If you’re in the Hill Cantons, you’re lucky enough to already have a rival adventuring party that doesn’t need modeling, because it’s another group of players. (Lookin’ at you two fellas.) And I know that Zak’s been dealing with a similar sort of interplay with his home and G+ groups. But for those of you who aren’t as fortunate/awesome as we are, here is a potential hack to deal with it.
The Traveller RPG has lifepaths that you roll your character through for seeing what they did before becoming a space murderhobo. I figure that we can use the same sort of system here.
|Er...sure. Something like that, I guess.|
Image via io9
Generate the NPC party that you want to have running around as a bunch of rivals. Keep track of what the levels of your PCs are; every time a PC levels, go ahead and follow this chart for all NPCs in the rival party. All rolls are on a d6.
NPC Levelling Table
Make a throw on each of these to see what the NPC has been up to while you haven’t been looking.
Survival – 3+. +1 to the throw if the NPC is 5th level or higher, -1 if they are 1st level.
Swag – 5+. If they get this, throw on the Swag Table to see what cool thing they’ve acquired in their off-screen gallivanting.
Success – 5+. +1 to the throw if they're 1st level, but -1 if they are 5th level or higher. This sees if they gain a level or not.
1 – Henchman. They get a henchman serving them, who is their level –d4, to a minimum of a 0th-level squire or retainer. Add the henchman to the NPC party for all future rolls on the levelling table.
2 – Big Haul. They hit a good haul in their delving. The NPC can take another throw on the Success line.
3 – Minor Item. They either get something that’s cool and helpful but not magical – awesome horse, treasure map, ancient artifact – or some relatively low-powered magical item.
4 – Magical Item. As 3, but this is the good stuff.
5 – Temporal Success. Gain a minor title? A parcel of land? A decrepit old wizard’s tower? Figure something out.
6 – Trollface. Reroll on the chart (ignoring this), but figure out some way that whatever they get, screws with some current PC plans or goals.