1-Get Off My Land
To this farmer private property is sacrosanct and he sees trespassers as the bane of his existence. Whenever he encounters them he angrily orders them off his land, and is ready to fight if they do not comply. If in a modern game, he carries a shotgun, if in a fantasy world, a crossbow, and he has a couple of fierce dogs that he uses both to round up his sheep and keep trespassers away.
Once Kulak was a reasonably prosperous farmer, but the country he was in had a revolution and most of his land was divided up amongst the poorer farmers. Then the state made it into a collective farm. Now he works for very little money, too scared to complain in case he is thrown into a concentration camp for his pains. He often remembers the good old days.
Grumpy is angry about anything and everything. Trespassers, the weather, the state of the crops and his herds, the taxes, prices at the market, and all manner of other things bother Grumpy, who has never been seen to smile. He has no wife and no close friends, except for Hate, as nobody else can bear to be with him for very long, because he always seems to be muttering about his problems.
The other farmers are envious about the state of his crops and his herds, and there are whispers of witchcraft. In this case the whisperers are right, but it is white magic only, cast on his herd of cattle to protect them from disease and his crops to make them grow better. He is a friendly man and will happily help out his fellow farmers in times of trouble, so he has not been denounced as a wizard to the Church or the secular authorities.
This farmer dislikes the local nobles and the Church, seeing them as fat and lazy and not caring about those underneath them, and will share his outspoken views with anybody willing to listen. It seems likely that he will either soon be thrown into prison or worse by the noble's men, or will manage to ignite a rebellion which if not quickly put down, could spread out of control.
Drunkards farm has gone to rack and ruin, because he has got addicted to alcohol and spends most of his time in the local tavern. His animals are half starving and his crops are unharvested, and as his bills are unpaid his farm is close to being foreclosed upon and taken back by the bank. He is too befuddled by alcohol to realise the hole that he is in.
Letch is a capable farmer, but his great fault is his view of women. He pinches their bottoms, tells dirty jokes about them and generally sees them as inferior, and was thrown out from the local tavern after starting a fight by groping another farmers wife. He is no pushover and can fight better then one might think, because of the many brawls he has got himself into.
Lucky is a happy individual who loves his life and his family farm, and little things always seem to go right for him. This may be because he privately keeps a small shrine in his house to Arkon, The God of Small Things. Or maybe he is just lucky.
This farmer has the knack of looking after his herds well, so they never seem to stampede or get sick. He has several dogs and always treats them well, and is incensed by Drunkards ill treatment of his animals.
This farmer seems to spend as much time keeping things spick and span as farming the land. His scythes and other farming tools are always sharp and shining, his cobblestones are gleaming and he is always dressed well. Once this saved his life when he accidentally injured himself with one of his tools. A dirty wound would have been infected, but his wound was clean and healed quickly, and he was working again within a short time.
11-Out of the Army now
A former soldier in the royal army, who did a few things he was not proud of whilst acting under orders, he served for over twenty years and became a sergeant before retiring and being granted a small tract of land on the frontiers. He works hard by day and in then evening is ready to share most of his war stories with his friends. His legally owned sword is hung on the wall of his bedroom in its scabbard, ready to be drawn again in an emergency.
Squire is a gentleman farmer who sleeps in a bed with silken sheets and leaves all the hard mucky work to his underlings, spending much of his time in town and coming to check that all is well once every few days. Wat Tyler despises him.
Envy is skilled at his job but he always thinks that all the other farmers are doing better then him, even when that is not the case, and spends his spare time thinking of plans both legal and otherwise to increase the size of his herd of cattle and fields of corn and hay. The local priest thinks that he is an unreconstructed sinner and often tries to get him to stop being so envious, fearing he might be headed for Hell after death.
Poachers major vice is that he cannot resist poaching from Squires private pheasant preserve, and the gamekeepers have nearly caught him more then once. Apart from that he is a jolly enough fellow.
Old Timer is nearly eighty years old but still drags himself to work, be it sunny, pouring with rain or icy and cold. One day he is likely to die of natural causes and his body will most likely rot before somebody finally comes to his remote farm. His ghost might or might not haunt the farm afterwards.
He works hard enough to make even Mr Clean look lazy in comparism. Because of this he is unpopular with some of his neighbours as they think that he makes them look bad. Farming is his life.
Neither a miserable failure nor one of the best farmers in the area, he is your average farmer type.
18-Can We Fix It
A part time blacksmith and a master of fixing broken tools and farming equipment, he makes extra money helping the other farmers and is a popular fellow. He never charges too much and would be as happy to fix a broken sword or a dented helmet belonging to a PC as he would to fix farming tools.
19-Much the Miller
A mean man, he owns the only mill in the area and charges over the odds for his services, knowing that it is hard for people to grind their grain elsewhere. He kicks back a portion of the money he makes to the Squire on whose land his mill is built, and to the local priest to ensure (so he thinks) a place in Heaven after death.
This man is garrulous and totally incapable of keeping a secret, and has spread rumours all over the place, so people are careful what they say to him. The PCs, not knowing of this, might let something secret out to him by mistake and then end up in trouble because of it. As a farmer he is quite good at his job.
He hates being a farmer with a passion. He hates the stink of the animals, the toil of getting the harvest in, the weather, everything. He was a general and a royal pretender to the throne once, but his rebellion failed. However, he had once saved the kings life from a would-be assassin before he rebelled and the king felt he could not send to the executioners block a man who had once saved his life.
So he was stripped of his sword, his rank and his title and rusticated, sent far from the capital city and sent to farm the land with a suspended death sentence hanging over his head. He knows he will be executed if he sneaks away and is caught so he does his farming jobs as best as he can, which is poorly. His only close friend in the area is Grumpy, who likes it that he has found someone as fed up and annoyed as he is.
After several adventures and a wound or two that he was lucky to survive, he has retired, hung up his backpack and sword and started a peaceful life tilling the soil. He is normally happy to see fellow adventurers and will let them tell their stories and stay the night in his farmhouse, as long as they are respectful and dont mind listening to his tales in return. He might know where a certain dingus is.
Tied to the land of his feudal lord, he is little more then a slave and has very few rights. He has to spend most of his time working for his lord, so he does not have much time to grow his own food and is constantly hungry. He might try and tag along with the PCs, despite his lack of adventuring skills.
A notorious outlaw, he has gone into hiding after one robbery too many set a large posse on his trail, took up an assumed name and purchased a farm with stolen money. Perhaps he really has decided to go straight, or maybe he is just lying low and waiting for the heat to die down. If the PCs recognise him and try and capture him to earn a reward, he will certainly not go quietly.
He is the opposite of Grumpy. He never grumbles, does his work with a smile and a song, and is friends with the vast majority of his neighbours. He does not mind people passing through, as long as they shut all the gates and refrain from trampling on his crops or bothering his livestock.
He spends three months of the year away from his farm at the royal court, ready to go into battle for the king if he has to. The rest of the year he farms the land. In his country there is normally a relatively short campaign season, partly because of the seasons (winter campaigns are a real pain due to the cold and the logistics) and partly because of an unwritten convention of war, which most countries keep to since it benefits all of them equally. Few rulers, even the bad ones, think it good to harm their own civilians through starving them.
This farmer is a part time piper who entertains people with the bagpipes on the few festival days of the year. Most people like his piping but a few bagpipe-haters think it sounds like a cat is being tortured. His wife insists that he keeps his practising away from her, so he goes into the middle of his wheat field to play his pipes and scare the birds away at the same time.
For various reasons, none of them huge on their own, this farmer has become mentally ill and is contemplating suicide. He could be in possession of a piece of information that the PCs really need and the PCs have to talk him out of killing himself. ( in real life, farmers do tend to have a slightly higher suicide rate then the general population.)
This farmer has a secret. It could be something minor (perhaps he is having an affair) or major (perhaps he is the secret head of a devil worshiping cult) or anything in between, and one of his biggest fears is that Tittle Tattle will find out about it and tell everybody.
Lovesick is young and really wants to find a wife but cannot get one. Its not that he is ugly or shares Letchs thoughts about women, it is that there are not many women his age around and the few that are there want to marry townsmen or richer farmers. If there is a woman amongst the PCs he will hit on her (in a polite way, and he'll stop when asked so there should be no need to hurt, let alone kill, him.) He has thought of hiring The Bowmen of Love but lacks the money to pay them for their services.
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? Responses (14)-14
Now this here is useful stuff! How many times has a GM proclaimed, "You round the bend, ascend the hill, and look upon a farmstead, sprawled in the distance. Its getting late now, and the smoke from the farm-house chimney seems inviting..." (or something like that). Here we have a nice rogues gallery of "simple" farmers to populate these steads, and breathe some life into an often neglected npc, the minor one.
Not a moment too soon; pressed for time and with some rural encounters coming up, I need something to fill in the backdrop. Cheka Man to the rescue! Very nice; enought detail for quick use, but vague enough to allow for potential hooks and subplots. I like!
A nice solid useful post. This is what a 30 should be, easy to use, genetic drop in personalities for your game.
An extremely handy guide to have for any village one comes across. You've gotten the details just right: specific enough to give them personality, but vague enough to drop them into any game. Good show, Cheka.
Definitely one of your best 30's Cheka. Good job!
I must concur, it is a good 30. Especially the 'Hate' wasn't what I expected... good work there!
A brilliant submission, i like it, it´s one that reminds people that RPG´s are not all combative.
Why will it not let me award it with my HoH?
There is a several day delay between the time a sub comes out and the time it becomes eligible for HoH. Come back soon :)
Very nicely done. It's a pity that these weren't released prior to the commencement of the 30's quest. I would have certainly used Hate.
This is extremely useful especially for Medieval RPGs
I ended up using this list on a recent adventure; I was in a pinch for quick and diverse assortment of homesteaders, and this list did the job quite nicely. Thanks again!
As was said above, this is very useful.
I always hate the 'Joe Average' entry -- seems like a waste of space, since a GM will never use it. However, the rest are solid with some good, memorable quirks. Well done!