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"Celebrity" NPC:s or PC:s in your game


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I like to put npc:s from published materials in hard use. I would like to hear what characters from canonical, or otherwise published materials, have had a big impact in your campaign... Our games are often very much "soap operas", so love affairs are also a big thing.

One of our campaign happens on a wolfpirate ship, lead by now my charachter Queen of Fereva Vele Unnikanan, now also a wife of Harrek The Berserk. Ship crew include likes of Pinfeather, Darsten Black-Oak (now rivar of Kangharl), and robbers Halko and Pundia Carliotti (From Seapolis adventure.) Also of course characters not from any material. .. (This campaign is eventually heading towards a holiday island of Loral, also known as Monster Island.)

In our Red Cow campaign, Ernalsulva, Diovena, Estal Donge, Farnantyr The Handsome, Gold-Gotti and many others have a major say in the story.

In our Six Seasons campaign there is of course Kallyr and Kangharl... Just finished the original material and are waiting for what is to come in Company of The Dragon.

Edited by Caras
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Well, Heortal from the "cattle raid" adventure have accompanied the PC's as a pathfinder and carrier for a few adventures and now become the backboy(squire) and servant of the thane of apple lane.
He's the one-boy fanclub of the PC's, who gifted him a sword after the battle for apple lane.

His mum is rather upset with them, as a PC feud got him nearly killed but she also got hired as a house servant by the thane and she cant keep Heortal from becoming a warrior forever...

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I have an active Red Cow campaign, but with the twist that the players wound up only actually having one current Red Cow member in it.  They hop from clan to clan, trying to build reputation with their deeds and influence the local politics.  Their goal seems to be to unite and strengthen the clans, presumably to be ready to fight the Lunars "when the time is right". 

As such, an abbreviated list of the NPC's for each clan is used, rather than the full spectrum from one of them.

For example with the Red Cow Chief Broddi is the main foil to the player's ambitions, as he just wants to maintain the status quo.  Darna Longcoat is the counterweight, who likes to work against Broddi through the players, so long as they are working in a direction that she favors.  Ashart the Orlanth priest is a source of endless requests for help for the oppressed Orlanthi of the region.  Other Red Cow NPC's will drift around, but don't have a lot of screen time, compared to how the campaign was originally envisioned.  On the other hand, multiple other clans and cities have frequent NPCs.   The Two Pine clan for example has a similar interaction pattern with the PC's.  Most of the play time interactions being with Chief Kulbrast, the clan Champion Darkat Strongthewed, and some lesser ranking NPC's. 

Tosti Runefriend and especially Minyarth Purple are frequent drive by's in the campaign.  Minyarth in particular is presented as the primary architect, or influencer in chief, or prime mover of the rebellion.   So much so that the player Lhankhor Mhy Priest (he recently earned his Rune level status) has spent time trying to research what exactly he is doing based on clues dropped from conversations with him, and observation of his activities around Jonstown Compendium.  It has led the character down quite the cosmic rabbit hole with Draconic mysticism, immanent danger of illumination, and a grasp of just how desperate the Orlanthi are in 1620.

Kallyr was once in the room next to the PC's, but they chose a different path and did not attempt to join her ring.  King Broyan is mentioned roughly once every other meeting ("news from the south, Broyan has defeated the Crimson Bat!  Whitewall still besieged").  The players were approached by the local rebels as potential recruits, but didn't fully commit to the Mudhens, let alone trek down to Hendrikiland to fight the Lunars in the open field. 

I am finding the "trick" is introduce a character through some small interaction -- a short conversation while waiting for sword practice with Darkot, or someone who approaches the players after getting rejected by Broddi.  Given time, the various personalities virtually run themselves, once established.   The initial inclination of the players was to always go directly to the tribal Chief, Jomes, Queen Ivartha, or whomever was the highest ranking NPC around.  Now they are starting to "feel" the lay of the land and are approaching the lower ranking NPCs first with many things, rather than always go to the top (where they might not get the response that they want!)

 

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My player characters are Eaglebrown Warlocks working directly for the White Bull and his companions.  Elusu showed up to hook them up with some New Pavis underworld contacts, and they're answering to Orlaront Dragonfriend on campaign north of Corflu right now.  Two of the player characters actually live in Argrath's palace complex (in what used to be the Lunar barracks in New Pavis) when they're not out in the field or otherwise adventuring.

The 'celebrity' NPC who's had the most screen-time with the player characters is undoubtedly Gabaryanga though, the Fonritian escaped slave destined to lead the Great Revolt in the Hero Wars.  In My Glorantha he emerged from the space between the Pairing Stones during Sacred Time 1625-1626, at the end of a perilous magic road through the Otherworlds that left him with nothing but the clothes on his back.  He followed the line of the Zola Fel to Pavis, where Argrath ad-libbed him into the highly esoteric Sacred Time rites going on at the palace, and let him stay on as a guest of the king after.  He first met some of the PCs in Sea Season, when Argrath asked him to collaborate with them and see what the combination of Blue Moon sacred music and Ernaladan sacred dance could accomplish: with some prep, and after some false starts, they managed to make the Blue Moon briefly visible on the Sky Dome, and got seeds from the Blue Moon to germinate and flower within Time. 

In Fire Season Gabaryanga joined the PCs as a member of their warlock band on a journey down the full length of the Zola Fel River, on which he's been a lodestone for various fragmentary Blue Moon influences drifting around the river basin.  He's also helped out with sword and javelin when that's been needed.  For a few of the player characters he's become a fast friend, with Passions tied to him even, and he's been integrated deeply enough into their group that he's developed a Loyalty passion to them in turn.  The time is coming when the player characters will have to choose between a more 'conventional' warlock career riding with Argrath into Dragon Pass, or joining Gabaryanga on the lozenge-spanning quest to find the Bones and Red Sword of Artmal.  Even if they don't go with him they've already helped him take the quest to restore Artmal further than any other seeker Gabaryanga's ever heard of--and probably attracted the baleful attention of the janns of Afadjann to their efforts.

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On 1/22/2021 at 7:20 AM, Caras said:

I like to put npc:s from published materials in hard use. I would like to hear what characters from canonical, or otherwise published materials, have had a big impact in your campaign...

My HQG Orlmarth campaign included Gordangar and Morganeth White-eye.  One of the Lunar villains was Andrega Silverflame (from Barbarian Adventures).  They encountered the group of healers from Barbarian Adventures as well.  Several of the Jonstown Library cast appeared, particularly Minaryth Purple.  During their quest to rescue Orane from the Underworld, they of course met Orane, Ty Kora Tek, Asrelia, and the Maggot Liege.  I recently ran the Feast of Beasts so that added King Kangharl, Ernalsulva, Yanioth, and the Greydog Killer Branduan.  They also encountered a young pre-adult Harmast.  They've not got to Boldhome yet as they got sidetracked onto another task.  

Edit: and nearly forgot about Joseph Greenbeak (originally from Wyrms Footnotes).

My RQG Colymar campaign has had the usual Clearwine folk:  Queen Leika, Asborn Thriceborn, and Dunorl Brandgorsson.  

Sora Goodseller has appeared in both campaigns.

Edited by jajagappa
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Even the current White Bull Campaign uses this approach: Fylchar and Simbal, two former followers of Wolfshead and Griselda (i.e. from the classic Big Rubble:The Deadly City), have become followers of Kulbrast One-Arm. They even talked about their former female boss, because they have parted with bad feelings, but they didn't mention any names, so I do not now, if Kulbrast is aware, who this former association was.

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The Duel at Dangerford  uses Kallyr, Leika, Asborn and General Fazzur, and there’s room to insert bit-part performances from various Red Cow NPCs and neighbouring tribal leaders if you feel so inclined. Plus one character from a nineties LARP makes a guest appearance.

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4 hours ago, Oracle said:

Even the current White Bull Campaign uses this approach: Fylchar and Simbal, two former followers of Wolfshead and Griselda

Not to mention including encounters with Narmeed Whirlvishbane, Yazurkial Blue Llama, Orgwaha Blue Llama, and Roneer the Hue from Cults of Prax, Pavis: GtA, and related sources.  It's even got Chipmunk Bing from the old Wyrms Footnotes Sartar High Council material.

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On 1/22/2021 at 4:04 PM, coffeemancer said:

Well, Heortal from the "cattle raid" adventure have accompanied the PC's as a pathfinder and carrier for a few adventures and now become the backboy(squire) and servant of the thane of apple lane.
He's the one-boy fanclub of the PC's, who gifted him a sword after the battle for apple lane.

His mum is rather upset with them, as a PC feud got him nearly killed but she also got hired as a house servant by the thane and she cant keep Heortal from becoming a warrior forever...

Hah, he became a squire in my group too.

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20 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Not to mention including encounters with Narmeed Whirlvishbane, Yazurkial Blue Llama, Orgwaha Blue Llama, and Roneer the Hue from Cults of Prax, Pavis: GtA, and related sources.  It's even got Chipmunk Bing from the old Wyrms Footnotes Sartar High Council material.

I love this element in that. Malovar Patroma also and many others. This is just the way I also like to present Glorantha to the players. I mean, what is the point hiding these great charachters from the players. I don´t let palyers read all Glorantha material, I present it to them in game. If they never meet Prince Temertain, Kallyr, Harrek and whoever, it is very much meaningles to them they even exist. But if they somehow interact with these great npc:s they become memorable, their deeds become intresting and so on. And Glorantha has loads of great npc:s to show them.

 

On more recent thing is this, that we have made some former npc:s our new player characters. They are not necessarily from any published material, but previously interracted charachters and their history is well known already to the players. And it fits right in.

One is this Vele Unnikanan, who was not my character when marrying Harrek, but after... Formerly she was an npc and lead a ship, where palyers were. The other was Darsten Black-Oak, who was a major antagonist to other group of PC:s, but has turned side and has escaped wrath of Kangharl and joined Wolfpirates, and bacame a PC.

 

Edited by Caras
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My PCs are all living in Esrolia, and have decided to kill Harrek the Berserk for what he did to the Holy Country. They might succeed if they pull off a hero quest this weekend. Maybe.

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1 minute ago, ZedAlpha said:

My PCs are all living in Esrolia, and have decided to kill Harrek the Berserk for what he did to the Holy Country. They might succeed if they pull off a hero quest this weekend. Maybe.

Have fun with that!

Now who's going to have the campaign where the PC's are responsible for bringing Androgeus to Dragon Pass?

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11 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Now who's going to have the campaign where the PC's are responsible for bringing Androgeus to Dragon Pass?

Not that. But our players have fought against Khorr´rahk Mantroll from Tradetalk 12, who is said to be son of Androgeus.

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