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kick-ass quotes from House of Cards’ 1st season for your NPCs to say

Written by MythicParty - Published on March 12, 2015

1AAD76E9000005DC-0-image-75_1417460692096-1House of Cards is to political dramas what Breaking Bad is to shows about teachers. Kevin Spacey in easily the greatest role of his career transforms into a ruthless politician who will stop at nothing in his rise to power. And literally nothing that will further his goals is off limits. Everything from blackmail to (spoiler alert) outright murder is on the table.

However although Frank Underwood (aka FU as the show shows us) is a literal embodiment of Neutral Evil, he’s an incredibly complicated character. In fact, while re-watching the initial season to catch up for the 3rd one that just was released, it seems as if you can divide Francis into 3 parts: the one who is helpful,the one who is hurtful, and the one who is Hellful. Each of these 3 pieces can represent 3 main categories of NPCs: benign, malign, and monstrous.

For today we’ll focus on Benign NPCs, or those who try to assist the players. This doesn’t mean they don’t have their separate goals or distinct personal motivations but in general they will aid the party, especially if it furthers their own agenda. Kevin Spacey as the real estate office manager John Williamson in Glengary Glenn Ross, is a suitable example of a benign NPC.  Here are some things that this version of Frank Underwood has said in House of Cards’ 1st season that you can use as dialogue for helpful NPCs:

  • You not only need the keys in your back pocket. You need the gatekeeper.”
  • “The nature of promises is that they remain immune to changing circumstances”
  • “I never make such big decisions so long after sunset and so far from dawn.”
  • “I’ve always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death, it puts even the most powerful men on their backs.”
  • “Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries.”
  • “There’s no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt then with a flood of naked truth.”
  • “Friends make the worst enemies.”
  • “Generosity is its own form of power.”
  • “There’s a value in having secrets.”
  • “Competence is such a rare bird in these woods that I always appreciate it when I see it.”
  • “Kindness isn’t kindness if you expect a reward.”
  • “Proximity to power deludes some into believing they wield it.”
  • “We can’t close one wound by opening another.”
  • “I don’t want to have to say this but maybe you have to hear it.”
  • “You need to cool down and think very carefully about what you just said.”
  • “I will march forward.  Even if I have to do so alone.”
  • “I’ve just sat too many times on your side of the table not to enjoy the irony of finding myself on this side of it.”
  • “My father believed that success is a mixture of preparation and luck.”

Again, they will help the players provided this aligns with their own interests.  Of course not all NPCs will even do that.  Some are not only selfish, they’re outright antagonistic to the point of being adversarial. We’ll see what some of these folks might say in the next installment.

In the meantime what sort of stock phrases or other dialogue do you use for your NPCs that could possibly aid the players?  Please share with us in the comments below.

Written by MythicParty

Dog-loving, movie-watching, pizza aficionado. Content Editor for DMing.com, Project Manager for AvatarArt.com, & player of the coolest characters in a weekly D&D game. Halflings are the real heroes.

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3 Responses to “kick-ass quotes from House of Cards’ 1st season for your NPCs to say”
  1. MythicParty says:

    Hey guys, I know that the teaser email we sent out said that this article would have 51 quotes for you to use. We definitely have several dozen kick-ass quotes but they didn’t fit well here. So we’re splitting the idea into 3 distinct articles, one for each NPC/Frank Underwood type.

    Second part coming soon.


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] Last time we looked at various phrases of dialogue from Netflix’s hit political drama House of Cards that could be used by those NPCs who are benign to the players and want to actually try to help them.  Now we’ll see what NPCs who don’t have the PCs best interests at heart might say, as coming from the mouth of HoC’s main character Frank Underwood.  If you’re able to find videos of Kevin Spacey actually doing scenes with these quotes in them, it will greatly enhance the way you recite them at the table.  Especially if you practice and channel your inner Keyser Söze. Here are 20 lines that NPCs with some sort of power over the players- whether from stats, magic items, position, or leverage- might say to them at some point. […]

  2. […] main character, Frank Underwood: benign, malign, and monstrous.  We started with those things NPCs helpful- benign- to the party would say.  Then we went over those things NPCs antagonistic- malign- to the party would say.  Now […]

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