Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NPC Generation Table Test Results & Planet Algol NPC Alignment Generation Tables

Prung Vorka, Neutral 2nd-level Sage, Shuzakh Man (hairless with skin like a fire newt, black eyes)
Terrible facial scars, one eye, will never betray or abandon an ally.

Kathudi, Chaotic neutral 9th-level Thief, Dhazzi Man (bronze skin and eyes, metallic green hair)
Always has bare arms, is convinced that supernatural forces meddle in his affairs.

Hazarash, Chaotic neutral 6th-level Sorcerer, Kherulhi Man (blue skin, hairless, black eyes)
Wears simple undyed robes, laughs at very inappropriate moments.

Yurud, Neutral 6th-level Sorceress(!), Haasht Woman (jade finely scaled skin, lavender hair, iridescent copper eyes)
Is short and slim and often mistaken for a child, is convinced that she will die soon.

Drekken, Neutral evil 1st-level Assassin, Mhoght Man (purple fine scales, black bushy hair and beard)
Wears a bronze circlet, knows the location of a hidden treasure.

Although I'm biased, I'm digging these results. When I read Drekken's entry an entire plot jumps into my mind! Young, beginning Assassin, finds treasure map, recruits party to aid him, but plans to reward them with murder! (but will likely be way over his head, which is exactly the sort of black comedy I enjoy...)

Kathudi seems suitably "roguish" and both Hazarsh and Yurud fit the bill as eccentric sword & sorcery spellslingers.

Thinking about Drekken and his map brings to mind the treasure map rules in the 1st edition DMG. As I already have several hidden treasures secreted about the Planet Algol sandbox, perhaps I should have allowances for finding specific treasure maps on the Special/Magic/Technological Item treasure table I'm also working on for the Planet Algol booklet. "A holographic crystal shows three red men burying a chest beneath a distinctive rock formation in the Lands of Purple Grass..."

Thinking about how to handle ability scores, three options come to mind. As I'm aiming for this to be "scalable" NPC generation, with different levels of detail dependent on what is desired, this is pretty much a perfect number.

Option A - Ignore Them. They're NPCs, 90% in oldschool D&D they don't even have any mechanical effect, easy enough.

Option B - Standard 3d6 roll, with simple rearrangement allowance dependent on class such as "if a Fighter's strength is their lowest stat and also below 9 switch it with something better"

Option C - Tables of 100 pre-rolled sets of ability scores. One for Fighting-Men, one for Sorcerers, and so forth. Seems like a bit much at first blush, but the more I think about it the more it actually makes sense. This is exactly the kind of resource I want available when I'm DMing.

Here's the tables I'm using for NPC alignments.

d6 Law-Neutral-Chaos
1-2 Lawful
3-4 Neutral
5-6 Chaotic

d10 Good-Neutral-Evil
1 Good *
2-6 Neutral
7-10 Evil

* Originally a result of 1-2 gave a result of Good, but Planet Algol is a wicked, decadent, grasping world...


  1. This sounds like a cool resource, I too get several campaign/plot ideas when reading them over. I also like the variety of races in your setting.

  2. Prung, obviously, was mangled while rescuing a friend!

    Thanks, the races actually do get overwhelming sometimes! Often I have to look the dang races up, and I thought them up... My occasional confusion ("What the heck is an Azgukh Man again?") makes me reconsider introducing additonal races of Algol Men such as the hairy men, the koi goldfish men, the headless men...

  3. Lots of new races are a good thing. We all had to get used to gnolls, bugbears and more once upon a time.

  4. Geez, I'd say give yourself a break and ignore the ability scores - they're friggin NPCs! In this case, oldschool is the the best school.

  5. I like the table results! If you've got the space, I'd go with option C. Not a necessity, but a very nice addition to the NPC section.

  6. @ B.Portly: That's what option A is for, but sometimes you need to know how hot a NPC is or arm wrestle them.

    @ James: I'm making the space for everything worth including.

  7. I guess I should have specified that I'm leaning towards including all 3 options for ability scores in the NPC section, so as to accommodate diverse ends.

  8. So the NPCs get to adjust all their rolls but the PC can't - I as a player I call shenanigans ;)

  9. Option C. It's much faster to use for the dm to generate on the fly. I think I see the way you've structured your tables. EEEeenteresting. Can't wait to see it in print!

  10. @ B.Portly: The NPCs also have a chance of owning magical/technological items, without having to adventure for them!

    Plus they can be any level, without having to ear the XP. Absolutely scandalous I say! ;)

  11. "makes me reconsider introducing additonal races of Algol Men such as the hairy men, the koi goldfish men, the headless men..."
    You may have been joking, but I'd like to see these too! Any plans to do something a la Planetary Apes?

  12. @ Brutorz: "10- A band of Ape-Savants and Ape-Warlords who seek the buried vault of an ancient Ape civilization."