Sunday, March 14, 2010

Further on NPC Generation

The procedures and tables I've developed for NPC generation proved fruitful during today's Planet Algol session and it seems like they're in line with my goals for creating quick, memorable, motivated NPCs.

The process involves using die rolls to generate both the "RPG rules" details of the character, such as class, level, alignment, magic items, etc; and also characteristics that can be used by the referee as improvisational cues for roleplaying, motivations, plot hooks and the like. As previously mentioned, this process is scalable. A couple of rolls for cheap thugs and thorough complex generation if the referee desires.

One thing that become apparent is that I should make different sets of tables for the three main "sword & sorcery" archetypes: fighter, sorcerer and thief.

In attempting to systematize creating at least the simulacrum of memorable, "living" personalities, my latest categorization of such elements breaks down as follows:

Appearance: "Wears heavy dinosaur hide bracers," "Has a broken nose," "Never wears a shirt"
External Personality: "Laughs at everything like Dr. Hibbert," "Wants to be everyone's friend," "Doesn't like small talk"
Internal Personality: "Insanely jealous and will hold murderous grudges over perceived slights," "Will never betray an ally," "Falls in love way to easily"
Agenda/Motivation: "Wants to explore other worlds," "Very greedy," "Hates slavers"
Complications: "An evil scientist has implanted a mind control device in brain," Member of Great Old One cult," "On a secret mission for a Lawful Baron"
Possessions: "A prism which reveals all illusions," "Unbreakable dull gray knife," "Beige cowled desert robes"


  1. Wonderful ideas. I can't wait for your published book!

    BTW--- I will be adding an NPC to my next game session using the above description in toto. : )

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