Creating Memorable Non-Player Characters
We’re back and we’re poring over stat blocks, writing up physical descriptions and searching the internet for names. This is the first of two episodes about NPCs. Our focus this time is on how we create non-player characters that our players will remember (probably with muttered curses) for years to come. Next episode delves into techniques for bringing these characters to life at the gaming table.
Non-player characters are arguably the most important and versatile tool available to GMs. They allow us to give out information, provide conflict, introduce comic relief or generally be dicks to our players. Most importantly, they allow us to do these things in character. It’s always nice to have a chance to do some roleplaying in a roleplaying game!
In our discussion, we try to define the broad types of NPCs we find useful in games, talk about possible sources of inspiration, mention a few useful resources and figure out what exactly we need to prepare in advance.
This episode’s news segment is a little different than usual. Matt is in the process of moving house, so we couldn’t get together to record our normal last-minute inserts. Paul has picked up the slack and recorded the segment single-handedly, giving us a brief overview of his adventures at this year’s UK Games Expo. There is also an update on the ongoing Kickstarter campaign for the new Cthulhu Dark corebook, mostly taking the form of an extended interview with Graham Walmsley, which you can find at the end of the episode.
The other casualty of our inability to record inserts was the usual thanks to our wonderful, generous Patreon backers. This is just a delay, however. We still have a new $5 Patreon backer to thank, and we are warming up our vocal chords in anticipation. You don’t escape our singing that easily!