19 October 2014

NPC of the Day: The "errantry kids"

So ... I've been having private runs for my wife's powerful wizard-princess for a few years now.  One of the customs of the elven empire in which she now lives is "errantry" -- in your youth, you get together with your best buds and go wandering about for a season or two, all under assumed names like "Snowviolet" or "Morningstar" or "Nightflame," and Do Worthy And Good Things, only traveling with what they can carry and accepting no pay for their deeds.  While the tales have it that people on errantry are fighting dragons and battling for the rights of the downtrodden, the elven empire has secure internal borders and good government, and the authorities aren't crazed about young folk wandering across into the truly scary lands beyond them.  So, for the most part, those on errantry wind up teaching schools, helping farmers bring in the crops, building barns and the like ... which is rather the true lesson behind it all.

Some folk make errantry their life, and indeed go out to take on monsters and warring against the over-mighty.  As far as the rest goes ... well, sometimes the teenagers get uppity and want to go out too.  So Princess Elaina, with some restless teens on her own estate, decided to do the local landowners a favor and announce that she was leading a pack of teenagers out on errantry for two summer months: who was in?  Well, damn near everyone, but in the end, she set out with thirteen.  And, much to their dismay, led them to the task she'd already arranged in advance -- helping a village heavily damaged by the spring flood to rebuild.

I did this cheat sheet for the pack, which is far preferable to doing up individual NPC sheets for what is, after all, a group of relatively nondescript teenagers.  It summarizes their race, age, manor of residence, parental background, a couple key skills, and (teenagers being teenagers) whether they particularly Like! or Dislike! those cute kids of the opposite gender, that being in terms of GURPS Reaction Rolls (high is good, low is bad).

The three for which there's scarcely any info are from Elaina's own manor, so I didn't particularly need cheats for them.  But for a pack of NPCs, for which nonetheless you need to RP them and come up with a personality trait or two, this is a good approach and doesn't take all that much work.

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