From walk-ons to guest stars, this article on The Harrow discusses walk-ons, guest stars, professions, choosing names and other NPC-related details: Adventure Writing: Nonplayer Characters. It’s a good approach to the topic of NPCs, and it covers the basics well.
About The Author
"Martin Ralya (TT)" is two people: Martin Ralya, the administrator of and a contributor to Gnome Stew, and a time traveler from the years 2005-2007, when he published the Treasure Tables GMing blog (TT). Treasure Tables got started in the early days of RPG blogging, and when Martin burned out trying to run it solo he shut it down, recruited a team of authors, and started Gnome Stew in its place. We moved all TT posts and comments to Gnome Stew in 2012.
Check out our newest content!
You Want To Become a DM/GM? – Tips & Tricks
June 2, 2023
Interview With A Pro GM
May 29, 2023
Commenting System Changes and User Cleanup
February 15, 2021
GNOMECAST #165 – Scheduling Difficulties
June 7, 2023
2 Responses to Primer on Basic NPC Roles
Leave a reply Cancel reply
It Came From The Stew Pot
Hey you. Yeah, you. Do you know about Gnomecast 21? Why isn’t it in the archives? What are they hiding? If you value your safety… don’t go searching for Gnomecast 21…
What Are People Saying?
Our Books for GMs
Through our partner Engine Publishing, we've published six system-neutral books for GMs, with over 28,000 copies sold. Available in print and PDF.
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions
Click To Find Out More Unframed
The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters
Click To Find Out More Odyssey
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Campaign Management
Click To Find Out More Never Unprepared
The Complete Game Master's Guide to Session Prep
Click To Find Out More Masks
1,000 Memorable NPCs for Any Roleplaying Game
Click To Find Out More Eureka
501 Adventure Plots to Inspire Game Masters
Click To Find Out More
Through Encoded Designs
Through our partnership in the G.E.M. collective, many of the Gnomes are affiliated with creating products through Encoded Designs. Available in print and PDF.
Gnomes on Podcasts, even a Gnome Only Podcast!
Click To Find Out More Rockerboys and Vending Machines
Do you have what it takes to save Neon City in this 80s, neon, cyberpunk game?
Click To Find Out More Character Cache
Art by Matt Morrow, Characters By Encoded Gnomes
Click To Find Out More Hydro Hacker Operatives
Gnome Phil Vecchione's Dungeon World Hack About Water Rights
Click To Find Out More
Nice article. It already has me thinking about non-stereotypical NPCs that I can include in my current campaign. Even the BBEG, who I had planned to be a small human child that is trapped in a dream state. Why not have her be an Orc child, of something even more bizzare like a Beholder child? Will the PCs still want to help her then? I can just imagine the conversations at the table..
That sounds like a fun layer of interest to add to your BBEG. Tomorrow’s post is also about NPCs — hopefully you’ll get some good mileage out of that one, too. 🙂