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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Vaxalon on January 24, 2006, 01:22:40 PM

Title: Proto-NPC's to NPC's before play
Post by: Vaxalon on January 24, 2006, 01:22:40 PM
I realized, in a thread over on Vincent's blog, that I had mistaken my own way of doing NPC's for the book way.

My bad.

That being said, I'd like to speak about my way... a somewhat more traditional way of making NPC's.

When I'm making up a town (just like when the players are making up PC's) there are certain things I want to say.  Certain things I want to come up.  One of the places I can give that some authority is in the traits and relationships that the NPC's have.

So rather than leaving all my NPC's traits and relationships blank, I write a few things down.

"Comfortable with money."  "Roaring."  I don't fill in ALL of the blanks most of the time, but I do occasionally.

I do this for two reasons.

For one thing, when I'm GMing, I'm paying a lot of attention to the cool ideas that the players are having, and less to the cool ideas that I had when I made up the NPC in the first place... ideas I don't want to leave behind because I forgot.

For another, there's a lot of 'handling time' in thinking up traits and relationships on the fly, time I'd rather spend playing.  Quite frankly, I have a lot more time available to me in front of the computer than I do in front of the players.  Anything I can do ahead seems to be worthwhile.

Am I missing something?

Am I missing out on something?

Maybe what I could do instead, is write up a thumbnail sketch of the NPC's, with all my little ideas about what they're like, ahead of time, but not assign their attributes until game time.  Then, if play warrants it, I can just drop the text into a blank trait and go.  That seems pretty much tantamount to what I'm already doing, though.

Title: Re: Proto-NPC's to NPC's before play
Post by: lumpley on January 24, 2006, 04:52:15 PM
As long as you're scrupulous about not letting your pre-made NPCs predispose you to any particular conflicts or outcomes, I'm sure it doesn't matter.

The existing rules fulfill a couple of design goals that making NPCs in advance wouldn't have, but that's neither here nor there.


Title: Re: Proto-NPC's to NPC's before play
Post by: Arturo G. on January 26, 2006, 09:35:03 AM

Hi, Fred!

We were discussing about this in the thread: [DitV] Assigning traits to NPCs on the fly (

People came up with some ideas I think were pretty interesting, although I have not yet try them.