Using NPCs from Random Generators
NPC Tools & Tables Using Random Tools

Using NPCs from Random Generators

Duncan Thomson

Looking at using NPC Generators in your game.

NPCs of Your Game

NPCs (Non-Player Characters) are at the heart of most RPGs. The faces of the world for the PCs. Friends, foes, hirelings, rivals, lovers. Those who are affected by the PC's actions. The audience for their heroics and deeds and misdemeanours .

Some won't need anything beyond a name, and others want a few lines or generated in depth.

Using NPC Generators

Find a couple of generators that work for you. That provide some detail, fit a niche in your game or the genre you are playing in.

You don't need to keep everything. Take what you need and discard the rest. If a halfling is generated and you want a lizardfolk, just make the change and your players will never know.

Below are a few types of NPC generator and examples. There is a guide for NPCs for D&D. And many other tools guides have sections for characters and npcs.

A Quick Visual Description.

You need a character and you need one quick. Not too many details and a visual description. A strong initial visual of an NPC can put an NPC firmly in the minds of players.

the NPC Generator has a description and lots of details.

DM Heroes is a portrait generator and includes a few other traits. These are combined in the character generator at Here Be Taverns with extra details.

The Quick Fantasy NPC (one of mine) always has a visible hook such as "covered in jewelry" or with "shiny hair"

Art Breeder uses AI to create character or pet portraits from a few words or short description.

Picking Out Details

Other NPC Generators are far more detailed. You can use the entire description or use it to pick out the elements you want.

Fantasy Name Generators has a character description generator that is system neutral and includes a wealth of details

Chaotic shiny has a character gen with details broken out into small chunks.

Sometimes you want an entire NPC stat block with description to use in the game. Many of these are specific to a game or genre such as Negatherium's NPC Generator for DnD

Using a List of NPCs for a crowd or tavern

Sometimes you want several NPCs at once, possibly connected to each other. A generator can create a few brief npcs, with the players often picking out any of interest to them.

A list can also be used to create an NPC from details of several npcs that you like.

Donjon's NPC Generator has several named NPCs with enough details to start. There are also filters to create by ancestry or character class.

People in a crowd give brief descriptions of NPCs doing something in a crowd. Chaotic shiny has an excellent one and Chaos Gen has one with dnd in mind.

Eigengrau's creates towns and for any location can create a list of NPCs

A Longer List of NPC Generators

I'm collecting a longer list of NPC Generators which I'll add to here.

Finishing Up

Let me know any other NPC Gens which should be on the list.