A good Sorcerer game needs interesting NPCs: complex people with their own motivations and hang-ups. I need to generate some Young-Kingdoms rulers, Melnibonéan potentates and loose cannons, and supernatural agents with agenda. But I don’t feel that I can really nail down any interesting characters and their motivations until we’ve had the player-character generation session: until I know the PCs’ kickers.
So in the meantime, a compromise. I’m going to send out NPC character sketches, one a day until our char-gen session. For inspiration. The players can set up their characters in alliance, opposition or imitation of any of these. Or just ignore them if they have better ideas.
This is definitely not “required knowledge.” I don’t want to overwhelm the players with stuff that they “have to” learn in order to play. If a player ends up using one of these NPCs in their backstory or kicker, then great, it’s in the game. The rest can be forgotten.
Here’s the first one…
Duke Senodjar of House Jifar’a.
Melnibonéan courtier and patriarch of the Jifar’a family. Oiled bald head, stocky build, indeterminate middle age. Confident stride. Grandly styled clothing with built-up shoulders and giant curving collars that reach up to his ears, highly illuminated with gold thread (even at orgies: heavily brocaded floor-length vest, worn open). Always at court, has his fingers in all the pies. House Jifar’a owns the taxation rights to the whole Western Continent, but doesn’t collect the taxes itself, the family doesn’t maintain the ships or man-power anymore. In the spring, each kingdom is assessed and informed of its tax obligation by a single assessor (a family member). Come autumn, should a kingdom fail to deliver its taxes to Imrryr, no matter the reason, Duke Senodjar sells pillaging rights to another family (as often for political favours as for gold or goods).
House Jifar’a is wealthy, and Duke Senodjar’s family is a large one. He is a sorcerer, of course. The family heirloom demon is Herpios,The Ring Of Serpent-Kin, a big gold ring with an iridescent green gem like a snake’s eye. Abilities include: Shapeshift (conveyed; giant green snake); in ring form, Boost Lore; when user is in serpent form, Special Damage (constriction).