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Rating: 4.1333
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ID: 1141


February 3, 2017, 1:15 am

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Dalme The Tinker


Dalme is one of the various travelling Tinkers plying their trade in the villages along the back roads. One can hear his cart from a arrow shot away, clanking and clinking, his wares: pans, pots, utensils, plow shares, cow bells, and other metal bits, banging against the side of his cart. The rest of his goods are kept inside his house cart (mugs, plates, fabric, ribbon, and other things) along with his anvil and fire bellows. He tells news, shares jokes, and does a bit of trading. He is everything a tinker is expected to be…. and unfortunately much more.

Special Equipment:

His colorful garb.
His brightly painted wagon full of goods and clanking things.
“Just the right thing you need.”


Dalme is one of the various travelling Tinkers plying their trade in the villages along the back roads. He is a man of an older nature, but his age seems vague because of his smile and twinkling eyes. He dresses in a slightly run down colorful costume of ribbons and puff and slash, a flamboyant salesman like most tinkers. He looks like every other travelling tinker you have seen.


Dalme plies his trade along the back and minor roads of the region. He is reasonably fair in his dealings, always following the letter of his word. These minor back road traders help keep these little villages alive, as they don’t have a blacksmith, weaver, or other crafter. For most villages, he (and his tinker kind) are their only source for metal goods, ceramics, fabric, and herbs. He will even have folk talismans, for warding off any number of evils. Tinkers also repair existing metal things forged by real blacksmiths. They also provide news of the outside world.

Dalme is a flamboyant character, sharing a joke and a pipe round his cart and his campfire. He is everything one expects in a successful tinker. “He always seems to have “just the item you need” in the back of his cart."

In fact, the players will often see them in their travels. Sometimes he is in the background of a village they are in. Sometimes he is passing them in the road. Other times, they might even share his campfire. He is just another colorful NPC. In fact, they should of encountered him a number of times before they even encounter something odd.

Unfortunately Dalme is not a real tinker, or even human. Dalme is a very successful Demon. He is properly masqued, so few will ever be able to detect him as such. He never breaks his masque and reverts to his demonic form (it really isn’t that physically powerful anyways). He keeps all these little villages in the back regions alive and healthy, so their people can do all those “little evils” and suffering that his kind feed upon. His items encourage their petty jealousies, avarice, anger, sloth, and so on. So while they seem to do something nice, they actually generate more suffering in the community. Most of these items are mundane, sold to just the right person at the right time to fan the flames of jealousy (“that ribbon makes her think she is “so special” and can have my man… well we will see about that”), avarice (“I must have that axe, I always wanted one like it and he snaked it out from underneath me”), anger (“damm him. Now everyone will follow him because he has that fancy cloak”), or sloth (“with that new plow, I can avoid working today as it will take me so much less time to plow my field”). Nobody seems to notice these little evils. But sometimes Dalme sells some “little magics” items. Some are obvious, like a love potion or wealth talisman (that enriches one man by syphoning luck and money from others around him). Others are secretly magical. Only those trained in spotting the ways of evil magics will notice them… innocent items with extra something. These “extras” often seduce the owner down the path of Evil, or produce extra suffering for the owner or the people around them. (See Garage Sale from Hell) or check out any number of horror stories or the Friday the 13th TV series for example items). Dalme is quite adept at this, for he has been plying his trade for quite a while. It will take players quite a while to recognize the pattern existing and even longer to associate Dalme with it.

Some people have even sold their soul to him for items, without realizing it. He is that deft at the art of conversation.

Roleplaying Notes:

1) He is a consumate entertainer and salesman. He is flashy to get your attention, listens to you carefully for what you want, and tries to get it for you. He can be flattering when needed.

2) He is very honest in most of his dealings. It does not pay off in the end to lie about most things. If he gives his word, he must keep it to the letter.

3) He does protect his “territory” from excess Evil. (So often he will sell talismans to keep more active Evils or accidents away from his people). He is protective of his people like a shepard is of his sheep; so he can fleece them later. He needs them alive and somewhat healthy so they can produce more little evils for him to “eat”.

4) He tries not to interfere with travellers through his territory. They are unknown qualities and may be dangerous.

5) He keeps his karmic balance sheet clear. If you do a good turn for him, he will help you sometime in return (though often not in the way you expect and usually at someone else’s expense).

6) If you don’t mind that he is a demon (and in most cases you will never know), he is actually a “nice guy”. He is fun to be around, wise beyond his apparent years, and always the voice of caution.

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Comments ( 17 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Chaosmark
September 18, 2005, 12:36
VERY nice MH. I love the way you flesh him out, yet leave enough of him unsaid so that he can be weaved into any fantasy campaign.

I give it a 4/5. Why not that last little bit? Well, I'm not quite sure, but something seems lacking in there. While a good NPC, he isn't absolutely wonderful, great, AWESOME. And that's okay. I think that 5/5s should be handed out on a rare basis, for those really special MH works.
September 18, 2005, 12:48
No need to apologize, I perfectly agree with you. He is a solid 4 kind of character. Good for a campaign, but not the kind of plotline that is the exciting or epic. He is one of those minor story arcs you put in the campaign to help "fill in" the adventuring life of your characters.

And 5/5s should be handed out on a rare basis.

He is suitable for any kind of campaign, as mini-merchants/ street merchants are found in all settings. He could be an intinerate ship trader, a street vendor in the city or sprawl or arcology, or even a website that you can order odd things from (one must change with the times).
Voted Cheka Man
September 18, 2005, 17:45
Very good.I'd give you a 5 but as you say, 5's should not be handed out too often.
Voted Pariah
October 3, 2005, 22:51
I like him, great way to explain how the locals came to be so wretched without a dictator sitting over them demanding all their crops or the like.
Voted Dragon Lord
October 4, 2005, 9:21
Find myself in full agreement
Nothing more to be said really (don't you just hate it when that happens)

Oh, and just for the record - I like him a lot - almost gets my "wish I'd thought of that" award

October 10, 2005, 2:19
Would any resident demon hunters in the area be able to scry for his presence?
June 1, 2007, 12:36
Bumping in the night.
October 10, 2005, 12:07
Additionally, if there are any wards in the area, then he would be blocked by these... and certainly know to evade those temples, and other sensitive places. But there might be surprises...
October 10, 2005, 17:40
Maggot: He lives out in the boonies. Normally speaking there would not be any. But since most of the time he is not actively a demon, but merely a human... he seldom would appear on their radar.

I am sure there are occasionally a few suprises for him. However, those are few and far between. He has been doing this long enough that simple "oops" do not happen to him.

Besides, if he thought anyone was going to be a problem, he would of arranged for their life to be complicated before they did.
Voted Zylithan
November 14, 2005, 14:52
Yeah, I have little to add to what has already been said. I think he isn't the easiest character to work into a campaign, but I like the idea of the players 'just happening' to see him a lot. Even if nothing happens they should be a little suspicious.
Voted EchoMirage
November 17, 2005, 8:28
That is the way a demon works - not by going on a rampage, which brings out the good in his victims, but rather by subtrfuge. Yup. Good one. I like him a lot. A great deal.
May 24, 2006, 14:44
When someone is feeling a bit more aggressive, he might leave his normal area and sell one of these Merchant's Potions 2626.

Heck, there are tons of special gifts and pieces he could sell. All with that special demon touch.
May 24, 2006, 14:46
Updated: punctuation and link updates
Voted Mourngrymn
May 24, 2006, 14:52
This has enough of a painful reoccurance to the players that is bespeaks of many fun filled hours of reoccuring nightmares for them. They could meet him one day and have a splendid time, then the next time they meet him it always seems ot be a bad day for them to where they think he draws them bad luck, then the next time, good again. A perfect on again off again kind of relationship with an NPC like this is classic.
Voted Dossta
September 26, 2010, 11:57
I read this one before registering for the Citadel, and am coming back to add my vote. Well done on this! A nice way to sew misery, pettiness and despair -- the kind that the PCs would love to fight, but has no clear source.

Voted Ramhir
September 30, 2010, 11:16
Very nice. A well-crafted NPC that can be dropped into any fantasy campaign, and could cause a bit of trouble for the PCs. Thanks! 4/5
Voted valadaar
May 13, 2014, 10:41
This is a great NPC. I like his potential and what you can do with him.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Strolen

Diseased people, (leprosy or any other such fear inducing disease) when traveling, will often times wear a cloak that entirely covers their body and ring a bell as they travel, used as a warning for any others to stay away. Could be used for a disguise or safe passage.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | September 21, 2002 | View | UpVote 1xp

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