Procedural NPC encounters

I am working on a soukslike where most aspects are procedurally generated as you play. You can play solo, or gm agnostic.

Just now the idea of how to procedurally generate NPC encounters hit me: ladder tables.

  1. A little bit about me
  2. A little bit about what I do
  3. Something interesting about this place
  4. A little bit about what I want
  5. I have something to give that seems useless
  6. I know something very interesting about the Heroes
  7. I have things to trade with you, however simple
  8. I will be at Haven for a while
  9. I have business with someone you’ve met
  10. Next time we meet, I will be unliving
  11. I know something very useful about your quest
  12. This is the last time we meet, have this gift

Roll once when you meet them for every time you’ve met.

Doubles spell troubles:

Even: you have offended this person with something you did. They will not be helpful until you atone.

Odd: they are in trouble and you must figure out how to help them or get to them.

I think it’s neat if I provide a cast of NPCs that have basic but interesting information on them.

Thoughts and ideas, peeps?

Edit: I realize that I didn’t link what ladder tables are! They are like hexflowers but on a table. I am using d6 for mine.

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If you want a little more granularity in the NPC’s changing attitude toward a character, you could use rolling doubles as a trigger for the sort of push/pull system I used in Follow the Bones and What Fiend Stalks the Night.

Basically, you’d want a Reaction scale, like the one Cairn uses, and you’d change the NPC’s Reaction whenever the trigger occurs. So evens could move their Reaction toward Helpful, and odds could move it toward Hostile. That would step them through a slightly broader range of attitudes toward the party.

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This is fantastic! After a certain point the character would just spiral down towards unliving from all of those doubles.

Let’s take it a step further.

Odd doubles allow them to be helpful, gift things, say useful stuff and so on.

Even doubles pushes them towards the Rot and going Unliving.

So.both can happen at the same time and there won’t be a weird “stuck in the middle” situation if you keep alternating between either.

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