Quick NPC Creation

Brass Jester

Mongoose
The Mookmaker Ó Brass Jester 2007
A design system to quickly generate ‘off the cuff’ NPC’s who can be written up in more detail later should they be needed. It gives enough detail without wasting too much time. Some tables are randomised for those who like such things (e.g. me).

There are three ways of creating NPC’s for the Conan RPG

The first is using the published stat blocks from adventures or from the rule book(s)

The second way is for major NPC’s. These are the major ‘behind the scenes’ mover and shakers who will cross swords with the players. They drive the story and need to be created in detail.. They should be created from scratch as any other PC; this can take up a pleasant evening assigning X.P, skills and feats; it also helps create a back story for the NPC in question. {Author: more on this later)

The third way is creating the NPC ‘on the fly’.

Creating many NPC’s is difficult; you find yourself slipping into a mindset and creating the same person over and over again. Also, it is time-consuming.

Enter: The MOOKMAKER!

The Mookmaker System is a quick and easy way to create NPC’s. These can be developed later as required using XP.

As per my Adventure Design System; the Mookmaker is designed to make you think. Adapt or disregard what you don’t like; better still, try to account for it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As an example, I’m going to create an NPC. Now, I’m going to roll this as I’m writing, so the results could be interesting.

The NPC is working for Orrando the merchant, based in Khorshemish (I made this bit up; my PC’s need to get in touch with Orrando; this is why I need this NPC)

Name Baruch Race: Shemite/Male Class: Thief Level: 2
STR 9 -1
DEX 15 +2 HD: 2d8-2 HP: 10
CON 8 -1
INT 11 +0 Fort –1 Ref +5 Will +2 BaB +1
WIS 14 +2
CHA 4 -3 DV: 13 PV: 9

Skills/ Rank: Appraise 5, Disable Device 1, Sleight of Hand 5, Open Lock 2, Search 5, Climb 5
Feats: Run, Sneak Attack Style, Eyes of the Cat

Equipment: Short sword, dagger, sling & 10 bullets, backpack, outdoor gear, 1 vial Flame Powder

Motivation: Arrogant 13 / Iconoclastic 6
Tag: Wears mask
(True! I did roll this!)

Okay: Obviously, the wearing of the mask and the low CHA must be linked somehow. Also, he is arrogant and iconoclastic; suggesting that the low CHA is a result of an incident that happened to him, causing disfigurement perhaps. So why is he in the service of Orrando?
Maybe he is a slave (indentured servant) who was bought by Orrando. Why was he a slave? We’re in Khorshemish remember. Let’s call him Baruch.
Baruch came up from Shem to raid the infamous Scarlet Citadel and steal it’s secrets. He was captured and held prisoner in the Halls of Horror for many weeks before managing to escape; but the experience has changed him totally and forever, hence the low STR, CON and CHA. Wandering the streets; he was easy prey for slavers, but had the good fortune to be bought by Orrando. Orrando allows him a lot of freedom; Baruch works as a go-between for some of Orrando’s ‘shadier’ deals.
It might be questioned though; having suffered so much in the Halls of Horror, why is he still in Khorshemish?

You can go on forever; adding bits in. However; after about 2 minutes of die rolls; there is a workable NPC that can be expanded, added to and retained as desired.
 

Brass Jester

Mongoose
These are the Mookmaker tables. They may not post properly; if anyone would like a Word copy then PM me with your e-mail address, All comments/ suggestions appreciated.
!! Long Post !!

The Mookmaker

1. Roll stats: 3d6 for each, in order from STR to CHA.
(Yes, this does mean you can end up with a puny Barbarian or a Scholar who is thick as two short planks. Up to you to figure the reason)

2. Determine level. Select or roll d6 = Level; also on a ‘6’ roll again:-

1-3 +1 level then stop, 4-5 +2 Levels then stop, 6 +1 level, and roll again on this subtable.

3. Class. Select or roll d10. Multiclass if desired by rolling again. Assign levels (from #2) randomly
Hit Dice
1. Barbarian d10
2. Borderer d10
3. Noble d8
4. Nomad d10
5. Pirate d8
6. Scholar d6
7. Soldier d10
8. Thief d8
9. Bandit d8
10. Temptress d6

4. Assign Skills. Start with a base of Four Skills. Assign Skills based on NPC’s role, or roll on table.. Assign Ranks as shown [don’t worry about Skill Points]. Add 1 Skill per Two Character Levels. If Rank exceeds Level + 3 then roll another Skill and assign the excess Ranks to it.

5. Assign Feats based on role, or roll on Generic Feats table

6. Calculate HP, BaB and Saves based on level.

7. Apply any racial modifiers

8. Assign equipment, based on class and role.

9. Name NPC, determine gender, height, weight, hair, skin, eyes etc.



Tables:
Skills:

Barbarian Borderer Noble Nomad
1 Climb Climb Appraise Bluff
2 Handle Animal Craft (Herbalist) Bluff Craft (Mundane)
3 Hide Gather Information Diplomacy Gather Information
4 Intimidate Hide Gather Information Handle Animal
5 Jump Know (geography) Know (history) Heal
6 Listen Move Silently Know (nobility) Hide
7 Ride Search Perform Know (local)
8 Spot Spot Ride Move Silently
9 Survival Survival Sense Motive Ride
0 Swim Use Rope Spot Survival


Pirate Scholar* Soldier Thief
1 Balance Appraise Climb Appraise
2 Climb Bluff Craft (mundane) Climb
3 Disguise Concentration Intimidate Disable Device
4 Escape Artist Decipher Script Jump Disguise
5 Gather Information Heal Know (local) Escape Artist
6 Intimidate Knowledge** Profession Move Silently
7 Perform Perform Ride Open Lock
8 Search Profession Search Search
9 Swim Search Perform Sleight of Hand
0 Use Rope Sense Motive Know (geography) Tumble

Bandit Temptress
1 Appraise Appraise
2 Climb Bluff
3 Disguise Diplomacy
4 Escape Artist Disguise
5 Gather Information Heal
6 Handle Animal Knowledge***
7 Hide Perform
8 Intimidate Profession
9 Spot Search
0 Use Rope Sense Motive

* 30% Scholar has Dabbler feat
**Scholars always get 1d6+1 Knowledge skills in addition to this.
*** Temptress: Local and/or Nobility

Rank Roll d6 for each Skill
1-3 Rank = Level
4-5 Rank = Level + 2
6 Rank = Level + 3





Feats:

1 Alertness 11 Weapon Focus
2 Dodge 12 Skill Focus
3 Endurance 13 Track
4 Great Fortitude 14 Knowledgeable
5 Investigator 15 Self-sufficient
6 Iron Will 16 Alertness
7 Lightning Reflexes 17 Dodge
8 Performer 18 Endurance
9 Run 19 Great Fortitude
10 Toughness 20 Improved Initiative

Equipment

Barbarian Broadsword, dagger, leather jerkin
Borderer Short sword, hunting bow & 20 arrows, quilted jerkin
Noble Arming sword, dagger, cloak, fine clothes
Nomad Cloak, scimitar, knife, riding horse or camel
Pirate Cutlass, dagger, flashy clothes
Scholar Dagger, robe, cloak, belt pouch, parchment, pens
Soldier Broadsword, quilted jerkin, steel cap, buckler
Thief Short sword, dagger, sling & 10 bullets
Bandit Short sword, hunting bow & 20 arrows, leather jerkin
Temptress Clothes, jewellery, dagger

Also roll 1d3 times below -
1 Purse, 2d10 sp 11 1 vial Flame-powder
2 Bottle of fine wine 12 Purse, 3d8 sp
3 Backpack, bedroll 13 1 vial Stygian tomb-dust
4 Riding horse 14 Mail shirt
5 Servant 15 Contact – an important personage
6 Friend (generate another NPC) 16 Akbitanan dagger
7 Slave 17 Akbitanan short sword
8 50’ silk rope 18 Purse, 4d6 sp
9 War dog 19 Purse, 2d10 gp
10 Backpack, outdoor gear 20 Scroll or map

Height and Weight

Gender Base height Modifier Base weight Modifier
Male 5’ 0” + 2d10” 120 lb x 2d4 lb
Female 4’ 7” + 2d10” 85 lb x 2d4 lb

Weight = (Base weight x Weight modifier) + Height modifier

Motivation
This is what makes the NPC ‘tick’. Roll for Primary/Secondary; the Primary is their overriding driving force, the Secondary modifies this. If desired, roll d20 for ‘level’ of Primary Motivation, Secondary Motivation = (Primary/2). If needs, roll d20 <= ‘level’ to see if Motivation comes into play
Roll d8/d10 for Motivation
E.g. PC’s have been captured by Baron Krondath (Cruel 14). On a d20 roll of 15+ he orders them killed; on a roll of 14- he orders them staked out in the desert and left to die.

d10 1 2 3 4
1 Cruel Coward Bright Amorous
2 Sadistic Brave Cheerful Chauvinist
3 Friendly Foolhardy Morose Twisted
4 Charming Cautious Optimist Insane
5 Open Gregarious Pessimist Narrow-minded
6 Driven Withdrawn Calm Prejudiced
7 Obsessed Sullen Panicky Loyal
8 Shrewd Surly Low morals Disloyal
9 Intriguer Frightened High morals Love of wealth
0 Stupid Scared Lustful Love of power

d10 5 6 7 8
1 Corrupt Xenophobic Lack of vision Ambitious
2 Honest Xenophile Steady Ruthless
3 Lawless Hypochondriac Aggressive Arrogant
4 Law-abiding Paranoid Disgraced Leader
5 Above the Law Flirtatious Honour Eccentric
6 Spendthrift Murderous Proud Collector
7 Miserly Intrigued by sorcery Just Stubborn
8 Adventurous Irritating Frugal Rage
9 Curious Iconoclastic Personal honour Survival
0 Fears sorcery Dislike Boastful Devotion

Tags: Not everyone has a tag.
20% for all NPC’s. d4/d10

d10 1 2 3 4
1 Gaudy clothing Wears mask Stern/severe Catchphrase
2 Unusual hair Obsessive habit No bodily hair Clears throat
3 Distinctive clothes Short of breath Hums tune Religious trappings
4 Slight chuckle Has 1d6+1 ‘friends’ Body odour Repeats themselves
5 Scars/tattoos Quick temper Displays largesse Rude
6 Strong scent Unusual skin colour Exotic tastes Interrupts
7 Very laid back Distinctive face Plain/austere dress Open weapon
8 Limps when walking Uses narcotics Stutters Prominent teeth
9 Accented speech Flashy jewellery Jovial/Brash Asks questions
0 Taps fingers Slurs speech Constantly fiddles Name-dropper

=========================================================================
Notes: -
There is a lot more that can be added; however the original idea was to make a quick system for creating NPC’s. Rolling for race etc. if necessary use the tables in the Adventure Creation System.

One thing I have not added is making NPC sorcerers (other than Dabblers). This is because I consider any sorcerer to be a Major NPC and they should be created accordingly. I use this system to create a basic Scholar, then tweak the stats and design them from there.

Have Fun

Brass Jester
 
Top