10 Peasants & Serfs with Personality

Every campaign has peasants. Most peasants, though, are virtually invisible—they are window dressing and nothing more.


Use the table below, to generate the details of notable peasants the PCs encounter during their travels. Remember, to tailor the peasant’s descriptions to the circumstances.

  1. Pekka Leino (LN male human): New in town, Pekka needs work as his funds will only keep him off the streets for a few more weeks. Pekka’s home village was recently devastated by plague, and he fled here after his family fell into its ebon embrace. Skilled in general labouring, Pekka owns little but the clothes on his back and the few items in his pack. He is brawny and hardworking but unimaginative.
  2. Ilari Korpela (NG middle-aged human male): Fat, unfit and a little bit arthritic Ilari has short red hair and fair skin. He wears well-maintained, but old clothes. He hobbles about town in search of odd-jobs. He is better educated than many of his fellows and craves a job which enables him to sit down and stay inside as much as possible. He has dreams of becoming a famous bard, but his singing voice is average at best.
  3. Vesa Laitnen (N old human male): With a decent head of white hair, Vesa is the quintessential old man. He has nowhere to go and all day to get there. Consequently, he is chatty and friendly. He has a vast store of local knowledge and knows much of what goes on in the locality. Sadly, most of his knowledge is limited to the usual, banal goings-on of life and is of little interest to adventurers.
  4. Aune Eronen (LN female human): This burly woman has short-cropped brown hair and wears a look of studied boredom on her face. A beautiful wolfhound lopes alongside her. The dog is fiercely protective of its mistress and can go from a placid hound to snarling war dog in the blink of an eye.
  5. Asta Auvienen (CN old female human): This stick-thin old woman wears a droopy red and blue hat that almost obscures her face completely. She is inquisitive and chatty and carrying a basket that is obviously too heavy for her to manage easily.
  6. Arvo Eskola (CN young male human): Still clinging to his teenage years, Arvo is cheerful, gregarious and chronically unorganised. He wears his shoulder-length brown hair—his pride and joy—pulled back in a ponytail. He is always in a rush and often breathless and a little confused. Perpetually surrounded by an aura of chaos he is rarely in one place long. His parents despair of him.
  7. Onni Ojanen (CN old male human): Growing old, but still vigorous, Onni has a finely maintained silvering goatee and is a popular, friendly man. His hair is similarly greying and deep bags under his eyes hint at many late nights. Knowledgeable about many things, he believes he is knowledgeable about a great many other things as well. He is not shy about sharing his knowledge.
  8. Raimo Leino (CE male human): The victim of a horrible accident, when a cart crushed his right arm, Raimo has struggled with depression ever since. His skin is sallow and deep bags hang under his eyes. He nightly relives the accident that took his arm and often wakes up screaming. With but one arm and scraggly dark brown hair Raimo cuts a distinctive figure. Not above lying to gain an advantage, he tells newcomers of his heroic service in the local lord’s soldiery in the hopes of snagging a payout—or at least a meal—from a gullible adventurer.
  9. Mira Outila (LG female human): Mira is popular and well-liked. She has a reputation for caring and has some small skill as an apothecary which she shares with her neighbours without thought of payment. Slender, with short brown hair, pale skin and deep blue eyes she stands out from her neighbours and friends. Tortured by thoughts of those she was not able to save with her skills, she sometimes disappears for days at a time on herb-collecting expeditions.
  10. Kaari Keto (CG female human): Friendly, but often surrounded by drama and stress, Kaari is never happier than when in the company of friends. A frustrated social climber she greatly desires to better her family’s lot through her connections with the well-to-do. She has had some small success in this and—consequently—dress slightly more ostentatiously than a typical peasant. She is overly friendly and has many male friends—who sometimes misinterpret her friendliness—and an increasingly frustrated husband.

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This article appears in 20 Things #26: Townsfolk & Villagers.

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