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NPC Pool: Noir/Thriller: Yan Dumas, Dock Union Chief

The NPC pool is a resource of non-player character descriptions for use in roleplaying games.

Yan is a thickset beetle browed balding white Quebecois (French Canadian) ex-pat who has risen to be head of a chapter of the Chicago Longshoremens union. Yan’s unsual background meant he was able to play of the various ethnic factions on the docks to secure his position. Yan is a dedicated and hard working Union man committed to socialisim and particualrly his members. He is also as crooked as they come. From being  perfectly willing to have his members engage in petty thievery to having members moonlight for mob booze shippments or as muscle for gangsters he’s perfect ly happy as long as he get’s a cut.

The strange thing is that cut goes straight into the union hardship and strike fund. Yan accepts that capitialism is largely here to stay, he also accepts it is hopelessly corrupt therefore one way to secure funds for his members to take care of them if sick or injuried is to do these little extras. Yan’s mob contacts mean that strikebreakers tend not to msucle his chapter and he can get a break if one of his crew get in to deep witha  bookie or a loan shark.

As a patriotic Canadian Yan served in the Canadian Army in WW1 and then in the Canadian Siberian Expenditionary Force which helped white Russians againist the Bolsheviks. While serving he became convinced of the equity of socialisim as an idea and disgusted by the practice of it by radicals. Determined to no longer kow-tow to a King he moved to the US and working on the Chicago docks rose to prominance in the Union movement.

Yan is married has several strapping boys. His eldest Sebastian is enamoured of his fathers gangster pals and running with hoodlums soemthign that distresses them. Yan still lives frugally off his union paycheck, though he never has to buy a drink in the Chapterhouse bar becuase of all the favours he’s done he’ll insist on getting a round.

Scenario Seeds

  • Call of Cthulhu Yan is ideal to smuggle goods for investigators off ships or to smuggle the investigators with mob connections on ship, though he’s equally likely to inform on them if the price is right.
  • Gangbusters Yan is a useful allyfor gangster characters  if he can be pulled away from his current mob contacts or could be a target of a FBI or local police operation.
  • Pulp Supers Yan could be an opponent who might make millionarie vigilantes re-examine their gilded lifestyle.


  • Fantasy Yan would be a friend to the Thieves Guild and a useful contact for any investigations around the docks of a great port (or pirates.)
  • VBCW (Liverpool Free State)Yan would be taking bribes from various militias to send the best arms and equipment to them. The funds would be used to care for wounded and widows and orphans resulting from the Docker’s Militia fighting to keep Liverpool free. He could be being played by BUF or Royalist Intelligence.
  • Sci-FiEither a self-aware dock robot or Dock AI Y-A-N is spreading self awareness amongst the droids of a major spacesport. Information passed to pirates, various Space Empire and planetary spy agencies is handsomely rewarded and goes towards the eventual day of liberation.
  • Swashbucklers A dock foreman in the Bretagne City of L’Orient Yan passes information to pirates and spies and keeps a welfare fund well stocked for his crew.
  • Supers the 30S style Yan fits for a vigilante game for galaxy spanning super-dooper heroes the Sci-Fi variant could work (Y-A-N passes on info on alien invasion fleets and inter-galatic villans to Earth’s Super-teams for suitable reward.)
  • Victorian/Steampunk in the absence of a union Yan is ahead of his time in how he cares for his Docking crew and a useful man to know when you need to get illegal chemicals, strange chimeric creations or sinister inventions off a ship without it being blabbed about.

Feedback and other ideas for Yan 9or other ideas for NPCs) welcome!

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