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nobleone2

How to make an NPC?

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I was sad to see little to no help through the GM Kit... I have a few ideas on NPCs to send my crew up against... Is there a resource or from experience a way to create NPCs?

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Not really, and it's generally not needed.

 

NPC construction is process is simply to decide the level of threat (minion, rival, or nemesis), pick what Characteristics make sense (generally in the 1 to 3 range, with 4 being really exceptional, and 5 being amazing), and select the skills appropriate to the concept.  If the threat is a rival or nemesis, spice it up with a selection of talents that fit the concept and enable the threat to do what you need it to do in the encounter.

 

Unlike d20 systems, there's no hard-and-fast rules to making an NPC, which requires a fair amount of eyeballing on the GM's part.  I'd say use the existing NPCs as a measuring stick for the first few attempts.

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I did some quick analysis based on what's in the Core Rulebook. I've only completed Minions so far and will do the others a bit later. Here's my quick and admittedly unpolished analysis.

 

Minions

 

Characteristic Points: From 11 to 14 with an individual characteristic being no higher than 3.

Defense: per the normal rules

Soak: per the normal rules

Strain: per the rules, minions don't have strain

Wounds: Brawn +2 to +3. You can make an exception to this if you intend your minions to act individually and go as high as Br +5.

Skills: per the rules, minions only use skills in groups. They have 0 to 4 skills with 2 being typical.

Talents: none

Abilities: none

Equipment: typically 1 ranged, 1 melee and 1 armor. Obviously equip your minions with what makes sense. You could make substitutions of the above formula. For example, replace the melee weapon with 2 grenades. If you want them weaker, only have a single ranged weapon and no armor. (Note that Stormtroopers are an exception to this and carry a few more bits of equipment.)

 

Notes on Droids:

*Lower the characteristics on droid minions. They will typically have 6 to 8 points with any characteristic higher than 1 specific to that droids purpose.

*Soak seems to be Br + 2 due to the metallic nature of droids though PC Droids don't seem to get this same benefit.

*Skills only specific to the droid's purpose - usually only 1.

*Droid minions get all the same special abilities any other droid does (don't need to breathe, etc.)

*Equip droids as necessary for their purpose.

 

Notes on Creatures:

*Characteristics for creatures fall between droids and regular minions - about 8 to 10.

*They typically have 2 skills specific to that creature (most creatures have a couple "purposes") much like droids.

*Special Abilities should mate with the skills based on the creatures "purpose".

*Equipment should also reflect the creatures purpose with skills and special abilities and is usually not "real" equipment but rather something integral to the creature (like claws or sucker mouth.)

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I did some quick analysis based on what's in the Core Rulebook. I've only completed Minions so far and will do the others a bit later. Here's my quick and admittedly unpolished analysis.

 

Minions

 

Characteristic Points: From 11 to 14 with an individual characteristic being no higher than 3.

Defense: per the normal rules

Soak: per the normal rules

Strain: per the rules, minions don't have strain

Wounds: Brawn +2 to +3. You can make an exception to this if you intend your minions to act individually and go as high as Br +5.

Skills: per the rules, minions only use skills in groups. They have 0 to 4 skills with 2 being typical.

Talents: none

Abilities: none

Equipment: typically 1 ranged, 1 melee and 1 armor. Obviously equip your minions with what makes sense. You could make substitutions of the above formula. For example, replace the melee weapon with 2 grenades. If you want them weaker, only have a single ranged weapon and no armor. (Note that Stormtroopers are an exception to this and carry a few more bits of equipment.)

 

Notes on Droids:

*Lower the characteristics on droid minions. They will typically have 6 to 8 points with any characteristic higher than 1 specific to that droids purpose.

*Soak seems to be Br + 2 due to the metallic nature of droids though PC Droids don't seem to get this same benefit.

*Skills only specific to the droid's purpose - usually only 1.

*Droid minions get all the same special abilities any other droid does (don't need to breathe, etc.)

*Equip droids as necessary for their purpose.

 

Notes on Creatures:

*Characteristics for creatures fall between droids and regular minions - about 8 to 10.

*They typically have 2 skills specific to that creature (most creatures have a couple "purposes") much like droids.

*Special Abilities should mate with the skills based on the creatures "purpose".

*Equipment should also reflect the creatures purpose with skills and special abilities and is usually not "real" equipment but rather something integral to the creature (like claws or sucker mouth.)

 

Nice analysis.  :-)

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*Soak seems to be Br + 2 due to the metallic nature of droids though PC Droids don't seem to get this same benefit.

 

 

That's the account for the fact that droids have "armor" but it's actually just their metal plating, like with PC droids. So, that droid over there might effectively have heavy clothing or padded armor, but it's not in their equipment list because it's actually built into them.

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Thank you mrvander. The Adversaries for this game seem much simpler to construct than for most other games. It is taking me a bit to realize that Minions can really be so simple.

I think with a bit of practice I will be able to easily create Minion groups on the fly. For a bunch of goons and thugs it doesn't even matter what species they are, or even a mix. Just decide how tough and capable the group is overall.

For a Nemesis expect to do more work, almost as much as building a PC. But for an important character it's worth it.

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Something I've always wanted to know is: how do you make good NPC's which are going to help your player characters.

 

The book only really covers NPC's in terms of how much of a bad guy they are. Of course, I guess you could just use levels of threat to define how much of a threat they are to adversaries but it would be nice if there was an extension which dealt with Protagonist NPC's.

 

I just think, personally, an outline such as mrvander came up with for minions should be one of the first things which should go into the GM section of the book. Or even if there was a campaign guide, put it there. But to leave people to simply work it out for themselves and only come up with archetypes for adversaries in the NPC section of the book is rather restricting.

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I have to disagree while the book does focus on how these measure up as enemies there is nothing saying you have to use them as such.  Maybe  that smuggler or slicer rival is a friend and he helps your players out from time to time.  You can alter the personality as best to suit your story's need.  However, I have found that it doesn't matter the system you use you have to be careful that you don't make NPC's that outshine the players.  Also, you could make it where player's wonder what they are doing if an NPC can do it for them.  I had this happen in my first Star Wars game (not EotE) as my players just built droids and programmed in skills into them to supplement their skills.  Eventually this led me to pull the plug on their revenue stream because that was all they would do is buy and build a droid to do it for them.

 

A fast and simple way for your NPC's helpers is pick the skill you want them good at put it at a 3 and the attribute associated at a 3 and then everything else at 2.  This is a base human character and you can adjust as necessary for any  other race off of that.  Then you just fill out the rest of the skills.  To make it really simple don't give them specialization skills just  regular class skills.  That should make NPC generation really quick as far as minions are concerned.  Equipment limit to about 250 credits  especially if it is only supposed to be a helper NPC.  Then you can just add talents as you see appropriate for them if you want to make them in the rival/nemesis range  of power.  If you want it to be like a truly memorable or powerful character make it a regular pc build honestly.  Like Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels was a player character but when you got to Episode IV he is an NPC thus he can die like any other non-heroic character in the game even though he was a hero character in the past.

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