Generators Guide to NPCs for DnD 5E

Sometimes you need a quick NPC description, sometimes a detailed stat block. Other times you want a combat encounter to distract the players for an hour.

For a Quick NPC

For a quick NPC gives a colourful 3-line description such as

This fearsome mumbling gnomish fellow is rubbing a talisman. Morbert is strict about social status and rolls his 'r's and stammers while trying to think of a word. He is ashamed of his station in life.

For several NPCs at once Donjon has an NPC generator with class, stats, armour and weapons.

For a Detailed NPC

For more detail the NPC tool at TotalPartyKill gives stats, skills and personality traits.

The NPC Generator has traits, a plot hook, physical features and religion. And lots of opportunity for customisation.

For a more stat block with a templated approach rpgTinker will let you customise by NPC type, race and attribute array. Templates include combat, spellcaster and non-combat options.

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If you prefer a random table DriveThruRPG has a free pdf of d100 NPCs with appearance, backstory, plot hook and suggested stats.

Traits, Names and Specific Types

If you like generators with trait lists try Leugrun's D&D 5E Tools for NPCs or Villains.

The Player Character Generators Guide has options for names and you can choose from 100 Physical Traits or 100 Catchphrases. Chartopia has a larger trait table with 1000 NPC traits.

DND Speak also has d100 tables of shopkeepers and merchants, interesting pirates and hosts for a night's stay

Finally for an amazing pdf of NPC statblocks get Adaptable NPCs on DM's Guild.

For Random Encounters

If you are looking for combat encounters start with Donjon's elegant encounter generator or the more builder-styled Kassoon's combat generator.

Kassoon's combat generator

I've got a 5e Encounter Generator which gives extras like location and activity and dnd speak has a whole list of d100 encounter tables.

I've also created simple 5e encounter tables on Rand Roll and pdfs such as Urban Encounters on DM's Guild

Recommendations Please!

I'll keep this guide updated so please suggest 5E NPC generators in the comments or on twitter to @DuncanThom