RPG Blog Carnival April 2010: Let Me Show You My (N)PC

Just in time to ring in the new location, RPG Blog Carnival for April 2010 is right here on the Exchange of Realities!

Into every game, a few NPCs tend to fall. And then a few more. And then a few more….. but in every game, there are always some that, for whatever reason, are titanic successes. Maybe it’s that kid who bopped the invincible warrior on the knee with a stick due to a combination of foolhardy courage, an awesome roll on his part and a bad roll on hers. Perhaps it’s the one that was built perfectly to give the group a challenge, or even to take the arrogant one down a peg or two. Or carried off a stunning plot twist out of nowhere. Or that one character whom the group likes in spite of themselves, or those two with the really complicated social dynamic, or the one who’s been bouncing off of one of the PCs and vice versa for the last couple dozen sessions… And who knows, maybe it’s all of the above! Some games are just like that.

NPCs, and character development in general, have always been one of my greatest points of fascination with the RPG process. An NPC, played just right, can spark a reaction from a player that even the player didn’t expect to be in his emotional repertoire; one can carry an adventure on her own, if properly constructed and introduced. And just as PCs can do something completely improbable and get out of hand or take a scene in an entirely unexpected direction, so too can NPCs.

I got the idea for the topic in light of my old Secondary Character Project, gathering together resources for the creation of characters (particularly non-protagonistic ones). What better way to illustrate those ideas than a parade of characters whose creators knew they worked? How else to learn but from example?

So for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival, it’s time for you to show off your favorite NPCs. Builds, plot arcs, interactions with the PCs, interactions with the other NPCs, promotion from minor character to major mover and shaker by Act of PC, whatever it is that makes this NPC interesting, I want to see it. We all know the drill—link the posts in the comments, link this post in your response post, and on May 2 I’ll put up the summary post with the links to all of them.

Come on. Show us your NPCs!


  1. Stargazer says:

    Yay! But aren’t you a day or two too early?

  2. Ravyn says:

    I think it gives people time to get an early start. (That and I really needed a quick topic last night; maintaining two versions of this blog at the same time is a bit difficult.)

  3. Here’s my contribution so far. Since Erika was all “well, I thought you’d put something about the game in it :( ” I’ll make sure to include an extra post down the line detailing different (and specific) ways to create a working NPC.

    Link love:

  4. Fitz says:

    Better late than never, here’s my contribution… Thanks for hosting. :)


  5. Wimwick says:

    Well we waited until the last minute, but here is the contribution from Dungeon’s Master.


  6. Ameron says:

    The team at Dungeon’s Master has written the following article for this month’s RPG Blog Carnival.

    Hey, Isn’t That My Character: Using Retired PCs As NPCs


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