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Old 10-04-2017, 04:31 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: NPC Skill Levels

Originally Posted by Eddie T View Post
I apologize if this has been discussed, I tried Search but I can't seem to get the board to recognize a "some search terms" or some AND search AND terms, and NPC Skill Levels returns pages and pages and pages and pages of not useful results.

For quick/mass NPCs, I'm looking at the typical Novice/Veteran/Elite structure most of the RPG industry uses. I'm going to plop them in a spreadsheet in Excel so I have some randomization but can basically just go to a tab and copy/paste the number I need and hit print. GURPS has a lot more situational and equipment modifiers than I'm used to, though. As such, I'm a little uncertain of where to put my thresholds for skills and wondering how you guys and gals do in your games (I completely get attribute and secondary characteristic racial norms).

Based on the Probability of Success chart, I'm thinking:
Novice skills are going to be 9 +/- 1 -> anything less than a 9 and I don't see them able to do much except with very lucky rolls
Veteran skills are going to be 11 +/- 1
Elite skills are going to be 14 +/- 1 -> I'm thinking this is a little high for a lot of non-combat skills but iffy if you take into account ranged weapons modifiers.

It looks like GURPS typically just uses 25-, 50-, or some other number of points for NPCs but I want to be able to give a greater number of skills to some archetypes/tropes and not worry about points totals at all.

For the why I'm doing it this way, my players are a...special...bunch. For some reason, they ignore main NPCs and focus on interacting with mooka NPCs. I've learned I need a little more preparation in that department with them.
If you go with the concept that NPC's tend to be of a certain skill level for their expertise level, you might simply want to go with the concept that GURPS started off with ages ago (using GURPS BASIC SET THIRD EDITION REVISED)

Page 45:

6: Clumsy. An average man using an easy weapon for the first time.
9: Unskilled. A rookie in his first month of basic training.
12: Novice. An average man after a little study, or a talented beginner.
15: Veteran. A good, experienced fighter. You rarely miss.
18: Expert. You have a lot of experience.
20: Master. You could train others, and train them well.
25: Wizard. You could fight blindfolded.

Elsewhere on that same page, it talks about skill level and probability of success, where it lists Well trained at 14, Expert at 16+

So, I'd rate "Expert" at a range between 16 to 19, Master at a range 20 through 24, and "Wizard" as anyone 25+

People who don't know what they're doing would be skill 6 or less, and ranges of 7 to 9 would likely be deemed "rookies". Keep in mind, a modified skill of 8 or less means that a person has a roughly 1 in four chance of succeeding.

So, what I'd do is this: The Old GURPS had rules for generating NPC's on the fly and giving them skill levels through random die rolls. Page 84 gives you guidelines for generating the stats and random advantages/disadvantages as well as random skill levels. Randomly roll the attributes with 3d6, randomly roll the skill level as 1d6-3 for skill levels based on attributes.

If you're going to go with "Random die rolls" for attributes, I'd suggest using what amounts to a bell curve with a constant. For example, 2d6/2 + 7. Most attributes will be around ten-ish, as the average of 2d6 tends to be 7, which divided by 2, gives you 3.5. On the best roll possible (12), that gives a max stat of 13, and a minimum stat of 8.

If you're going to use a random "advantage" table and a Random Disadvantage table - you may want to create an advantage "+1 to Stat" or what have you. You might even want to consider using randomly rolled "talents".

Hope this helps.
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