Thanks to misterecho for spotting the link was dead. I have updated the file host.
Instant NPC contactsI always have a bull-dog clip of these attached to the back of my GMing folder to whip out when I need an NPC quickly and one that is likely to stick around. By giving the players the card, it forms a semi-permenant relationship for the characters.
Why use celebrities?I've tried faceless people from Google Images and assigned them random names but the players would find it difficult to attach the name to the face. If you use celebrities, then it's a lot easier for the players to do just that. Also, you can have a bit of fun by selecting a celebrity that sort of fits the bill. For example, I used Robert Deniro as a gangland boss. When they met him, they knew instantly what he was about. I then tried a terrible New York accent that invariably ended up sounding like Michael Caine. Players cackled, some sharpened knives, others vomited blood but that's just normal for them. What's more, I used this at Gen Con 2008 and although the players had only been sitting together for 2 hours, then instantly knew what the NPC was likely to be about and easily recalled their name. I've chosen a few UK-centric celebrities, which might act as 'unknowns' for you but that can be good too.
See it in actionI've cheekily lifted these contacts from one of the goat-legged, horned demons I have the mispleasure to play with each week. They're printed on standard 90gsm paper, although I still refer to them as 'cards'. As you can see, one of them is even hurried scribbled in ballpoint when I hadn't any ready to go. Laughter ensued but I'm not allowed to change the contact card for a printed one now. The whole lot fits with the mini bulldog clip I got from Staples. You'll also see that I've added some printed text to some of them. This is because they were all premade contacts that the characters got at the start of the campaign setting. Worked a treat.
I am experimenting with other things to put on the sheet (such as scale for friend/foe) but I think the minimal system here is neat and functional. If you have any ideas or find use for these, then please do let me know.