• Justin Handlin

Adaptable NPCs

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

Listen Episode 157: Adaptable NPCs

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This week we cover the DMsGuild Mithral Best Selling supplement Adaptable NPCs by Grim Press. This fantastic supplement contains 70 unique NPC full of beautiful artwork, lore and balanced stat blocks for Dungeons and Dragons 5e! Each NPC brings a life of its own, from a powerful holy knight, down to a banner wielding squire. Everything a DM needs to make the world come to life and aid the characters on their adventure. If that wasn't enough, it also contains eight short adventures that Dungeon Masters can use to introduce to their new NPCs.

Crit Nation, thanks for joining us today here at the “Crit Academy” studios where everything is made up and your rolls don’t matter. Yup, that’s right; your rolls are like an NPC who can’t adapt to the weird situations player characters create.

Segment: Crit Nation Feedback: Let’s talk about Blank! (Answer questions!)

Patron Steven Kern:

In DnD what is your favorite race, martial class and archetype and why?

Give Away: Loresmyth: Modular Dungeon Tiles - Arcania

Modular dungeon tiles are an easy way to create your own beautiful digital maps. The Arcania lets you make dark, shadowy dungeon map, rich with the fumes of arcane secrets.

Winner: scottcelliott

Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/loresmyth a free set of digital terrain and much more.

Segment: Main Topic: Adaptable NPC’s by Grimlore


Adaptable NPCs is a supplement created for Dungeon Masters, introducing 70 unique non-player characters they can use to populate their worlds. The ultimate goal is to present a repertoire of quest givers and companions that can accompany players on their adventures; being diverse enough to add to immersion without introducing unwanted complexity.

Additionally, eight short quest hooks with detailed maps (both DM & Player versions) have been included at the end of this book. Dubbed Pathways to Adventure, these short adventures serve to give Dungeon Masters a resource to introduce many Adaptable NPCs to their players in unique ways. Alternatively, the battle maps can serve as standalone assets, usable in any manner a Dungeon Master can imagine.

Each of us pick a few NPC's and discuss what we like about them, and how we would use them in our stories and campaigns.


Sun Knight (pg 57). Touched with a divine grace by their deity, sun knights are pillars that the righteous lean upon to combat the veil.

Squire: (pg 56). Squires are the shield-bearers for their commanding knight. Although a demanding position, they serve and train to one day become a knight themselves.

Ian: False Saint, Vanguard


Give Away: Jeff Stevens: Villains and Lairs II!

Revolutionize your game with this collection of 28 villainous NPCs, from small fry to world-ender, eight of which include maps and details of their lairs. Sinister side-quests, terrifying overlords, bounties, one-shots and more lie in wait for you inside. Villains and Lairs II

Winner: hammons.josh

Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/jeffstevens to get V&L’s 3 Free

Segment: Unearthed Tips and Tricks! (We give you creative content for your next adventure)

Character Concept:

A familiar friend. Patron Charles Koontz

My wizard player’s familiar that we are role playing is his grandfather's spirit brought back in owl form. Doesn’t grant any major benefits or anything, just a lot of flavor for the creature and fun RP moments. Was thinking of having a person “capture” his familiar via a magic globe and make it so he can’t summon him back until rescued. I planned on letting him still summon a familiar but it will be a random spirit until he gets it back from the soul gem.

Monster Variant:

Spiretop Drake

Origin: Pteranodon(MM)

A drake is a carnivorous reptile that has a fanged mouth, clawed digits, and a serpentine tail. Some drakes move on two legs, keeping their forelimbs off the ground, while others walk on all fours. A few kinds of drakes even have wings.

Spiretop drakes nest on tall buildings, gather in clutches, and menace the denizens of large cities. They like to steal valuable objects and only attack larger prey when they are famished or when their nests are disturbed.

New Features

Skills: Stealth +4, Sleight of Hand +4

Cunning Action. On each of its turns, the drake can use a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.

Snatch. Melee Weapon Attack: + 3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d4 +1) slashing damage. On a hit the spiretop drake steals a small object that is being carried or worn by the target, such as a vial, scroll, coin purse or satchel. The drake cannot carry more than 15 pounds this way.


Under Siege

The characters must clear out a small village keep that has been invaded and now is being occupied by a band of thugs, veterans and a myriad of lower minions. They are led by Volfanon a Half-Black Dragon Veteran. They have been growing over the last year since Volfanon took over leadership in a duel, he has been growing his following. A month ago he decided to move out of the previous lair and into something more respectable, after all he couldn’t be expected to hide in a disgusting cave forever. After his minions scouted out a small yet easily defensible village with keep, he assaulted and took it over.

He is generous, and didn’t kill ALL of the residents, just those that resisted his rule. He has allowed the rest to continue living in the village tending the farms and trade.

Once the characters clear out the keep and village, they must survive a month until forces from a large city can arrive and set up an outpost to replenish the ranks of the villages militia. During this time, a continuous onslaught of Volfanon’s crew, as well as any others interested in making a name for themselves, or claiming the village as their own.

Magic Item:

Exodus Knife

Dagger, rare

You have a +1 bonus to attack and damage made with this weapon.

You can use an action to speak its command word. For the next minute, you can trace an opening onto a solid object no larger than a single doorway. It opens a portal into an extradimensional space that lasts for 10 minutes. The space can hold as many as six Medium or smaller creatures.

The extra dimensional space can be entered by opening the door like opening. The caster, or creatures on the inside space can open or close the opening as a bonus action. Once closed, the door becomes invisible to anyone outside the extra dimensional space. Creatures on the inside of the closed door can see out, but those outside can’t see in.

Anything inside the extradimensional space drops out when the effect ends. This effect cannot be used again until the next dawn.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Ley Lines

Magic exists in countless forms, from barely detectable to the massively obvious. Ley lines naturally bridge the gap between the subtle but pervasive source of magic and the concrete, applied force that moves mountains. Ley “lines” are actually channels where magical power flows like an invisible river wending across the landscape. They are called lines because length is their only measurement that has meaning in this dimension. Scholars and sages hotly debate the origin of ley lines, but their effects are undeniable.

-Midgard Heroes Handbook

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Roleplaying a Drow - A lonely Path

Wherever you walk, you walk alone.

The drow of the Underdark are no longer your people. Though you might still hold pride in some aspects of your heritage, you have fled from your kin and their wicked ways to live your life as an outcast.

Trust must be built and earned.

As a member of a race with a dark reputation, you face prejudice and fear from people who do not know you. If you are to create a life for yourself, you must earn their trust.

Beware the eyes of Lolth.

You might have abandoned the ways of the Spider Queen, but that does not mean she has forgotten her claim on you. Lolth is vengeful, and her agents might hunt you in the world particularly if you were a person of importance before you fled from your people.

Use your reputation to your advantage.

Regardless of how much you might strive for good, many of the common folk will treat you with fear and suspicion thanks to your race's history and dark reputation. From time to time, you should take advantage of this reputation. If the people of the frontier balk at your attempts to help them, let them know that you are a creature to be feared-and then use that fear as leverage to intimidate them into following your orders.

Closing: Please join us on our next episode we will be discussing Dragon Lore! Bring your dragons to life in your world with these rich bits of draconic knowledge.

If you have any feedback, unearthed tips and tricks or topics you would like us to discuss, please send them to us. You can email them to us at critacademy@gmail.com or find us on twitter and facebook @critacademy.

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