Saturday, March 13, 2010

Planet Algol Artwork Preview and Robust, Procedural NPC Generation Musings

Above is a preview of the artwork in the upcoming Planet Algol Booklet, in this case a depiction of the battle with the Psyclops in the ruins of the Serpent Men by the estimable Robin Ruddock.

I've been lackadaisically knocking away at the encounter & NPC generation section of the Planet Algol booklet. One of my aims, keeping in line with my design goal of making the booklet a reference that I would use while DMing, is making the tables and processes for "Robust Procedural NPC Generation."

For example, on an encounter table I get a result of "sole NPC." I roll a handful of dice and now I know the sole NPC is "Kyarthog Myrlexlillian, Lawful Neutral Dhazzi Man, 3rd-level Fighting Man, +1 trident, scimitar, banded mail, 110 gp, collection of various lenses, member of a mercenary guild, is inordinately fond of candy, on a secret mission to find a lost treasure for a Baron."

Ideally this should scalable and context sensitive. Simple, fast methods for random thugs and guards as opposed to detailed complex options for more important personages. Important henchmen, adversarial villains and powerful wicked sorcerers deserve a wide, deep set of generation options.

And the tables for generating armament should be geared towards funky, flavorful, genre-appropriate combos such as trident and whip or scimitar and throwing knives.


  1. Nice result on that table! Can't wait for the release! Cool artwork!
    Maybe I should have just wrote this: !!!!!!!!!!

  2. Great picture, sound ideas for NPC tables, stuff I would actually use :)

  3. James: Um, actually I just made that guy up. But I could have made him with the tables and procedures I'm tinkering with and using for my campaign...

    Sean: That's defiantly one of the goals!

  4. Great picture!
    Really looking forward to this product.