STEAL MY NPC!
I have a fun D&D 5e NPC for you today!
Meet Gamut. He currently works in my players’ tavern, and delights them each visit with a playful variety of interesting, briefly magical concoctions. These come from a most excellent roll chart I will share with you below. He also lives under the bar in what is essentially a tricked out blanket fort and has a serious drinking problem.
A popular bartender with a few quirks, he is adored and widely known. He’s a great NPC for introducing players to a new quest bearer or other important character, as he is incredibly well-connected.
Let’s get to know Gamut.
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Gamut began as a random card pulled from the Deck of Stories during a particularly memorable session at my table. My players were interviewing NPC patrons to work in their tavern, and in an effort to make this as much fun as possible for everyone, I decided to approach it a bit like an improv game.
NPC Improv Time
I had a stack of NPC cards (the Deck of Stories) that I did not look through ahead of time. These cards have an image of the NPC on one side, and a name, a list of traits, and a quest hook on the back. I read through the info silently as they met each NPC, and did the best I could to give them an original voice, attitude, and personal “flavor.” It was hysterical! We had a great time.
Gamut has since transformed from just a card into someone that my players, and incidentally, most of Waterdeep, (a city on the Sword Coast in Forgotten Realms) love and admire. He is someone who seems to know everyone, and always has a bright attitude, despite having some unusual personality quirks.
Gamut Character Overview
Let’s take a look at Gamut’s appearance and personality details.
Appearance – Slender Elf
Gamut is a very slender, tall male elf. He has luxuriously long white locks and piercing green eyes. He wears a golden bangle on one wrist that has no magical significance–it was a gift from his sister many years ago. He dresses in baggy clothes, typically in neutral or earth tones.
Personality – “Dammit, Gamut!”
Gamut is a friendly, playful bartender with a bit of a penchant for secret-keeping. He is a sponge; people tell him things and he absorbs the information. He rarely shares the secrets he is told, unless he thinks someone may come to real harm if he keeps quiet.
He loves to flip bottles of expensive liquor behind the bar and he occasionally drops them. He laughs this off. He’s pretty laid back in general, but especially when he’s not the one paying for the bottle.
Gamut says things that may or may not be that clever, but are always perceived by other NPCs as being extremely witty and interesting. He has a sort of automatic charisma or charm about him that other NPCs find magnetic. Many people will laugh at his jokes, or ponder his wisdom, and then respond with: “Dammit, Gamut!” (It rhymes.) This is commonly heard in his vicinity as he has a way of amazing the people around him with simple “isms.” Some people simply call him Dammit Gamut all the time as a joke, in reference to his ability to inspire and delight others.
Gamut loves serving drinks. If he’s awake, he is tending the bar and enjoying himself while he works. He appreciates a good tip and kindly thanks anyone who is generous to him.
He has a special ability to entertain with the drinks he creates. His drinks are subtly magical, and can produce temporary effects that surprise and delight visitors. Sometimes they are also a little scary. If he dislikes a patron, they will surely have a rough evening. This intrigue is part of what makes him so popular.
Why am I so popular? Well, I guess it’s because I endeavor to be worth knowing rather than well-known. The second part just sort of… follows.
In order to keep the drink variety interesting without having to do too much work myself, I utilize this roll chart from DnDSpeak. It’s perfect for this.
I love DnDSpeak. They publish gobs of these super interesting D100 charts, which are my FAVORITE kind of chart. They also have a Patreon to check out if you’re interested. I’m not affiliated with them in any way; I just think they are awesome and deserve attention. I was a backer for them for a long time (before I had to cut basically all my Patreon subs). Check them out if you get a chance.
You may also find this chart helpful, if you’d like additional characteristics for the drinks.
A Few Points of Interest
Gamut 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.
Blanket Fort Lifestyle
This NPC does not have typical living accommodations. He will build a blanket fort beneath the bar where he works, and doesn’t care to work in conditions otherwise. He will sleep in this fort and guard the bar. The only time he is not bartending is when he is sleeping beneath the bar. He simply finds it convenient and doesn’t see the need to own and pay for a home when he’d rather just stay “where he belongs.” He claims it’s much easier to find him this way.
A Drinking Problem
Gamut is always drinking. He is not a sloppy drunk. He’s not angry, or rude. He drinks alcohol the way most people drink water, and it seems to have little effect on him. Sometimes when he pours a drink for a guest, he will make an additional one for himself. He holds a bottle of liquor against his chest while he sleeps. You could make this into something like a weird curse if you’d like, but I like to keep it simple.
Secret Identity: ‘The Golden Goddess’
This NPC also leads a secret, double life. He loves to dress up as as “The Golden Goddess” and entertain guests at parties incognito. Other NPCs do not know who “The Golden Goddess” is, only that she is ridiculously charming, appears wealthy, and only arrives at the largest and most lavish parties.
Men try to seduce her, women try to befriend her (or vice versa), and everyone wants to know who she is. She wears a floor-length, shimmering golden gown, a headdress made of gold and black feathers, and elaborate golden makeup. She will often wear a golden masquerade mask as well. Her hair, when visible, is painted gold, and she wears gold jewelry and sparkling trinkets everywhere possible. The MOST astute observer may notice the same golden bangle that Gamut wears in his daily life.
Gamut not only enjoys living out this role he has created, he also gleans copious amounts of gossip about the people in the city. Everyone is entranced by “The Golden Goddess” and her mystery. They are delighted by her stories, which Gamut completely makes up. People flock around her, and many secrets are told while the wine pours freely.
When my players realized one of the other NPCs was smitten with “The Golden Goddess” and hoped to see her at the Masquerade Ball, they were alight with their discovery.
Need a Little More NPC Help?
As with any NPC, the charm, the wit, the interest, has to come from you. You know what makes your players laugh with delight or love an NPC. You should use that to your advantage when acting on behalf of your non-player characters. I know you can fill in any details or gaps your players ask about in a way that makes the story more engaging for them. Use this as a starting point and have fun with it! I have faith in you.
Make sure to check out other NPCs up for grabs in The Lorekeep.
Do you have a excellent NPC you’d like to share? Did you use Gamut in your game? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!
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