There has to be an easier way of rolling up an NPC adventuring party than using a bunch of tables and rolling for levels and filling them up with loot.

In the first 3e campaign I hosted, my players encountered one, maybe two or three, rival adventuring parties in ten levels of play. Now I’d frown on those numbers. From myself, anyway. I expect more from myself.

Some of the bizarre social mechanics from 3e really make more sense if you’re constantly encountering rival adventuring NPCs. Skills like Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate really shouldn’t be used in a town or settlement.

Spellcraft as a skill, is of the most use when you’re identifying the spells of enemy magic-users. If you don’t regularly encounter enemy wizards, clerics, druids, and sorcerers, how are you going to get the most out of that skill?

But statting up a full party of NPCs is a laborious process. And that doesn’t take into account the creation of an internal strategy for that party to use — any quirks, foibles, or whatever. You need to roll up a cohesive unit.

Returning to an earlier concept, Characters As Ability Scores (2014 March), what if rolling up an adventuring party were as simple as rolling up a single character?

I think if I focused (for the time being) on making my faction generator robust enough to generate an adventuring party, I could take those concepts and expand them to a cover a larger area, with more characters and ideas covered.

On another blog (Disoriented Ranger, I think, though I’ve lost the specific post), I saw a model for factions or hierarchies with scores taken directly from a leader.

This sounds like a great idea, and might serve as a basis for devising factions under my generator. If you can roll just one character and build the rest of an adventuring party around them, I think you’ve got a winner.

But a party needs a name, a direction, and a purpose.

Perhaps some of the other stuff I’ve been working on will help me with that. Assets and Trades and stuff. This is a new tack for me, so it’ll require some thought. I wonder if I can make Five Man Band a gameable mechanic?