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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11
votes
2answers
441 views

Tips for keeping track of NPC stats and conditions

Is there a good paper based solution to keep track of NPC stats so they are avaliable when you need them in-game but don't take hours to keep up to date? I have a bunch of NPC notes and lists of ...
5
votes
1answer
367 views

How do I handle a PC - NPC?

In my online game, it's often hard for me to handle NPCs with the loads of characters we have so sometimes I ask or a player volunteers to play some of them. The issue is though, that one player ...
2
votes
9answers
631 views

Survivalist NPC build?

How can I best optimize an NPC so that instead of having perfect power attack or sneak attack, they're just really hard to kill? I can think of thief acrobat and perhaps exemplar or dungeon delver, ...
10
votes
2answers
399 views

One-sentence NPCs

A while ago ChattyDM and someone else ran a couple contests where people submitted one-line NPCs. The collection of submissions was free to download, but now that I want to use it my google-fu has ...
13
votes
5answers
520 views

Truly alien NPC races

How can I make intelligent NPC races that are truly alien? They need to be: Culturally non-human. They need to be stranger than any sort of human culture that already exists. Rational. Behaving ...
30
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I learn how to negotiate as an NPC?

I'm a new GM in D&D 4e. I've quickly found that I perform very poorly when I'm portraying a negotiation between the PCs and one or more NPCs. Even when they have common ground and could easily ...
15
votes
7answers
428 views

How to I create material (on the fly) to support plot changes?

In both pre-plotted adventures and more story-telling ones, a lot of situations occur where monsters/npcs/magical items/geography appear, which wasn't thought of beforehand. I.e. I do not have the ...
7
votes
6answers
313 views

How do you come up with attribute values and skills for your NPCs [on hold]

I have been playing PnP for some years now and also had one session GMing (my first) and I discovered that my biggest problem wasn't creating a world, inventing scenes or reacting fast if my players ...
17
votes
8answers
423 views

What's a good method for making cultures differ?

Just read through a great question (on getting players to play in line with their characters' cultures) and it got me thinking: What do you do to make the cultures in your setting differ? Let's say ...
34
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you handle verbal exchanges between NPCs without taking the PCs out of the spotlight?

One of the assumptions I make as GM is that the players should always be in the spotlight. Sometimes the players find themselves in a situation where they watch NPCs speak to each other. I don't ...
4
votes
4answers
553 views

What's a Denver accent sound like? [closed]

For a couple of Shadowrun sessions coming up, I'm going to be playing an NPC from the Mile-High City. She's an inexperienced ork fixer, low-class background, brought up among shadowrunners. I want to ...
8
votes
1answer
293 views

Does No-Key the Mushroom King appear in any Exalted 2nd Ed Sourcebooks?

No-Key the Mushroom King was originally a canon NPC from 1st edition Exalted in the book Creatures of the Wild; notably, he was the only person to have defeated Octavian the Living Tower (a 2nd Circle ...
15
votes
4answers
666 views

How could I have a sidekick/squire in DnD3.5?

In Mutants and Masterminds you can purchase a side kick as a feat. I'm rolling up a knight, and I want a squire, using a similar game mechanic. Is there anything like this in DnD, other than ...
10
votes
1answer
500 views

Are there any guidelines or samples for creating Henchmen or Villains?

Going over the Game Master's Guide for 7th Sea, I can't find any information on creating henchmen and villain NPCs (other than the villain-specific arcana, and the special damage rules for henchmen). ...
55
votes
23answers
4k views

How can a GM quickly create interesting, engaging NPCs?

What techniques do people have for coming up with interesting personalities and histories for non-player characters? I'm mostly interested in the GM side of things. I don't want to do a ton of prep. I ...
11
votes
7answers
320 views

Cameo Characters?

There are some good books in the Forgotten Realms library. Do you use cameo characters form these books? If so how do you balance them with your campaign? I know there was a campaign that came with ...
35
votes
12answers
2k views

How do I create a great fantasy villain that inspires the party to rally against them?

In my early years of GMing it was simple enough to say that the badguys were evil and that was all the justification we needed. They are attacking the village because they are evil, they are stealing ...