P. G. Maguffin
Name: P. G. Maguffin
Real Name: Pietrovitch Griegor Maguffin
Deity: Sebrinna, Goddess of Fortune
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Family: Father, Griegor Maguffin, fisherman, deceased; Mother, Isabel, fishwife, deceased; Brother, Reichtgard Greigor Maguffin, fisherman, deceased.
AC: 8 (Ring of Protection +1 & Playwright’s Cloak)
THAC0: 17 (15 with crossbow +1 and bolts +1, 15 with dagger +2)
Special Attacks: Magical items
Special Defence: Magical items
Saving Throws: P/P/DM: 11, R/S/W: 11, P/P: 10, BW:14, S: 13
Size: M (5’7”)
WP: Dagger, hand crossbow
NWP: Reading/Writing 19 (common, elf, dwarf); Disguise 18; Ancient History 16 (Alanthor); Local History 16 (Capitol); Etiquette 16; Dancing 11; Heraldry 13; Modern Languages 15 (dwarf, elf).
Equipment: Ring of Protection +1, Hand Crossbow +1, 20 Hand Crossbow Bolts +1, a Dagger +2, the Playwright’s Cloak, Jhezan’s Ring of Illusion, The Editor’s Quill and a Wand of Magic Missiles (38 charges).
Physical Appearance: P. G. Maguffin once stood an impressive six feet tall with long blond hair and piercing blue eyes, but that was in his wayward youth. Nowadays P. G. is hunched with age and his hairline has receded all the way to the back of his neck, a fact which he disguises with a very large green silk cap and has compensated for with an extravagantly styled goatee beard. He dresses in the same way he did in his youth; like a dandy and a fop, with bright colours, silks and satins and more plumes than a peacock sprouting from every secure surface. He hasn’t aged well either: the muscled torso that once drove women wild has lapsed into a little pot-belly from too much fine living; and he couldn’t hold his own against a red dragon again as he (claims he) used to be able to. But he still has those piercing blue eyes and if anything his gift of the gab has improved with age. Combined with his reputedly enormous wealth gained through decades of royal patronage, and his fame as the greatest human playwright on Saas, P. G. still manages to seduce a large number of attractive young women year after year after year.
Personality: P. G. has an enviable gift, profundity drips from his tongue whenever he opens his mouth, ink catches fire with passion and brilliance upon the tip of his pen, with the raising of his eyebrows he can convey what no other actor can with a thousand words of dialogue. Any encounter with P. G. Maguffin is sure to be a memorable one; melodramatic, extravagant and always larger than life. The bard is a social chameleon that fits well in every situation from the bawdiest of dockside taverns to the haughtiest of court occasions. P. G. has an instant rapport with everyone, which doesn’t mean he likes them, just that he’s very good at making other people like him. Any party that includes attractive young female PCs is almost certain to attract his attention – especially if they’re the kind that favours chain mail bikinis.
Background: Pietrovitch Griegor Maguffin was born in the icy north in the most humble of settings. His father was a fishermen from a long line of fishermen, hardy people who lived a hand-to-mouth existence in one of the most dangerous regions on Saas. The Maguffin village was frequently assaulted by orc war bands and none of the inhabitants enjoyed either a long or a peaceful life. P. G. was born different from his fellows, he had a wandering spirit, an imaginative mind and a tongue of silver, in retrospect it seems inevitable that adventure would call the young Maguffin away – after all, his name has subsequently become synonymous with adventure – but at the time this was not clear to either P. G. or his family.
More than fifty years ago P. G.’s village was attacked by a larger than normal party of orcs and many of the villagers died in the assault, among them the elder Maguffin and P. G.’s brother Reichtgard. Less than a week afterwards Isabel, P. G.’s mother, died of grief for in such a harsh world all that kept her together was her family. Grief-stricken, P. G. intended to take his own life and climbed to the very top of a glacier and hurled himself from it. It was at this point that P. G. believes the Goddess Sebrinna took an interest in him. Sebrinna, mistress of fortune, is known as an equalizing force; often giving back a little that has been taken from those whom other gods have treated badly. Whether divine intervention or dumb luck was the cause, he did not die, instead he plummeted into a snow drift near to where the adventuring company of Gaurin the Heavy were following the tracks of a renegade they had been commissioned to apprehend.
Gaurin, made famous in part due to the plays P. G. later wrote about him, was typically stoical. He lifted the young bard from the snow drift with one hand and shook the snow off him. “Hey,” Guarin growled, “you could have hit me.” Guarin might well have killed Maguffin – because he did things like that from time to time – if the renegade hadn’t launched an ambush at precisely that moment. Their quarry was an anti-paladin and he had sufficient head start on the party to have made an alliance with a pack of winter wolves. Gaurin tossed P. G. a dagger and told him to make himself useful. In the fray the anti-paladin charged P. G. who cringed, holding his dagger defensively in front of him with his eyes tightly shut (although he would later tell that story quite differently). When he opened his eyes the winter wolves had fled and the anti-paladin lay dead, with a small dagger protruding from the tiniest of chinks in his plate armour.
After that incident P. G.’s place within the party was assured and he began to write his own legend. He, Guarin and the others were a terror in the heart of many evil-doers for only three brief years, after which all the group had either died or retired due to old age since they had already been on the road for many years before they encountered Maguffin – but P. G.’s stories make it seem like a hundred years would not be sufficient time for the chronicles of their deeds to unfold. Perhaps their most famous encounter was against the red dragon Pyrethrax The Incandescent, whom P. G. did actually kill in single combat, but only after Guarin had mortally wounded it, T’Shazz the Battlemage had frozen it’s wings off and Hinkle the Thief had sealed its mouth closed with a powerful glue. As his party were knocked unconscious one by one he was left alone with the beast, him wielding only that same small dagger he had before. The battle was epic and absurd and after an hour of P. G. running around screaming while avoiding the dragon’s claws, the beast finally died, partly of its wounds, partly of exhaustion. And again, P. G. prefers to tell that story differently.
With his share of the dragon’s horde, P. G. built the world-famous Shibboleth Theatre in Capitol and began to assemble a fine company of actors and started on his genuinely successful career as a playwright. P. G. built his reputation over the years until he became the favourite playwright of the Emperor and since then he has become recognised as the finest of all human playwrights and actors. He is fantastically wealthy, growing old disgracefully and actually becoming more artistically daring as he ages.
The Works of P. G. Maguffin
Gaurin of the North: P. G.’s first play deals with his first encounter with Guarin the Heavy. Guarin lived long enough to see the play performed and is said to have remarked to P. G., “It was okay, but the man playing me should be taller, heavier and much more attractive. And I want more lines you little creep, or I’ll feed you your own tongue.” Later productions of the play include no less than six monologues for Guarin, three times more than any other play P. G. has ever penned.
Intheus & Bernadette: The first Maguffin romance deals with the legend of Intheus an elf warrior and his love for a dwarf woman, Bernadette. Their families object, there are several fights and both the main characters commit suicide. It is originally mistaken for a comedy by many critics.
Alanth I: A history play dealing with the rise of King Alanth of the Yiln to become the first Emperor of Alanthor. The critics loved it, the public loved it due to its graphic honesty, P. G. was fined a thousand gold pieces and put in prison for a year by the Emperor, as were many critics and several bystanders. This play has seen only two performances in Capitol and copies of the script of this masterpiece are as rare as hen’s teeth. It is performed frequently in Metereria and Boune and by the bolder wandering companies of Alanthor.
Gaurin & The Dragon: Written in prison, P. G. returned to his less contraversial previous format. This play deals with the party’s encounter with Pyrethrax and tells the details in a much more heroic light. Although named after Guarin who died of old age while P. G. was in prison, the play focuses mostly on Maguffin.
The Orcish Hordes: A fiction based on the attacks on Nordun by orc armies. First appearance of P. G.’s most famous villain, Baron Snerg, who in this play is a human collaborator. This play causes many humans to take up arms and travel to the icy north to do battle with the evil orcs and the so-called Maguffin Effect is created. The Maguffin Effect is the incitement or enticement of people to adventure and it is only the first of many plays to have this effect.
Tarquinius I: A rather flattering account of the Backstabber Emperor of Alanthor, written just prior to Maguffin’s release from prison. This play twists truth like a corkscrew and portrays the Emperor as a misunderstood saint. Reynir II ascends to the Imperial Throne on the death of his father and becomes the first head of state to view a Maguffin play. Naturally he loves it and commands all companies in Alanthor to perform Tarquinius I or else face imprisonment. Maguffin is given the position of Playwright Royal.
Richard III: Following on from his last success, Richard III deals with the life and times of Richard Elf-friend, successor to Tarquinius. The play included the Dol Cadredriel Aethlis, the immortal elf master of the Palaces of Magic and head of the Ferendel, who lives in Capitol, and came to see the play. After the opening performance several hasty and sweeping changes were made to the script. Critics are fairly sure that Aethlis actually rewrote the play himself, but Maguffin is oddly silent on the subject – in fact when it comes up in conversation P. G. is often completely unable to open his mouth at all. Aethlis saw to it that no copies of the original script survived.
T’Shazz The Battlemage: Tells the story of the, by then venerable, warrior mage T’Shazz. T’Shazz found the epic play a little embarrassing, but she insists that it is pretty close to the spirit of the truth, if not the actual truth itself. She does however remember wearing much more clothing than the actress who played her. The play was a runaway success and the leading actress married the Prince of The Marchings from Boune.
Two Birdmen Of Ringar: Another play which had the Maguffin Effect, causing many to take up arms and march on Ringar with much individual valour being the result, but the net effect being very little. Centres around the story of two prosperous Aroakan who fall in love and after much to-ing and fro-ing marry the ones they love. The reason for the hostility against Ringar caused by this play is probably due to the costumes – the men wore wings, while the women didn’t, implying some kind of intra-species coition which Maguffin never intended.
Hinkle, Prince of Thieves: Story of the life of Hinkle the Thief, not well received generally due to its rather graphic murder scenes created with use of illusions. It becomes a cult classic with several cults being formed to recreate the murders. P. G. decides to stop the run of the play and redoes Alanth I, the ensuing scandal eclipses the wave of murders, but Maguffin is able to placate the Emperor with promises that it will never happen again and if anything his decision to defy the state in performing the play makes him even more popular. Hinkle is long dead by the time P. G. gets around to writing his story.
Reynir I: Written about the grandfather of the current Emperor. Flattering and mostly true it deals with internal political struggles and goes over the head of the peasantry, but wins him many fans among the aristocracy.
Arlec The Mad: A fiction about a King of Boune who gives his kingdom to a baron to rule while he goes to war. The baron is Snerg who misrules the country and when Arlec returns from a successful campaign he is forced to wrest his throne back. He succeeds, but Baron Snerg escapes.
Gaurin & Maguffin: A play about a number of minor adventures linked together and featuring the fictitious Baron Snerg, with P. G. playing himself. Includes the tale of how Maguffin found Jhezan’s Ring of Illusion.
Gregor I, Gregor II, Gregor III, Antony II, Gregor IV, Tarquinius II, Anthony II: A series of seven plays dealing with the troubled century of Lizardmen incursions into Alanthor. Three of the plays feature Aethlis but his presence at every performance was sufficient to ensure that P. G.’s scripts remained as true to the facts as possible. All these plays inspired countless forays into the Swamp of Death. This series of histories secured his own place in history and Maguffin, then aged 60, decided to retire.
Ronald & Gertrude: Called back to the theatre by innumerable fans and a personal request from the Emperor after a year long absence, Ronald & Gertrude was Maguffin’s triumphant return. It is basically a retelling of his earlier story of Intheus & Bernadette but with an all human cast. The audience laughs, cries and howls with joy and sorrow. There is broad consensus that this is his best work ever and becomes the most popular play of all time, with the Shibboleth Theatre having a two year long run with a full house every night and public outcry when Maguffin finally decides to end it.
The Good Doctor: A dark tale about a poor doctor who sells his soul to a demon in exchange for wealth and power then regrets his decision and fights to keep his soul, but fails. Another play popular with the more discerning theatregoers.
Snerg, Baron of Boune: A return to the stage of the infamous Baron Snerg, this time weighed down by years and played by P. G. himself. The play presents a different side to the villainous baron whose many plots unravel around him as his strength and his mind fail him, in the end he is left destitute and disavowed. A powerful piece which thrills audiences and wins the character of Snerg as many friends in real life as he has enemies in fiction. Several books have subsequently been published that have identified the “real” Baron Snerg, all of them selling thousands of copies and none of them agreeing with each other. Maguffin retains that Snerg is a fiction.
The Phoenix: A story about the fantastical firebird which rises from the ashes of its own death, the man who captures the bird for his wicked King, the princess who frees the firebird from its golden cage and the death of the king. As a result the princess assumes the throne and marries the repentant man who captured the firebird.
Underworld: This is the play P. G. is rumoured to be currently working on. It is reputedly a naming and shaming of many of the criminal elements in Capitol and an expose of corruption reaching as high as the Dukes of the realm. There is both nervousness and interest in all quarters regarding this play and several attempts have already been made on the playwright’s life, paid for by sponsor or sponsors unknown.