Monday, August 3, 2015

Some Viziers

Viziers. Ministers, functionaries, political flunkies and advisors. In my campaign city I think they're probably the functional unit of governance and administration. Also the nonfunctional element. Some of them might be good quest-givers, others might make good nemeses, yet more might just add color every time the party runs up against the law or the civil administration of your fantasy city. All will send you on pointless and probably painful errands.

Power, corruption and lies For each vizier, roll d6 twice: The first represents how powerful the vizier is, the second how powerful they purport to be. Such a scale looks something like this:
1. Just a humble civil servant (important only in their own mind)
2. Can help or hinder (No real power other than a stranglehold on some bureaucratic choke point)
3. Influential (lots of soft but little hard power)
4. Mover and Shaker
5. Controls a substantial sect, institution, or force
6. Wields near-despotic power(You could also just do a scale of 1-10 with d10s)
I'd assume they're all almost all corrupt if the price is right.

d20 Personality Traits. This vizier is:
1. Friendly, hyperintelligent, specialist in contact medicines/poisons. Impossible to know if they're angry with you until they poison you.
2. Spends nights dressed in plainclothes wandering the streets of the city exploring and carousing with the locals. May find himself in trouble, and will reward assistance handsomely once he returns to his palace
3. Eccentric, officiates constantly-changing sumptuary laws with extreme punctilio.
4. Cruel and imperious. Enjoys the suffering of others. Requires respectful treatment.
5. Obscure and ineffable. Speaks in dreamlike meanderings and riddles. Will eagerly trade for bizarre and seemingly useless items. Never provides and direct solutions or assistance.
6. Bureaucratic with gusto. Knows every bit of paperwork and procedure in the realm. Refuses to take or allow shortcuts to bureaucracy, will always take or advise the most paperwork fraught paths.
7. Missing. Their excellency has not been seen in some years, but is probably still around. Obscure hints and traces abound that the vizier actually does exist, but nothing provable.
8. Hapless, harried demeanor. Constantly operating one step ahead of a monumental cascade of failure. Receptive to assistance. Will destroy or bring ruin to most everything they touch or gets involved in.
9. Profligate. Money is no object, budgets no concern. Will spend freely on allies as well as directing substantial sums against enemies.
10. Monstrous. Is actually a monster, probably a large one with lots of HD. Maybe a gelatinous cube or something, even. Intelligence is not increased simply because of political station. Other advisors are sure that there is a good reason for this appointment but cannot or will not identify it; the upshot is that there are probably consequences for killing it.
11. Trigger Happy. Shoot first, ask questions later, violence is the best answer to any particularly nuanced political problem or diplomatic issue.
12. An incorporeal cloud of woody smelling smoke that communicates through seemingly inscrutable telepathy. You seem to be the only ones who don't understand, which is embarrassing, assuming you didn't already disperse his/her/its excellency which is a grievous breach of protocol.
13. A djinn, largely unconcerned with mortal affairs but bound to the work at hand via someone with a lamp. Will look for opportunities to bind others to drudgery, looks favorably on sanctioned shirking.
14. A child. While ministerial positions are generally not hereditary, either clerical error, prophecy or similar SNAFU has placed a child in charge of a portion of the political apparatus. Small chance that the child is actually fit for the position. Regardless, will be capricious and whimsical in both deed and judgment.
15. A perennial schemer seeking to supplant, assassinate and ruin the careers or rivals. Driven by ruthless self-interest and a desire to increase personal standing and power.
16. A philanderer and lecher, either more concerned with the pleasures of the flesh than good governance, or firmly convinced that the body and body politic are united by their carnal appetites.
17. A ghul, litch or other undead, reanimated for service or chosen because of their long institutional memory. Archivist and antiquarian in nature, they will constantly lament nostalgically about the good old days.
18. Filibustering bloviator. Wants to be listened to interminably. If Silence or similar spells are cast on him he either hulks out, explodes or both.
19. A blackmailer of some skill and completely paranoid, driven to believe that others are obsessed with spying and blackmail as they are.
20. Fair, efficient, entirely reasonable. They can't all be weirdos. This is likely such a bizarre anomaly that this vizier will not be trusted.

d12 This vizier is in charge of:
1. The ministry of animals smaller than breadboxes
2. Brain freeze, funny bone injuries and other peculiar and fleeting pains.
3. Smells. Ensuring the proper balance of smells in the city, taxation of odors based on how pleasant they are.
4. Transformation, mutation and other morphological affairs
5. Bridges and other non-earthbound means of conveyance
6. Parties lasting longer than three days
7. Ropes, tentacles, noodles, vines and similar objects
8. Pugilism, duels and other organized fights
9. Joke religions which should nonetheless be taken seriously
10. Some wheels*
11. Non-representational art
12. Poems that bring the audience to tears