I had a request to better explain the separation of pcs and npcs.
My answer is known as the Mook model.
There are number of assumptions that take place.
1. The Mook is designed to be used in combat.
2. The Mook is built using the monster rules.
3. Because of the first assumption the most important thing that Mook has is its combat capabilities.
4. Mooks are built at levels 1, 3, 6 and 9 to provide maximum coverage throughout the character’s adventuring career. Future Mooks will reach levels 12, 15, and 18.
5. Mooks are assumed to be proficient in any weapons and armor that they start with.
6. Mooks use their treasure value for their equipment
7. Mooks cater to my obsession with alliteration. :p
Mooks are designed to quickly get an encounter ready to go at a moment notice.
Steps for Quick Mooks with Personality
1. What is the purpose of the encounter?
2. What CR is the Mook?
3. What Mook will you use?
4. What race is he/she/it?
5. Any changes in weapons/spells based on the starting equipment.
6. Roll on the types of villains (1d8) in DRev Book of Adventure (pg 9 to give motivation)
Case Sample 1: Bandit leader
I need a bandit leader in a hurry
1. The character will be a bandit leader and a serious encounter
2. We would like an encounter that is a cr 6
3. We decide that the mook will be a veteran (CR 6) bandit (see book of danger, page 143) .
4. We decide that the bandit leader will be a Dwarf. This allows the following racial diversity to be added:
a. Racial Diversity: Languages: Dwarven; maximum movement is 20 feet but speed is not effected by encumbrance or armor, Dwarves gain a +1 racial bonus to save against all spells, spell like powers, disease and poisons. Gain +4 CMD vs. trips, bull rushes and overrun attacks.
5. Instead of ak 47 (2000 gb), I’m going to substitute an assault rifle (1500 gb), an undercarriage shotgun (400 gb) and five flash bangs (50 gb). No change in the numbers and the base numbers should be identical.for purposes of attack. Note: It’s usually easier just to use the defaults.
6. Rolled a 4 on my motivation: the lunatic.
a. The Lunatic: This villain is nuts and will draw you into the insanity which is their life. Often considers the world little more than a game, in which they are the only one that knows the rules.
So now we have a mad Dwavern bandit leader that’s terrorizing the country side and it took less than 20 minutes to write up.
Case Sample 2: The Mage
1. I want a evil mage that is assisting the mad dwavern leader
2. We will make the character also CR 6
3. I will select the Blaster Mook
4. I will select Elf for racial diversity
a. Languages: Elven, and one of choice; Low Light Vision, +4 Perception, +1 save vs. mind influencing effects, and are immune to sleep (cannot be surprised when sleeping) and sleep effects.
5. Going to swap out the 3rd level spell from fireball to rays of sulfur.
6. Villain Personality: The Revenge
- For whatever reason this villain can’t get what they want, so they lash out at the world in order to make the world pay for what has happened to them. Their motivation ranges from punishment to envy.
- Building on this chip on his shoulder. pick a pc whom to focus this grudge on.
If an Ally
It’s easy enough to hire a Mook or charm an ally that is an ally to the party, with one slight twist.
If it’s an ally instead of an opponent, it’s easy enough to roll on the common NPC archetypes in the book of adventure page 11 for its personality instead of the types of villain.
One Final Thought.
If you look deeper, you’ll notice that Medusa and Vampires are built with the same CR gauge as Mooks.
This is deliberate as it makes it easier to integrate them easily.
It also takes advantage of the Vampire special feature of pass for human, to reduce the tipping of the hand to the pcs.