Bandits prey on the weak out on the edges of the civilized world, whether out in the wilderness, on inner city streets, or in some far off galaxy. They fight, they steal, and sometimes they stand for something greater than themselves. These folks exist in our game worlds and sometimes need a little inspiration to bring them to life.
But who are they? Are they Robin Hood-style thieves, stealing from the rich and giving back to the poor? Are they bandits from the Wild West, out to rob the stagecoach and rustle the cattle? Or are they a vicious gang out to cause maximum destruction in the waste, Mad Max-style?
Insta-NPCs #8: Bandits! offers a little guidance to create any or all of these… that bit of spark to bring your bandits into your worlds of adventure with more than just the sound of thundering hooves to signify their approach. Six tables, including nine examples and a 100-item table of descriptors to flavor your descriptions further.
Let’s go through an example. Perhaps I need a group of bandits to attack the PCs in the forest. I pull out the dice and come up with these terms…
- Purpose: Fame
- Style: Criminal
- Public perception: Tolerated
- Latest act: Reviled
- Chosen stage: Wilderness
- Descriptor: Pleasant
I might build those terms into…
“Adward Hames and the Scarlet Gang have plagued the Knykurt Wood for the last five years, attacking rich travelers on the King’s Road and then disappearing into the trees with their loot. The red-clad bandits have always been polite to their targets, until recently. The people in the area tolerated them until a few weeks ago when they mistakenly attacked a beloved merchant and his family. The trader Lero was killed trying to defend his daughter from an overzealous attacker. The towns of Barnsley, Kelna, and Banrock have put together a reward of 500 gold for anyone who can bring Hames and his gang to justice.”
Bandits! can be used for any setting or system. Need bandits for a science fiction, fantasy, or western adventure? I bet this will help!
This is the next in a series of short, system-neutral supplements from Moebius Adventures designed to encourage more creative descriptions in your games. Be sure to check out everything else that’s available to stimulate your imagination!
Need another example? Check out “the Brothers of Rasil“!