Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hey, I know you!

Hey guys, I am finally feeling alive again! It sucks that I missed out on finishing the Blogging from A to Z challenge because of that damned bronchitis. I am hoping I will be able to complete that challenge late. Here is my list for the posts that I never got to:

  • S is for Sith
  • T is for Trollocks
  • U is for Uncle Trap Springer
  • V is for Vampires
  • W is for The Ways
  • X is for Xak Tsaroth
  • Y
  • Z is Zeddicus Z'ul Zorander
I can't seem to come up with anything for Y so any suggestions would be welcome! :)

I am starting a new segment that I would like some feedback on.  I used to have a problem coming up with NPCs for my games.  I could never come up with a motivation or a personality to go along with the motivation that I did come up with. So, I cheated. I started stealing my NPCs.  The Joker. Han Solo. Lex Luther.  Ra's al Ghul. Yoda. All characters that I know how they act and think.  Having these characters in mind when I create and play an NPC truly gives these characters depth and realism that would be hard to come with on my own, especially when I need to run an entire world at the same time.

This method is makes it quick and easy to come up with fully fleshed out characters with back stories, mannerisms and personality. I know exactly how these characters will react given a situation and even what mannerisms and speech patterns to emphasize when portraying them to my PCs. But, the benefits don't stop there. 

Not only does playing the character become easier, but so does writing in story lines involving those NPCs. Thinking back to those characters I can use some of their story from their respective sources to embellish and improve my own story. I can borrow from the story I know or can expand on it in a way that I see fit to include in the on going story of my game and my world. 

I know I could never play the speech patterns of Master Yoda they way he is presented in Star Wars, that would be too cliched and would just break the fourth wall in game. However, I could play a wizened old Master Wizard, short, possibly a gnome.  He is slow to anger and always has a serene aura around him.  Nothing breaks his calm. Instead of answering your questions, he asks you another in return, which helps you by allowing you to come to the proper answer on your own. What he says can sometimes be disjointed but is always knowledgeable and poignant. 

Quickly, the PCs will catch on (at least in this instance, mine would), but is not over the top enough to break the fourth wall. Now, not only does this character have a personality and mannerisms built in, but I can take some of Master Yoda's story and incorporate it into my game. There is a war brewing and Master Wizard, while always friendly and helpful to you, no longer has time to help train you.  He is busy building the army of the land to fight against the incursion that is looming from the sedition forces of his rival Dark Wizards who are threatening to over turn the government and rule with an iron fist and devious will. 

So, what do you think? Have you ever done this with your own NPCs? What are some other advantages you have noticed? Disadvantages? What characters would you like to see made into an NPC?

1 comment:

  1. I can commiserate, I had gotten really sick just a few days before A-Z finished so I had to take a short hiautus. I was able to finish it off the following week and I'm looking forward to seeing what you've got coming down the pipeline.

    I can't say I've ever tried this method with NPC's but its such a short logical leap that I wouldn't mind trying it out.

    Perhaps for Y you could talk about the common Yeoman the same way you looked at Jack.