My Favorite NPC: Vert

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival topic is “Favorite NPCs”. I have several that stand out in my mind.

There was Beldo, the Rhenee crime boss with the vaguely eastern European accent who complained that the player characters once paid him off with a golden frog statuette ( “I send you for money and you bring me frog? Why don’t you go someplace and sell frog, then bring me money. Then everybody happy!”).

There was also the witch who tormented a different group of player characters with a hand of glory, transmuted their rivals into mice, and was generally a ruthless and brilliant enemy.

But my favorite, I think, has to be Vert.

Upon entering an expanse of forest, the PCs made camp and were approached by a man named Vert, who demanded from them all of their coins in return for being allowed safe passage through “his” forest. The one party member who had been on guard duty, and who had witnessed his transformation from human form to that of a green dragon as a means to convince her of the folly of resisting, convinced the rest to comply, and most did so, albeit somewhat reluctantly. (All dragons in my campaign can shape-shift between human and dragon form.)

Upon reaching the village on the far side of the wood, however, they were informed by the locals– with no small amount of mirth– that Vert was indeed a green dragon, but one only three years of age, and eagerly accumulating his first hoard of treasure! He was something of a mascot to the town, as he never harassed them at all (probably due to the fact that they knew he could be beaten off with a broom handle if it came down to it), and they took particular delight in hearing the tales of travelers whom Vert had fleeced out of yet another few dozen coins.

I don’t think the PC who was on guard duty that night ever lived that down.

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

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