View Full Version : Do you like to base NPC's off of real people &/or fictional characters?

2011-01-01, 02:08 PM
I've always wanted to make a Xorvintaal Exarch based off of Omar Little from The Wire just so he can say, "It's all in the game."

If you are not familiar with The Wire, take a week off of work and rent all 5 seasons, you won't regret it.

What NPC's (or PC's even) have you based off of persons real or fictional? (No Drizzt!)

Loki Eremes
2011-01-01, 03:23 PM
Once DMing WoD, i had this player who tell he had a contact in a Diary that was an important person.
In my mind i inmediatly imagined this NPCs as Jonnah Jameson from spiderman.

A shame i stopped DMing for several reasons. i really wanted to play this NPC all hysterical and bossy without letting them say a word xD

and sooner or later tell them...

2011-01-01, 03:27 PM
My PCs aren't consciously based on anyone, but it's highly likey that I may be borrowing some reference unconsciously.

However, I have ALWAYS wanted to make a true neutral....something based off Londo Mollari from Babylon 5. I only fear I won't be up to standard in roleplaying him. :smallbiggrin:

2011-01-01, 03:38 PM
I usually play expies of characters from literature, though my DM's haven't really caught on because I like to mash many, many characters together rather than make them 1 tone copies. I've basically just embraced the fact that there are no truly original characters.

2011-01-01, 04:07 PM
Only as a joke. For example, in a campaign based on mid-19th Century to WWI Europe that borrows a lot of tropes and imagery from, shall we say, a certain cartoon, the top general of the enemy faction is this guy. (http://trsrockin.com/images/alchemist_sp1.jpg) (In case you ever read this, Anonymous Cosplayer, thanks for the donation of your likeness)

2011-01-01, 04:12 PM
I had an NPC that was missing three fingers from a crafting accident, could no longer smell after being punched in the face so many times in his youth, had trembling hands from breaking them so many times, had traveled the continent doing odd jobs, and was generally cranky towards the PCs. He was my favorite NPC. Based off of my grandfather. :smallsmile:

2011-01-01, 04:17 PM
I has happened that I have based NPC's off PC's I've played or seen, or just use them outright (not as DMPC's mind you). But that's it, and it's rare. Everything else is pure fiction.

2011-01-01, 04:20 PM
My party has met Lead Balloon, Oz Ozbourne, Jimmy Paper, the Beetles, and Black Sunday among others
yah i have a town dedicated to rock stars Enginehead anyone?

2011-01-01, 07:08 PM
My party has met Lead Balloon, Oz Ozbourne, Jimmy Paper, the Beetles, and Black Sunday among others
yah i have a town dedicated to rock stars Enginehead anyone?But wait, the Sabbath is Saturday. :smallconfused:

2011-01-01, 07:36 PM
But wait, the Sabbath is Saturday. :smallconfused:Jewish Sabbath is Saturday, Christian Sabbath is Sunday. For the majority of denominations at least.

2011-01-01, 07:41 PM
Okay... anyway, keeping with the theme of this thread, yes, I like to base NPCs off of fictional characters... but I do my best to make sure they're only inspired by said character, and not a carbon copy, as those have a tendency of Not Being Fun. :smallyuk:

2011-01-01, 08:03 PM
I'll often think about which actor I would want to play the NPC when my game goes to film. (Which it should, any day now... yessiree, any day now...)

Sometimes I'll think about particular characters the actor has played, and type the NPC off of that. Sometimes, I just ponder "How would Clint Eastwood play this character, if it was open to interpretation."

It can be quite useful to change it up sometimes. Take an NPC that you have a clear idea of, put remove 'Clint Eastwood' and replace with 'Sylvester Stallone'. Or 'Ian McKlellen'. Or 'Paul Reuban'.

Once you reach the point of PeeWee Herman imitating Dirty Harry, you've gone too far! Go back a few steps and see if you can salvage you sanity, then see if you found a new and useful perspective to the NPC.

2011-01-02, 01:30 AM
I do it once in a while, but I prefer to avoid it if possible. I usually do it for comedic effect.

I once did have a warforged dungeoncrasher/warblade NPC based on Genesic GaoGaiGar. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYFYZZtnH-E&feature=related) Sure, he couldn't fly, but he did have the lion theme going on. He eventually became a substitute PC, and the player running him RPed him like Optimus Prime.

2011-01-02, 02:00 AM
I tend to find inspiration in virtually everything I see and enjoy, so I'll often base characters on either a specific character, a whole cast, or just a certain concept from something I've seen recently. Generally the result is a pretty vague rip-off though; for example, I have a half-styx dragon hexblade inspired by a Witcher (I chose Styx because of the disease immunity, and equipped her with all kinds of potions, weapon oils, and poisons), and when I was first getting into Touhou I made a miko-ish warlock (I chose warlock for the unlimited flight and blasting, and said that she made pacts with and channeled animistic spirits instead of receiving her powers from demons or fey).

My first DM was extremely fond of this too; he would routinely have PCs or NPCs from old campaigns make cameos, and he loved to introduce random NPC ripoffs from popular culture. Generally these were pretty terrible, like the dwarf who wore a snug red shirt and had a bastard sword he called "phaser", which fired disintegration rays.

As T.S. Eliot said: "Good writers borrow, great writers steal". :smallwink:

Paseo H
2011-01-02, 02:02 AM
All the time.

Most recently, the main villain of the arc we are currently on is pretty much Albert Wesker without Ouroboros, and I did that just to see if the player would realize it (said villain feigned not being a monster and got the heroes to work for him).

The villain's right hand man is actually loosely based off of what I remember of a man I saw at a shop, whose treatment of his child led me to walking over to the nearby other store for a breather because I found myself honestly wishing I had Dark Side powers. As horrifying as the main villain is, his right hand outright revels in cruelty and states things in the most vicious manner he can think of, as well as putting vicious abandon into his every swing (as opposed to the main villain who fights calmly because he feels he's powerful enough not to have to show effort.)

To give an example of what a monster this guy is:

Party member: Is it true you killed your own sister just to receive that sword of yours?
Right hand: Thanks for reminding me, I forgot to dance on her grave today.

Also, the true Big Bad of the game has surfaced, and she resembles Galatea from Claymore, but with short purple hair and cat ears/tail. Her right hand man is pretty much Rubel from Claymore in both looks and personality. However, the Big Bad is more sympathetic and principled than the two above.

2011-01-02, 01:51 PM
I tried making a PC based on Topher from Dollhouse, but the end result, aside from the (nick)name wasn't much like him. Still dorky and egotistical, but less amoral and misanthropic, and I gave up on the mechanics completely.

2011-01-02, 02:00 PM
In the games I run, I have a level 40 Wizard (Diviner) that helps push the party along on occasion. Through methods they can't figure out he always teleports in to help them out with cryptic knowledge then teleports out, when Conjuration is a banned school of his. But, he's like 25 years old, bright blue eyes and short blond hair, talks like a surfer dude high on pot, is physical in movements like Dane Cook doing stand up and has a short pipe filled with a mysterious herb found in the northern wilds. He always says my favorite line: "Mountain Dew and Funyons. I don't know what they are yet, but they're going to be sweet." The group gets a kick out of him.

And for me, well, we recently played a d20 Modern game and I made a bareknuckle boxer Irishman. Accent and all. But I based his personality off of the brothers from Boondock Saints, yet he was extremely religious and woulnd't let the others in the party kill anyone while he was around (he specialized in non-lethal combat).

2011-01-02, 02:41 PM
I once made a full metal Witch (Pathfinder) as Alphonse from full metal alchemist (guy in metal suit). But later changed it.

2011-01-02, 03:30 PM
Occassionally I have a fictional character that I think would make a good PC in a game. When I play a campaign in which such a character might fit in, I start with the basic personalty and abilities, but only use that as a very bare skeleton on which I build my actual character.

Last week I made a Shadowrun character based on Olga from Metal Gear Solid 2.