Be Awesome at NPC Design

Be Awesome at NPC Design

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in Design Advice
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Your PCs have final emerged from the dungeon laden with loot prised from the clutches of their slain foes. Heroically returning to civilisation, they find a tavern, divide up their loot and relax. Then they ask “So what are the people like here, anyway?” At this point, the GM likely panics and either replies “nothing special” or improvises a series of similar, one-dimensional (and ultimately forgettable) NPCs. (After all, most GMs have got barely enough time to prepare the next adventure; preparing dozens of NPCs the PCs might interact with is likely a long way down their “to do” list.)

Be Awesome at Designing NPCs banishes this problem! Within, you’ll find tables designed to enable the busy GM to quickly and simply create hundreds of memorable, rounded NPCs. With just a few dice rolls, the GM can generate an NPC’s notable physical traits, personality traits, mannerisms, current activity and profession, leaving him more time to concentrate on the adventure at hand!

Why You Should Take My Advice

In short, I've been around the block.

I've been on both sides of the designer/publisher fence. In 1999, I started out as a hungry, wildly inexperienced and tremendously naive freelancer. Now, I'm a grizzled (nay veteran) publisher and editor who has written, edited and developed well in excess of 1,000,000 words of gaming content. I've written for big and small publishers alike and won an ENnie for Madness at Gardmore Abbey (2012 [Silver], Best Adventure). A partial list of my design credits includes: Wizards of the Coast (Monster Manual V, Exemplars of Evil, Madness at Gardmore Abbey), Paizo Publishing (Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine), Expeditious Retreat Press (Legacy of Darkness, Plague), Kobold Press (Deep Magic), Rite Publishing (Pathways magazine, Adventure Quarterly) and Raging Swan Press (Retribution, Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands, The Sunken Pyramid).

During my early freelance days I was very lucky to have a mentor of sorts. Stephen Radney-MacFarland at the time was the RPGA's Big Cheese and my Living Greyhawk boss. During the course of the campaign, he gave me countless pointers and pieces of advice on how to commission, edit and develop modules. He gave me tremendous insights into the design process both in the campaign and at Wizards of the Coasts. (Luckily, he also didn't strangle me despite serious provocation on several occasion). During my time on the campaign I worked on over 100 modules and wrote another 20 or so myself. I had a lot of time to practise his suggestions.

In 2010, I founded Raging Swan Press and have built it into one of the most successful, prolific and recognised publishers of Pathfinder compatible products in the multiverse. I've worked closely with dozens of freelancers and to date (November 2013), have released over 160 supplements, adventures and player aids.

I want to share with you the insights and advice I've received over the years. I was lucky enough to have a mentor, but you might not.

Format & Delivery

This is a digital product. Once you’ve checked out, you will receive a download link for your purchase.

This book is a Dual Format PDF. You’ll find two versions in the zip file: one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad. The two versions are identical except the screen version has been compressed so it renders quicker on screen.