As a DM, I often spend time writing up NPC “catalogues” that I can insert into just about any situation. Need a spoiled aristocrat? I’ve got Filish waiting in the wings. Sometimes I may only come up with a handful of traits, like a one sentence background, a goal, and a quirk, as you never know when players will go off the path and find someone to talk to. Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft came out recently, and with it came three new Gothic Lineages that players can use for their characters. I think it’s time to roll up a few Free Gothic Lineage NPCs for you all to use!
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Our first free Gothic Lineage NPC
Neutral dhampir pit fighter (age 81)
Known in the underground boxing ring as “The Bloodless”, Carlow Schneider revels in the thrill of each fight. He takes opponents whenever he can to use the mindless violence and escape the memories of his haunted past. While a vicious fighter, Carlow is careful to hide his half-vampire nature, lest his vengeful vampire clan discover his presence. The dhampir keeps few acquaintances, namely the fight promoter who figured out his secret and the barman whom Carlow harbors feelings towards.
Despite living through his eighth decade, Carlow appears to be a man of elvish descent in his late 20’s. His lean body is perfect for drawing crowds and finishing fights with a flourish. Carlow keeps his black, shoulder-length hair tied into a braid while fighting.
Carlow is a gladiator with the following changes:
- Carlow speaks Common, Elvish, and Undercommon.
- He does not need to breathe.
- His movement speed is 35 ft. and has darkvision out to 60 ft.
- He may make a bite attack as an action: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 4) piercing damage. When Carlow attacks with this bite and hits a creature that isn’t an Undead or a Construct, he regains hit points equal to the damage dealt. Once he has used this ability three times, he can’t do so again until he has finished a long rest.
Personality Trait. “I literally thrive off the energy of a captivated audience.”
Ideal. “I run from my past to protect myself and others.”
Bond. “I find myself drawn to underdogs, as I see myself in them.”
Flaw. “I occasionally showboat too much, causing me to get distracted.”
Second free Gothic Lineage NPC
Chaotic good hexblood longshoreman (age 17)
Everyone on the docks knows about Bonnie. It’s the “worst-kept secret” of the harbor where she works, though she doesn’t seem to mind. Bonnie (she claims she has no last name) washed up on the shore nearby over a year ago and integrated herself into the locals. Her innate ability to understand ocean and weather patterns allowed her to work as a longshoreman.
Bonnie is a short young woman with stormy blue eyes. Some see her as “sea-touched” thanks to her perpetually damp hair and blue skin, and treat her as a good luck token.
Bonnie uses the stats of a Spy with the following changes:
- Bonnie speaks Common and Aquan.
- She has darkvision out to 60 ft.
- Bonnie has proficiency with navigator’s tools and vehicles (water).
- She has no shortsword or hand crossbow and instead hides a curvy dagger in her belt with which she may make two melee weapon attacks: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.
Personality Trait. “I drift in and out of people’s lives like the tide.”
Ideal. “Life is but a stream, and we all must flow in time.”
Bond. “I can’t stand being far away from the ocean.”
Flaw. “I have a hard time concentrating on scholarly topics.”
Third free Gothic Lineage NPC
Neutral reborn academic revenant (age ???)
The Professor remembers little before he pulled himself free from the burning wreckage of an underground lab. He was also surprised to find that he felt no pain, especially considering large sections of his torso were missing. The Professor cobbled together a pneumatic-powered suit to support and hide his undead nature, and set out to discover who he was. He wanders the land in search of answers, as well as to satisfy his ravenous quest for knowledge.
The Professor appears to be a human male in his mid fifties, albeit with pale, almost greenish skin. He hypothesizes that his age is slowed due to his undead condition.
The Professor uses the following stat block:
Medium undead, neutral
- Armor Class: 13
- Hit Points: 12 (2d8 +4)
- Speed: 30 ft., climb 10 ft.
- STR: 7 (-2)
- DEX: 17 (+3)
- CON: 14 (+2)
- INT: 6 (-2)
- WIS: 10 (+0)
- CHA: 2 (-4)
- Skills: Arcana +6, History +6, Medicine +4
- Damage Resistances: poison
- Senses: passive Perception 12
- Languages: Common, Gnomish, Infernal
- Challenge: 3 (700 XP)
Personality Trait. “My monotone manner of speech often puts people to sleep.”
Ideal. “The pursuit of knowledge is a worthy endeavor, for both myself and others.”
Bond. “I will not rest until I learn the circumstances of my undead situation.”
Flaw. “I am easily sidetracked when observing useful data.”
Deathless nature. The Professor doesn’t need to eat, drink, or breathe. He does not need sleep, and magic cannot put him to sleep.
Pneumatic suit. The Professor may reroll one failed Strength check or Strength saving throw once per long rest.
Spellcasting. The Professor is a 4th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Intelligence (Spell save DC 15, +5 to hit with spell attacks). The Professor has the following artificer spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): mage hand, mending
1st level (3 slots): catapult, cure wounds, expeditious retreat, faerie fire, feather fall, grease
Multiattack. The Professor makes two attacks with his gas-powered crossbow.
Gas-propelled crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 4) piercing damage.
Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage.
And that does it for this week’s Free Gothic Lineage NPCs! Please let us know if you use Carlow, Bonnie or the Professor in any of your games! If you do, so be sure to tell us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Discord! If you’d like access to more maps and content, including downloadable PDFs of our adventures, check out our Patreon. We’re able to do what we do because of all our amazing Patrons!