Imagine this happens in your game…
Your party has quietly taken out a handful of guards on their way into the complex marked on the map and approaches the two huge double doors artistically decorated with gold filigree. As your thief puts his ear to the door, he hears the mumbling of many voices and the sharpening of knives. You tell your barbarian to break the doors open so you can save the young lady kidnapped from her bed in the village just down the road. And as you charge in, weapons drawn you see…
A whole room filled with nicely dressed people from all walks of life staring at you over fine plates and silverware. The girl you were sent to retrieve sits at the head of the table next to the mayor of the village. And you seem to have interrupted a fine dinner, served by members of the local clergy.
Secret organizations aren’t always evil. Sometimes they’re overly characterized that way, but the majority of cults, secret societies, and political groups are just normal people discussing things in private when they know the rest of society might look at them differently if they knew the truth.
Sure, there are evil cults and agencies, syndicates, guilds, leagues, and unions. But like Jessica Rabbit, some of them are just drawn that way. Why not mix things up the next time you want to create a covert faction and give yourself a few more ideas for your imagination to play with?
Insta-NPCs #9: Cults and Cultists includes ten separate tables for everything from determining the size of the organization and how long they’ve been around to what they’re after, how isolated they are, their level of commitment, and more! It also includes five different example cults and four NPCs you can use right out of the box, plus a worksheet you can print any time you want to go through the process quickly.
It’s quite possible that dinner party your PCs interrupted was merely fattening up that nice little girl for a sacrifice later in the night… But they may just want to give her an award for being the kindest person ever. You never know!
Here’s a Random Table Now!
And if 10 different tables isn’t enough, why not let this random table of 50 different names for organization types inspire you in the meantime? It’s not in the book, but I can see it being added in the next revision! Roll a d100 and see what you end up with!
|D100 Roll||Group Name|
Try these groups on for size…
Here’s a few I came up with after rolling some d100s on this table and the table of 100 descriptors in the book…
- The Partnership of Heads (a hidden pocket of civilized life devoted to continuing the headhunting tradition)
- Congress of Eddas (a secret society dedicated to ancient Norse poetry)
- The Sacred Sorority (a women’s group devoted to the patron goddess of their sisterly order of the church)
- The Griffin Coalition (a group of concerned hunters who will stop at nothing to see wild griffon populations return to full strength)
Are they evil? Are they good? Roll some dice and find out!
Where can I find it?
Insta-NPCs #9: Cults and Cultists is available at DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, the Open Gaming Store (d20pfsrd), and the Paizo store. All the links are on the product page. Pick up a copy today and don’t let your party invade another dinner party!
And while you’re at it, check out the rest of the Insta-NPCs series!