My West Kingdom Swords and Wizardry PbB game is exactly one year old today.
In honor of the minor milestone, I've decided to make a new addition to the Clash of Spear on Shield, and start putting up some more RPG-related content. I'm thinking in terms both of reflective posts (maybe a short series of "lessons learned" from my plunge back into GMing), as well as some content from the campaign (to sort of pay back to the community from which I've so shamelessly borrowed).
So, without further ado, here is one of my NPCs from the current game: Cosmo.
Cosmo is a shop owner. Above the front door to his establishment hangs a gently swinging wooden sign board that reads COSMO'S CURIOSITIES in bright yellow letters. Beneath, in smaller print, are the words: Purveyor of Fine Antiquities. Above the front door hangs a small silver bell that jingles when customers enter.
Inside the shop are shelves and display tables galore, stocked with ornate bronze lamps, finely crafted pewter goblets, statues of fat cherubs and mischievous satyrs, rows and rows of books with old, dusty cracked leather bindings, and all sorts of other odd knick-knacks and bric-a-brac. On the counter stands a large, brass bird cage, containing a blue parrot with lovely plumage.
The parrot's name is Morpheus, and Cosmo often leaves him to watch the front of the shop while he works in back.
Morpheus, however, is easily bored, and frequently takes naps, lying flat on his back at the bottom of the cage.
When patrons enter the shop, they often think he is dead, until the parrot cocks open one eye and calls out: "Grraaaawwwk! Cosmo! Customers! Graaaawwwwwk!"
Cosmo himself is a bent, wizened old man with a hooked nose, typically wearing a robe and a rounded, close-fitting cap with flaps that come down over his ears. He is always polite, and quite knowledgeable about his products. He has quite the reputation in town as an expert antiquarian.
However, Cosmo's shop is more than it appears. Apart from antiques, the old man keeps a special back room – access to which is granted only to referred customer. If you don't have a slip bearing the referral rune from one of Cosmo's other trusted clients, you'll never get to see what's in back.
The back room is located down a dark hallway, poorly lit by dim candles at regular intervals, with cobwebs near the ceiling, and dust near the sideboards along the floor. The corridor is long, very long, too long in fact to possibly fit inside the building in which Cosmo's shop is located. It is in fact "dimensionally transcendental" and it takes a full ten minutes to walk from the front of the shop to the back room.
At the end of the dimensionally transcendental hallway stands a door, leading to a stockroom with rough shelves lining the walls, and a large inventory ledger on a pedestal.
The wooden shelves contain a variety of items, from the mundane objects such as self-washing dishes and brooms that sweep on their own, to more adventure-oriented items such as potions, scrolls, wands and weapons. One small portion of the display shelves is devoted to truly exotic items – for example, a roll of a thin, white, almost parchment-like material labelled Never-Ending Toilet Paper or a bright pink whip that hops into the air and lashes itself over and over again screaming "yes, yes, oh yes!"
All of Cosmo's items come with his personal guarantee. If any customer dies due to the defective functioning of any of his items, he will personally refund to the client's estate three times what the customer paid for it. He reassures potential buyers by adding "I've been in business fifty years, same location. And no one has ever requested a refund."
Note: the author is fully aware just how derivative this location and NPC are. ;)