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Quick NPCs with Story Cubes

Just like groups, solo RPG players love to meet interesting NPCs. Unfortunately for solo players, either minutes must be spent during game time to make NPCs, thus interrupting the flow of play (which is so important in solo gaming), or the NPCs are made in advance or pulled from a book, ruining potential surprises. If you've got any of Rory's Story Cubes sets, here's a very fast way to (1) create NPCs on the spot, (2) maintain surprise, and (3) make a mini-game out of the creation, keeping the flow and fun of play alive!

Quick NPC Generation
When your PC is in a tavern or meets an intriguing bloke along the road, roll nine Story Cubes and choose a different cube to inspire the creation of character traits for the NPC based on the following nine NPC Story Elements. By using this method, you are essentially placing a higher priority on persona rather than stats at first, but that's OK. Ascribing stats immediately afterwards (if necessary) should be quite easy once you've concocted the NPC's story.

If you prefer NOT to know everything upfront about the NPC - perhaps preferring to have your PC win a few social rolls to see if a conversation can lead to acquiring the information - you can roll 3 Story Cubes at a time and address the NPC Story Elements in order from the obvious to the intimate.

Obvious NPC Story Elements
  1. The NPC's role in the world: discerned by clothes, demeanor, initial introduction, etc.
  2. The NPC's current home or home-base: learned through initial introduction, casual conversation, etc.
  3. The NPC's signature/unique talent: learned through casual conversation, simple getting-to-know-you questions, etc.

Personal NPC Story Elements
  1. The NPC's special knowledge about others: requires a bit of trust, shared view of the world, things in common, etc.
  2. The NPC's special item/tool/useful possession: requires a bit more trust, shared view of the world, things in common, etc.
  3. The NPC's ally/allegiance to a group or organization: requires the certainty that the PC is not an adversary to the ally or allied group or shares their POV.

Intimate NPC Story Elements
  1. A past experience that has shaped the NPC's current self.
  2. A present situation that the NPC is embroiled in that could affect the PC directly or indirectly.
  3. A future goal the NPC is hoping to attain...could the PC help?

Again, if you play this like a mini-game within your solo game, NPC-creation won't be a flow-killing chore - and you never know who you'll meet!

Go ahead - TRY IT:

You're in a tavern. You meet this NPC. Who is he or she?

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