Generators Guide to NPCs for DnD 5E [Updated]

Generators for Dungeons and Dragons NPCs, with quick descriptions, detailed stats and NPC pdfs.

quick npcs | detailed npcs | npc traits | pdfs | bits & pieces

5E D&D Tools Guides - NPCs & Encounters | Dungeons & Traps | Treasure & Items | Player Characters | Theros | World Building | pdfs on DM's Guild

Disclaimer. I'm an affiliate for DM's Guild and I also create a lot of products with random tables on DM's Guild..

NPCs for Dungeons and Dragons

A well-described NPC can engage the Players fully with a D&D game. More often the important NPC will be ignored, belittled or avoided by the characters as they concentrate on a town drunk, passing noble, shoe seller or other previously nameless NPC.

This guide has options for quick NPCs with a few details, more in depth characters or lists of traits and specific types of NPCs.

You may like NPC-themed PDFs or look at the bits and pieces like NPCs as monsters and encounters

For a Quick NPC

quick npcs | detailed npcs | npc traits | pdfs | bits & pieces

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.

...from 5thdnd.com gives a colourful 3-line description

Some NPCs only need a brief description, for which Donjon has an NPC generator with class, stats, armour and weapons. The quick npc generator (one of mine) gives name, physical trait and a bit of personality.

5e Npcs from donjon

For a Detailed NPC

quick npcs | detailed npcs | npc traits | pdfs | bits & pieces

Tristan de Mowbray is a 47 year old male half-elf merchant. He has cropped, curled, silver hair and brown eyes. He has soft, pockmarked, pink skin. He stands 172cm (5'7") tall and has a round build. He has a square, bland face with a medium beard. He has a scar on his chest.

... from description in NPC Generator. It also has traits, ability scores, a plot hook, physical features and religion. And lots of opportunity for customisation.

Some major NPCs such as lovers, major hirelings, rivals and villains require more detail and stats.

NPC tool at TotalPartyKill gives stats, skills and personality traits. The NPC Generator at DM's Vault has a summary, description and stats. A nice touch is a short descriptor for each stat explaining the value (constitution: 18 robust). The NPC generator at negatherium also has detailed appearance, personality and an adventure hook as well as a basic stat block.

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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Traits and Specific NPCs

quick npcs | detailed npcs | npc traits | pdfs | bits & pieces

"NPC doesn’t have eyebrows, but instead has tattooed eyebrows slightly too high, which gives a look of permanent surprise. "

...from 100 Physical Traits on DnD Speak.

You may prefer to create an NPC from a couple of details, using a couple of trait suggestions or picking from a list. For options for names try my Tools Guide for 5e PCs

Leugrun's D&D 5E Tools has great lists with NPCs or Villains. There are 100 Catchphrases (to join the 100 physical traits) and 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. .

Leugren's NPC 5e Too

PDFs of NPC Random Tables

quick npcs | detailed npcs | npc traits | pdfs | bits & pieces

200 NPC Catchphrases is a free pdf of things your NPCs might say. And another free pdf with 100 NPC physical traits (whic is version of dnd speak one mentioned above)

100 Unique NPCs has a d100 table for npcs each with full page statblock, personality and other notes.

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

Bits and Pieces

quick npcs | detailed npcs | npc traits | pdfs | bits & pieces

For a randomly generated monster try Darehart's Monstrous Codex

I've got a 5e Encounter Generator which has an option for creating just NPC encounters.

Recommendations Please!

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

5E D&D Tools Guides - NPCs & Encounters | Dungeons & Traps | Treasure & Items | Player Characters | Theros | World Building | pdfs on DM's Guild