Recording 12/21 via Youtube.
In last night’s home game, I introduced half a dozen new NPCs—the party had cleared out a fey cockatrice cave (thanks Fantastic Lairs) and several of the statues came to back life. This was an opportunity for conversation-based exposition (when I was stoned, the evil hobgoblin prince you speak of was just a babe-with-arms), humor (the low-quality bard telling a shaggy dog story), hooks (I was on a mission, maybe you can help), and story advancement (at least one of the NPCs has some dark intentions). Aside from having six people join the story in a relatively short amount of time, and trying to keep each one interesting (how many times can you play out, “I was a statue? how long? thanks for rescuing me.”?), I also wanted to end up with the PCs trusting or liking some of the NPCs, but having some of the troublesome ones get under their radar without having a dishonest “gotcha” moment. I think it went well, and the party definitely seemed to enjoy when the thanksgiving feast turned into one of the hosts getting framed for murder and one of the new NPCs unleashing a crossbow bolt into the shoulder of the king’s ambassador. When next we play, I’ll be curious to see which side the PCs take in the ensuing brawl.
Looking back on the evening as I wrote up my notes, I was thinking that there can be a lot to introducing NPCs as to the whys and the hows, and perhaps it’s time for another GBS episode on the topic. One resource I was pleased to have during prep was Nord Games’ Ultimate NPCs—Skulduggery.