STEAL MY NPC!
I have a fun D&D 5E NPC for you to steal today.
Ricky Shaw, the rickshaw race proprietor at the Field of Triumph in Waterdeep, is a vibrant human male with a penchant for sorcerous swindling and criminal deals.
Let’s get to know Ricky.
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Meet Ricky Shaw
Named in the heat of the moment, Ricky Shaw has become a critical NPC and one of my most interesting characters in Waterdeep. I have since come up with a much better system for preparing NPCs, if you’re interested.
He is another one of the few NPCs I have that did not began as a random card pulled from the Deck of Stories (Amazon link).
This NPC is the rickshaw race’s officiator and a powerful sorcerer. He uses his magic to enchant his incredibly awesome and insanely expensive rickshaws for sale, and to enhance the race as a show for the audience. He also uses magic to hide any violence that happens during the race. He is a showman before all else.
He will certainly become embroiled in a villain’s nefarious plot if given the opportunity and believes he will remain safe. Not because he is evil or destructive, but he is greedy and self-serving. I consider him a Chaotic Neutral character.
NPC Prep Time
Prep for this NPC is largely personal preference. If you want the bare minimum, I’d say have an idea of 5-10 different rickshaws he may have for sale and an idea of how you want to speak his introductory lines. Here’s a sample speech for you, if you’d like a bit of help with that:
A Little Welcome Speech
Welcome to Ricky Shaw’s Rickshaw Races! Prepare for a mind-boggling fusion of sorcery and speed! As your officiator, Ricky Shaw, a master of mischief and charm, I’m thrilled to have you here!
Picture this: enchanted rickshaws crafted with precision, capable of unmatched speed and the grace of soaring through Waterdeep’s streets. But that’s not all! At the enchanted rickshaw sales lot, prepare to be amazed by the magnificent vehicles that can whisk you away on thrilling adventures! Make sure you stop by before you leave today. I am happy to finance your purchase at a very reasonable interest rate!
Today, we gather to witness the grand spectacle of races. Brave competitors, fueled by their hunger for victory, will push their skills to the limit, while the enchantments of the rickshaws propel them towards glory. Brace yourselves for an evening of pure adrenaline!
Be sure to place your bets on your favorite Dragharns and participants before the race begins. The winner of today’s race will receive a very special prize.
So welcome again to Ricky Shaw’s Rickshaw Races, where magic meets speed and sorcery intertwines with competition. And after the races, don’t forget to visit my enchanted rickshaw sales lot and take home a piece of this magical legacy. Let the enchantment ignite your soul and the thrill carry you beyond imagination!
Ricky Shaw’s Rickshaw Races—where the excitement never stops!
A Digital Prop
If you really want to spice up your encounter with this NPC, may I suggest this incredibly awesome, free-to-use spinning wheel? You can easily type in different items, effects, or other fun things and then spin the wheel for everyone to see. Ricky Shaw can manifest this as an illusion behind him during his opening speech and do any number of things: Provide a discount on his rickshaw lot, add a difficult terrain element to the race, choose the winner’s prize, or anything else you can think up.
I have a television in my game table, so I used this as a tongue-in-cheek way to randomize permanent injuries at one point after a particularly grueling mini-adventure, which we found enormously amusing. The wheel is an excellent tool to have in your arsenal and it’s easy to set up.
Ricky Shaw Character Overview
Let’s take a look at Ricky Shaw’s appearance and personality details.
Appearance: Thin, Dark-Haired, Usually Grinning
Ricky Shaw is a human male who smiles often and tries to charm (figuratively, not actually) everyone he speaks with. He dresses well in colorful outfits. His clothing is custom tailored and considered high-fashion.
He is mostly interested in making money off people and is not too concerned with making personal connections. Because of this, if he feels like he’s unlikely to make a sale or benefit in some way, he will politely stop the conversation and move on to someone else.
Personality: Fast-Talker, Con Man
This NPC likes to speak quickly to try and convince people to spend money without a second thought. He often answers questions with questions and makes vague remarks about how satisfied previous customers have been. He also claims previous sales have been extremely high, regardless of what’s actually taken place.
His rickshaws for sale are high quality, but they are not worth as much as he is charging.
Ricky Shaw will quickly sign a character into a high-interest loan and simply reclaim the vehicle (or send his goons for violence) if the payments fall short or stop coming.
Ricky Shaw’s Rickshaw Races
The Rickshaw Races are held at the Field of Triumph in Waterdeep, or in any other colosseum or open space available. Take a look at the full event details here.
Ricky Shaw lives in a small townhouse in a nice part of town. He has a housekeeper he tips her generously, as she overhears much of his personal affairs and knows about his criminal dealings. His home is neat and tidy.
He has a tall shelf on the bottom floor full of model rickshaws, but closer inspection will show that these are actually adhered permanently to the shelf. This is so that he can trigger a secret switch without his belongings tumbling to the ground; the shelf swings forward to reveal a small staircase down into a chamber where he keeps copious notes on all his illegal activities.
He also keeps private information on other citizens that he may be able to use for blackmail. His housekeeper is tipped handsomely for any information she brings on her other clients.
Ricky Shaw is a powerful sorcerer, but does not prefer to engage in combat himself. He uses his magic to aid his showmanship and to enchant beautiful, interesting rickshaws to sell at an exorbitant cost. Should be become embroiled in conflict, this Wild Magic Sorcerer stat block should work just fine.
Points of Interest
Ricky Shaw has a few additional characteristics you may find interesting. Depending on your group’s preferences, you may want to include all of these, or leave some of them out.
In addition to functioning as the race announcer, Ricky Shaw also has a rickshaw sales lot. Within, he sells dozens of enchanted, enormously expensive rickshaws. They do nothing at all except move at a walking pace when given the command word.
You can of course alter this as you see fit. I charged over 100,000GP for a rickshaw and set a 20% interest rate. One of my players, whose character has a pretty low intellect score, thought this was a bargain and signed on.
If they miss a payment, Ricky Shaw will send his goons to attack, steal items, or repossess the rickshaw. You could also use this as a segue into another quest, if it’s a good fit for you.
Devious Sorcerer and Showman
Ricky Shaw is an enormously powerful sorcerer, but he only uses his magic to enchant rickshaws for sale, to boost and defend Ricky Shaw’s Rickshaw Racing, and for self defense.
When he casts spells, he typically tries to do it as subtly as possible to avoid attracting attention to his actual magical abilities. He prefers his audience focuses on the show and on his wares for sale.
Link to the Criminal Underworld
Ricky Shaw will certainly get in over his head when presented with an opportunity to make money with criminals; however, he will only agree to a partnership if he feels he will remain safe and be largely uninvolved in the dirty work. He’s not one for tromping through the sewers.
The types of work he’s willing to assist with will include forgeries, low-level, temporary enchantments, or hiring out his personal squad of protective goons. He would also be interested in anything that might afford him good political connections. Most nobility and high-ranking officials would be disinterested in too much fraternization with him.
Need a Little More NPC Help?
As with any new NPC you present in your game, the smarmy comments, the uneasy charm, the quick wit… it all has to come from you. You know what makes your players laugh with delight or become annoyed with an NPC. Use that to your advantage when acting on behalf of your non-player characters. Use Ricky Shaw’s details as a starting point and have fun with it! I know you will do a great job.
Make sure to check out other NPCs up for grabs in The Lorekeep.
Do you have a fun NPC you’d like to share? Has Ricky Shaw held a memorable event in your game? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
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