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Appendix B: Making NPCs

There exist many great methods of making NPCs for Cairn/Into The Odd based games, such as Jim Parkin’s Three Statlines. The main things to keep in mind in relation to Block, Dodge, Parry:

Roll for Ability Scores as you would for a PC, or assign 5 for “not very good”, 10 for “average” and 15 for “outstanding”.

For HP, roll 1d6 (or use 3) for normal people and creatures. Roll 2d6 or use 7 for veteran combatants and verocious monsters. Roll 3d6 or use 11 for legendary warriors or apex predators. HP can never exceed 18; use 18 for Big Bad Evil Guys, mythical monsters or near-god-like swordsmen.

Determine the damage the NPC or monster will do. Keep in mind that fast attacks deal d6 damage, balanced attacks deal d8 damage, and slow attacks deal d10 damage. Also remember that d10 attacks are quite lethal, but that all PCs have the option to Impair this damage by dodging. Mixing it up creates interesting tactical decisions, especially if telegraphed correctly. A rabid Rune Bear with claws (2d6) and a full-body slam (1d10) can provide both forms of offense!

Determine whether the NPC has access to Fighting Back, Blocking, Dodging and Parrying:

  • Fight Back works well with vicious creatures (such as tigers) and nimble combatants (such as an assassin with 2 daggers)
  • Dodging and Blocking should be reserved for trained combatants, such as bandit leaders or guard captains.
    • For interesting choices, grant some NPCs only one of the two; a shield-wielding brute only knows how to block, a deft elven archer only knows how to dodge.
  • Parrying requires quite a bit of skill, and works best with explicitly well-trained duelists and swordsmen.

Assign any Skills you think would be cool, or make up new ones.