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Author Topic: Proto-NPC's to NPC's before play  (Read 2438 times)

Posts: 1619

« 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.

"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Posts: 3453

« Reply #1 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.

Arturo G.

Posts: 333

« Reply #2 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.

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