RECON: Quick-Roll NPC Squadmates

In RECON, characters tend to die fairly easily. NPCs are even more disposable; while killing off player characters is expected within the spirit of the game, often it is better for the Mission Director (“game master”) to warn off the players or show them how serious the situation is by first killing off their NPC allies.

Given that RECON is a military game, unless the players are independent mercenaries, they will almost certainly operate as part of a larger force. Depending on the mission, this means they can be in the field alongside anything from a small fireteam (around 4 soldiers) to a full company (100-120 soldiers)! Most commonly, the players serving in the Army or Marines will probably see action as part of either their squad (10-12 soldiers) or their platoon (30-40 soldiers).

This means that the average group (2-6 players) will be surrounded by a lot of NPCs. Some of these, the MD will likely write up as fully-fleshed out characters in their own rights; these are the direct superiors and close friends (or enemies!) that the players will be interacting with on a regular basis. However, since casualty rates in RECON games – especially among NPCs – are so high, the MD may find themselves constantly killing off and having to recreate the player’s fellow soldiers.

For NPC squad-mates, the following tables allow the MD to quickly roll up a soldier’s basic stats and personality. The defining traits are designed purposefully to generate “stereotypes” that are easy to recognize and use; MDs should feel free to extrapolate further and add more detail or nuance if they wish, especially if they plan on using the NPC as a recurring or major character.

These tables can also be used to generate random NPCs “on the fly” that a MD may unexpectedly require, or that are needed for “one-shot”/disposable use.

Note that the random nature of the tables are to assist the MD in adding variety to their game; a MD should feel free to pick options from the tables rather than roll if they have a specific idea for a needed NPC.

 

TABLES FOR GENERATING BASIC NPCS

Body

Roll Description Attribute Scores
01-30 Average build ST 40-70, AG 40-70
31-40 Big and buff ST 60-90, AG 40-60
41-50 Thin and wiry ST 40-60, AG 60-90
51-60 Short and stocky ST 50-80, AG 50-60
81-90 Scrawny/weakling ST 20-40, AG 40-60
91-00 Overweight/poor shape ST 40-60, AG 20-40

Senses

Roll Description Attribute Scores
01-20 Eagle-eyed AL 80-90
21-50 Sharp AL 60-70
51-80 Average AL 40-60
81-00 Inattentive/needs glasses AL 20-40

Spirit (if using Morale rules)

Roll Description Attribute Scores
01-30 Loves it here MO 80-90
31-60 Doing their part MO 70-80
61-80 Doesn’t want to be here MO 50-70
81-94 On the edge MO 30-50
95-00 Broken MO 20-30

Personality

Roll Personality Traits
01-03 Complainer; always moaning about something.
04-06 Devout; will often pray audibly and evangelize their religion.
07-09 Cynic; world-weary and cynical about practically everything.
10-12 Lifer; veteran soldier, has already done one or more tours in Nam.
13-15 Besotted; has a sweetheart back home, always writing to them.
16-20 Stoner; drug user, sometimes vague, likes a good time.
21-25 Redneck; loud, headstrong, opinionated but rugged.
26-30 Surfer Dude; laid-back, chilled, loves the sun and outdoors.
31-35 Sadist; enjoys violence and hurting others.
36-38 Jumpy; always seems anxious and borderline paranoid.
39-40 Brown-Nose; always sucking up to superiors and trying to look good.
41-44 Quiet; laconic, seldom speaks, unsociable.
45-49 Racist; hostile or distrusting of races other than their own.
50 Local Love; has a native lover in nearby town/village (may be VC).
51-54 Musician; loves music, plays a beloved instrument during downtime.
55-58 Fitness Buff; obsessed with staying in shape and keeping healthy.
59-62 Party Animal; loud, loves a good time, not big on authority.
63-66 Joker; always cracking jokes and playing tricks on people.
67-70 Athlete; had a promising athletic career either previously or ahead.
71-74 Daydreamer; always thinking about something else; absent minded.
75-78 Carouser; always chasing the opposite sex; brags about “conquests”.
79-81 Pacifist; abhors violence and will avoid combat when possible.
82-83 Geek; introverted, poor social skills, loves comics and pop culture.
84-86 Naive; easily tricked, often the butt of practical jokes.
87-88 Opportunist; always out to find an “angle” to benefit themselves.
89-90 Profiteer; always looking to “get rich” somehow.
91 Rich; back in the world, they or their family are very wealthy.
92 Family Pride; their family history is filled with decorated soldiers.
93 Named Their Weapon; has a specific weapon they adore and cherish.
94 New Parent; has a spouse and child back home, talks about them a lot.
95 Tinkerer; loves fiddling with electronics or machines.
96 Storyteller; always telling elaborate anecdotes and/or stories.
97 Anarchist; insubordinate, resents being told what to do.
98-00 RE-ROLL TWICE AND APPLY BOTH TRAITS.

Ethnicity (Stateside NPCs)

Roll Ethnic Descent
01-40 Assimilated American (“White”)
41-70 Black American
71-80 Hispanic American
81-87 Italian American
88-95 Euro American (Polish, Dutch, Irish, etc.)
98-00 Asian American

Note: the Ethnicity table above is to determine the NPC’s physical appearance, any accent they might have, and what prejudice they may face from others. Stateside NPC soldiers will still be “American”, regardless of their ethnic background and this table can be altered or ignored to fit the MD’s campaign, player group and NPC concept. “Assimilated” refers to white Americans with minimal non-US ethnic culture, whatever their family origins.

Primary MOS (optional)

Roll MOS
01-30 Rifleman
31-45 Point
46-60 Pigman
61-75 Grenadier
76-83 RTO
84-90 Medic
91-95 Sniper
96-00 Intel (or other suitable specialist)

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