Monday, February 14, 2011

Creating an NPC - Pog Nog's Cart

Another addition in the creating a NPC.  I like to take races that are usually outside the players realm and put them into a community to see how they react and others would react.  Pog Nog is a goblin who has earned his stay.  He uses his skills to help others and expects very little in return.  Pog Nog is sort of a town mascot, but with a dark secret.  He will try to direct people to see the evil that is coming without saying it out load.  He is more afraid to speak of the evil more than the evil itself.  So without further ado....herrreeeeee's Pog Nog!

When you have a need for something, but just can’t seem to find it anywhere Pog Nog is the goblin to see.  His cart is full of unusual and useful things.  Pog Nog has a knack for having what you need and having what you need before even you know it.  His prices are minimal, a few coppers will do or Pog Nog will trade one item for another.  Next time you’re looking for a do-hickey, thing-a-ma-jig or a whatchmacallit, save some time and look for Pog Nog’s Cart.

There is a 75% chance that Pog-Nog will have a mundane item the players will need.  There is also 25% chance of him having something the players will need in the future.  If he has an item the players will need he will offer a trade.
Pog-Nog (street vendor: goblin, male, 4’6”, 60lbs, gray tuffs of hair, sparse gray beard, brown eyes)

Pog-Nog is a skinny, good-natured goblin.  He has a gift for having what people need.  He is an excellent scrounger with extremely good luck.  He finds his items sifting through garbage, walking in the forest, anywhere he goes he finds something useful.  His cart is organized into different piles of categories only he understands.  To most it looks like a pile of random things.  Pog-Nog knows exactly what is in his cart and where it is.

The town’s people are protective of him and the guard will not tolerate others harassing him.  Pog-Nog enjoys humans, but believes they are silly for living here.  He knows of the great evil that dwells near by and hopes he can help when the time comes.  He doesn’t know what the evil is or what it will do just that it is there.

When Pog-Nog was younger he belonged to a cult of goblins who specialized in prophecy.  Their group discovered a great evil was reawakening.  They tried to warn the goblins, but the goblin lord would hear none of it.  He declared the group of seers as traitors and had them hunted.  Pog-Nog was one of three that escaped.  He hid amongst the humans.  He survived by scrounging through what the humans threw away. 
One night he had a dream about him pulling a cart helping others as an evil attacked.  The next morning he built the cart from scraps he found and his business was born.  He will not mention the evil because he doesn’t want to be chased from here and if the goblins won’t listen to a goblin then why would humans listen to a goblin.  He is content with being helpful and hopes he will be prepared for when the evil comes.

Adventure Hooks
The holey ruby.
                Pog-Nog recovered a coin-sized ruby and gives it to one of the players during an exchange.  He doesn’t want any money for it.  He will just say that it is needed for later, but can’t explain for what.  On closer inspection the ruby has a small hole through the middle of it.  It is from the necklace of a baroness.  There will be a reward announced by town criers.  Should the players return the necklace to the baroness she will reward the players and because they have shown their honor by returning the ruby she will ask them to find her son.  Her son has been missing since he left for to explore the Harrower Caves. 

From the past comes the future.
                While Pog-Nog is searching through his cart for another customer an ornate buckler falls to the ground in front of a character.  The buckler is dinged and has the faded coat of arms of the player’s family on it.  Pog-Nog will inform the player he found it near a bad place in the woods.  The bad place used to be a manor house, but is now infested with undead.  If researched the player will find the manor belonged to his great uncle who disappeared years ago. 

When the wheel breaks.
                Pog-Nog is desperately trying to fix a broken wheel on his cart, but doesn’t have the strength to lift it.  He will ask the players to help.  He is in a hurry to deliver a package to a friend.  They players can help repair the wheel or offer to deliver the package.  The package is a leafy plant.  His friend, a healer, needs the plant to finish a salve to cure the children in the nearby village.  The children have a rotting skin disease and will suffer greatly.  If the salve is not delivered within a day any hope for the children will be lost.

Ever see a goblin in a headlock?
                Pog-Nog and another goblin are brawling in the middle of the street.  Pog-Nog tells the people trying to help him to leave him alone.  The other goblin will announce to everyone why Pog-Nog is a traitor, how his group of prophets made up stories of great evil to remove the goblin lord from power.  This will send Pog-Nog into a rage.  His secret is out.  If questioned about the evil he will tell the players that the evil has many births and one will be within the nearby Harrower Caves.


  1. Brilliant, love these NPCs, great ability to do this.

  2. Excellent! Very useful, thanks for this ;)

  3. Very cool, i think Pog Nog will be showing up in my game this weekend.

  4. Lurker > Glad you like them. They are a lot of fun to write up.

    Flea > You are welcome.

    Jackson > Pog Nog is a great NPC. Players usually tend to take to him quickly.