8 September 2000. Sandomierz, Poland.
Maks picked the six most promising, least wounded, American survivors of Baron Czarny’s now-defunct 2nd Free Company.
From the first leg of the river travel down the Vistula, Maks realized they needed more armed personnel to defend their tug Wisla Krolowa. These Americans would be perfect. Along with the rest of the stragglers in their unit – all survivors of the debacle at Kalisz -they’d signed up with the Black Baron in the Ruins of Warsaw. Not because they wanted to burn villages in their free time, but for a steady paycheck in a chaotic world.
Having had long experience with Americans, Maks would find them easy to motivate with good pay and a promise of a ticket home… somehow.
The remainder of the captured American ex-soldiers were released in Sandomierz. Not a great turn of events for them, but at least they weren’t naked in the Polish countryside. There was always merc work to be found in this booming trade city.
For the 6 new crew, I pulled NPC motivation cards. If you’re not using the NPC motivation rules in your game, you should be. They can be found on page 143 of the Twilight 2000 v2.2 rulebook. It’s a quick way to get a thumbnail sketch of NPC personalities, and I plan to carry over this system into other roleplaying games.
To determine the motivation of an NPC, draw two cards from a standard deck of playing cards. The highest value card is the NPCs primary motivation; the other is his secondary motivation. The particular motive is determined by the suit of the card and its face value, as indicated on the NPC Motivation Table…
Here are the NPCs I developed. I started with the card draws, and expanded on that with some background. Then I used the quick NPC stats (page 139), and added a few custom skill asset levels to personalize them.
Private Denzel Smith
Spades 10: Very Ambitious. Clubs 6: Moderately violent.
He’s been trying to make himself useful; primary source of party’s intel re: Warsaw.
Experienced: INIT 3. Attributes 6. Asset 11 (Scrounging 14, Forgery 14, Carousing 15, Swimming 16, FO 15).
Spec 4 Debbie Moore
Jack of Hearts & 10 of Hearts. Wise; very sociable.
She keeps the peace in the unit.
Experienced: INIT 3. Attributes 6. Asset 11 (Interrogation 15, Fishing 14, Leadership 17, Persuasion 16).
Spec 4 Bill Paxton
Wild Card: [Rules say nothing about wild cards. I decided this NPC was a former movie star]. 7 of Hearts: Moderately sociable.
Well-liked by the unit, who always throw movie lines at him. He tells the guys about a blockbuster movie he was working on, Titanic, but general release got scrubbed by the Thanksgiving Day Massacre.
Experienced: INIT 3. Attributes 6. Asset 11 (Carousing 14, German 12, Persuasion 16, Disguise 17, Small Arms Pistol/Rifle 14).
Private Kevin Nguyen
King of Hearts: Honorable. 8 of Spades: Very ambitious.
Geek before it was cool.
Novice: INIT 1. Attributes 5 (INT and EDU 7). Asset 9 (Observation 14, Electronics 13, Geology 16, Computer 17, Metallurgy 14).
Private Eric Benson
Wild Card: [Another wild card!] Former Quarterback, University of Alabama. Queen of Clubs: Stubborn.
Was badly wounded at the time of the fall of the 5th Division, in the infirmary. Has a pronounced limp. Cannot run, but can do other movements at normal speed.
Veteran: INIT 4. Attributes 7 (STR 8, AGL 9 [except lower body]). Asset 13 (Melee Combat Unarmed 15, French 15, Leadership 16, Thrown Weapon 18, Scuba & Swimming 16).
Spec 4 Jeff Cullen
Ace of Clubs: War Leader. 5 of Hearts: Moderately sociable.
Only Army bureaucracy would sideline a natural warrior in the Unit Field Sanitation Team.
Veteran: INIT 4. Attributes 7 (STR 9, AGL 8). Asset 13, Military Assets: 14