By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Raging Swan Press is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside of the front cover, 3 pages introduction, editorial foreword and ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving 7 pages for the tables herein, so let’s check them out!
Essentially, this product provides the beleaguered DM with a selection of tools to spontaneously create NPCs: it starts with a master-table of d20 with 11 rows and 5 general categories in columns: Physical, emotional, mannerisms, activity and profession. If you for example roll a 16, you have 3 physical, 2 emotional, 3 mannerisms, 1 activity and 1 profession.
We then take a look at the d%-table that provides 100 physical traits and roll 3 when using our example. Then we move on to the emotional/behavioural traits d%-table and roll twice on that, move to the mannerism-d%-table, roll thrice and roll once on the d%-activity table and once at the d%-profession table. Each of the tables provides 100 different entries and we get 15 sample mug-shots in b/w-artworks as well as a d20-list of ready-made NPCs for the DM caught completely by surprise.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s b/w-2-column-standard and features some nice pieces of b/w-artwork for the price. The pdf comes with extensive bookmarks as well as a version optimized for use with e-readers. Well, to be honest, I fully expected this installment of “So what’s…” to fall short of my expectations due to the evocative NPC-descriptions, mannerisms etc. usually portrayed in RSP-books – suffice to say, I’m pleasantly surprised that this toolkit is not only easy to use in just about every fantasy RPG, but also creates interesting NPCs with broken noses, scars etc., quirk like constant whistling etc. – it takes only a quick calculation to determine the vast amount of possible combinations this pdf offers and the ready-made NPCs-information (sans stats, mind you), is the icing on the cake – nothing to complain, excellent work, 5 stars and the Endzeitgeist seal of approval.
So What’s the NPC Like? is available from: