Random NPC generator

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Louis

  • 11
Random NPC generator
« on: July 09, 2011, 05:02:46 PM »
I'm relatively new to Apocalypse World and this forum, so maybe this has already been done, but I've written a random NPC generator for Apocalypse World:

http://www.easpegasus.net/AW_NPC.htm

Feel free to use it, make your own versions, post suggestions, and so forth!

Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 07:16:38 PM »
Nice!

At least some should sport the attractive genders concealed and/or ambiguous.

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Louis

  • 11
Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 08:05:26 PM »
Good point. Do you think it would be better to have ambiguous, trans, etc. listed under "sex" or "look?"

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Chroma

  • 259
Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 09:32:58 PM »
Good point. Do you think it would be better to have ambiguous, trans, etc. listed under "sex" or "look?"

"Sex" shouldn't even be an option, it should *only* be look... we've had full transvetite characters in game that were only revealed to be the opposite sex in play... their look was "woman".

It should only be about what you "see".
"If you get shot enough times, your body will actually build up immunity to bullets. The real trick lies in surviving the first dozen or so..."
-- Pope Nag, RPG.net - UNKNOWN ARMIES

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Louis

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Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 10:26:24 AM »
It should only be about what you "see".

The NPC generator is meant to be a tool for MCs. If the PCs walk into a bar and the MC needs to quickly populate it with 6 NPCs, the generator provides a starting point. As the MC you decide how much of the information the generator provides is true: if it says Winkle is a man, but you want Winkle to be a woman, you just change it on the fly and maybe make a note to remind yourself. Also, as the MC you decide when the PCs learn specific information: no reason you can't say Winkle looks like a woman even if you (as the MC) have decided Winkle is in fact a transvestite that may or may not be reveled later. This generator isn't intended to produce every bit of detail for every single NPC, just some basic info for the NPCs that fill the MC's world but who the MC hasn't already developed.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 10:31:51 AM by Louis »

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Adje

  • 34
It's not just about transvestites, it's also about transgender
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 05:25:25 AM »
I agree it should only be about what the players see.

I think you're misunderstanding the difference between gender and sex. AW is unusual in that it encourages people who have a limited view of gender to actively create Trans characters, and having everyone just me "male or female unless the MC wants otherwise" would result in that encouragement being nullified.


Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 11:29:17 AM »
Neat!

I'd replace the word sex with gender and include the other options if you want to keep it in a distinct column.  Otherwise, it's probably better moved into the look column.  Something else about the look column that would be neat is to mix up the order of the elements.  It would sort of indicate which attributes that character leads with, if you know what I mean.

I'd take the word experience off after combat and replace the three options with something punchier, maybe: rookie, vet and bad-ass or something.  And then add another column just like it but with the header maelstrom instead of combat.

And it would be cooler if I could customize the output a bit.  I'd like to set the age range and maybe include a name list; that kind of thing.


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Louis

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Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 06:30:15 PM »
Thanks for the good feedback, I'm going to start working on a revised version!

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Louis

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Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 11:45:31 PM »
I've posted an updated NPC generator (same location as the previous version):
http://www.easpegasus.net/AW_NPC.htm
The update is based in part on the suggestions and comments made here, but some suggestions will require more work. I intend to make further improvements, so please keep the suggestions coming!

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Ariel

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Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 02:29:11 AM »
This is actually pretty sweet.

Thanks.

Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 03:30:20 AM »
Yes, this is quite good.

If I may make one small criticism, however, I think the ages in general are too high. Too many people over 30, not enough 15-25 year-olds. Life is hard and cheap in Apocalypse World. Just like in the third world, probably half of all people everywhere are under 20. Unless you are going for a Children of Men vibe, in which case, I can't actually complain!

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Louis

  • 11
Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 11:39:02 PM »
Too many people over 30, not enough 15-25 year-olds.

Yeah, good point. I think I might replace the numbers in age with vaguer text ("teenager," "mid-twenties," "early thirties," etc.), and move it into the "Name / Look" field.

Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 12:34:25 AM »
Also, why no kids?

Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2011, 03:17:33 AM »
Hey, I used this in my con game tonight and it was very helpful, printed a set of them and kept at the table. Really gave some npc's an instant personality or memorable quirk.

Couple comments:
Way too many missing limbs, seems like more than half were missing an arm or leg.
Needs a bigger selection of weapons and clothing. Maybe we can give you entries for your lists somehow?

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Louis

  • 11
Re: Random NPC generator
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2011, 12:50:25 PM »
Way too many missing limbs, seems like more than half were missing an arm or leg...

Cool, I'm glad it was useful! Good feedback too! I agree some of the details (like missing limbs) need to be less common, and I need to increase the number of unique details (cloths, weapons, quirks, etc.).