Day 14: Favourite NPC
Anyway, most of the games I have played in living memory (the campaigns of my distant youth are only vague memories now and I cannot remember any single face) have been one-off adventures. As such there has been no opportunity for a recurring foe to develop.
However, one that I remember developing with the idea that he might have become a recurring foe was Hogsnort Riptide, Mayor of Shortsville.
Shortsville lay on the Eastern fringes of the land, bordering a mighty river that had in the past and continued today to periodically flood. The surrounding area of the river was as a consequence a pestilential swamp that had consumed a far mightier city called Longbottom Flats decades ago. Also in this zone lay the burial crypt known as the Lichway (amongst many other locations that were never explored). The Lichway was once the burial grounds of Longbottom Flats but had been lost and overrun by monsters unknown.
Hogsnort Riptide put out a general reward for adventurers to reclaim the Lichway for the community. This was couched as a general civic virtue and the reward was modest. What he wanted, however, was a specific magical artefact. With it, and with others that were to be found in other locations would do… something.
I never developed in detail whether he was good or evil, mad or sane. All I knew is that he had a plan and was prepared to use the characters to achieve it. Over time Hogsnort’s plans would have become more obvious, and eventually the characters would have either been drawn into his master plot as allies or find themselves his nemesis.
As a character Hogsnort Riptide was charismatic, intelligent, outgoing, boisterous, carrying weight, and generally deported himself as a man of the people. But sleazy for all that. You would be a fool to trust him, even if you did like him. Bill Murray’s Mayor in City of Ember is a nice possible interpretation, as is real world London’s Boris Johnson. I rather liked him as a character, and enjoyed role-playing him as an NPC.