I have some friends that would like to be part of my future D&D campaign as NPCs. What I need help with is creating stats for a NPC based on a person.

I am a player in this campaign. Our DM will sometimes have encounters for only part of the group. (We are currently separated, and have not yet played all together as a party.) So far, these encounters have been themed around collosseum games, so our DM would play the enemies and have some NPCs for the players not part of the encounter. I would like to be able create an NPC that could take part in such an encounter, but created based on friends.

Creating standard NPCs is not an issue, but creating a battle-ready NPC for some of the more heroic or crazy ones. (Battle-Ready NPCs are my term for NPCs that could be used in a combat encounter. I want to create such a NPC so its stats are based on real person, made to work with D&D.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what's being asked here. It feels like there are two questions: one about making "battle-ready NPCs" (I'm unclear on what that means, though), and one about making NPCs based on actual people. Perhaps splitting these into two actual posts would be useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Apr 10, 2013 at 0:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Battle Ready NPCs are my term for NPCs that could be used in a combat encounter. I want to create such a NPC so its stats are based on real person(made to work with D&D) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2013 at 0:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think I've got it. In this game, his DM often populates encounters with NPCs to round off a party that's underpopulated. He'd like to have some of these NPCs inspired by people he knows, but built to be combat-capable, not ordinary humans. Since this is a 4E question, it's not as easy as it might be in 3.X D&D, where NPCs and PCs use the same creation rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 10, 2013 at 0:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, Exactly @Jadasc. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 10, 2013 at 0:18

1 Answer 1


I could see two ways that you go about creating NPCs based on real-life people as you describe:

  1. Make the NPC so that his or her abilities, appearance, and general combat effectiveness match those of the person in real life
  2. Make the NPC an idealized version of the person in real life, such that they are recognizable, but may have unrealistic abilities, appearance, and general combat effectiveness.

If you're going the first route, you're severely limited by several factors. First, we're all Human, so you're not going to use any diverse races. Second, if your gaming group is like mine, it's unlikely that they are very good at combat, so they aren't going to be effective in a fight. Third, even if they are decent athletes or have some experience fighting (perhaps they LARP with foam swords), you're going to be limited by the fact that everyone has the Martial power source, meaning you'll be limited to Rogues, Fighters, Rangers, and Warlords.

Going this route can work, but you're probably better off finding a different system to model these people (some like Outbreak Undead are specifically designed to be able to model real life people).

I'm guessing the second route is more what you are wanting where NPCs are idealized versions of real life people. In that case, pick a few defining characteristics of the person and choose a Race and Class based on him. Maybe Mark is a short guy with a beard who is a crack shot at the rifle range, so you make him a Dwarf Ranger. Or Kate is a hippie at heart and has long golden hair, so she's an Eladrin Druid.

I assume that since you want them as an NPC, you're not wanting to go through character creation with these folks and would prefer a statblock like the monsters. Unfortunately, the Monster Manuals for Dungeons & Dragons 4e are rather sparse on humanoids, so unless you find something in there that fits the character, you'll probably have to make some adjustments.

I'd suggest looking at a few similar entries and synthesizing some of them. I don't have my books handy right now, but you might combine elements from the entries for a generic "Eladrin" and throw in some defining elements from a Druid and you're set. Especially for races that were once monsters, you could possibly apply a monster template to a general statblock for a class.

Another option is modifying an NPC to fit the character. If you've got a DDI subscription, the Monster Builder would be great at this as it has just about every NPC ever made.

Or you could just make up stats for what looks right. That's personally what I'd do because I'm a freewheeling GM like that and I don't really care about how much XP Sam is worth, but the above methods would work better for those who prefer to go by the book.

The most important part of creating an NPC based on a person for any system is making them act like the person they are representing. Maybe they talk a certain way or they have similar motives or behaviors. Caricatures of these aspects can make them more easily identifiable, so long as the person sees it in good light.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the second half of the last sentence. Insulting your friends is potentially bad for obvious reasons. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Apr 11, 2013 at 5:39

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