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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1answer
185 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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7answers
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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2answers
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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1answer
672 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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3answers
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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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4answers
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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3answers
393 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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3answers
391 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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1answer
615 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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0answers
186 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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4answers
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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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1answer
323 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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9answers
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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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4answers
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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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3answers
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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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5answers
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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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3answers
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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3answers
117 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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2answers
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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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1answer
467 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?
8
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1answer
436 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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1answer
420 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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0answers
254 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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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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6answers
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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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2answers
1k 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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1answer
126 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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3answers
282 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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1answer
220 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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1answer
174 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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2answers
332 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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2answers
524 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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1answer
719 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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3answers
472 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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3answers
314 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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1answer
114 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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7answers
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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3answers
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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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2answers
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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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6answers
6k 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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2answers
278 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 ...
41
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9answers
12k views

My players are thinking of abandoning my NPC. What should I do?

I created this amazing NPC that is kind of the guide towards the true story line; he's an old Grung war leader, his entire army gets decimated by these big bat creatures, and he is forced to live ...
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4answers
613 views

How to handle friendly NPC treasure

I'm a relatively new DM - I ran some games back in the early 80's, basic dungeon crawls and we had a great time. Today, I'm starting with some of the intro 5e campaigns. I'd like to get an opinion ...
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1answer
932 views

When during the events of the Curse of Strahd plot does Kasimir want to do this thing?

In Curse of Strahd, during my current playthrough of it (with me as the DM) the NPC Kasimir is the party's ally ("Strahd's Enemy"). It says throughout the adventure (whenever Kasimir is mentioned at ...
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2answers
519 views

Is there an appropriate place to specify class on a stat block?

Every time I see a stat block for an NPC with a class (bard, druid, etc.), that class is not specified in the stat block. Is there anywhere where it could/should be specified when creating a stat ...
5
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4answers
509 views

How does an NPC set up unobvious long-distance alerts similar to Alarm?

I have a 7th-level wizard NPC who would like to be secretly alerted if someone enters an underground location that is important to him. He will always be within 20 miles of the location. He would like ...
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2answers
1k views

Would an intimidated NPC be pugnacious?

My Human Shadow Magic Sorcerer attempted to intimidate a captive NPC cultist in order to extract information from him. After the intimidation succeeded, as announced by the DM, the NPC was extremely ...
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1answer
797 views

How do you use D&D Next NPC statistics lacking classes (e.g. in "Murder in Baldur's Gate") with 5e?

I would like to test 5e and have acquired the "Murder in Baldur's Gate" adventure. Now I find that the monster statistics in the adventure are "D&D Next", the playtesting version of 5e. There are ...

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