Friday, July 3, 2015

NPC Records

Over at theRPGSite Shipyard Locked asked - How do you organize your NPC/monster stats? This prompted me to move up a post I was saving for later. As I go along I will be posting stats for other NPCs and PCs from our campaign. This post makes it easier to understand my format.

Filing System

I have two filing systems. I keep electronic versions of the NPC records on my computer. I used to keep all the NPCs in one large file. This made it easier to search, but as the number of NPC records rose over three hundred the file, with all the images, became too large and somewhat unstable. After that I broke the records into separate files for each NPC.
The electronic version of the individual NPC records are filed alphabetically by name in a People folder on my computer.
I print the records for NPCs who are likely to show up in play. These are filed in two thick mini-binders. They are divided by location. The Paris location fills one binder which is broken down into various subheadings, e.g. Royalty and Grands, Marshals, Greater Titled Nobles, Petit Nobility (SR 8+9), Commoners, Criminals, and several other categories. The other binder contains the rest of the world broken down by country, e.g. England or Spain. The sections for Belgium and the Netherlands are the largest since we ran a long campaign arc in those two countries so the Netherlands has separate entries for Amsterdam and Bergen op Zoom.

NPC Record Format

I use a standardized form for NPCs in Honor+Intrigue. I have an MS-Word template set up with appropriate paragraph styles. The form is 5.5" x 8.5" so that I can print two NPC records on a single letter size page. Squads of Pawns will often use the same format. Pawns associated with a particular NPC may be printed on the back side of the NPC record or on a separate page. An image is included for almost all NPCs.

Record Sections

A typical NPC form includes the following sections. A dagger, "", indicates an NPC who has died.

Name and Title

I use Old English Text MT font, for the old timey look.

Position and Social Rank

Social Ranks run from 0-20 and are written SR-#.


This is a bulleted list for general information about NPC capabilities. It is optional as some NPCs will have more detailed information in the Stats section.

PCImage Tag

“PCImage” refers to my filing system for the NPC images.  After the PCImage tag there is a date formatted YYYYMMDD and then a sequence number separated from the date by a dash. The sequence number is usually bolded. The date tells me when the handout with the NPC's image was given to the players and the sequence number helps me keep straight whose picture is whose and what picture(s) I've used for the NPC. So Le Boucher (see link below) was given to the players in a handout on 09 MARCH 2013 and his image number is 54.
The image is an actual drawing or painting for historical people (if available) or a picture or photo I've nabbed from somewhere on the Internet. For the latter I favor period films or TV shows. The picture is sized to 1.8" width so it fits in the upper right part of the form.
Where in the world the NPC is found or frequents. I use this for organizing my hard copy records.
Lists faction or group membership and enemy factions or specific enemies.
A sentence or two describing the NPC plus any specific voice cues or quirks.
What it says on the can. This is sometimes quite long for important historical people. This section also includes any relevant notes on interactions with the PCs and the NPC’s attitude towards any PCs.
This is a large section that lists the various game stats: Qualities, Combat Abilities, Careers, Lifeblood, Advantage Points, Fortune Points, Boons, Flaws, Weapon stats, Favored Maneuvers, and Equipment.
Favored Maneuvers are the common maneuvers I expect this NPC might use. I choose a subset of the maneuvers based on the NPC's stats, personality, and dueling style. This helps me to run the NPC in combat and really helps the players if I give them an NPC to run, which happens every few sessions. After the maneuver is the bonus to the roll for that NPC. An underlined maneuver indicates the maneuver has been mastered.
If the weapon gives a bonus I indicate that with a bracket. So Paulin's Beat maneuver is listed as Beat+3[4] because if he uses his broadsword which gives a bonus of +1, his beat is +4.
Includes author, campaign, and an indication as to whether the character is historical or fictional.
The author for PCs will be the player, for NPCs that may be me "MSS" or another person if I got the NPC from someone else. Similarly my campaign is L'Honneur et les Intrigues while Black Vulmea’s is Le Ballet de l'Acier. Historical is indicated by (Hist) and fictional by (Fic).

Sample NPCs

Henri II de Bourbon, prince de Condé - a current NPC
Le Boucher † - a deceased villain.
Le Boucher's Gang = an example of a squad of pawns.


No comments:

Post a Comment