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Monday, November 15, 2010

LTAW #2: NPC Database (Part 1)

For week 2 of LARP Thing A Week, I've started a NPC spreadsheet on Google Docs. This spreadsheet is part of what will become a NPC database which will allow plot team members to find details about the NPCs they need and compare data. The example below has only a few NPCs and the juicy bits are intentionally left out, but it gives an idea of the structure I'm aiming for.

I've created 15 columns: Name, Who plays the NPC, A few notes on the character's role, race, Costume Notes, Body Points (Hit Points for those that don't play NERO), Weapons used, Standard Abilities (abilities which would be available to PCs), Formal Magic Effects, Immunities, What types of things heal them, what can harm them, Special Abilities (not usually available to PCs), Deaths & related info (How many deaths for their final death count, and info about what happens when they die or how they need to be killed), and Plot Notes.

A pretty extensive list, but I have a sneaking suspicion I'm missing something, so if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

There are better options for creating a database than using Google Docs, but GD has something very important to me: the ability to selectively share and collaborate on documents. I can give my plot team access to the document (and even just to parts of the document), while keeping my players in the dark.



We will return to the idea of an NPC database, in an effort to create something wonderful, but this is the first, crude step.

3 comments:

  1. That's a great idea! As someone who ran plot for years, this stuff is easy to forget, especially when a player informs you that he's going to go talk to someone he only met years ago.

    As for adding to the list, you should probably include either monster level or specific treasure to determine item drops should they be killed.

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  2. I've actually been surprised over the years that more plot teams don't do something like this. Maybe I'm the anomaly, but from almost day one as a player I've kept something like this for all the major NPC contacts I've made in various chapters.

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  3. Good ideas, Bill. I also realized I need to include motivations, but I think I'll sneak that into the Plot Info column.

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