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BluSponge's picture
NPC Traits and Motivations as ACTIONS
NPCs, GM tips

I'm having a hard crush on this article.  I absolutely love the idea of turning characters' motives and interests into "actions" to help portray them.  It makes a lot of sense to me.  I'm not a big fan of FATE or AW.  I personally find the concept of "Moves" to be...lacking.  That's not really my take-away from this article though.  Usually when you puzzle out an NPC, you might give them some physical, mental, or personality traits to fill in some details.  I love that this approach takes those passive qualities and turns them into actions that really help define a character.  

So rather than this:

The Old Dame

  • Longs to recapture her youth
  • Loves to throw elaborate parties
  • Is the laughing stock of the local social set

...you instead might have this:

The Old Dame

  • Act Younger than I am
  • Name drop and associate to elevate myself
  • Mistake mockery for flattery
  • Add invitees to the next guest list

Rather than tell me who a character is, it tells me what a character will do.  Which is a subtle difference.

Actually putting this into action is something I'm still trying to wrap my brain around and not overthink it.  But I wanted to share because I think the concept fits very will into 7th Sea, especially given the light stat load for NPCs.  Am I the only one?

If anyone else wants to riff on this a bit, let's do it!

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Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture
@BluSponge, I am running a Powered-by-the-Apocalyse Star Wars game next month, so a big thank you for posting the Star Ears PbtA Moves tips.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

BluSponge's picture

You bet, CN.  Definitely try this technique out and get back to me.  I'm really trying to wrap my brain around using this method going forward.

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