Dylan's Savage Worlds Nerdery

Geek life and custom content for Savage Worlds

Index Cards for NPCs

Something that I’m doing with my current Deadlands game that I haven’t tried before is creating index cards for NPCs. These are an image of the NPC, as well as their name and a brief description of their role. When they’re interacting with that NPC, I’ll put the card up in front of me in a card holder, so they can see it at all times. It’s something I’ve implemented to allow my players to better visualize the people they’re interacting with.

For my current Deadwood game, I found a bunch of graphite drawings of the main characters of the Deadwood TV show, which I’m using as one of my big influences. These were perfect for my NPC cards. I’ve found several web sites with other graphite portraits, so I’m trying to keep the look of them consistent. When I have to, I’ll use GIMP (a free Photoshop analogue), as well as a free sketch plugin I found, to make a photo approximate a graphite sketch, and then use that. The players seem to have really liked these, and several times they’ve asked for cards for NPCs they meet.

I think I’ll retain this idea for any future games I run – I like how it works out. There are a number of excellent sources for fantasy portraits, so any future fantasy games I run this will be easy for. I need to start finding portraits for my upcoming Deadlands Masks of Nyarlathotep game, as well.

Here’s a link to my current NPC Cards for the Deadwood game.

Anybody do anything similar to this? How do you help your players visualize NPCs?


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