A character in an RPG whose decisions and actions are handled by the game-master or a designated assistant. An initialism that stands for "non-player character."

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4
votes
2answers
162 views

My GM has created a Mary Sue NPC. What can I do to persuade the GM to make her less powerful?

My GM has created a Mary-Sue-type NPC. She is a demigod with thousands of years of experience, and was once an enemy, but is now an ally of the party, though really of only a few favourite players. ...
9
votes
1answer
207 views

Why do (almost all) NPCs all have average HP?

In the Monster Manual, all the monsters, even ones with class levels, have average hit points, even for their first hit die. Why do monsters have half the HP that PCs have? However, the pregenerated ...
10
votes
1answer
173 views

Dealing with fractional CRs in the table on DMG 274

This has been driving me crazy as I've been trying to create monsters and NPCs for my characters to encounter in D&D 5th Edition. Say I've got an NPC with 48 hit points and Armor Class 16. That ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

How to find an NPC spellcaster to cast Raise Dead on a person?

TL:DR Where can I find a spellcaster to cast Raise Dead? Where's the nearest large city to Sandpoint in Golarion? Any other avenues to bring someone back from the dead? My group is running through ...
12
votes
2answers
547 views

How do you level an atypical Follower?

In my last game (and also my first game as a DM), one of my players earned the loyalty of a Giant Goat (MM pg 326) by freeing it from its cell, avenging the death of its brothers by slaying a bridge ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Where can I find NPC statistics for dragonborn and half elves?

I swear I've seen it in the Monster Manual, but I can't seem to find it anymore. Where can I find statistics for dragonborn and half elf NPCs?
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I bring an evil NPC back to life after the PCs think they've killed him?

As the DM of a campaign, I have an army that is about to overrun the town my players have been living in. I want to create an encounter in which the players meet a small part of the army lead by an ...
40
votes
12answers
5k views

Risk of a TPK vs realistic NPCs

I am a novice DM running a game for an even more novice group of players and I beginning to think that my next session may result in a TPK (total party kill, for the uninitiated). Is this something I ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

Helping players remember NPCs with uncommon names

In my game of The Dark Eye we play in the south of Aventuria, and thus the players come across many NPCs with names that are not that common (especially compared to common german names) and my players ...
7
votes
2answers
373 views

Managing PC-NPC Relations

Our group is playing a campaign focused around organized crime in the east coast prohibition-era US. Think Italian Mafia, Irish Mob, etc. Instead of just the 'usual' mob street business (think Thommy ...
6
votes
4answers
309 views

How can I incorporate intrigue and inter-NPC-factional depth whilst maintaining speed & spontaneity in a sandbox game?

The scenario... My players are meeting lots of NPCs, and the galaxy around them is as deep as they desire... Whilst the flavour of our game is Action/Comedy (a little like Fifth Element) I'm ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

Is there a way to convert a player character to a CR rating for the purpose of calculating combat difficulty? [duplicate]

I suspect my question really is, "can I calculate the CR rating for a player character generated via the PHB rules for the purposes of determining combat/encounter difficulty for a party?" A follow ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

How to avoid running NPCs/allied groups in combat

My PCs are currently staying in a place with many allies including guards, soldiers and battle-hardened family members. I have shot myself in the foot because for every mission and quest my PCs ...
2
votes
0answers
124 views

Designing a low-level NPC mage [closed]

So, I am working on a dungeon for a small party: (Tweaked) Drow Sorc2 -- good stats and a decent spell selection Human Rgr2 -- has a bit of healing, but more of a tanky/hack-and-slash type so far ...
6
votes
1answer
187 views

Need a wide variety of Iron Kingdoms NPCs

I am starting an Iron Kingdoms campaign with two teams: the first one has to protect Highgate the second one the region outside the walls. As a result I find myself in need of a wide variety ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Is it possible to make my players really care about NPCs? [duplicate]

What I'd really like to do, and don't think I have right tools/approach, is to emotionally manipulate my players into making sub-optimal - even bad - decisions using the NPCs I present them with. "I ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Methods for NPC Relationship Diagrams [duplicate]

I am trying to find a good method to build Relationship Diagrams. So a tool or other method that can automatically generate a diagram showing the relationships between NPCs. When I say ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Do Hirelings have a maximum skill bonus?

How high can the 'skill' of a Hireling go in a Dungeon World game? I see no limit in the rules as written, and at the upper tiers they can have quite a few points (6-10 for City) to distribute between ...
21
votes
11answers
3k views

How do I learn enough about military tactics to run credible military-type NPCs in combat?

I'm the GM of a Shadowrun Campaign and have difficulties letting the NPCs move in a battle like they would in real-life. Two of my players are pretty informed about how military or police would act ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Does “Speak with Dead” work with (well preserved) skeletons?

The spell Speak with Dead says that we can talk with a dead corpse. Does that mean it only works with bodies of people who were recently killed? A body that was not yet completely rotten? I was ...
1
vote
0answers
119 views

When an Essentials Vampire bites a random NPC, what happens? [closed]

Firstly, some backstory: The party has recently released a large group of prisoners from a fortress orbiting Baator, and escaped with the freed prisoners on an Astral Ship of some sort. As is ...
9
votes
2answers
357 views

Can an undead character use a paladin's turn undead ability?

I'm planning a NPC for a campaign I'm getting ready to run. The NPC is a paladin who was killed and returned as a revenant. Within the revenant description they mention that some revenants can keep ...
3
votes
2answers
309 views

Can a permanently anthropomorphic animal companion take levels in an NPC or PC class?

I used my Druid power to turn my animal into an anthropomorphic one, and a spell of permanency to make it permanent. Is it possible for my animal take levels in an NPC or PC class?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I remove/minimize the need for sleep for a character?

I want to make a character that doesn't sleep at all or sleeps very little and stays alert when not sleeping. I'm making this character as an NPC and I'm the DM, so I can basically do anything, but I ...
4
votes
2answers
200 views

When to and when not to apply comic relief? [closed]

A recent talk with my players revealed that they wanted me to add characters akin to a comic relief character I presented in an earlier campaign. While I have really wanted to add more comic relief ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I portray a xenophobic, manipulative, evil noble?

My players, after having travelled through a big Kobold empire to find a temple, finally encountered the temple, only to find it inhabited by a Dragon. They bump into the Kobold who had been tracking ...
7
votes
2answers
141 views

Making a npc with a heart problem

I'm GMing a Shadowrun 4th edition game where the players are Shadowrunners in a place whose missions are very deadly. The group they're in are conformed by 4 players and 2 NPCs. Also, the ''group'' ...
5
votes
3answers
903 views

How do I determine an NPC's skill levels?

When developing a new NPC, how do I ensure that they have close to the skill rankings that I would expect them to have, yet not make them more powerful than the PCs? As an example, I want a noble ...
1
vote
1answer
277 views

What level would a Guildmaster Be? [closed]

So in my 5e campaign, the players will be studying under the Guildmaster of each of their classes. Each Guildmaster is the head of all the guilds in the country, so they'd be pretty badass. They work ...
4
votes
2answers
374 views

How can I slightly raise the CR of an NPC?

In Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Episode 1, one of the encounters is a dual between one PC and a named NPC. This encounter is supposed to be quite deadly, a level 1 or 2 PC versus a CR 4 NPC. My ...
14
votes
5answers
904 views

How can I dissuade my players from attacking a deadly foe who isn't meant to be attacked? [duplicate]

I will be taking over as DM of our group in a few weeks. Our party right now has a large number of magic items, and while I don't have a problem balancing that, I would rather replace lesser ones ...
2
votes
2answers
459 views

What are the rules on training NPCs?

In D&D 3.5 what are the rules on being trained in Spell Casting/Sword-Mens-ship/Etc. For I want the party to find a orphan who had been abandoned when his home town was raided. I want the kid to ...
6
votes
1answer
627 views

What are some standard monsters or NPCs that can dispel magic?

I will (possibly) be DMing "Hoard of the Dragon Queen", a 5e adventure which was designed for 4 players starting at level 1. I will be needing to scale the adventure to account for more players (6) ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Is a Retainer actually less useful than the corresponding Service?

My PC decided to bring his PI in as a Retainer; unfortunately he'd been reading the old core book. In GMC If a Retainer needs to make a roll, if it’s within her field, double the dot rating and ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How much information about NPCs and enemies is appropriate to show players?

I am a first-time GM trying to run a short Dragon Age campaign. During our first game, I hid the character sheets of the NPCs and enemies from the players. Is this appropriate? Should I give the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to convert a Pathfinder NPC to D&D 5th edition?

In trying to convert Rise of the Runelords for an upcoming 5th edition game. Monsters I'm simply going to swap out with the equivalents in the Monster Manual, but are there any guides for converting ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I use God as an NPC while being sensitive to players' real-life religious beliefs?

I'm currently running a 3-year long campaign that is coming to an ending in which God is likely to appear as an NPC. Since this is the end of the campaign I won't need to manage it for very long, but ...
5
votes
3answers
498 views

How to reveal plot hooks & other information when NPCs' survival depends on secrecy?

I think that these two problems have a common element that's not being addressed in their answers. The things that the PCs are pursuing basically exist as part of secret societies, in which divulging ...
8
votes
4answers
709 views

How to create meaningful relationships with NPCs

How do I help the PCs to create meaningful relationships with NPCs? Maybe it is a result of my group playing too many one-dimensional adventures trying to find whatever MacGuffin they are after each ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I handle large conversations with multiple NPCs?

To begin I've read How do you handle verbal exchanges between NPCs without taking the PCs out of the spotlight? but I don't believe that it answer my question, because it focuses more on dialog simply ...
4
votes
3answers
430 views

Making a Wizard NPC with Familiar

The amount of NPCs in the MM are ok, but I'm wanting to create a highly magically charged campaign and one of the central NPCs is a Dwarf Wizard with a constantly summoned familiar. My question is ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it a bad idea to steal characters from other media?

Sometimes I need a character type, say a lawyer and I start thinking about lawyers I know from TV or movies, like Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad. I have this general urge to just straight up rip the ...
6
votes
1answer
383 views

What is commonly known about Bruenor Battlehammer?

My Fighter is a proud Dwarf from the Mithral Halls. He is a history buff, with proficiency in history, a personality trait of "I know all the stories," and a perfectly healthy obsession with the ...
3
votes
3answers
225 views

Do NPCs gain feats in certain circumstances?

I'm stating an NPC as a Ranger via the DMG design steps (pages 187-188). It says they gain the Fighting Style class feature and I've chosen Two-Blade Fighting (page 104 of the PHB), which says they ...
1
vote
4answers
128 views

On and off NPC/PC [duplicate]

Still just spitballing, but I came across an idea for a new group I might be starting. One of the players will only be available half the time the rest of the group will be (let's call him Bob), and ...
9
votes
2answers
477 views

Do birds cry? Or, how to play interactions with intelligent non-humanoid beings

Currently I have a campaign where the highly capable antagonist has a weak spot: A very beautiful, highly intelligent, jocund and unfortunately pretty spoiled raven which is also able to speak. The ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Should plot-recurring characters always be Wild Cards? [duplicate]

The PCs are demigods and have allies (also demigods) who travel with them constantly. They've become quite important to the PCs' lives though they're not "necessary," plot-wise. Since the allied ...
15
votes
8answers
4k views

The players focus too much on NPCs and ignore the plot, what do I do?

I'm currently playing a young supers game with friends using Savage Worlds as our favored system. The plot really hyped them, they loved the first allied extras, and with time they asked me for more ...
7
votes
3answers
232 views

Should Savage World Allies be made as Wild Cards?

I've been reading the basic manual on Allies and Extras, and it seems it's intended for such characters to work as non-wild card characters. I'm playing a Super Powers game with friends, and they ...
7
votes
6answers
456 views

How do I create and use NPCs that actually matter?

My players love to interact with my NPCs in my Savage Worlds game, make friends, allies, enemies, make characters fall in love, etc. But I always end up with either bland NPCs that don't matter much ...