Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Interesting NPCs

The moment a PC says 'what does the weaponsmith look like' some GMs start to panic.
NPCs make a game come alive, but also are perceived to require a lot of work. It doesn't have to be like that. Here's a few tips to help.

1. Names! Spend 10 minutes on Google and you'll have list of names appropriate for your setting.  Print them off and keep them close to hand.  When you need a name, don't flounder, just pick one.

2. Quirk.  There are loads of resources; for Pathfinder the Gamesmastery Guide has a number of tables. Roll a couple of dice and let the NPC build himself.

3. Make notes.  Write down what the NPC is like. Just a few scribbles will do especially if you have the time later to write them up. Nothing emerses the players in the mundane more than that weaponsmith (you know, the old guy with the burnt forearm) says 'so, killed anything with that masterwork sword I sold you?  I put a lot of work into that...'

NPCs are supporting characters in your novel.  Have a read of this for some inspiration -  http://io9.com/5896488/10-secrets-to-creating-unforgettable-supporting-characters

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rules Rules Rules

Roleplaying games are crazy.

As I look at my bookshelf now I see loads of books filled with rules; Pathfinder Core Rules alone has nearly 600 pages of the things!  And yet us roleplayers don't bat an eyelid at them; we just seem to suck them up and then vom them out all over Internet forums to get one over some other loser that's also sucked them up with the same intent.

I play board games and bolt at the sign of a rules pamplet more than 6 sides, and yet I will happily wade though half a tree of rules for an RPG and long as they 'make sense' (whatever that means).

If IT books were as 'easy' to suck up I'd probably be darn sight better at my job!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


After years of drawing on tactiles for D20-based combat I bought some Terraclips 3D scenery.  This stuff is pretty cool actually - very sturdy and makes some awesome multi-tiered environments. In my excitement I forgot to take any picture though.

The dungeon was a multi-level mausoleum and worked rather well I thought.

I try to remember next time - and there will be a next time!