“Again, wormthing, what is it now?”
“Surely, you cannot detail everyone the heroes meet in your quest, master?”
“Make your point, useless implet.”
“Master, I have devised for you a list of inconsequential passersby, just in case the brave heroes wander from your chosen path or if you need to flesh out someone they talk to.”
“Sometimes, grotesque child, you have a use…”
We’ve dealt before with the fact that not every NPC has something interesting to say or a role to play in your adventures. However, the more backdrop you use in your settlements, the more real they become. Here is a list of 50 passersby the PCs may encounter—perhaps the source of local Diplomacy checks, the first person the PCs speak to at a location, or simply a little background color…
- Jeb Shortstone—a bright, cheerful gnome with a tuneless whistle and huge ears who constantly picks his nose. He looks troubled.
- Corrun Felshhelm—an elderly former fighter who wears the rusted rags of his armor and polishes his saber daily.
- Gronty Grabe—the goodwife with the wispy beard.
- Elmus Toad—the man who walks with the help of a scythe and likes to taunt strangers.
- Blad the Thresher—the deaf farmer who likes pies.
- Tulid Lilly—the dainty girl with the scar ruining her beautiful face.
- Grist the Miller—the very tall local who is always working.
- Letty Lent—the goodwife with plenty of advice to give out.
- Master Hobb—the obsessively superstitious pig farmer wears a butcher’s apron that is always bloody.
- Ham—the fisherman who always has food in his mouth.
- Gooddwarfwife Lerh—the shy dwarf lady who is forbidden to talk to strangers by her father.
- Young Kag—120 years old and still able to dance.
- Asdi the Tanner looks unwell.
- Bresj the Armorer has just shaved off his beard after 29 years.
- Glad Gleddly—the miserable undertaker has a nervous habit of coughing.
- Torril the Fair—she has beautiful blonde hair and follows strangers about hoping to meet a prince.
- Hullwin has wooden teeth and dislikes dogs; he wears a curious hood made of black leather.
- Jabe wears a coat made of magpie feathers his father gave him. He loves his job of smithy and sings all day long. He is one of life’s happy people.
- Mother Queg sings hymns whilst she looks after her huge family of 20 children.
- Lol is a little girl with a pet ferret called Bite.
- Maester Hamdle has a huge beard and moustache he oils every day. His breath smells of onions.
- Goodman Crab is missing an arm and has an amazingly deep voice.
- Laril is wearing three roses in her hair and takes great pride in her appearance.
- Jab is always wandering about with loaves of bread to deliver. He has no time to stop and gossip.
- Portin is not the brightest and finds he needs to hear things twice for them to sink in.
- Torl wears a bright red hat and cape. His neighbors tease him about it, but being very jovial, he takes it in good spirit.
- Roghk the Dwarf is a dwarf of few words who dresses entirely in gray.
- Mabby doesn’t have a chin and is considered the most homely of the local girls. She loves bright things and birds.
- Torquil carries a bedpan in one hand and a stuffed crow in the other. He’s taking them from his recently deceased grandmother’s house to his own.
- Zettan has his three infant sons in tow. Each throws stones at any nearby wildlife and strangers. Zettan fancies himself the hunter and dresses as a gamekeeper. He always has a loaded crossbow with him.
- Turgid Bentam the Miller has a three-legged dog named Hoppy.
- Maddy Madwell is always knitting. She carries her favorite chair with her and makes rude comments to passersby.
- Jek the shepherd is a young man with ambition—he wants to be a wizard.
- Every third word Gelk the Mason uses is a cuss-word. He has ruddy red cheeks from drinking cider and always has a joke to tell.
- Bether is very tall for a miner.
- Jog Wibberley has a pet pig called Spot that walks beside him all day. He’s not one for small talk.
- Cisilly likes handsome men and is desperate to marry. She makes very fine cakes and has a charming smile.
- Gorgewell Grudd is a man full of his own self-importance. If he’s asked a question, as the local healer, he wants to know why he’s being asked what he’s being asked.
- Barn is the village simpleton who just smiles and follows strangers about. He dresses like a scarecrow and has straw in his ears.
- Fat Farris is the fattest man for a dozen leagues in these parts. He is a man of few graces who doesn’t like gnomes.
- Bledwerd has one eye slightly higher than the other, something the cruel locals tease the young farmer about.
- Karl smells of cattle.
- Longe Tulip is a lady all right, and she expects to be treated like one. As the best seamstress in the area, she thinks she deserves respect.
- Bodge is very affable and always tries to help those in need. He thinks that’s what guards should do. What a shame he gets so violent when drunk.
- Hodge is suspicious of strangers. He thinks they may be trying to steal the recipe of his famous Hodge Embalming Oil he uses as the undertaker.
- Bellringer Jeb is quite deaf.
- Lewis is quick to pick a fight with anyone. The bald innkeeper is sure his wife has many lovers, and when he finds who they are…
- Less Tumbleweed is always carrying milk to her customers; she has no time to chat but is full of lively anecdotes if you can keep up with her on her rounds.
- Aorg was a warrior until he lost his legs in a terrible fall. Now he walks using stilts but still hankers for tales of adventure.
- Although Yorb is a dwarf himself, he hates the company of his own kind.
(This post is Product Identity.)