After a long hiatus, this is the first post in (hopefully) a new regular series: Supporting Cast. In Supporting Cast, I'll stat up some NPCs for use in various game systems and settings. Most will probably be some kind of antagonist, but I'll include a few helpful NPCs in there, too. I'll include motivations, a bit of history, a physical description, and relevant game stats. There'll also be a variety of genre – I've got NPC plans for FFG Star Wars, Fate Core/FAE, Savage Worlds, FFG Warhammer 40K, Swords & Wizardry (or other OSR games), D&D 4E, and almost certainly D&D 5E.
So, let's get started. Today's Supporting Cast is Doctor Victor Von Sturm.
|Source: Victorian Web|
Name: Doctor Victor Von Sturm
Game System: Savage Worlds
Genre/Setting: Steampunk Pulp
History: Doctor Von Sturm is a biologist with a university in London. He spent his early twenties traveling the world in search of new species, hoping to make his name in the scientific world. During one of these expeditions, he lost his arm when the boiler on the airship he was a passenger on detonated, throwing shrapnel everywhere. He designed and built a new arm for himself, using his knowledge of biology and engineering together to perfect the design.
At the age of thirty, he settled down in London and promptly began making rivals in the university. He then spent years and thousands of pounds in research funding trying to outdo one in particular (left to the GM), and when that failed, to discredit them. Now in his forties, Doctor Von Sturm is regarded as a brilliant scientist, but a rather loathsome person.
Motivations: Von Sturm's primary goal is to outdo his rival. He wants nothing more than to see himself publically regarded as the better scientist. He pursues this goal with fervor, often passing off teaching duties to one of his assistants to better further his schemes. He also intends to discredit his rival, wanting to see them not merely outdone, but pushed to the lowest ranks of academia.
Personality Traits: Von Sturm is vindictive, easily angered, and impulsive. He takes plenty of risks in his wild, often dangerous schemes, but he always takes time to give a smug, gloating speech when he feels he's won. He is intelligent and feels he should always let others around him know just how smart he thinks he is. He throws himself into every project wholeheartedly, whether that project is designing some new gadget, studying a previously-undiscovered species, or ruining an academic colleague's career.
Physical Description: Doctor Von Sturm is a tall, thin man. He views sports and general athleticism as something for lesser men, leaving him in rather poor shape, physically. He has a trimmed beard, often waxed into a point, that is going gray. His hair is respectably short and still dark. Von Sturm tends to wear nice suits, though the quality has gone down lately along with his reputation in academics. He often wears glasses, though he prefers to only wear them when he's going to give a (in his mind) wise, learned speech. His left arm is a clockwork construction, made of brass and dark cherry wood and powered by a small Aether engine he keeps on his belt.
Roleplaying Suggestions: I would suggest that Von Sturm speak very precisely, with almost no slang. He is educated, intelligent, and likes to show off. He probably wouldn't use contractions all that often – Do not instead of don't, will not instead of won't, etc.
Suggested Use: Von Sturm is a perfect antagonist in a steampunk game. He has all the makings of a big bad; he is educated, intelligent, vindictive, and completely ruthless. I would suggest him as a rival of the PCs or someone the PCs are close to. After having one of his plans spoiled by the meddling PCs, that should be plenty to bring them to his attention, if they weren't already. He's not above sabotage, hiring mercenaries to rough up the PCs, or ruining their reputations. He isn't quite a murderer and he shies away from personal involvement in violence, but he won't hesitate to torment and humiliate the PCs if given the chance.
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Investigation d6, Knowledge (Biology) d10, Knowledge (Engineering) d10, Notice d8, Repair d6
Hindrances: Arrogant, Anemic, Greedy
Edges: Jack of All Trades, McGyver, Scholar