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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

NPC of the Week: Hushstep the Pawnbroker

Hushstep knew that something was wrong. Very wrong.
The store was quiet, the street was quiet. He locked the door and pulled the curtains, went into the back and down into the lower level.
Something was amiss, he could smell it. He could feel it in his bones. His head ached, a pulsing behind his eyes that should not have been there. Hushstep lit a few candles, and a torch, and then a lantern. He wanted plenty of light as he looked through the shelves. He wasn't sure what was wrong, but whatever it was, he didn't want to face it in the dark.
Everything seemed to be in its place, all as orderly and silent as ever. He went shelf by shelf, looking at each item, pulling the lantern forward to ensure that all was as it should be. Nothing was out of place.
He couldn't explain it at all. He wished, for a moment, that Cruptop was here. His old master was so sensitive that he could tell when new dust settled on one of the items in storage. It had been over a decade since he passed, but his imprint was strong down here, almost palpable.
The items were fine, so what, wondered Hushstep, was the problem.
There was a sudden ringing in his ears, a sound seemed to come from behind him. He whipped around and pushed the lantern in front of him, cringing and squinting to try and focus through the noise in his head. There wasn't anything there except...
...except the book!
Hushstep walked over to the dais and put the lantern on the hook above the book. He could almost feel it humming and vibrating, even before he touched it,. there was a problem in the book. It wasn't supposed to work like this.
Oh sure, he knew the history of the book. Every pawnbroker knew the history of his book. It was one of the first things they taught you, it was imperative. You had to understand the book, in order to understand the process.
This book, this huge tome bound in dark leather, trimmed in gold and platinum, was the heart of the business. This book had been created by Scales, the fourth broker, and had seen seven pawnbrokers since its creation. Each book had a history, a unique lifeline that bound it to the source.

Mike Gross asked to know more about Hushstep, the Pawnbroker in the comments of last weeks NPC of the Week post, so I thought I'd offer up a bit more on the mysterious man behind the counter...
Hushstep (he has no other name) is a middle-aged fellow of thin stature. His hair is thin and wispy, and it flows back and forth on his scalp like waves on the ocean. If you look past the age, the hair, and the wrinkled brow you will be struck by the intensity of his stare, his grey eyes as bright and alert and beaming at you a power, strength and understanding that would seem unusual for a man of his age or occupation.
His voice is smooth and deep, calm and clear. He speaks with authority, but also with a hint of smugness that's low key and difficult to detect at first listen. It's clear that Hushstep has an air of superiority about him, but that might just be an affectation of his occupation, after all you need the pawnbroker, and he doesn't necessarily need you. He's a convincing fellow, but not without leaving you wondering just what he's convinced you of.
The pawnshop has no name, but the locals refer to it as 'the Bank' or 'Hushies Place'. It's located on the edge of the Merchant's Quarter, nearest The Rut, a low rent section of the city where the bulk of Hushstep's customers live, though he certainly does business across all of the economic strata.
Here's the interesting thing about Hushstep...He's no ordinary Pawnbroker, but a powerful mage who owes his powers to an unseen force that takes possession of the souls of those who fail to redeem their pawns, and in return for collecting these debts he is able to tap into magical power without the need for long hours of study, unwieldy hand gestures, or magical components often associated with the manipulation of such forces.
...and he's not the only one.
Game Stats: Hushstep should be played first as a Pawnbroker, and secondly as a 6th level Wizard with all spells available, and twice the casting potential/available spell slots. He saves as a wizard of the same level. He is not limited with regard to Armor or Weapons, and has both at his disposal but is only proficient with a Dagger or Short Sword. He also has a ready supply of magic items, and wears several rings and an amulet at all times (details below).
The shop is protected as well. In the occurrence of Hushstep's early demise, the contents of the shop will be placed in a stasis field until the next 'Pawnbroker' arrives to continue doing business.
HP: 30
AC: 2 (Ring of Protection +3)
Special Skills: +50% on any Haggle roll, Identify (as per the spell, at will), appraisal gems/jewelry/art

Magical Items: Ring of Protection +3, Ring of Protection from fire (normal and magical), Amulet of Regeneration, Mithril Chain Shirt (as per Chain Shirt +3, weight 1/2 normal chain)

Not sure how to play a Pawnbroker? No rules for Pawnbroking?...Don't worry. I've got you covered. Later this week I will post my rules for pawnbroking in a game...and I know...

Cause that is what I do every day between blog posts people..I'm a Pawnbroker.


  1. Ok, I am glad I "spoke up" after reading your "NPC of the Week" last week. This was really cool and, like last week, left me looking forward to more. I am flattered you switched things around due to my comment last week. Thanks, Howard!

    1. Glad to do it. Doing some posts on RPG Pawnbrokers was something I've been itching to do! Thanks for the Prompt!