Archive for February 6, 2013
One of the “heavy lifting” chores of creating an adventure is the population of the story. It’s not so much an issue if the adventure is strictly a dungeon crawl; there might be a few personalities that the players can interact with, but mainly it’s just cannon-fodder. For anything greater, the DM needs to come up with personalities through which he or she can engage the players.
I don’t know how other DMs do this, but I am one of those OCD kinds of designers who believes that if there are going to be words coming out of the NPCs mouth, then that NPC needs a full character sheet. Who knows if the players are going to gang-press the poor mannequin into accompanying them into danger. Or maybe eventually, circumstances require that the NPC use skills or perform saving throws. Most of those unknowns come from stuff that the players do that require a DM response, and although there’s the old Deus Ex Machina in the DM Voice, responding through the In Game Voice is much preferred, and more engrossing.
Creating a stable of on-hand NPCs, or even random encounters for those times when your players are feeling especially safe and comfortable, is a chore. If you’ve ever been forced to turn a minor, throwaway character into a major plot point, then I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. So for DMs out there, my question is this: Is there an online repository where DMs can post characters/NPCs? If not, is this something that people could see as worthwhile?
Being able to enter keywords to find an NPC that matches criteria could be helpful. Say I need a shopkeeper. Simple enough: BAM! There’s a shopkeeper. But what if I need to flesh out the story a bit? Maybe that shopkeeper is a high ranking official in the thieves guild? Now I might need a whole character sheet for him. There’s a lot of creative people out there, and a lot of them like to showcase their talents. Why not have a place for folks to contribute material for one another’s campaigns?
What do people think?