Saturday, May 26, 2012

Polyhedral NPC Matrix (Part 3)

On my previous post, Telecanter suggested that I use a bunch of Scrabble Tiles to make the NPC Matrix.

Excellent idea.  Thank you!

Keith Davies further suggested that "blanks" might have some special connotation when the tiles were thrown.

Another excellent idea!  Thank you!

So, I liked these ideas SO MUCH that I gave it a try.  I honestly don't know where to go from here.  I have ideas and I'm thinking about it.  I want to show you the maps I made.

I selected all the tiles.  These aren't Scrabble but from Bananagrams (?)  A friend (RF in my CotMA Campaign) gave these to me.
I threw them down on a large sheet of paper from an IKEA art roll I have in my office.  A few tiles bounced off the table (I was perhaps a bit too enthusiastic...) so I just picked them up and flipped them back onto the paper.  This is what it looked like at the end.

Now, none of my tiles are "blank" as Keith suggested, but a large number are upside-down.  I figure that tells me *something* about those NPCs.  Maybe they are good or maybe they are evil.  Maybe they all have a secret...  I don't know, but I want to make sure I remember which ones were upside-down.

I began by circling the upside-up ones in RED.  Here's what that looks like:
I wrote the letter inside the circle.  There's still *a lot* of room to scribble more notes on here when the time is right...

Then, I circled the upside-down tiles in BLUE.
So, there's the map.  What does proximity mean?  If the letters are close together, are they allies?  Are they an organization?  Do they have a common goal regardless of their "alignment" or alliances?

What if they are all alone on the periphery.  What does that mean?

This method bears a striking resemblance to the excellent ideas Telecanter shared about making caves, caverns and dungeons with dice and condiments!

At first glance, this looks like a map.  If this was a city, you could overlay this onto a map and perhaps find out where all of them "live."  Alternately, you could print up a city map (or regional map) and throw the tiles onto it.  The location of the tile would show where they "live."

I'm going to ponder this map awhile and see what pops into my head.  Of course, I appreciate any suggestions or ideas you might have.  Please share them in the comments.

1 comment:

Telecanter said...

Now spatter it with condiments! Haha. You could use Cartesian coordinates and have each quadrant mean something (maybe class, or religion, or faction). Or just say the closer the names cluster together the better they know each other. The red circles are antipathy "Oh yeah, I know that jackass."

But oh man, the stroke of genius might be in overlaying it on a map, because relationships you probably don't have to know as a DM all at once because players are going to learn it as they meet more people. But walking into a city they could go anywhere and having notable folks and where they live could be a real time saver. Cool!