Quick NPCs for LOTFP

The rules for creating NPCs in LOTFP are fairly streamlined, but I was looking for a method of creating NPCs that were a little more different stat-wise without adding an undue amount of complexity to the game, to do this I’ve drawn on my experiences with the Fate RPG system.

Method for Creating Quick NPC

  • Name your NPC

Don’t agonise over this when you’re trying to make a quick NPC, fire up a random name generator and click a few times until you find a name you like, or take bits out of a couple of names and combine them together, whatever works for you. Here are a few I’ve found useful:

  1. D&D Human Name Generator
  2. There are some great real-world historically inspired name generators available
  3. Dwarf Name Generator
  4. Elf Name Generator
  5. Hobbit Name Generator
  • Choose your NPCs class/race

If your NPC is a human then make them a level 0 Fighter, otherwise make them a level 0 version of the appropriate demi-human class.

  • Fill in your NPCs saving throws, HP, attack bonuses and skills

This information should be available on the class chart that you have chosen so should be easy to find.

  • Give your NPC something extra they are good at

Everything’s been pretty standard in this post so far, here’s where we add a bit extra though, jot down on the NPC’s sheet one or two things that they are good at, when the NPC is required to make a roll for something related to these things add +2 to their roll. This doesn’t have to be their job (although this can be a useful guideline) but it could be based on their physical characteristics or a piece of equipment they have. What they are good at should be fairly specific (‘forging weapons’ is fine, but ‘making stuff’ is a bit too broad) and it should not affect things like combat bonuses or saving throws since these are already covered by the rules although–as ever–it’s your game, so if you want to have an NPC who is a practiced archer, feel free.

If you want to detail the NPC a little further you can also give them one or two things they’re bad at, and give them a -2 penalty when in situations related to them.

And that’s pretty much it, dead simple and it can be done on the fly when you just need to jot down some NPCs one the spur of the moment, or when you want them to have a little bit of extra detailing but without having to add a load of skills or anything like that.

Writer’s Block

Okay, so I’m sat at work at the moment on my dinner break, still suffering from lack of sleep/sleep apnea (hospital appointment soon) and thinking about some particularly non-exciting work I have to do this afternoon, I’ve also got the first game for a 5E Ravenloft (not Curse of Strahd) game I’m running tomorrow and also my regular LOTFP game to run on Sunday. It’s at this point when the dreaded writer’s block strikes.

I’ve already sent out some basic campaign details for the Kingdom of Angels Ravenloft campaign and I have a fair idea of what my PCs are going to do in our Westhaven LOTFP campaign:

  • Kingdom of Angels: Groups of people who have somehow failed their deity find themselves pulled into a dark realm ruled over by the religious tyrant known as the Pontifex.
  • Rose of Westhaven: The PCs are planning to explore the catacombs below the church in Porthcrawl, they also have been summoned to a meeting with the local Lord at the start of the session.

Writer’s block always annoys me, particularly at the moment when I’m reading more books (fiction and non-fiction), comics and watching more films than I do normally, if anything I should have a surfeit of ideas, unfortunately my sleep-deprived brain doesn’t work like that. So this is what I’m going to do in order to try and beat my writer’s block:

  • Jot down some random ideas that I find interesting.
  • Use these to create a very rough sessions plan.
  • Have a skim through some of my RP books that have a similar flavour to what I want.
  • Have a look at the Big List of RPG Plots.
  • Go through the player character sheets and background to see if there are any threads I can pull on there.
  • Have a scroll through Pinterest and look for some inspiring images.

I’ll let you know how I get on 🙂

In the meantime, post in the comments and let me know how you deal with writer’s block, or are you one of the lucky few who never suffers from it?

Random Things: Local Beliefs & Festivals

villager.pngLocal Festivals

These random things articles are designed as quick idea generators for time-pressed GMs who want to inject some additional details into their game. Isolated villages and towns inevitably develop their own traditions and customs, these can add a lot of flavour to an RPG but are often sadly ignored.

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