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MyGURPS - MM3: Making Minor NPCs

MM3: Making Minor NPCs

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One of the best things about M&M 3e is that you can easily make nonpowered NPCs by simply declaring their PL and letting that set all other stats. For example, if I decide that the heroes encounter a PL4 biker gang, then by default I'm assuming each member attacks at +4 to hit, does 4 damage, has all defenses at +4, has important Skills ranging from +4 to +14 (because Skills can be up to PL+10), etc.

Then, just like with PCs, I can vary this to adjust them without changing the PL. For example, I might say, "Well, they're tough, not smart, so I'll shift Fortitude up to +6 and Will down to +2." That's still balanced because they add up to +8. Then maybe I'll do the same with their attacks: let's say they use pipes and chains in melee so 4/4 works there, but they have heavy pistols that are +3 to hit but Damage 5.

There. It took me all of 30 seconds to completely stat up this biker gang. That's one of the strengths of the system. The only thing I didn't cover was specific noncombat Skills, but those are pretty easy to assign on the fly. Since I know the Skills they're trained in will range from +4 to +14, I'll usually do something like this:

  • Skill is inappropriate: They don't have it.
  • Skill fits but isn't important to them: Equals PL (+4 in this example).
  • Important skill: Equals PL+5 (+9 in this example).
  • They are masters of this skill: Equals PL+10 (+14 in this example).

So for the bikers, I'd give them Vehicles +9 if I'm being realistic, or +14 if I want them to stand out as masterful riders. And I probably wouldn't think about it further until the encounter happened, at which point if a skill comes up, I'll decide which category it falls into. "Hmm, it would make sense for them to try Intimidation here. Is that an important skill? Yeah, I think it is, so we'll say they have Intimidation +9."

Optional: If I'm prepping these NPCs in advance, I might take a few extra steps:

  • Write down exactly which Skills they have and their value.
  • Choose 1-2 Advantages which fit.
  • Pick out their specific gear, noting any features it has (e.g., they use knives, which have Piercing 1 and Crit 19-20).

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