Questions tagged [npc]

For questions about NPCs (non-player characters). NPC refers to any character in an RPG whose decisions and actions are handled by the game master (or a designated assistant) rather than by a player.

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Seeking references to child NPCs in published adventures

I'm working on a supplement for Strixhaven where the players take the roles of counselors at a magical summer camp, and I wanted to list some potential tie-ins to other products, specifically where ...
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6 votes
4 answers
509 views

Is there a way for a same-sex couple to have biological offspring?

One of my player characters disguised themselves as a prince to marry a princess in order to steal something. Along the way, the PC and the NPC fell in love for real. The problem is that they are both ...
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7 votes
2 answers
799 views

How might I instantiate this NPC concept in a fun way within the systems of DnD 5e? (think Picture of Dorian Gray crossed with Dr Jekyll)

I have this concept for an NPC that I would like to throw into a world I am building for my friends. We are all novices to dungeons and dragons. The NPC is a Baron in a backwater village that sits in ...
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13 votes
1 answer
441 views

What's the procedure for monsters/NPCs using stealth?

I've been GMing PF2e for a few months, but I still struggle with understanding stealth, especially when it comes to enemies. An example from an upcoming dungeon I'm planning: There's a room with an ...
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8 votes
1 answer
235 views

Were some of the NPCs in 'Waterdeep: Dragon Heist' player characters at some point?

The Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure has some rather colorful NPCs that, as part of their backstory, were adventurers exploring the Undermountain in the past. Among them are: Durnan, the propietor ...
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8 votes
2 answers
586 views

Shortcuts for GMs preparing a boss sheet

Due to time constraints, I simply do not have the time any more to read through the list of all the feats, all possible enchantments, and all the prestige classes, to then build a boss. What are the ...
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39 votes
9 answers
4k views

How can I protect an NPC's death scene from interfering PCs with cure magic?

In my current campaign, a plot point is going to involve the PCs finding a dying man who has been kept prisoner and beaten repeatedly over a long period of time. He is able to give the party some ...
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0 votes
1 answer
386 views

What is the difference between a DMPC and an NPC? [duplicate]

Most of the references to DMPCs I see in fora and stuff seem to be describing characters played by DMs who want to have their cake and eat it too—both to DM and to play. In these references it’s often ...
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20 votes
7 answers
4k views

How can an NPC replace some pages of a book with different pages, without leaving a trace of manipulation?

A NPC in my adventure (set in Eberron), which I lead as DM, wants to replace some maps in a book with different maps. The person removes the maps by cutting out the pages containing them and somehow ...
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25 votes
2 answers
3k views

How is cantrip damage determined when cast by NPCs? [duplicate]

A Green Hag (MM, p. 177) has an Innate Spellcasting trait that includes the spell vicious mockery. The description of the vicious mockery cantrip states, in part: [The target] must succeed on a ...
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  • 353
8 votes
1 answer
961 views

In Curse of Strahd, why were the Belviews transformed into mongrelfolk?

In the Curse of Strahd adventure book for D&D 5e, in chapter 8, section S.14 (page 151), there's a section that reads as follows: So my question is: why would transform the Belviews into ...
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  • 769
41 votes
3 answers
6k views

How do I respond to players who keep asking powerful NPCs to help them in ToA?

I'm playing Tomb of Annihilation(ToA) with my group right after playing Waterdeep Dragon Heist. The group have met powerful characters like Vajra Safahr, the open lord Laeral Silverhand, Mirt, Artus ...
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  • 391
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Dominate Person but without them realizing?

So I was looking through the Enchantment Wizard and am interested in how the spell Dominate Person interacts with the 14th level ability Alter Memories Specifically this text from the class ability. &...
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  • 503
9 votes
3 answers
517 views

Can monsters use lair actions on targets in any part of their lair?

My previous experience with Lair Actions has been when the party fought Strahd (a vampire lord in Curse of Strahd) and Arauthator (an adult white dragon in Rise of Tiamat). Both of these creatures ...
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7 votes
3 answers
415 views

Weapon modifiers before/after a weapon's title in a stat block: where do they come from, and how are they used?

Where are these modifiers before and after a weapon's title on a stat block coming from? Also, how are these used when rolling for an attack? Melee +1 dagger +10 (1d4+4 plus poison), or +1 dagger +8 (...
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  • 73
2 votes
1 answer
905 views

What is an orb of dragon's breath?

My players have just started Rise of Tiamat and are likely to encounter a Dragonsoul in their next session. The Dragonsoul NPC in Rise of Tiamat has an Action called "Orb of Dragon's Breath" ...
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  • 25.1k
4 votes
0 answers
201 views

Are there any official references to the "a cat is a deadly encounter for a commoner" meme?

I have encountered several times the claim that cats are rather deadly encounters for any commoner and the difference between a commoner and an adventurer is, that the adventurer actually would have a ...
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  • 26.9k
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do you balance encounters between NPCs?

Right now, I’m planning a situation where faction “a” is going to fight faction “b” and the players pick a side, and the side which the players choose is fairly likely to win, in which they have to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
481 views

When an NPC is under the effect of Dominate Person, can they cast spells under orders?

If a PC casts dominate person on an NPC, can they (the PC) require the NPC to cast spells? Some of the spells I had in mind were fireball, dominate, etc.
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27 votes
9 answers
7k views

Can you lower your AC on purpose?

For roleplaying reasons I would like to make a NPC appear weaker than it actually is. When the players first fight it, it should seem to have a very low AC and miss many attacks. Is this possible in ...
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there a RAW way to resurrect the dead as an undead slave without changing its stats?

The trivial answer, of course, would be "Wish", but perhaps there is something more specific that I overlooked. I'm asking for a plot-device in my homebrew campaign. The idea is that the big ...
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  • 2,068
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

How can this regular hobgoblin from the Acquisitions Incorporated adventure "The Orrery of the Wanderer" use a Spell Scroll?

The official D&D 5e book Acquisitions Incorporated published by Wizards of the Coast includes an adventure, The Orrery of the Wanderer. In a section of Episode 2 (p. 116), a hobgoblin carries ...
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8 votes
5 answers
1k views

How can I get my players to delegate to NPCs?

I have ran into this issue in many games using different systems. My players either start in or reach a point where they should be above things that normal adventurers are about, whether it be ...
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  • 18.3k
26 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why do we assume that PHB rules apply to monsters?

The party is deep into my 5e-updated classic Greyhawk Giants series. They are returning the body of a stone giant killed in the siege of Headwater to the stone giant's clan. The Thane of the Stone ...
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  • 25.1k
-1 votes
3 answers
124 views

Timing of Suggested actions and a target's "best ability"

The first level enchantment spell Command specifies that the action the target is forced to take happens on its next turn The second level enchantment spell Suggestion, on the other hand, says that ...
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  • 25.1k
3 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can an Order of Scribes Awakened Spellbook communicate in any way?

Can an Order of Scribes Wizard's Awakened Spellbook communicate in any way? This seems like it would be up to the DM but it's not clear whether it is a possibility or an expectation. Arguments against ...
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  • 2,877
6 votes
1 answer
515 views

Can you use named NPCs as Sidekicks?

Can you use named NPCs as Sidekicks (Tasha's)? For example Pidlwick II from Curse of Strahd. I'm guessing the only caveat is that they must be from a book?
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  • 722
8 votes
1 answer
457 views

D&D My character is not interested in flirty NPC [closed]

I’m playing a Drunken Master Wood Elf Monk named Jade. Last session, my party after about a weeks worth of traveling had finally made it to their destination. Our party rested up and then decided to ...
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  • 81
6 votes
1 answer
560 views

How does the Evoker NPC statblock have a CR of 9?

The Evoker in Volo's Guide to Monsters (p. 214) is listed as CR 9. However, I just can't figure out how to calculate its CR to get that high a result. AC: 15 (with Mage Armor) & HP: 66 with 2 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
275 views

Is there a way to convert MTG creatures and characters to AD&D? [closed]

There are a lot of creatures and characters from the trading card game Magic: The Gathering that I would like to incorporate into my Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Specifically, I'm ...
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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

How easy is it to recognize that a creature is under the Dominate Monster spell?

Had an interesting session with a DM I generally quite like playing with where he made 2 decisions I disagreed with. Unfortunately a bit of research hasn't clarified if I'm misunderstanding the rules, ...
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  • 169
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why would this NPC in Curse of Strahd ever attack Strahd?

In Curse of Strahd, there is an NPC the PC's may encounter whose weapon explicitly does more damage when he uses it to attack Strahd. However, said NPC states explicitly that he will not attack ...
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  • 25.1k
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Controlling an Evil aligned ‘pet’ creature for an NPC

What is there in the rules which could allow me to make an evil creature less evil, or inhibit their evil, to the point they are “house safe”? I’m ideally looking for something like an item (e.g. a ...
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  • 1,979
9 votes
6 answers
2k views

One of my players "adopted" an orphan girl, how do I go about this?

I DM a game for 4-6 people. I'm a newer DM but am quite comfortable doing it. One of my players, a dwarven princess, has decided to adopt a young orphan girl who was begging on the streets as her ...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

How much damage does the NPC assassin do in the first two rounds to a sleeping creature?

A related concern in calculating the damage potential is does the poison stay on the short swords after the first round? I am trying to get a grip on how much damage does the NPC assassin does in the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
144 views

NPC Gear Advice

I'm GMing a 1st Edition Pathfinder campaign after a long hiatus from GMing and starting up NPCs has never been a strong suit of mine - typically I try an officially made, appropriate statblock for the ...
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10 votes
3 answers
302 views

How to make a guest feel comfortable and welcome in a session?

I am currently DMing for a group of 5 players. A friend of some of the players is very interested in learning about the game. I have decided to let her play an NPC in one of the upcoming sessions, to ...
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  • 153
0 votes
1 answer
222 views

How can an NPC interract with the party occasionally, but be incapable of staying with the party? [closed]

As DM, I would like an NPC to only show up occasionally for a short time (less than a day), then be required to leave without the PCs being able to follow. Is there a mechanic that would allow this? ...
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2 votes
1 answer
298 views

How do you balance an NPC ally with regards to the DMG combat balancing?

My players want an NPC to fight alongside them. They don't like it when he is "cut out" of the fight and they don't want it to feel like he isn't being helpful at all since he's proven to be ...
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  • 213
6 votes
2 answers
354 views

What is the proper CR for this homebrewed Souls-esque NPC?

Returning for another year of a gothic horror adventure, I wanted to try my hand at creating a truly difficult encounter. Following on past my original npcs I opted to turn a certain Dark Souls boss ...
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  • 1,562
6 votes
2 answers
604 views

Could this magic item help Ezmerelda in Curse of Strahd?

In the Curse of Strand adventure, the following information is provided about the NPC Ezmerelda in Appendix D (p. 231): There's also this magic item that can be found in the village of Krezk (p. 148):...
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  • 77.1k
14 votes
1 answer
725 views

What is Shalvus Martholio's passive Perception?

I'm fairly new to D&D, therefore I'd like to verify this to make sure I'm perhaps not overseeing some rule I'm not aware of (spoiler warning below about the stats of a NPC.) The statblock comes ...
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  • 2,231
7 votes
3 answers
573 views

How do I narrate Laeral Silverhand's Silver Hair attack?

Laeral Silverhand's statblock appears in the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure (p. 207). Among her action options, she has an attack option labeled "Silver Hair": Silver Hair. Melee Weapon Attack: +...
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5 votes
3 answers
335 views

How can my half-dragon villain aim to become more draconic?

The villain in the adventure I'm currently running is a half-dragon druid. Their motivation is that they want to claim some of the power and glory of their draconic ancestors. At the moment, I'm just ...
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  • 2,806
3 votes
1 answer
117 views

How would a steel devil act on its own?

Fiendish Codex II says that "[s]teel devils are consummate soldiers. They have no purpose or drive to do anything other than to march in step to battle" (138). However, steel devils aren't mindless—...
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  • 7,608
22 votes
7 answers
6k views

How can my PCs discover an NPC's class if they are trying to hide it?

I'm pretty new to DMing and I'm working on writing a campaign in which it's important to the plot that the characters not know at first that the BBEG is a multiclass wizard-warlock. Basically, this ...
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  • 493
17 votes
3 answers
4k views

Which school of magic is Mordenkainen most closely associated with?

Which school of magic is Mordenkainen most closely associated with? In particular, I'm not interested in speculation or opinions, but rather if such a thing has ever been outright stated in any ...
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  • 77.1k
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

What are reasonable age expectations for levels? [closed]

This is not a question about enforced limits but about plausible NPC reactions, to the PCs and how they explain other NPCs to the players. (Minimums more than maximums, since all a character has to ...
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  • 478
13 votes
6 answers
7k views

What goes into creating NPCs?

When I play as DM, I'm never sure how to create my NPCs. Do I have a whole page on them, with all their languages, proficiencies, weapons, ability scores and etc? Or do I keep it simple, like just ...
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10 votes
2 answers
299 views

How do I incorporate powerful allied NPC heroes in a fighting scene?

I understand what an powerful allied hero should do in a fight to make the fiction interesting (be powerful but not quite powerful enough to get it handled all by themself; be powerful but ignore ...
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