NPCs are a big part of any tabletop roleplaying game. Whether they are just passing characters with directions to the nearest town or long-standing background characters that your players have grown to love, every interaction adds something to the game. Having interesting and exciting NPCs can make the difference between a good game and a great game. For that reason we’ve put together the following list of 100 NPCs for you to use in your next fantasy adventure. Need a random encounter? Why not just roll a D100 and see who you meet. 1. A ‘reformed’ evil genius 2. Someone who believes ‘everything can be improved with magic’ 3. A PC’s sibling 4. A local historian who is overly keen for some ‘history’ to happen in their lifetime 5. Someone who has lost everything and is furious with the world 6. A teenager in love 7. A monarch who has lost their kingdom 8. A child that wants to grow up to be part of the PCs party 9. The world’s best forger 10. A dancer by day, an assassin by night 11. A terrib
I have been playing around with ways to make my planning easier, more dynamic, and more focused. The idea I've hit upon is mainly inspired by Technoir's "Transmissions" and the sheets I had made to track the Enemies, Friends, Complications, Things and Places for each system in my Stars Without Number campaign.Image (cc) Sheam BoI was using a 5x3 grid for SWN - one for each category for each tag I used, including the Trade tags from Suns of Gold, and it worked well. However it didn't feel like there was much continuity in terms of the plot, and I was keeping notes elsewhere on what was happening on and off screen. Given that the system is designed for sandbox games that's fine, but in retrospect I think I overplanned here for my needs and should only really have had one of each category for background, side plots, and local colour - but that's for another article...Somehow I stumbled upon Technoir - I do love cyberpunk - and while I wasn't a massive fan of the narrative system I was impressed by th
Image (cc) paganjesus on DeviantArtI'm the kind of person who likes to have a project, so I'm setting myself one right here.For years I've been looking for a way to weave the player characters into engaging plots while still keeping prep low and flexibility high, and it finally feels like things are falling into place. My hobby project for the rest of this year is going to be formalising my ideas and getting them down on paper. Electrons. Like so:On DMing, or How I Learned to Let Go and Embrace the Chaos (May)Railroad / Sandbox / Other (June)Reusability and Separation of Concern (July)Using a Grid for Plot Components (August)Populating the Grid (September)Using the Grid for Planning (October)Reshuffling Items in the Grid (November)Example Campaign (December)Sounds manageable, and by the end I'll know if it works or not. Hope you'll follow along. I'll be using this post as an index as I go and post a retrospective at the end, wish me luck!
Image (cc) desuran on DeviantArtI've talked about Stars Without Number a lot. I think I'll probably continue to do so; I love it. One thing I did find hard to keep track of was Ship Combat, fantastic system/minigame though it is, so I decided to make this control sheet. I also think I ran it slightly differently to the book - it felt right to me - so I'll explain how to use the sheet to run it the way I did. I'm sure you can adapt it.I suggest you have:A copy of the Ship Combat Actions for each player (I printed handouts from the free SWN rules) for referenceOne SWN Ship Combat Control Sheet for the table - click to download from Google DriveA collection of minis, markers, or tokens to help keep track. They can represent the players directly or indirectly, it's just for visual reference on the sheet.Command PhaseThe Captain decides and declares the plan of actions.Players assign their tokens to departments (top row) if they will be taking Department Actions or to the Delegate Pool if they choose "Do
Image (cc) Blazbaros on DeviantArtI'm always toying with ways to tie the PCs, the world, and the story together. These are weapons that can be found and used by starting characters but are in some way destined for the end game, and requiring the completion of a mid-tier quest arc. Roll a set of polyhedrals (or use the button at the bottom of the post) to discover your destined weapon!The d20 - Crafted long ago by...Dwarves, from rare minerals and alloysGnomes, from fine silver woven with spellsElves, from a branch of the oldest treeDrow, from darkness made tangibleAngels, from a fragment of a starElementals, from distilled elemental energyFey, sung into shape from some organic matterMerfolk, from the horn of a narwhalSlaadi, from the remains of a dead ModronMind flayers, from psychically infused ironDevils, and was forged in the fires of the HellsDemons, from solidified corruptionCentaurs, from finest polished bronzeYuan-Ti, from the bones of a NagaA vampire, and was forged and cooled in bloodA li
Festivals can add colour and a change of scene and pace to our games, so grab a set of polyhedrals and let's see what's going on!The d4 - origins:It's ancient, dating back to before the current civilisation began. Perhaps the current rulers are trying to stop it, or perhaps it's important that the people who celebrate it don't die out?It's traditional and has been practiced for generations here. Perhaps the original meaning has been lost, or prophecy states it must run for 100 years?It's new. Perhaps the organisers could do with some help getting things set up, or perhaps someone is trying to make sure it's not a success?Outsiders. It's touring. Perhaps some mischief - or wonder - follows in its wake?The d8 - this festival celebrates or ensures:FertilitySafe passage into the UnderworldSafe return of kinfolk from afarAn historic victory over enemiesA local or mythical beast or heroBountiful harvestProtection from an outside evilThe holy day of a deityThe d10 - festival trappings:The str