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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2answers
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 ...
9
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6answers
1k 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 ...
9
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2answers
757 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 ...
3
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1answer
94 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 ...
7
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1answer
140 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 ...
0
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1answer
213 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? ...
2
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1answer
109 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 ...
6
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2answers
267 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 ...
6
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2answers
200 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):...
14
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1answer
700 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 ...
7
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3answers
228 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: +...
5
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3answers
229 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 ...
3
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1answer
103 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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6answers
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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
118 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 ...
14
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6answers
3k 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 ...
10
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2answers
211 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
11k 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 ...
7
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4answers
542 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 ...
3
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1answer
263 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 ...
5
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2answers
437 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 ...
4
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4answers
296 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 ...
10
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2answers
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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 ...
6
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1answer
735 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 ...
11
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1answer
762 views

How does dragon age translate to shapechange age?

I'm working on a NPC who was raised to believe he is half elf, half dragon (Wood Elf father, Red Dragon mother), but who is actually a full Copper Dragon. The character is supposed to be 26 years old, ...
6
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1answer
171 views

Numenera - Higher than expected Health on NPCs

I'm looking to understand the Health inflation commonly printed in Cypher System material (Often in module adventures, or in the little sidebars when describing setting NPCs) In Numenera Health (HP) ...
2
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2answers
574 views

Are there official stats for Elminster, Laeral Silverhand, and Khelben Arunsun?

Is there any books that include stats for Elminster, Laeral Silverhand, and Khelben Arunsun? I would prefer 5e, but if WotC hasn't done that yet, any of the earlier editions would work.
8
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1answer
793 views

How does this potential ally in Curse of Strahd become the party's ally?

In the Curse of Strahd adventure, you learn from the tarokka card reading of an ally who is destined to help you against Strahd. These possible allies are enumerated on pages 15-17 under the Strahd's ...
3
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3answers
284 views

How to make combat with a lot of NPCs more interesting and more manageable?

I am a DM for a D&D 4e campaign. During a recent encounter, my players took some NPC allies along with them. I allowed this, because there were only two PCs on that particular adventure, and I ...
8
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2answers
560 views

Are NPCs who want to gain class levels considered multi-classed?

Consider an Apprentice Wizard from Volo's Guide to Monsters: its spellcasting is the same as a 1st-level wizard, its skills are from the wizard list, and it's proficient in a weapon from the wizard ...
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1answer
1k views

What are the maximum hit points of an NPC?

Every player at a D&D table knows both their character's current and maximum hit points at any given time. I, as the DM determine the current hp of any NPC that the players encounter, either by ...
3
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1answer
1k views

How old is Reya Mantlemorn during the Descent into Avernus adventure?

In Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus, on page 31, the character Reya Mantlemorn is introduced. The boxed text describing the scene in which she is introduced includes the following: Below the boxed ...
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2answers
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What are pitfalls I should be aware of with NPC/PC romantic relationships?

I will be running Rise of Tiamat as a sequel to a summer campaign I ran (which was not Hoard of the Dragon Queen). At the end of the campaign two of my PCs, a Bard and a critical role gunslinger, ...
2
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0answers
48 views

How do I reconcile this contradiction about an NPC's actions in the Curse of Strahd adventure? [duplicate]

In the description for Ezmerelda D'Avenir on page 230 of the Curse of Strahd adventure, it says However, it says in the "Journal of Rudolph van Richten" handout on page 255 (in Appendix F): So which ...
8
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2answers
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How many of its 1/day spells can a Warlock NPC cast per day?

In Volo's Guide to Monsters (p. 219-220), there are 3 warlock NPC statblocks: Warlock of the Archfey, Warlock of the Fiend, and Warlock of the Great Old One. Each Warlock NPC has 3 high-level spells ...
5
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2answers
510 views

Does an NPC stat block get racial bonuses added to it?

Specifically, there is a character in the Curse of Strahd (p. 133): Also, it's worth pointing out that (from p. 119): The only example I know of (in Curse of Strahd, at least) of an NPC statblock ...
13
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2answers
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How is this character useful as an ally in Curse of Strahd?

As part of the Tarokka card reading, this is one of the possible allies (under Strahd's Enemy, p. 17): This card refers to Arabelle (see chapter 2, area L). She gladly joins the party. But if she ...
3
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1answer
339 views

What is a proper CR for this homebrewed bloodborne-esque NPC?

Having ventured into the lands of gothic horror for a soon upcoming adventure, I wanted to create something a little more out there from the normal rules of D&D 5e. So I came up with this idea ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Why would Madam Eva help the party in Curse of Strahd?

My confusion with Madam Eva's motives comes from the following passage in the Curse of Strahd adventure, when describing the Vistani of the Tser Pool Encampment, which Madam Eva is one of (p. 36): So,...
10
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1answer
242 views

Are these two Barons von Dammenblatz the same person?

The first story of Rough Nights & Hard Days has the protagonist Baron Eberhardt von Dammenblatz of Wissenberg. The fourth book's cover blurb mentions Baron Otto von Dammenblatz from White Dwarf #...
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3answers
854 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 ...
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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
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4answers
1k 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
3k 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
911 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
4k 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 ...
4
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2answers
1k 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
993 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
2k 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 ...

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