From Contact to NPC

(Gorsh) #1

Hi, last game my players and I created a few NPCs by circles rolls; and I created a relationship on the fly with GMs points.

Some, almost all, of these NPCs look like they should be further detailed than what the Contacts rules imply, since they’ll be used in the story for a little more that a simple roll here and there. Also, I have the time now to flesh them out before the next game… so I wanted to burn them as full NPCs; even if, by now, they’re not relationships per se (except the one created by me as GM).

I’m trying to find something in the rules about this process; but the NPCs chapter seem to imply that Contacts and NPCs are absolutely different things; and offer no help about how to set their skills, lifepaths, stats… I’m trying to create them according to what the PCs chose when rolling circles (mainly, the exponent bonus selected), but it’s very difficult to do so without feeling I’m breaching some kind of balance issue on either of the underpowered/overpowered sides…

Any help? Should I cease to try burning them and keep them as loosely defined contacts?

(Colin Booth) #2

Just because a character only has a handful of skills doesn’t make them any less of a character. My own rule of thumb is that when they are first circled up they are a contact, when they become a reoccuring character (circled up multiple times or there’s a realization that they are going to have more screen time) I upgrade them to one-off NPC. Rough character burns (with born lifepaths and all) I generally reserve for relationships. It’s also totally legit to have a character that lives half-way between contact and one-off NPC - giving a contact a trait and a really general belief for example.

In your case, I’d run the One-Off NPC procedure for everyone you think should be elevated above contact, quick burn the relationship as per the Crucial Opposition heading, and leave everyone else as contacts with a bit of color tacked on. For qucik burning characters, the examples starting on page 628 are a good starting place to think about the scope of how many lifepaths to give them (short answer, as many/few as you need for the concept: Soldier has three, Anvil Captain has eight)

(Gorsh) #3

I’m beginning to realize I was looking at this part of the rules with a mindset more reasonable regarding other type of games (or like one of my players put it “this isn’t GURPS, man!” :slight_smile: ). The narrative importance shouldn’t be judged by me alone but by everyone, by repeatedly getting the NPC on the table they’d be saying “this, this guy is awesome” - and that’s what the rules are there for.

We’ll play it RAW for a while and see how it goes, then, tomorrow…