Generators for Dungeons and Dragons NPCs, with quick descriptions, detailed stats and NPC pdfs.
Disclaimer. I'm an affiliate for DM's Guild and I also create a lot of products with random tables on DM's Guild..
NPCs for Dungeons and Dragons
A well-described NPC can engage the Players fully with a D&D game. More often the important NPC will be ignored, belittled or avoided by the characters as they concentrate on a town drunk, passing noble, shoe seller or other previously nameless NPC.
For a Quick NPC
This fearsome mumbling gnomish fellow is rubbing a talisman. Morbert is strict about social status and rolls his 'r's and stammers while trying to think of a word. He is ashamed of his station in life.
Some NPCs only need a brief description, for which Donjon has an NPC generator with class, stats, armour and weapons. The quick npc generator (one of mine) gives name, physical trait and a bit of personality.
For a Detailed NPC
Tristan de Mowbray is a 47 year old male half-elf merchant. He has cropped, curled, silver hair and brown eyes. He has soft, pockmarked, pink skin. He stands 172cm (5'7") tall and has a round build. He has a square, bland face with a medium beard. He has a scar on his chest.
... from description in NPC Generator. It also has traits, ability scores, a plot hook, physical features and religion. And lots of opportunity for customisation.
Some major NPCs such as lovers, major hirelings, rivals and villains require more detail and stats.
NPC tool at TotalPartyKill gives stats, skills and personality traits. The NPC Generator at DM's Vault has a summary, description and stats. A nice touch is a short descriptor for each stat explaining the value (constitution: 18 robust). The NPC generator at negatherium also has detailed appearance, personality and an adventure hook as well as a basic stat block.
For a more stat block with a templated approach rpgTinker will let you customise by NPC type, race and attribute array. Templates include combat, spellcaster and non-combat options.
Traits and Specific NPCs
"NPC doesn’t have eyebrows, but instead has tattooed eyebrows slightly too high, which gives a look of permanent surprise. "
...from 100 Physical Traits on DnD Speak.
You may prefer to create an NPC from a couple of details, using a couple of trait suggestions or picking from a list. For options for names try my Tools Guide for 5e PCs
PDFs of NPC Random Tables
100 Unique NPCs has a d100 table for npcs each with full page statblock, personality and other notes.
Finally for an amazing pdf of NPC statblocks get Adaptable NPCs on DM's Guild
Bits and Pieces
For a randomly generated monster try Darehart's Monstrous Codex
I've got a 5e Encounter Generator which has an option for creating just NPC encounters.
I'll keep this guide updated so please suggest 5E NPC generators in the comments or on twitter to @DuncanThom