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March 11, 2012 / Wythe

NPC motivations / Rolang is great

Been reading a lot of the blog Rolang’s Creeping Doom, which offers (among other posts) many, many excellent random tables. Random tables make games better, even if you have a very specific story in mind. (And why very specific? It’s all going to shift, lurchingly, unpredictably, the second the first bullet leaves the chamber…)

Here, for example, is a great Rolang random table on NPC motivation. Which apply in Headless Giant? How powerfully would it change the game if we rolled for Adib and found that his motivation was #17, “Works for the party’s enemies?” Inherent interest.

Another great post shows off the versatility of random tables in general and well-crafted random tables especially. Here, nothing quite fits for 100MY: We need neither “galactic races” nor fantasy “tavern flies.” But we do need weird new encounters with weird/ly specific new NPCs, all the time, every game. Who cares what the table is called? It’s short, funny, useful, and open to interpretation—a fast way to add an NPC:

“You visit that town, what’s the one? Jhubol-Lo? On the edge of the Chasm? Yeah, and in the saloon is… uh.. is… [Roll.] An unfortunate mutant named ‘Walp,’ who… only has ‘two senses: touch and smell?’ Really? [Consults table again.] Okaaay, so Walp tries to hug you… sniffingly…”



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