Default NPCs in the Beta

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higgins
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Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by higgins » 19 Jan 2015, 16:47

Quick question for you guys:

What kind of default NPC "statblocks" or "pre-written templates" would you like to see in the beta? We'll be having different warrior types and rogues, sure, but is there something specific you would wish to be covered? Something that's been missing in other games, or... something you've gotten a huge mileage out of in the past?

Feel free to suggest animals in the same vein, too. :)
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Marras
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by Marras » 19 Jan 2015, 17:42

Ah, pre-made NPCs! Thumbs up!

For animals I think it would be nice to see dogs (guard dogs etc. if those are different enough to warrant different stats) and of course horses. For wilderness boar, deer, elk, wolf, bear would be great. Even a rat (pack) would be interesting.

As for humans, maybe an investigator that will probably try and hunt down the PCs, a merchant, a doctor (or equivalent). As you are evidently going to include warriors and rogues, I'm not gonna list them here but some different types would be nice. For example watchman, fence, burglar and duelist.
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higgins
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by higgins » 20 Jan 2015, 03:45

Marras wrote:and of course horses
We were just debating whether all the detail I've gathered on horses would need to be broken up into a separate Horse Codex or not. :lol: As it is, you can pretty much build or generate one, much like in case of weapons. A stallion, a mare and a gelding will all have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, even if they are from the same breed, etc.

Good suggestions, btw. :)
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Marras
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by Marras » 20 Jan 2015, 08:55

Horse codex would be yet another thing that you can't find from any other RPG as far as I know. This could be a great supplement.
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by EinBein » 20 Jan 2015, 12:51

Maybe one could think of a NPC codex in the future ;) A construcion kit with several categories:

Genetic influences ("race")
Youth influences ("culture")
Professional training ("profession")
Experience (multiple choices possible)

After choosing one package in the first three categories a basic character could be ready. The data in the categories might also be ranges and not necessarily fixed numbers.

Depending on the experience, several experience packages can be added afterwards to create characters like this:

A frenchman (race human), raised in a family of politians (culture aritocrat) and trained as a lawyer (profession) who later became diplomatic assistant (experience 1 diplomat) but after an incident was dismissed and became the right hand of our main villain where he worked as middleman to the lesser entourage - lets call them thugs (experience 2 criminal).

So if the characters can track him down, they soon are confronted with a skilled orator who might even be able to talk himself out of the situation with a rough background and a set of numbers on his NPC sheet for the GM to use.

Only as an idea for future content...
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higgins
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by higgins » 21 Jan 2015, 06:47

That one starts to sound like a lifepath system already :)
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EinBein
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by EinBein » 21 Jan 2015, 13:19

Yes, but I'd rather not see it in the beta release, which I would love to see first ;)
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by Mozusuke » 21 Jan 2015, 16:59

I guess the 'staple diet' of NPCs is obvious. The only idea that occurs to me right now that I'd be chuffed to bits to see would be a character whose sole skill and advantage is labrynthine scheming and creating/manipulating webs of social intrigue. So he is a skilled speaker, negotiator etc, but also always has something over someone to the point where has has leverage over ... you!
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by Marras » 22 Jan 2015, 04:56

I like EinBein's idea for NPC Codex supplement.
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by Agamemnon » 31 Aug 2015, 13:56

EinBein wrote:Maybe one could think of a NPC codex in the future ;) A construcion kit with several categories:

Genetic influences ("race")
Youth influences ("culture")
Professional training ("profession")
Experience (multiple choices possible)

After choosing one package in the first three categories a basic character could be ready. The data in the categories might also be ranges and not necessarily fixed numbers.

Depending on the experience, several experience packages can be added afterwards to create characters like this:

A frenchman (race human), raised in a family of politians (culture aritocrat) and trained as a lawyer (profession) who later became diplomatic assistant (experience 1 diplomat) but after an incident was dismissed and became the right hand of our main villain where he worked as middleman to the lesser entourage - lets call them thugs (experience 2 criminal).

So if the characters can track him down, they soon are confronted with a skilled orator who might even be able to talk himself out of the situation with a rough background and a set of numbers on his NPC sheet for the GM to use.

Only as an idea for future content...
This is a very cool idea.

I can shed a little light on our current setup by contrast:

We realized early on that neither one of us really liked spending time on making NPC stat-blocks like you see for 3.5 D&D or the like. In some ways it's nice to have all of that detail, in other ways its kind of exhausting. At least for how I run things, I want npcs that I can write up fast or improv if I have to. I don't have a lot of prep time and what I do I want to spend coming up with ways to challenge my player's SAs and add new twists and developments to their plots.

With that in mind, what we settled on was a more freeform system that abstracts quite a bit about the NPCs specifically but gives you the ability to flavor them to taste and reskin them as needed. We'll do a whole teaser on it before long, but it more or less mimics the way I run NPCs regardless of the system I play - nailing down the information you actually think you'll need, and ignoring the rest.

That said, I understand this approach isn't for everybody and I can definitely see the utility in a more detailed NPC creation system. It's a very cool project to put on the books. This fits in quite well with my desire to create a life path system as an alternate character creation system down the line.
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Marras
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by Marras » 31 Aug 2015, 14:24

I am really looking forward to see how you handle NPCs, in practice. I am also one of those GMs who like to spend as little time on NPC statblocks as possible and so it will be nice to see what is the bare minimum that I can get away with. Of course advice on improvising missing NPC data would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by higgins » 01 Sep 2015, 03:05

Marras wrote:Of course advice on improvising missing NPC data would be greatly appreciated.
If you've read half a dozen templates, I'm pretty sure you can generate more just by heart later on. Is that what you were asking for?
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Marras
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by Marras » 01 Sep 2015, 03:13

Actually, no :)

I might have misunderstood Agamemnon's post back then but I understood that NPC stat blocks don't contain all the possible information to keep them at the manageable size. I like that approach but depending on a game system there are more or less things (like skills, perhaps abilities depending on how stat blocks are presented) that need to be added in some situations. So, I was asking for guidelines how to add them if needed.
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by nemedeus » 26 Jan 2016, 04:19

higgins wrote:That one starts to sound like a lifepath system already :)
Late to the party, but, aren't lifepath systems kinda the gold standard of rules-heavy character creation anyway? I know i want one (after beta release).
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higgins
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Re: Default NPCs in the Beta

Post by higgins » 27 Jan 2016, 13:50

Agamemnon has expressed a similar interest ;)
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