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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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7
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3answers
734 views

As a new DM, should my focus when creating a campaign be on developing locations or NPCs?

A group of friends and I have decided to play D&D. Since I was the one gathering everyone and the one with the most previous knowledge, I became the DM for the group. I had never actually played ...
20
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4answers
4k views

How do I deal with too many NPCs in my campaign?

I'm a first-time GM using the Fate Core system. I got into RPGs to help me work on my storytelling while having fun with my friends, so I've been GMing a homebrew campaign for about a year now. ...
10
votes
4answers
364 views

Social Encounters in a West Marches Campaign

I am a new DM with one session under my belt and am planning to run the campaign as a "West Marches" D&D 5e campaign. One of my players requested I have some social encounters next time and I am ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Why is this weapon searching for a new owner?

In Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, Meloon Wardragon wields Azuredge, the legendary greataxe (p. 189): Players discover that (p. 210)... So, my question is: My players have handled that problem with a ...
11
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4answers
707 views

How to run NPCs with complicated mechanics?

When I need a run of the mill NPC I use the NPC classes which have simplified mechanics. These classes are great and make it really easy to quickly run their mechanics during combat without needing to ...
22
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2answers
3k views

Is it possible for a person to be tricked into becoming a lich?

A great evil has been prophesied and a powerful wizard knows that he is unable to stop it himself. His plan is to create several heroes who will be able to fight the evil despite the event taking ...
3
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1answer
231 views

How do I roleplay Ned Shakeshaft in the “campaign version” of Ghosts of Saltmarsh?

SPOILERS BELOW for Ghosts of Saltmarsh Chapter 2 "The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh". I'm preparing to DM the Saltmarsh campaign, including the overarching campaign theme involving the But I'm ...
14
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3answers
920 views

Can a Rogue PC teach an NPC to perform Sneak Attack?

Important Note: I am aware of this post regarding NPC training but it failed to answer my question and the top answer has some holes. I want to run a heavily player-based, sandbox campaign (I am ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Establishing bonds with NPCs

We're at the point in our 2-players-and-a-GM Dungeon World game where one of the PCs is working with a rather regular cast of friendly NPCs in addition to the other PC. This means that the PCs don't ...
8
votes
1answer
245 views

What is the relationship between these two characters?

In the Baldur's Gate section of the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, it is mentioned that the former Grand Duke was Dillard Portyr (emphasis mine): The current Grand Duke is Ulder Ravengard, who is ...
1
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0answers
53 views

Is there a mechanic for Passive Deception? [duplicate]

Right now I have a situation with a Doppleganger has infiltrated a small section of the group. It is passing itself off with the intentions of appearing to be someone important to one person and ...
5
votes
2answers
314 views

How can an NPC disguise themselves from the party for an extended period?

I have an upcoming storyline where I would like an NPC to hide their identity to gain the trust of the party. The nature of the ruse will involve them traveling with the party for an extended period (...
9
votes
1answer
182 views

When is this character relevant in Rise of Tiamat?

In Hoard of the Dragon Queen, in chapter 8 area 12 in the Developments section it is stated that: However looking through the Rise of Tiamat adventure, Is this simply an inconsistency or did I ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

Can Captain Othelstan use Tiamat's Blessing of Retribution to regain health multiple times?

Captain Othelstan's stat block (HOTDQ, p. 89) describes this benefit: Tiamat's Blessing of Retribution. When Othelstan takes damage that reduces him to 0 hit points, he immediately regains 20 hit ...
3
votes
2answers
296 views

How can someone learn an item's history or the spells used on an item?

We ran into an issue during our recent session. One of our players used the illusory script spell on a magical item (a scroll that was ciphered). The DM claimed, however, that the item had a "...
5
votes
2answers
206 views

How do I automate my Pathfinder game?

Especially when running complex combats with lots of NPCs and especially when those NPCs have a lot of options, I constantly feel like I'm missing some. Which problems did I encounter while running ...
5
votes
1answer
294 views

Is there any way a PC can offer pacts to NPCs, in exchange for their power/support?

Is there a class or a build or something similar to create a D&D character that can offer powers or the like to NPCs in exchange for their soul/some benefit to the character. Almost like a ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

How can I determine the outcome of off-screen combat between NPCs? [duplicate]

My players will get a choice as they are assaulting a castle. There will be three magical siege engines they will need to stop so their troops don't get slaughtered. Now knowing they have a fight ...
19
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4answers
3k views

Self-Preservation: How to DM NPCs that Love Living?

I have it in mind that humanoid NPCs do not "rage against the dying of the light" as much as they should. Combat encounters frequently result in a full-on massacre, when realistically a single ...
-4
votes
3answers
522 views

What is the CR of my BBEG? [closed]

I am creating the Big Bad Evil Guy for my campaign and I don’t know what the CR would be. BBEG Medium humanoid , lawful evil Armor Class 22 (Natural Armor) Hit Points 285 (2d8/18d6+200) ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I stat an NPC with a permanent injury?

Context My level 5 party is currently tasked with defending a small town from a raiding orc party. It is the first battle in a large war between this kingdom and the invading orc hordes. The half-orc ...
8
votes
1answer
648 views

Who was this character from the Tomb of Annihilation adventure before they became a monster?

I have found a lot of information that this character is a tabaxi and speaks tabaxi language. Who he is exactly? Was he tabaxi or human or something else?
7
votes
1answer
871 views

Can you just subtract the challenge rating of friendly NPCs?

The party have bitten off more than they can chew and the DM wants to help them out to avoid a likely TPK by adding a friendly NPC to an encounter. Can they get a good sense of how difficult the ...
4
votes
1answer
577 views

Can this NPC from the Tomb of Annihilation adventure change form willingly?

This question is about an NPC from the Tomb of Annihilation campaign. According to the adventure book (p. 34): Could this NPC morph into their couatl form intentionally? Or was the character cursed ...
29
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4answers
4k views

What is the best way to deal with NPC-NPC combat?

I'm about to run a premade adventure, and reading through it I see a potential situation where one group of monsters could, though PC actions, end up fighting each other. As a PC, I hate seeing my ...
15
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1answer
397 views

Does 3d6 per attribute represent the entire (human) population or just adventurers?

In more "old school" D&D editions character creation required the generation of character attributes by rolling 3d6 for each one of the six (most commonly) attributes (Strength, Dexterity, ...
6
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2answers
314 views

Designing 'Gandalf' NPCs [closed]

I'm designing an NPC that is meant to be a manager/mentor to the players. Contrary to the archetype I've just invoked by mentioning Gandalf, she isn't some divine force incarnate-she's just somewhat ...
9
votes
1answer
450 views

How can I kill a tough druid NPC off-scene for the sake of the plot? [closed]

In a campaign I made myself, there is an 8th-level Druid NPC (good guy) that have an item that I want the bad guys to steal (killing him in the way, for dramatization). My main concern is that he ...
1
vote
2answers
418 views

PCs enraged high level NPC that is vital to the story and could TPK them [closed]

The 3 PCs enraged the main quest giver in my campaign by the PCs threatening to kill him and doing things to try to get more money out of him. They are level 1 and could easily get TPK'ed by this NPC. ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Can a dragon be stuck looking like a human?

I was planning in a campaign to feature an NPC, who is actually a metallic dragon that got stuck in human form, this being thanks to a curse that was placed on her. She is very much wanting this ...
41
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7answers
7k views

How can I handle players killing my NPC outside of combat?

My players tried to capture one of my bosses (they didn't know it was a boss) and after a few rolls they succeeded. They started to interrogate him (the NPC is a human) and after obtaining the ...
22
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1answer
3k views

Can the Knight give infinite Leadership dice for 1 minute?

I got a Knight servant from a Deck of Many Things, and am looking at his Leadership ability. For 1 minute, the knight can utter a special command or warning whenever a nonhostile creature that it ...
8
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1answer
504 views

How can high-CR (20+) NPCs be created?

I remember in earlier editions villains and NPCs sometimes had astronomical levels (Elminster, etc. all are 20+ Spellcasters). Currently I am making a campaign where the major NPCs are all Legendary ...
13
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5answers
4k views

How to make a Nightcrawler-esque NPC villain for my players?

I am currently DMing a D&D 5e campaign for a party of 4, and I wanted a villain with a teleporting ability similar to Nightcrawler, from X-Men/Marvel Comics. I have run into an issue. The main ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

How to create a powerful boss fusion of an artificial dragon and a lich?

I am currently thinking how to build a sheet for a powerful villain in my campaign. This creature was created by an ancient people as a way to control artificial dragons and to kill powerful real ...
1
vote
0answers
104 views

What is the best way for players to create their own NPCs to aid them in their adventures? [closed]

Has anyone tried allowing players to have NPCs of their own? For example, a Wizard may want to employ a warrior style body guard. How would a player go about creating their own NPC? If they can ...
1
vote
1answer
951 views

How do I calculate the HP of a level 20 Barbarian NPC with the Tough feat? [closed]

I'm a first time DM and I'm struggling with sorting out HP for a half orc NPC. I rolled his HP and he has the tough feat that I gave him at level 4, so I know, at max, he gets 40 to his HP, but I'm ...
19
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6answers
2k views

Does a player know if their Intimidation attempt worked?

I am going to be a first-time DM for my group. While I was planning the first session, I just thought about my players interrogating (torturing) a creature. If a character tries an Intimidation (or ...
5
votes
0answers
355 views

The party killed this important NPC right away: now what? [closed]

My level 2 party of 5 killed in Greenest. What do I do? I have thought about just running it normally but that won't work, because they each got 3,000xp making them level 4. This majorly upsets the ...
24
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3answers
3k views

Can any creature other than PCs use Two-Weapon Fighting?

The rule on Two-Weapon Fighting (PHB, page 195) states: When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack ...
29
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6answers
3k views

What's the difference between an NPC and a GMPC?

I was reading this question, and while I do agree on the answers stating a GM should avoid having a character of his own as it's hard to properly play it, I don't really see what the line between that ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Can the new Sidekicks system from UA be applied to creatures you create?

In Unearthed Arcana: Sidekicks, the prerequisites for a sidekick template to be applied to a creature are: Its challenge rating must be 1 or lower. The two of you must be friends. If you ...
4
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0answers
169 views

How can our party forcibly change the alignment of an NPC? [closed]

I can’t really explain why as it would require a deep, deep delve into our campaign’s lore, but our party needs to find the way to change the alignment of an NPC. He’s a homebrew nephilim that was ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

Is there a rule that allows me to fuse 2 NPCs?

I'm running Rise of the Runelords and, throughout the encounters, several major foes managed to run away. Specifically, Nualia Tobyn (an Aasimar Cleric 4/Fighter 2) and Lucrecia (a Lamia Matriarch). ...
35
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6answers
5k views

How can I make an NPC useful without overshadowing the player characters?

I play DnD 5th and I find my group often has many NPCs accompanying them, like 4 players and 4 NPCs. Most have some form of tie to the group, but few are actually as useful as the group members, as ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Does a NPC wizard know the spells in their stat block or spell book?

In Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, there is an encounter with an apprentice wizard. Apprentice Wizard in the appendix has a stat block with a spell list, however the adventure text states that this ...
23
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3answers
3k views

How can I make conversations with NPCs more succinct?

IMPORTANT: don't just read the selected answer, all of the answers to this question provide good techniques to apply in different scenarios when it comes to conversations with NPCs. I chose the one ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

What prestige classes will make a cc sorcerer less killable? [closed]

I created a tainted sorceress npc as a friend of one PC. Shes a human sorcerer 4/tainted sorcerer 2 specializing in crowd control and nonlethal damage spells. She is neutral, but because of taint her ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Is there a way to detect an NPC's class without them knowing that I'm detecting it?

The description of the detect thoughts spell says that when attempting to probe deeper into a target's mind (which I assume would be required to detect their class): the target knows that you are ...
2
votes
2answers
372 views

Which creatures have Negative Energy Affinity (Ex)*

I've been looking into creating a corporeal, Good NPC with Negative Energy Affinity but I'm not mad keen on them being a Dhampir. Are there any other pre existing options or am I better off ...