So, I thought up a strange little thing for noting how NPCs or organizations think of a/the character(s). There are probably tons of other things like this out there, but it’s a thought experiment to write this out, maybe I (or someone else) can learn something from it. It’s basically two (or three) axes (axises?) describing how an NPC thinks of the party, and hopefully it can cover most kinds of normal relations.
The Three Axes
It looks like this (right). The first axis is the compliant-resistant one, which is about how easy it is to get the NPC to give in to plans, provide items or help, and so on. It does not determine this alone (situation, as always, change a lot), but would influence results of requests. The “compliance level” is based on the personality of the NPC/organization, as well if they have responsibilities, orders, are in a tough spot, or whatever.
The second one is the friendly-hostile axis. It is about how they act around you. Are they few in words and give you evil glares, or do they make jokes and try to help. This is completely separate from the compliance axis, as a friend can have orders not to help you out, or maybe think that what you’re asking for is bad for you. If they can’t help you out with what you’re asking for, they might help out with something else or point you in the right direction if they’re are friendly. If they have to help but are hostile, they might take the word and not spirit of your requests, or try to ruin your plans while technically doing what you asked of them.
The third one might be less important, or be absorbable by the others. It’s the supporter-skeptic axis, which was quite hard to name. It’s about how much they think of your ability. Do they think of you as a student or cute little sibling, as a hero to look up to, or whatever. This might influence how they act in the other areas, like someone not wanting to drop you off in mordor because they think you’re too dangerous, no matter how friendly they might be.
- Friendly, skeptic, resistant: “old mentor“. Thinks you’re still children and untested. Knows better than you and only helps out in own ways, despite liking you.
- Hostile, compliant, supporter: “intimdated“. You scared this person into obediance. Believes you’re huge and dangerous, but still doesn’t like you at all.
- Neutral, compliant, skeptic: “sent to help“. This person doesn’t know who you are, but have been ordered to help. Does not believe in strangers, but helps anyways.
So, that’s this. Hopefully it helps someone or sparks some thought. And hopefully it’s not all just obvious stuff that have been gone through hundreds of time before. Who knows.