A table (however many you feel up to) of 1,001 Nights-esque NPC names and their possible motivations.
I answered the first part here, and I hope that works for names, at least halfway decently.
Here is a Vorheim-inspired NPC motivations table that hopefully works for you.
And here it is as a pdf.
Roll 2d6 using differently colored dice. One color indicates the result against the red pie chart, which shows six negative and six positive dispositions. The other color die lands in one or more boxes, which indicate the main object of one’s thoughts. Each die also indicates the intensity of the result. I like to do this twice per character to get their major and minor motivations. Here are some examples, the first with photos. I thought of the character name and position first, then rolled twice.
Queen Priscilla of the Seelie
First Roll for the Queen of the Seelie
Red die: 6 on line of generous and addicted. Green die: 4 on power.
Her Majesty is addicted to power but sometimes very generous as a way to show off how important she is. She is not concerned with petty power, she wants to expand her kingdom by invading the small neighboring gnome republic (power 4 would be regional on a scale of 1=household and 6 = planetary).
Queen of Seelie Roll 2
Roll 2. Red die: 5 on obsessed. Green die 2 on honor.
Her Majesty is obsessed with etiquette and small honors. She desires titles, and wants festivals, children, bridges and trees named for her. She can easily be flattered by a small tribute.
Had the Queen’s dice indicated a 6 for power, she would have wanted to rule the world. Had her honor die been high, perhaps she would be obsessed with honor and refused to deceive the gnomes but instead honorably invaded.
Yunus ibn Efraim Al-Jabhah the Silk Merchant is addicted (6) to wine and sex (1). Because the die is more in the wine box, let’s say that the wine addiction means he can’t perform so well, but has slaves or hirelings who put on a show. And because his red die is also on the edge of angry and spiteful, he gets very angry the next day when he is hung over and unsatisfied.
Yunus is also secretly sympathetic (2) to and provides some material support to a secret (2) plot to overthrow the local prince and establish free trade (1).
If his sex/wine die had been higher, and perhaps more in sex than wine, he would have had a harem and many children. Had his driven die been higher than 2, perhaps he would have been a leader in the movement. Had the freedom die been higher, he might have been devoted to freeing all his people instead of just the merchant class.
Let’s try a commoner now:
Bill the Shepherd is very angry (5) at a priest at his church (divinity 2). If he could, he would kill him. Why? He is obsessed and scheming (6) because this priest has been telling the local folk that cheese (food 2) made from sheep’s milk is forbidden by the dietary laws of Odin. I suppose Bill preferred the previous priest, who in fact told the sick that sheep’s milk helps take away stomach pains.
Mortueste is a red wyrm who has been mentioned in some religious texts. He takes pity on (loving 1) those who have made the long trek to reach him who are stupid enough to believe he is a divine creature (struggle/divinity 2). He offers to let them take home as much treasure as they can carry (loving/angry 6) if they can regale him with an epic adventure tale (adventure 5). Otherwise, he roasts them (remember, angry 6).
This is designed to leave lots of room for interpretation. You have to fill in the details because it’s your campaign. I suggest taking no more than ten or fifteen seconds to do both rolls and interpretations. I hope it is useful.
Credit where credit is due dept.: I took the six wedges of the wheel from the Buddhist wheel of samsara. The outside-the-wedge opposites and any misinterpretations are my own. Thanks to Jeremy for the request. Many thanks to Zack for blazing some trails with this sort of table in his excellent Vornheim.