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Comments: 12
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.3571
Condition: Normal
ID: 839


October 28, 2005, 12:09 pm

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What happens when the atypical daughter of a nobleman renounces everything she was taught?

Special Equipment:

2 knives of excellent quality, a set of good lockpicks


She is of medium height, and has thick, wavy black hair.  She has been called pretty in the past, although not by many.  Her face is marred by a permanent cynical expression and a scar running from her left temple to her jawline, which she refuses to discuss.


Gypsy (not her real name) is the youngest daughter of a minor lord.  Her parents were petty, greedy people, far too concerned with social position.  All but one of her siblings, the second-to-youngest sister, were exactly the same as her parents.  They were constantly in competiton with each other, often to the point of violence.  Her brothers fought with one another about who would inherit what.  The sisters (all except the youngest two) were continually fighting about who would get to marry who.  Gypsy was the strange one.  She refused to dress as her mother thought she should, she would help the servants with the domestic chores (gasp!), and she was in general “a disgrace to her family name.”  Gypsy’s father saw his children merely as tools to improve his own position.  He made political marriages for his children; in all but two cases they never even knew they were going to get married until about a week before.  Gypsy, who was utterly sick of it all, talked her youngest sister into running away with the man she loved, a soldier whom their parents considered way beneath her.  Her father was furious.  Her mother wasn’t angry, she actually approved; she thought Gypsy had merely been getting rid of a rival (the second-to youngest sister was the prettiest). When her father calmed down, he told Gypsy that she would have to marry the man he had chosen for her sister (a lord that Gypsy absolutely detested.)  She refused.  Her father, who could never be called a kind man, flew into a violent rage, which left a permanent scar on Gypsy’s face.  Gypsy walked out, and has never set foot in her parents’ house since.  She went to the city of _________, changed her name, and has actually been quite happy.  She’s a jack-of-all-trades; she’s worked in a tavern, as a messenger, on ships (passenger, cargo, merchant, and pirate), as a con-artist, as a thief, and even did a stint in a circus.  She doesn’t stay put for very long (hence the name she chose), either because of wanderlust or outstanding warrants. 

Roleplaying Notes:

Due to various circumstances, Gypsy’s become quite good at knife fighting; there are few who can beat her, and she will fight dirty if her opponent does.  Her childhood has left her quite cynical, and she can be quite hard to get along with.  She especially views the nobility with disgust and suspicion.  She doesn’t handle compliments well, as in her family they were merely opening gambits to get at something else, and she distrusts them all on general principles now. 

   Perhaps she steals something of value from the PCs, or cons them in some way; her background is irrelevant here (for now). 

   Maybe they’ve run into members of her family before, and when they meet her, they notice the family resemblance. 

   Some idiot could have discovered parts of her past, and has kidnapped her for ransom; if someone’s hired the PCs, it will be a friend or her youngest sister, as her father doesn’t acknowledge Gypsy’s existance.  And quite likely, the PCs may have to save the kidnappers; Gypsy can get quite violent.

   The youngest sister could hire the PCs to track Gypsy down and bring her “home.” 

   The father could actually feel bad about what he did, and want to make amends, and hire the PCs to find Gypsy.  Not only do they have to figure out who she is, they have to find her, AND convince her they’re on the level.

   The lord might die, and for some reason (probably because his other children have all killed each other) he’s named Gypsy in his will, and the PCs get the fun of letting her know this.  Once they actually find her, they have to make her believe them, and get her to claim her inheritance, which she’s not at all interested in.

   Gypsy could come to the PCs, because something’s happened to her youngest sister, who is the only member of her family that Gypsy would actually do something for.  If her sister is in danger, then Gypsy will probaby insist on joining the PCs.  This would not be a bad thing.

   Gypsy’s father was murdered.  Someone wants Gypsy found because either she’s a suspect, he wants protect her from the killer, or he is the killer and plans to murder all of the lord’s children.  Or all three.

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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

October 22, 2002, 3:25
Usually I try to comment to add something to the idea, maybe to improve it or expand. But I simply like this one. I know what makes her work, why she does what she does... well, my PC's ARE going to meet her, sooner or later.
Ria Hawk
October 23, 2002, 14:14
Glad you like her.
Barbarian Horde
January 13, 2003, 0:08
It seems kind of strange to me that the youngest two would be different from their older siblings... maybe their mother did a little dallying with someone she thought could improve her position? Maybe he was a respected, famous person, and she conned him into thinking she was single until, oops, too late. Maybe she wants to use Gypsy and her sister to blackmail him now, but needs the kids, so she sends someone after them. Gypsy's sister would be easy, but Gypsy herself obviously wouldn't. Perhaps her mother hires the PCs to get Gypsy, or Gypsy tries to talk them into getting her sister back, as in the notes. Also, maybe Gypsy's whole beef with the nobility could be because of her mother.
January 13, 2003, 16:17
Ahh, the old debate on nature vrs nurture.

Maybe a different twist. Perhaps a noble she scammed has had an exchange with her and ended up liking her spirit. Now he wants to get to know her more, but she isn't having it. Maybe he hires the PC's to play detective on her past. If he has a high enough position, he might be able to squash some of her family's behaviors. But how can he win her over?
Dragon Lord
March 18, 2005, 10:11
I agree with manfred this one I really like, she is believable and, in a sense, very "real"

She generates literally dozens of plot hooks, possibly hundreds she might even be a whole campaign arc in her own right

Credit where it's due 5/5
March 18, 2005, 11:03
Isn't there a plot that should be linked to this character?
Barbarian Horde
July 25, 2005, 8:30
It is the "Mistaken Blackmail" -
April 10, 2009, 13:20
What happens when the atypical daughter of a nobleman renounces everything she was taught?

Female Moses?
April 10, 2009, 14:10
Groan, another rebellious vixen who believes in personal empowerment and sincerity over social obligation and family. You have flavors of this in Zorro, Gumi Bears, Aladdin, The Song of Fire and Ice Books, Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast. This woman's whole story is a series of cliches from the opening question, I pretty sure everyones answer was that she picks up rapier and puts on some knee high boots with a riding outfit. It is the classic American-media archetype of a female hero, high born but chooses the cause or the role of the commoner.

I think this character could really get interesting if you expanded on her life after leaving home. Instead you just list thing, pirate, tavern servant, circus performer. It was that period, and how she viewed her family through the lense of those experinces, that should really define her at the point in her life when you would have her introduced to the PCs.

Some questions are

The forces that drove her away are clear, but did she ever find what she was looking for?
I take it she find did not find sincerity in the commoners world, and that is why she remains so cynical.

Though what did that do to her moral code and sense of the world. She hated the rich but did she have belief that people could be better or that some people were better? What does she think now and how will that effect her decision making process?
I am not sure what lines she is unwilling to cross though, and those are the big questions for any character.

Is she happy away from her family?

Is she still principled?

Does she believe in romantic love?

Does she have political views? (i.e. An idea for how things should be)

Does she have lusts or desires like a normal person or is she some consumed by anger and distrust that she cant express them?

If she has no political views, why give her this noble backstory unless you wanted to use it to critique the exsisting political structure? Is it because money really does make the RPG world go round and to be interesting she has to be tied to it?

Would she be less interesting if she was a low born woman who didnt want to marry or live with her abusive family?

Does she really believe she will die as a tavern wench or sailor or does she still somewhere in her mind believe that she will one day return to her old life, but in different and more powerful position?

What does she enjoy?

This character is so shallow it is almost offensive. If the piece had taken a different tone, or she had been seen through eyes of some observer that wouldn't have had a reason to have this limited knowledge of her, then perhaps we would have reason to expect the gaps. She is little more than a neo-sterotype.

All that being said maybe a cliche neo-sterotype is exactly what one may want in his or her game. I don't want to bring you score down or upset the balance of things by voting low on old post which you have a high score for. So I will give you a 4.5 so I don't bring your score down.
Voted axlerowes
April 10, 2009, 14:22
Voted MoonHunter
April 10, 2009, 17:39
It is a very nice character. The cliche of noble girl giving it all up to become a theif/ bard/ wizard has gotten old for me. Still, for what it is, it is nicely executed. It has some good color elements. I like it, generally speaking. I do have some questions. ...


I want the answers for axlerowes questions, who has all my questions, and a few I had not thought of.
Voted valadaar
January 6, 2016, 11:37
An archetype, and the answers to Axle's questions would indeed be illuminating.

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