How to create NPCs?

plancktum

First Post
Hi,

at the moment I'm converting the Pathfinder Adventure Path "Rise of the Runelords" for my 13th Age game.
Now, as I find it easy to adapt monsters, I struggle a bit with NPCs. I'm not sure how to create them by myself.
Do you have some advice for me on how to build up the NPCs?

best regards
 

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Halivar

First Post
What I did in 4E, and what probably will work in 13th Age, is to treat the NPC as a monster, and build it as one. The mechanical difference is irrelevant to the narrative, and your players should never notice.
 

waderockett

Explorer
Yep, treat them as monsters -- either reskin an existing monster and its abilities, or build it from scratch. I highly, highly recommend reading the Monster Creation chapter of the 13th Age Bestiary, which walks you through the creation of an evil fire wizard.
 

Kinak

First Post
I've been running Rise of the Runelords using modified monster rules for Pathfinder. I just treat NPCs as monsters (assuming they need stats at all) and it's worked very well.

Check the tactics section of the description for what they're doing in combat. Try to hit some of those points. On the whole, they'll have an absolute ton of abilities they don't use and you don't want to convert. Just grab a few key points and run with it.

Cheers!
Kinak
 

plancktum

First Post
I highly, highly recommend reading the Monster Creation chapter of the 13th Age Bestiary, which walks you through the creation of an evil fire wizard.
Yeah! Thats the answer. my Problem was how to build Monsters in General. but for non NPCs there are enough Monsters in the Core Book, so that this was not a Problem.

so i have to buy the bestiary and use the Information in there :)
 

Baumi

Explorer
Maybee my Companion Rules might help you. They are ment to easily and quickly create Henchmen and One-Shot Characters...

I always loved the DnD 4E Companion Rules, where you can build Characters and Henchmen that have approximative the same power as normal Player Characters, but are far easier to create and handle (no feats, fewer Powers, no Item-Bonuses,..).

This was great for giving Players some Helpers along the way (especially useful if a Character is not in the scene, so he can simply take over the Henchmen) or quickly create Characters for one-shots.

So I did the same for 13th Age, including over a dozen Classes:

Companions V0.8: https://www.dropbox.com/s/w0wqpw493zgmlc7/13th Age Companions V0,8.pdf
Character Sheets: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tal1u4pdd3cnskl/Companionsheets.pdf
 
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Pelgrane

First Post
It depends on the narrative function of the NPCs. If they are for fighting, then you need the stats - adapted monster stats are good. I'd like to do an NPC building guide with pre-built NPCs. If they are for more than fighting then I use "three things" - three distinctive things about the NPC you can act out at the table.
 

plancktum

First Post
So I did the same for 13th Age, including over a dozen Classes:

Companions V0.8: https://www.dropbox.com/s/w0wqpw493zgmlc7/13th Age Companions V0,8.pdf
Character Sheets: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tal1u4pdd3cnskl/Companionsheets.pdf

I will take a look at it :)

It depends on the narrative function of the NPCs. If they are for fighting, then you need the stats - adapted monster stats are good. I'd like to do an NPC building guide with pre-built NPCs. If they are for more than fighting then I use "three things" - three distinctive things about the NPC you can act out at the table.
"Three Things" is a nice thing. I should write down three distinct things for each of the NPCs from the campaign. Gonna be tough but nice :)

When should this "NPC building guide" available? This sounds like the thing I need ;)
 

Balesir

Adventurer
"Three Things" is a nice thing. I should write down three distinct things for each of the NPCs from the campaign. Gonna be tough but nice :)
A game "system" called MGF ("Maximum Game Fun") I once read had a neat character generation system that had "opposed lists" as a concept. Things like:

- Write down three things that everybody knows about your character.
- Write down two things that nobody knows about your character.

- What does your character want to happen?
- What does your character want NOT to happen?

A few of these (more than around seven per character in total would be bad) can help generate some interesting characters - both PCs and NPCs.
 

mkill

Adventurer
I assume the difference between NPC and monster is that an NPC is expected to have some social interaction with the party too. In that case, you may want to give them ability scores and backgrounds like a PC, just in case. For combat, though, building a monster stat block based on the custom monster guidelines is fine.
 

Baumi

Explorer
Just a quick update about the "Companions". :)

I used the Companions now extensively for several Sessions and can report that they work really fine. The Players had a lot of fun with them and they seem quite balanced, at least around 3-4th Level.

Companions V0.9: http://www.flanf.net/files/13th_Age_Companions.zip

Changes:
-) Nearly all Classes got tweaked (some extensively).
-) Renamed “Flexible Casting” to Spellweaving.
-) Summoning Powers (Illusionist, Summoner) are now based on your own stats (easier and quicker).
-) Added a Page with Names and Personalities.
 

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