Whether you’re stuck in a lockdown or social distancing, or you don’t have a game coming up soon and you need to scratch that RPG itch, you can always play an RPG singleplayer.
In this series we’ll be taking you through how to play the Sigil System as a singleplayer-RPG, and last time we gave you the basics and the two golden rules.
This time we’re talking about NPCs and how to give them some flavour.
Friends & Strangers
This post will be all about how to add some randomisation to NPCs in order to keep them unique and surprising to you as the player (while simultaneously being the GM). Remember that you don’t have to randomise each and every NPC you come into contact with; the tables below are only tools to help you if you get stuck with coming up with an NPC’s traits or personality or if you want to add in a bit of uncertainty to the social encounter to keep you on your toes. You are, after all, the storyteller and should use these tools so they best fit the story.
Attitudes & Goals
Not every NPC you meet will be your best friend, willing to divulge every secret they have and opt to join you in any quest you want, and nor should they. Most NPCs, like most people in life, will be entirely neutral and apathetic to your existence, and some others may not particularly like you. The NPC’s Attitude towards you will set the tone for the rest of your interaction with them, and this little table helps to set that Attitude.
And no matter who you meet, they will have some goal they are trying to achieve. It doesn’t have to be life dream or worldly aspiration, but in most cases will just be the thing they are currently wanting or in need of. What they want will affect how they treat you, so a change in their current goal will change everything about your social interaction with them.
|1-5||Acquire more wealth|
|11-15||Basic needs (hunger, thirst, sleep)|
|21-25||Fame and recognition|
|26-30||Fill a spiritual hole|
|56-60||Protect/care for someone|
|61-65||Respect and appreciation|
|66-70||Rest and relaxation|
|71-75||Right a wrong|
|81-85||Running from something|
|86-90||Send a message|
|91-95||Start/continue a project|
|96-100||Take what others have|
The NPCs’ current goals are intentionally vague so that they can fit with most circumstances and so that you can flavour them that best fits the narrative.
Personality & Emotions
If you are in a bind and can’t think of what personality an NPC should have, or have to get a lot of NPCs in short order, we have a couple of d100 tables that can help.
Rather than fill the rest of this blog post with 200 rows of tables, here’s a neat pdf that you can check out instead. For both tables you can just roll a d100 and match your roll to the result to get an answer.
The first table will show you what the NPCs current emotional state is. Are they happy, sad, angry, etc? What emotion they have will dictate how they respond to your character, and may make it easier or harder to work with them.
The second table is for their personality. Are they the whimsical sort, or more of a grim figure; blunt and boisterous, or sophisticated and solemn. This table will add a lot of flavour to the NPCs you encounter and give them that unique surprise that comes from player a regular RPG.
That’s it for this blog post about playing the Sigil System as a singleplayer-RPG. Take all these tools together with the 2 Golden Rules from the last post, and you will have everything you need to play any social encounter you can think of.
In the meantime, if you want to chat with us and other Stormforge fans, come join our Discord server!