Create A Young NPC

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MinusInnocence's picture
Create A Young NPC

Creating Young NPCs 

"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus. Does anyone?" - "Stand By Me" (1986)

In this challenge, entrants are tasked with creating a 1st level NPC using the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. The twist is that the character is a child. The Core rules assume a character reaches physical maturity around the age of 15, if human, and from there spends a term of years training in his or her first PC class level. Young characters, however, aren't old enough to do any such thing, and are thus limited to a single level of any one NPC class. There are also minor adjustments to the character's abilities.

You can find the Pathfinder Reference Document page about young characters HERE, as per guidelines laid out in Ultimate Campaign. Note that these rules are intended for PCs, so disregard the information about traits. NPCs don't have traits.

What we're looking for here is a full stat block for a 1st level NPC with the Young template, along with descriptions of his or her physical appearance, personality and background. For the purpose of this competition you will be limited to information from the PRD which you can find HERE . This would probably also include descriptions of the character's immediate family members, alive or perhaps recently dead, but not necessarily so.

In addition, please choose one from the following list of give optional elements to incorporate into your entry.

Optional Elements

A. The character is in possession of an original item, mundane or magical, or is made of a new material. Include a full description of it appended to your entry. It need not be unique in the character's world, but it must be created by you for the purpose of this competition.

B. The character knows a new feat. Include a full description of it here.

C. The character belongs to a new race. Include a full description of it as per the format for races in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, including physical appearance, culture, language, racial traits, favored class, etc.

D. A new monster features prominently in the character's life to date. Include a full description and statistics for an average member of that creature’s race as per the format laid out in the Pathfinder Bestiary.

E. The character is or previously has been the subject of a new spell, or may even know it him or herself. Include a full description of it, including level, school, range, etc.

This competition will run from today until Friday, May 20th, at 11:59 PM CDT.

Edited by: MinusInnocence on 05/04/2016 - 16:35
deadDMwalking's picture

You know how people say, "better late than never"? Well, I wanted to test that. Let's see how it goes.

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
-Nelson Mandela

Revolutionary fervor swept through Galt resulting in wave after wave of revolt, counter revolt, restoration, and counter restoration. History books will record the names of the rulers and revolutionary leaders that followed each other in quick successionOne consequence of the political turmoil that gets little attention is the most vulnerable members of society whose whole world can be upended when their guardians or the political structures they rely on are eliminated. ‘Jay’ is an orphan of revolutionary chaos, a refugee from a once politically connected dynasty now condemned to eke out a living on the streets of Azurestone. Her earliest memories are of a well-appointed apartment in Isarne. Her father was an advisor to a member of the Publican Council – an advisory board to one of the revolutionary governments that rose and fell over the last half-century in Galt. His knowledge of tax evasions by the now incoming government made him an enemy of the people. Jay watched his head tumble in a basket, quickly followed by her mother. Jay didn’t understand what crime her father was accused of, and it was never clear why her mother shared his fate – she wasn’t even political. The state, such as it was, had no interest in protecting the family of a traitor – no matter how flimsy the charges or evidence. Nor did it care about one lost and abandoned orphan against the appearance of providing succor to felons. The jeering crowd drifted away after the spectacle. When the bodies were removed and the square fell silent in the dark of night, she came to realize that she was alone – more than she ever had been before. She hugged her doll, Love, closely to her chest and started walking aimlessly.

The politicians and revolutionaries promising a new dawn of equality, opportunity and fraternity may not have cared about a lost, lonely gnome child, but the gods are kinder. A lost child, she stumbled through the Boarwood randomly. As she traveled, day after agonizing day, she became more lost, bedraggled and hopeless. The end seemed to find her as she was caught in an invisible web of sticky silk. An Ettercap chittered up behind her and encased her in a steely grip. Just as the foul beast tightly held her, she tightly held her doll. As his slavering maw inched closer, she buried her face in her doll. And in what must have passed for a prayer, Shelyn sent aid. Shelyn has a special affinity for wolves and one of them charged to the gnome child’s defense. Leaping upon the Ettercap from behind, the whole assemblage collapsed to the ground. She sprawled free and the fear and tears left her. As the wolf savaged the Ettercap she grabbed a nearby stick. With a strength beyond her she attacked with a savagery every equal to that of the wolf. All of the fear and hurt and anger of the past few weeks were unleashed at once. The Ettercap nearly slew the wolf, but with the unexpected barrage from a helpless victim and the severe damage the wolf had inflicted, he was overcome. The unlikely victor, Jay collapsed and wept – for her parents, for her situation and for sheer relief at surviving. When she recovered, she began attending to the ‘puppy’ that had saved her. Although the wounds were grievous, the wolf responded to her patient care. In a few days, Puppy joined Jay and Hug on their continuing travels.

Gnomes have a long childhood, and even though a human would have grown up fast under such circumstances, Jay retains her childlike naïveté. Galt remained unstable. She ended up in Edme, but widespread starvation forced her to leave. When a Dwarven pilgrim caravan came through Edme on the way to Azurestone, she ended up surreptitiously following in their wake. Eventually she ended up taking residence in an alley behind the Lattice Inn. From her ‘house’ – an empty half-keg and a crate, both half-buried in mud and forgotten, she makes expeditions to gather food for herself and Puppy. She also makes dolls that she shares with other kids. She’s taken to leaving the dolls on the altar at the temple of Shelyn before making them gifts – she doesn’t know why, but somehow it feels right.

Still a decade away from maturity Jay distrusts adults in general and authority figures such as police and government officials specifically. After watching her parents guillotined for reasons she didn’t even understand, it’s hardly surprising that she has trusted to her own devices and the only friends that have proven their loyalty: Puppy and Love. She usually hides through the day and scavenges in the twilight shadows, or pre-dawn, relying on her low-light vision to see and the darkness to protect her.

Using Jay in your Campaign
Every campaign world is richer for including NPCs that are living their lives in the background, potentially unnoticed and ignored by the PCs. But when they cross paths, it might lead the PCs in a direction they did not previously expect. There are a number of ways the PCs might interact with Jay and numerous adventures that can result.

If any of the PCs are particularly devoted to Shelyn, she may subtly direct them to aid in Jay’s plight. Jay creates dolls from materials she can scavenge together and has taken to leaving them on Shelyn’s altar. Whether she was instructed via premonition or for other reasons, she knows that Love makes her brave (see Shelyn Doll, below). Among the rich offerings on Shelyn’s altar at Inclusive Hall of gilt work, luxurious paintings and the finest crafts in the region, players may notice a seemingly out of place child’s doll made from rags. If they wonder about who made it and why it was left there, they may notice a furtive child come to reclaim it.

While Jay does her best to avoid trouble, there are dangerous people in the world. It’s possible that the PCs will bear witness to one such scuffle. Perhaps it is the owner of a business accusing her of stealing or driving business away (or just finding her daytime hiding spot) creating an altercation or it could be more serious – slavers abducting another unwanted and unlooked for child. Whatever the source of the trouble, Puppy will be on her side. A wolf attacking the townsfolk is certain to cause a stir.

It’s also possible that a PC (especially a gnome) will attract Jay’s attention. There are fewer than 20 gnomes in Azurestone, including her, and something about the PC may remind Jay of her parents. She may try to discretely connect with the PC and try to ascertain if they may be a relative. She knows her parents aren’t from Galt originally, but she doesn’t know where they do hail from. She doesn’t know what relatives she might have, but she doesn’t feel she’s alone in the world – there’s someone looking for her!

Jay can also be used as someone that can help the PCs. She knows more than most people would expect about surviving in the woods and she’s a natural friend to animals. She makes a great local guide. She is naturally stealthy, and small enough to go places that bigger PCs couldn’t. If they gain her trust she can help them.

Jay can also be used in conjunction with the Pathfinder adventure Flight of the Red Raven. With her knowledge of local affairs, she can help get the PCs started on the adventure, and with her wolf companion and familiarity with wilderness, she might be a guide of last resort. Adding a child to the adventure can make some interesting encounters even more fraught.

Gnome Expert 1
NG Small humanoid (gnome)
Init +6; Senses low-light vision; Perception +3
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 11 (+1 Size, +0 armor, +2 Dex)
hp 4 (1d6+1)
Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +3; +2 vs. illusions
Defensive Abilities defensive training
Speed 20 ft.
Melee club -2 (1d4-3)
Ranged light crossbow +3 (1d6/19–20)
Special Attacks hatred
Gnome Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st, Concentration +2)
1/daydancing lights, ghost sound (DC 13), prestidigitation, speak with animals
During Combat Jay couldn’t hurt a fly, even if she tried really hard. She looks for ways to escape combat by withdrawing to cover and using stealth if able. She relies on her ability to create minor illusions to create a distraction if possible. If she can’t escape combat, she’ll call Puppy and use Aid Another to help him deal with the problem.
Str 4, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 12
*Uses Heroic NPC array w/ Youth adjustments (+2 Dex, -2 Str/Con/Wis)
Base Atk +0; CMB -4; CMD 6
Feats Improved Initiative
Skills Bluff +5, Craft [doll] +4, Escape Artist +5, Handle Animal +5, Heal +5, Knowledge [Nature] +6, Knowledge [Local] +6, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +6, Survival +5
Languages Common, Gnome, Sylvan, Elven, Draconic
Combat Gear alchemist’s fire;
Other Gear Shelyn Doll*, light crossbow, 10 bolts, club, 4gp
*New Item Described Later
A full grown gnome might be mistaken for a child; Jay is not even full-grown and some might mistake her for a sprite or pixie, that is, if they notice her at all. Most adults have no problem ignoring ‘street people’ regardless of their age or size. With her dirty clothes, unkempt hair and diminutive size, she’s especially easy to overlook. Her hair would be a mousy brown if it were clean (it usually looks dark to the point of being black) and her eyes are an unusually clear green.
Jay doesn’t remember her given name, but Jay works well. She picked up the nickname by bouncing around like a bird and that’s how she’s known to the other children. She is generally afraid of adults, but tries to befriend children (especially those her own size). If she ever sees a child in danger, she’ll intervene even at great danger to herself. She knows first-hand how it feels to be alone.

“Puppy” – Wolf CR 1
XP 400
N Medium animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +8
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 13 (2d8+4)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +1
Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +2 (1d6+1 plus trip)
Str 13, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 14 (18 vs. trip)
Feats Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Perception +8, Stealth +6, Survival+1 (+5 scent tracking); Racial Modifiers +4 Survival when tracking by scent

Doll, Shelyn
Aura moderate enchantment; CL 9th; Slot none; Price - gp; Weight 1 lb.

Shelyn is known for her devotion to art and beauty, but few know that she holds a special regard for children and is a protector of the young. If a child’s doll is placed on an altar dedicated to Shelyn, it is imbued with the ability to cast heroism, greater one time, but only on a creature with the [Young] template. Activating the ability only requires the child to hug the doll closely to her chest. A single doll can be enchanted multiple times, but it must be returned to the altar each time. A child that uses the doll gains a +4 morale bonus on attack rolls, saves, and skill checks, immunity to fear effects, and 9 temporary hit points.

Any doll placed by a child on the altar and left for at least one hour is imbued with this effect.

MinusInnocence's picture

Galt's the place with the magic, sentient guillotines, isn't it?

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

deadDMwalking's picture

MinusInnocence wrote:

Galt's the place with the magic, sentient guillotines, isn't it?


I ran a Rise of the Runelords campaign when Golarion was just getting started. For the most part, I'm not really a fan, but Galt looks like it is 'imagine a country based on the French Revolution' and guillotines were mentioned in the first paragraph. The character came first - Galt just worked out as a convenient place that seemed to fit what I wanted. Jay was originally going to be a human adept; she became a gnome expert and Puppy was added as a Riding Dog before becoming a wolf. There were a few revisions as I worked through it - and a lot of referring back to Pathfinder rules and Golarion details. Hopefully enough that it seems reasonable for the world.