You, Me, and NPC – Weasel Bob
So, in the previous article (found here) we talked about using NPCs (Non-Player Character) in D&D and how you can use them to flesh out your world. Sometimes you have to create them on the fly and sometimes you want to plan out more for them because the players have made them important. What you do really depends on how important the character are for your story.
In that article, I mentioned an NPC that the players had named Weasel Bob in my hypothetical situation. He’s a shop keeper, but beyond that I didn’t go into fleshing him out in that article at all. And that’s because I wanted to start fleshing him out here, and explaining the process that I’ve used, sometimes, for creating more meaningful NPCs.
When I start creating an NPC, first need to come up with a concept for them. A little bit of their information, but mainly focused on the key motivations of the character that you’re creating. We’ll delve more into their backstory as it becomes needed in the game, but for the start, you want to consider why a character acts the way that you want them to.
For Weasel Bob, I think that I’d make his main motivation is money. As a shop owner that makes sense, and with the name Weasel Bob, people are going to assume a little bit of a shady business character. But, Weasel Bob is instead shrewd with his money and always looking to make that little bit extra and finding ways to cut costs and save time so that his money goes a little bit further. He’s very much a no nonsense character when it comes to dealing with customers and haggling just doesn’t interest him.
I think to go with that, Weasel Bob is really motivated by having a lot of unique things. He’s running his business in such a way that it might not be as obvious as some of the big shops in town, but he gets people in his doors by having unique items and odd things that you won’t find in other shops. Whether those are all good things, that’s questionable, but if you want something that is rare and odd, Weasel Bob is more apt to have it, so people come to him first.
That’s enough to get going on creating some of the eccentricities of the characters that will make them even more unique. You could start with a mannerism or look, and I recommend doing those first on the fly, but if you’re planning out the NPC more so, I’d recommend that you focus on motivations first.
We’ll continue more with Weasel Bob probably later in the week or a little bit longer. Let me know what you’d do for your first steps in creating a well developed NPC. There are a lot of different ways to do it, so definitely find out what works for you, but this is a spot that you can at least start when creating more developed NPCs and fleshing out the world that you’ll be playing D&D in.
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