Cool episode. In reference to the Old Yeller of extensive NPC stats, have you looked at how they're handled in the Cipher System (Numenera, The Strange) at all? In those games, to my understanding, NPCs are given just a level of 1 to 10 which gets used as the difficulty players roll against in any interaction with that NPC, whether attacking, defending, talking, etc. Only the players ever roll dice, like in Powered By The Apocalypse games. Their level is also how much damage they can sustain. If the NPC warrants more distinction, they can have another level for more specific actions. For example, one NPC from Numenera is Counselor Rashik: level 3, level 4 in all types of knowledge and interaction. That's literally all the stats he needs! Makes it really easy for the GM to improvise, even easier than Dungeon World.
three and a half years ago
Actually, that's super cool. What I saw of Numenera in the one session I played led me to believe it's not really my thing. But I love games that keep it simple on the GM. I really like this idea a lot; just wish it weren't tied to the rest of Numenera. :/