Friday, August 19, 2011

Notorious NPC: Barter John

Barter John
4th Level Mutant Animal (Bear)

STR: 17 --- INT: 15
DEX: 12 --- WIL: 13
CON: 19 --- CHA: 15
HPs: 92 --- AC: 6

Mutations: reflective epidermis (radiation); empathy; intellectual affinity (barterer)

It is said that if you want something -- anything at all -- go see Barter John. If he doesn't have it, he can get it. If he can't get it, it's because it doesn't exist.

Barter John is a 7-foot-tall mutant bear. He has a joking, jovial personality, quick with a wink and a joke -- a cross between your favorite uncle and the favorite bartender. However, if John feels betrayed, crossed, or wronged, his savage nature will explode upon the hapless victim who will find themselves toe-to-toe with an enraged grizzly. It's best to stay on John's good side.

As a bear, John is incredibly strong with a high constitution. Due to this, he has a +2 hit/damage bonus as well as a +1 poison save modifier. His fur has a slight golden sheen to it due to his reflective epidermis mutation, giving Barter John an immunity to all forms of radiation. In his younger days, Barter John used to wander the radioactive ruins and poisoned lands without fear, locating and amassing an incredible hoard of Ancient treasures and wonders. As he got older, he began selling and trading these wares until he became who he is today.

Barter John is a legendary scrounger, trader, and barterer. Over the years, he has achieved a reputation as being the "go to" guy for anyone in the market for the rare and unusual. His ability to have whatever a client needs borders on the uncanny. No one visits John without walking away with some new item or doo-dad they never knew they needed. And his selection of weapons is second to none. In fact, roaming traders and merchants actually visit Barter John for their own supplies. Barter John's bartering intellectual affinity gives him an uncanny edge to convince folks they need whatever he's selling, and folks are willing to sell what they have (at a slight loss) if John wishes it. Barter John is the ultimate salesperson in the wastes.

Barter John has a trading post compound he set up on an Ancient army base he discovered years ago. This post is found on one of the main trading routes in the Mutant Future. But before anyone gets any bright ideas about robbing him, Barter John has his own security force armed with the same weapons found on the military base. They are well-paid, well-armed, and will defend the post to the death. Also, Barter John has made it clear that if he is ever attacked, he will no longer deal as freely with the public. Because he supplies the wasteland's "ne'er-do-wells" as well as the day-to-day survivalists, everyone makes it their duty to help keep things on the level for John, lest the gravy train of Ancient tech and supplies dried up. Barter John's empathy mutation makes him attuned with his customers who also feel that they "owe" john their loyalty and protection -- as good consumers and "friends," of course. In other words, annoy Barter John at your own risk lest you have the entirety of the countryside out for your hide.

Barter John will occasionally hire nomads and wanderers to be part of his “Acquisitions and Recovery department,” as he jokingly calls it. In other words, he tells them where to find stuff, and they go get it. John pays well, treats his "employees" fairly (with the help of empathy), and supplies room and board in one of the many barracks still standing at the base. For many, it's an easier gig than joining a band of marauders and they'll jump at the chance.


  1. OMG! It's a mutated killer bear! Great fun, thanks to your blog I've downloaded the mutant future rulebook but was rather depressed when I saw all the rules involved!


  2. I see you already commented on "Plates" entry.

    I know I joked that you and I share brainwaves, but wouldja believe I had her 99% done and planned on finishing her this week? But I went ahead and put her in early, since you posted Barter John.

    Yet again, I swear I wasn't biting your style!