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2

Besides the great post that @kviiri already mentioned, I would like to add that you could use well-known stereotypes. Stereotypes are good because they help to remember and to roleplay the behavioural characteristics of an NPC, but also because they make it easier for the players to relate to the different diosyncrasies. For instance, if your NPC is a ...


2

Your question as written is "How can I give my NPCs personality?" but it sounds like your root problem is "How can I create NPCs that my players will enjoy interacting with?". Give your NPC a reason to talk to the party. One reason the player characters can lose interest in an NPC is if they think that interacting with the NPC won't actually advance the ...


5

There are some really simple things that I do to start giving an NPC a bit more personality - obviously different GMs will find different things useful but hopefully some of these will work for you too: Give them a name - this is pretty obvious, but if they don't have a name they won't feel very real. Worth having a list of names you are thinking of using ...


1

Use skill checks when you start thinking "Hmm" (or, "Yeah, right") D&D is a role-playing game, you want to encourage good role-playing - that's where the fun is. But a character's social skills should also be useful (if you want player ever to choose them) so use skill checks to let social skills provide the character success when the player's role-...


0

Use social skill checks when the player starts it. This will likely be because the player has built a socially adept character, and wants to roll some big rolls. That's fun, so let them. Example 1) Your player is playing Sam the Sneak, a rogue that is REALLY good at lying, and he wants to use dice. Let him roll Sam's Bluff check, roll your Sense Motive ...


3

Use a skill check when: There is opposition There is a meaningful chance of success or failure Role-playing is not sufficient to the task Opposition means someone is trying to get an NPC to do something against their basic nature or against their basic interest. Trying to buy something from a merchant is not going against their basic interest. Trying ...


12

To answer this question, we need to first consider how D&D handles actions. It usually goes something like this: GM describes situation. Player declares action. GM determines whether player needs to roll check. Player rolls check if necessary. GM describes outcome. The step you are having difficulty with is step 3. Ability checks ...


2

Since I don't see this type of opinion already... Simple answer: Always, assuming the situation would require a skill check. Two things are noteworthy, the first is that you have a list of known skills for your character, as well as ones you are proficient with. That being said, if the task at hand fits into one of those skills then that check should be ...


10

Skill checks are for when failure is interesting If you want to know whether or not you should call for a skill check, ask yourself 'If the PCs (player-characters) didn't succeed, would the consequences be interesting?' If the answer is 'No', then just have them succeed. If the answer is 'Yes', then you might want to call for a skill check. From your ...


3

Social skills are tricky. I do recommend studying the PHB section on Using Ability Scores (Charisma) where it talks about social skills - that can tell you which skill is appropriate, but not whether to call for a roll in the first place. Ultimately it's a matter of taste, so you need to work with your players to develop a policy. Some GMs roll very little, ...



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