D&D: NPC Of The Week – Kraalnax The Destroyer
Every good RPG needs a merchant–this one has prices so low you’d think the world was ending.
If there’s one thing every good GM needs, it’s a handy guide to NPCs that they can draw on at the drop of a hat. Today we’ve got an unusual merchant you can use any time you want to add a pop of character, color, or doom to your RPG sessions. Created using the NPC design guidelines on page 89 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, come and meet Kraalnax the Destroyer…of Prices.
There’s something to be said for legacy. How many heroes have taken up the family sword and headed out in the world to make their fortune? Some define themselves by their family’s legacy, and others defy expectations placed on them to forge a new identity.
But why should heroes have all the fun?
Kraalnax the Destroyer is the last scion of a long line of Overlords. His grandfather was the bane of a small kingdom, his great-great-grandfather brought low an empire. Conquerors, overlords, and tyrants, dot the family history. Each built their legacy on those who’d come before, putting together a fearsome suit of enchanted armor, gathering powerful magics and enchanted items to aid in conquest and campaign.
Until Kraalnax, that is. Throwing off centuries of tradition, Kraalnax has donned his ancestral armor and taken up the family sword to strike out and make his fortune. Literally. Realizing that the vast majority of his ancestors met their fate at the hands of low-to-mid-level adventurers, armed to the teeth with magic weapons and items, Kraalnax has decided to meet his destiny by providing the vast horde his family has acquired to aspiring adventurers for a reasonable price.
Kraalnax is clad head to toe in the armor of an ancient tyrant. Accompanied by an aged herald (“been in the family for years”) who proclaims doom (on prices) and destruction (of inventories) long before the Destroyer even arrives.
Bond: Herald of Kraalnax
Flaw or Secret: Overpowering Greed
Mannerism: Kraalnax is prone to making villainous monologues about bargains.
Kraalnax the Destroyer is a wandering merchant. As such his stock will vary, but at any given time, Kraalnax has an eclectic mix of magical and mundane items. GMs looking to use Kraalnax in their world can use this as an opportunity to build some history, as most of these items were once held by villains (both major and minor) in the past. We recommend outfitting him with at least two Very Rare items, five Rare items, and however many Uncommon or Common items you feel are perfect.
As for his own equipment, Kraalnax is equipped with Demon Armor and a Dread Helm, causing his eyes to glow red when about to make a deal.
Tips for Playing Kraalnax
Ham it up as best as you can. Use all the evil villain cliches you’ve been afraid to use–and then at the last minute look for opportunities to skew your speeches towards making a sale.
Don’t be afraid to monologue, use this to talk about how your prices are undefeatable.
When given the opportunity, wax nostalgic about the storied (and often quite dark) history of the items offered for sale.
Using him in the Game
Kraalnax the Destroyer fits in fairly easily to any campaign. He’s designed with a little levity in mind–so folks playing an incredibly serious campaign might need to pick and choose moments, or tone down some of the over-the-topness.
Either way, Kraalnax works best as a random encounter at first. Let the players meet his Herald, who arrives in town declaring that the end is upon them. Let the tension build for a while before it’s revealed that the only thing at risk of being wantonly slaughtered is high prices.
Have an idea for a featured NPC, quest hook, monster, encounter, or other? Let us know in the comments, and as always, Happy Adventuring!