Thursday, August 7, 2014

My love of NPCs

I've run many games since I started tabletop roleplaying in college way back in 2000 -- holy crap, it has been 14 years. I'm by no means a perfect GM. I have many flaws. I sometimes choose favorites. I can be crap at explaining things at times. I also sometimes drown in details. Granted, the last one goes with my writing in general. I have a very cluttered mind. Sometimes following a thought I had is like walking through a hoarder's house. This is why for my current campaign, I've written out everything that needs to happen in the next session.

"Drowning in details" sometimes takes on the form of creating NPCs. I love creating NPCs. Well, I really like making characters in general. In different gaming groups, what I'm known for in each one of them is I write very long character backgrounds. Yeah, I partly do this because I need to get some of that detail out of my head so I can find it later. Another is because I just like writing them. Character creation has always been my strong point as a writer and a roleplayer. I struggle to describe a forest or what is in the room, but I can turn out character action and dialogue pretty easily.

Anyways, NPCs give me the opportunity to scratch that itch of character creation I love so much. And while I call it a flaw of mine, many of my former gamers have complimented me on how complex my NPCs are. I do get peeved by stories in which the background characters only exist for the main character in media. The only thing you know about them is what they contribute to the main character. Otherwise, they are waiting backstage to wait to be of use again. Or they follow a specific path and not deviate from it like in classic rpg games.
But I just want to get to the Golden Saucer *whines*

I really like when background characters have their own story and there are hints to that story but you only get glimpses of it because the story is not about him/her. It just happens at that moment in time, whatever quest or goal he/she is on just happens to overlap the goals of the main character. In many ways, I view my NPCs just like that. They have their own stories going on and maybe it will overlap with the main one or not.

So I don't drown in details, I decided to talk a little about the NPCs in my current game. Ed inspired me to write this post because he made one about his character's band. Since I can't draw, I usually find actors to represent my characters in the game. So without further ado, some of the NPCs in my game.

Before anyone is like Luke Pasqualino is Italian not Latino, calm yourself. Mateo's mom is from Argentina

 Mateo Rodriguez is a senior and lives on Galileo Street which means he is the son of one of the six families in the city who might as well be royalty. He's the oldest of six kids. His father is the head of administrative stuff and his mother is the head of IT. He's a troublemaker who slums with the Shop Kids and just loves to get people going. He's a bit of a Karma Houdini because he knows how to play his dad like a fiddle to get out of any real punishment. He's bffs with the PC Jocelyn Keys who lives behind him and together, the two like to cause trouble. There is also UST. When he mutated, he got super speed. To be honest, Mateo is pretty much the "GM's character" although I haven't fit him in with the group yet outside Jocelyn.

The name of this actress is Pegah Ferydoni and I wish I could find the show she's in with English Subtitles

Shirin Zanjani is also a senior and is from Galileo Street. She is one of the six royal families of Apache Springs. Her father heads the Scientific Research Branch of the company. Much about her family is source of speculation of the town gossips as they are the newest of the six. When they first moved to the town, Shirin and her older brother Naveed were children and they just came with their father and lived on Tesla (the middle class street)  but within a few years, they were on Galileo after the previous head of the branch quit his job and the city. Shirin is classified as a "floater" clique-wise and is in many ways, a Renaissance Woman with many interests. She makes her own clothes (and makes costumes for the drama club), plays clarinet in the band, and is a member of the technology club where her programming skills are top notch. She's kind of a silly girl who laughs at dumb jokes and funny pictures, and always seems to be smiling. Video gaming is also another one of her hobbies. She is also a big sister type (even though she is the little sister in her family) and always has her ear available for anyone. She has taken a liking to PC Ashley Williams, mostly because Ash does not have a mother and neither does she. So naturally, they should stick together.

I can't believe I heard about this from JACKIE RODETSKY

Sparrow Johanssen is a junior. Her parents are both nurses at the hospital and both of them are stereotypically Wiccan. She has a little sister named Robin and a little brother named Jay (that is his middle name). She's an artsy person and hangs out with the Performing Arts Clique. She often complains she never gets the main roles in the musicals because "Musical Theater has a hatred towards altos." Nevermind she is a little over the top with her acting. She is just over the top in general. She also has the habit of stretching the truth so she is not the one to tell a secret because it will be exaggerated and all around the school in a day. She's loud and kind of hostile. She used to date PC Brock Bauer and sang back up in his band. After the break up (which she may still have hostile, tsundere feelings for Brock), she started her own band, A Bunch of Assholes, in which she is the lead singer and guitar player. A Bunch of Assholes is the rival band to Brock's Fungal Bloom.

I joined these to together because they make up A Bunch of Assholes. On the left is Alex Khan and he's a junior who plays bass guitar. He is the total opposite of Sparrow. In fact, he's kind of a wet blanket. He rolls his eyes a lot and just kind of a gloomy gus. He plays the cello normally and also acts in the school plays and sings in Glee Club. His parents are low level lab techs. On the right is Kelly Page who plays drums. She's Sparrow's BFF and is generally cheerful and hyper but not nearly as abrasive as Sparrow is. She is a very talented singer and often gets the leads but she is so modest, she is surprised EVERY SINGLE TIME she gets the ingenue.

I put these two together because I can and mostly what can be said about one can be said about the other. The two are the twins Devlin and Declan MacGowan who are seniors and live on Galileo Street. Unlike Shirin and Mateo who don't really care much about their status, Devlin and Declan revel in it. Devlin is the head off the Student Activities committee and Declan is the captain of the football team. Both of them are smarmy and know just what to say to get people to do what they want. Devlin is very much a Regina George. And Declan is just... kind of a tool who is an asshole to everyone just because he can get away with it. Mateo will play a prank because he thinks it is funny, Declan is out for your humiliation. Their mother is head of security. And their father... well, he does a whole lot of nothing as he is the heir to some oil fields in Texas. He is a man of many hobbies and loves the outdoors. He's actually a nice guy, if a bit out to lunch, and it is hard to believe he produced these two monsters. Oh I should say the twins have two older sisters and a younger brother and sister.

In a world in which Rachel Berry is the Popular Girl

Tatiana Selnik is also from one of the six families on Galileo Street. She is Devlin's right hand woman and is purposely an expy to Gretchen Weiners in Mean Girls. She's a gossip. She has to know everyone's business. She's also spoiled and thinks the kids from the circle are supposed to serve her. I wouldn't say she's necessarily "mean" just out of touch in the "let them eat cake" way. Her father does something with "analysis" and her mother is a guidance counselor at the school.  She likes to boss around PC Anna Novak the most, however.

There is a few more background characters but these are the main STUDENT ones that the PCs have had some interaction with so far. I have adult ones and I think there will be a NPC post part 2 and so on as the game progresses.

No comments:

Post a Comment