Monday, July 6, 2009

Sample NPC: The Bride

Any foodie will tell you that even in the simplest meals, there is a way to do it right and there's a way to do it wrong. Even with something like the humble cheeseburger, you can get yourself the $0.99 fast food cheeseburger that looks like someone sat on it, or you can go downtown and get a cheeseburger for $12, made with black angus beef, imported gruyere cheese, and sauteed baby portobello mushroom slices, with a side of hand-cut fries.

Such is my opinion when it comes to Quentin Tarantino films. I know a lot of people think he's crap, and a lot of people think he's a genius. Personally, I think he has a great gift for taking a $0.99 concept, and turning it into something worth ordering for $12. And although Pulp Fiction is one of my top five movies, I'd have to say he reached the pinaccle of his gift with Kill Bill vol. I. Re-watching this for the upteenth time last night, I decided to do a quick write-up of The Bride as I would envision her using Tankards & Broadswords RPG stats.

So, without further ado...

The Bride

"O-Ren Ishii! You and I have unfinished business!"


Athletics +4 (+5 Acrobatics)
Command +3 (+4 Dominate)
Defense +5 (+6 Parrying)
Melee +6 (+7 Swords, Unarmed)
Ranged +3 (+4 Thrown)
Reflexes +6 (+7 Fast-Acting, Quick-Draw)

Carousing +1
Detection +3 (+4 Danger Sense)
Persuasion +3 (+4 Fast-Talk)
Stealth +4 (+5 Concealment)
Survival +2
Thievery +2

Arcana +3 (+4 Crime World)
Crafting +1
Healing +2
History +1
Languages +3 (+4 Japanese)
Naturalism +1

Peril Checks:

Avoid +4
Endure +5
Resist +3

Status Values:

Renown +0
Infamy +4
Wealth +2

Health 24
Armor 0
Damage By Weapon


A tall, lanky blond woman, appearing to be somewhere in her early to mid-30's, with a sparse but athletic build and cold, killer's eyes. She dresses in clothes that give her optimal combat maneuverability, and carries little in the way of gear other than a sword or knife.


Six years ago, the Bride was nearly killed along with her fiance and the rest of her wedding party in El Paso, Texas. Four and a half years later, she awoke from a coma and, over the course of several months, went on a crusade of vengeance against her would-be killers, the other members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. When all was said and done, the rest of the Squad was dead, and the Bride had her daughter in her arms for the first time.

Ever since, the Bride has been an elusive figure in the underground world of assassins and killers-for-hire. Unofficially retired, she moves in the shadows, trying to live her new life with her daughter in peace. However, because of her infamy, she is often sought out and challenged by other professional killers looking to make a name for themselves by defeating the life of the Bride.


An absolute master with the Japanese katana and virtually without peer in the use of most unarmed fighting techniques and other hand weapons, the Bride's specialty is killing up close and personal with the sword. Her blade of choice, a katana made for her by retired master swordsmith Hattori Hanzo, is a weapon without equal, his finest work and his penance paid to the Bride for the actions performed by his finest pupil, the man known as Bill. Hattori Hanzo's Katana has a +1 to Attack and a +1 to Damage because of its flawless balance, design, and edge (this means with her Hattori Hanzo katana, the Bride has a +8 Melee and does +2 damage one-handed, or +3 damage two-handed).

The Bride typically fights and faces her opponents one-on-one and defeats them in single combat, and because of her high level of skill and the Hanzo katana, she typically doesn't employ combat maneuvers. However, being a lone warrior she has faced situations where she has to do battle with multiple opponents at once, and in these situations she will employ the Web of Death maneuver to great effect.

Along with a "monster book", which would contain actual monster-type opponents as well as simplified NPC "minion" types, I am considering a "rogue's gallery" type book of fully-statted NPCs such as the above.


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