The non-player character (NPC) is an
integral part of any role-playing game. They are characters inhabiting the GM's world (or
universe) that are not run by players but rather, are met by players.
These characters are run by the GM in any way he wishes but are subject to
the same rules as player characters. Their skills are figured the same way and are subject
to the same limitations as everyone else.
However, because there are so many of these characters run by one
person (the GM), it is usually wise to cut some corners. All one really needs to know in
most cases are a character's skills, the related percentages and his hit points. Anything
else that must be known about a character can be rolled when it becomes necessary.
The skills that an NPC will have are usually indicated by the
situation. For instance, a random guard will be likely to have some training in his weapon
and perhaps some other trivial skills. An elite guard may be excellent with his weapon and
perhaps have some other useful skills (like Awareness) that he will be better than average
at. A baker will have, well, skill in bakery.
Skill percentages for NPC's should be guessed at rather than
actually figured. It can be an educated guess though. The average aptitude in any skill is
5. By multiplying this by the number of skill points the NPC is assumed to have in the
skill you came quickly come up with his skill percentage. The average hand-to-hand skill
for an untrained character then, is 20%.
Although its easy enough to say that the average hit points of any
character is 10, it is recommended that this number always be rolled. Otherwise the player
characters will always know exactly how badly off a wounded NPC is.
You may wish to go into more detail with NPCs that are encountered
often. Feel free to roll them just as if they were player characters. Just be sure that
the added detail it will bring will justify the break in the action. Some Example NPC's.