My Name is NPC#4 – Or Why You Should Give NPCs Actual Names

Just yesterday night, I returned to DMing the RPG Alex and I are working on, and that most of you would probably be aware of due to Alex’s magic with cartography and making pretty maps. Well, my post today will not have to do anything with this topic, but something I find that in RPGs is often taken for granted: NPCs. What would you actually do without your good friend Joe the Tavernier telling you that there are monsters attacking the caravans coming in and out of the settlement? Pretty much nothing. Although player interacting is – in my opinion – crucial for a good game, without the NPCs the DM would be 100% bored and the players most certainly lost. So today I am gonna dedicate the post to the many Joes and Daves you’ve encountered in many tales.

One thing that always fascinated me when I was little of the RPGs my parents played, was that my dad always had a quirky character waiting for something to happen in the story and mess up the party – I would love to say help out, but I probably don’t remember that well to confirm such thing….And the thing was that, although this was always my dad, these characters were never the same. Not one merchant was equal to another, nor where the Innkeepers always jolly or informative, neither were his villains always monsters. These were fully fleshed people with thoughts, emotions and agendas – the latter being perhaps the most important one. I believe this is how NPCs should be. The world your roam for your own personal reasons is full of other people, just because Jack didn’t turn up to play, it doesn’t mean that Kronk the Barbarian that you just helped out doesn’t get his 5 minutes of glory. Nevertheless, I find that a lot of people struggle making meaningful NPCs, and even worse, useful NPCs that help the story move forward and add to the narrative. Continue reading “My Name is NPC#4 – Or Why You Should Give NPCs Actual Names”

“Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Tunes & Lyrics to Get your Creative Juices Going


Have you ever been listening to some tunes and thought to yourself, “OME, this would make a great RPG plot/story line/character concept”? If you have then you know what this is going to be about – and if you haven’t, dudes, you need to get your musical mojo on because music is a great source of inspiration for all sorts of things! These are things I have been thinking about for some time, so, forgive me, but some of these ideas are a bit more developed than others. In any case, I hope you can see how they could work.

Oh, and prior warning, this includes, a fair amount of METAL! :8

Rhapsody of Fire – The Emerald Sword & Dawn of Victory

If you are in for some high-fantasy stuff, this is perfect. Both songs are really fast paced and they scream epicness. Starting with Dawn of Victory, I think it is pretty obvious but here is a lot of stuff for a very cool battle/fight.

Continue reading ““Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Tunes & Lyrics to Get your Creative Juices Going”

To Bard or Not to Bard? 121 Guide on How to be The Cool Kid with thyne Lute

This is something that bothers me endlessly, and lately there has been a few conversations or situations where the topic has come up and I’ve really decided to put my foot down for once and for all. It is no surprise in the geek circles I move, bards always get all the crap thrown down their way – ALL the memes in the internet are about bards did or didn’t. Bards are useless characters. Bards can’t fight. They can’t think either, cause you know, apparently the only stat they know how to use is something charisma related and sometimes not even that. Bards are no good in social situations, they certainly are not made for politics, or war…God damn it, so What Are Bards Good For?! :0

Well, guess what?! The true answer is EverythingIF you know how to use them.

It all comes down with how people play games, and how many, many people choose to play bards cause they think it would be cool and adventurous…or that is what they tell their mates. In reality these people ain’t got a clue and would just try to see if they can get away with the rock star behaviour, cause that seems like a legit enough connection to reality. This is the way everyone’s idea of a bard in an RPG looks a bit like Assurancetourix (which for some bizarre reason in the UK is called Cacofonix?! missing the joke btw, cause in French the name sounds like assurance tout risque o assurance tous risques – an all risk cover on your insurance policy…But hey…).

Admit it: you are the kind of horrible human being that just laughed and thought of a friend because of the many, many times something like that has happened in-game. Well let me tell you, if that how you think this works, you don’t know how to rock n roll – which for sure means you immediately do not qualify for the job!

Continue reading “To Bard or Not to Bard? 121 Guide on How to be The Cool Kid with thyne Lute”

“Armed for Battle”: a backstory for Brunihild for the One Ring

A while back you may have seen my character creation process for Brunihild for a game of the One Ring I did not get to play – yet. As a very thorough player that I am, I cannot create a character without giving them a back story – does not feel right. How am I supposed to know who they are if I don’t tell others?! But this is no news – everyone knows I am the best bard in all of Krynn! (I will tell you about it one day). So this the background for Brunihild. I am a massive Tolkien fan, so I have tried to keep the story consistent, not only with One Ring dynamics, but so I would fit in within the general narrative sphere of Middle-earth:

Continue reading ““Armed for Battle”: a backstory for Brunihild for the One Ring”

Creating Brunihild for The One Ring – Brunihild Creada para el One Ring

So here is a character concept I developed for One Ring game Alex was working on for an online forum, but that we didn’t really have the chance to go through with. However I very much enjoyed the proces and liked the type I came up with. Who knows, maybe I will get to play as her in the future:

Aquí os dejo un personaje para el One Ring, el juego de Cublicle 7 basado en la Tierra-media justo después del Hobbit y antes del Señor de los Anillos en la narrativa de Tolkien. Alex estaba desarrollando el juego para un foro online, aunque al final no pudo ser. Ha conseguido redirigir su campaña a esta narrativa tipo fan-ficción que escribe como si estuviese masteando la partida, pero bueno yo decidí seguir con el personaje, y bueno igual con un poco de suerte puedo usarla en un futuro próximo:



I used the main books from the One Ring and the online character generator, which is extremly useful. Me limité a usar el libro de reglas original del One Ring – aunque hay expansiones, tampoco quería complicarme mucho la vida ya que solo he jugado un par de veces – y este generador de personajes online que es muy útil:

This is really useful as well if you want to have a full discussion as a group about individual characters and how to link stories together – it saves the characters online and it allows you to chat amongst yourselves. Handy! Esta herramienta es genial si además quieres comentar una partida online o incluso jugarla si no tienes otros medios, porque te permite guardar ahí mismo los personajes de todos los jugadores e incluso sus fichas de trasfondo.

A Syren’s Call: Meet Cymoril, Daughter of Cacophony

This is Cymoril, my Daughter of Cacophony who I truly like. I have been playing Vampire the Masquerade for over 12 years now. I have played as every single playable clan. I have Dmed in every single period, story-arch, multitude of different groups and dynamics. I have killed characters, I have made them suffer. But Cymoril is special. There is a narrative inside her that I like. I am not one for exploiting female attributes such as beauty and sex appeal with my characters – I’m hard-core, I kick ass, that’s what I do! But then I thought of giving myself a challenge.

So here are the stats for Cymoril – through Google Drive.

The entire character has also been inspired by the art work of the amazing and undeniably good Maciej Kuciara. His character concepts for Showtime allowed me to understand the true nature of Cymoril. And this shows in her story – which I leave with you now:
My life is somewhat a lane of memories with twists and turns I will never be able to fully comprehend.

I do not remember my parents – sometimes I doubt I ever had any. The chasm of the 1920s spanned many on Earth, and some born to the ungrateful ended in cold crates awaiting someone to find them a home. Vague details of a hospice come to mind every so often…But all I can tell you is that my childhood didn’t matter much, except for the Jazz. Oh boy did I love hearing the bluesy notes coming out of the bars and cabarets of Quebec city center…I remember dancing around with the other girls while an old cranky witch would boss us around…I use to escape through the window quite often…Music was The Thing, if you follow me…When the war started, I entered the service – didn’t understand why all these people had to die and bleed…What was the point? Life seemed so short…I used to sing a lot while in duty, helping the typist at the office, making the coffee, cleaning, anything to earn a few dollars so the system would give me my independence and precious freedom away from the cranky house, with the cranky witch, in the middle of a currently infested with people old town; Quebec.

…And perhaps wishes come true. I took the habit of singing while feeding the ducks on my way back to the hospice. One evening, it was getting on, but I didn’t want to go…I kept on hearing things around me, I wasn’t feeling very well…Then I saw her. It was the 15/05/1950. I remember it because word in town was nothing but the conception of a rocket being able to fly to the moon as Dr. von Braun had announce on the papers the previous day…This woman, with her ruby-red curls, her polka-dotted dress and her bright crimson heels walking along the lakeside with 2 gents, like if they were her escorts. My sight followed her for a moment, while words of a song came to my mouth out of nowhere, some kind of swing, but with edge…

Next thing I remember the woman was inviting me into her car. She took me to a gig she was playing. She was a singer, you see, like we all are. She went back then by the name of Kassie. She roared on the stage full of soul and charm, she loved the limelight and everyone knew it, and everyone loved her. The chorister that accompanied her invited me to the backstage. Everyone was seriously mesmerized by her. How could one woman who I had never heard of before hold such power…? …The Siren signs and Ulysses gets lost at sea…That’s how. Before I realised, this woman turned to be not a woman at all, but a creature of the moonlight. She promised me another life, and afterlife before death. And the possibility of a song that would never end…No more hospice, no more cranky, noisy, grubby Quebec no more…So I took it.

Cassandra ‘K’ taught me all one can possibly ever know of the voice, of human psyche, desire, power, control, and otherworldly things. She said I would need them “for when you grow up”…Growing up…I’ll always be 21…And so, the showed carried on: we moved to the States, she went off to do some voice acting for Hollywood and I found myself in Beverly Hills…Too much glamour for my liking…And that soul, swing with edge captivated me…So here I am. It’s 1980, I am the lead singer of a post rock-grunge-drone band, and my name, is nothing but a memory…Twisted and lost, somewhere…In a lonely, quiet park, in Quebec old town…

Trasfondo: Lyssa Appelberg – Warhammer Fantasy (2009)

Aquí os dejo hoy el trasfondo de mi mercenaria de una partida de Warhammer Fantasy que jugué con unos amigos de Santander en 2009. Espero que lo disfrutéis.

Acaba de amanecer. Hace aproximadamente un par de horas caí exhausta de mi montura: Tyr-non, era una buena yegua, muy lista, es lógico que buscase por su bien y no por el mío. Sobre todo sabiendo que todo esto es culpa mía: ella en ningún momento quiso aventurarse en esta locura…Por tanto aquí me encuentro magullada, perdida en el bosque de Drakwald, intentando no desmayarme a causa de la falta de alimento y bebida. Será mejor que repose unos instantes antes de ponerme de nuevo en pie, creo haber distinguido un claro no muy lejos de aquí. Mientras tanto, tal vez convendría presentarme.

Mi nombre es Lyssa, Lyssa Appelberg, aunque el apellido ahora no importe. Soy originaria de Nuln, y fue allí donde me crié, en la humilde casa de mi humilde familia. Mi padre era cazador y mi madre, además de encargarse de las tareas del hogar y los niños, cuidaba y criaba pollos que después vendíamos en el mercado. Mi hermano mayor, Elrik, me sacaba cinco años. Fue él quien me enseñó todo lo necesariamente útil para sobrevivir en un mundo tan inhumano como el nuestro. Elrik solía ir de caza con nuestro padre, era bueno con el arco. También ayudaba a mamá, especialmente se encargaba de mí. De veras juro que es el mejor hermano que se podría tener. Por desgracia, siendo yo pequeña, a penas contaría con diez años, padre murió a causa de una terrible enfermedad que ningún médico supo diagnosticar. Fue lo peor que podría habernos pasado, pero por suerte estaba Elrik. Tendría por aquel entonces quince años. Le prometió a nuestra madre que no dejaría que nos hundiésemos en la miseria y por ello, aprovechando sus dotes como arquero, se alistó en el ejército, a cambio de un salario miserable e indigno del cual vivíamos.

Continue reading “Trasfondo: Lyssa Appelberg – Warhammer Fantasy (2009)”

The One Ring Characters: Arnulf and Burin

Before I eventually get into the story I’m writing set in Middle Earth using the One Ring RPG, I’m going to start off with a few posts introducing some of the characters I’ll be introducing. To begin here are the two main characters I plan on starting the story off with.

Arnulf son of Arn, Man of Dale and Burin son of Frár, Dwarf of the Iron Hills

Arnulf is one of the many Northmen in the region that have taken to calling themselves ‘Bardings’ after King Bard, the ruler of the reconstructed city of Dale and the surrounding Dalelands. In the five years since the slaying of Smaug and the Battle of Five Armies Arnulf has been eagerly helping with the restoration of the city and was among the first to resettle in the small community there a few months after the battle. Being a fairly young man at the age of twenty-one years he has spent most of his time under the guidance of his elders, particularly his master and teacher Burin the Dwarf, and looking up to the example that King Bard has led. Continue reading “The One Ring Characters: Arnulf and Burin”

Character Creation – Rhia – Human Psyker

I was really disappointed at ourselves that it has taken us this long to write something on table top RPGs! I was taking part in my dad’s games before I could form coherent thoughts of my own, so really I should live up to expectations. I have now been Dming for nearly 12-13 years, and playing for just as long, if not more, so I’ve got A Lot to share. I’ll start with one character I did for one of my friend’s Warhammer 40.000 game – we were playing via forum, and things didn’t really pick up, but the effort was there, and I certainly liked the character concept.

So let me introduce you to Rhia: an imperial psyker who I hope, I’d get to tell you more about in days to come.

Rhia’s Stats:

Character details
Character details – yeah, the stats are not great, did not roll very well, but she has the points were they are needed…

Continue reading “Character Creation – Rhia – Human Psyker”