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venkelos

Building NPCs

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I know I ask a lot of questions regarding character builds, and it could be getting annoying by now, but I have what i think I can refer to as the last one, for a while anyway. For the GM's reading, how do you usually choose to build your critical NPC's? Do you just flip through the book, grab all the bits you want them to have, and say good, or do you build them like a characer would be built, having so many points, and spending them in succession, so that you don't have some character that is overpowered? I ask because one of my favorite NPC's is Malaki Vess, from the Ascension book, and I want to make a Governor-Militant like him, but I don't know if they just gave him the pieces to work, or if they said "Well, he'll have 8 ranks of Guardsman, following the Commander path, and then X ranks of Judge/Storm Trooper/whatever Ascended class is best for inspirational leadership". The fact that characters don't give their class/level/rank has always bugged me. If I wanted to build something like him, something very similar to Governor-Miliatant Lukas Alexander from DoW:DC, would one suggest just giving him what he needs to be believable, or slow-build level by level?

As always, thanks for any assistance, and have a good one.

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venkelos said:

I know I ask a lot of questions regarding character builds, and it could be getting annoying by now, but I have what i think I can refer to as the last one, for a while anyway. For the GM's reading, how do you usually choose to build your critical NPC's? Do you just flip through the book, grab all the bits you want them to have, and say good, or do you build them like a characer would be built, having so many points, and spending them in succession, so that you don't have some character that is overpowered? I ask because one of my favorite NPC's is Malaki Vess, from the Ascension book, and I want to make a Governor-Militant like him, but I don't know if they just gave him the pieces to work, or if they said "Well, he'll have 8 ranks of Guardsman, following the Commander path, and then X ranks of Judge/Storm Trooper/whatever Ascended class is best for inspirational leadership". The fact that characters don't give their class/level/rank has always bugged me. If I wanted to build something like him, something very similar to Governor-Miliatant Lukas Alexander from DoW:DC, would one suggest just giving him what he needs to be believable, or slow-build level by level?

As always, thanks for any assistance, and have a good one.

Speaking as a GM and a writer, all the NPCs I create are simply given whatever characteristics, skills, talents, traits and equipment seems appropriate for them. Occasionally I've used the PC rules to benchmark appropriate characteristic values, etc for particular characters. The career paths are primarily for the use of players to create and advance their characters, and are too time-consuming to regularly use for NPCs in my experience.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

...all the NPCs I create are simply given whatever characteristics, skills, talents, traits and equipment seems appropriate for them. Occasionally I've used the PC rules to benchmark appropriate characteristic values, etc for particular characters. The career paths are primarily for the use of players to create and advance their characters, and are too time-consuming to regularly use for NPCs in my experience.

Yeah, that's how I do it, too. I typically start with NPC stats from a published source, such as the Adversaries from the Rulebook or Dramatis Personae from a module, and then tailor them to my purposes.

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yep thats about the best way to do it, although sometimes to streamline i just take a appropriate creature from the bestiary and then give it a player class and work with it from there, but just tailoring it to your needs is crucial, don't worry about xp totals or anything else, just worry about what comes out.

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I simply decide what Stats I want them to have & flip through the book to give them skills & talents as I see fit.

In order to avoid all to similiar stats, I sometimes say "at least X" and add 1d10 or 2d10 to the attribute. IF I want to ende up with other stats that I usually have in mind happy.gif

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Well, for fun, I thought I'd share the character made from this thread. He's a great, mighty cheese of an Imp. Guardsman General who I created both from Dawn of War, and for a fan-fiction I am writing here and there. I have no idea how many points he's worth, and he probably has way too many things for one man (it's part of why Inquisitors have retinues, I suppose gui%C3%B1o.gif), but he still shouldn't be too powerful for a group, if they needed to fight him, and he has been close to death at least once, defending his outpost from Orks (it's where he got his special respiration system, after a week in a coma). Here he is, one Governor-Militant Markus Krueger:

Governor-Militant Markus Krueger
WS:
53 | BS: 37 | S: 42 | T: 40 (8) | Ag: 39 | Int: 44 | Per: 41 | WP: 56 | Fel: 64
Movement: 3/6/9/18
Wounds:
19
Fate Points: 6
Influence: 50
Skills: Awareness (Per) +10, Ciphers (War Cant) (Int) +10, Common Lore (Imperial Guard) (Int) +10, Common Lore (Imperium) (Int), Common Lore (War) (Int) +20, Dodge (Agi) +20, Drive (Ground Vehicle), Forbidden Lore (Xenos [Orks]) (Int), Inquiry (Fel), Intimidate (WP), Literacy (Int), Navigation (Surface (Int), Pilot (Military Craft), Scrutiny (Per), Speak Language (High Gothic, Low Gothic) (Int).

Mastered Skills: Charismatic Mastery
Talents: Basic Weapons Training (Bolt, Flamer, Las, SP), Combat Formation, Combat Master, Diehard, Furious Assault, Good Reputation (Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy, Military, Planet [Cadia], Planet [Titan’s Rest]), Melee Weapon Training (Chain, Power, Primitive), Peer (Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy, Military, Titan’s Rest), Pistol Training (Bolt, Las, Plasma, SP), Renowned Warrior (Rep), Sound Constitution (2), Talented (Command), Touched By the Fates (3 Fate Points), True Grit.
Paragon Talents: Conditioned Intellect, Death Blow, Heroic Leadership, Storm of Blows, Transcendent Hate
Armour: Cadian-pattern “Kasrkin” Storm Trooper Carapace (All 6, Body +1).
Weapons:
Titan’s Talons* (Melee; 2d10+8 E, Pen 8, Power Field, Special (DW, p.154), Tearing, Unwieldy), Ryza-pattern plasma pistol (Pistol; 30m, S/2/--, 1d10+6 E, Pen 6, Clip 10, Rld 3 Full, Overheat)
* - This pair of best quality power fists is a relic recovered from Titan’s Rest, and presented to Krueger by his magos, Voorsh, upon his acquisition of the title Governor-Militant. Each fist works like lightning claws and power fists, and also incorporates a mounted ranged weapon; the left a flamer (Basic; 14m, S/--/--, 1d10+4 E, Pen 3, Clip 60, Rld 2 Full, Flame), and the right a storm bolter (Basic; 60m, S/2/4, 1d10+5 X, Pen 4, Clip 200, Rld Full, Storm, Tearing). Under most circumstances, additional aide is required to reload these weapons, unless they are removed, first.
Gear: Backpack/Ammo Pack (connected to Titan’s Talons, no remaining storage space), Rex Implant*, good-quality bionic respiratory system**, best quality bionic eye unit, dress uniform (best quality clothing, personal micro-vox, best quality refractor field.
* - This special piece of technology is for those who wish to benefit from certain cybernetics, but without having to lose a perfectly good organic component to do so. This device, which looks like nothing more than a crescent of black metal around the eye socket, allows for direct interface between the brain and a mounted cybernetic prosthesis, without needing to lose the natural eye behind it.
** - In addition to its normal functions, this device also allows Krueger to benefit from the Autosanguine, Hardy, and Iron Jaw Talents, as well as giving him Unnatural Toughness (x2). Should this device cease functioning, all of these benefits are lost, as well.

Personality: Krueger is a man with absolute faith in himself, his men, and his Emperor. He tends to be gruff, but given the situations his men face, it is excusable, and his fairness, coupled with his insistence on front-line combat has fostered true devotion in his men, who will gladly die for him who risks the same for them. Some of his higher-ranking officers try to persuade him to hold back somewhat, especially after his near-death experience, but Krueger refuses to let his men fight without his inspiring leadership. Krueger is also a man who knows how to read people, and judge their worth, skills, and how best to use them, having combined two radically different fighting forces together to create his own Guard Unit, the 1st Lokarin, more often known as the Skyshock Drop Troop Regiment, which has come to combine hard-hitting artillery barrages with quick, precision insertions of infantry specialists.

Appearance: Considering all that Krueger has been through, and survived, he looks pretty good for a man of his age. His hair is graying from brown, but he still sports a full head of it, and he chooses to go clean-shaven. His eyes are still the bright blue of a man who still sees a galaxy where faith is not misplaced. His skin is pale, despite his time out on the fields of battle, due to the immeasurable time spent at strategy meetings beforehand, and the occasional hospital stay after. As a high-ranking soldier, and Governor-Militant of an entire planet (even one populated by so few Humans), Krueger is always seen wearing his officer’s uniform (Best-quality clothing) over a suit of Kasrkin storm trooper carapace, trying to look inspiring to his men. Since battle can, and often does, occur at any time, he is usually seen wearing his Titan’s Talons power fist set, mounted guns at the ready to soften up enemies before a real “hammer of the Emperor” reduces the unworthy to pulp before his glory. A fine cape hangs over the slim, arcane backpack that carries the ammunition for his mounted weapons. A fine plasma pistol hangs at his side, just in case his gauntlets are not available. A cyber eye is kept in a pouch at his belt. With his rex implant, he can affix it to his face, benefiting from the device, and still remove it, to maintain his imposing countenance.

Purpose: OoC, Krueger was an attempt to make a character based off of GM Lukas Alexander (DoW: Dark Crusade), and his successor, GM Vance Stubbs (DoW: Soulstorm), and became a main character from a fan-fiction I am writing. He is an example of a powerful, high-level Imperial Guard character. In a game like Dark Heresy, where an Inquisitor could still easily boss him around, he might not seem so cool, but in a more military RPG campaign, using the same rules, he is very cool to me. He is also a bit of an homage to UltMarCM Marneus Calgar, one of my favorite Space Marines, and he bears several similarities to that mighty champion of the Imperium. In a game taking place on Titan's Rest, Krueger could be a mighty ally, with his own personal abilities, specialist "coterie", troops at his command, and numerous military assets.

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I do not know about the game char, but the following things are something I would handle different

WS/BS & Fellowship
This figure has a VERY high WS for somebody who will not see the frontline on a regular basis. In addition, the Fellowship is herculian. Looks like somebody who will be promoted to  Governeur pretty fast and/or will overthrow one rule to become one on his own (still loyal to the Imperium, of course!).

That´s about it. And if this is an major NPC for your Ascension campaigne, he simply might NEED this stats.

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Gregorius21778 said:

I do not know about the game char, but the following things are something I would handle different

WS/BS & Fellowship
This figure has a VERY high WS for somebody who will not see the frontline on a regular basis. In addition, the Fellowship is herculian. Looks like somebody who will be promoted to  Governeur pretty fast and/or will overthrow one rule to become one on his own (still loyal to the Imperium, of course!).

That´s about it. And if this is an major NPC for your Ascension campaigne, he simply might NEED this stats.

Umm, he is supposed to have a large WS, being a close-combat specialist, and Titan's Rest is occupied by a forest full of Orks, and possibly some other, worse things. He sees front-line combat regularly, and has the weapons cued to excel at it. His BS is a good deal lower since he likes to fight up close, and Orks always get there anyway, with their durability, coupled with the fact that Orks actually CAN'T hit targets with their ranged attacks, on account of their Orks, and the only way their guns hit anything is when used as clubs. Krueger has a group or two of melee/assault specialists, even if 40K won't let IG have them. As an Ascension-level character, surrounded by a few similars, in other areas, and a bunch of rank-and-file grunts, his stats are all reasonable-ish, especially when compared to Malaki Vess, another Planetary Governor statted in Ascension (p.199). Being a true military character (I'd guess Vess is more Noble, less Soldier), he just fights better (and not too much better, now that I look (6 better WS and 1 better BS; S, T only marginally better, Ag and Int are actually less). As for his Fellowship, it is higher than Vess, but his men fight for their lives every day, right alongside their leader, so he could be slightly more inspiring than the noble who keeps taxes down, so I'm good with it.

As for rank, he already is Planetary Governor, or Governor-Militant, in his case, it's just that his planet has a Human population of less than 1,000, with an Ork pop of giggles, but it has some very important stuff on it (the remnants of a Titan, and a sequestered Mechanicus facility of amazing quality.

Please note, I'm not trying to be snippy about your comments; I'm still new to this, and I always appreciate character input, especaially in games where I haven't built many (this, one intro-level RT Nagivator, and one other guy makes three). It pleases me to see that anyone is interested in my character, and will share insight. Thanks very much for looking.

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The relic-weapon is a bit hokey, but considering it is inspired by an artifact in the Dawn of War game it is not too bad.  If you have a copy of Deathwatch (or the eratta, since it has revised weapon stats!) then you will probably be much happier with paired Lightning Claws with "gauntlet mount" modified pistol weapons attatched.

That plasma pistol is complete garbage as statted.    Recommend adding 1D10 to the base damage or replacing it with a bolt pistol.

As for the Governor himself:  Looks pretty good to me.  Only "oops" I spotted so far was his Fate Points total (6 listed, 3 in his traits)

@Gregorius:  The high WS and Fel are indeed impressive, but his 37 BS indicates that he was either MUCH more talented in melee combat or has gotten really rusty at marksmanship due to all the years in dimly lit command centers.  He does not have any bonuses to visual awareness tests and he has an augmetic mounting point for optics so it might be fair to assume that the Governor's eyesight is a bit spotty over long distances....

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