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46

He's in a booby trapped iron safe. He's safe. He's also trapped. His situation has a number of upsides: He's in an iron safe. The same walls of iron that kept him out, keep everyone else out. If people can attack him through the safe, it's not particularly safe, is it? His situation has a number of downsides: He's in an iron safe, The enemies don't need to ...


23

The best approach, I think, is to separate the players and the NPCs by Plot! The NPCs get kidnapped, detained, lost, side-tracked, bogged down, diverted, or called away, but in a way that is meaningful to the players. They are not just “put on a bus” in the TV Tropes lingo, but somehow the plot separates them and reuniting becomes a major ...


21

Execution is Key This is a cliche because a lot of stories do it. A lot of stories do it because done well, it can add something to the story. Done poorly, it just becomes silly and makes the players feel like they don't really have any impact on what's going on. So, think carefully about what you intend to use her for before bringing her back. Don't do it ...


21

Setting Expectations Whenever I as GM am dealing with multi-PC/NPC conversations, I first remind my players that I am a single-thread processor and can therefore only handle one conversation at a time, then proceed to deal with them one at a time as appropriate for the configuration of speakers. 1. One-to-Many Conversations The easiest way to handle this ...


20

(Background: I am also a Christian, along with several of the people in my gaming group.) tl;dr -- The fictional god of your fictional world is not the God of our universe. Make the fictional god clearly distinct from our God. Figure out how much of what the party knows about that god is true. Define what you mean by "God" in your game world. Your game ...


17

You can, but you can use other audio quirks too. Quirks define an NPC or a character and if you are sufficiently gifted to be able to impersonate a libertarian communist monkey juggler's voice (or whatever is required) then go for it. The problem is that more than likely unless you're a talented voice actor your array of voices you can do is likely to be ...


16

The Bad As you stated, it's not as creative as doing it yourself. Some may scoff at that. Many are the GMs and Players who have taken a character wholesale from other media without any effort to adapt them. "Anime characters? In MY D&D?" Them's fightin' words, so to speak. The Good So what if it's not as creative as a DIY job? Do you make the pizza ...


14

As described, I don't think your character actually meets the definition of a GMPC. [The GMPC] starts out an important NPC to travel with the party and fill any missing roles no one else wants to play. It's almost like the GM has a Player Character of his own, thus this concept has come to be known as the GMPC. (emphasis mine) The character you have ...


14

Using other characters is a great way to save time. The key to doing it well is the adapt the character to your setting. You want it to feel like Saul Goodman belongs in the story, even if you are fighting an interstellar war or casting Magic Missile. Give your character a new name. Depending on how cheeky you feel, it can be a name that's a clear ...


13

Release the Wombat of Discourse! This is my default strategy for the first time a group starts talking over each other so much it hinders play: I bring a stuffed animal to the session, and name it The [Animal] of Discourse. The GM may speak at any time, but only the player with the Animal can talk. They pass the Animal amongst themselves however it suits ...


12

Neither the player inside nor the NPC outside have any line of sight or line of fire. If they don't have magical or psionic means to target him without seeing him, it seems pretty clear that he can neither be attacked nor attack himself. Edit: As the potential owner of said safe, let me say that if you think someone can poke a sword through the cracks at ...


12

You're trying to railroad the game when the players are telling you very loudly where they want the campaign to go instead. Take them there. If the NPCs are boring you, that's a different problem. Be sure you're making NPCs that engage you and not just your players. You have to enjoy the game too. To run an interesting socially-focused game, you might need ...


11

Typically, this sort of thing is handled by DM fiat. If you want one of your NPCs to craft a magic item, then they can. The whole reason that XP costs for that kind of thing exist is to make it so players don't have an unlimited supply of powerful magic to mess around with, and that's not a problem with NPCs. In addition, specific XP values are very ...


11

So, let me get this straight - you've created a setting and characters that your players are so immensely invested in that they're helping you build it themselves? What exactly is the problem again? Kidding. Sorta. Anyway, I'm kinda seeing this in the Marvel game I'm running now; the players are assuming anything beyond purse-snatchers are beyond them ...


10

Since this is a Savage Worlds question, it seems best to take into account what the book has to say (from the GM section on Extras): Though it’s rarely written, most games assume that the Game Master controls the nonplayer characters, both when they’re being talked to and when they fight alongside the player characters in combat. Most of the time, ...


10

All of these factions are trying to stay secret, that doesn't mean they leave no marks upon the world or cannot be interacted with by outside factions like the PCs. Know What's Going On First, it's important to keep track of characters within the secret societies, what they are doing, and what they know. GMing often involves some degree of abstraction and ...


9

I don't personally think there's anything inherently wrong with an invincible, super powered NPC, provided that the limelight remains clearly centered on the PCs. The players want to feel like the heroes of the story, and any time you introduce a non-malevolent being who is significantly stronger than they, there's a chance that this feeling gets squashed. ...


9

Refer to the DMG. Chapter 4 of the DMG has lots of tables and advice for creating NPCs both as party followers and and villains. Focus on fidelity of character and power level over slavish devotion to matching details. Statistical and racial bonuses are going to be very different between the two. You should aim to keep the power level of the NPCs roughly ...


8

I would recommend using the Monster Vault maths, found summarized on Blog of Holding; or, Monster Maker is a handy app that helps create monster cards, and will work out the maths if desired. Set out which roles you wish the monsters to take - from the sounds of things it seems like you'll have a mix of Lurkers and Skirmishers, with Soldiers and Brutes ...


7

I find this question somewhat difficult to answer because you're essentially saying you want to introduce a god-like character as your personal avatar into the game. My personal recommendation is to detach from the character personally. I have been in several games where the GM in question (even myself for small tables) has said up front "this is my ...


7

Since you tagged that as system agnostic, I will go for an answer that might not satisfy those who plays D&D/Pathfinder and closely stick to the rules. Also, I have seen many GMPC and most of the time things went very bad for the PCs, only the GM enjoyed himself and he was unable to understand players frustration. I will try to make you avoid that ...


7

Here is what I try to get across when I speak for an NPC: Tone Can I convey their emotional state or attitude? This is useful. There's a lot more than just the words you say, there's the way you say it, and that says more about a character than anything. This tone doesn't require I change my voice in any way, I just need to communicate the attitude ...


7

Anything your players like, including NPCs, is more important than your presuppositions of the plot. The reason for this is simple - the goal of the game is to entertain the group. If they like something, they will be more invested in it and thus more entertained. If you set up a dichotomy between "things you want" and "things they want," well, there's a ...


7

I'd say all of Bruenor's major deeds and some of the minor ones, but only up until he left the throne for his final adventure with Drizzt. So I'd say for a guideline the stuff that happened in the crystal shard. The story about Bruenor and the black dragon when he first returns to Mithral hall. The war with the dark elves, and the war with the orcs and the ...


7

In the campaign I'm DMing right now, I have a bunch of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters scattered around the area. Except for the librarian at the Arcane College (Twilight Sparkle), the rest of them are all inconsequential background characters that are doing their own thing and aren't really involved in the story. My players find this pretty ...


7

You have two options (and hey, they're the ones you mentioned in your question!), and it sort of depends on what exactly you're wanting to do. First and foremost, most likely the advice I give here is only any good until we see the full NPC creation rules in the DMG where hopefully there will be much easier shorthands than what I'm going to suggest. The ...


7

Make the NPCs a vital part of the story. Earning Trust Perhaps the NPC is there for the PCs during tough times. Receiving a "get out of jail free card" once in a while from a prominent NPC can go a long way into the PCs caring. Also, increasing the amount of dialogue and feedback between the PCs and the NPCs also go a long way into developing a ...


7

God is a being central to all creation, whose will, mind, and power are absolute and unrivalled, and yet so subtle that His existence and intentions are subject to doubt. Use that to your advantage: Be vague. Your players are dealing with an incomprehensibly complex being; They can't really expect to understand the true depths of His psychology. That ...


6

Before I dive in, I just wanted to say that these things are by no mean exclusive or that they are the perfect solutions. They are, still, things that worked for me. Make them resourceful Giving your villain resources is one of the best ways to make her powerful. These resources don't have to be money, as power, intellect or technology can serve this ...


6

Personification This helps people relate to non-human things. A personified object or creature encourages interaction, and helps people get thinking about what's going on in its "head." Once they're there, though, they may make the mistake of thinking of the personified creature or object as human. This is where the next point comes into effect. Different ...



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