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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Chrono22's Avatar

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    Default 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

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    Last edited by Chrono22; 2010-09-03 at 06:03 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    Sounds like a good character. Note that I said character, not NPC. This build is very interesting and background rich- interesting enough to turn into the ugly DMPC(I am not saying that all DMPCs are bad, just that some of them are.)

    Also, if your players really get into character(especially spellcasters) his fluff might really annoy them.( You woke me up to say "Hi?" Really? Arg!)

    Otherwise, I think that it's a pretty good concept.

    Edit: Also, be prepared for you players to do something that you would never even imagine when they first meet him. Players will always do something that you won't expect.
    Last edited by Saintjebus; 2010-02-06 at 10:16 AM.
    My girlfriend(non-gamer) after watching me play an RPG on the Xbox: "So, you're just killing people and taking their stuff?"
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    You've done some good work Chrono22.

    I'm inclined to suggest that the character you described deserves to be a PC, more than just an NPC. There's a great story there, including a nice dose of uniqueness involving the metaphysics behind a magically maintained, armored soul.

    It's certainly possible to turn this character into an NPC. To avoid auto-inflation into a DMPC, if you maintain his quirks, focus on his healing, and maybe share a bit of his history with a group of players, and avoid other things, like solving major puzzles or giving crucial advice, then I think this character could have a fun and memorable role in any gaming table.
    Last edited by DabblerWizard; 2010-02-06 at 04:33 PM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    I think this is really awesome, and agree with the others that this also makes a great PC.
    I wish my campaign didn't just start, so it was at a level where I could use this guy...but you've inspired me to do something similar, in any case, since my players refuse to play healers as well.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    Yeah... if his backstory shows up at all he'll become a DMPC, which could get ugly. Make sure he's weaker than the PCs and maybe leave out the story until the PCs ask or it affects the campaign.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Chrono22's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    Not to nitpick but since when has having detailed and interesting NPCs made them DMPCs?

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    PCs, DM or otherwise, tend to have backstories such that anecdotes occupy a disproportionately large amount of text.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Chrono22's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    ... but so do villains and major NPCs.

    Let's just drop the DMPC discussion altogether. It's a meaningless distinction in the first place.

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    I tend to do this myself, so here's a little advice:


    Don't have the Cleric gain XP from encounters. Count him as a Hireling, no matter the reason. When the party levels, so does he.

    Have the Cleric's WBL come from his church or patron deity, or somewhere other than the treasure gained from each encounter. Explain to the players that he's being kept on par with the rest of the party in WBL, and make sure he never exceeds their GP value. Alternatively, have him take some Crafting feats and use the NPC WBL (and craft items to effectively double that value).

    Finally, the Cleric himself should have very little to do with the plot. If you want to resolve his storyline as a side quest, have him ask the other characters IC if they would help him out when they aren't pursuing the main plot. That way they are willingly assisting him. Do not use him to advance the main plot, even if he is merely showing players the Plot Hook they missed. Have a minor, Faceless NPC do this instead.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Splendor's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    I, as a player, hate NPC's that join the party.

    The only NPC's I want are the one's I hire, and that take orders from me.

    I don't want NPC's giving me advice, saving my life, solving puzzles or any PC related stuff. They should only open their mouth if I ask them a question, or I do something morally offensive to them (cause of alignments and stuff).

    NPC's should fight defensively, find traps when I tell them too, heal me after fights and track bad guys back to their lairs and then let me do EVERYTHING else.

    They should NEVER take the spotlight away from PCs. Unless that's their role, as an annoying NPC who only shows up specifically to steal the PCs thunder and make them look like a clod. But usually these type of NPCs are considered enemies or atleast competition.
    Always attack a manís strengths, No one ever expects you to attack the strongest part of the fort. Up the middle thatís where the action is. And itís the same in life. Donít run away, attack them head on as their coming at you at full speed. Because that my friend is living.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5 D&D: NPC Cleric

    Quote Originally Posted by Splendor View Post
    I, as a player, hate NPC's that join the party.

    The only NPC's I want are the one's I hire, and that take orders from me.

    I don't want NPC's giving me advice, saving my life, solving puzzles or any PC related stuff. They should only open their mouth if I ask them a question, or I do something morally offensive to them (cause of alignments and stuff).

    NPC's should fight defensively, find traps when I tell them too, heal me after fights and track bad guys back to their lairs and then let me do EVERYTHING else.

    They should NEVER take the spotlight away from PCs. Unless that's their role, as an annoying NPC who only shows up specifically to steal the PCs thunder and make them look like a clod. But usually these type of NPCs are considered enemies or atleast competition.

    Your ardent dismissal of NPCs within a PC group is worth thinking about.

    As a DM I've tried to avoid the dreaded DMPC, but I've found that NPC cameo appearances can be entertaining, and fun roleplaying situations for my players.

    Story time! Spoilered.

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    (D&D 4e) In pursuit of a group of evil creatures that had caused some serious havoc in a city, the players were preparing to leave towards some mountain caves to deal with the threat.

    I hinted to them through requested nature checks, that white dragons frequented those mountains. These players were only level 2, so I assumed they'd be a bit scared about the prospect of facing a dragon. Also, being largely pacifistic minded unless provoked, I knew the players would prefer a non combat situation with a dragon, if at all possible.

    They went to the local wizards college and were directed towards a student wizard there, who could act as a draconic translator, as none of the players spoke draconic.

    The wizard translator named Brandon (intentionally standard and non-mystical to lessen any associations with power) was still in the middle of his studies, and I suggested that he was still learning to cast cantrips, making him a pre-level wizard, unable to assist in combat.

    Brandon's wide-eyed, inexperienced demeanor, along with his young age, contrasted by his excessive desire to actually meet a dragon, brought a lot of laughs to the group that evening. [edit] Elan in a wizard's form, is close to how I depicted Brandon

    They were hesitant to bring him along, suggesting they didn't want him to die, or cause them harm through his stupidity. Eventually they decided to, especially since his "fee" was a single gold a day. His temporary presence in the group did end up helping the party avoid conflict with a white dragon.



    One might suggest that because this NPC played such a small roll, in only one day-long trip, that there was little reason to create him, or present him to the group. I would only point out that his character is still memorable, and that players still get a laugh when his name comes up.
    Last edited by DabblerWizard; 2010-02-12 at 09:52 AM.

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