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ID: 2301


February 6, 2006, 12:43 pm

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James Barley, the Drunk


James Barley is a hard drinking, minimum-effort working hired hand…

Bleary eyed and five-days unshaved James Barley exudes the aroma of cheap beer, pipe smoke and sweat. He wears thread-bare clothing since almost all of his meager income goes to either his landlord/boarder or the enhancement of his drinking fortitude. He is never seen without a large slouch-hat that has seen many better days.

Barley is a poor man, without the benefit of a patch of land to take care of himself. So, he has to work for the farmers who own the land and take most of his payment in room and board. He seldom works at a single farm more than a season, but it isnt uncommon for him to work the same general area of farms. Some of his jobs have been as much pity work as they have been genuine need. As a worker, he is lacking in motivation and ambition.

He is quite content to spend his days swilling his life away through the mouth of a beer mug, listening to second string musicians and glaring lustily at barmaids who are a decade past being maids. His one and only claim to fame is his involvement in the Suvari Demon scare.

Throughout the Suvari Demon Hysteria, he stays rather sober…or less drunk than usual. He all but quits his job in the fields getting all the coin he needs from travelers eager to hear about the Demon. He becomes a rather decent story-teller, embellishing on the tale each time it is told, but most people consider it an effect of the prodigious amount of beer he drinks, rather than whole affait being a falsehood.

Following the Suvari Demon scare, Barley finds himself a social pariah, unemployed, and unwelcomed by the church.

Special Equipment
Slouch-hat, dirty knuckle bones for dice, look of desperation.

Roleplaying Notes
A lie ruined Barley’s life. He didn’t kow how good he had it until his antics in the scare cost the life of a well known local widow. He has since been reduced to begging, and telling the tale of the demon scare for copper bits. This has caused him a profound change of life.

He no longer has money to drink, and can no longer count on the mercy of the locals, what little face he had was utterly destroyed by the scare and he is know working towards regaining some level of respect so he can quit begging. He will beg people to give him another chance, apologizing for the scare. He expresses he has the ability to groom horses, tend to leather goods and armor and the like. Given his past, he is quite honest about these abilites and he will give them his best effort.

He would reward decent PCs with the hardest work of his life (giving 60 to 75% effort). It should be noted that he still very much has a soft spot for drinking and trying to grope bar wenches past their prime. He is well acquainted with the local legal system and likely knows all of them by at least official position, if not on a first name basis.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
February 6, 2006, 13:50
Drunks are good carecters to have in a game.
Voted wildcorn
February 7, 2006, 10:50
He has an alright history, but I'm having trouble picturing the character. I do question why he didn't turn to story telling once he found he had a knack for it. Interesting attributes, he might come in reasonably useful to a party... can he be trusted?
Voted Ancient Gamer
February 7, 2006, 15:32
He is tied to the Demonic Hysteria plot, but could easily be switched over to another similar situation. As a character he is a dime a dozen, though he is believable. Heck, I know a couple of guys like that.

He could fit right into the minor NPC codex
Voted MoonHunter
February 8, 2006, 10:58
So where does his storytelling skill come from? He has some aptitude for it? or what?
Voted Nap
May 9, 2006, 2:28
It's not easy making an interesting character out of the town drunk, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about James Barley. Very well written. Now I need to find out more about this "demon scare" he was involved in.
Voted valadaar
July 29, 2013, 12:02
Decent bit player. Could be used for a number of roles. Perhaps the victim of true possession or snatched away as someone 'unwanted, unmissed' who ends up not quite being either.


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