Hi, everyone, I’ve been working on promoting my book, Zombies of the World. However, I haven’t forgotten about this. I’m going to post some short pieces I’ve written for one reason or the other but have never seen the light of day. I’ll start with a list of NPCs usable in a modern post-apocalyptic world: a doctor, a scavenger and a warlord.
Skills: First year M.D. with extensive field experience.
Background: Jane was once a promising young doctor in her first year of residency, covering the ER in a city hospital. As society collapsed, Jane watched in personal horror as her family and life vanished almost instantly. She was cut off from her family and friends as government forces entered the hospital and began evacuating hospital personnel. Patients were left in their rooms, as the government could only take people with skills vital to the war effort. The vast majority of doctors and nurse complied, desperate to survive. Shocked by the callousness of the government and cowardice of the hospital staff, Jane refused to go and remained with the patients along with a few other staff members.
Eventually, Jane had to abandon the hospital when it ran out of supplies and the patients either recovered or died. Since then, she’s become a wandering healer, trading her skills for supplies and food. She remains idealistic and frequently helps those who can’t pay for her services. In fact, her idealism is her way of dealing with her stress and emotional pain. However, she will work for mercenary and military groups provided they do not mistreat refugees or commits atrocities. She is a capable surgeon when it comes to treating gun shots and shrapnel wounds and can either go into the field as a medic or teach medical skills to characters. She carries a pistol for self defense but will only use it as a last resort. She will never work for any group or character she considers evil and is willing to die for her beliefs.
Lately, she’s started having nightmares of her family dying horrifically in her arms. She may stop her aimless wandering and begin the search for her family in the next few months.
Appearance: A weathered woman of German descent, black hair with a few grey strands showing. She wears sensible clothing, with a webbed tactical vest stuffed with medical supplies and held together by judicious amounts of duct tape. She speaks bluntly to men with guns, never backing down with them but kindly to those in need.
Skills: Scavenging, streetwise, wilderness and urban survival, unarmed combat, knife fighting
Background: A street kid grown up, Zack’s learned how to take care of himself. He spends his time on the fringes of settlements, looking for a scam or opportunity to improve his lot in life.
Zack will make himself available to any tough or well equipped group he can find and offers his services as a soldier, scout, or laborer. He is quick to please new employers but will gradually slack off and become unreliable when not monitored by a more seasoned character. He is also prone to petty theft, although he will not risk stealing valuable equipment as he fears being caught.
His attitude is full of bravado and fearless. He isn’t easily intimidated and is quick to start a fist fight with anyone who doesn’t show him respect. On the other hand, Zack is still green when it comes to fire fights and may freeze in combat. An experienced military instructor will see potential in Zack given proper training. In fact, Zack would make an excellent soldier if a veteran takes him under his wing and shows him the ropes of soldering. Such a bond does not come lightly as Zack will not trust a character easily. He is unsure of himself, let alone anyone else. But if a character earns his trust and trains him, he will have a valuable ally for life.
Appearance: Zack changes his look every few months, as one settlement learns of his thieving ways and drives him off. By changing his appearance, gossip about him doesn’t spread far. Currently, he sports a ratty brown mo-hawk (self cut), wearing a death metal t-shirt with a torn blue jeans. He carries a scavenged hiker’s backpack and several concealed knives. He has a functional zip gun but only uses it in emergencies, as he only has a few bullets.
Skills: Diplomacy, Investigation, Politics and Fast Talking
Background: Cal was a cop before the war with a head for politics. He was average in police work but his silver tongue got him a steady stream of promotions and accolades. He became arrogant and boastful and took shortcuts with procedure. Eventually, a minor accounting scandal damaged his career. He was relocated to a calm district with little crime and a smaller chance of promotion. Still, he made the best of it that he could and soon became a major player in the region.
After the war, Cal saw his opportunity and made the police into his private army. He purged the ranks of the police of any potential troublemakers, exiling from the district and then recruited thugs and punks as a special ‘peacekeeping’ force. They commandeered as many food caches and gun stores as they could, which turned Cal into the de facto warlord of the region. Unfortunately for Cal, his powerplay made him unpopular and a militia formed to take him down. Brutal fighting between the militia and Cal’s thugs lasted for months. Both sides grew tired of the bloodshed and pressure from outsiders forced them to seek a compromise. Cal managed to negotiate a settlement that kept him in power, but only in a reduced capacity. Cal kept his most loyal men by his side and he favored certain associates when he redistributed the looted supplies, thus keeping him connected. However, he is extremely vulnerable as many in the area want him dead. He is eager to help anyone who can help him and can provide black market contacts or information to those he deems worthy. However, he is not above selling out someone if it means a profit.
Appearance: A tall but portly man with slicked back silvered hair and a broad smile. Cal wears a stylized police commissioner’s uniform, part of his self designated job as ‘keeper of the peace’. A convincing politico, Cal is quick with a joke or speech, whatever is needed at the moment.