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How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

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  • How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

    Hi--
    First post! Hopefully I'll get some great ideas here. Creating NPCs--that is ones that are challenging for the players and not over powered or underpowered. From the Fantasy AGE core book it looks like you go through levels and on an NPC adding in talents, HP, etc and it seems pretty slow to me. Does anyone have any ideas on how to do this quicker. I'm just curious if people plow through that process or, if not, what do they do?
    Thanks,
    Speelo

  • #2
    Re: How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

    Feels to me like you're indicating an NPC that the PCs have to battle in a combat encounter.

    What I do is put the NPC concept in my head, and dress the character up with stats borrowed from Adversaries that are meant to be challenging for the PCs' party level.

    Doesn't have to be exact, and you don't have to stick to your borrowed stats. Your players don't see your NPC's stat block - they'll never know that you're dialing the numbers up or down to match their capabilities. I've once borrowed the Dragon's basic stats for a Death Knight - and just made up special abilities that I felt a Death Knight should have. When the Warrior and Rogue started grabbing the Death Knight's armor after combat, the armor sadly crumbled into dust - mostly because I didn't feel like statting up a magical armor at the time. Rude! ^_^

    Your NPC's a Warrior? Make up a maneuver that only that NPC knows, and maybe you'll inspire the Warrior PC to quest for that maneuver, learning it as a talent or stunt. Your NPC's a Mage? Think up a spell effect, fit TNs according to the difficulty you want, and throw it at the party. Maybe you'll encourage the Mage PC to research that spell.

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    • #3
      Re: How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

      I'm doing a very similar thing, I wanted a giant sandworm so I stole stats for a Giant (challenging at the player's level) and then tweaked to make something sandwormy and gave it some special abilities like the ability to swallow people whole.

      For NPCs that are like shop-keeper or creatures that are more character based I come up with a few things that make them unique. Currently I have a shopkeeper named Erin who's original notes were David Bowie Elf, Rainbow Mohawk, Hits on everyone, super-powerful mage. I've also got an alchemist who's current feature are looney, recently on fire, hunchback?

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      • #4
        Re: How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

        NPC design doesn't have a good base set of rules at the moment. I have done some analysis on FAGE adversaries and begun to come up with some rules.

        In general I would that using the character levelling concept actually is pretty quick. You don't need to decide every single talent they might choose as a PC although do use that as an upperbound to prevent it from being overpowered. In addition, only level the monster to the same level as your PC's or nearby. Don't need to evolve it to level 20 or figure that a certain level represent the adversary best. A dragon, orc, spider adversary template should be able to scale to any level with coherent rules.

        My most useful rule I have come up with so far is in determining adversary health when you have more than 1 PC in the group. I have been running a game with on average 5-7 PCs and in order to guarantee that I have at least a few rounds of combat I came up with this loose rule to create monster HP. It extends the adversary analysis link to at the top of the post
        • Base Constitution is derived in the same way as levelling. Base constitution can be used to calculate in combat tests. If your NPC is beefier elite etc, add those stats here.
        • Encounter Constitution is calculated depending on the PC's aggregate constitution. Take all PCs and add up their constitution, then divide by the number of PCs, then multiply by the number of PCs minus one. Basically its the average party constitution times the number of PC minus one. Minus one because we want PCs to win.
        • Now using Base + Encounter Constitution plug it into the adversary formula.
        • HP = 10 + (1.75 + Base + Encounter) * Level + (Beef Status Bonus)

        That formula is assuming one adversary. If the encounter is two adversaries, split the encounter constitution between them (evenly or not).
        [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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        • #5
          Re: How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

          This helps a lot. Thank you all.

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          • #6
            Re: How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

            Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
            NPC design doesn't have a good base set of rules at the moment. I have done some analysis on FAGE adversaries and begun to come up with some rules.

            In general I would that using the character levelling concept actually is pretty quick. You don't need to decide every single talent they might choose as a PC although do use that as an upperbound to prevent it from being overpowered. In addition, only level the monster to the same level as your PC's or nearby. Don't need to evolve it to level 20 or figure that a certain level represent the adversary best. A dragon, orc, spider adversary template should be able to scale to any level with coherent rules.

            My most useful rule I have come up with so far is in determining adversary health when you have more than 1 PC in the group. I have been running a game with on average 5-7 PCs and in order to guarantee that I have at least a few rounds of combat I came up with this loose rule to create monster HP. It extends the adversary analysis link to at the top of the post
            • Base Constitution is derived in the same way as levelling. Base constitution can be used to calculate in combat tests. If your NPC is beefier elite etc, add those stats here.
            • Encounter Constitution is calculated depending on the PC's aggregate constitution. Take all PCs and add up their constitution, then divide by the number of PCs, then multiply by the number of PCs minus one. Basically its the average party constitution times the number of PC minus one. Minus one because we want PCs to win.
            • Now using Base + Encounter Constitution plug it into the adversary formula.
            • HP = 10 + (1.75 + Base + Encounter) * Level + (Beef Status Bonus)

            That formula is assuming one adversary. If the encounter is two adversaries, split the encounter constitution between them (evenly or not).
            Ok so I want to make sure I understand your "formula" right...

            So if I am running with a group of 5 warriors at level 1, and lets say they put 0 points into constitution for some reason... so there health would each be 30.

            So the adversary is a warrior... so he also has 30 health at level 1.

            So the formula would be hp = 10+(1.75 + 30 + 120) * 1 (I get the 120 because all the PC's health added up is 150, then I divide that by the number of PC's which is 5, so that would turn it back to 30, then multiply it by the number of PC's minus 1, 4... hence giving me 120)

            So that would total 161.75 for a adversary hp... that seems high to me. Or did I do something wrong?

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            • #7
              Re: How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

              The formula is using Constitution, not health.

              Your example would yield 11.75 hp.

              A more realistic example would be, say, a base Con of 3, and your 5-person party averaging Con of 2, producing an encounter Con of 2*(5-1) = 8
              10+(1.75+3+8)*1 = 22.75hp

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              • #8
                Re: How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

                I am working currently on a point-based buying system to create Adversaries based on size, rank, and other factors. the system is going to try and balance things out so that one bandit is made with the same points as another but has different things and is still balanced. Size and Rank will determine any extra points and HP the adversary might receive and i even expand the Ranks a bit by adding in a few more and changing the level scale for players. it is far from having a viable playtest but hopefully within a couple of months i will put it on the forum for all to use.
                [URL="https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByE2hNokDtpAR0pWWHBadjJQdkU"]Age of Alchemy[/URL]
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                [URL="https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByE2hNokDtpAcWM5VWFhcXVZUEU"]FAGE-TitansGrave Random Character Generator[/URL]
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                [URL="https://vladgenx.wordpress.com/"]https://vladgenx.wordpress.com/[/URL] This is my new log Site i just created. it is going to have fantasy short story snippets for you guys. Enjoy

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                • #9
                  Re: How do you create NPC. Opinions needed

                  Originally posted by fendrin View Post
                  The formula is using Constitution, not health.

                  Your example would yield 11.75 hp.

                  A more realistic example would be, say, a base Con of 3, and your 5-person party averaging Con of 2, producing an encounter Con of 2*(5-1) = 8
                  10+(1.75+3+8)*1 = 22.75hp
                  Thanks for pointing out my mistake, I knew I had to make a mistake somewhere.

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