N is for Nighttime, NPCs and Nightshade Palace...
Will you indulge me as I take us back to the first edition DMG just one more time? We’ve already mentioned a few of the lists the Blight contains, but one of the great things slithering from page 191 of the DMG was a great city/town encounters matrix.
I love this list for two reasons; firstly it’s incredibly useful to have a list like this handy when GMing a city location; for passers-by, possible additions to encounters or consequences of actions, and secondly for inspiration. A good encounter table can also throw up a mix of NPCs for you to craft a quick encounter from, a very useful tool for a GM. The Blight has a day and night table for each district, with named NPCs as well as random—occasionally horrible—encounters. These list have slipped into the back of each section, a little point but I wanted to mention them because, to me, they can be really handy and I think other GMs will find them useful.
Also near the back of the Blight is a long list of NPCs, three of which are detailed below. Like the random encounter lists, these are tossed into your hands for an occasional bit of inspiration, a handy instant random NPC should you need one, or as a possible friend, ally or dubious associate of the PCs for along the way.
The NPCs are detailed in a quick reference way, with a few word summary, appearance and suggested possible uses for GMs, these are presented in their Pathfinder blocks.
Ollman—The Jaded Fisherman (male briny ranger 4/expert 5)
He looks older than the sea, his hands calloused to leather. His face is unmistakably and disturbingly fishlike; his wide eyes seemingly lidless.
Ollman has plenty to say, he’s a source of the best fisherman’s tales and stories of beasts on the high seas.
Ollman is a good man, although briny-boys have a hard time in many parts of the city and tend to keep together. He’s an expert on the seas hereabouts and knows what lies above and below the seas within a month’s journey from the Spires. He also knows plenty about the Unsea, having been there for a few months once, an experience he doesn't want to repeat.
For the GM, Ollman gives a potential ferryman or an expert on the river. He is distrustful, however, and getting information out of him won’t be easy. He lives and eats and drinks in the briny taverns and markets by the river, places where being anything other than briny makes life difficult.
Hassibelius Joppi Shortstone IV—The Would be Merchant (male shortstone gnome expert 8)
He’s ugly, but you cannot hold that against him. He wears ridiculously flamboyant attire, which is probably easier to hold against him, especially the hat, which is nearly two feet tall and has all the colors of the rainbow.
Trade and commerce, trade and commerce. One day Hassibelius knows he’ll be rich—one day. He has a different trade each week, this week it’s tortoises—buying, selling and cooking thereof, next week it could be scarves or mittens, the week after that magical saps, the week after…
One of life’s eternal optimists, Hassibelius can be annoyingly cheerful but has great contacts in trade, he also has an unrivalled knowledge of the local markets and +15 in Knowledge (local). One day he’ll cotton on that guiding is much more profitable than selling.
Fenis—The Secret Wererat (female wererat ranger 6)
What a beauty! With cascading blonde curls and a voluptuous figure, this lady smiles knowingly as she walks the streets.
Her voice is coarse, but says pretty things, her attire is revealing. She knows she’s beautiful.
An agent of the Family, Fenis is a whore of the highest calibre, a honey trap that has caught hundreds of willing victims. She’s married to the Family, but her appallingly huge husband Tam is never far away.
Fenis gives you several options to adventure. If the PC’s work with the Family she makes a useful and colourful ally, as an enemy she makes a beautiful and dangerous foe.
And finally, let’s have a peek at a part of the high Capitol herself today…
C36 Nightshade Palace
A breath-taking journey across the rooftops is danced here by this palace, walkways link to pools fed by fountains and iron pathways cross gables below to reach further parts of this scattered and vast place.
The Nightshades, allies of the swyne and worshippers of all things royal, indulge in all things; their parties are lavish, their sins countless and their alliances and admirers profligate. These indulgences find physical form here in an orgy of wealth that some find sickening. The Nightshades are a business family, and have found that nothing removes somebody from their cash more than pleasure; doting pleasure that allows their guests to indulge in any whim. The Nightshades delight in being the perfect hosts; carefully researching and studying their guests and accommodating them in any way—any way. The palace is therefore something of a chameleon, and her attic wings store countless props, games, illusions and forgotten relics of past parties. The entire palace changes from event to event; something that costs a fortune but money is no object.
Repulsive bully Lucas Nathaniel Nightshade (LN male human aristocrat 13) rules the family, he has designs on practically every royal daughter of age, and the death through fire of every Borxia for witchcraft. A consummate bullying business man, Lucas admires all new thinkers, and in particular Joseph Sedge (Area#TT 6 and 10) and Rudyard Brome (Area#TT14)...