Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gygaxian Democracy #8: Gygaxian Social Interaction (Final Version)

Here is the optional eccentric-NPC interaction table generated via Gygaxian Democracy reformatted to be usable. Contributors are named but not hotlinked. To follow contributors back to their lairs, consult the original post. Redundant responses and ones that did not fit the original remit (the challenges had to be things which the player could conceivably fail to do) have been edited out and I've added a few at the end to make up the numbers.

Gygaxian Social Interaction Table

(roll below one time+once per point of charisma over 15 and pick the one the player likes best, if PC charisma is under under 6, roll one time + once per point of charisma under 6 and the DM picks)
(in most cases, these 'challenges' won't be secret, the player will know this is whats/he has to do...)
(roll d100 and divide by 2)

1-NPC talks fast and interrupts people. If the player can say what s/he wants in less than d12+6 words s/he gets it.

2-NPC talks fast and interrupts people. If the player can say what s/he wants in less than 2d4 seconds s/he gets it.

3-Conversation reveals NPC is obsessed with (conquest/unity/weasels, etc.). If player can work the word "weasel" (or "conquest" or "unity", or etc.) into every sentence of his/her request, s/he gets it.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...
4-The NPC has an obsessive antipathy toward an unlikely thing (I.E, mountains/trees/rivers, etc.). If the player can manage to fit some way that his/her request harms mountains (or trees, or rivers, etc.) into it, they get the desired result. Otherwise, roll 1d20. If the result is 15 or above, they get the desired result. Otherwise the fog of the NPC's obsession overrules their self-interest (or whatever the players were appealing to), and they are: (Roll 1d4)

1-Forcibly ejected from his/her presence.

2-Accused of a crime that they may or may not have committed [to prevent the DM being restricted to using only things they haven't done yet]. Their sentence will be directly related to the antipathy of the NPC; if they hate mountains the players must do a significant amount of damage to one, if trees they must clear cut a forest, if rivers the must construct a dam, etc. 
3-Threatened with death or other dire consequences unless they agree to kill and/or disgrace someone who has been blocking their efforts to destroy/harm the object of their antipathy

4...(I hereby turn the remaining results on this table over to Gygaxian Democracy)

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

5-NPC values obfuscation. Any request that is immediately clear, or takes less than 6d10 words, or 4d10 seconds, will be ignored.

6-NPC is completely apathetic. Only requests that allow him or her to do less will be accepted. 

7-NPC is a hedonist. Only those requests that will provide a new experience will be accepted.

Brian Moon said...

8- NPC will agree with player requests if they can state it while stacking dice d20 high, one on top of the other, before the stack falls. Subtract one from dice-tower-height roll for each 3 points of PC Charisma.

Eric said...
9. The man is slow in the head. You must talk with words of just one sound or he will not trust you.

Roger the GS said...
10 Words are beside the point. The interlocutor is fixated on the most obvious and special object carried by the adventurers. He/she tries to conceal interest in it but will eventually bring conversation around to it in a nonchalant way. Only giving that thing will convince.

11. the NPC is mad/bored/cruel (Zak: victim of a goblin curse) and will only talk to people speaking backwards. He himself will respond normally though.Additionally, he won't tolerate any grammar mistakes from his interlocutors. Misspelling a word will end up with the NPC going into a fit, insulting the speaker and refusing to respond to that person for d6 days.

12- Player must speak in rhyme, for at least 2d10 rhyming pairs, in order to gain the NPCs favor. Player may subtract 1 for each point of PC Int or Cha (player chooses which stat to apply) above 15; likewise must add 1 for each point of Int or Cha below 6 (use lowest score). No reduction can reduce the number of rhyming pairs below 2; no additions can raise the number required above 20. Player's speech must be on topic (DM's decision). Failure to rhyme results in NPCs disfavor, whatever that means: anger, fear, disappointment, whatever fits the circumstance.

Eric said...
13) Lover of low art: Phrase the request either as a limerick or with a double entendre in every sentence.

14) Lover of high art: Request must be a haiku or in at least 2 lines of iambic pentameter (like Shakespeare: 

daDAH daDAH daDAH daDAH daDAH/
daDAH daDAH daDAH daDAH daDAH (must rhyme)

Either way, player has 2 minutes+ 1 minute for either an Int or Cha 15 and up (4 minutes total if both)

Chris Weller said...
15) Deaf. Players must ask using charades, without modern references.

Josh said...
16) Coward - NPC is a huge dick. He insults the PCs and actively hinders them. Physically he appears like he could take the PCs with on hand behind his back. The NPC will not do what the PCs want until there is a show of force, drawing a sword, grabbing his shirt, etc., after which the NPC will immediately start whimpering. 

17) NPC has huge, prominent, impressive tattoo in an unlikely place and is really sick of talking to strangers about it. Any request will be granted so long as the PC does not try to ingratiate himself/herself by talking about the tattoo.


18)Obvious Fraud - NPC claims to be a highly educated noble and uses overly long and complicated words often, poorly, and with mispronunciations. As long as the PCs don't call him out, make fun of him (though extra points for sarcastic witty flattery) or make him feel stupid, they will be on the NPC's good side.

19) Battle of Wits - NPC starts making puns, the PCs must reply with a pun 5 times in a row.

Pturtle said...
20) Conversational Drifter - has a hard time staying on topic, will frequently trail off in mid-sentence. PCs must finish sentences quickly and succinctly in order to steer the conversation in the direction they desire. NPC can be manipulated in this way, but PCs' suggestions and arguments must still follow logical thread. (Zak note: nice one)

21) Ornery Conversational Drifter - has a hard time staying on topic, will frequently trail off in mid-sentence. PCs must finish sentences quickly and succinctly in order to steer the conversation in the direction they desire. Unfortunately, NPC is also a natural contrarian. For each PC suggestion, roll 1d6. On 1 or 2, NPC accepts PC suggestion; on 3 through 6, NPC rejects PC suggestion no matter how logical or sensible.

biopunk said...
22) NPC is looking for an understanding. 

If the player physically nods or shakes their head in response to the NPC's question, the NPC will deem them worthy of [some benefit]. 

Failure to do so will result in the PC's opinions being ignored by the NPC until the PC asks a direct question of the NPC. The NPC will then reply with another question to the character, again looking for a physical response.

Failure to do this three times results in the character being completely ignored by the NPC. (Zak note: don't tel the players how it works.)

23) NPC entertained by circus acts. Player can try juggling 3 items while phrasing request.

24) NPC doesn't like to drink alone. Player can opt to begin & end request with a shot of whiskey.

25) NPC impressed by arcane knowledge. DM picks random 2-3 word phrase from spell descriptions. Player tries to identify the spell it comes from & dictate full sentence context (use of physical rulebooks is allowed; no digital sources; time limit 2 minutes).

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...
26-It is customary for the NPC (A noble) and those he negotiates with to drink something flavored with vanilla, probably milk. It comes in quart sized glasses, each of which is automatically re-filled when empty. Vanilla extract (what this is flavored with, rather than the beans themselves) has alcohol in it. Each of these glasses has a whole bottle of vanilla extract in them. After d6 glasses you will inform the players that "You notice that you are starting to feel odd, as though (insert non-obvious description of the early stages of being drunk here)." in whatever way you wish. Once they've had about d4 more glasses of this stuff one of the characters will begin to feel most definitely drunk and/or pass out depending on previously established tolerance for alcohol. At this point the players must play as though their characters are drunk. This was done purposely by the NPC (Who's been drinking plain milk the whole time, and, as such, is still completely sober) in the hopes of getting the party to agree to 

1-Marry one of his cousin's adopted daughters, a witch from the northern mountains. 

2-Steal a harpy egg from one of his rivals, who is blackmailing him with the threat of opening it in one of his subject lands. Roll again: 
1-2-The egg will be opened if the players get too near to discovering who is keeping it, or reveal that the noble sent them. 3-4-The noble they are working for will accidentally break the egg. 
5-A vassal of their employer will accidentally break the egg, or will do so on purpose. In accidentally roll for the city. If intentionally roll for city, but restrict the results to those that are under the control of rivals, especially those that are held by the person you stole the egg from in the first place. 6-The egg hatches on the way back to the city. The NPC is enraged, having wished to use the egg for his or her own purposes.

3-Kill one of his rivals.

4-Burn down the home of a specific NPC, at a certain time. He or she will insist that this is because the person will not be there at that time, but it is actually because they will be there, but not in an obvious fashion; the NPC having a desire for revenge and a cruel streak, wishes to burn them alive. The party will hear screams from within if they stick around, and/or hear rumors that a house burned to the ground, killing its occupant.
5-Eradicate a group of: 
3-Savage Humans 
4-Bestial Elves 
5-Bugbies (Bugbear-Brownies. They have the: 
of a Bugbear. All else is as a Brownie. At the DM's discretion they may be Brownbugs, which are as above, save that they are as bugbears overall. Both sorts are chaotic good.)6-Jackal-men. These will be running a "Lottery of Babylon", but are not the main group. As such not all of the choices apply.

6-Kill a hobgoblin thief, and his band of lycanthropic kobolds.

If they agree to do so, in character, roleplaying as drunk, then the NPC will accept their request. (Zak: they don't have to do it). If they fail to roleplay convincingly he will become suspicious, and believe that they mean to double-cross him.

27) Right Here in River City - NPC is a bit thick between the ears; PCs need to make their point or request three times in order for it to land. Unfortunately, NPC is also easily bored/distracted; PCs need to make their three attempts distinctly different, and need to complete all three within 3d8 seconds. For each failure, subtract 1d8 for the rest of the conversation.

Menace 3 Society said...

NPC is a poet/bard/freestyle battler/wannabe or fan of any of the above and insists the player/PC...

28 n+1) speak alliteratively.

29. n+2) talk in terms of allusion to epics or fairy tales, a la ST:TNG episode "Darmok".

30. n+3) use player's choice of any other figure of rhetoric, preferably obscure, e.g. pleonasm, anaphora, synecdoche, etc.

31. n+4) speak in (d4: 1 iambic, 2 trochaic, 3 dactylic, 4 anapestic) (d4+2)ameter.

32. n+7) sing a song for at least d4 x 10 seconds.

33. n+8) accept a challenge to a sonnet/rap contest, and will have no further interaction until the player/PC furnishes a sonnet/rap. Will concede contest as long as sonnet/rap is formally correct.

34. n+9) tell an epic tale of heroism before entertaining any requests or discussion.

35 NPC is vain and requires PC to pay an elaborate compliment referring to 2d4 different things about NPC.

Chris Lowrance said...
36) NPC is a troll. Not the fun kind either. The DM and player in question must engage in a staring contest - if the player loses this is interpreted as the NPC successfully pissing off the PC without giving them what they want. If the player wins, the NPC couldn't crack them and gives in. (if the player is blind or has dry-eye syndrome or something, pick some other simple contest. Or just let them win, for Christ's sake. What's wrong with you.)

37) NPC is a survivor of some horribly traumatic event, and will be seized by a panic attack if triggered by the mention of it. The player does not know what that event was, but knows due to vague allusions that they mustn't mention it. Furthermore, the event involved *something* related to what the DM knows the PCs want. If they can form their request in a way that doesn't mention it, they get what they want.

For instance: The PCs want to know where the gnome is so they get steal it's ruby. The NPC once watched her father eaten alive by an insane gnome. The PCs musn't mention gnomes or she begins sobbing and curls up in a ball on the floor.

38) NPC interupts player to tell a shitty joke. If the player laughs, they get what they want. If they don't (the DM should pick a really bad joke) the NPC says "Well, if you think you can do better, let's hear it then!" The player must then tell a joke. If the DM laughs, they get what they want.

39) NPC has an incredibly thick accent. The DM tells them what they want, but only with a mouth full of something, and will not repeat themselves.

40) NPC will mishear a key word of the DM's choosing and give an accurate response based on it. So "Where is the gnome with the ruby" may become "where is the home with the ruby" or "where is the gnome with the boobies." The player must guess which word was misheard - a correct guess and they get a corrected answer, a missed guess and they get a new false answer ("What did that lad want?" "The home with the boobies?" "Must of meant Mistress Montague's House of Pain." "That's where I sent 'em.")

41) NPC is elderly, of same gender as player, and thinks everyone younger is an idiot. Tell them they must now multiply the results of two 20d without a calculator in 30 seconds. This represents the tedium and stress of listening to a lecture while being called "boy," "girl," "son," or "little missy." If the math problem is solved in time the player gets what they want.

42) NPC insists on talking about something divisive. The NPC agrees completely with the player - and yet they continue to argue. A player not involved must then write down the name of a famous work of art without consulting the player in the argument. This is shown to the player in the argument, and they have 10 seconds to draw it. The DM must then guess what it is. If the DM can, the NPC realizes the player agrees with them and they get what they want.

Substitutes for works of art could be: D&D monsters, album covers, superheroes, etc.
James C. said...


43) roll d20 and determine the corresponding consonant in the alphabet not counting "y" (i.e. 1 would equal "b", 10 would equal "m", 19 would equal "x"). You have one minute to formulate your request using only words that do not contain this letter.

44) roll d20 and determine the corresponding consonant in the alphabet not counting "y" (i.e. 1 would equal "b", 10 would equal "m", 19 would equal "x"). You have one minute to formulate your request using only words that do contain this letter. 

45) roll d6. As 43 above, but for vowels plus y.

46) roll d6. As 44 above, but for vowels plus y.

47) Formulate your request so that the last letter of the last word of a preceding sentence is the first letter of the first word of the next sentence. You have one minute.

In all of the above cases, the request so formulated needs to be complete enough that the NPC in question could reasonably understand it and comply.

48 NPC seizes on insignificant details and rambles on about his/her thoughts/feelings/experiences about them. S/he will eventually stop, though. If the PC can endure this without interrupting the NPC s/he gets what s/he wants.

49: NPC is obsessed with outdoing another local NPC, if PC can frame request in terms of doing that, s/he gets what s/he wants.

50: NPC is an asshole who only respects other assholes. S/he will begin by cursing the most obvious trait of the PC, only a PC who insults him/her back with equal fervor will get a fair hearing. (Don't tell the PC this is the case.)


  1. Hey I only did the one about the NPC being deaf (15). I'm credited with 18 as well, but that wasn't me.

    Sorry, I know this must have been a pain in the ass to compile :-)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. @Chris

    Is it bear-baiting season already, Chris?

  4. @Zak

    You are, of course, right. I should know better than that. I'll repeat the part that was serious:

    Wow, thanks for cleaning these up and posting these. That had to be brain-achingly tedious.

  5. Consider this appropriated for my games - thanks man