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LakethePondling

DM Thoughts- NPC creation process

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Hello Again


Itís Lake here with another blog about being a DM or GM. This blog is going to be all about NPC creation and the steps I take. This is really only going to cover my process for important NPCs. Minor NPCs I usually improvise.


Step 1: The Role.


When creating a new NPC, I usually start with the role they plan in their communityor the campaign. Are they the captain of the guard, the local blacksmith, or even the lord? IĎve found that determining what they do is a helpful first step. So after determining the roles that my community will need, my notes look like this:
- Blacksmith
- Captain of the Guard
- local lord
If the NPC is involved in a quest later on, then their info will be under that quest. If they are a recurring character, then I will copy and past their information under important NPCs later.


Step 2: Race and Gender
In this step, I normally fill in the basic pysical characteristics of the NPC. These are normally limited to race and gender. If you have basic demographic information for your town, that could help quite a bit. That way you know roughly how many humans, dwarves, halfling, elves, or whatever other races you may want to assign to important NPCs. Donít be afraid to play with expectations and tropes there. Have fun. itís your game. As and aside, I know in 2019 gender can be a very tricky and triggering thing to explore in an RPG, so be careful. After assigning race and gender, your entry should look something like this.
-Blacksmith, Halfling Male
- Captain of the Guard, Half-Orc Female
- local lord, Human Male


Step 3: Age, Appearance, and Personality.
At this stage, having set the race and gender, you need to set the basic age and appearance details. If your NPC young, old, middle aged? Do they have any scars, tattoos, missing limbs? DO they have any unique characteristics or tics that make them stand out? What are they like? These are all questions that need to be answered in this stage of NPC creation. Be creative here, stretch your mind. Lean into tropes or try to flip them. Itís up to you. Hereís what it should look like after you finish with this step.

-Blacksmith, Halfling Male, early middle age, heavily muscled, Always trying to make a magnum Opus
- Captain of the Guard, Half-Orc Female, Mid-twenties, Bubbly and energetic, except when fighting
- local lord, Human Male, Late 60ís, Tall and thin, very miserly and concerned about money


Step 4: Name.
I always leave the name for dead last. I often tailor the name to fit, but sometimes I leave it to chance. Tools like www.fantasynamegenerators.com are a huge help here. I usually bold oritalicize the name to help it stand out in my notes. The final entry should look like this:
Xercir Flamearm, Blacksmith, Halfling Male, early middle age, heavily muscled, Always trying to make a magnum Opus
zobrah Delkelm, Captain of the Guard, Half-Orc Female, Mid-twenties, Bubbly and energetic, except when fighting
Roscoe Dennison, local lord, Human Male, Late 60ís, Tall and thin, very miserly and concerned about money


Hope my NPC creation process was of some use to you guys.


Until next time,
Lake

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