View Full Version : Needing NPC help

2010-05-27, 05:43 PM
So, im preparing to DM my frist campaign for 3.5, which will also be the second campaign ive been in (the current one im playing in as a PC is just about done and has been going on for nearly a year.)

So anyways, I was wondering if anyone could help me come up with any ideas for some intersting and varied NPCs for my PC's to meet through the campaign., becase for me, thats the hardest part for me, because i think ill be able to get a pretty decent plot flowing, but actually coming up with varied characters for them to meet that are intersting and likeable (or hateable, if thats a word, depending on the role.) The NPC ideas could be from your own mind, or from a previous campaign youved played, or a twist on one of them, etc. The kind of NPC's id like would be, idealy, a varied group, ranging from funny to serious, from good guy to villain, to anywhere in between....I know, im useless at this kind of thing.

2010-05-27, 06:11 PM
Bumping this up

2010-05-27, 09:14 PM
I know of at least one article in dragon for this. I'm sure there are others. I will try to dig it out.

The one that sticks out was a wizard with a bird or lizard, or any other small animal on his shoulder. The wizard said the small animal was his brother/friend that was actually cursed by a hag

2010-05-29, 11:08 PM
Hmm i see. well if you could find that article id really appreciate it.

2010-05-30, 12:28 AM
A few from my campaigns...

*Mucheler, owner of Mucheler's Rat Traps and Fine Footwear. A goblin who runs a rat-catching business and makes slippers and boots out of rat fur. His shop has two entrances, one for those with rat troubles and one for the footwear, but makes no secrets of its business model.

*Max Gunns. His friends call him Gunns. A badass fighter who is part of a mercenary company called the Four Stars. Mercenary companies are rated from one to four stars, so he thought if he just went ahead and named his company the Four Stars, it'd put them a step ahead. Clever guy!

*Ockham the Bard. He's a minstrel and quite good with a variety of instruments. He is not a Bard in class levels, i.e. he has no magical powers, just lots of ranks in Perform. He also put some ranks into Use Magic Device and feels pretty confident about using a scroll if he has to. He works for room and board at the Live Snapper (see below) and is a truly good guy at heart, as long as no one messes with his tip jar, he's a nice guy. He feels a sense of attachment and loyalty to the Snapper and its owner, and will help defend it if it's threatened - mostly with Intimidate rolls and the aforementioned scrolls, as he is not much of a swordsman.

*Marcia the Dwarf, proprietor of the Live Snapper. She's a dwarven innkeeper with a lot of connexions. She has cousins in a magician's guild as well as friends among dockworkers and the local street gang that provides protection for her inn. The Live Snapper itself is so named for the 30-foot-long giant alligator that hangs upside-down from the ceiling of the great room. It just perches there like a gecko, once a masterpiece of taxidermy, now somewhat smoke-stained. Coloured glass chandeliers hang from collars around its neck, the base of its tail, and the middle of its body.

*Jules Farrigan. I use him as the Sewer Commissioner, you can use him for whatever bureaucratic NPC role might come up. A doddering old human man who can't see well, carries a ledger over-stuffed with papers, and is constantly losing his glasses. He'll ramble on through long tangents from whatever conversation is at hand, taking a professorial tone.


2010-05-30, 07:12 AM
Zelthior the ranger. Think Aragorn if he was played by John Barrowman. Has a cabin in the wilderness and badgers passing adventurers into duelling him out of boredom. Keeps a polar bear as an animal companion and acts as though it takes an active part in conversations.

For Valor
2010-05-30, 03:15 PM
If you want good NPCs, the best thing to do is roll on the DMG's "100 traits" table, and then have a name generator on-hand as well as a few interchangeable greetings for NPCs based on familiarity. Don't write up a bunch of NPCs, since that involves knowing a bunch of backstories that may or may not play a part in the campaign, and probably won't interest the PCs much at all.

So before the campaign:

1) Write up 15 people's names using a generator of any appropriate kind. The advanced interface here (http://www.rinkworks.com/namegen/) is my personal favorite.

2) Roll up their traits. Generally, you only need one Mood (http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=charmood) or personality trait (http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/64771-1001-personality-traits.html) to make an NPC distinctive, but you could do multiple
Concerning the second link in this section, scroll down to the attached pdf document for a characteristics generation table.

You could also be lazy and use this (http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=generalperson) to completely generate attitudes... the stuff is a little bland, though.

3) Give them a certain way of greeting the NPCs, based on friendliness. For Example:

1. Ah, hello! And how are my good friends doing today?
2. Well met. Good to see you again.
3. If it isn't [Charname], you sly dog!

1. Yes, did you need something?
2. Pleased to meet you; my name's
3. Hello.

1. What do you want?
2. Yes? -*acidically*-
3. Don't bother me.

I recommend filling out a table of greetings with 5 or more, and you can cycle them out mid-game if you want. Now if the PCs ever need to talk to someone, you have a 4-line block of information to use for flexibility. Generally, if someone is comfortable enough to talk about their past with a PC, they're on the Helpful scale of relations, which usually means that they're very important NPCs and [i]should be fleshed out a bit more than normal. Your average commoner wouldn't share his past with a PC, so you don't need to write it.

2010-06-04, 12:28 PM
Hmm, thanks all.