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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:35 am
  

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Explorer

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:22 am
Posts: 140
Hello all, I was wondering if the time a npc has been in an occupation ever factors into what level that npc is? I really never made my npcs have an actual level, I just gave them the skills and or abilities I needed for them to have for the plot line he or she was involved in.

However, another gm in my group has told me that he either rolls a percentile die to determine a npc level if he doesnt plan on the npc being all too important or he figures out in the npc's back story how long the npc has been at his profession and makes the appropriate call on what level the npc is.

So what do you guys do?


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:43 pm
  

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Wanderer

Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:24 pm
Posts: 72
Location: berbs of new lazlo
Comment: "Breakfast,brunch,lunch,linner,dinner and supper are the six most important meals of the day to gnomes"
If NPC is unimportant or not gonna fight then I give no level but NP age never factors in its always based on what I think will chalange but not outright kill my group

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:08 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
The latter.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:54 am
  

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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:25 pm
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Location: Reno, Nevada
I seldom even assign a class to my NPCs! They can do a narrow range of things as well as they need to for purposes of advancing the story and supporting or opposing the PCs. More than that is a waste of effort, in my opinion.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:48 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
Side subject : 'advancing the story' - ugh! Advancing the story is for novel writing - solo novel writing! It doesn't even work in tandem novel writing, since you have to actually accept material from your co-author. In roleplay, you have three to five co-authors...


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:32 pm
  

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Location: Reno, Nevada
You never feed people a plot hook, have an NPC give information or aid when the players attempt to engage them? Not every game has to be about pillars that stand alone.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:59 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
No, I don't feed people things. I've run that way in the distant past, but now, no. No idea what you mean by pillars. Your NPC giving information seems another hook feeding mechanism - really no, it's possible to both interact with an NPC and it isn't a hook feeding moment.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:44 pm
  

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Palladin

Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:40 pm
Posts: 9481
Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
ALL storytelling is 'advancing the story' There is a huge difference between railroading and simply helping though. If the players are looking to find out who the wizard in the tower is any NPC who answers a question, even one posed by the PCs is 'advancing the story' And I don't need the character sheet for Blind Bill the beggar they are asking about the tower overlooking the town. Now if EVERY person they talk to does nothing but soliloquize about the dread wizard Tim....then yes that's also 'advancing the story' and its railroading.
The first is co-operative writing, the second is solo writing.

The only kind of game that can be played with out 'advancing the story' is a non-story game. MAYBE a hack and slash game MIGHT be able to be played with out a story advancing. But in any other game their will be a story, and the actions of people in that world will 'advance' it. To claim otherwise is to deny the basic structure of the story (beginning, middle, end. Thank you School House Rock) or to conflate storytelling with railroading.

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The rules are not a bludgeon with which to hammer a character into a game. They are a guide to how a group of friends can get together to weave a collective story that entertains everyone involved. We forget that at our peril.

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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:28 am
  

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Hero

Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:12 pm
Posts: 1103
Location: Canada EH?!
My game tends to be more of a sandbox where I craft the world, and the individual stories going on around the players, but the players choose where they want to go and what they want to get involved with. This means I tend to flesh a lot of things out as I never really know what's going to happen.

To answer the question, if I need a level for a character (during planning) I'll typically give them experience equal to their IQ multiplied by the number of days they've had that occupation. If the character has been through some crazy stuff, or had to really work hard for that time, I'll typically multiply the amount by 2 or 3.

So say an Operator with an IQ of 12 has been working at a town for like 2 years with fairly light work, I'll give him 8760 experience (level 4). Say he's working in a larger city and is fairly busy, I'd bump his experience up to 17520 (level 5). Working about as hard as an adventuring party? 26280 (level 6)

If it's on the spot (during game), I'll typically just ballpark figure it based on how I want him perceived.

Level 1-2: Fairly inexperienced
Level 3-4: Competent at what they do, but not really an expert. Still has gaps in knowledge and may still need references from time to time.
Level 5-6: These are the guys who don't need to refer to anything. They can often know what's wrong, or how to deal with something before even getting all of the information.
Level 7+: Various degrees of expert. These guys usually know some neat tricks of the trade and can usually do the more mundane tasks blindfolded, with both hands tied behind their backs (as the saying goes).

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:12 pm
  

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Adventurer

Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:01 am
Posts: 636
Location: The Kingdom of Farr
I use a bell curve for most NPCs in the world with the largest group within between levels 3-4 for most adults professionals.

The younger they are the less likely they are to have an Occupation at all.
Older teens and 20 somethings are usually 1-3 level.
Old characters I tend to give a little higher level. Generic NPC that is beyond 50 years of age gets a bump of 1 or 2 levels.

So say you had a town population of 100.

5% at Zero or being trained/No OCC
10% at 1st
15% at 2nd
25% at 3rd
20% at 4th
10% at 5th
5% at 6th
3% at 7th
2% at 8th
etc...

The other 5% is for important NPC, high level characters.


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