Referee Persona Story Cues

Story cues are random curiousities that flesh out the history, reactions and plans of referee personas. While primarily intended for referees' use, all players can utilize these tables to add random elements to their personas.

Role playing cues need to be massaged for each persona family. A feral alien that has no language will not harbour a strong opinion on philosophy. Robots will not have anxiety but may have malfunctions that make it appear so.

This section is an aid to creativity, not a replacement for creativity.

Improv

The necessary components of a character for improv comedy theatre provide a useful framework for RPG personas. Improv comedy characters are broken into three parts: Move, Sound, Want.

For more details jump to Triangle at Learnimprov.com.

Improv Character Triangle
  • move

    • gait, posture, speed, gestures, shape

  • sound

    • volume, speed, pitch, emotion, words

  • want

    • desires, triggers, goals, beliefs, triggers, needs

History

The referee persona’s story is a skeleton to help the referee create a backstory. The past, present, future give the referee a skeleton to hang the story meat.

The referee persona’s story is a skeleton to help the referee create a backstory. Alien society and alien tool usage heavily influence the nature of the alien’s story. Cannon fodder flora and fauna will not have goals like reordering the universe. A creator species that lives 2 million years may have nothing to do but reorder the universe.++Insane

Origin

The origin history element is a geographic cue for the referee and players. Origin history helps determine if this persona is exotic or mundane. The details of the persona’s origin may fit into the current milieu or require the referee to extend her world.

Flora and fauna that have an origin of "off-planet" may have escaped from a visiting spaceship. A creator level alien that has an origin of "off-planet" may have a spaceship nearby.

Consider L33t Un1t. She is an expendable combot left behind on the planet after a distant interplanetary conflict. She has no command and control and wanders around the desert near the expedition’s home base.

Persona Origin History Table
Is she from away or far away?

Die Roll (1d100)

Origin

01

Off Planet

02-10

Very Far away

11-30

Far away

31-90

Nearby

91-95

At home

96-99

Knows expedition

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Origin

Present

The present history is mostly focused on how the referee persona is interacting with the expedition right now. The table is a mix of intentions and reasons for being present.

Let’s consider the expendable combat L33t Un1t again. She still misses the organizational elements of an organized military force. She would be happy to take direction from anyone with military training. L33t Un1t will work with the expedition if they offer this kind of direction to her.

Persona Present History Table
What is the referee persona’s frame of reference to the expedition. Friend or foe?

Die Roll (1d100)

Presence

01-03

Want’s to harm

02-10

Want’s to deceive

11-30

Curious and not trusting

31-90

Plain curious

75-84

Has fair business

85-95

Curious and trusting

96-99

Wants to Help

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Presence

Future

The future story element is usually an internal goal of the persona. The referee may drop hints about the persona’s future goals. If they are nefarious, the referee will likely keep the plans secret. It is also possible that the persona will not know what her future goal is.

Let’s consider the expendable combat L33t Un1t yet again. L33t Un1t desires nothing more than to find meaningful leadership. She will leave the expedition to follow any combot or military brass that will boss her around.

Persona Future History Table
May be internalized or externalized.

Die Roll (1d100)

Goal

01

Reorder the universe

02-10

Provide for family

11-30

Provide for self

31-90

Make it to tomorrow

91-95

Find meaning for self

96-99

Find love and understanding.

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Goal

Personality

Personality traits help guide the referee when the RP is making decisions. While it is fun to play up an RP’s personality, remember the pithy aphorism; less is more. The players should be guiding the story, not a strong-willed referee (persona).

Personalities do require some massaging based on family types. The main thrust of personalities is to assist anthro referee personas. Aliens with advanced societal strata, robots and all anthros can have personalities.

Even a feral aliens may express personality elements. A normally docile alien may flee in terror with the presentation of a book (bibliophobia) An alien that does not have language cannot express complex emotions.

The referee may choose from each of the particular tables if they have something in mind. If personality traits are being randomly generated then start on the Extroverted Personality Trait Table Rolling on this table determines the presence of introverted or irrational personality traits.

Personality Strength and Decisions
  • None - follows and contributes.

  • Introverted - has opinions but does not fight for them.

  • Extroverted - has strong opinions and behaviours.

  • Irrational - has beliefs and will make bad decisions.

Extroverted

Extroverted personality traits are immediately obvious to the players. These traits are not irrational, they are just obvious and strong. A diplomatic RP will not try to negotiate with a heavy combot. She will run away. A diplomatic RP may intercede between player persona arguments about loot distribution. The expedition can win over an extroverted personality trait with some convincing.

The initial personality roll is made on the Extroverted Personality Trait Table.

Extroverted Personality Trait Table
Introverted personality is the most likely.

Die Roll (1d100)

Personality

Description

01-77

None

Introverted

78

Aesthetic

Appreciating good taste and beauty.

79

Altruist

Concerned with welfare of others.

80

Barbarian

Crude and wild in taste and manner.

81

Coward

Avoids danger and pain.

82

Dressy

Extreme elegance of appearance.

83

Diplomat

Innate skills for communicating between parties.

84

Egoist

Devoted to self interest and advancement.

85

Fanatic

Excessive zeal for a cause.

86

Hedonist

Pleasure is the main pursuit.

87

Iconoclast

Hater of icons.

88

Liar

Prefers falsehood over truth.

89

Martyr

Quick to sacrifice self for cause.

90

Miser

Deprives all to hoard wealth.

91

Optimist

Habitually expects positive outcome.

92

Pessimist

Habitually expects bad outcome.

93

Pervert

Habitually turns from morally acceptable.

94

Ponderer

Continual excessive pondering.

95

Prankster

Endless tricks and pranks.

96

Sadist

Delights in cruelty.

97

Schemer

Constant plotter of everything.

98-99

Irrational

Irrational

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Personality

Description

Extroverted only? Roll 1d20 + 77

Introverted

Introverted personality traits are not immediately obvious to the players. The referee persona may have opinions based on the personality trait, but she will readily agree with the expedition. An introverted personality trait may influence a referee’s "behind the shield" decision.

Introverted Personality Trait Table
Subtle personality traits that influence the referee persona’s actions and choices.

Die Roll (1d100)

Introverted Trait

01

Aloof

02

Altruistic

03

Amoral

04

Arrogant

05

Barbaric/Foul

06

Callous

07

Capricious/Impulsive

08

Careless

09

Cautious

10

Cheerful

11

Compassionate

12

Contrary

13

Covetous

14

Cowardly/Craven

15

Curious

16

Deceitful

17

Diplomatic

18

Driven

19

Easy Going

20

Egotistical

21

Even-Tempered

22

Exacting

23

Fanatical

24

Fearless

25

Haughty

26

Forgiving

27

Friendly

28

Hedonistic

29

Hot Tempered

30

Humble/Retiring

31

Iconoclastic

32

Immoral

33

Imposing

34

Inquisitive

35

Insensitive

36

Irreverent

37

Jealous

38

Kindly

39

Loquacious

40

Lustful

41

Lusty

42

Malevolent/Mean

43

Mischievous

44

Miserly/Avaricious

45

Moody

46

Morose

47

Obsequious

48

Obsessive

49

Opinionated

50

Optimistic

51

Perverted

52

Pessimistic

53

Pious

54

Ponderous

55

Proud

56

Sadistic

57

Scheming

58

Scrupulous

59

Secretive

60

Sensitive

61

Slothful

62

Sober

63

Studious

64

Suspicious

65

Taciturn/Reclusive

66

Thrifty

67

Trusting

68

Truthful

69

Unforgiving

70

Vengeful

71

Violent

72

Wasteful

73-83

Mild Extroversion

84-93

Mild Irrationality

94-99

None

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Introverted Trait

Mild Extroversion: roll on Extroverted Personality Table, but play it softly.

Mild Irrationality: roll on Irrational Personality Table, but play it softly.

Irrational

Irrational personality traits are immediately obvious to the players and problematic. These traits impair the referee persona’s ability to make good decisions and appear as illnesses. However, these traits are not illnesses from the DSM. They are personality traits so strong that the RP may make the wrong decision.

Irrational personality traits were formerly called Insane Personality Traits

Extroverted and introverted personality traits will not put the persona in harm’s way. Irrational personality traits can put the whole expedition in harm’s way. These are the kind of traits that will override the better, often safer, decision.

The expedition can influence extroverted and introverted personality traits to do what is best for the expedition. Irrational personality traits are immune to the rational input of the expedition.

Irrational Personality Traits Table
Overwhelming personality traits that are flaw like in nature.

Die Roll (1d100)

Irrationality

Description

01-03

Amnesia

Loss of memories.

04-06

Anxiety

Abnormal sense of apprehension.

07-09

Hypochondria

Imaginary physical ailments.

10-12

Hysteria

Unmanageable emotional excitability.

13-15

Melancholia

Severe sadness and gloom.

16-18

Paranoia

Delusions of persecution and irrational suspicion.

19-21

Confabulation

Cannot tell the truth even to her benefit.

22-24

Religiosity

All events relate to supernatural powers

Manias

Consumed by..

25-26

Dipsomania

Uncontrollable desire for beverages.

27-28

Jornemania

Conviction of safety at journey’s end.

29-30

Kleptomania

Compulsion to steal without economic gain.

31-32

Mechanomania

Technology is the all saving supreme solution.

33-34

Megalomania

Infantile feelings of supremacy.

35-36

Monomania

Fixation on singular object or goal.

37-38

Pyromania

Irresistible impulse to start fires.

Phobias

Fear of..

39-41

Acrophobia

Heights.

42-45

Agoraphobia

Open Spaces.

46-48

Aichmophobia

Sharp things.

49-51

Ailurophobia

Cats and small furry things.

52-54

Anthrophobia

Humanoids.

55-57

Astrophobia

Outer Space.

58-60

Bibliophobia

Books.

61-62

Claustrophobia

Close spaces.

63

Compuphobia

Computers.

64-66

Ergophobia

Work.

67-69

Gonnephobia

Guns.

70-72

Hydrophobia

Water, liquids.

73-74

Linonophobia

Rope, string.

75

Necrophobia

Death.

76-78

Mysophobia

Dirt.

79-81

Nictophobia

Darkness. Night.

82-84

Opthalmophobia

Being stared at.

85-87

Phobophobia

Fear.

88-89

Practicophobia

Vocations. Professions.

90

Robophobia

Robots.

91-93

Technophobia

Technology.

94-96

Xenophobia

Strangers.

97-99

Zoophobia

Animals. Aliens.

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Irrationality

Description

Appearances

Appearances are flexible presentations that the referee persona may have. The referee persona can change their appearance, but they cannot change their shape. For example, a gigantic pig headed alien may wear a top hat and look well groomed. Later the same gigantic pig headed alien may be wearing a mumu and look dishevelled.

There are really no family limits to appearances. A robot may cover itself in accents that resemble wet coast rain jacket. Aliens with advanced societal strata will certainly have clothing and hygiene presentations. Even flora and fauna may cover themselves with elements that make it appear they are dressing up. However, in general, flora and fauna do not put on appearances.

Dressing

Dressing is appearance only. Dressing does not represent the culture, gender, occupation or personality of the referee persona. A persona’s dress may be a uniform that she always wears, or just be a fleeting moment of fashion. Dressings can be mixed and matched. For example, the shoes may be punk rock, but the hairdo renaissance. The term dressing is used in place of clothing to reflect how different families can wear things.

Persona Clothing Appearance Table
Clothing is appearance and does reflect culture.

Die Roll (1d100)

Clothing

Geographic

Style

01

Arctic

02-03

Africa - Eastern (Lamba)

04-05

Africa - Central (Tugh)

06-07

Africa - Northern (Jellabiya)

08-09

Africa - South (Pano)

10-11

Asia - Central (Chapan)

12-13

Asia - Island (Sokutai)

14-15

Asia - Continent (Hanbok)

16-17

Asia - Southeast (Kraben)

18-19

Europe - Central (Kroje)

20-21

Europe - North (Kilt)

22-23

Caribbean (Junkanoo)

24-25

America - North (Poncho)

26-27

Oceania - (Aloha)

Historic

28-30

Lumberjack

31-35

Wild West

36-40

Egyptian - Ancient

41-42

Roman - Toga

43-47

Renaissance - Royalty

48-49

Renaissance - Merchant

50-51

Renaissance - Peasant

52-53

1800s - Aristocrat

54-55

1800s - Pauper

56-57

Medieval - Nobility

58-59

Medieval - Serf

60-61

1930s

62-63

1940s

64-65

1950s

66-67

1960s hippy

68-69

1970s

Fashionista

70-71

Rocker

72-73

Mod

74-75

Punk

76-77

Yoga Spandex

78-82

Wet Coast Raincoat

82-83

Pilgrim

84-85

Trucker Hat

86-87

Military

88-89

Farmer

89-81

Monk

90-91

Power Tie with Suit

92-93

Coveralls

94-95

Sports Team

96-97

Goth

98-99

Extreme Angularity

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Clothing

Traditional

Style

Hygiene

Hygiene is a general habit that the persona exhibits. Hygiene does not influence Charisma, social standing or task rolls.

Hygiene may vary with the scenario, but the RP tends to ebb back to the hygiene description. A habitually immaculate RP that fell in the mud would look like someone who fell in the mud. The immaculate RP would clean herself off sooner and better than the filthy RP. A habitually filthy spie would not arrive un-groomed at an aristocratic function.

Persona Hygiene Appearance Table
Attention to self care.

Die Roll (1d100)

Hygiene

01-05

Filthy

06-15

Dirty

16-35

Dishevelled

36-65

Non-Descript

66-85

Clean

86-95

Well Groomed

96-99

Immaculate

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Hygiene

Gender

Gender represents appearance only. Gender does not represent genetics, sexuality, reproduction, or employment. The politics of gender are up to the referee and players.

Persona Gender Appearance Table
Gender is an appearance and nothing else.

Die Roll (1d100)

Appearance

01-42

Feminine

43-84

Masculine

85-99

Neither

00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll

Appearance

Colour

If some colour is needed to spice things up.

Colour Table
Colour your world.

Simple

Fancy

(1d12)

Colour

(1d100)

Colour

1

Black

01-04

Black

5

Carbon

6

Charcoal

7

Midnight

8

Oil

2

Blue

9-12

Blue

13

Blueberry

14

Cyan

15

Cobalt

16

Denim

17

Navy

18

Robin

19

Sapphire

3

Brown

20-22

Brown

23

Coffee

24

Oak

25

Mocha

26

Taupe

4

Gray

27-29

Gray

30

Fog

6-10

Granite

31

Silver

32

Slate

33

Smokey

5

Green

34-36

Green

37

Apple

38

Avocado

39

Emerald

40

Forest

41

Jungle

42

Lime

43

Olive

44

Sage

45

Seaweed

6

Orange

46-48

Orange

49

Gold

50

Dijon

51

Spice

7

Pink

52-54

Pink

55

Blush

56

Daisy

57

Violet

58

Watermelon

8

Purple

59-61

Purple

62

Eggplant

63

Grape

64

Indigo

65

Magenta

66

Maroon

67

Plum

68

Violet

9

Red

69-72

Red

73

Burgundy

74

Cherry

75

Scarlet

76

Lava

77

Ruby

78

Violet

10

White

79-81

White

82

Milk

83

Shell

84

Vanilla

11

Yellow

85-87

Yellow

88

Corn

89

Goldenrod

90

Macaroni

91

Manilla

92

Mustard

93

Peach

12

Choose

94-00

Ref’s Own Table

(1d12)

Colour

(1d100)

Colour

Simple

Fancy

Colour Affect Table
Optional roll to change how the colour appears.

Die Roll (1d20)

Affect

1

Bright

2

Clear

3

Dark

4

Dirty

5

Drab

6

Dull

7

Florescent

8

Grizzly

9

Iridescent

10

Light

11

Metallic

12

Muted

13

Normal

14

Punchy

15

Ruddy

16

Shimmering

17

Shiny

18

Sparkly

19

Transparent

20

Choose

Die Roll (1d20)

Affect

Colour Pattern Table

Roll a more colours (and affects).

Roll below to see how the colours interact.

Die Roll (1d20)

Pattern

1

Accents

2

Bolts

3

Cammo

4

Digicam

5

Diamonds

6

Dots

7

Hexagons

8

Ovals

9

Patchy

10

Plaid

11

Polka Dots

12

Poke A Dots

13

Splashes

14

Splotches

15

Spots

16

Squares

17

Squiggles

18

Stripes

19

Tartan

20

Triangles

Die Roll (1d20)

Pattern

Beliefs

Beliefs are purely cerebral elements of the referee persona. They are not nearly as entrenched as personality or hygiene. Referee personas may talk the talk about a belief, but how devout they are is variable. RP beliefs are what the persona would like to be rather than what they are.

The robot RP can have beliefs similar to an anthro persona. The robot may be randomly expressing these beliefs due to the damage that gave her consciousness. The robot may intentionally express these beliefs because they were programmed in by the fabricator type or corporation.

By definition alien flora and fauna do not have beliefs.

Belief Complexity Table
How much does she believe? Add INT.

Die Roll (1d100)

Beliefs

01-12

Religion Only

13-24

Religion and Politics

25-36

Religion and Philosophy

37-48

Religion, Politics and Philosophy

49-60

Politics only

60-72

Politics and Philosophy

73-84

Philosophy only

85-00

None

Die Roll (1d100)

Beliefs

Religion

The list here describes the structure of the religion and does not list existing human faiths. The referee and her milieu determine the nomenclature, structure, hypocrisy, and corruption of the religion.

Persona Religion Belief Table
Broad stroke describing religious belief.

Die Roll (1d100)

Religious Belief

01-10

Anonymous writings.

11-20

Charismatic leader.

21-30

Icon object or creature.

31-40

Universal conjoining force.

41-50

Many creators.

51-60

Holy martyrs.

61-70

Messiah.

71-80

One creator.

81-90

One creator plus hierarchy.

91-00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Religious Belief

Political

The list here describes the structure of the politics and does not list existing human parties. The referee and her milieu determine the nomenclature, structure, hypocrisy, and corruption of the political system.

Persona Political Beliefs Table
This table lends a broad stroke to the Persona’s political belief.

Die Roll (1d100)

Belief

Description

01-05

Anarchism

Organization is evil.

06-10

Aristocracy

Governed by the 'best' people. Small privileged class.

11-15

Bananarchy

Peaceful non-regulated existence amongst tropical fruits.

16-20

Bureaucracy

Administration by complexity. Efficiencies are condemned.

21-25

Capitalism

Money and biz is king. Laissez Faire.

26-30

Communism

Classless society. Common ownership.

31-35

Democracy

Random selection of most popular person.

36-40

Despotism

Rule and control by singular person.

41-45

Egalitarianism

Belief in equality of all.

46-50

Environmentalism

Protect environment above all.

51-55

Fascism

All power to one party and Charismatic leader.

56-60

Feudalism

Numerous lords and indebted vassal.

61-65

Imperialism

Power through colonial acquisitions.

66-70

Ma/Pa triarchy

Inheritance of power via gender lines

71-75

Militarism

Exaltation of military virtues and ideals.

76-80

Monarchy

One person inherits throne of power for life.

81-85

Technocracy

Governed by technicians, scientists and computers.

86-90

Theocracy

Governed by immediate divine guidance.

91-95

Totalitarianism

State controls all activities of people.

96-00

Ismism

Ref’s own table.

Die Roll (1d100)

Political Belief

Description

Philosophical

Some are real. Some are silly. All are mental exercises in futility.

Persona Philosophical Belief Table
You think therefore you are. If you think too much…​

Die Roll (1d100)

Philosophy

01-05

Atomism

06-10

Cynicism

11-15

Deism

16-20

Enthalpism

21-25

Excessivism

26-30

Existentialism

31-35

Hedonism

36-40

Idealism

41-45

Ismism

46-50

Materialism

51-55

Mechanism

56-60

Metaphysicism

61-65

Monetarianism

66-70

Pantheism

71-75

Pragmatism

76-80

Rationalism

81-85

Realism

86-90

Stoicism

91-95

Technocracy

96-00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Philosophy

Labanations

Labanations are an extremely abridged list of descriptive movements based on Laban Movement Analysis. Laban Movement Analysis is many times more complex than the list below. The original goal of the work as to create a language for choreography that equalled a musical score. Laban Movement Analysis is used within theatre arts to characterize both speech and movement. This heavily abridged version can be applied to the move and sound of a persona. The goal for using this analysis to allow for distinct persona sounds and movements that are rooted in mundane terran cultural accents and stereotypes.

Abridged Laban Movements Table
Can describe the sound or move of the persona.

Die Roll (1d8)

Labanation

Wate

Time

Space

1

Press

Heavy

Slow

Direct

Firm, sturdy, pull, squeeze, massive, deliberate, powerful

2

Flick

Light

Fast

Indirect

Quiver, sparkle, crisp, flutter, whisk, twitch, leap, ripple

3

Punch

Heavy

Fast

Direct

Vigorous, spurt, peirce, impact, thrust, lunge, jolt, stamp, jump, clap

4

Float

Light

Slow

Indirect

Stir, gentle, undulate, buoyant, vaporous, hover, caress, legato, soft

5

Wring

Heavy

Slow

Indirect

Convoluted, twisted, knotted, writhe, screw, gnarled, tortuous

6

Dab

Light

Fast

Direct

Dart, shoot, spritely, tap, patter, staccato, agitated, disjointed

7

Slash

Heavy

Fast

Indirect

Hit, whip, beat, swipe, throw, fling, splash, sprawl, rip, tear, scatter

8

Glide

Light

Slow

Direct

Smooth, calm, soothing, stroking, straight, legato, linger

Die Roll (1d8)

Labanation

Wate

Time

Space

Each Labanation has a wate, speed and intention.

Wate

Heavy or light. A heavy movement may be thudding. A heavy sound may be deep or loud. A light movement may be delicate or gentle. A light sound may be quiet.

Time

Fast or Slow. Same with movements or sounds.

Space

Direct or Indirect. Direct is focused on a target and not unclear in action. Indirect is unfocused and may be glancing or unclear.