So the last two articles have been about creating a single artist and a group of artists and seeing how plot and story might flow from those random elements using the Insta-NPCs #6: Shh… Artists at Work… product.
But sometimes we don’t need to go that far. Sometimes we just need an item. A piece of art. Something shiny to attract the eyes of the PCs as well as any NPCs who might cause trouble…
Thankfully, Insta-NPCs #6: Shh… Artists at Work… offers a third option to help you brainstorm about just such an item, with four basic steps…
- We start by determining the Subject with a d20 roll… (14) Size.
- Then we look at the Medium used to express such a subject with another d20 roll… (20) Paper.
- Next, the Style comes to us with a d4 roll… (4) Story.
- And lastly, the Tools used to create such a piece… another d20 roll. (18) Lights.
So what do we do with this odd collection of details?
“The Tale of Agmund has been a staple in longhouses for centuries, telling of the sailor’s journey around the world battling giants, monsters, and gods on the Inner Sea. Most scholars have been unable to agree on the veracity of some of those tales, claiming them to be half truths and fables to educate the young and embolden the old. But now that the Scroll of Agmund has been found and dated by those same scholars to the time the hero was thought to have lived, there is a single source for all Agmund lore. There are many tale spinners who claim that their version of the tales as the ‘one true tale’ and they are not happy that this scroll was uncovered after so many years…
The scroll itself is made of a tough, woven material and painted with a dark ochre with images and characters scratched into the paint. To present the scroll to an audience, it is held in front of a bright torch so that the light shines through the darkness. As the reader interprets the ancient runes, other participants unroll and reroll the scrolls from left to right. The whole artifact, from the treated wooden dowels at either end to the scroll itself has held up remarkably well after nearly four hundred years.
A scholar studying the scroll using a new type of light was recently found dead in the room used to house the artifact. It has caused quite a stir among the community…”
If we want to, we could add to this and discover who the artist (or artists) behind the scroll might have been… what other works may they have created? Are they still alive?
And what mysteries is the scroll hiding?
I might play it that the world has settled down since the time of Agmund. There are no monsters. The gods are fading. Perhaps the scroll has a hidden ink that shows where some of them are hiding… And they don’t want to be found…. yet.
- Today’s Context: “I need an item to build a plot around!”
- Today’s Recipe calls for Insta-NPCs #6: Shh… Artists at work….
- Today’s Ingredients: Size, Paper, Story, and Lights
- Today’s Setting: Could be a Viking/seagoing people or traditional fantasy world