Saturday, June 09, 2007

Random colorful characters

Legend of Zelda:Twilight PrinceWhen your novel gets to the saggy middle, that's the time to drop in some random colorful characters! This was posted by Fenix on the National Novel Writing Month forums for 2005.
Found some stuff online...

I [Fenix] found a list of possible side stories online, many different sites, decided to put them into categories that I thought would work best:

  • Is on a personal quest for vengeance.
  • Is paranoid and over-protective of the town that cast him out.
  • Cannot stop complaining, and will complain to anyone near them but knows key information hidden among the complaints.
  • Is an outcast in the community for no good reason.
  • has a valuable treasure but does not know who to turn to and trust for the sale
  • Fears being alone because of a recent incident.
  • Is heavily in debt and is fleeing/hiding from creditors.
  • Is a fan (to the point of fanaticism) of a spectator sport of the time (jousting, cockfighting, bearbaiting, whatever) and has gotten into gambling/stalking trouble.
  • Fears he's being watched and is looking for someone who he can trust to recover a valuable object buried nearby
  • NPC has invented a new piece of equipment and is looking for a test subject.
  • Wants PCs to 'lend' him the main plot item after they retrieve it, before they hand it over to the main plot instigator. The motivation could be pure (i.e. item needed to lift a deadly curse) or nefarious (i.e. item used to raise an army of undead).
  • Sells rare and unusual spells.
  • Sells magical equipment that looks fake or non-magical.
  • Has a craving for rare herbs and spices that unknown to the PCs are used to create a powerful narcotic.
  • NPC is a merchant looking to open trade with other races and spot a non-human PC.
  • Is looking for a business partner.
  • Is a pacifist who tries to convert the party to the ways of non-violence.
  • Wants the PCs to promote her business by wearing or using her product prominently whenever possible (fashionable cloaks, very tasty trail rations, a specific musical instrument, etc.).
  • Is an artist trying to sell his works.
  • Is collecting parlor games from across the lands.
  • Acts as a local guide to the PCs.
  • Desperately needs an item only available through the Black Market.
  • Acts as a representative for the Black Market.
  • Sells rice cakes with magic rings inside.
  • Is a wandering amateur chef looking for new recipes and ingredients.
  • Is a pacifist who tries to convert the party to the ways of non-violence.
  • Is a writer trying to sell his works.
  • Tries to pass off lousy equipment as magical.
Wanted man:
  • Is in disguise (for reasons real or imaginary).
  • Has had an operation to change his/her race, but still manifests cultural mannerisms of his/her original race.
  • Is an outcast for forgotten crimes
  • A 'wanted man' sought by a particular non-human good race (i.e. Elves, Halflings, Dwarves, etc.) for some past misdeed or misunderstanding.
  • Has a racial enemy or is banned from racially dominant areas.
  • Is deadly terrified of shadows. He'll only meet with the PCs in places completely devoid of shadows.
  • Was recently injured in a random attack and seeks his attackers for revenge.
  • Is a vigilante who kills in cold blood convinced that the ends (i.e. eliminating a criminal element) justify the means (using excessive force, killing hostages, etc.).
  • Has been falsely accused and has just posted bail and is now looking for proof of his innocence.
  • Is trying to ditch the city guards, who are chasing him for a minor crime.
  • Is a skilled amateur gambler looking to break into the pros or find the 'big game'.
  • Greedy -- always demands first dibs and/or larger shares when dividing treasure troves based on exaggerated contributions to the party's success.
Secretive guy:
  • Has been given a task by his boss and his boss would punish him if it was known he was 'wasting time' with the PCs.
  • Wants the PCs to 'accidentally retrieve' an item while they are investigating clues.
  • Is searching for a lost family heirloom -- the heirloom may not have any value other than sentiment.
  • Is on a secret military mission.
  • Is a worshipper of a death god(dess) or a necromancer who wishes to serve as a mortician of the city but needs documents proving his/her good intentions/standing.
  • Is secretly recruiting for the military or a special guild.
  • Knows of 'lots of great adventures' that are, unfortunately, all dead ends.
  • Is quiet, brooding, and short tempered due to medical problems.
  • Is an informant for the local thieves' guild with nothing to report and is ready to make something up.
  • Is tainted in some way and tries at all costs to keep the taint a secret.
  • Is a failed adventurer with much emotional baggage who seeks to sabotage other adventurers.
  • Is a binge drinker who tends to get in trouble due to violent, drunken bouts.
  • Is trying to find out how to join a certain secret cult.Is a failed adventurer with much emotional baggage who seeks to sabotage other adventurers.

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