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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Proto-NPCs  (Read 2918 times)
Sean
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« on: July 01, 2005, 06:41:58 AM »

In general I think the GM prep sections in Dogs are the best I have ever read, in any roleplaying game, ever. I've only been playing since '76 though so my sample is somewhat limited.

We generated characters last Tuesday and people loved it. Sulfur Junction coming up this Tuesday.

The only thing I've been tempted to cheat on so far is the rule that says you assign values to stats for proto-NPCs before you figure out who they are. I like rolling the stat set up front, and everything else about the pNPC rules, but I don't like assigning the numbers to stats up front.

The thing is, I've got too many characters in mind already. If I assign the stats before assigning the names I'll basically be saying "ooh, this guy is really Brother Gilead", or whatever, and I take it that since the pNPCs are a resource the GM has to manage this is dangerous, because what if the PCs spend all their time with the Croziers in town and don't get out to Gilead's right away, and there are conflicts, and I need all six pNPCs before they get him? And how am I going to adapt these numbers I thought were for Brother Gilead to Sister Talitha, or whatever?

It seems like just like you wait to fill in traits and relationships you should wait to assign stats too. But the rules tell me not to. I don't like being a rulebreaker but at least you know my reasons.
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2005, 05:25:35 PM »

I hereby grant you official permission to wait to assign the stat dice too.

So it is, and let no one say you otherwise!

-Vincent
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Blankshield
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Posts: 407


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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2005, 06:04:04 PM »

What I do is use one of the generators that a couple people have made and spit out a couple of sheets of numbers.  Then I don't look at 'em again until a conflict comes up.  Then I pick which ever set of numbers looks "right", and that then becomes Brother/Sister whoever from that point on.  Names and numbers don't come together at all for me until we start naming stakes. :)

James
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I write games. My games don't have much in common with each other, except that I wrote them.

http://www.blankshieldpress.com/
Darren Hill
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Posts: 861


« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2005, 05:32:21 AM »

I have made a version of the Proto-NPC generator which does randomly assign stats properly (the version accessible from the Dogs site doesn't), and preserves values once you've generated them (rather than rerolling everything whenever you do anything).
If anyone wants a copy, PM me - I don't have a website to upload it to.
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Warren
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Posts: 167


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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2005, 06:36:32 AM »

I have to say I think I go the other way with this. In the first two sessions of Dogs I ran, I precreated a sheet of 6 NPCs and picked as-and-when needed for conflicts, creating Traits, etc. during play. But I found it pretty tricky to deal with, and I just didn't like it.

But, for the most recent town, I went through and created a stats sheet specifically for each 'named' NPC in the town, assigning Stats, Traits and Relationships for each. I found this helped with my characterisation of each of them (the Steward has "shifty-lookin'", 2d4 and "lets make a deal", 2d8) and allowed me to precreate the Sorcerers and any Groups before I had to in the heat of the moment.

Although I created all the major NPCs beforehand, I still keep my Free Dice around in case of anything I need to add, and I have some unnamed proto-NPCs rolled up to, just in case.
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coffeestain
Member

Posts: 165


« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2005, 10:43:37 AM »

Warren,

That's the same way I handle it in my towns.  All of the NPCs who want something from the Dogs get pre-statted and then I usually keep 6 or so proto-NPCs free in case a situation arises in which they're needed.  I've found it helps me understand the character of the NPCs better when I roleplay them, for one, and for another it helps me create traits for them that aren't necessarily based on the conflict at hand, which sees more reasonable.

Lastly, I've found it functions like a more robust relationship tree, since I try to assign their relationship dice to other NPCs as appropriate.

Thanks,

Daniel
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