False Accuracy in Roleplaying Games

Tyler Provick

Tyler Provick is a writer and a gamer that likes to combine his two interests and share them with the community.

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2 responses

  1. Penemue says:

    I must admit, I do love stating out NPCs. For more elaborate games, that is. I often find it easier, though, to have preset stats for groups of NPCs rather than single ones – especially when playing a game where NPCs are incidental (hack and slash) rather than planned (mystery). Amateur-level merchants will have Haggle 3, while more seasoned merchants will have 5, and merchant kings 8, etc. I think it’s more or less a variant of the type you described above, and tackles the “bland and uninteresting” issue you mentioned as well.

  2. felicidefangfan says:

    I usually make their stats up on the fly: working out something they’re great at (because its their job for example), something they’re good at (because it relates to their job), and stuff they’re average (or bad) at (because they don’t relate to their job). I do occasionally do what you’ve suggested and give them an odd quirk where they have an odd skill quite high, but normally I save that for significant NPCs they will likely see multiple times and not the shopkeeper they’ll meet once

    To put it in an example: a politician. His main “job” is to persuade people to agree with him and work out who he should agree with. Thus he’s great at persuasion, resisting persuasion, bluffing, reading people etc. Secondary to that he needs to have some knowledge of law (or at least the processes of passing laws) so he’s good at tasks relating to understanding laws, or passing laws. If he’s from a militant country he might have some gun related skills in the good range. Average and bad is everything else, with bad being areas I want him to have a weakness. Perhaps he really doesn’t get science, and thus knowledge rolls relating to nature, scientific processes etc are in the bad range.

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