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Offline Strolen

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NPC characteristics
« on: January 24, 2003, 03:15:43 AM »
I am sure I saw this somewhere before and have used it myself and comes in quite handy. Thought we could develop our own list and once we get a good bunch I can turn it into a random generator type thing. What are you talking about?

NPCs can be so dry and bland when they come up and you aren't prepared for them. Other NPCs often times only have the stats rolled up and their personalities are neglected. That is where a list of simple characteristics can come in handy and you can stereotype the NPC and at least give them some kind of quirk that defines them a little better. Nobody may remember the innkeeper at that one city, but they may very well remember the innkeeper that picked his nose right before he gave the players their change. Just some little things to define the NPCs and make them more real. Some can be used by players as well to spice up their character a little.

Curses often and apologizes each time.
Picks his fingers with his dagger.
Picks his nose and/or pulls out a nose hair.
Flips a coin and checks how it lands before answering questions.
Constantly pulls on their ear.
Comes close and puts their hands on those they talk to.
Has a cat that always follows and comes when he calls.
Has a lazy eye.
Kisses a token on a necklace often for luck.
Has horrible garlic breathe.
Bows as he speaks in a subserviant manner.
Trys to make jokes and loudly laughs at everything.
Answers every question with another question and thinks he's sly.
Loses track of the conversation as if bored.
Has an eye for one of the players and leads all conversation towards that.
Puts out his hand for some coing if any question is asked.
Constantly chewing on something.
Offers to buy any material on the players. Belt, pouch, weapon, offers money for everything.
Constantly looking over their shoulder as if they expect somebody.
Trip often when they walk.
Don't understand anything explained to them.
Agree with anything the players say.
Twirl a coin between their fingers.

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline Ria Hawk

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NPC characteristics
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2003, 04:26:22 PM »
Constantly shuffling cards or rolling dice.
Has conversations with themself.
Uses odd expletives, such as "Spoon!"
Makes odd random noises.
Cracks their knuckles.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline Agar

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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2003, 05:33:01 PM »
Has a nerveous twitch.
Has two differently colored eyes.
Fingernails are dark green with a fungus.
Their eyebrow hairs closest to their nose are execptionally long, like antenna.
Has that skin condition that leaves a wine colored stain on thier face.
Shuffles their feet.
Always one hand in their pocket.
Has a hand stuffed into their shirt, ala Napolean
Wants to be bribed by an addition to their unusual collection, like odd hats or the big toes of unusual creatures.
Sucks eggs.
Eats peanuts in the shell and the shell too.
Has a catch phrase that makes no sense, like "Ice cream can!" or "Oranges don't dance."
Has a hairless pet that they dress up and fawn over.
Has a spoon they keep in their mouth and treats like a pipe.
Always manages to be eating some type of pie.
Dances for any reason whatsoever.
Pops nuts or small fruits off their bicep to catch them in their mouth.
Chokes on anything they drink.
Has a strange allergic reaction, like hives from copper, or alchohol gives them a rash.
Makes a nickname for everyone and most objects as well. Calls spoons "soup shovels", calls knives "sharpie-sharps", gold "pretty pennies", etc
Passes gas out of hand.
Has an exotic drink with something alive in it. Like a fish or small octopus, maybe a frog or snake.
Puts a small umbrella in everthing edible. Drinks, sandwiches, soup, fruit, crackers, cheese, anything.
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline Strolen

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NPC characteristics
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2003, 09:39:30 PM »
Hiccups.
Horrible scarred/burned face and hands.
Walks with a limp and a cane.
Talks in a whisper.
Missing all front upper teeth.
Expert rat catcher, even in the middle of conversations will jump or chase a rat if he sees it.
An unbalanced drunk, always falling or tipping.
Calls everyone Skipper. Chappy. Cap'n. Lala.
Has inside of coat full of trinkets and small jewelry for sale.
Knows some nice ladies that would love to meet you.
Sings the sentences.
Missing an ear. leg. foot. arm...
Talks like a pirate. Arrrgh.
Knows everybody of 'inconsequence' and is constantly interrupted by saying hi to people.

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline Agar

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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2003, 07:52:20 PM »
Talks like austin powers.
Wears an unusual medical device, like some headgear attatched to thier nose instead of braces on thier teeth, or a glove with fingertips a foot long.
Tends to put or keep things up their nose.
Is oblivious to the fact they're indecently exposed.
Has a club limb.
Has an extensive tattoo that seems out of place on thier person, example fat pink bunny on a bouncer, or a city offical with a winged skull on their hand's webbing.
Runs into things.
Has six fingers on thier right hand (Hello! I am Inego Montoya!)
Is unaware they have a tattoo on thier forehead.
Goes crosseyed when excited.
Has teeth filed to points.
Ears wiggle uncontrolably when lying.
Carves small vegetables with remarkable skill into people, animals, and things, then smashes and eats them.
Has a small corner of a printed circut board for an earring; swears it's some kind of shale and an old family heirloom.
Keeps unsuccessfully trying to make jokes about dead animals.
Has one (green, purple, red, orange) finger.
Has a cloak kept closed with a strip of wool and split burr shells.
Can't stand being asked the same question three times.
The joints of one limb occasionally freeze and can only be used again after they're beaten.
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2003, 05:33:20 PM »
Is missing both hands and feet
Has a ludicrously long nose
Has a parrot-like nose
Keeps slaves on a chain behind them
Has lost an eye and replaced it with a gem
Has a bone pierced through their nose
Has shining white teeth
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

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Offline manfred

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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2003, 05:26:03 AM »
Believes to be an illegitimate child of someone important (maybe even a king or god)
IS an illegitimate child of someone important (maybe even a king or god)
Believes that is cursed in some way
Scratches his head/beard/body_part often
Obsessed with diets and weight loss
Considers himself extremely smart, and tries to show it
Does not like physical contact with others
Non-stop fresh and full of energy
Does not like too bright sun, likes the shadow more
Sharp-eyed, seems to notice everything that happens around
If unmoving for some time, stretches a bit, bones cracking loudly (only a sound)
After stressfull situations needs to be alone for a while
Likes a certain animal above all, example for everyone!
Talks with his dead relative/friend
Considers himself a very impressive individuum
Must always have the last word
Has mystical ability of comunnicating with drunks, meaningful
Extremely picky with food
Pretends nothing can harm him
Looks sleepy, yawns... (watch out, contagious)
Very heavy/noisy thread
Resembles in some ways a monkey
Has a supernatural talent, but tries to hide it and get rid of it
Feels the need for a True Love.
It is unacceptable for a person of this position to get drunk, but would like so much...
Is/was a master of some bizzare local sport
Is a secret follower of some god/cult/organisation, that is not in the the least way secret
Did not want this life, but got no chance, and will complain about it
Promises revenge for all evil done to him
Looks malnourished
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline manfred

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NPC characteristics
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2003, 09:05:27 AM »
One more source of NPC characteristics: skills.

Get a list of skills, any skills, the longer the better. Then feed them into some software able to generate a random result (even Excel can do that well, but you can do it with Javascript and many other ways). Generate.

Had a captain and three soldiers I wanted to "personify". I let the generator speak:

Musical notation:
The captain knows how to play a certain instrument, and does it occasionally. He is not excellent, just good at it. Entertains his friends if in good mood.
Bee-keeping:
A soldier tends to bee-hives in his off time. May have some honey with him.
Animal Care:
Another cares for animals and likes their company. Probably has a favourite one.
Fire Walking:
ummm...???  The third likes to play with fire! No pyromaniac, just toying with, looking into fire, etc.


This does not mean they HAVE these skills (but can), its just minor interests and hobbies for their free time. It is about making them a bit diverse. Don't be afraid to twist them or even reverse, all being only an idea to expand the characters.
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline Strolen

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NPC characteristics
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2003, 06:48:15 AM »
Unevenly grown beard that he constantly scratches.
Does everything with a flourish.
Wishes he was a royal and is jealous of those that are.
Merchant minded and always looking for a new angle.
Keeps checking in his pocket for something like making sure it is still there.
Has a wooden staff that he is constantly rubbing or using to lean on.
Large hat that he is constantly taking off and putting back on.
Wears shirt that is too small and the buttons are bulging and belly hanging out.
No belt and constantly pulling up their pants.
Chewing on a stick.
Wishes to purchase some farm land and retire.
Has some black market goods for sale.
Very inquisitive about everything. Wants every detail.
Looking to learn a talent that the PC has. Willing to pay for it.
Asks about contacts or people to see in different cities.
Very interested in a previous NPC that he PC has met. Owes money?
Very interested in an item on the PC, looking to get one of their own.
Suggests that the PC smells and needs a bath in subtle or unsubtle terms.


(I like your new idea for a source of ideas, Manfred! )

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline Ria Hawk

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NPC characteristics
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2003, 04:43:38 PM »
Insanely paranoid.
Is not paranoid, because some one or thing is really after them.
Acts insane around people he doens't like.
Acts insane around strangers.
Acts insane around people in general.
Acts like a drooling idiot for unknown reasons.
Constantly hums or sings off key.
Is constantly fiddling with comething.
Treats any and all creatures as sentient, whether they are or not.
Treats any and all objects as sentient.
Is afraid of dust.
Is obsessive compulsive.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline Fiokar_Dracolas

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NPC characteristics
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2003, 04:40:35 PM »
consantly speaking in riddles
yells out everything
freaks out over some small, common item or detail
constantly spewing useless and/or gross facts
perma-scowl (always scowling)
instantly hates a person for no good reason and knows it.
believes they are a miniture giant
extremely egotistical
constantly running schemes past people
punchs/kicks people for small mistakes
always tells lies
asks random people if they are willing to be a sacrifice for an obscure deity
wants a pet ooze/slime
thinks they're a legandary hero suffering from a geas (may or may not be true.)
Anything is possible. Anything at all. However, probability is another matter....

Offline Strolen

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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2003, 10:11:07 PM »
Found this character profile of one of my elder characters. (Forgive the yelling)

CONSTANTLY TWIRLS A GOLD COIN BETWEEN HIS FINGERS
HASN’T BATHED FOREVER AND IS VERY SMELLY
TENDENCY TO STARE EVENLY AT ATTRACTIVE WOMEN
SQUINTS OFTEN
HUMS UNDER HIS BREATH AT ODD TIMES
LOVES ANIMALS MORE THAN PEOPLE
ENJOYS EATING RAW ONIONS
MUTTERS TO HIMSELF WHEN FRUSTRATED WITH OTHERS
MOVES AS IF SNEAKING ABOUT EVEN IN DAYLIGHT WITH                   PEOPLE AROUND
HAS SOME MAGIC BEANS GIVEN TO HIM BY HIS MOTHER
DRINKS ONLY WATER
ANNOYING MELANCHOLY AND NEGATIVE
NEVER SMILES
SPITS OFTEN AS A CURSE
REFERS TO MOST OTHERS AS BOY OR LASS UNTILL THEY    PROVE THEMSELVES
HAS AN INTRICATE TRIBAL TATOO COVERING HIS BACK -VERY    SECRETIVE ABOUT IT
CLEANS FINGERNAILS WITH HIS DAGGER
MAKES THROATY GROWLING NOISES
HAS PIERCED EYEBROWS

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline Ylorea

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NPC characteristics
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2004, 02:05:02 AM »
Pick up your Dungeon Master Guide and check the appropriate table.... Oops.... That is totaly D&D related.

However it may be practical if you own this book. Just a simple table with 100 (numbered) characteristics, so just roll the dice and you have a nice intresting piece of behavior for your NPC

Yours,

Ylorea
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Offline Strolen

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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2004, 02:12:22 AM »
Bah. Don't fall for the commercial imperialism of published books. Long live the freedom of interconnected entities sharing ideas. Down with industrialized mass produced canned salmon.

Or something like that :) tehehe

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline Ylorea

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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2004, 02:16:41 AM »
Who says I use it?

The thing is, I do browse the table from time to time. Not to pick one or two charecteristics. Much more, the table will typicaly give me the insperation I need to create one or two or more strange paterns of behavior.

100 ideas is ideal in that sense, since it is enough to spark your imagination, but not enough to give you the feeling you need to climb a mountain and are only half-way by the time your vacation has run out.

Yours,

Ylorea
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Offline ephemeralstability

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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2004, 05:47:30 AM »
Forgive me if there are any repetitions here: I may have missed some of the characteristics other people have put down...

    Aversion to heat,

    Aversion to light,

    Aversion to certain animals (e.g. insects, magpies, frogs),

    Tendency to ask stupid questions,

    Narcoleptic/cataleptic,

    Constantly makes reference to things which seem random at the time but which later turn out that he could never have known because they hadn't happened yet (e.g. is humming the main theme from an opera the day before its premiere, talks about King John when the current reigning monarch is King Fred who later that day abdicates in favour of his younger brother, John),

    Licks walls (not as uncommon as it may sound),

    Absent-mindedly waggles leg/hand at a speed which varies with how excited they are,

    Laughs very loudly, looks very incongruous and yet appears all over the place. The PCs never get the chance to speak to him or even find out who he is.

    Always seen sitting in the same place. He is never seen anywhere else.


ephe!
"Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes" - H P Lovecraft, The Festival

Offline ephemeralstability

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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2004, 09:32:50 AM »
    Has an irrational fear of the number 14,

    Tendency to stop half-way through a sentence, pause then go back and correct himself,

    Always wears a scarf wrapped tightly around his neck, even indoors. It could be he's cold, or there might be something more sinister...

    Is only short but somehow dominates the room. Maybe it's the piercing eyes,

    Has an obsession with making their own clothes. As a result their clothes are tatty,

    Impulsively counts things (e.g. number of bricks in a wall, number of words in a sentence),

    Always knows better,

    Finishes sentences with "so..." (e.g. "I've been to the King and he said yes, so...").


ephe!
"Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes" - H P Lovecraft, The Festival

Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2004, 01:52:47 PM »
Spells out words before he/she S-A-Y-S says them.

Giggles when he/she hears random words, saying "That's dirty!"

During pauses in the conversation, he/she gazes longingly in the direction of a man/woman across the room.
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline Strolen

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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2004, 03:51:36 PM »
Repeats a key word of every person that he hears speak and nods as if in agreement.

Relieves himself wherever it is convenient for him. (nearest wall, darkest corner, behind a fruit stand)

Doesn't wear shoes. (applies to races that do anyway, wears shoes for races that don't)

Constantly picks a scab causing it to bleed.

Yells "IA Cthulhu" at random intervals.

Carries a wand. Doesn't do anything with it, but he is always fidgeting with it. When asked about it he will grunt out incoherencies and change the subject.

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2004, 09:38:11 PM »
He/she trails of in the middle of an important sentence and wanders away. If pursued, he/she will turn around and start again where he left off.
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline manfred

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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2004, 06:24:14 AM »
Compares everything to the days of youth, when everything was so much better, and the world was not as it is today, and...
 Before actually talking to someone, scans carefully their footprints first.
 Claims to be able to Detect Lies.
 Offers a nice sum in gold if they do _not_ talk to him.
 Orienteering-disabled, has a hard time to navigate own village or town, cannot show way to any place.
 Occassionaly makes rapid moves or something a bit unexpected, only to say: 'Now that was a surprise, huh?'
 Is wearing a costume of some ancient hero, and tries to play him/her to the smallest detail.
 Immersed into a new fascinating philosophy involving meditating in trance, tea rituals, etc.
 Plans to write a book about the inevitable fall of this civilisation.
 An artistic soul, seeks beauty in the ugly things (and people). Like you.
 Stays always very brief, all sentences cuts as short as possible.
 Whatever they say, it confuses him even more.
 Avoids any kind of personal contact, is terribly afraid of poisoning or getting dirty or catching some disease.
Writes everything down into a little notebook.
 Has found something valuable, and asks if you did not loose it, but will start to raise doubts, should you agree.
 Has just paid the taxes or a loan, and complains everywhere on the terrible rates, that this is practically thievery, etc.
 An up-and-coming activist, wants to change some obscure and little used law for even more obscure reasons. And you could help!
 Is an escaped prisoner, in stolen clothes, and looks for a place to hide.
 Loves to invent and tell spooky stories, anytime.
 Asks you to become a 'dummy', for some unpleasant activity, like self-defense training.
 Threatens to commit suicide if this continues.
 Dodges questions, with the body at least.

All can be found in the NPC Characteristic Generator.
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline Strolen

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« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2004, 07:09:20 AM »
Sneezes without covering the mouth.

Socks keep falling down so has to keep pulling them up.

Feet stink but doesn't notice.

Collects hair from everybody he meets. Has braids tied all over himself from hair he has "borrowed."

Can predict the weather with perfect accuracy.

Has a talent for finding wild potatoes and can cook them like nothing you have ever tasted.

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2004, 10:09:55 PM »
-Startlingly begins to shout in MIDDLE OF THE SENTENCE

-Irritatingly modest, even about things that he/she had nothing to do with
("Oh, you don't have to congratulate me about that!" "Uh... Well, that's fine, because we weren't going to.")

-Scratches and claws at his/her scalp in a distracting manner

-Spits out unidentifiable bits of mush during lulls in conversation

-Becomes noticeably angry for no reason (Could be used as a red herring in mystery-solving adventures)

-Mutters or mouths words to him/herself after he/she is done speaking.

-His/her eyes water constantly, making him/her look miserable and sad
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline Strolen

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Re: NPC characteristics
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2011, 03:13:46 AM »
Check out this for what might happen to this thread:
http://strolen.com/guild/index.php/topic,5709.msg70740.html#msg70740

In addition to manfred's awesome random generator that used these same characteristics:
http://strolen.com/random_generators/NPC_Characteristics

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline PoisonAlchemist

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Re: NPC characteristics
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2011, 03:09:56 PM »
And so it has been done.
http://strolen.com/viewing/6409
It is in wiki form, so I do believe that means everyone can edit it as they please. I did not go over the entries too carefully for repeats or formatting consistency.
Level 0
STR: 0 | END: 0 | CON: 0 | DEX: 0 | CHA: 0 | INT: 0
I want for nothing.