Masks: 1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game (Hardcover)Written by the award-winning authors of the GMing blog Gnome Stew, Masks is now available in print and PDF!
"Just got done looking at a preview of @gnomestew's new book, Masks, filled with cool NPCs for any game or genre. Looks great!" - Game designer Monte Cook (via Twitter)
"What I'm saying is that GMs out here need this book." - Dave the Game, Critical Hits review
"These guys are onto something... something huge!" - Game designer Sean Patrick Fannon (via G+)
Playing a character is like putting on a mask: Slip on a mask, and you become someone else.
This book presents 1,000 "masks" - non-player characters that are fun to play, and that your players will never forget. Featuring a foreword by gaming industry legend Wolfgang Baur, Masks is the ultimate NPC resource.
Think of your favorite character from a game, book, or movie. What makes them memorable? It's not their Strength score, or how many hit points they have - it's who they are as a person: what they look like, how they act, their personality, and what drives them.
Using a simple but powerful template that features Appearance, Roleplaying, Personality, Motivation, Background, and Traits, Masks provides the core elements of a thousand great characters. Masks NPCs are designed to be used on the fly, no prep required - but with enough depth to be used when planning adventures, as well.
Within this massive collection you'll find the resources you need to portray vivid NPCs in your games:
Fantasy, science fiction, and modern NPCs: 333 of each (334 in fantasy), all easily adaptable to any genre and any RPG
Roles and traits: Every NPC has a role - villain, ally, or neutral - and is categorized by traits like famous, criminal, and warrior
Clear, useful game mastering advice: Masks covers re-skinning NPCs to fit other genres, making your portrayals memorable, and more
Handy tools: NPCs are indexed by trait, name, and author; an appendix lists groups like Tavern Patrons and Spaceport Denizens; and Masks provides over 1,900 names in an easy-to-use format
No game mechanics: These system-neutral NPCs can be used in any RPG
Masks is a standalone volume - you don't have to own our first book, Eureka: 501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters, to enjoy it, although they go great together.
Masks is designed to be used both as a "table book" and as a "prep book." At the table, it gives GMs a tool for portraying vivid, memorable NPCs on the fly - if your players show sudden interest in that bartender, you can flip to just about any page and find a suitable personality, backstory, and roleplaying cues to flesh out that NPC. During prep, Masks provides a solid foundation for everything from signature villains to steadfast allies, as well as "neutral" characters you can use as "everyone else" - or tip one way or the other and use as a villain or ally.