Character Profile: Vanity

Posted on : 05-05-2010 | By : Brian | In : 4th Edition, Character Profiles, D&D

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In just about any RPG, D&D included, you need people who can take care of the exposition for you. It can get pretty boring if you’re just telling the PCs everything they need to know in paragraph format; it’s much more interesting if you can plant that information in dialog that they’re participating in, allowing them to ask questions and find things out as a result. It’s the difference between being an active participant and a passive observer. To that end, here is an NPC that can fill that roll for you. As will likely be the case in future posts, I’ll refer to specific place names from my own campaign, and you can feel free to substitute names from your own as needed.

Vanity grew up on the streets of Bastion, the capitol city. When she was old enough to have learned how to pick a pocket, she tried to join the thieves’ guild, but was rejected for her lack of natural aptitude. Where she did have aptitude, though, was in getting people to talk to her and trust her. The local guild wasn’t being very helpful, so she moved to Fallcrest and set up as a fence and information broker; she was quite successful.

Vanity if flirtatious in the extreme; it seems to be the only way she knows how to relate to men, who are uniformly attracted to her. This works in her favor more often than not, as she is able to get good prices and set good prices, and often picks up valuable information through idle flirtation. What she doesn’t tell anyone is that she’s not actually interested in any of the men she flirts with; her interests lie in other directions.

Vanity can be used to relay information about the goings-on of a city, as well as its underworld. She has an extensive network of contacts, and she can arrange meetings for the PCs with many influential people. Also, because she is a fence, she knows how to move things on the market, black and otherwise; this can be useful for PCs who want to sell some gear, particularly if it is of questionable origin.

If you have a rogue in your party (or anyone with ties to the criminal element), you can tie Vanity to that PC by giving them common history. In my own campaign, Vanity and Silus (the half-elf warlock) are both rejects from the same thieves’ guild, and they used to commiserate about that together.