I'm running a game that averages between 4-6 players and I'm trying to figure out how to create NPC's for them to fight as I don't always like to use teh stock characters provided.
Does anyone have a general system that they use to create these npcs?
I know that the BC book has the troops/elite/masters example but they don't really say how to create an NPC from scratch. They do provide a short explanation of an appropriate number of troops/elite/masters vs a human/chaos marine but after that section it goes on to talk about hordes.
Dark heresy provided a xeno generator as part of one of the early adventures after its release, but I haven't been able to find anything like that for black crusade.
I want to provide a challenging combat engagement for my players but I don't want them to feel like they are just walking through the encounters I have them facing.
Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated,
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If stock characters are not something you fancy, there is the possibility of making them from the ground up. I tend to find when I make a character from the ground up that I tend to want to give them a fighting chance and you will have to take a average look at your players stats and create a balance. By balance I personally suggest and this is my opinion that you give the other players a little lower than numeric stat for characteristics. Say your Chaos Space Marine has a 60 in Weapon Skill I would make the stats for the opposition to fall somewhere around a little lower to give them a fighting chance say for example 50 or 45. Even 40 has the desired effect. I mean you don't want minions, hordes or mass combat to be outrageous and I would weigh on the side of giving the character the benefit of being powerful except if you want gritty then I would equal most characteristics that you know you'll use in combat. For example you have a NPC psyker with a high willpower so that his powers have a chance. Also you want to give your characters talents and traits that will compliment the fight. Something like step aside, Swift Attack, Lightning Attack, Lightning Reflexes Daemonic Trait….etc Start with three or four that will make the NPC an adversary and then breath life into them by giving them a background and reason for being in the game.I would give yourself some quiet time to prepare the upcoming encounter for the next day you'll be gaming. Nothing hurts a game like an unprepared GM. Also I think encounters can take awhile but flesh out some NPC's and some other things that you can throw at the players such as investigation, puzzles anything that will evolve the game. I wouldn't be quick to throw out the released npc's in the book as they can be a quick fix to solve a impass or problem finding something at the right time so I hope this helps. In the end I guess finding the time to sit down and investing in cool and innovative ways to have fun is the key.
I find creating NPCs from the ground up extremely time consuming. I usually try to find an existing NPC that is at least vaguely close to what I want (even if that's in a book for one of the other 40K game systems) and then tweak them into exactly what I want. Sometimes it's helpful to stitch on bits of other NPCs that are a better fit in some way for the new character's concept.
That's what I do, too. I pick a similar NPC from a Rulebook/Supplement/Adventure, then go through the lists of Skills/Talents/Traits and add or subtract as needed; then do the same thing for equipment.
My 'fan-created content':
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