WARNING: This post contains spoilers for my upcoming Numenera campaign. If you are a player, keep away.
Now that we have a basic premise for the campaign and a potential powerful technological artifact - The Eye of Azhura - as the McGuffin (aka Ronin's suitcase), it's time to write down some of the potential oposition the player-characters will face either willingly or unwillingly. Not every one of these non-player characters are out to get the Eye of Azhura. Some want to loot the towers, others are secretely spying the player-characters and still others are doing their own thing but fate puts them in the player-characters' path.
Some of the following non-player characters were created by me, others were suggested during character creation. These are only the initial ideas. The campaign is always in flux and much can be changed depending on the players' ideas and characters' actions.
There are three characters in play so far: a nano, a glaive and a jack.
- A Tough Glaive Who Controls Beasts.
- A Mechanical Nano Who Exists Partly Out of Phase.
- A Graceful Jack Who Entertains.
I asked the players to roll/choose from the connection table on each type.
NPCs suggested during character creation:
- Kreel, the glaive's pet. This NPC has lots of potential for GM intrusions. According to this focus, the kreel hates another player-character. I sketched the beast as it exists in nature.
- The teachers of the nano and the powers that be who are keeping an eye on him rolled on the Nano Connection table. I'll leave these "powers that be" open for now. The players will provide me some ideas later. Perhaps they are the teachers of the nano, perhaps a different faction within the same school or a different group altogether.
- The jack's troupe of travelling minstrels and performers rolled on the Jack Connection table. These can make an appearance anywhere as they are a travelling group. They can help or hinder the player-characters.
NPCs suggested by the campaign premise:
- Tregor and Helion, a warrior and a nano. They lead a force of ragtag misfits and cutthroats. Initially, they will be pursuing the jack as she came into possession of information regarding the location of a source of potentially valuable numenera. Tregor is a violent man who leads by fear and force. Helion is no less violent but resorts to manipulation to achieve his own ends. He keeps Tregor in check. In fact, Tregor fears him. At first, it will seem Tregor is the leader of the two, but, in fact, Helion gives the orders.
- Volarus, the wanderer. I don't know who this NPC is... yet! He will be introduced early in the campaign and perhaps play a major part. My idea is that once he was a normal man who came into contact with ancient technology. Something blended with him and rewrote his DNA. Now he is something else, more transhuman than human. He will seem to be a mere observer with an unknown agenda. He can heal the most serious wounds by touch and he has little recollection of his past.
- The Outsiders. They crashed on Earth a long time ago. Longer than any living human. They seek a power source for their starship so they can return home. The only power source in existence powerful enough is the Eye of Azhura. They wear dark hooded cloaks and metal gloves and hide their faces with metal masks in the likeness of the human physiognomy In truth, these are suits that allow them to survive on Earth's atmosphere. They are not human, although I haven't decided their true nature yet.
At this point I don't think I need to over-complicate things. Two or three opponents with conflicting agendas is all that's needed to propel the plot. Other NPCs appear on a scenario to scenario basis like the local innkeeper or aeon priest.