Let’s talk about the mythical distinction between players and characters. Players are characters. Characters are players. And once you accept that, it’s a lot easier to run a fun game. Warning: this gets ranty.
This is it, this is my everything. This is why I’m such a great teacher. This is everything I know about RPGs and GMs and the secret order and structure that underlies them.
Villains are stories, but they are also people. And that means they have personality traits and fears and hopes and dreams and interactions, right? Well, if you want a good game, you don’t want too much of that crap.
When is an NPC not an NPC? When it’s a villain. Because villains are more than mere NPCs. Because villains create plots. And I don’t mean evil schemes. I mean stories.
While not every NPC is a monster, every monster is an NPC. And that’s what this is all about. NPC antagonists. The violent and the non-violent. We’re talking enemies today.
Are you looking to run better games in the New Year? Do you need ten New Years Resolutions to fail at in 2017? Then look no further. I have ten resolutions I guarantee are unlike any others you’ve seen from OTHER crappy gaming blogs.
The hardest thing any GM has to do is come up with stuff on the fly. Especially when that stuff needs mechanical rules behind it. Fortunately, you have this Marvelous Mechanical Miscellany for Ad Hoc Adjudication and Improvisational Invention.
What do you do when your players force you to turn a nameless, faceless nobody into an actual NPC? What do you do when they don’t even start with a nameless, faceless nobody? How do you make NPCs out of nothing?