100 Instant NPC Agendas

When running campaign encounters, especially in a town or city environment, count on players to surprise you by seeking out encounters with walk-on NPCs you haven’t detailed. 

Whether their characters want to speak to merchants, burghers, servants, or criminals, this list of instant personalities and agendas is perfect for surprise NPCs.

Don’t bother to create an interesting character for every single encounter. 

Many scenes are best left short and sweet, allowing you to move on to an entertaining scene that relates to the main adventure. 

Every so often, you should throw in a memorable character whose agenda has nothing to do with the main plot. 

This creates the illusion that your world is a living, complex place, not a mere backdrop for the adventurers’ activities. 

Often, players remember these improvised characters and come back to them, weaving them into the ongoing story of your campaign.

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Orcish Culture

Credit to this whole goddamn thread for giving me the idea, but also because I’ve been on a huge gladiator and wrestling kick I decided to give it my own spin.

Orcs are known for their love of blood sports. But there is more to it than meets the eye: orcish ritual combat is more than simply watching orcs fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowd. It stems from a very important orcish religious tradition.

Orcs have lots of stories about their origins, their gods, and various mythical characters. All of these stories have one thing in common: the ending and the exact details beyond the setup and characters involved always varies from one storyteller to another. This tradition further developed into a method for shamans to divine the will of the gods: since most of these stories involve mortal combat between the characters, what better way to present these stories than to have actors literally act them out?

Orcish blood sports are thus a strange mix of improvisational theater, mortal combat, and pro wrestling. An orcish actor is first and foremost a warrior: inevitably a play is going to lead to combat between the actors. Orcish acting school is a tight regime of improvisation class (”Say yes, and… hit them with an axe.”), battle training, and studying the themes and characters of classic orcish stories.

An orcish play consists simply of a list of characters (including their weapons and fighting styles), the opening narration, and the starting scene. Beyond that the actors are encouraged to make everything up as it goes, each successive performance adding new elements to the play.

There’s a couple of really important rules to it: you never break character. You always accept defeat. While actors are encouraged to show mercy to other actors, sometimes the gods and the crowd simply demand to see blood. The worst thing an actor can do is to break character to beg for mercy.

And now to run a campaign where the characters are a troupe of orcish actors, traveling from fortress to fortress performing various plays…

anonymous asked:

My dnd oc is a 9 year old girl who was going off to school one day when she accidentally got mistaken for her party's new bard, so now she travels the land with then constantly mistaken for a halfling when she is really just a lost 4th grader too embarrassed to correct her incredibly dense group. Of course her instrument is a hot pink plastic recorder.

OH MY GOD I’m fukcing cackling this is the best one yet

guys I’m so happy these have made my day <333


Dorian usually spends all his spell slots on warming charms. but he always keeps one high level slot in reserve for an obscenely overpowered Raise Zombie spell. it works on dragons.

Vivinne has munchkined her way to classifying the Arcane Blade as a cantrip, is unstoppable. also, she always seems to have prepared the perfect spell to deal with anything from an invading Avaar hoard to fixing a fallen souffle.

Solas… somehow never runs out of spell slots??? what level is he, anyway????


Hey Folks!

There’s a new episode of GM Tips with Satine Phoenix, this episode covers designing encounters with Matt Colville as a guest host. Be forewarned it’s a two parter!

You can watch previous episodes HERE

anonymous asked:

so, if my players think that somebody is lying, even if they pass their check, i'll still say "as far as you knos" because im a terrible liar and i'd rather they don't 100% trust me. is there anything bad about doing this? do you recommend something else?

How long has this question been here?! Goes to show I don’t check my messages stuff :P

In regards to this sort of scenario, I’m going to assume there’s been some interaction with this NPC before the suspicion is there and a roll is being made. 

I usually use the chance to recap information or lead into other avenues where player-characters could discover more information that could (in-turn) aid their judgement on whether the person was lying or not. 

Example. The player-characters are talking to a local noble, the noble has given them a job; to clear out the old cellars beneath the noble’s house so they can be restored and used again. The players are curious as to whether he’s being entirely truthful about the circumstances and information surrounding the job…

- *The DM knows that the noble is aware of a wraith that lives in the cellars.*

- Player: *rolls a 9 Wisdom (Insight) check vs a DC 14, failing*

- DM: “The noble hasn’t lied to you about anything, there are definitely are cellars beneath the noble’s house, you’ve seen the cellar door as you walked in, locked with a rusted iron lock which would suggest they’ve been closed for a long time. It feels as though your suspicions have stemmed from your own judgement though, nothing about his mannerisms, body language or tone stand out to you as him being untruthful about what he’s said. 

He isn’t the only avenue of information though, if you wanted to ask around more, perhaps other townsfolk or people that live by, rumors would get around if there was something strange about a cellar?”

From here, it give player-characters a reason to interact with more of the setting (which as DM’s we usually want because players are great at missing or not worrying about that sort of stuff). It sparks them to take initiative if they want to find out more information, not have everything handed to them directly (much like video games that we know where all the information is given freely to players). 

Don’t be afraid to give them options on what to do next! “Hey, perhaps someone who lives in the town has heard something about these abandoned, locked cellars?” That’s okay, it’s fine to give your players hints on how to do/discover cool stuff.

Personally, I’d have a small, 1d4 “rumors” table. Some of the rumors would be true (I usually make 50% of them true) and some would be false. For the example above, the table could be something as follows:

Rumors about the Cellar, roll 1d4:
1. The wine kept in those cellars quickly turn to blood! (False)
2. A wraith lurks in the cellars, a previous noble committed a murder there! (True)
3. Giant spiders live in the rafters of the cellars roof beams (False)
4. There is a bottle in the cellars made of pink, jeweled glass (True)

Roll one time for each different NPC they ask, don’t be afraid of doubles (two NPCs saying the same rumor), they’re rumors, rumors spread! False rumors, wild and outlandish, keep players on their toes and true rumors do the same whilst also offering insight about the location i.e. If they hear the rumor about the bottle, they can keep an eye out for it!

Hope this helps :) I love getting these sorts of questions, if you have any more, don’t be hesitant to ask!

Inspired by everyone’s favourite cube @cubesona and his D&D minis! Since me and my friends are all broke I decided to try making our characters in his style! (although there’s a good dose of my style there too).


- Yellow devil ( @dettan-arts ) A soul-bound armour (check @dnd-atlas for the race sheet ) monk who wanders around the land looking for souls to collect in order to regain their lost humanity and forgotten past. One who wore many hats, but the iconic yellow face became a synonym of lost battles as this powerful warrior became infamous for dodging all hits directed at them.

- Punctatia ( @north-toad ) the swampiest bard! With a fiddle in one hand and her mysterious toad by her side, she took the countryside by storm with her amazing performance, music and dancing toad.

- the Wiz ( @empty-void-again ) of course, the “Wiz” is but an affectionate nickname (created for practicality’s sake) as this wonderful wizard’s true and full name is Chozelm Barskor Wedur Lenad Nattlum Garsshett Nebith Warzii Raertoll Jardel Liark Depingell Zarteigh. This gnome, with his lovely staff, bountiful jewels and a collection of spells, became a valued party member with his raven familiar, Lulu (not pictured above, oops). His seek of knowledge is powered by his desire of fame and glory. Leaving his home he travels to become the wisest gnome that has ever walked on this land. His own blood seeks to outbest him in wisdom, but he would rather die than to let his sister win..

- Sha-Colluna ( @dettan-arts ) The party’s anointed healer. This huge half-orc praises Pelor as a raised sun-bro. He was raised by no father or mother by dozens of uncles and aunts as he grew up in a monastery of Pelor, raised by not only those clerics but also by an army of drunken knights who lived at a camp at the base of the hill where the monastery was located. The clerics taught him the ways of Pelor while the knights taught him in the ways of being totally manly, getting him to do great feats of strength as test (which were just pranks but Sha did them anyways). Later going out into the world to bring the warmth of the god of the sun to all. His first true friend outside of his home being the incredible Druid, Brytt, who helped Sha by sharing his survival skills and knowledge of the natural world.

- Sidori ( ) A mysterious elven ranger, literally raised by wolves, this forest-born beauty, highly skilled with his bow and arrow keeps a safe distance from all as he learned from his foster family. Becoming an orphan early, and quickly taken by the wolves, Sidori quickly became the red headed protector of the forest, friend to the animals and enemy to all bad guys. 

* …The missing member Brytt ( @blackmagikarper ) is the one I’m the most familiar with (aside from my characters ) and is the one I can’t draw in this style for the life of me! Well, I’ll give his description nonetheless…

- Brytt ( @blackmagikarper ) the afro-elf-druid from “the Wilds”, a massive untouched area kept hidden from the world by druids. With his quarter staff and animal friends he left his home looking for adventure, soon noticing that by living secluded for so long left his strength and social skills rusty, but his intelligence and wisdom compensate that as he knows of most plants and animals. He’s a kind friend to both his party and to all natural things! Finding his salvation with Sha-colluna, the half-orc having the strength and charisma Brytt lacked.     

Dungeons, Dragons, & Dives: Fried Roper and Ditchwater

Fried Roper


  • 2 Large Boneless chicken breasts, filleted on one end into little strips
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cups panko breakcrumbs
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • Garlic, Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper (to taste)


Mix the eggs and lemon juice together, beat thoroughly. Mix together the breadcrumbs and spices. Dip Chicken in egg mixture then crumb mixture, covering all little nooks and crannies with breading. Repeat. Bake 340 for 40 minutes! Serve your roper, tentacles splayed!

Sewage Surprise

In pot, combine 1 can green beans, 2 TBSP peanut butter, 1 thinly sliced apple, 1 TSP Soy Sauce, 1 dash ground ginger, 1 dash red pepper. Simmer for 25 minutes on low. IT may not sound good, but it’s delicious!

Ochre Jelly

Mix equal parts Mayo, Grape Jelly, and Coarse Dijon Mustard. Splash in Worcestershire sauce. It’s done. Looks disgusting, taste delicious on the roper!


Into a pitcher, mix a gallon of orange juice, a flask’s worth of coconut rum, a tablespoon of grenadine, a tablespoon of pink lemonade powder mix, and three drops of blue food color. Stir until you get a nice murky color and enjoy!