We are back playing D&D 3.5 after our trial run with 4e (this ended up in Total Party Kill in the last room of the module). Our first thoughts on our return to 3.5 was “How do we play this game again?”. It is amazing how much you forget in just a few months. The other thing we immediately noticed was that Paul, our GM, had a new toy, an NPC Generator.
We have a small group, consisting of myself, Rob (who designs our 28mm miniatures), Pete who is a games designer and Paul, creator of Dingles Games’ excellent Monster Generator for D&D 3.5. Unfortunately (for our party) Paul has been busy adding a ton of new functions to his web site. Notably upgrading his monster generator to an NPC Generator which includes spells and magic items.
The effectiveness of this NPC Generator was obvious when the party rolled into a town and found it split along racial grounds over ownership of a disputed mine. Normally in D&D 3.5 there is one or two vaguely interesting NPCs and a lot of cookie-cutter sidekicks. Doing anything else just takes far to long, especially at our level (10th) when every serious NPC has half-a-dozen feats, 50+ skill points, five or more magic items. Not to mention a potential spell list numbering into the hundreds. I know from bitter experience that each NPC takes an hour plus to create at high level.
But not now. Within half an hour of arriving in town we identified at least six major NPCs, each distinctively armed (and knowing Paul), kitted out with an interesting mix of feats and magic items. The thickness of the GM’s notes suggests we have still have some NPCs to meet. This level of preparation, for what is certainly a quick, two session adventure, was just impossible before Paul’s NPC Generator. To us players, this is all a bit worrying (though a bit exciting as well). NPC creation used to take so long, we could rely on meeting fairly standard monsters that we know how to deal with.
The NPC Generator is just one of Dingle’s Games new features which include the ability to save and manage your NPCs online (great for that ongoing nemesis), a treasure generator, an encounter generator and the ability to create your own types of monsters. Some of these features are only available on a paid account (£15 for one year, £25 for a lifetime).
Disclaimer: Whilst I’ve not been paid or in way compensated for this post (Paul hasn’t even given me a free membership, the tight git), I’ve been gaming with Paul since 1984 and helped him to set-up the site. So I might be a bit biased.
Image Credit – Character by Couchabenteurer – CC-BY-ND-2.0