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Quick & Dirty NPC Generation?

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Count_Zero Count_Zero's picture
Quick & Dirty NPC Generation?
As character generation in EP is a torturous affair (slightly less so with Transhuman), does anyone have quick and dirty rules or method for NPC generation?
kindalas kindalas's picture
I use the NPC prime pdf that
I use the NPC prime pdf that was release ages ago. then I just add skills as needed to make minor NPCs. Major NPCs I make like PCs. But I do that so that it is in my best interests to have a balanced and varied case of NPCs in the games I run.
I am a Moderator of this Forum [color=red]My mod voice is red.[/color] The Eclipse Phase Character sheet is downloadable here: [url=http://sites.google.com/site/eclipsephases/home/cabinet] Get it here![/url]
Count_Zero Count_Zero's picture
I too have the ndc prime, and
I too have the ndc prime, and it is very useful. I was just wondering if anyone had a quick and dirty way of stating up npcs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it necessary to have even major npcs as detailed ad pcs?
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
The quick and dirty way?
The quick and dirty way? If someone's really, completely unskilled at something, like someone who's never piloted a vehicle in their life finding themselves behind the wheel of a groundcar, they roll vs. 20. If someone's learned how to do something but hasn't put in much time to practice, like someone who goes to the firing range very occasionally (like say, once every two years or so) needing to pick up a gun and fight for their lives, they roll vs. 40 If it's something that someone does frequently, but it isn't something they've put an awful lot of effort into mastering, like an everyday commuter behind the wheel of a groundcar, they roll vs. 50. If it's something that someone uses frequently which they do put effort into mastering, like a Triad ganger needing to rough someone up, or a beat cop shooting at someone, they roll vs. 60. If it's something which someone has put a lot of work into, to the point that they'd appear in a reputation list as one of the best 10,000 transhumans at it or something, like a war veteran soldier's ballistic skill, or a locally-known individual as one of the best habitechs on the hab, they roll vs. 80. If someone's one of the best of the best - say, one of the best 1,000 transhumans at what they do, like a surviving SEAL sniper or a championship-winning motorsport driver, they roll vs. 100. If someone is a [i]legend[/i], one of the 100 best or so, like a Kung Fu Master whispered about in hushed awe or, Teilhard Liu or Magnus Ming are in the fields of military strategy and academics, respectively, they roll vs. 120. All of these rolls are not taking modifiers into account (though yes, I am fudging it for the roll above 100 one, assuming that unspecified positive modifiers are in effect.) So a legendary sniper like Carlos Hathcock would be shooting at 130 after taking his smartgun link into account, etc, but it could be reduced significantly by imposing negative penalties on him.
Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name. [url=http://tinyurl.com/mfcapss]My EP Character Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/lbpsb93]Thread for my Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/obu5adp]The Five Orange Pips[/url]
kindalas kindalas's picture
Count_Zero wrote:. Correct me
Count_Zero wrote:
. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it necessary to have even major npcs as detailed ad pcs?
It isn't, but I do it as a part of my process for making my GMing better.
I am a Moderator of this Forum [color=red]My mod voice is red.[/color] The Eclipse Phase Character sheet is downloadable here: [url=http://sites.google.com/site/eclipsephases/home/cabinet] Get it here![/url]
Count_Zero Count_Zero's picture
Fair enough kindalas, I wish
Fair enough kindalas, I wish I had the time to do the same. Thanks for the benchmarks ShadowDragon8685, I'll definitely use them when generating npcs.
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
It's also useful for
It's also useful for eyeballing something, like if your players decide to rough up some street gangers you threw into a scene description for flavor.
Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name. [url=http://tinyurl.com/mfcapss]My EP Character Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/lbpsb93]Thread for my Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/obu5adp]The Five Orange Pips[/url]
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
I basically use multiple
I basically use multiple elements. If I'm planning for something, I'll usually jot down a page number for the NPC File (or an appropriate other statblock, such as for Exsurgents or Exhumans), or if I'm building a long-term or major plot point NPC, I'll quickly bash together using the packages from Transhuman. You can use less than 10 PP of packages if you want to low-ball them. Alternatively, if there's not an extant NPC, but I'm just making up something generic, I'll usually start from existing stats but make up what I want. Example, if I'm building AI-run security pods subverted by the TITANs, I start with the stats for a Security AI, but then I tweak the numbers and add a couple more skills so they're more viable as antagonists. If your players are doing something completely unexpected but not worth, say, taking five minutes to check for a NPC stats, shadowdragon's guidelines are good for a quick improv, and are roughly the same as the guidelines in the core book for what a skill percentage "means".
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uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
Skills are easy, using
Skills are easy, using benchmarks like what ShadowDragon outlined above, it's keeping track of morph stats and statblocks utilizing such that complicates the Quick & Dirty NPC generation. An NPC Morph/statblock cheat sheet would be handy. I think I need to generate one of these. If the NPC is important enough to stat up, you just use Transhumans Package Point system, it takes 1/3 as long as the 1000 point standard method.
Exhuman, and Humanitarian.
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
As an alternative to using
As an alternative to using character generation methods for generating NPCs, ignore it entirely. Assign your NPC's base aptitudes. You won't need them yet, though. Ignore morph, assume for this purpose that the NPC is in a Flat which mysteriously has maximized the aptitude cap in all aptitudes. Go down the list of the NPC's skills, assigning numbers to skills based on how important they are to that NPC. Ignore the NPC's aptitudes, assume they're included in these values - for instance, decide that a masterful hacker should have an Interfacing of about 70 and an Infosec of 90. Now slap the morph bonuses on top of that; the hacker's in a Bright? Their COG-linked skills just went up by 10. Track the morph bonii separately; use a table in which the "natural skill" is the default in one column, then list the morph bonii by skill's linked aptitude in the next column, then the sum of each in yet another column. This has the advantage of allowing you to more easily transfer that NPC into another morph, if, say, your players kill them but they reinstantiate from backup in a new body and come looking for some payback. Just erase the second two columns and readjust based on the new aptitudes and bonii/penaltii of the new morph.
Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name. [url=http://tinyurl.com/mfcapss]My EP Character Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/lbpsb93]Thread for my Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/obu5adp]The Five Orange Pips[/url]
doublethink doublethink's picture
For most games I just go with 3 values for NPC stats
Physical/Mental/Social That's about it. For EP, I'd give them a % value used for any skill checks in those areas. Along with this, a small write-up of appearance, voice, any distinguishing characteristics I can use in roleplaying.
jasonbrisbane jasonbrisbane's picture
ahem?
Sorry to jump in for the shameless plug, but I am creatign a character generator based on Transhumans Package system (the first part of the book), where you can select a single optioni and see the details that result. ie: I have a frequent need as a GM for Fall Evacuee: underclass, and Faction = Criminal and they I want to see the resultant character... Default: Aptitude default is Dilletante - all stats at 15, and adjusted by packages. Morph is flat - no modifications. No gear is given or calculated. The first package selected is a 5pt, then 3Pt, then 1 and 1pt. If Faction is chosen first then the 3pt slot is given to that, then the next gets the 5pt slot (except customisatons which are only 1pt, etc. So it seems to work corre4ctly - had a breakthrough last night and now it seems to be doing nice things. I will test tonight and I hope to have it published on the playstore (android only) by next weekend (my next game). It will allow me to press a few buttons, and get an idea as to what skills a person of that background/faction/etc will have.... It is called TRS - Transhuman Resleeving Service! Stay tuned.
Regards, Jason Brisbane
Count_Zero Count_Zero's picture
Sounds good Jason, keep us
Sounds good Jason, keep us posted.
jasonbrisbane jasonbrisbane's picture
TRS has been released
Hello All, TRS - Transhuman Resleeving Services - has now been released. A Character creator based upon Posthuman's Eclipse Phase - Transhuman Book. Create your own character with as few details as possible. A Great resource for GM's wishing to quickly compile stats for NPC's from any combination of Background, Faction, Focus, Customization, etc with selectable Aptitudes, Language and Morph. Should be pushed to the playstore soon. It currently doesnt have a "Share" function - it is intended for GM's to use to create NPC's on the fly for immediate stats. I will introduce the Share function in V2. Let me know what you think.
Regards, Jason Brisbane
Count_Zero Count_Zero's picture
Fantastic app Jason! Very
Fantastic app Jason! Very useful!
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Bravo!
Absolutely Fantastic :) Do you accept feature requests? :D
In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?
jasonbrisbane jasonbrisbane's picture
sure
You suggest it and I will see what I can do I'm planning to add a "share" option to the menu on the char screen. What else could I put in?
Regards, Jason Brisbane
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
I have used my thinkmeats on it.
Okay, I've spent a bit more time thinking about it, and I came up with the following. Just to be absolutely clear, these are only ideas and idle requests, and you should feel absolutely no pressure to actually do anything about them. The program is great already :D
  • Have it not crash when I use the phone's default "back" button :P
  • Have the morph menu organisable with synth/pod/biomorph catagories or alphabetically. Or both. (Perhaps though sub-menus?)
  • An alternate character sheet layout with Aptitudes and other values set out in 2 rows of 8 blocks, like in the books.
  • An alternate character sheet layout where Skills are organised by thier level, beginning with the highest values at the top, with an empty line between each "block" of 10 (All 99-90, then all 89-80 and so on).
  • A character sheet combining the above two. :P
  • Finally, the ability to store the generated NPCs as a horozontlly scrollable "flipbook", so I can scoll up/down within the sheet, and swiping left/right jumps to the next NPC.
In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?