Forum > Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion

Rolling out NPCs

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eCK0:
Since this is my first time DMing, I want to actually roll out all of my own NPCs instead of using templates.  What's the best way to go about that?  Right now I'm working on what are going to be personal trainers in a guild.  These trainers are going to be at level 20 already.  Should I roll out from level 1 and add to the character as if she were leveling?  Or is there a trick to the trade of starting a character past level 1?

Aelfinn:
You know what I do? start with a concept for that NPC. then I open up Etools, make sure the NPC has the correct ammout of gold, and build a character.

If you don't already use some form of computerized character generation, i'd really recommend looking into it. it will really cut down your prep time to much more manageable levels.

Name Lips:
Starting from level 1 and going up one level at a time is the most accurate way, if you really feel you have to be this thorough.

I'd personally recommend just writing a character description for each one, and leaving stats out of it unless you intend to be running them through some sort of combat.

obryn:
I think you're nuts. ;)

When I'm making NPCs I generally have 2 levels of work I'm willing to do...

(1) For incidental NPCs, I just make crap up.  I'm familiar enough with the rules that I can make somewhat realistic stats.  I don't bother with a full suite of ability scores; I arbitrarily assign bonuses, HPs, and whatnot on the spot based on their class, level, and assuming they have +3 to +4 in their primary relevant stats.

(2) For more important NPCs, I start with class/level, assign attributes as I see fit, assign fun equipment, and then just quickly stat them out for combat or whatnot.  I worry about feats & skills only as much as I need to.

If you roll up & go level by level for major NPCs in your game world, you'll get burned out before very long at all.  Making a 20th-level character is not a small undertaking.

-O

Nicephorus:
I do it kinda like Obryn, mainly just take it on the fly. For NPCs that are kind of important, I use a quick NPC generator program, hit the button a few times until I get one that I like, then make 2-3 adjustments - they're not optimized but that's probably more realistic.
 
I use a computer character generator as if it was a PC only for those characters who are going to be interacting closely with the players for a long time and who will probably be in combat with or against them several times.

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