Friday, August 26, 2011

Deckcard's Gallery of Random Rogues

I posted a link to my rules document for generating NPCs using a standard deck of cards on Monday* because I had fun developing and testing the method, and I liked how random and gritty it felt, as opposed to a villain or a Mary Sue that a GM or publisher would carefully craft.  (It's a funny thing, but even using 3d6 in order for NPCs tends to create characters that play closely to their ability scores, which is not how everyone is in real life.)  My rules skew the scores towards race and class, but not to the extent that other factors of life (personality, circumstances, etc) are ruled out -- leaving a skeleton for a GM to enflesh from the data, reasoning out why the NPC is who s/he is, if the GM so desires.  Again, the niche for these characters that generally trend lower in score is this: Just as not every character has what it takes to be a hero, so I felt there should be plenty of non-player characters out there that didn't have what it takes to become a hero or a significant villain,** and (as I blogged previously) I like the color and the symbols that cards bring to character generation.

Perhaps just seeing the rules laid out in the most concise way I could devise doesn't suggest enough what the results would look like.  So I took the NPCs I developed during testing and put them into Deckcard's Gallery of Random Rogues weighing in at 5 pages and 50 NPCs, these are bare-bones stat blocks.  The characters are in the order that they were generated.  Maybe later I will do something about that, if I continue to expand the Gallery.  You may note that dwarves are assigned no gender therein.  More on that soon. 

* Gee was I extra rambly on Monday.  Sorry about that.
** Or at least, not a villain who has planned significance.  If I haven't mentioned how I love the emergent, unplanned stuff that happens even in a session that is on the planning intensive side, then I'll just do that right now.  My college DM still marvels how a completely random NPC hobgoblin mercenary, turned to stone years ago on an island far away, somehow became significant enough that there is still a chance that someday the now Emperor of Vazhoi will return to restore him to life, if the means is ever found.

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