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26667685 No.26667685 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

> High fantasy Pathfinder game
> GM rolls out NPCs
> Bob the Crime Boss
> Maggie Lime
> Billy Sticks
> Carl
> Peasants and shopkeepers have no names
> Plot-important NPCs have characterizations like "angry dwarf lady"
> Everyone is paraphrased

>> No.26667866

But that's the easiest way to generate a whole slew of NPCs (that can be fleshed out later if need be). How would YOU build NPCs?

>> No.26667904

>But that's the lazy way, and I don't really care.

Fixed that for you.

How DO I build NPCs?

Everyone gets a name that I have established beforehand based on a regional language or style I want to impress on the players (humans in this city have vaguely greek names, halflings in this world have adverbs as names, etc). I keep a list of backup names for those regions to give to new NPCs that need to be introduced quickly.

Everyone gets a quirk or mannerism.

Everyone gets a secret.

Takes about ten minutes to come up with this data for a six-session period of NPCs. The results are amazing.

Effort, you should try it.

>> No.26667951

I thought that's what you were already insinuating in the OP. That method, I mean.

>> No.26668023
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Think of a role that the story needs to progress. Then think of things that might support that role - characteristics, flaws, physical traits, and so on. Then think of the mechanics that they need, if any, and finish it off with a name and maybe an epithet to make them memorable.

For example, my players have been fighting wizards for a while, so it might be good to give them a wizard who isn't evil and crazy. I give this character a scar that they suffered from defending a township against monsters - demonstrating their ability and willingness to help the weak, and the fact that underneath everything they're a decent person - then make the character slightly macho about it, which can be a flaw. I make him male, because I like to maintain about a 50/50 gender balance with regard to NPCs, and decide that he comes from the party's home country, which is roughly analogous to Germany - so I give him a slightly corny German accent.

After consulting Behind the Name, I come up with the name Kaarsten Brecht, the Hellhound. I insert him into the game at a point when they might need the services of a wizard, have him help out in some fashion, and then I move on to other NPCs.

>> No.26668040

Sorry, I'm the guy who posted the angry rant, not the OP.

The OP sounds like people get names picked off the top of the DM's head with no thought into how they inform the world or the experience. No back-up names for people he didn't plan on introducing. No interesting mannerisms, just stereotypes (there's a big difference). The "paraphrasing" speaks to not understanding the characters he's introducing, so doubt he has anything as subtle as a secret in mind for them.

It's the difference between annoying/forgettable characters and interesting/investing ones.

>> No.26668097

Have fun naming and building personalities for thousands upon thousands of NPCs every month.

>> No.26668144

I'm pretty sure there's a couple pastas around here for both quick and deep NPCgen.

>> No.26668166

>thousands upon thousands
you got a really weird sense of scale for like 6 sessions dude

>> No.26668200

How do you know who your players are going to talk to?

>> No.26668214


Even if I had to do thousands, I'd enjoy it. Nothing brings a world to life like a cast of interesting characters.

>> No.26668233

You don't, but you can usually predict things like innkeepers, blacksmiths, leaders (political/military/religious) and then have a bank of names and random backgrounds to choose from for all the minor civilians that you don't pre-make.

>> No.26668256

What are some examples of secrets?

>> No.26668319

>> Bob the Crime Boss
> Maggie Lime
> Billy Sticks
> Carl
I find this acceptable, at least. Not every setting needs characters to be named Alfagommir von Dulschpitten and Miraleela'lee'alee'alee.

>> No.26668352 [SPOILER] 
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Secretly dead. That's everyone's secret, actually. Everyone in the setting is already dead. Even your characters.

>> No.26668378
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>> No.26671936

>Toss monsters that our party is literally incapable of defeating, and expects us to not just go around it
>"This is fair because it is in your challenge rating" These generic monsters are handpicked from high-power balanced set ups because "The _____ was not stupid".
followed by a
>"This guy is supposed to be twice your challenge rating" boss that we demolish because the DM decided he'd be neat even though that one boss was weaker than every mook in the dungeon.
>GM decides to put a 9th level save or die spell in the very start of a dungeon. Half the party requires a nat 20 to not die, and we are barely half way leveled.
>Thinks whatever he does is fair if the BBEG of the day is genre savvy, or that he has to pick the most retarded and worthless things if they are idiots.
>Controls the game constantly with "A personification of my will in the game" instead of threats, presences, laws, and allowing players to work within rules of the game just because he doesn't like the idea that we will fix his derpy setting.
>Arbitrarily changes and retcons what happens at times so we look worse when we are doing good at things, or to try killing people who are doing more work than the others.

It's suffering how he's the only GM in the area, but I now have his book PDFs. I may put them to good use to show where he has failed.

>> No.26674222

Sounds somewhat like Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, where the MC was raised in a village where everyone was already dead, but no one told her.

>> No.26674448
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Preface: we usually deal with concepts rather than any heavy backstory, with that said:

Month before game
>GM asks us to write backstory, says he'll reward us with what he finds appropriate.
>Decide to play a chef gish, write some backstory, grew up poor, incorporates cooking tools to his fighting style, actually pretty happy with it.

Actual game
>Our characters are royal and we're enrolled into some magic-ass school.
>On top of making his backstory completely irrelevant, my guy is made irrelevant too since every skill check is balanced toward full magic users.
>Game only lasted one session.
Other GM
>You can't fly to the other side of the mountain because I need you to get ambushed in the mountain pass
>You literally have to walk 3 days do get ambushed instead of flying an extra minute with he superjet
>Also we know exactly where the base is, but we won't tell you.
I caused a TPK that same session

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