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I am starting an Iron Kingdoms campaign with two teams:

  • the first one has to protect Highgate
  • the second one the region outside the walls.

As a result I find myself in need of a wide variety of NPCs for encounters in Cygnar. Encounters in this area would be mostly people instead of creatures, especially inside the city. It would take me a lot of time to generate the large number of the various NPCs that I think would be required (pirates, smugglers, military, highwaymen, merchants, Cyriss cultists, etc.).

Does anyone have a solution for this? A repository of pregenerated NPCs for the Iron Kingdoms world or a tool that I could use to generate them would both work... I mainly need stats but good names, personalities, and goals would reduce my work even more, especially if they are Iron Kingdoms specific.

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Similarly to your commenters I have a feeling that you may be looking at it in a way that will take much more of your time than perhaps it's required. :-)

Nevertheless:

  1. I know not of such a tool or pre-gen already existing that meet your criteria (but see update below thanks to @Ahriman)
  2. Have you tried the forums? If anyone made something like it, most likely place for it to be published is here: http://privateerpressforums.com/forum.php
  3. My proposals below.

Why I think you may not need it

As a result I find myself in need of a wide variety of NPCs for encounters in Cygnar. Encounters in this area would be mostly people instead of creatures, especially inside the city. It would take me a lot of time to generate the large number of the various NPCs that I think would be required (pirates, smugglers, military, highwaymen, merchants, Cyriss cultists, etc.).

Even the encounter sheet proposed by publisher rather focuses on conflict situations. The sheet: http://files.privateerpress.com/ironkingdoms/documents/Game_Master_Encounter_Sheet.pdf

That is because it's very demanding to create scores of characters that are enough to fill an entire city. Most of the work going in it is unneeded. Mostly your players will just "observe" the NPC (fisherman fishes, shopkeeper haggles, beggar asks for money, etc.). Generating names, archetypes, stats, weapons for all those? Lots of work. It's much better spent thinking about crucial moments (how will they all react when player A pulls out his incredibly-well crafted steam pistol he spent hour drawing?).

Usually one either simplifies character generation (crazy prepares) or thinks fast or encourages player choices (sign "the adventure this way") and prepares along these lines.

Write your own table / chargen

Will suit you the best, will be tailored for you. My Cygnar is different than yours. Heck, my Highgate is different than yours. Thus, my table assumes there are many gunmages in Cygnar, while your campaign may want none (because recent laws blah blah blah).

Yes, it is hard work, but it may pay off. My friend does it often, just not to be burdened with having to think of yet another unimportant NPC.

Decide on factors and probability, write it down, then just roll. Tweak the process till you have minimum rolls with good enough results (all the stats and info you need. For race, 1 in 10 people will be an elf, 1 in 10 a dwarf, rest are humans. Factors are human, elf, dwarf, probabilities: 1/10, 1/10, 8/10.

Simplify it

  1. Random (but good enough) names table that gives you 100 names and surnames.
  2. Short (1 sentence) description: adjective mood profession (that gets randomized). "Honest irate pirate", "large angry soldier" or "deceitful happy shopkeeper".

Two rolls will now bring to live "Harrison Ford, crafty amused carpenter" or "Morton Rourke, competent middle-aged lieutenant" or...

Simplify stats

Choose what is average. Is average strength in your Highgate 3 or 5? Now, just assume most NPCs have average stats, but modify "on-the-fly" (only when needed). competent soldier means +2, drunk soldier is +1 str but -1 agi etc.

Shift it to players

Have players create (each) three characters that they have some positive relations with and one (each) character they know, but who doesn't like them (or who they cannot trust or plain dislike). They'll use those characters for most interactions and they'll flesh them out for you. Now, you only need to include them in campaign.

A missive arrived from your cousin who works as city watchman, stating only few words "When you read it, I may well be in the hands of those damn cultists, protect my wife my friend".

Or less drastic and not taking a character away

"lately bad rumours are circulating about you my cousin among my fellow watchmen. Care dining with me tonight, so we may unroot the cause?"

Think fast aka improvise

Spend some times thinking about where your players will be. What they'll be doing. When preparing to session, sketch some crucial areas and think who works there, lives there, etc. Now, when time comes and a player tells you something unexpected (like, I'm barging into that OTHER room) you will find yourself knowing who just might be inside and how will they react.

The tool

Thanks to @Ahriman's comment, there's a tool that while not exactly what you asked for, may somewhat help still:

Quick, simple character descriptions, generic or for specific settings.

http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=quickchar

Some examples:

The dexterous noble. The joyful, hateful healer. The unhealthy, social coachman who lives under a curse. The athletic, spendthrift seer. The young, combative demonologist. The indecisive, patriotic druid. The snide, tactless fisherman. The blacksmith who has a divine connection.

Tool is known as the Quick Character Generator of Seventh Sanctum.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For quick descriptions, you can always use the Quick Character Generator of Seventh Sanctum. I have a list of this lying next to me for when I need an instant NPC. \$\endgroup\$ – Ahriman Nov 13 '15 at 6:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, it's usefull. And right now I only create NPC at glance. \$\endgroup\$ – Adrien Blaizot Nov 13 '15 at 9:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AdrienBlaizot thanks. Do you consider your question answered then? Or would you like something more? Ahriman - thanks, updating the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – LAFK says Reinstate Monica Nov 13 '15 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Right! I forgot to change the stat. Thanks a lot. \$\endgroup\$ – Adrien Blaizot Nov 14 '15 at 10:09
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I understand the need to have a wide variety of NPCs like fishermen and shopkeepers that player characters would need to interact with. However, it sounds like your campaign will have some specific points of interest that could be vitally important for Cygnar specifically, and possibly other interested organizations. Thus, there could be specific characters who are interested in the areas that your players would be visiting. The good news is that there are already a lot of prominent characters in the Iron Kingdom lore thanks to the miniature war games Warmachine and Hordes, so you can probably find some specific characters that already have backstory and stats to fit your needs and will mostly fit into combat as-is if you wish.

Sabotage at the warjack factory? Then Sebastian Nemo might be involved in investigating and rectifying the situation. A large detachment of Storm Division troops in the area? Coleman Stryker could be leading them on a critical mission. There's also plenty of mercenary characters such as Alexia (a villain in an old d20 Iron Kingdom RPG published campaign), and everyone's favorite elf Eiryss. There's also plenty of villains to choose from for your characters to go up against who have no love for Cygnar, including prominent Cryx characters such as Victoria Haley's twin sister Deneghra. If you just need some warm bodies for encounters, then there's also plenty of existing units you could use for the basis of some more anonymous NPCs as well.

Some good resources to discover existing characters in the Iron Kingdoms would be the Iron Kingdoms wiki and Warmachine University, both of which I've linked to already, but there are likely other good resources as well.

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