The LL supplement Theorems & Thaumaturgy (my review can be found here) contains a magic item called ring of appearance warping. When worn, the wearer’s appearance changes randomly every turn. A useful table is included to help determine the appearance shifts. Further, the table is of the “roll all the dice” form (well, 4 of the 6 dice, but close enough). This makes it very easy to use without needing to roll multiple times.
It seems to me like this table would be very convenient for use as a random appearance generator for both PCs and NPCs. As it is open game content, I can reproduce it here for general use (and this post should be considered open game content). Thanks to Gavin for giving this to the community.
Here are a few other decent tables that I know about:
- Gygax DMG NPC personae section (page 100 – 102)
- Labyrinth Lord AEC tavern patron traits (page 150)
- LotFP Grindhouse Referee Book NPC characteristics table (back cover)
- Pathfinder GameMastery Guide NPC Creator’s Toolbox (page 94)
Am I missing any other good ones?
My NPCs tend towards blandness and similarity, so I think I should make more use of resources like these.
How about a column for a physical feature, and one for a mental/personality feature?
That’s a good idea. We could expand this to a full “roll all the dice” table by adding a d12 and d20 column also.
Check out Telecanter’s effort here:
Good stuff; thanks for pointing it out. That one is new to me.
Hey thanks for sharing that. This link is to a revision I did later:
which is should be easier to read.
Sham’s 100 NPC Types (download section at right)
Zak’s Things About Villains
Heh, that Zak table might be a bit overkill for adding some color to a retainer or innkeeper. It is a great table though.
Courtney has an epic and, shall we say, comprehensive table:
Thanks for reminding me of that. I have it, but have not used it in a while. That is one downside with awesome free resources. Sometimes I forget about them. That rarely happens with more formally published materials, for whatever reason.
Thanks Brendan, nice one!