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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6
votes
3answers
177 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: +...
4
votes
3answers
192 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
votes
1answer
95 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—...
20
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6answers
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 ...
17
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3answers
3k 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 ...
1
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2answers
113 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
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
40
votes
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
votes
4answers
521 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
votes
1answer
153 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
votes
2answers
424 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
votes
4answers
280 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
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
717 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
votes
1answer
728 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
votes
1answer
145 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
votes
1answer
395 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.
7
votes
1answer
468 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
votes
3answers
246 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
votes
2answers
509 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
803 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
votes
1answer
920 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k views

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
47 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
1k views

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
votes
2answers
371 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
votes
2answers
990 views

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
votes
1answer
321 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
230 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 #...
8
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3answers
817 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
836 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
votes
4answers
853 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
976 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
votes
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
457 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
vote
0answers
56 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
383 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
208 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
229 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
642 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
221 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
366 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
80 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
votes
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 ...

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