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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Building NPC Backgrounds Part I

The tables are primarily designed for non-player characters but, if you want to use them to develop your player character, feel free. The following sections provide a number of tables to roll on though you are not required to use them all. You can follow them or pick an entry – if your GM doesn't mind, of course. Please note that ordinarily only one roll is made on each though the directions may dictate otherwise; follow them where indicated.

Physical Appearance
Everything starts here.  Use the below tables to find out what you look like on the outside. 

Eye or like organs
  1. Pale/Med/ Gray
  2. Pale Green
  3. Violet/Grayblue
  4. Hazel
  5. Light/Med/Dark Brown
  6. Earthy Brown
  7. Blue-green aqua or two-tone hazel (roll again for another color)
  8. Jade Green
  9. Emerald
  10. Icy/Dark/Volcanic Blue
  11. Gold edges, roll again
  12. Pitch black
Hair, Fur, etc.
  1. Short
  2. Shaved
  3. Long
  4. Thick/dense
  5. Very long/very short
  6. Braided/Tails
  7. Curly/Knotted
  8. Patchy
  9. Wispy/straight
  10. Wavy/spiral
Hair Color
  1. Natural Colors (choose)
  2. Dyed (obvious)
  3. False natural
Skin Hues
  1. Porcelain /Ivory
  2. Pinked (Ruddy)
  3. Light Tan
  4. Dark Tan
  5. Bronze
  6. Multicolored
  7. Brown
  8. Ebony
Body Image Likes
As important as knowing what you look like is figuring out how you like to alter or modify it.  This table can be skipped if its not appropriate.  
  1. Jewelry and accouterments
  2. Body modifications
  3. Body painting
  4. Garments/Clothing
  5. Implants
  6. Piercings
  7. Tattoos
  8. Rings (around neck, wrist, etc.)
Quirks
This table can also be skipped as well if not desired.  However, it can provide some quirky things to make an NPC (or PC if desired) very memorable.  
  1. Poker face | Pronounced canines
  2. Mismatched eyes (two different colors) | Facial tics
  3. Wicked arched eyebrows
  4. No chin / Cold to the touch
  5. Never looks a person in the eye | Fearful of the opposite sex
  6. Crooked, obviously previously broken appendance/facial feature (like your nose)
  7. Addiction (choose)
  8. Pronounced accent | Lisp or stutter
  9. Albino | rat-like features
  10. Missing limb or sense / Hirsute
  11. Gigantic ambition
  12. Very long neck | Horrible acne
  13. Very long, delicate fingers | lizard lips (very thin lips)
  14. No sense of humor
  15. Theatrical, dramatic, larger than life
  16. Jittery, restless, no attention span
  17. Sharp chin
  18. Extremely expressive face
  19. Brawler
  20. Vocal imitation | fake accent
  21. Worrier
  22. Gaunt | Scrofulous
  23. Annoying laugh
  24. Prankster
  25. Shifty eyes | Hair lip
  26. Gossiper
  27. Major allergy
  28. Vain 
  29. Stiff old wound, impairs mobility / argumentative
  30. Loud mouthed drunk
  31. Strange smell
  32. Gluttonous, always hungry
  33. Death wish / megalomaniac
  34. Color blind
  35. Gullable
  36. Slob
Motivation
What drives you to do what you do? What dreams do you foster and what thoughts dominate your life?  This table can be used or skipped depending on need.
  1. Achievement
  2. Acquisition
  3. Keeper of the peace
  4. Rabble Rousing
  5. Approval
  6. Hedonism
  7. Adventurer
  8. Education
  9. Honor
  10. Power
  11. Play
  12. Understanding
  13. Service
  14. Creation

This ends part I.  The next section will go into further detail to help flesh out your NPCs.

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