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Sebastian Yorke

Casting: The Bridge Crew

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While planning the next session and stealing stuff from LotE (mutinous bridge officer encounter), I noticed how the unconnected some of the PCs are with their ship and crew.

 

Could you please help me with ideas or share named NPCs to interact with the PCs while in the bridge or receiving communication from it?

 

Some names, demeanors, key characteristics. Things like

The creepy kid [insert family name here] who's a noble born apprentice navigator and will mutter to himself "Pink stars are falling in lines..." while throwing bird bones at the Warp Guide every time he is roleplaying Reading the Omens prior to translations.

or
The constantly arguing lesbian couple Lieutenants responsible for monitoring the security personnel and internal threats levels (morale, mutinies, etc...).

or

The snarky communications office who...

or

The paranoic Master of Flight Control...

or

Creepy cleaning servitor who gets the fault for every failed test PCs make while in the bridge... (random cherub starts trying AT ALL COSTS to wax the RT's mustache in the middle of a failed Command test for a morale-raising speech)

 

Some time ago I detailed small craft squadrons and their leaders/callnames/demeanor/etc...
- but indeed PCs are interacting with the bridge way more than the hangars/pilot chambers crew.

 

Ideas!

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This could be useful:

http://www.roleplayingtips.com/1000-npc-traits/

 

The Ship Positions in the back of ItS can also be a good resource - in many cases those are the primary people the PCs will be interacting with. For the bridge, remember that there are three or four shifts of people per station, depending on how the ship is run, so you looking at a lot of people.  

 

I also find it useful to build a description for the <insert skill> expert in the crew that provides the 30 or 40 that is rolled against when they use the crew skill.  These may or may not be the same people.

 

This is a labor that can be spread out easily as well, depending on the nature of your players.  If you have Players who creating characters (or have a bit of GM in them), ask them to one or two liner descriptions for their immediate underlings.  Many players have the creative energies to do so, and a lot fewer NPCs to deal with.

 

Edit:

Example:

James 'Jimmy' Circ

 

This character started after to players used the joke "**** it, Jim" in a single session when the crew failed a roll.  The next session required a lot of scans, but no PCs had scrutiny.  The crew-rolls couldn't seem to fail, so players joked that "Jimmy learned his lesson!"  This got "Jimmy" listed as the Master of Ethearics, his 'real' name being a Star Trek joke.  A few sessions later, the entire party is on the planet and wants to contact their ship.  I ask who they left in change, the captain responds "Jimmy".  So he gets noted as a trusted officer who may be given command when the captain is out. Just writing things down can build these characters nicely.

Edited by Quicksilver

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my group tends to be very party oriented and my NPC running skills are lacking. I even have trouble running NPCs with full book profiles but we get by. basically the trend has been in our crew, if a crewman gets a name, that name is Carl and Carl is doomed to be a death-prone whipping boy. Its rumored that every crewman get renamed Carl on arrival and the captain doesnt even care to notice weather its the same Carl he calls to heel

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Vax

Augery specialist

Jimmy Betancore-Male, 24, 130 pounds, 5 7", Mohawk, Orange Tulip Yellow Stem tattoo on neck gives away membership as part of the narco-tribe bizcrane of Footfall. Light build,   Grew up on a Arvus Lighter in footfall transporting drugs,weapons,and foodstuffs with his family. Has a syringe clearly full of yellow liquid on belt. Jokes, "So you get to kill anyone today yet?"

 

bridge officer(Lieutenant-which between junior and senior bridge officer ranking)

Jurinia Betancore-Female 30, 140 pounds, 5 3", Long Black Hair, Orange Tulip Yellow Stem tattoo on arm. Large bulging biceps. Sister of above.punches people below her when they screw up

 

High Factotum (basically the head ship lawyer,financial advisor, and accountant)

Voria Praetius -female, 45, 145 pounds, 5' 8" , Red Hair, wears a black frock coat. Carries a data slate, autopistol, and shock maul. Always working overtime, has a second job in fact in one of the ship restaurants, divorced, has a son in academy training to be a chirgeon, and a daughter training as an adept like herself.

 

Malornejen- Physically notable because he has eight manipulator mechanendrites

 Runs a small business selling various items, like drugs.  Chemistry and medical specialist. Surprisingly bad with technical equipment and computers. Good social lubricant between the tech priests and the rest of the ship despite low enginseer rank. If you want something technical done it's often easier to bribe him than deal with the ad-mech yourself.Llkely to steal given a chance or bolt at signs of trouble.  Looks after Nuke, another techpriest who doesn't have much sanity left and insists on using 12 millimeter screws for all his projects. Rather than start from stock plaststeel, he melts down 12 milimeter screws into stock steel himself. And then uses it to construct his contraptions. 

 

Indigo Jess - Looks over Kroot.(Speaks Kroot) Likes plants.(Because he's a botanist.)

Edited by Cultadium

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I ask the players to do this, and more.  I'm busy building the rest of the universe.  Surely they can come up with their ship.

 

Still, sometimes they just don't want to do it.

 

[GM to RT] Your wife has entered the meeting room where you are having this council with the Ad Mech reps.

 

[RT to GM] Oh no!  She'll ruin everything!  Is she wearing that cat-suit bondage outfit again?

 

[GM to RT] No, this is the other wife.

 

[RT to GM] I have 2 wives?!?

 

[GM to RT] I told you to draw up your family or I would.

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Another, slightly less silly one from out list.  

 

Bishop Raphael DeCarto:

“There is no true measure of a Man until he had gone to meet the Emperor.”
History
 
Raphael is an old missionary who’s spend scores of years traveling the expanse and spreading the Word of the Emperor before finally retiring from such active life to return to his home-berth of the Albion. Although his natural charisma and experience caused him to be very well considered by the rest of the ecclesiarchal member on the Albion, his slightly off-dogma views prevented any real possibilities of advancement, a situation that suited him just fine. This changed dramatically after the arrival of the young Lord Drake and the Albion's subsequent, unexpected departure from its long standing location as an extension of Port Wander. Suddenly freed of the Archdiocese of Port Wander, the elder Raphael found himself elected to the top position of the ship. He had taken to this new calling with all the strength of a man used to serving the will of the Emperor, and has been unsurprisingly competent at keeping the faith and morale of the Albion’s crew high.
 
Personality
 
Bishop DeCarto is a genuinely kind man whose warm personality disarms all who meet him. Far from the typical fire & brimstone preachers of the Ecclesiastes, Raphael prefers a more gentile approach that focuses on an individual’s personal relationship with the Emperor. While this approach hasn’t given him many friends in the Cult, it is well received by the members of his parish, and has been essentially universally adopted by those now under him. Despite his generally calm and genial nature, like all good Imperial Preachers, he can be roused into a righteous fury when the cause is right and times desperate.

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Alright, I caved last week. only real bridge member I made last week was GMPC cold trader. I also dont like GMPCs so I'm making this guy more of an administratum type. all business and knowledge and not true party member. They gained him from Kassabillica rep when he realized they werent very good at it but still wanted ties. so offered an accountant type to help guarantee trades.

 

tried to make him have his own agendas rather than blindly follow captain, by being more aligned with kasabillica, doesnt speak unless spoken to, business suit with maybe synskin or reinforcement in suit, sidearm as only defense. hoping eventually they'll either get him killed, leading to Kas problems or disagree strongly when they try to make more profit than going to misssion, leading to Kas problems

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I'm in the process of trying to get a game started, but only have two players locally who have the knowledge and interest in 40k to want to play. I don't mind running the game for just two players, but I know it means other, background, characters need to be fleshed out more. Currently there are two main NPC's that most things will go through. To describe these PC's to the players the ships Senechal has written briefings on all the key crew positions. For example, his own (spot the bias...):

High Factotum

Senior Factor Loral Lorgue. 102 years old - appears to be in his 30's. No obvious bionic augmentation. My own involvement with House Pnepsis began before my birth. The Lorgue family have been providing talented servants to the noble House Pnepsis since the house was founded. My service began on board your Fathers ship - where I began as a lowly Adept. Over my time serving the House I have served as a Factor, a Quartermaster and a Purser. I served your Father a Master of Whispers before being granted the honor of serving as your High Factotum.

As High Factotum I am responsible for the day to day running of the House affairs aboard the Ship. This includes managing the accounts, internal affairs, crew and ship replenishment, Cargo and manifest, passengers, legal and espionage elements that go into running a successful venture. Should you require anything Sire, I am your man.

And the first officer:

First Officer

First Lieutenant Umet Clait. 89 years old - appears to be in his 50's. Obvious bionic augmentation to his left eye and left arm. Formerly of His Beneficent Majesties Imperial Navy. Honorably retired following a disagreement with a senior officer that resulted in a duel.

Umet won the duel, but the naval family of the losing officer brought political pressure against the Lieutenant. Faced with a career ruining Courts Martial your honorable father intervened and secured a settlement that resulted in Umet obtaining a commission to your Fathers fleet.

First Lieutenant Clait is in charge of the day to day running of the ship. A well trained and experienced officer, he runs the bridge with a iron fist (if you will excuse the pun, my lord). If I might suggest that if the First Lieutenant has one failing, it is that he tends to run the ship as if it was a Imperial Navy vessel. His past history also makes him exceptionally obedient to orders - often to a fault.

I've a few key ways to portray these characters. Mainly single word terms that apply, different ways of talking and interacting. Etc.

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step 1: watch lot's of anime (preferably about space combat)*

 

Step 2: base your bridge crew on the characters from those series

 

Step 3: Now dial them up to 11 and you are good to go. (And for some you can actually skip step 3)

 

* Examples:

 

Gundam -wing, -00,-Seed, -Char's counter attack, -Age.

Macross

Spacebattleship yamato 2199

Evangellion

Edited by Robin Graves

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