Sunday, August 26, 2012

In Which The Warlock States the Importance of an NPC...

As any gamer can tell you, NPCs tend to be fairly important to any game.  But, in the best of games, those NPCs take on lives of their own.  I've had quite a few great NPCs in my game--the GodDamned Jim Bob comes immediately to mind, as do Thulmir Quent and Elladan RedHand, though a non-human NPC seems to be taking charge of the situation in my most recent games.

Allow me to explain:  with the WittGuild starting back up and with games kicking into gear, it was only fitting to be able to throw down a game for the incoming frosh and the returning students. Hoping to get a full playtest in, I brought out "Killer Clowns 2:  Return to the Dempsey Islands", with three players entering the park, in search of those elusive canister reactors.

Felix the Bobcat, survivor of the Big Bang.
Cross this cat at your peril!
Here's where things get messy, though.  You see, if you've perused my "Reno Six-Pack", you might have noticed that the Librarian character, Garrett Walker, has a friend:  Felix, his bobcat animal companion.

When I first ran "Ravenous in Reno", Chaotic Frederick played Garrett.  And, while his actual waster couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, Felix seemed to be nothing short of a Cuisinart with the attitude of an angry velociraptor.  The bobcat never seemed to miss, always dealt appreciable damage, and never managed to take a wound!  While the first run of "Ravenous in Reno" was meant to be a deliberate TPK session, Felix managed to escape from the final battle before being eaten!

So, let's flash forward to this past week.  With my three players ready to go, I wasn't surprised to see one of them pick up Garrett and his feline buddy.  But, as the game proceeded, it swiftly became obvious:  Felix was the true leader of that posse!  That cat totaled nearly twice the kills of any other member of the posse, including the scenario's final boss, whom he ripped apart with the help of the infamous "Make No Mistake" Adventure Card.

I was astounded!  Felix the bobcat's legend lives on!

I'll be interested to see if this trend continues, should I run this scenario on next year's convention circuit.  I deliberately made each of the Reno Six-Pack to have strengths--Edward Castellan is a beast in melee, Doc Neutron is the most dangerous at range, The Main Man Marlow is the vehicles expert and a good secondary tank--but Walker's greatest strength has always been his Knowledge skills, coupled with Felix.  I don't believe that, statistically, Felix is too strong.  It just seems that this cat's luck never really runs out!


  1. Chaosmancer9:46 PM

    That is awesome. I wonder if the Witt Pantheon will be adding a new member? :P


  2. Unlikely, but he's already godlike around our Friday table!

  3. My first campaign, "Atlantis Awaits," gave birth to one of my favorite NPCs: Momma Laros. No combat ability, but that old lady could taunt and intimidate anyone into a corner!

    That campaign was also the first time I noticed the trend that in my games bartenders and policemen are all total badasses. Never EVER get on their bad side! The guy who jumped over the counter and got shotgunned for 40 points of damage learned that the hard way!


  4. NPCs, am I right?!

    I've played in enough D&D games to know you *never* mess with the barkeep. He's always going to be a 20th level warrior, who retired from the adventuring life and bought a bar...