’s seen them up-close and personal for weeks now, and really hates them. “It was leave now, or waste my life in a futile gesture with a razor”, he says. Mr. Polk didn’t really have any close ties, just lots and lots of friendly acquaintances. Even Before the War, he was friendly but fairly solitary.

Skills: If you need a shave, a haircut or a manicure, you won’t find a better barber than Mr. Polk. In his youth, he spent eight years in the Army Reserve as a mechanized infantryman – he rode a Bradley into Iraq during the first Gulf War. That was nearly three decades ago, so his skills are mostly memories, but given a few moments to get reacquainted, he could crew an M2 .50-caliber machine gun easily enough. He managed to salvage his unlicensed revolver from his barber shop, and he still has about twenty rounds of ammo hidden in his tool kit.

Dane Mathers.

A good man, Dane is unfortunately useless in this situation. He's a vegetarian humanitarian who couldn't take a life to save himself or anyone else. He'd be more likely to try and take the bullet himself than wrest the gun of a gunman. He's a devout believer in crystals, homoeopathy and dream catchers and just doesn't connect to the realities of the situation. Thin and undernourished, he's pale and rather sickly.
He is, however, grateful for assistance and tries hard to help. He'll always help out with menial tasks, try and help keep watch and is the first to volunteer for dirty tasks. He is, when accepted as part of a group, greater for it and it's useful to have a fairly healthy adult ready to make sandbags, dig latrines or run errands. He can't scrounge to save himself though and seems incapable of being stealthy. He did a night course on massage years ago and is surprisingly good at it. Unfortunately he also believes that vaccines are harmful no matter how many times you show him the truth (it was in a magazine he read years ago)

Negatives; Noncombatant.
Positives; Morale booster (he always thinks it'll turn out great), group support (he thinks the PCs can do no wrong unless it's obviously a depraved or needlessly violent.)

Hansel and Gretel

Two children about eight.
Found a few years back, these kids are survivors and are devoted to each other as well as their Jack Russell terrier 'Bear' Aww.
Well, not really. They have both killed adults before to survive and would do so again quite quickly. No one wants to teach these kids how to use firearms in case they use them without the adult filter they have not developed. When found thier language was infantile and they were illiterate and innumerate. It appears they survived for some years on thier own and they are consummate small-game hunters and trappers. They are preternaturally stealthy and prefer to live in small, easily defended spaces. They speak in hushed tones and become ferociously violent when separated. After two years of 'captivity' they have begun to learn social mores but relapse quickly to little savages in a stress situation.

Negatives; Little thieves. Wilful and sometimes difficult to control. Extraordinarily vengeful.
Positives; Superb hunters and scouts. Understand threats and instantly report them. Always on watch.

Doctor Owen Healy

This man is a good surgeon, previously working high up in a private hospital before the war. He is also, unfortunately, a self-obsessed pig who thinks he's better than anyone else. He is a thick set, balding man who is a social bully and thinks he's far cleverer than he actually his. He has confused his own technical ability with intelligence and assumes others are ignorant, useless fools who's lives depend upon his own existence and therefore owe him everything. He is the only person among the civilians to manage to remain slightly overweight. He is also something of a sexual predator but his methods are fortunately simplistic and easily spotted. Dane hates him with a passion and Doctor Healy loathes him right back as an uneducated crystal gazing fool. When Gretel reaches puberty (she is a pretty young girl now) Hansel will cut this guy's throat one night.
He demands to be addressed as 'Doctor Healy', turning his back on those who address him any other way. He is also dangerous; those he dislikes could be injured more or outright murdered when he performs surgery on them but he would only do this when there is absolutely zero possibility of being caught. He has the empathy and social ability of a stone, which makes his bed-side manner non-existent (he only cares about the surgery, not the patient) and his presence difficult to handle.

Positives; Good surgeon. Can, if it's worth his while, identify medicines and recommend similar medicines for those with ongoing illness.
Negatives; Many. Greedy, selfish, complainer, sexual predator, no morals.

Stella Taylor

Stella was a fairly happy young woman about to be married to her childhood sweetheart when her boyfriend and his platoon mates were pulverised by artillery. Now she's a bitter young woman with almost no reason to live. Her job before the war was in the service industry and left her unprepared for this situation and she, as a refugee from across the country, has lost all her personal networks of support. It normally takes 3 to 5 years to grieve in such a case; she has had her grieving interrupted and is stuck in a miserable and downward loop.
Now she makes her way by buying and selling. She will make forays into ruins and tirelessly scrounge anything usable for storage in her private cache. She has no concept of sharing and expects to purchase anything she needs which makes her a hard-arsed barterer as she expects everyone else to pay as well. She never gives a sucker an even break. She pays Hansel and Gretel for thier finds and it is possible that the two kids may develop her attitude.
Gretel doesn't deal with addicts or drugs as she hates unreliable people and thinks selling drugs will just attract them. She does collect medicines for sale but if it looks like she'd have to give them up she just doesn't bother to stock them any more. If anyone defaults on a loan her prices double for everyone until the defaulter pays double.
She has a cut-off shotgun she has told no one about and keeps it ready if someone tries to rob her.

Positives; a scrupulously fair dealer in stuff that might be needed and purchaser of unneeded extraneous gear. Honest.
Negatives; flint-hearted and mean, she's prepared to let people live in want despite having what they need.

Mr and Mrs Herman

Before the war Mr Herman was a small shop owner with a hobby machine shop in his garage and Mrs Herman worked part-time. They had both retired just before the war and thier savings, along with everyone else's, vaporised along with the banks.
While looking for water a few years back Mr Herman was shot and lost the lower part of his left leg below the knee. He has an aluminium 'toe' he buckles on and a crutch to get about on.
The Hermans are a rock-solid couple that exude social strength. Tight lipped about other people's problems, anyone can go to them and the old couple would endure torture rather than talk about. They realise that Hansel and Gretel have the possibility of developing into horrid wasteland predators and have made it thier mission to make them capable of living in a society. The kids are wary about this but the Herman's patience is endless and they know every trick about winning kids over.
Mr Herman can make small things and if given an example will produce a duplicate of the example if given access to a workshop. This makes him invaluable for maintaining weapons and machinery with rare parts. Mrs Herman is no mere appendage though and is capable of doing work and is expert at repairing items such as clothing and belts as they wear out. She has a leather and tailoring kit that is quite extensive. These two uncomplaining people are never seen idle and work in some way when awake.

Positives; Good social and moral compass. Expert maintainers. Willing trainers. Able to quell social disputes if supported.
Negatives; Getting older and will soon need special medicines. Will probably not survive the death of the partner.

Raellus 03-10-2018 09:01 PM

Must have been an interesting campaign.

ChalkLine 03-11-2018 03:16 AM


Originally Posted by Raellus (Post 77394)
Must have been an interesting campaign.

Died after three sessions. Alas, had too many impatient players

WallShadow 03-11-2018 03:54 PM


Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 77399)
Died after three sessions. Alas, had too many impatient players

Should have let Hansel and Gretel form a grudge against the problematic players.:p

Enfield 03-21-2018 07:00 PM

Very nice work! I'm just planning a campaign now, and so this is very helpful.
Did you imagine that they have any equipment to start with, or them being in any particular locale?

ChalkLine 03-21-2018 07:46 PM


Originally Posted by Enfield (Post 77511)
Very nice work! I'm just planning a campaign now, and so this is very helpful.
Did you imagine that they have any equipment to start with, or them being in any particular locale?

Originally they were in an unpleasant canton in Bradley, AR. They were train enthusiasts (I think one at least was) and the players keep these people as trustworthy. Anyone else in the canton would immediately denounce the PCs.

They had low levels of equipment but had scavenged a lot of tools. As I wanted to play through the 'secret get the train ready' part they would accumulate tools and weapons along the way. Starting players were unarmed slaves that would equip using canton guard gear and what they could scrounge or scavenge in the first few sessions

Enfield 03-23-2018 12:54 AM


Originally Posted by ChalkLine (Post 77513)
Originally they were in an unpleasant canton in Bradley, AR. They were train enthusiasts (I think one at least was) and the players keep these people as trustworthy. Anyone else in the canton would immediately denounce the PCs.

They had low levels of equipment but had scavenged a lot of tools. As I wanted to play through the 'secret get the train ready' part they would accumulate tools and weapons along the way. Starting players were unarmed slaves that would equip using canton guard gear and what they could scrounge or scavenge in the first few sessions

That's interesting. Did trains come into the campaign at all?

ChalkLine 03-23-2018 02:31 AM


Originally Posted by Enfield (Post 77543)
That's interesting. Did trains come into the campaign at all?

Almost. They wanted to shoot things, jumped the guards in the middle of the compound near a guard tower in broad daylight and TPK

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