My new Dungeon Fantasy group is probably going to be heading into the wilderness soon, on the way to the Dungeon (TM). Since the party (oddly!) consists of a Bard, a Cleric, and an Unholy Warrior, no-one has much in the way of wilderness skills.
Now, the situation isn’t as bad as you might expect, since everyone has spent some of their discretionary points on either Area Knowledge or Survival of one kind or another. Still, no-one has Navigation (Land), which is pretty important.
Thus, I think it’s likely that they’ll want to hire a guide. A wise GM prepares ahead of time, so today I’m going to whip up a wilderness guide NPC for possible use during tomorrow’s session. Since the party are all male, I’ll make the guide a woman, because it gives me the opportunity to establish clearly, in-game, that this broad-brush fantasy world isn’t pretending to be realistically medieval on the question of gender.
I’m taking the easy route here,
1 – Name
The PCs are currently in Armaria, and I think a medieval English-style name might work well. (Rolling…) 1,1 and 2, 6: “Agnes Forester.” Solid.
2 – Role in Society
We already know she’s a guide, so I’m tempted to skip this, but on reflection, maybe I’ll roll just to see if anything interesting comes up, feeling free to ignore odd results if necessary. (Rolling…) 4, 3: “Agriculture”. Ok, that helps. Let’s say Agnes is the daughter of farmers who work the fertile uplands of Armaria. But she wanted to see the world, rather than remaining on the farm (Armaria is a pretty tame region: its theme is “safe”), so she became a wilderness guide. Done.
3 – Current Situation
When the PCs first meet Agnes, she is… (Rolling…) 1, 2, 3 “Occupied being physically active.” Great – we’ll see how the specifics of that work out in play, but it’s a good reminder to me to keep characterizing her as an energetic go-getter.
4 – Bodily Appearance
What’s her build? (Rolling…) 2,6,1: “Broad-shouldered”. Great – she’s a strong, fairly solid woman, used to physical exercise.
5- General Appearance
What else is notable about Agnes’ appearance? (Rolling…) 3,3,6 “Wheedling voice”. No, that doesn’t seem to match what we now of her so far – I’ll roll again. (Rolling…) 4,4,6: her speech is “Authoritative.” Great – that matches our sense of her as very confident.
6 – Memorable Mannerisms
What memorable mannerism does Agnes have? (Rolling…) 6,6,2: she “rolls her eyes” a lot. Ok – maybe she’s over-confident, and tends to mock those who doubt her, or who seem to know little or nothing about wilderness survival.
7 – An interesting fact about Agnes: (Rolling…) 6,2: “Has strong feelings about the neighbors.” Hmmm… does this mean the neighbors back home, on that farm in the Armarian uplands? Or, given that she’s a traveler by trade, does it mean the neighboring region? Since the PCs are going to be spending most of their time with her on the road, let’s say the latter. I’ll roll a die to determine which “neighbors” she has strong feeling about: – (1-2) the merfolk of Mithilgur; (3-4) the dwarves of Dwimilzund; (5-6) the Valirothians. (Rolling…) 4: The dwarves of Dwimilzund.
Ah, ok. Than makes things interesting – one of our PCs is a dwarf cleric from Dwimilzund. Is her strong feeling about the dwarves positive? Let’s ask the Solo 6. (Rolling…) 5: No. Ok – so she doesn’t like the dwarves of Dwimilzund. I wonder why? Well, let’s carry on and see…
8 – Hopes and Fears
Deep down, what does Agnes hope or fear? (Rolling…) 4,4,6: She fears something to do with politics. Hmmm…
Ok, I can work with this. We already know that, ever since the Sapphire League was formed, this area of the world has been ruled by the Sea Council of Armaria, a body made up of the spiritual leaders of three nations, Mithilgur, Armaria, and Dwimilzund. Let’s say that Agnes is a devoted supporter of the Sapphire League – she believes (more or less rightly) that the alliance between the three peoples is what has kept this part of the world so safe for so long. But there are some within Dwimilzund who would prefer to see the Dwarves go their own way – after all, the dwarves of Dwimilzund are rich and powerful in their own right -why do the need those Armarians anyway? In her travels through the remote regions of the Shivering Peaks, Agnes encounters a lot of dwarves who feel this way. What Agnes fears is that this isolationist faction will rise to prominence in Dwimilzund, breaking up the league and exposing Armaria to danger.
Great – that’s certainly enough to go on with. I’m not sure if it will come up in play, but it certainly gives me some local color to throw in if I need to -and the fact that one of the PCs is a Dwarf from Dwimilzund makes it very likely I’ll get a chance to do so.
Statting Her Up
OK, now it’s time to give Agnes some GURPS stats. Again, I’m using the 62-pt “Native Guide” template from Dungeon Fantasy 16: Wilderness Adventures.
Agnes, usually known as “Forester”
ST 11; DX 10; IQ 10; HT 12 
Basic Damage 1d-1/1d+1; Basic Lift 24lbs;
HP 11; Will 10; Per 13 ; FP 12
Basic Speed 6.00 ; Basic Move 6
Advantages: Absolute Direction 
Disadvantages: Overconfidence (6) [-10]; Sense of Duty (Adventuring Companions [-5]; Stubbornness [-5]; Wealth (Struggling) [-10]
- Area Knowledge (The Shivering Peaks)  12
- Navigation (Land)  12
- Survival (Mountains)  14
- Hiking  12
- Tracking  12
- Weather Sense  10
- Knife  11
- Bow  10
- Climbing  12
- Prospecting  10
- First Aid  10
- Armory (Missile Weapons)  10
- Running  11
Right! That’s Agnes. We’ll see if she turns up in our session tomorrow…