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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23
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
111 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 ...
49
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2answers
103k views

How much should NPCs charge for spells cast as services to PCs?

As the title suggests, I need to know how to compute the appropriate cost for spells that NPCs provide as services (components included) to the party. My search has come up with the following: ...
2
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2answers
356 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 ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Is Strahd able to know PC backstories without having to investigate them?

I have a group that just started Curse of Strahd. They're one session in. I have a character that couldn't make it first session, and I'm in the process of “writing him in” so he's with ...
6
votes
1answer
359 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
votes
1answer
372 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 ...
24
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5answers
3k views

When should I have an NPC actively investigate an illusion created by the Phantasmal Force spell?

The phantasmal force spell can be broken if the victim examines the illusion and makes a successful investigation check against the spell's DC. What general guidelines should I use to decide when the ...
6
votes
1answer
209 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 ...
2
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0answers
187 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 ...
16
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2answers
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 ...
16
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2answers
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, ...
3
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2answers
1k 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.
22
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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 ...
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
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 ...
42
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6answers
7k views

How can I best handle monsters/NPCs using social skills vs PCs?

I've checked the books and can't find an answer by RAW other than the DM decides, so I'd like to know the best way to handle this in my games. What happens if a thug tries to intimidate/persuade the ...
9
votes
2answers
973 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
votes
1answer
106 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
votes
1answer
156 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
votes
1answer
216 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
votes
1answer
116 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
votes
2answers
289 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 ...
26
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13answers
18k views

How to create a villain for level 1 players

I want to build a cool devil overlord as a villain for a group of three level 1 PCs. How would I go about making a villain who's more powerful than them without going overboard? Should I be scared to ...
6
votes
2answers
318 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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2answers
4k 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,...
17
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
707 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 ...
46
votes
6answers
14k views

Players constantly capture enemies and question them, how to deal with it?

I'm running a campaign for five sixth level players and the bard has hypnotic pattern. Whenever the party runs into any fights with enemies who can speak, they always find some way of making an enemy ...
7
votes
3answers
308 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
247 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
105 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—...
5
votes
2answers
468 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How much time would it take for a PC to train NPCs to get class features?

One of the Folk Hero's Defining Events is to have trained peasants against a tyrant's army. Is it possible to train NPCs (say, peasants) to gain (limited) level 1 features of a given class (say, monk ...
52
votes
10answers
12k views

How can I use powerful NPCs without overshadowing the player characters?

I’ve been playing P&P for years and have taken my first tentative steps into DM’ing over the last year, mostly leading One-Shots. I am also a passionate world-builder and so I jumped at the chance ...
1
vote
2answers
178 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
votes
6answers
4k 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
229 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
558 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I have a sidekick/squire?

In Mutants & Masterminds, you can purchase a sidekick as a feat. I'm rolling up a knight, and I want a squire, using a similar game mechanic. Is there anything like this in D&D, other than ...
8
votes
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 create a ...
3
votes
1answer
498 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
4answers
374 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
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
429 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
758 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
3answers
2k views

Should I give skills and full stats to NPCs?

Some friends have asked me to run a game for the first time. We are going to play All Flesh Must Be Eaten. It's fun, easy and rules are not as important as actual roleplaying. I have created the ...
6
votes
1answer
240 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) ...

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