10 Sailors with Personality

During a voyage, the vast majority of a ship’s crew fade into the background—nothing more than faceless NPCs or window dressing. Usually, an adventure details the ship’s captain, but few other crew members.

That’s a shame as a ship’s complement can be a handy source of role-playing opportunities. Of course, not all the crew will be notable—most are just sailors with nothing to differentiate them from their fellows. A few, though, are remarkable for one reason or another.

Use the table below, to determine the details of notable crew on the PCs’ vessel:

  1. Azthur Kildann (NG male dwarf fighter 2): Azthur never seems to feel the cold; he rarely wears any more than a ragged pair of cut-off trousers. His chest is impressively furry—secretly he is proud of this as it showcases his “boundless virility”—and sometimes it seems his beard and chest hair are one and the same. An oddity for a dwarf, Azthur loves the sea. He is a skilled carpenter.
  2. Agler (LN male human fighter 1): Agler has a pet mongrel dog, “hilariously” called Dogon. They are devoted to one another and the dog goes everywhere (except into the rigging) with his master. The rest of the crew also love Dogon, who has grown fat on their titbits. Agler himself is a cheery, happy-go-lucky fellow. He does not realise that Dogon’s name is blasphemy to the mad cultists of Dagon, Shadow in the Sea. Even more worryingly, one of the newly recruited crew, Sangasu, worships that fell power and is plotting to hurl the dog overboard as a sacrifice once he can get the accursed beast alone.
  3. Sangasu Girsu (CE male human fighter 1/thief 2): A devotee of Dagon, Sangasu has come aboard specifically to sacrifice Dogon to his insane master. A competent sailor, he has yet to fit in with the crew—who find his humour off-putting. Perceptive PCs might notice Sangasu’s appearance is a little strange—essentially hairless he is extremely sensitive to bright light. He is happiest in the bilges, pumping out the water. In a shadowy corner of the bilge, he has set up a small shrine to his demonic master. If confronted with proof of his vile practises he jumps into the sea, confident his master will save him.
  4. Meania Apisala (NG female human fighter 1): Meania loves the sea. Enraptured by its beauty she composes long poems and songs about life on the ocean waves. She has a beautiful singing voice, but her compositions are not as polished as she would like. If the party includes a bard, she badgers him or her for songwriting tips.
  5. Egino Chali (NG middle-aged male human fighter 1): Beset with a seemingly permanent squint, Egino looks to be in constant pain. Almost blind, he tries to hide his impairment from the rest of the crew, although they all well-know his inability to see anything beyond arm’s length. A friendly chap, Egino believes he is too old to be scampering about the rigging anymore and wants to become first mate.
  6. Heva Dol (N female human fighter 1): Strong, but slightly plump, Heva is a skilled sailor and navigator. Fascinated by the stars she often volunteers for the night watch (which makes her popular with the rest of the crew). Diligent in her duties, at night she both keeps watch and draws detailed sketches of the night sky. She is a skilled artist and has a book filled with her drawings. Recently, a slight change in one of the constellations has intrigued (and worried) her.
  7. Hardrad Omer (LN old male human): Hardrad is far too old to be a sailor. He’s been at sea man and boy and doesn’t know any other life. He clings to his position onboard due to his prodigious skill in splicing ropes, mending sails and tying all manner of knots. He’s found on deck puttering through his day’s tasks and never ventures into the rigging. Hardrad is virtually bald and his skin is weatherworn and wrinkled.
  8. Ima Ubi (CN female human thief 1): Obsessed with tales of the sea and the many creatures lurking in its depth, Ima is superstitious and often on edge. She permanently worries some vast underwater creature will emerge to drag the ship down to a watery grave. Recently, she’s been dreaming dark dreams of glistening, coiled tentacles stirring in the depths. Ima is incredibly impressionable and has been subliminally affected by Sangasu’s (see #3) prayers to Dagon.
  9. Gislin Taetel (CN male human thief 2): Rail thin, Gislin has a prodigious appetite and can often be found trying to wrangle extra food from the galley. While not lurking below decks, he does as little work as possible and has a reputation among the crew as a work-shy skiver. When the ship reaches port, the captain plans to dismiss him.
  10. Myvainir Shakirae (CG male elf fighter 2/magic-user 1): A rarity among the crew, Myvainir fell in love with the sea when he saw it for the first time a decade ago. Since then, he’s worked on a variety of ships. His goal is to sail every sea and ocean and to explore as much of the world as possible. Like many of his kind, he has almost unending patience and plans to spend the next 50-100 years doing just that. If the party are planning future voyages to far-off places he might well join them!

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10 Sailors with Personalities appears in 20 Things #22: Ocean Voyage.

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