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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 ...


24

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 ...


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 ...


13

Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium has a section on Hirelings (starting page 136). Page 138 has a table of cost/day for each given level of hireling (from 15 @ level 1 to 125,000 @ level 30); the same page says a Mercenary is the standard Hireling rate x3 (meaning a level 1 Mercenary costs 45gp/day, and a level 30 Mercenary costs 375,000gp/day). The ...


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 ...


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

The most important aspect of an NPC is presenting a persona that the players can interact with realistically and consistently. Stats will not do that - they'll help and give you guideance on what a character can and can't do, and for some GMs (and possibly systems, but that's debatable) that is essential - but it's not required. Believe me, I generated ...


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 ...


11

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 ...


10

Looking in the compendium, there do not seem to be rules for this. That said, if you're running Eberron, you might take a peek in the campaign book and see if there is something more specific to the setting. However, there are rules for pocket change and how much a major and minor purchase might cost that are pegged to the level of the character. In ...


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, ...


8

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. ...


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

Contacts can be many things, for players and GM's. The easiest is to have some basic templates of contacts. Some with very little stats and skills that you use to drop clues/hints or make connections for players. Other Contact you can flesh out a bit more so you can make a roll to see if they know something or can they repair some specialist piece of ...


7

Sardathrion and Rob cover most of my NPC generation process, but sometimes (most notably when the party discovers one I haven't planned for) I just consider them a +X NPC. For example, in AFMBE I might make a random Normie citizen a +2 NPC - their rolls are typically just the roll +2 unless I decide it's a skill they should have. So John Doe over there is ...


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

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 ...


5

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 ...


5

Like a Potemkin village, all my NPCs are but a few sentences on a card. Note that the card can be digital in the form of a wiki entry, a markdown/LaTeX file, etc... or it could be a paper card. The sentences themselves describe: The general appearance, the general skill set, and one or more interesting background elements. That is it. So, for example: ...


5

You are trying too hard. If you insist too much, they get suspiscious and it will be much more difficult, or outright impossible, to close the deal. Design the story around the NPC motivations: why does the sage want to help them, why can he help them, what are his goals? If you don't know anything about your NPC, you'll roleplay it quite poorly indeed! As ...


5

Having done this myself, yes on all counts: it makes their control of the NPCs much simpler, and it dehumanises them significantly when they become fungible bags of dice. If you're playing using a grid always or often, that exacerbates the latter. (I can't comment from experience on fudging rolls for NPC allies because I avoid fudging rolls myself, but it's ...


4

Threshold Formulae There are no official formulae for any NPC's released to date. That said, the Gamemaster's Kit explicitly points out that NPC Nemesis characters do not use the PC generation mechanics unless the GM wants to do so. Further, nemesis character experience is handled differently from PC's when buying talents - they don't need to do so in ...


4

It seems rather timid to just quote a price and have that be the end of it. Brian provided the numbers in another example if that's really the road you want to go down, but I'd urge you to think a bit harder about this. Mercenaries do whatever they can to put coin in their pocket. Hiring more of them that the party can safely supervise might be a disaster ...


4

I, like you, am guilty of this. I have different ways to handling it, some are combinable, but not all. The main purpose of all of this is to make the game more enjoyable to your players, because the problem with GMPCs is that it tends to ruin the fun for the players. So you have to ask yourself (and/or your players) what specifics are to be avoided. I had ...


4

Well, this is a great question, and I must say beforehand that my experience with an organization of villains is pretty narrow. But I do hope that what I'll write here might be of some use to you. Inspiration One of the key things that you can do is to find inspiration for your villains in other sources. I once based an organization of villains around the ...


4

First and foremost, I'll assume that your game world does not have either cyberbrains, or re-sleeving or download your brain into machines. Otherwise, clearly you have conquered death and "killing" is not a crash with some data lose. With that in mind... Yes, it is a terrible idea! You cannot (should not?) relive the past. She was a great villain with a ...


3

Statistics for Corellon Larethian and numerous other deities can be found, appropriately enough, in the Deities and Demigods sourcebook. Several mortal NPCs of Greyhawk and Faerûn were printed in the Epic Level Handbook. However, you should know the following before getting excited about the statistics: Both books are from 2002, technically released ...


3

You've essentially asked two very different questions here, so I'll address them as such; then I'll address the concept behind them. Spells It is important to note that most spells with an XP cost are not particularly useful in combat and in a standard (Grayhawk-style) campaign world they can be easily purchased out of combat. When there is an XP cost, it ...



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