Friday, March 5, 2010

The Entourage of the Ferral Wolf

So here are the NPCs aboard the Explorers' ship, the Ferral Wolf. Each one represents different personnel aboard the ship, as I stated in my last post. You'll note that if some of these characters die, it doesn't mean that the Explorers' lose everyone that they are associated with, but it does mean that that portion of the crew are severely hindered.

The last NPC is kind of interesting. In our first game session, I told them that they were going to Port Wander to interview for a new position on their ship. Thereafter, I told that players that they were allowed to make up, whole cloth, who they were recruiting. I got the idea from the Dungeon Master's Guide 2 - a neat technique of basically allowing the players to determine who some of the characters are in the story. Even major ones! Essentially, I allowed the players, as a group, to basically create one of the major NPCs of the campaign. That ended up being Dr. Evana Kintobar.

The origin path chart was very helpful, because they were able to whip Dr. Kintobar's history and background quickly, just by referring to the path chard and discussing it.

Benedict Chaucer – First Mate
Background: Born on a hive world to a mid-hive gang, Benedict was always surrounded by numerous mothers and fathers. Through her cunning and determination, she became a stub-jacker and gang leader. When a rival gang threatened her whole territory, she took out that rival gang as well as the head of the noble house who was sponsoring it. She fled into the void, avoiding the noble house and the arbites. She was hired on by the arch-militant’s mercenary company. Benedict is known to be charismatic and a sort of team mascot for the ship's crew.
Personality: Spunky; chipper; sly.
Represents: General crew populace. If Benedict dies, the crew takes either a large hit in the population or morale rating.

Occulus Dert – Master Enginseer
Background: Dert was born long ago on a forge world as a foreman and tech-priest. However, internal strife amongst the tech-priests caused him and his brothers to take up arms. His body became heavily modified for war. His success as a guardsman and later captain of the guard allowed him to become promoted onto a starship. Eventually, however, his ship fell to chaos pirates. Later, he joined the Ferral Wolf as an enginseer, wanting to try his hand at something other than fighting for a change. Eventually, he worked his way to the top, becoming master of the ship's engines. Occulus has most of his emotional functions removed, except those that trigger humor. As a result, Occulus is almost always in a jocular, even in the most inappropriate of times.
Personality: Jovial; eager; and curious.
Represents: General crew of main engineering. Should Dert perish, most of the crew of engineering die as well.

Brother Vist – Master Scout
Background: Brother Vhist was actually born in an tech temple and trained from the time he was very little to be an assassin. He traveled the galaxy performing assassinations of opponents to the Adeptus Mechanicus. However, his chapter house fell under the influence of chaos. His family, friends, and associates were condemned as blasphemers and executed. After that, Brother Vhist wandered the segmentum he was in looking for work until he ventured upon the Explorator.
Personality: Quiet; sinister; and obedient.
Represents: All planetary scouts. Should Brother Vhist die, so do all planetary scouts.

Lieutenant Haddon Ghent
Background: Lieutenant Ghent is an Imperial Navy man through and through. His entire ship was lost in the ork attack on Canis. He joined up with the rogue trader fleet at that time, the only survivor of his ship’s destruction. Always meant to get back to the navy, but never ended up doing so. Now considered AWOL.
Personality: Upright; bigoted; confident
Represents: The marines aboard the ship. If Ghent perishes, the marines of the Ferral Wolf are not entirely killed, but suffer heavy losses.

Sitara b’n H’dreed – Astropath Transcendent
Background: Sitara was born a psyker and was taken at a young age to Holy Terra, where she basked in the light of the Emperor. There, she received a moving experience, one that has left her with a quiet sadness, for in her heart she knows that she will never see such brilliance or glory again. At the same time, she fears no death or danger, for she longs to see the Emperor’s light one last time. From her school she was purchased by the Holocene line and actually served for a long time as a communicator for the planetside noble house. Upon the destruction of the planet, she escaped with the Arch-Militants serving with them before becoming the Astropath Transcendent for the rogue trader dynasty.
Personality: Ethereal; calm; wise
Represents: If Sitara perishes, there are only a few low-level astropaths left on the ship, and certainly not enough to send a message out of system.

Malelificant – Navigator
Background: Malelificant is the longest serving member aboard the Ferral Wolf’s crew. A member of one of the Great Nomadic Houses of Calixis, Maleificant was assigned to the Holocene Dynasty at an early age. He served on a number of vessels, but has served about the Ferral Wolf for over a century. Malelificant claims to know the Wolf “better than anyone else, better than any of her current or former Enginseers”. Whether this is true or not, Malelificant is known to talk to the ship on a regular basis. In his old age, he is retreated mostly into the ship, rarely leaving it, and usually content with being waited upon by servitors rather than people.
Personality: Surly; nostalgic; loyal
Represents: Malelificant is the ship's one and only navigator. Losing him would be disastrous in and of itself.

Doctor Evana Kintobar – Ship’s Surgeon
Background: Born on Scintilla, Evana was brought up in the Collegium Medicus Rector. From the age of seven, she was taught the ways of medicine, the body, and how to treat its many functions. Eventually, she went on to serve the Noble House Strophes as one of their leading physicians. However, her noble house fell victim to a vicious attack from a powerful criminal organization. Without a reliable patron, Dr. Kintobar traveled into space, looking for employment and adventure. She has seen much of the sector and even the segmentum, and has dealt with a number of xenos species.
Personality: Assertive; verbose; matriarchal
Represents: The ship's medical staff. Should Dr. Kintobar perish, very few medicae technicians are left on board.


  1. I love how fleshed out each of the main npc's are. It elevates them from just another use-and-abuse character to a true member of the group. You care about them and depend on them to do their job well, because if they don't then you just lost a huge chunk of your ship's ability.

    Making the new crew member was a blast. It was such an easier experience than I had originally thought. Working through the origin path chart from the bottom up just felt organic.

  2. Did you guys go through character creation whole cloth or was it just the origin path, name and some basic traits? Just curious. It is a great idea, though and yet another idea I'm hoping to co-opt for my group (with our kind thanks). Love the pictures for the NPCs, by the way, and the play on words for the vessel. ;-)

  3. I'm pretty sure I got your ship's surgeon drunk in Mass Effect 2.

  4. Yep, Mik! One of our players had Dr. Chakwas in mind when we made the ship's surgeon. The group rallied around that archetype and then they made the character from there.