This series documents a number of NPC concepts designed to give complex allies for Game Masters to present to their players. The allies here are never meant to be traitors or double agents. Instead, they have mixed backgrounds that bring them away from being the standard friendly “Good” helper. Like other Seize The GM concepts, these examples are meant to be system and genre neutral although not all of them will include a full array of examples.
Rebirth brings great change. Flesh becomes new. Personality shifts. Outlooks follow new morality. The Reborn is an ally who born of a dark past. Through the corrupt actions of their former self they’ve had a chance to become something new; someone with different morality and outlook than the darkness they held before. The very nature of their change has come with an ethical and emotional cost that haunts now even in their new existence.
This NPC is always willing to assist the players, but for the mixed reasons of trying to be the new “good” person they have become as well as to pay penance for the past sins they enacted on the world. They should always have an undertone of mistrust, of seeking to hide something. Revelations of their past may have dire consequences in interactions. They may revert to their previous form, they may lash out to desperately hide the truth, or those who have come to know them in their new form may turn on them. At the same time the players are given a unique opportunity with this event. They may be able to help heal the wounds of the past, or they may seek to bring the dark history of the NPC forward and demand justice be served.
The reborn exists in all genres. In fantasy, she is the necromancer now physically inhabiting a new body. She regrets the flesh she stole and the soul destroyed for her to become someone new. The remains of the dark ritual can still be found and she will desperately seek to hide the site of it. In science-fiction, he’s uploaded his brain into another person, or erased his memories. Files exist out there, possibly on the chips in the reborn’s head. The new identity may not even acknowledge the previous. In contemporary fiction, they’ve taken the identity of another person. They’ve left behind a criminal past and their new existence is tied to forged documents. It’s only a matter of time until the paper trail catches up to them and its best if it happens right in front of the party.
They are an ally, despite the lie of their existence. The consequences of their exist will haunt them from the moment the players greet them, and in the end their story arc should close with the price of their resurrection being paid in full.