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46

He's in a booby trapped iron safe. He's safe. He's also trapped. His situation has a number of upsides: He's in an iron safe. The same walls of iron that kept him out, keep everyone else out. If people can attack him through the safe, it's not particularly safe, is it? His situation has a number of downsides: He's in an iron safe, The enemies don't need to ...


16

Creatures' skills are listed at the bottom of their info sheet/card. Creature sheets have ability modifier + half level, which is what you should be using, already calculated at the bottom of the sheet. For example, a level 14 lich necromancer has the following ability stats at the bottom of his/her monster sheet: Skills: Arcana +18, History +18, Insight ...


13

Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium has a section on Hirelings (starting page 136). Page 138 has a table of cost/day for each given level of hireling (from 15 @ level 1 to 125,000 @ level 30); the same page says a Mercenary is the standard Hireling rate x3 (meaning a level 1 Mercenary costs 45gp/day, and a level 30 Mercenary costs 375,000gp/day). The ...


12

Neither the player inside nor the NPC outside have any line of sight or line of fire. If they don't have magical or psionic means to target him without seeing him, it seems pretty clear that he can neither be attacked nor attack himself. Edit: As the potential owner of said safe, let me say that if you think someone can poke a sword through the cracks at ...


11

The most important aspect of an NPC is presenting a persona that the players can interact with realistically and consistently. Stats will not do that - they'll help and give you guideance on what a character can and can't do, and for some GMs (and possibly systems, but that's debatable) that is essential - but it's not required. Believe me, I generated ...


10

"Like" can take a number of forms, each of which can be achieved in a different way. One of the most reliable ways to get the players to like/respect an NPC is trust. Set up multiple scenarios where the NPC takes a big risk in trusting the players and having it payoff, and vice versa. This is the classic, "I got your back" situation, used very frequently ...


10

Looking in the compendium, there do not seem to be rules for this. That said, if you're running Eberron, you might take a peek in the campaign book and see if there is something more specific to the setting. However, there are rules for pocket change and how much a major and minor purchase might cost that are pegged to the level of the character. In ...


9

Some small groups give each player more than one character to play. Other small groups solve the problem by, yes, having NPCs tag along with the PC party. Sometimes, to simplify things, the GM will let one or all of the players control the NPC(s) that have joined them, but it's not common. Usually the GM retains control of NPCs that join up with the PCs' ...


9

Traditionally, not really I mean, aside from stuff like dominate person, you typically play only your own character and the DM controls the rest. But, especially for small groups, you can change that It’s entirely up to your DM, and since you’re new players it may not be a good idea, but especially when there are only a few players in the ...


8

I would recommend using the Monster Vault maths, found summarized on Blog of Holding; or, Monster Maker is a handy app that helps create monster cards, and will work out the maths if desired. Set out which roles you wish the monsters to take - from the sounds of things it seems like you'll have a mix of Lurkers and Skirmishers, with Soldiers and Brutes ...


7

As the comments on the main question say, this is too broad a topic, and also highly debatable, more fit for extended discussion in a forum or chat than for the general format of this site. On the other hand, however, this is also very interesting, and if we strip away the explanatory parts and the secondary questions, and focus on the primary two ...


7

Sardathrion and Rob cover most of my NPC generation process, but sometimes (most notably when the party discovers one I haven't planned for) I just consider them a +X NPC. For example, in AFMBE I might make a random Normie citizen a +2 NPC - their rolls are typically just the roll +2 unless I decide it's a skill they should have. So John Doe over there is ...


6

DinglesGames, my website, allows people to create their own NPCs. These are all saved and can be viewed online, organised by CR. The generator's repository currently has thousands of NPCs fully statted. The Pathfinder list The D&D 3.5 list


6

Labyrinth is exactly what you want. You have the ability to populate multiple maps with characters, places & objects, link them together and write a bunch of notes for every one of them. Also there are a time tracking tool and plugins for cryptography (yes, riddles) and relationship calculations. I've found it preparing an investigative game and it ...


5

Contacts can be many things, for players and GM's. The easiest is to have some basic templates of contacts. Some with very little stats and skills that you use to drop clues/hints or make connections for players. Other Contact you can flesh out a bit more so you can make a roll to see if they know something or can they repair some specialist piece of ...


5

There are a number of ways I've seen people handle this: Democratic NPC Control This is perhaps the most schizophrenic option out there, since the NPC is literally following metaphorical voices in its head, contributed by the players. It essentially becomes a GPC (group player character), with some noticeable downsides. If players don't agree, a resolution ...


5

Align her with the party's own interests. Make her be a foil to someone the characters hate. Have her do things that the characters would want to do, but couldn't for purely social reasons. This would work especially well with the whole "half-mad" thing. You should consider allowing some sort of compromise to be possible; maybe they still have to return ...


5

Like a Potemkin village, all my NPCs are but a few sentences on a card. Note that the card can be digital in the form of a wiki entry, a markdown/LaTeX file, etc... or it could be a paper card. The sentences themselves describe: The general appearance, the general skill set, and one or more interesting background elements. That is it. So, for example: ...


4

Make them believable and not ridiculous. For instance, let's look at a Dark Heresy NPC I created. Three times stronger than any character in the party (in combat, at least). Inquisitor's pet, so anything he said was what their handler believed. Complete disregard for his own safety, and that of party members. The players were in shock when he died-and I ...


4

How much XP a monster or NPC is worth is determined by it's role and level. If you're designing a L1 Solo that's a 500 XP NPC. If you're designing a L5 elite then that's 400 XP. What the NPC is worth is defined by your design and is based on what kind of NPC you are making. Generally you only determine these things if you intend for your PCs to enter ...


4

It seems rather timid to just quote a price and have that be the end of it. Brian provided the numbers in another example if that's really the road you want to go down, but I'd urge you to think a bit harder about this. Mercenaries do whatever they can to put coin in their pocket. Hiring more of them that the party can safely supervise might be a disaster ...


4

Before I dive in, I just wanted to say that these things are by no mean exclusive or that they are the perfect solutions. They are, still, things that worked for me. Make them resourceful Giving your villain resources is one of the best ways to make her powerful. These resources don't have to be money, as power, intellect or technology can serve this ...


3

The variation of the idea that I'm most familiar with is about five years old and was system independent from the start. The process was created by Simon Carryer on storygames, in Generating "Culturally Rich" NPCs. His work inspired Mo, at Sin Aesthetics, to write about it in Simon Says. I later shared the idea via Deep as a Puddle: Characters and ...


3

Make her a respected asset in the group - have her intelligently contribute to battles. That, however, is not relevant to how much your players will like her - her likability is much more related to how you role play her character: Give her memorable traits: have one, or two, major character traits, and several minor ones, that define her. She might be a ...


3

Threshold Formulae There are no official formulae for any NPC's released to date. That said, the Gamemaster's Kit explicitly points out that NPC Nemesis characters do not use the PC generation mechanics unless the GM wants to do so. Further, nemesis character experience is handled differently from PC's when buying talents - they don't need to do so in ...


3

Statistics for Corellon Larethian and numerous other deities can be found, appropriately enough, in the Deities and Demigods sourcebook. Several mortal NPCs of Greyhawk and Faerûn were printed in the Epic Level Handbook. However, you should know the following before getting excited about the statistics: Both books are from 2002, technically released ...


3

So first of all, I really like this idea. I tried it once or twice a long time ago and I'm still fantasizing about it. With that out of the way, let's move to my 2 cents. Make the NPCs well-rounded characters These NPCs aren't just some recurring characters, not to mention some one-time ones. They're gonna be with the party for a very long time. Whole ...


2

Should she be an asset in combat or should she need their protection? I would vote for an equal. If she's too powerful she'll look like a DMPC. If she's needy, the players won't like that either. Make her contribute without stealing anyone's spotlight. If your players are particularly gamey, make her a healer or buffer.


2

It is completely within the rules and traditions of RPGs for the party to be given control of an NPC. That said, it might help to divide the control based on what's going on, and why the NPC was added: Within a combat scenario of a tactically-focused game wherein much of the fun stems from the tactical decisions made by the players, then by all means, ...


2

Having her be useful in combat would certainly be nice, but its not essential. People you like do not need to be useful to you, much less useful in any particular way. But she probably shouldn't be a liability either. She could either be useful in combat, or just really good at staying out of the way. To be really likable, a character needs to be well ...



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