Over the last little while, I've been writing up these rival adventuring parties, along with some new ones, and I've found myself wondering just how much information a referee needs to use an NPC adventuring party, which is admittedly part of a larger problem of just how much detail is needed for any element of an adventure module/setting. I myself require very little detail. My personal notes are usually quite spare -- mostly words or phrases intended to jog my memory. In fact, I make up a lot of details on the spot, since this saves time and gives me more flexibility in play. I can't begin to remember the number of times I've changed my mind about things because of the roll of the dice, player decision, or even just whimsy.
However, I realize that not every referee plays like me. So, I'm trying to strike a good balance between too much and too little detail in presenting NPC adventurers. Here's an example of one such party, written in a very minimalist style:
Party #2 (2,035 Experience Points): Typhon's Fists
As you can see, there's not much here beyond basic details. The NPCs have names but no descriptions, classes and equipment but no personalities or backgrounds. Likewise, the party itself has a name ("Typhon's Fists") but no details or agenda. Is that enough? For me, it is. The only things I hate coming up with on the fly are game stats and, even then, it's not hard so much as something I don't enjoy, especially when you're dealing with mid to high-level NPCs. That's why I keep some pregenerated ability score arrays, names, spellbooks, etc, at hand in case I ever have to make up a NPC on the spot who requires more than a name and a vague personality. Other referees might feel differently, though, which is why I'm curious what these referees might add to this collection of game stats. What additional details are necessary to make these NPCs broadly useful should they be encountered as the result of a roll on the wandering monster chart?Jehan of Typhon (Level 2 Lawful Male Cleric) AC: 4 HP: 8STR 12 INT 12 WIS 14 CON 12 DEX 11 CHA 14Spells: 1-Cure Light WoundsEquipment: Chain Mail, Shield, War Hammer +1, 6 Torches, Backpack, Waterskin, 1 Week Iron Rations, 10' Pole, Wooden Holy Symbol, 2 Small Sacks, 3 Stakes & Mallet, Steel MirrorOndart (Level 2 Lawful Male Fighter) AC: 1 HP: 12STR 15 INT 14 WIS 12 CON 9 DEX 13 CHA 9Equipment: Plate Mail, Shield, Sword, Dagger, 6 Torches, Backpack, Waterskin, 1 Week Iron Rations, 10' Pole, Potion of HealingHelouys (Level 2 Lawful Female Fighter) AC: 3 HP: 8STR 16 INT 9 WIS 8 CON 11 DEX 12 CHA 11Equipment: Plate Mail, Two-Handed Sword, 3 Daggers, 6 Torches, Backpack, Waterskin, 1 Week Iron Rations, 50' Rope, 2 Flasks oil, Potion of HeroismGenevote (Level 1 Neutral Female Magic-User) AC: 9 HP: 2STR 11 INT 15 WIS 15 CON 9 DEX 9 CHA 8Spells: 1-Magic MissileEquipment: Dagger, 6 Torches, Backpack, Waterskin, 1 Week Iron Rations, 50' Rope, Vial of Holy WaterEnjorran of Typhon (Level 2 Lawful Male Cleric) AC: 5 HP: 9STR 14 INT 11 WIS 18 CON 10 DEX 6 CHA 5Spells: 1-Protection from EvilEquipment: Chain Mail, Shield, War Hammer, 6 Torches, Backpack, Waterskin, 1 Week Iron Rations, 10' Pole, Wooden Holy Symbol, 2 Small Sacks, Scroll of Cure Light WoundsYurain (Level 2 Lawful Male Dwarf) AC: 1 HP: 8STR 17 INT 9 WIS 10 CON 11 DEX 12 CHA 11Equipment: Plate Mail, Shield +1, Sword, Light Crossbow, Case With 30 Quarrels, 6 Torches, Backpack, Waterskin, 1 Week Iron Rations, 10' Pole