Non Player Characters Tutorial
A large aspect of being a Dungeon Master is creating Non Player Characters (NPCs) for the for the players to interact with. Here are some tips to keep in mind to create memorable and useful NPCs to add to your campaign.
1. Keep a list of back up NPCs in case of emergency
There will more than likely come a time in a game session that will call for an NPC that you do not already have prepared.
If improvising new characters on the spot isn’t your strong suit, you might want to keep a list of basic character descriptions to choose from when this situation arises. Even just a list of names for NPCs can help you seem and feel more prepared.
2. Give each NPC a purpose.
Whether that purpose is to simply work at a tavern, or lead the party on an epic quest, every NPC must have a role to fulfill.
3. Make the characters your own
Flesh out major NPCs as if you are creating your own Player Character. Consider their motivations, their history, their goals, etc. And think about how that ties together and how the NPC will interact with the party.
4. Discuss with your players
Ask your players what kind of NPCs they would like to see and interact with over the course of the campaign. Some players may want a mentor to teach their character new skills, other players may want their characters to have a love interest, etc.
Or if you want to involve an NPC related to a Player Character’s backstory, be sure to discuss with the the player before hand and gather any relevant details.
5. Make the characters come to life
D&D is, at its core, a role playing game. Don’t be afraid to get invested in the different roles you are playing. Giving different NPCs their own character voice or accents can help differentiate them to the players and make them unique, and overall add to the fun of playing Dungeons and Dragons.
If you want more in depth tips, I suggest checking out the tips created by Matthew Mercer, a well known voice actor and the legendary DM of the D&D podcast Critical Role. He also made a series of videos giving further tips on being a DM that are worth checking out.