Some NPCs make excellent allies, others are debilitating nemeses, but some are just sad. In this series of posts we bring you Flawed Foes. These NPCs may once have held great potential, alas, their flaws have created substantial hurdles. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying some good old role-playing fun though!
Glando the Pervasive was born to a charming catwoman and a hardworking catman. The young catfolk adored his parents, who worked tirelessly to provide their son with a good life, and remained jubilantly positive no matter what hurdles came their way. While Glando was cheerful and generally well-mannered, others in the village found it difficult to trust him; there was something about the young catfolk that seemed shifty.
Over time Glando’s parents began to drift apart, and though they did their best to keep their son’s well-being first and foremost, a change was eventually needed; Glando’s father no longer agreed with the rules of his clan, and decided to leave the village, but his mother refused to give up the life she had built. As he neared adulthood, Glando was forced to make a choice – leave with his father, or stay with his mother.
The young boy was devastated. As it happened, a travelling show came through his village that night. Several of the visitors were adept musicians, sporting various instruments including the lute. Glando was mesmerised. The music spoke to him and soothed him.
Overwhelmed with the decision before him, Glando returned home where he collected a few belongings and, in the first rays of dawn, hid himself in amongst the wagons of the travellers. It was not until much later that day he was found and, after some pleading, was allowed to stay on with the musicians. The group wasn’t sure if they could trust him and kept their small coin purses close, but they sympathized with the young Glando and his desire to be on the road, his heart full of melody.
Each evening the party would create beautiful music and occasionally they allowed Glando to try. He was horrible, but he persevered. His companions offered words of encouragement and attempted to teach him.
For months he travelled with the musicians, from town to town. He assisted them with their packs and instruments, he helped draw crowds, and always he dreamed of being one of them, but he was never allowed to play with them for events.
Glando soon decided they were jealous of his ability to play the lute, and when the party left town the next morning he bid them farewell and ventured off on his own with the small pouch of coin he had been paid during his time with them. The aspiring bard made his way to a local merchant who was selling a lute. The lute, he was told, belonged to a capable and magnificent musician who met his end performing in front of a great crowd well into old age – no doubt, it could bring him the same fortune and luck. And so, with nary a coin left to his name, Glando renamed himself Glando the Pervasive and set forth to conquer the musical scene of every tavern he could find.
Alas, after a year on the road Glando the Pervasive has had difficulty securing any shows and is frequently booed off stage. Due to his squirrely nature, Glando has not even had much luck hiring himself out to adventurers or merchants to provide a helping hand. He has begun to consider returning home to his village, but he isn’t sure what he will find if he does, and he fears neither of his parents will forgive him for abandoning them.
You can find more unique NPCs in our Tangible Taverns and 5e NPC collections on DriveThruRPG.
What did you think of this NPC? Did he make an appearance in your game session?