Random Non-Player Character Generator for The One Ring

Responding and Building from Other Prompts

I was listening to Episode 92 of Daydreaming about Dragons as I ran an errand.

Every single time I listen to Judd’s podcast, my brain ignites. I often pause and think and maybe write. One concept in episode 92 was that of the Cracked/Broken mirror. In brief, take an attribute of a Player Character (PC 📖) and reflect it back on them. Brilliant.

Right now I’m playing The One Ring (TOR 📖) and prior to that Burning Wheel Gold (BWG 📖). Both systems have character attributes that work well as a touch stone for the Cracked/Broken mirror.

For example Duinhir has the following Distinctive Feature’s:

  • Swift
  • True-Hearted
  • Folk-Lore
  • Strider

And Lord Antonius de Mari, from my prior BWG game had the following Character Traits:

  • Your Lordship
  • Educated
  • Complacent
  • Open
  • Mover of social currents

As Judd spoke about the Broken Mirror, I thought: “Those traits are likely emergent themes of the game. Of course you should reincorporate them.”

My next thought was that sometimes you use contrast to highlight something. In other words, consider antonyms to these attributes.

In The Travels of Duinhir Tailwind, having him face slow moving plots, travel delays, treachery, and communion/community provide excellent contrasts to see how those Distinctive Feature’s manifest.

But not everything should be a Cracked Mirror; it seems that doing that will create a self-referential ever tightening plot circles. Which is why I think it’s important to introduce unrelated attributes; this now gives players a chance to echo back what they see. Maybe in contrast or in amplification.

NPC Distinctive Features

The following tables are pulled directly from The One Ring’s Distinct Features and Shadow Paths. They will produce produce “heroic” or “villainous” traits, perhaps not always appropriate for the innkeeper or road weary traveler.

Table 242: Random Distinctive NPC Feature
d6Distinctive Feature
1Synonym of a PC’s
2Roll on Table 243: Random Distinctive NPC Feature (Subtable A)
3Roll on Table 244: Random Distinctive NPC Feature (Subtable B)
4Roll on Table 245: Random Distinctive NPC Feature (Subtable C)
5Roll on Table 246: Random Distinctive NPC Feature (Subtable D)
6Antonym of a PC’s

For the following tables, pick either a positive or a negative trait. If you can’t decide flip a coin or give a 4 in 6 chance of a positive (or negative) trait.

Table 243: Random Distinctive NPC Feature (Subtable A)
d6PositiveNegative
1BoldArrogant
2CunningBrutal
3EagerCowardly
4FairCruel
5Fair-SpokenDeceitful
6FaithfulFearful
Table 244: Random Distinctive NPC Feature (Subtable B)
d6PositiveNegative
1FierceForgetful
2GenerousGrasping
3HonourableGuilt-Ridden
4InquisitiveHaughty
5Keen-EyedIdle
6LordlyMistrustful
Table 245: Random Distinctive NPC Feature (Subtable C)
d6PositiveNegative
1MerryMurderous
2PatientOverconfident
3ProudResentful
4RusticScheming
5SecretiveScornful
6SternSpiteful
Table 246: Random Distinctive NPC Feature (Subtable D)
d6PositiveNegative
1SubtleThieving
2SwiftTraitorous
3TallTroubled
4True-HeartedTyrannical
5WaryUncaring
6WillfulWavering

Collusion Score

Another thought I had was “what is the NPC’s collaboration/collusion with the Dark Lord?”

Start with a base pool of two Success dice. Add one for each positive Distinctive Feature and subtract one for each negative. Then roll that dice pool and the Roll a {{{i(Feat die.

This is the NPC’s Collusion Score. When the party’s Eye Awareness Score meets or exceeds this Collusion Score, the NPC is working against the Fellowship’s interests.