NPC Cards

Posted by Labyrinthian in , , , , , ,

 I wanted to share something really cool from our currant Call of Cthulhu game.  I'm not running the game, The Professor is.  He, like the rest of us, was new to the system when we began, but that has not impeded his ability to GM.  So far the game is absolutely awesome and part of it is the small things like his NPC Cards.

The concept is simple and certainly not a new one, but there is a reason this has been around for a while... It's a great idea.  The Professor's execution of the concept is flawless.  He lists pertinent information to the character like their name, nickname, and a Fraternity or Sorority if they belong to one.  Then he gives some key biographical notes like where they are from, what their major is, what clubs and/or sports they are involved in, etc.  Finally he lists character traits and events that have become clear as the PCs have interacted with them.  For example, Ruth has proved untrusting of the PCs every time they have met her, Beth has a short temper and constantly yells, and Bobby beat the crap out of Revil's character, Kenneth.  

Perhaps the most important feature of the card is the photo.  Ever one for authenticity, The Professor has gone back into archives of old yearbooks and pulled actual student photos from the late 20s.  It's a great touch that makes each NPC seem that much more real and gives each NPC card a yearbook-ish feel.  That works really well as our characters have gone to old Yearsbooks as important sources of information on various persons around campus.

One person in particular, Reginald St. Birmingham III, has been of particular interest to our characters.  Birmingham is the villain of this chapter of the story and is obviously up to some shenanigans, though our characters aren't sure of exactly what at the present time.  When investigating him we started our research (where else?) in the yearbook.   His entry provided some background information and some important clues on where to look next.    One of the characters, Charles (Doodle's character) is also from Newport and had heard of the affluent St. Birmingham family and knew what kind of business they were in, their general reputation, and where they live.  We proceeded with our investigation by looking into the activities Reggie was involved in, specifically the Bohemian Club and Sigma Phi.  While we haven't cracked the case yet, this information certainly put us on the right track.

NPC cards like this are easy to make and definitely worth the time and effort.  They help yours players connect with the various important NPCs and provide them with a quick reference guide to the pertinent facts about them.  If you are playing a CoC game, particularly one set at Miskatonic University, you will want to also follow the Professor's lead and lean heavily on old yearbooks from the 20s and 30s as a resource of both pictures and great information about the time.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at Tuesday, February 15, 2011 and is filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Those cards look awesome!

February 15, 2011 at 4:46 PM

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