Help me invent some NPC histories.

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AlphaWhelp
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Help me invent some NPC histories.

Postby AlphaWhelp » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:16 pm

So the PCs are upgrading their ship to a bigger ship that cannot be crewed effectively entirely with PCs (there are more weapons on the ship than there are PCs, among other issues) so they are going to have hire some NPC crew. I didn't just want to go "oh yeah, you hire some nameless faceless crew" I wanted to give every NPC a name, face, personality, and something to remember them by. I also didn't want to just force specific NPCs to be hired... so I wrote up stats for a bunch of different NPCs... too many NPCs, rather... there isn't enough room on the ship to hire them all, so the PCs are going to have to choose who to hire and who to not hire, and I was going to make an entire session devoted to conducting job interviews with these NPCs.

I've filled out about half the NPCs that the PCs will be interviewing, but I'm starting to run dry on ideas... so I ask for some help. Also, I'm not using the DTU so try to keep these NPCs as generic as possible. Basically, I'm just looking for a 3 or 4 sentence history for a number of NPCs... don't worry about stats, I'll take care of those, just help me out with history.

I need...
  • 10 Gunners
  • 3 Stewards
  • A Medic, little medic skill, primarily first aid, mainly heals with psionics
  • Explosives expert for boarding vessels
  • NPC who's only skill is Jack of All Trades 3
  • A general purpose Lawyer
  • Linguistics expert
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Comms & Sensors Line Crew
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Postby AndrewW » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:56 pm

Some positions could be filled by autodoc and fire control software.

Gunner - grizzled military vet who is always talking about the battles he's been in and comparing everything unfavorably to that. Back in my day we didn't have this fancy fire control stuff we just used skill.

Sensors - Video game addict. That's the signature of a rigilian deathstar, you can tell by the heat signature of its engines, they are always leaking on those things.

Administrative assistant - Neat freak who has their own way of doing things. No no no, this expense report doesn't go under E, it goes under M for money.

Explosives expert - Friendly, always explaining things. You see, this charge goes here because it is easier to blow off the hinges then the door itself. You have to insert the detonator very gently or it doesn't fire.

Explosives expert - Best at their job but their handling of explosives is a bit loose. Does the interview while tossing a thermal detonator from hand to hand.

Medic - Gets caught up in their work and tsks about every little scratch insisting you need a bandage that covers half the arm when you get a little bruise from bumping into the doorway.

Linguistics expert - Mixes words from different languages into most of his sentences.
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Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:46 pm

Steward. Young, on first tour. In awe of all the high ranks around him. A bit clumsy.

Steward. 6 tours and still serving tables. Attitude problem. Runs bottom decks gambling. DIslikes officers. Hides from bosun.

Gunner. Green kid, off the agri world and fresh out of training. Very WOW and OOh.

Gunner. Loves the big guns, nothing more fun than the smell of overloaded circuits. Was on a spinal mount team. Not happy with this pop gun.

Gunner. 5 tours and still an assistant gunner. Real attitude problem. Been demoted several times. RUns the bottom decks gambling with the steward.

Gunner. Marine. Wants off this tub and back onto a proper ship with marines around her. These vacc sucking navy/civilian types are going to crash or somesuch.

Gunner. Thousand km stare. Been there and shot it. No such thing as excesive firepower. scary type. Not safe with sharp objects.

Gunner. Senior warrant, run entire gunnery departments in his day. Now stuck with this bunch of fumble finger halfwits. When he was in command he ran a real gunnery department.

Gunner. third tour. Lots of training, lots of practice, fire control computer, sensors and he still misses 25% more than he should (-2 to hit). Oddly he is the exact opposite with sand or point defence fire. Plays loads of really old 2d games off duty.

Gunners Mate. Senior gunner. 5 terms. Shoots the wings off a passing swallow with a laser, bullseyes wamp rats with missiles. Sneaked past last two medicals. Going deaf in one ear due to 20 years of sitting so close to discharging energy capacitors. Keeps deafness secret so he can stay with his guns. Hears ok from one side, nothing from the other.
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

ACTA-SF: Who are we, GORN. What do we want, Cruisers that can turn.... Wait, OK Escorts... Wait. I'll get back to you !
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Postby alex_greene » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:52 am

Jeez, you'll get them all replaced with robots after the first trip - assuming they survive one week in Jump!
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Postby BP » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:28 am

JoT 3 - Con artist who convinces the players he is an expert at whatever they need. He'd really piss off any true experts, but he's so likeable and is at least competent at everything, that most will tolerate him well.

A general purpose Lawyer - very skilled, great credentials, well known. Of course, that's because the retired lawyer whose identity he stole had all those fine qualities. He's only Advocacy 0 - that coming from his time studying law in the joint, but his Deception and Streetwise are high. He's also had reconstructive facial surgery (free - result of a 'fight' he staged) and his hair is dyed - so he actually resembles the older lawyer.

These two may have a chance of running into old friends/enemies, or running afoul of the law... rest assured they're running from something...
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Re: Help me invent some NPC histories.

Postby GamerDude » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:29 am

AlphaWhelp wrote:I need...
  • 10 Gunners
  • 3 Stewards
  • A Medic, little medic skill, primarily first aid, mainly heals with psionics
  • Explosives expert for boarding vessels
  • NPC who's only skill is Jack of All Trades 3
  • A general purpose Lawyer
  • Linguistics expert
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Comms & Sensors Line Crew
10 gunners - ex-navy gunners who were in the same unit/ship and after mustering out (short one or two term careers) they hooked back up or at least stay in touch. These guys are the hard drinkers, gamblers, cigar chomping pains-in-the-seat who drive everyone nuts always look like the slept in their uniform/clothes (for the last week) BUT - when everything goes to hell they are good at their job, shooting other ships out of the sky.

Linguistics expert: Someone who keeps dropping into what he says words from other than the language he's communicating in would be laughed at as a sloppy innacurate fool. NOW, a linguist who is always commenting on how your word choice he finds interesting because that word (insert one here) comes from the Latin (name something) and on Cestus three the (insert similar word) has a meaning of (something close or so he thinks) which is fascinating when you take into account that on Belaruska VII they have a word (pick something except tomatoes) with a related meaning of (something?) and although developed totally independently can be considered a first cousin to the Gaelic word for (wait, what were we talking about to start with?)

Stewards - Young or old, always running a scam. Seems able to get you anything you want no matter the cost or where you are. Want a hot redheaded female with a large bustline? In Midjump? And only men on board? "Sure no problem, it will run you about 1,500cr coin and what time you want her at your cabin door".
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robbat
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Postby robbat » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:53 am

steward
- thinks he's the best at his job

- doesn't get upset when criticized about how he does his job and noway does he put any bed fleas into the passenger's/pc's staterooms which cause the pasengers/pc's to lose a nights sleep (and a -1 dm to all skills used for the rest of the day.)

Note:- Bed fleas have been known to infest entire starship's (and starports) within weeks of being brought on board and are hardly little fellows that can take weeks or even months to eradicate the infestation accordding to some reports.
It shoul;d also be noted that bed fleas from time to time have caused a mild to severe reaction in some peple /races in the for of hallucinations with reprts of passengers and crew running up and down waving guns trying to repair equipment that isn't damage etc.
and the costs involve to remove the unwelcomed guests well lets not talk about that.
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Postby alex_greene » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:44 am

My recommendation - a recruitment drive. Run the job of recruiting the NPCs as an adventure, where the crew are the Patrons, and the NPCs are the Travellers being recruited. Set the recruitment drive at a nearby air display / arms show being put on for the general public, with wealthy arms merchants touting for trade with dictators in quiet rooms off to one side, mercenary Faces looking for a ticket for their units and so on.

You'll have to have other things going on besides during the event - fights to break up, a sneak thief going around picking pockets, an attempted sexual assault of a woman that turns out to be a diversion while the gang's ambitious confederates sneak in and rob the take from the show, a blackmail attempt gone wrong that leads to a murder, a crash - what's an air display without vehicles dropping out of the sky? - and so on.

At the end, your characters can finally "choose" (I say this tongue in cheek, since you'll be presenting them with a list of names, but giving them the exact same NPC stats regardless) their crew.
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Postby robbat » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:49 am

steward -

female - easy on the eyes and easy to talk to, not the best at her job but then you can't have everything can you.
Has expensive taste which shows in the form of clothing ,shoes,rings etc and the best restaurants at the starports and the wrld has to offer.
She fell in the wrong crowd many years ago and has been helping transporting illegal drugs to star systems., she hides the drugs in the passengers staterooms.
Should the pc's find out about her activities she will tall a sob story with tears etc etc etc
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Re: Help me invent some NPC histories.

Postby Somebody » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:21 am

I tend to borrow/steal from established sources (TV, books, movies) for NPC. Being a "soap opera junky" helps
  • 10 Gunners
    Plunder some Dale Brown novels and Red Storm Rising
  • 3 Stewards
    Borrow from the "Love Boat" or the "Traumschiff"
  • A Medic, little medic skill, primarily first aid, mainly heals with psionics
    A Zombi. Only a dead Psi is a good Psi
  • Explosives expert for boarding vessels
    Miller from "The guns of Navarone"
  • NPC who's only skill is Jack of All Trades 3
    Might as well use the clichee
  • A general purpose Lawyer
    Depending on the type of Lawyer you seek. Anything from the Ex fighter pilot turned lawyer from JAG to Petrocelli or the actors from "Street Legal"
  • Linguistics expert
    Daniel Jackson comes to mind
  • Administrative Assistant
    Radar O'Reiley (MASH), Lt. Spring-Brauner (Raumpatrollie)
  • Comms & Sensors Line Crew
    Pavel Chekov, Atan Shubashi, Mario deMonti, Helga Legrell
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Postby robbat » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:45 pm

Linguistics expert - think rain man
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Postby hdan » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:53 pm

robbat wrote:Linguistics expert - think rain man
It might be more fun to have him be a total "hippy" type - odd (but comfortable) clothes, a super-laid back "zen" attitude, but a frighteningly good grasp on linguistics and maybe even diplomacy. Maybe even use "The Dude" from "The Big Lebowski" as inspiration. None of the players will take him seriously until his moment comes. (Or maybe /her/ moment! Doing "The Dude" as a "The Chick" could throw them off a little.)
/hdan
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Postby SSWarlock » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:46 pm

And don't forget the NPC who can make a still out of anything..I mean, anything. The more disgusting, the better.

Not to mention the engineer who croons to his bottle of alcohol when drunk, accepts all levels of insults to his captain but not even the smallest slight to his ship, and appreciates being confined to his quarters because it will let him get caught up on his technical journals. ("To Absent Friends.." God bless, Jimmy Doohan)
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Postby alex_greene » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:24 pm

SSWarlock wrote:And don't forget the NPC who can make a still out of anything..I mean, anything. The more disgusting, the better.

Not to mention the engineer who croons to his bottle of alcohol when drunk, accepts all levels of insults to his captain but not even the smallest slight to his ship, and appreciates being confined to his quarters because it will let him get caught up on his technical journals. ("To Absent Friends.." God bless, Jimmy Doohan)
'What do you mean, the helmsman's not interested in our communications officer because, and I quote, "She's not his type?"'
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Postby SSWarlock » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:19 pm

alex_greene wrote:'What do you mean, the helmsman's not interested in our communications officer because, and I quote, "She's not his type?"'
LOL. Another fan!

Peace and long life.
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Re: Help me invent some NPC histories.

Postby Emperor Herdan » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:13 am

Somebody wrote:I tend to borrow/steal from established sources (TV, books, movies) for NPC. Being a "soap opera junky" helps

...snip
[*]A Medic, little medic skill, primarily first aid, mainly heals with psionics
A Zombi. Only a dead Psi is a good Psi
...end snip
Hmm I was thinking of more of a "New Age" vibe for the Psi Medic... Someone who means well and makes you do goofy things... "Now _where_ is that Blue Vargon Crystal I have...?" Basically he'll talk to you, make you talk to him, chant with her. Do goofy things so that you "Focus on the healing rays from the crystal" etc..

Enough to make you feel "mentally exhausted" after being treated by her, not realizing that the reason you are exhausted is that he's (yes I've mixed pronouns) used her psi powers to cause your own body to heal itself... and thus keeping the Psi part mostly hidden. (And the hypochondriacs away because they really don't want to be put through a mental wringer.... Think Daphne from Fraiser....

Take care

E. Herdan
Old Man of the C (for Cyclotrons....Smashing Atoms for fun and profit...ohh and medical and industrial use...)
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Postby GamerDude » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:22 am

Steward - Thinks they are way over qualified for this job, and at every turn takes the opportunity to show just low-brow everyone (including the high-bearth passengers) are.

"Excuse me, what do you mean we don't stock 'Grey Poupon'?"
"Ooohhhh yes. The Chivas Regal 1103, what a wonderful year... for plagues. Doesn't anyone get Imperial Wine and Food Quarterly on this *rolls eyes upwards* ship"
"Excuse me Captain, no disrespect intended but.. shouldn't white table linens be an ACK-tual shade of whiTE!?"
"Ahhh yes the ever lovely 'monthly' changing of the linen. So much fun to be moving the stains from the left side to the right side of the bed. Such total fun."
and
"Lister, do you understand the penalty for insulting a Senior Stewart? If you make just one more sound while you fold those napkins you're going on report."
*checks clipboard*
"Now, where did you say the case of fresh cherried mutton was stored?"
*Lister mouthing 'how can i tell you you said not to make a sound or go on report' including hand gestures as if he's actually talking.
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Postby AlphaWhelp » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:17 am

For those of you following this topic, I'd just like to report I ran the session tonight and the players absolutely loved it. Favorites were

Max Mitchell the overzealous explosives expert who identifies his explosives as "toys"

Chuck Barnes the engineer who "can f**kin' make booze out of f**kin' anything even if people won't f**kin' drink it cause of the f**kin' s**t it's made from... like s**t." (exact words used during interview) Also: earlier in the interview "How many things did you invent in your sleep?" "Everything?" "Yes, everything." "About 600 things." "Well that's a good start." "Most of it's booze."

Montess Arcpenny the high class prostitute who PCs are still on the fence about whether or not they want to hire her. Has agreed to split 50% of her 20,000 Cr/night fee with the crew.

Doa, the alcoholic gunner, who the players never caught on she was drunk during the interview despite falling asleep in the middle of it... they just thought she had a great sense of humor (And they hired her along with Chuck)

surprisingly, they were unimpressed with Ray, the pilot who, during a war, flew his ship on intercept courses with ortillery missiles so that they could be point defensed.
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Postby AndrewW » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:25 am

AlphaWhelp wrote:For those of you following this topic, I'd just like to report I ran the session tonight and the players absolutely loved it.
Glad that things worked out and you had a good session.
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Postby GamerDude » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:04 am

AlphaWhelp wrote:For those of you following this topic, I'd just like to report I ran the session tonight and the players absolutely loved it. Favorites were
Sounds great. I wish I could have at least been a fly on the wall for the game.
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