Building the big NPCs

I generally don’t think much about lifepaths when I build NPCs. Of course, the small NPCs that come into the story all the time, the ones I never make full stats for, those I just assign whatever relevant stats they need off-the-cuff. A thug has a 3 or 4 brawling, but usually is untrained in Perception. The opposite for a merchant.

But what about the big ones, the important story-centric NPCs? Especially the nemesis types? I see in little references here and there that Luke burns them up with Lifepaths.

Do you usually burn up important NPCs with lifepaths? If so, do you add a few points here and there when you’re done, or leave them like starting PCs?

I highly recommend checking out the Burning Rogues appendix, which starts on page 562. You’ll want to pay special attention to the Deeper NPCs and Crucial Opposition sections. That’s how we build NPCs in games.

I would urge you to give your really important NPCs a full burn. You can add stuff to them after. I recommend it. But burning these characters will give them far more depth and make them far more interesting than otherwise. This thread, based on one of Luke’s games, is a case in point.