Monday, March 10, 2008

Suddenly, Gypsies!

Totally! I had no plans for gypsies to roam around in my new FRPG world, but -- hell, I rolled on the chart and there they were, randomly being encountered by my wife's PC while on the trail of a missing priest.

Of course, one of 'em looked like a young Steven Van Zandt. He had to, because --

Here, look at him. Only, uh, picture him smiling:

"Aaah, good day, my damsel! I am Anselo,
and you are most fortunate that our paths have crossed!"

Fortuitous, indeed -- the caravan was a trading caravan, and they had a nice shortbow to sell, thing which Amber's character was wanting to own, being that she just had her +1 elven longsword (which came from an animate skeleton in the ruins of an elven keep, not The Cleft of Forgotten Swords, incidentally) and nothing for range.

An older gypsy woman offered the bow for sale, along with a quiver full of arrows -- made of the soft leather which I decided these particular gypsies have lots of. "How much?" said Amber's character, Orsala.

"Here you learn," I said to her, "that asking a gypsy 'How much?' is rarely a wise thing to do."

"I had no way of knowing," she replied.

"Of course not. The woman, " I continued, "simply smiles. 'Oh! But I leave that up to you!'"

Already on her guard because -- well, because gypsies --, she declined to haggle over the nice bow, which I described in detail and everything. No problem; it was just a random encounter.

But it turned into a role-playing encounter, and a world-building encounter. Because now, we know that my world has gypsies, that they have a bad rep, that they work a lot with a soft, pliable leather, and that there's a culture somewhere called the Ath...uh, the Art...I forget, but I wrote it down -- ANYWAY, that there's a culture somewhere that carves ascending spiraled ribbons onto their bows. We also know that Orsala isn't comfortable with haggling, and that she doesn't want a bow that badly.

Because I rolled up a caravan of gypsies on a chart in Castle Zagyg.

How else do you define a winning situation?

Let's top it off with another benefit of my new world element:

Not much use to my wife's character. But, fellas, I know you thought of it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: No offense is meant to any real-world gypsies out there. These are fantasy-archetype gypsies, really just based on, you know, the romantic notion of gypsies in movies and cartoons and such. We're all of us friends here, 'cept some of us look better with scarves on our heads.