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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7
votes
3answers
142 views

How do I give my NPCs personality [closed]

Recently I started a small campaign to get practice for my bigger campaign, with my friends. I introduced them too an essential NPC but I guess they thought the shipwrecked sailor was kinda boring. ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

When to use skill checks in social situations with NPCs?

I'm new to DMing and I've been planning my first adventure (for D&D 5e). However when it comes to non-combat situations I don't know when it makes sense for a skill check to be used or when the ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

How well are low level PCs able to defeat high level NPCs in B/X D&D?

For a Basic/Expert game, I want to populate the campaign area with important and influential NPCs, who are doing their things independent of the player's activities. The goal is to have the players ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

What is the best way to phase a PC out of a campaign? [closed]

Our group has a fairly fresh campaign running, I am DM'ing the campaign (5E) there are currently 4 PC's (paladin, warlock, gunslinger (fighter) and ranger. The ranger has other time commitments that ...
-2
votes
4answers
212 views

Can PCs meet up with old friends and take them on as cohorts? [closed]

I'm trying to recreate a character from a video game. The only problem is that his gear is really powerful, and was provided by other people. So I've been looking for a way to recreate this in D&D....
17
votes
3answers
1k views

What is/n't an Ally?

In Pathfinder, who is (and isn't) your ally? I'm inclined to think the following are allies: Your willing party members Your animal companion Your summoned creatures You I think the following ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

How to minimize the amount of work needed to create NPC stats?

How can I minimize the amount of work I spend creating NPCs? One thought I had was to find an NPC generator. The players in my Pathfinder campaign use PCGen to create and update their PCs. I have ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

What is the CR calculation for an NPC with class levels?

I found this related question: What is the CR/XP-Character Level relationship for opponents? but it was asked before the DMG was released and it does not appear to have been updated to include ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

How do you calculate experience rewards for defeating NPCs with class levels?

So, We were recently fighting a "monster" wich was using a playable race (no LA) and had levels in druid. How does one calculate exp for this? I was also fighting a vampire, at what stage do you use ...
6
votes
3answers
157 views

How to convert the ECL of NPC's to CR?

My campaigns are RP heavy, and the players fight NPC's as often as monsters. Hence, how could I calculate the CR of something with class levels?
18
votes
6answers
1k views

How to make large number of NPCs manageable to the GM?

I'm planning a game where there is about a dozen important NPC actors, with some more less important ones. "Important" means that even if they are not directly involved in current events, they play a ...
6
votes
2answers
416 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
226 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
210 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
262 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
656 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
224 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
423 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
344 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
93 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
163 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
249 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
57 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
43 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 relationships,...
5
votes
1answer
112 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
125 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
443 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
400 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?
7
votes
4answers
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
220 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
149 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
1k 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
319 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
444 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
1k 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
572 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
718 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
72 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 ...
9
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 ...
26
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
524 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
839 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 ...