Making colorful NPCs on the Quick. 


 

Many a game is chock full of cardboard, one dimensional NPCs. Nameless, faceless, forgettable bar keeps, town guards, and merchants litter the landscape. The GM, in an effort to bring more depth and breadth to their game should invest a little time in fleshing out these characters. It would be a huge waste of time to go deep on every being in a town of 500 as an example but the GM can have some quick notes on those small encounters and who they will be with. The GM can make a list of all the NPCs that the players will likely encounter and have a quick sketch of how they look, a name and a general attitude. 


 

Name: Come up with a name, not "Bob" that guy is everywhere! We have a name section in our book Allies and Adversaries.


 

Looks: Male or female? What race? Age, weight, hair and eye color and some distinguishing characteristics like a handlebar mustache or a scar and a little thumbnail sketch even if you canít draw. This will be a great way to describe what the local blacksmith looks like at a glance. 


 

Attitude: Good or Evil? Trustworthy or deceitful? What do they do for a living and a general goal would be great for how the NPC is motivated. A word or two like greedy, paranoid for example will allow the GM to role play this NPC with some flavor. 


 

Other notes: Such as great strength or a magic weapon etc. may be noted. If the GM needs to flesh out their NPCs more, they can, but for ones that the players may only interact with once a quick sketch will suffice and make your game all the better. 


 

The worksheet below can be printed out in rows to fill in the blanks for many NPC encounters. Each one should take a minute or two to fill out and it is a great way to have a record of  the NPCs the players have encountered in case they go back to the same location. Instead of trying to remember what the captain of the guardís name was, you have an easy reference sheet.