• Justin Handlin

Create Memorable and Adaptable NPCs in Dungeons & Dragons



Adaptable NPCs

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. Also, did we mention the artwork? It's amazing and inspiring all on its own.


Pick up your copy of Adaptable NPCs here! Now in Print on Demand!


Each of us picks 2 NPC’s to talk about the NPC and Why it is our favorite! Watch our youtube coverage here!



Justin:

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 (pg 27). False saints are determined to lead the desperate, easily manipulated, and weak-minded. They may be rambling lunatics attracting those at the fringes of society, cunning manipulators seeking material gain in the name of a false deity, or maybe genuinely manipulated by some higher power.


Woodland Ranger (pg 72). These rangers have lived their entire lives in the wild, foraging for food and tracking their prey, be it beast or being. As a result, they are expert trackers and masters of survival. Woodland rangers are extremely patient, able to lie in wait for long periods of time while remaining undetected by their prey, waiting for the perfect moment to bring them to the ground.


Austin:

Proprietor (pg 48). In every community is a place betwixt and between, a liminal space where boundaries meet. These spaces are surrounded with myth and mystery, with tales of demons summoned, fey beseeched for aid and meetings with cosmic forces. Such is the case with the Proprietor


The Nightblade (pg 39). Some assassins are born, while others are made. The nightblade is constructed through the binding of a dark spirit to a humanoid construct of stone, with threads of shadow magic keeping it all together. While the constructor of a nightblade often does so for personal gain, some may offer its services to the highest bidder.


Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on 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

Size: Tiny

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.


Encounter:

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 village's 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.


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