STEAL MY NPC!
I have an outrageously weird D&D NPC for you today.
Meet Ploq Jert. A friendly goblin full of unique personality quirks and a penchant for fork collecting, my players hate to love this guy, and they can’t stop asking to talk to him.
Ploq Jert’s name sounds like a bad word. He walks around in a mustard-colored vest (and sometimes nothing else) and demands to be called “The Riddle Boy,” also slyly requesting a tip or payment if my players or other NPCs can’t solve one of his riddles on the first try. He runs a secret gambling ring out the back of my players’ tavern and has a tumultuous relationship with his goblin girlfriend, Sparkle-flinger.
Let’s get to know Ploq Jert.
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Meet Ploq Jert
Ploq Jert is one of the few NPCs I have that did not began as a random card pulled from the Deck of Stories (Amazon link).
Ploq Jert, pronounced “Plock Jirt,” was one of two goblins standing watch in an introductory sewer exploration quest. He became embroiled in a combat scenario far above his pay grade, and my players, the kind-hearted people that they are, offered to rescue the pathetic, desperate creature if he would only agree to work in their tavern (pictured above).
They have a bit of a soft spot for homeless, unemployed NPCs.
NPC Prep Time
I came up with a list of riddles for Ploq Jert to have on hand in case he was prompted. Any good Reddit riddle list will work for this if you don’t want to make your own.
If the players fail to solve a riddle, he holds out his hand and says, “a coin please, for my entertainment…” My players are good-natured folks and tend to oblige him.
Ploq Jert Character Overview
Let’s take a look at Ploq Jert’s appearance and personality details.
Appearance: Small, Thin, Green-Skinned Goblin
Ploq Jert is a small goblin who likes to wear tailored clothing. He considers himself a fancy goblin, because he can read. He comes from a family of fancy goblins. I made a family tree for him using World of Warcraft goblin portraits. Feel free to grab it below.
He speaks slowly in a soft voice and over-annunciates words.
He never wears shoes.
Personality: Matter-of-Fact and Inappropriate
Ploq Jert will come out of his back room in the tavern for several reasons.
- Wealthy patrons are in the bar. He is good at charming them with his weird humor for coin, especially using his riddles.
- He hears the party milling about. He likes to approach them and give them small gifts, updates about his personal affairs (which often involve him creating some slight annoyance for the party), or just to check in and say hi.
- He is fighting with Sparkle-flinger, who cohabitates in his room with him. Sometimes he just wants some space. They are terrible to one another.
Ploq Jert is neither noisy nor rambunctious, but he does enjoy a festive atmosphere. Despite being something of an introvert, he often finds himself the life of the party, as he tells weird jokes and says outrageous things that shock the guests around him. Nobility often assume he is a hired jester or comedian and tip him accordingly. This only encourages the behavior.
Ploq Jert will state things as he sees them. He does not bother with tact or finesse. He has a very active romantic life, and will comment openly on this, even if it means he is talking about private or what is typically considered inappropriate matters. (Always make sure your conversations are in alignment with what your players are comfortable with.)
In accordance with this he will sometimes walk around lacking partial attire, wearing only his mustard-colored vest or just a pair of socks. He doesn’t mind showing off his “natural outfit.” He is not embarrassed by this in the least, and is slightly surprised and can even be condescending or irritatable when his lack of clothing is pointed out to him.
He is known for his unusual, forthright comments and his open attitude about both his private life and collecting coin from others.
Ploq Jert has an insatiable desire to gamble and has a hard time turning down any sort of bet or deal. If given the time and opportunity, he will begin an underground gambling ring in any space large enough with an entrance to an alleyway.
In this space, he will set up something like card games, minor sporting events or competitions, or even race tiny creatures. Depending on the location, this could be something like toads, gremishka or space hamsters.
Oh, hello there. Yes, I may have begun a little bit of a party here, but no harm has been done. Nothing you can’t afford to fix, anyhow. Maybe you should try relaxing a little and join us.Ploq Jert
This goblin likes to collect interesting-looking forks, and has an extensive collection of them. He can usually be seen carrying one in a pocket, and if he is moved to violence, he will certainly wield it as a (poor) weapon.
Once he becomes close enough with one of the party members, he will give them a kingly gift: A fork with special powers. Virtual high-five to The Adventure Zone for this one:
Once a day, this fork will allow the user to eat any non-magical item they can fit in their mouth and gain 2D6 points of health. Just tap the fork on the item and it will turn edible.The Adventure Zone
This is an enormously powerful magical item, so assign it with caution, and perhaps a few stipulations if you have particularly clever players. I did not have the foresight to do this, and my group ate a lich’s phylactery with it. I didn’t have a good excuse as to why they couldn’t, because I didn’t give additional parameters to the item. Oh well. They loved that moment—they still talk about it.
If Ploq Jert is not staying at his current employment location, he will find a small apartment in an impoverished part of town and work his way up to better living conditions. Everywhere he lives he will earn the reputation of someone who finds good deals and charms the wealthy out of giving up their coin.
Ploq Jert is a non-combatant after surviving his scare in the sewers and his former life of mercenary crime. He saw his friend die in battle, and much prefers the cushy life of scamming nobility. If you choose to incorporate him in a fight, a standard goblin stat block will work.
Points of Interest
Ploq Jert 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 his gambling addiction, Ploq Jert has no qualms about finding, stealing, or otherwise acquiring items and reselling them at an inflated cost. He goes about this with a cavalier, nonchalant attitude that many buyers find appealing.
He brings his longtime girlfriend, Sparkle-flinger, into cons as well. She will often pose as either another interested buyer or as the item’s former owner, weeping horribly and claiming she needs to feed her children and has no choice but to sell this beloved, EXTREMELY valuable object.
Ploq Jert and Sparkle-flinger are terrible to one another. They are in a codependent relationship. Sparkle-flinger is named thus because she is a sorceress. She has a tendency to fling strangely-shaped fireballs when she gets angry. Often, Ploq Jert is on the receiving end. He can also frequently be heard shouting insults at her from across the tavern, in front of patrons, when the two of them are amidst a spat.
On the other hand, they will defend one another to the death and will openly admit that even though their relationship is turbulent, they have no intention of ending it. They often date other people simultaneously, as well.
This NPC has expensive tastes. The more he acquires, the more he needs to satiate his desire for wealth. This creates a snowball effect for all the above habits, issues, and work strategies.
Need a Little More NPC Help?
As with any new NPC you present in your game, the unusual charm, the clever comments, the humor… 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 Ploq Jert’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 excellent NPC you’d like to share? Has Ploq Jert made an appearance in your game? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
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