Episode 107 – The Good Friends play some non-player characters

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Portraying Memorable Non-Player Characters

We’re back and we’re putting on silly voices, adopting exaggerated mannerisms and making life as miserable as possible for the player characters. In other words, we’re playing NPCs. This is the follow-up to our discussion last episode about creating memorable non-player characters. Now we’re offering advice on how to bring these NPCs to life at the gaming table.

Some gaming tables are better suited to this than others.

Ideally, portraying NPCs should involve shifts of accent, mannerisms, body language and speech patterns. Not everyone has the skills necessary to do all these things, however. Most GMs at least have some archetypes that they can fall back on, but it is rare to find one who is a truly gifted mimic or trained actor. With this in mind, we offer tips about portraying NPCs for GMs of all skill levels.

Most GMs would be happy with a dozen character types to call upon. Having a thousand faces just seems greedy.

When discussing how powerful NPCs could overshadow player characters, we mention of the excellent web comic, DM of the Rings. We seem to remember that Gandalf was a bit like this in the strip. That said, it is around 10 years since any of us read it, so maybe we’re misremembering. Even if we are, the comic is still well worth reading.

In the news segment, we mention that Now We Are The Sons Of God, Scott’s Victorian Cthulhu Dark mini-campaign, is now an offical a stretch goal for the Cthulhu Dark Kickstarter. If you’re reading this on the day the episode drops, you still have three days to back it if you’d like to see this happen.

We also mention Danial Carroll’s blog, Brawl of Cthulhu, where he delves into the monsters of the Mythos. You can find over 100 entries there, offering ideas about how to make use of all these beasties.

Speaking of sanity-blasting horrors beyond human comprehension, we sing again in this episode. Two generous souls have offered up their names to the blasphemous altar of our voices, so we sing their praises. Or croak them. Or something. In case this needs explanation, when someone backs us on Patreon at the $5 level, this is how we thank them. We are not good people.

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