Re: Epic NPCs and their stats

From: Stephen Tempest <e-g_at_7w4a9VZXVcMRbbzec7ek3wofj2pzW3HFBCAvwRDpZ3xQi4-k2IUeH-pE_T3hBWBCUDl04plu>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 20:15:35 +0100

"Rob" <> writes:

>But what would be useful further debate would be how to present major

I agree with this, and I've been thinking about the sort of information I'd like to see in order to incorporate powerful NPCs properly into a game:

What does the hero actually do? What are his goals in life? If you met her on a heroquest, what would she be trying to achieve? If he hired you for a mission, what sort of objectives would you be given? What does she believe in? Who does he worship?

Is the hero a free agent, responsible for nobody but herself and her followers? Does he obey a master? Or is she ruler of her own kingdom, with all the ties and responsibilities that entails?

Where does the hero live? A castle, a palace, a temple, a humble cottage, a cave? Or is he always on the move, with an army or a fleet or simply a small band of followers?

And what about those followers? Does the hero command vast hordes, or an elite group of bodyguards, or a rag-tag group of friends and allies? The statistics and personalities of the most important followers would be useful to know, as well as some sense of how they interact with the hero. Are they likely to be encountered separately?

Does the hero hold authority within a larger organisation, and command the resources of her overlord? If so, how closely does the overlord monitor her actions - does he trust her to act independently, or is he jealous and suspicious? Alternatively, if the hero is an overlord himself, how do his subjects and vassals regard him? Are they loyal? Do they follow him out of fear, or religious devotion, or patriotism, or the desire for personal gain?

What is the hero's personality like? Is he stern and unyielding, or relaxed and cheerful? What makes her laugh? What is the best way to impress him? What things are guaranteed to make her dislike you?

How does the hero approach problems? Violence, or negotiation, or trickery? Does he prefer to handle things himself, or to send his followers? If you came up against her in battle, how would she kill you? If you met him in the royal debating chamber, how would he win the argument and rally the crowd?

What does the hero look like? What special equipment does she carry? What magics does he use?

On the question of including ability scores, I'll just record my vote for "yes, include numerical ratings." But maybe also put a copy of the sample ability ratings chart from HQ at the front of the book, with a comment saying "adjust the ability scores if your own campaign differs from this general level." It's much easier to amend something already written out than to try and make it up from scratch.


The other thing I'd like to see in a book about Gloranthan heroes - as you might guess from my use of alternating pronouns here - some information on Androgeus that's more recent than 'Dragon Pass' printed over 25 years ago! ;-)


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