Stories are Soul Food podcast turned me on to Terry Pratchett. Reading “Guards! Guards!” I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to crack open one of his books. It’s hilarious, fun, and it’s reignited my love for Bastion.
Here are some random tables. Roll a d6 on each to get started on reading.
1. “Kraf” dungeon bug, roach-like that looks and acts dead, but communicates with shoppers telepathically. Sells all sorts of things in jars and pickled items (most of which shouldn’t be pickled). It’s unclear how this motionless character gets their wares… Kraf is incredibly easy to steal from if the PCs choose and be can very easily turn into a telepathic dead bug focused only on revenge, rallying other hopeless folks to its cause.
2. “Kor” short man who calls himself “king of the hens”, which is not a clever rebranded of his cursed chicken feet. The rebranding to his image means he’s also adopted a very transparent playboy attitude, which is just nothing but creepy. Sells eggs of chickens and monsters, and curses but no remedies.
3. “Monfort” grayfox mercenary guard selling military-grade weapons out of a camo-tent. Other soldiers will crowd shoppers as grown men might around an open car hood or a live grill, making their suggestions casually, but insistently and “hmm”ing intermittently to appear thoughtful. Everyone here must be accompanied by a dreadfully light beer that has to be emptied before leaving the camo-tent. “Monfort, don’t you think this guy should get this elephant gun? I mean, that’s what I would get. And sure, its expensive, but it’s not my money he’s spending, right?” Many such remarks are accompanied with hearty slaps on the back which are hopefully hard enough to spill some of the mandated beverage, but not too hard that someone notices and fetches you a refill.
4. “Dr. Anorance” professor of seacraft that’s never left his spiral tower. Sells boats and warships out of a catalog that is woefully inaccurate. You can use the binoculars in his office to see the ships in the harbor, but they certainly won’t detect the squatters and harmful oozes that have crept in and made the cargo holds their homes. Will give some sort of discount to those to return with a records of their voyage.
5. “Erf” a brat child wrapped in a flag of a long-forgotten mining company selling the contact information of promising mercenaries out of a box of index cards. The cards contain stats about the mercenaries like their Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma scores, much like baseballs cards. However, there are no photographs of them, only the passable portraits clearly drawn by a middle schooler.
6. “Jen” a mock bunny well-versed in city regulations and government rumors selling farm animals as long-term investments, but in a shady, conspiratorial way. “The oldest cow in the city sold for 23 thousand pounds! It’s a coveted title, certainly, and you’d like get more than half of that for the oldest PIG in the city, whaddya say?” Free manure samples.
D6 Street Vendors
1. “Krackle” sugar addict with missing teeth selling fireworks as well as destruction permits and pails of water. Looking for that next sweet, sweet high to be found in cheap candy, and is very susceptible to the Placebo effect. Simply gets a rush off being the highest energy person in the room, like a permanent resident of a childcare facility.
2. “Priss” college-age woman running a flower stand that also sellings greeting cards. Really good at shaping greenery into useful and pretty things. Imagine a balloon artist but with plants.
3. “Almer” looks like your classic fantasy handlebar mustache blacksmith running a coal potato stand. The secret ingredient for the white, sweet, and purple potatoes is the sweat of his brow and his vicious stirring technique. He wraps the potato in today’s newspaper before sending you on your way: “A potato a day keeps the health fads away!”
4. “Tila Snapshot” high school age girl who’s a little much into true crime stories and runs her uncle’s maps & crafts store. All of the maps have been pieced together with snippets and scrappings, making them look more like collages than maps. Also sells papersongbirds: magical origami that come alive to deliver messages. She’s often putting together photograph collages of hanging criminals and whistling aimlessly. The uncle has been off on an excursion to the Underground; it’s been three days, but for him it’s warped into three decades.
5. “Reverend Boots” runs an outdoor fried fish spot that prides itself on the experience more than the food. Many folks of Bastion have a story about Rev. Boot’s fried fish line; an aunt and uncle got married in that very line (Boots did the ceremony), a businessman made the deal of a lifetime with his newest partner there that produced generations of wealthy living for the city, a child’s lost chimpanzee returned to him wearing a suit and tie ten years later while waiting in that line. The line is always long, but filled with the chattiest and friendliest faces, all eager to return home or to work with stories of their own fried fish encounter. An Oddity that cherishes community and gleeful serendipity.
6. “Jim Jim” a brazen sailor selling breakfast foods (bacon, muffins, ham sandwiches, cinnamon apples) out of a smoker with an ember spirit living inside it named Harry who’s always practicing his fire-based puns. If Harry is an aspiring comedian, Jim Jim is an aspiring motivational speaker of the Tony Robbins variety: “Think about what’s impossible and imagine your oatmeal being those impossibilities. Now eat it up and conquer your fears! Nothing is impossible!” Jim Jim sells pieces Harry’s fire as the magically, nearly-unquenchable sort. Ingesting this put a spring in your step, but in a “I need a drink from a firehose now” kind of way.