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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5
votes
3answers
845 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
147 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 ...
10
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
78 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'' ...
4
votes
3answers
407 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
233 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
896 views

Tools for tracking NPC/PC relationships and attitudes

I have always had difficulty keeping track of NPCs, their attitudes and their relationships with each other and the PCs. I find relationship webs/diagrams are helpful, but find them difficult to keep ...
4
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
546 views

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

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
236 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
832 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
457 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) ...
15
votes
6answers
686 views

Creating truly alien, intelligent 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
46 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
446 views

Where is the “One-sentence NPCs” collection?

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 ...
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
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
416 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
389 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 ...
13
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
288 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
258 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
218 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
403 views

Contacts, and how to use them?

I'm starting a 5e shadowrun campaign for the first time and running into some issue with what I've read on how contacts function. Basically, I'm trying to find out how to leverage the contacts of ...
1
vote
4answers
114 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
422 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
251 views

What is Sasuke's base class?

I'm trying out the Naruto d20 rpg right now and I intend to have my players interact with Team 7 in a sort of training scuffle. It wouldn't really be a fight, as they would be chunnin while Team 7 ...
8
votes
1answer
432 views

Mechanically, how do I prepare a village of not-quite-vampire-thrall monk NPCs?

What I need I need to build one or more NPC character sheets, or cards, for the monk/ninjas in a fortified mountain monastery whose order was (and still is) founded by an ancient vampire lord, who is ...
1
vote
0answers
29 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

How to voice an NPC?

As a GM should I put a different voice if, for instance, the NPC is an old sick man, or if it's a kid or even a member of the opposite sex? What advices can you give me to enrich NPC acting?
9
votes
3answers
519 views

Should I give skills and full stats to NPCs?

Some friends have asked me to master a game for the first time. We are going to play All Flesh Must Be Eaten (It's fun, easy and rules are not as important as actual roleplaying). I have created the ...
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
8answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
10answers
2k views

Is bringing a major villain back from the dead a bad idea? [closed]

I have a major villain that the players killed a long time ago* in a previous campaign. Is it too clichéd to bringing her back? Is there anything I should avoid if I do so? Is it just lazy? I am ...
5
votes
3answers
174 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
257 views

How do I create and use NPCs that actually matter?

My players love to interact with my NPCs, make friends, allies, enemies, make characters fall in love, etc. But I always end up with either bland NPCs that don't matter much to the game and get ...
57
votes
23answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
814 views

Should I give my players the stats of the NPCs they control?

I'm running a game of Savage Worlds in which my players, as seems to be the norm in the system, end up in command of a group of human and kobold soldiers. As with most things in Savage Worlds I want ...
10
votes
10answers
1k views

How to use a GMPC for the good of the campaign?

I find myself prone to creating GMPCs. For the unfamiliar, a GMPC is an NPC that the GM has a special fondness for, much like a "Mary Sue" in fiction. They are often overpowered, have plot armour, a ...
15
votes
7answers
451 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
716 views

How much XP do monsters or NPCs have for spending on spells and item creation?

How much experience do monsters, NPCs or other generated creatures have for the use of spells and item creation? When a demon uses wish, how does it spend XP, and from what pool does it draw on? Is ...
37
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
489 views

How do I make a large organization of villains memorable or likeable?

I'm currently preparing a levels 1–30 D&D 4e campaign based on the .hack// games, where players become trapped inside an online game where a sentient program plans to become God. My main ...
37
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
684 views

How can I create more compelling villains? [closed]

A consistent issue with the games that I've run comes through with villain characters. Not just at the end of an adventure, but overarching villains; movers and shakers of the world. I notice that I ...
5
votes
2answers
300 views

Will using NPCs as allies overshadow my PCs?

As I was working on my D&D 4e campaign, I created a few NPCs to connect with my players, some of them intended as travelling companions of the PCs. Their backstories and knowledge hook into the ...
4
votes
1answer
311 views

Divinities character sheets for D&D 3.5

I remember finding the character sheets for some major divinities and famous npc on some D&D 3.5 manual, but now that I need them I can't find them anywhere. In which manuals can I find this kind ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Armour rating inside an iron safe

In one of my games, a character has inadvertantly locked themself in a booby-trapped iron safe. When the safe sprang-shut it triggered an alarm to summon NPCs that try to attack the player. The ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Do I apportion XP to NPC allies? [duplicate]

I'm running a D&D 4e duet game. Recently, the PC picked up a couple temporary NPC companions. Now they have completed their first encounter together, and I'm not sure what to do about ...