UPDATE: Brandy is now Complete Characters #3 in the newly relaunched series hosted on DriveThruRPG.com, so follow the link to the right to check it out, or click here for more.
Few things evoke as much mystery and allure as the sea. Particularly, I enjoy songs about the sea, and I'm not even really a boat or beach person. One of my favorite such songs has always been the admittedly unhip "Brandy" by the 70s one-hit wonders, Looking Glass. Songs like this serve to convince me that surely, surely I could make it as a musician if I gave it half a shot, and so could anyone reading this. If you're not familiar with the song, I've attached it at the end of the post for your edification.
So, what does a 70s chart-topper have to do with a non-player character for a role-playing game? Simple. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
I've long thought about a way to incorporate this song into a character or gaming session. I love the idea of this woman working "laying whiskey down" and heartbroken over an impossible love. It's touching and tragic, which are good story elements. And then, you have this silver chain that she wears. That's a usable component.
In my take on it, I wanted to pull from the song the really awesome elements and expand on them. I also needed to make this character a significant plot point for a party of adventuring characters. A simple barmaid is someone they are likely to come across, but I decided that there should be more here than a forlorn lover.
The song paints the picture of the harbor town, and the story obviously involves Brandy and her love for a sailor that chose the ocean over her. I took it in a supernatural direction. What if, like in so many fables and myths, a goddess were to fall in love with a man and the two were unable to be together? That's a firm foundation.
Read where it goes from there in Complete Character #7: Brandy, Earthbound Sea Nymph. It's located in the Downloads section on the right side of the page.
Before you do that, though, be sure to check out the song. Enjoy.