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• 2/13/2016

NPCs, how much is too much?

What kinds of details do you find are most helpful and / or required to provide a complete or well rounded NPC experience? Do you roll up complete character sheets, or just some core statistics, are numbers even necessary? Who, if anyone, finds it necessary to have NPC party members?

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• 2/14/2016

Well I posted this 8 page disertation on NPC's only to have it not post. Bummer.

Anyhow, what I was saying was that I use NPC's a lot.  Especially in games where the players are new to roleplaying or perhaps there are not enough players. 

Now as far a details....I don't use many, at least not to start off with.  I have a list in my NPC folder that has random names (pulled from baby name sites on the internet) and random occupations/classes.  When I need an NPC, say the party meets a guy on the road, I pull out "Tamir, and Theif"  So they meet this guy, I now know that he is from X country (dependent on the flavor of name I pulled) and somewhat how he is probably dressed.  Then I may grab a memory.  What I mean is that I assign a freind or someone I may have known in the past to the NPC.  In this case lets say "David C."  So I jot down "Tamir, Theif, David C." David was a friend of mine in high school, so now I have a personality to go with Tamir.  This way, although they may not do more than speak to Tamir on the road, I just happen to know that they are traveling in the same direction and I decide that they will likely meet in the next city.  I keep the note on personality (David C.) so I don't make Tamir talk like a pirate on the road and when they meet him in the city he is a crazy codger, unless of course I decide to make Tamir psycho, changing his personality will just confuse the players.

I usually don't assign stats to an NPC right off the bat, I wait until the NPC develops a bit.  That way if I need him to be strong he can be strong, if I want him intellgent then so be it.  Same with skills.  Tamir's personality of David would actually be better suited to being a mage or sage as that is just his personality. And although Tamir is a thief, that does not mean that he is not intelligent and perhaps studied (whether in reality or as a con who knows), but all these details start to get fleshed out as the NPC intereacts with the players characters.  This way I am not confined by some preconceived NPC template that does not work later.

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