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October 27, 2005, 5:23 pm

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Simplification: Performing Minor NPCs


This short article describes one of my methods forportraying minor NPCs. This article is a scroll, which means you all can explain YOUR methods too. Let us share our knowledge!

During my years as a game master I have used different techniques when performing different characters. I\‘ll describe one of my techniques here and perhaps you will describe one of yours?

minor npcs: (The duke\‘s chef, the village smith, etc…)

Clothing: I use the same tones of colour on the character\‘s clothes -I began doing so after I discovered many players have a hard time remembering a person, especially if the npc is too complicated.
In addition I try to convey a certain feeling; \“poor\”, \“obnoxious, \“foppish\”, \“flirty\”, etc. through the clothing (and of course through their personality).

Face and body: I use the same technique here. i.e. Beggars got long, crooked noses and rotten teeth, while wealthy merchants are fat, with make-up and oiled hair. For minor characters, stereotypes are good.

Personality: It is important to have just one, or at least very few, flavours to the personality. If minor characters are portrayed in a complex way, most players won\‘t remember. The personality should be exaggerated slightly to make an impression with the players.

Area of effect: This is the influence the personality has. A sadistic innkeepers area of effect would be the barmaids and the unpaying customers. Most minor npcs won\‘t have a large area of effect. A beat up barmaid, crying in the gutters will be a good hint at the innkeepers true self.

Voice acting: As I am a 6\‘8 tall man with some 260 lbs of weight, I have a deep voice. I realize that frail, elderly ladies are beyond me, but still I try to voice act as much as possible. Voice acting is a great way to further emphasize the personality of the npc!

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Comments ( 1 )
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Michael Jotne Slayer
August 14, 2008, 4:44
Do finish this someday.


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Order of the Moonbeard

       By: valadaar

Among the assortment of organized criminals who live in the great city, few command greater fear the Moonbeard Order.

They of course do not call themselves that, but have earned the moniker from their fashion of dying their large beards with lye to produce a distinctive crescent shape running from earlobe to earlobe. This is meant as a taunt for their enemies, for it clearly outlines their throats.

They also wear garb similar to the northern tribesman, carefully tooled leather and showing multiple, colourful glyphs.

They are feared due to the intense discipline that their group maintains, due to their origins as a warrior-sect.

They serve as paid thugs, enforcers and assassins within the city, with the client simply ordering a service from the organization, not hiring an individual. Apart from making the request and providing payment in full in advance, the order completes the assignment themselves.

Their order has many moles through the organizations of the city, and more than a couple of nobles. As such, no organized move has been made against them since their chief activity is directed against other members of the crime world. It is said that their services have been useful for those in power as well, further protecting them from persecution.

Their religion holds that their time in this world is vanishingly brief, and largely unimportant except as training for the Great Battle.

The order is very utilitarian with weapons choice - they simply use the tool needed for the occasion, though not without having trained extensively with it beforehand. Daggers, garrottes, swords, bows, battle axes, polearms, wagons, even siege engines have been used to carry out their contracts.

Encounter  ( City/ Ruin ) | January 24, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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