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D20 NPC's of Interest - Snivarro the Imp

Updated on April 6, 2012

He wipes his bulbous nose with the back of his greasy forearm.

He looks up at you with obvious disdain. His lip curls and his eyes water as the cigar in his mouth sends smoke back into his face.

He wipes his bulbous nose with the back of his greasy forearm and asks, "What are you looking at?"

Its clearly an imp, but what does it want? Why has it come here?

"I ain't gonna stand here all day!" He shouts. "You got two questions you can ask me and then I'm gone! You got it?"

Questions? Oh! You slew the Arch fiend's finest minions and now all that remains in these particular ruins on the outstretches of the sixth layer of Hell is this single imp. What will you ask?

After some deliberation you and the others decide to ask the imp where the Arch fiends most prized treasures were hidden. The imp grins and his eyes alight with flames. He stomps out his cigar without feeling the burning embers on his foot and belches a greenish mist.

"Yeah, I can answer that. Its hidden beneath these ruins, where a great terror awaits any who try to find the artifacts stored there. I can show you the entrance."

Now, of course there is no such thing in any book I know of that says anything about imps and their giving someone a certain amount of questions they can ask. This was all BS I was feeding the players but they fell for it. They thought every time Snivarro appeared that if they caught him they were going to get some questions answered. Not. This was only a ruse he utilized to lead them into trap after trap.

That was how it began. That was the first time I tricked the players of my old D&D game into working with a servant of Hell. The imp was good at distracting the pcs and confusing them at the right time.

On many occasions Snivarro led PCs straight into a trap and watched laughing as they were cut down one by one. On one occasion the imp was the lone survivor of an entire keep the PCs had managed to destroy before even entering it. They walked into the ruins and sifted through the ash only to hear a familiar sound. "Gnnneeeaaghhh!" It was the imp wiping his bulbous nose with his greasy forearm again.

When the brooding warrior of the group got a hold of Snivarro he squished him with his bare hands as a measure of making sure he was well and truly dead.

Warriors are not known for their brains. The imp simply returned to his master in hell and reported all he had learned. The fiend prince was much better prepared to face the players later in the game thanks to that aide.

Snivarro was so good at his job he one day appeared to the players as an altogether different creature. He had evolved in the line of fiends in payment for his loyalty. He was a greater fiend now and he had his own plans for revenge against the PCs.

Once he was destroyed he was sent back to hell where his master awaited. Just as his master had planned he was back to his old tricks in no time. I enjoyed the looks of fear and annoyance upon hearing the sound of Snivarro's nose wiping so much I unleashed him on other character parties entirely unrelated.

But, sadly, eventually it got a little old and as players get more powerful he gets easier to deal with. That's why the idea of an annoying imp following the players around works best with lower level characters.

Give good old Snivarro a shot in your campaign and don't forget to have him wipe his bulbous nose with his greasy forearm. The kids just loved that part!


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    • Ed Michaels profile image

      Ed Michaels 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Players always have tricks to play. GMs just have to possess their own. And really the NPC plant I think relies on a set of acting skills that you deploy consistently, so they are accustomed to meeting characters and don't assume that every encounter is on the enemy-hero model, but could be just a bit of color or even the introduction of an ally.

    • Barnsey profile image

      Barnsey 5 years ago from Happy Hunting Grounds

      Ah, the good old days when players didnt have a long list of tricks they could pull to ruin your best laid plans. Thanks for reading!

    • Ed Michaels profile image

      Ed Michaels 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      I had great fun with my players, and it began with an accident. I had this mid-level assassin-illusionist I threw in a dungeon to trick the party. She had been captured and really wanted a way out. The creatures in charge of the dungeon were ugly and sinister in appearance; she was not. She played the damsel in distress to the hilt, and they, feeling very gallant, rescued her. They took her home, too. Later, she pulled a similar trick on them, making their party her means of access to a noblewoman target she might have had a hard time reaching otherwise. They saw her home from that job, too. Slowly, frighteningly slowly really, they figured out that the girl they were always rescuing was the same woman racking up quite a reputation as an eliminator of other peoples problems.