[CONAN] Great Scot! I LOVE Roleplaying!

I love it.

I'm sitting here, doing some last minute prep for the next sessions which starts in 3 hours and 19 minutes. I've got a NPC that I'm going to introduce. We probably won't get to him tonight, but I'm working on him just in case.

I set this guy up over a year ago (real time) when the campaign started. He's the PC's uncle. For those that don't know, I'm running a Conan campaign, set in Cimmeria. The PCs' father is the clan elder. The chief's brother was struck with wanderlust about 10 years ago (when the PCs were aged 5) and left to see the civilized lands.

It's a decade later now. The PCs have just become warriors for the clan (our first arc in the campaign told the story of how they got to be warriors--the journey from children to adult clansmen), and this NPC will return, either tonight or maybe in next Saturday's game session. And, with him he will bring tidings, news of the world, a different point of view after his has been widened from the exposure to other cultures...

....and information about the past...things the PCs do not know...things that they will be interested to hear.

So, I'm excited about that. It's neat to set up an encounter and have it played out over a year, real time, later in the game.

And, besides that story crafting, I just like putting the NPC together. How old is he? He's 38 now. What level? He's been a Scout, mostly, on the Pictish frontier, working with the Aquilonians. He's a Barbarian 3 / Borderer 3.

I love scratching down all the little details about him on a sheet of paper. Black hair. Long. Thick black beard. 5' 11". 200 lbs. Muscled but not bulky, like a runner or a swimmer, not a gymnast.

Simple cloth, collar-less, baggy shirt and woolen pants. Thick leather boots.

He carries a hunting spear. There's a thick bladed broadsword strapped across his back. He's got a weapon girdle that is thin--he cut it in half himself. He needs to bend and crouch a lot as a Scout. He's got a hunting knife and a hatchet. Two pouches hang from his belts: one carries flint and steel, a bone fishing hook and line, a whetstone wrapped in a cloth, and a piece of deer antler that he uses to clean his nails and such. The other pouch jingles with a few silver and copper coins.

Anybody with ranks in Use Rope can tell that these pouches are tied in such a way that, with one pull, the Cimmerian can drop them quickly, and move on, when he needs to be silent.

A waterskin is secured across his chest, and while one hand uses the hunting spear as a walking stick, the other holds a large sack that he drapes over one shoulder.

In this sack are two of his more prized possessions. First is a shirt made from fine Turanian chain mail. He'll tuck this on over his head should battle be necessary. The other is his Cimmerian mantle--his huge, thick cloak made from many different skins that he uses to warm himself, keep himself dry, as a tarp in the rain or a bedroll at night.

I can see this guy in my mind's eye, following the Blood river through the canyon back up to his clanholme in his native Cimmeria--a prodigal son (from his clansmen's pov) returned home after years of living and fighting among foreigners.

I love it, I tell you. I love this game.