01-22-2009, 08:23 PM
I can spend at least an hour statting out the simplest NPCs. While the minimum stats needed for an NPC are probably a single field (race), I think it's beneficial to know at least a few more things, especially since that NPC could wind up fighting a PC (you know the ones I'm talking about).
So what's your minimum set of stats, and how long do you usually spend on them?
Mine would be that someone would probably require a 11 or better to hit the PC or save against their effect and deal damage significant enough to cause them some pause. All of which I determine on the spot, but it's important to keep it consistant and flavor appropriately, even if you're just making everything up as you go. I'd determine hit points based on what the flavor of the NPC is. Experienced Dwarven warriors might have 16 hit points/level whereas a frail elven mage might just have the 2.5 hit point d4 average/level (+3).
Or something like that.
I'm usually anal enough to create all the stats I need. Since the PCs are high level in my 3.5e game now, most NPCs are insignificant challenges, so it's actually become easier in that sense.
Usually though, I make statting easier by having a set way of making NPCs and following it religiously, so I don't have to spend any time figuring out where stats are when I use the NPC or spending time determining where to put stats.
I'll give a few examples.
I created these stats for a friend's 3.5e game.
I use a similar method for the 4e game I ran.
Rita Repulsa, Female Elan Wiz3/Psi3/Cer7, 13d4+26 (60 HP), 30ft Speed, Init+1, AL: NE, Lang: Common, +3
Str:8 Dex:13 Con:14 Int:18 Wis:10 Cha:10 Fort:+6 Ref:+5 Will:+11 AC:11 T:11 FF:10
BAB+5/Grapple+4 Abberation (no darkvision), Resistance (Immediate; +4 Saves expend 1 PsP), Repletion
Touch +4; Ranged Touch +6 Resiliance (Immediate; Expend PsP to Reduce Dmg by 1 PsP per 2 Dmg)
Skills/Feats: Concentration +18, Knowledge (Arcana) +19, Knowledge (Psionics) +19, Psicraft +21,
Spellcraft +21, Use Magic Device +8; Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor,
Craft Wonderous Items, [Practiced Manifester], Practiced Spellcaster, Psionic Talent, [Scribe Scroll]
Possessions: Spellbook (23 Blank Pages), Spell Component's Pouch
Abjurer Spells: Spells/Day: 5/6/6/5/5/3; Save DC 14+SL; Caster Level 13th
Abjurer Spells Prepared: 0th- Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Message, Read Magic, Resistance;
1st- Enlarge Person, Expedicious Retreat, Protection from Good, Repair Light Damage (SPC), True Strike,
Shield; 2nd- Distracting Ray (SPC) x2, Melf's Acid Arrow x2, Mirror Image,
Repair Moderate Damage (SPC); 3rd- Dispel Magic x2, Stinking Cloud, Heroism, Fly; 4th- Stoneskin,
Crushing Despair x2, Illusory Wall, Repair Critical Damage (SPC); 5th- Dominate Person,
Indomitability (SPC), Teleport
Abjurer Spellbook (Prohibited Schools: Evocation, Necromancy): 0th- All PHB Except Evocation &
Necromancy (13 Pages); 1st- Appraising Touch (SPC), Spontaneous Search (SPC), (8 Pages);
2nd- (8 Pages); 3rd- (12 Pages); 4th- (16 Pages); 5th- Major Creation, (20 Pages)
Psion (Kineticist) Powers: PsP: 118; Save DC 14+PrLvl; Manifester Level 13th
Powers Known: 1st- Control Object, Energy Ray (A), Inertial Armor (A), Mind Thrust (A), Vigor;
2nd- Energy Missile (A), Energy Push (A), Energy Stun (A), Id Insinuation (A);
3rd- Body Adjustment (A), Energy Bolt (A), Energy Burst (A), Energy Wall; 4th- Death Urge (A),
Dimension Door, Psionic, Energy Cone (A), Trace Teleport (A); 5th- Energy Current (A),
Fiery Discorperation (A), Power Resistance, True Seeing, Psionic
Yes, I had a bit of fun with naming this and her two minions (not shown above - this NPC has no actual relation of any kind to her namesake).
And now here's an epic-level example:
Vianna, Female Moon Elf Wizard29, 29d4+145 (219 HP), 30ft Speed, Init+9, AL:LN, Lang. Common, Elven
Str:13 Dex:20 Con:18 Int:30 Wis:15 Cha:17 Fort:+14 Ref:+15 Will:+18 (+20 v Ench) AC:25 T:15 FF:20
BAB+15/Grapple+16 Immunity to Sleep, Lowlight, Elven Weapon Proficiency, Summon Familiar
Touch/R-Touch +16/+20; Longsword +17/12, 1d8+1, 19-20x2
Skills/Feats: Concentration +36, Craft (Alchemy) +42, Decipher Script +42, Knowledge (Arcana) +42,
Knowledge (Architecture & Engineering) +42, Knowledge (Geography) +42, Knowledge (History) +42,
Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty) +42, Listen +6, Profession (Scribe) +34, Spellcraft +46, Spot +6;
Automatic Quicken Spell x6, [Alertness], Combat Familiar, Elven Spell Lore, [Epic Spellcasting],
[Extend Spell], [Heighten Spell], Improved Counterspell, Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness,
[Persistent Spell], [Quicken Spell], Reactive Counterspell, [Scribe Scroll], Spell Penetration
Possessions: MW Longsword
Wizard Spells; Spells/Day 4/7/6/6/6/6/6/5/5/5; Epic 3; Save DC 20+SL; CL 29th; CL 31 vs. SR
All Spells 0th-6th level automatically quickened
Spells Prepared: 0th- Acid Splash, Flare, Mage hand, Touch of Fatigue; 1st- Expedicious Retreat, Grease, Mage Armor (Pre), Nerveskitter (SpC), Protection from Chaos, Ray of Enfeeblement, True Strike;
2nd- Darkness, Fog Cloud, Mirror Image, Resist Energy, See Invisibility, Web; 3rd- Fireball,
Greater Mage Armor (SpC) (Pre), Lightninig Bolt, Tongues, Wind Wall; 4th- Dimensional Anchor,
Enervation, Fear, Fly, Greater Rebuke (SpC), Shout, Solid Fog; 5th- Duelward (SpC), Feeblemind,
Friend to Foe (PH2), Greymantle (SpC), Teleport, Wrack (SpC); 6th- Acid Fog, Eyebite,
Fleshshiver (SpC), Flesh to Stone, Greater Dispel Magic, Shadowy Grappler (SpC); 7th- Banishment,
Forcecage, Greater Scrying, Persistent Shield (pre), Waves of Exhaustion;
8th- Moment of Prescience (Pre), Persistent Fox's Cunning (Pre), Polar Ray, Prismatic Wall,
Temporal Stasis; 9th- Dominate Monster, Mordenkainen's Disjunction, Prismatic Sphere, Power Word Kill,
Time Stop; Epic- Advanced Foresight, Painful Dissunder x2
Spellbooks: 0th- All PHB + Amanuensis, Caltrops (21 pages); 1st- Babau Slime (SpC),
Ectoplasmic Armor (SpC), Expedicious Retreat, Grease, Mage Armor, Nerveskitter (SpC),
Portal Beacon (SpC), Protection from Chaos, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, True Strike, (11 Pages);
2nd- Darkness, Fog Cloud, Fox's Cunning, Mirror Image, Portal Alarm (SpC), Resist Energy,
See Invisibility, Web (16 Pages); 3rd- Circle Dance (SpC), Fireball, Greater Mage Armor (SpC) (Pre),
Lightninig Bolt, Tongues, Wind Wall (21 Pages); 4th- Dimensional Anchor, Enervation, Fear,
Fire Stride (SpC), Greater Rebuke (SpC), Shout, Solid Fog (28 Pages); 5th- Duelward (SpC), Feeblemind,
Friend to Foe (PH2), Greymantle (SpC), Refusal (SpC), Teleport, Wrack (SpC) (35 Pages); 6th- Acid Fog,
Eyebite, Fleshshiver (SpC), Flesh to Stone, Greater Dispel Magic, Shadowy Grappler (SpC),
Transcribe Symbol (SpC), (42 pages); 7th- Banishment, Forcecage, Greater Scrying,
Symphonic Nightmare (SpC), Waves of Exhaustion (35 pages); 8th- Moment of Prescience, Polar Ray,
Prismatic Wall, Shifting Paths (SpC), Temporal Stasis (40 pages); 9th- Dominate Monster,
Mordenkainen's Disjunction, Power Word Kill, Prismatic Sphere, Time Stop (45 Pages)
Buff Spells: Fox's Cunning (Dispel DC 40), Greater Mage Armor (Dispel DC 40),
Moment of Prescience (Dispel DC 40), Shield (Dispel DC 40)
Stein, Vianna's Hawk Familiar, 29HD (109 HP), 10ft Speed, 60ft Fly (Avg), Init
Str:6 Dex:17 Con:10 Int:19 Wis:14 Cha:6 Fort:+10 Ref:+13 Will:+18 AC:31 T:15 FF:28
BAB+15/Grapple+5 Tiny Animal, Lowlight Vision, Improved Evasion, Share Spells, Empathic Link, SR 34,
Talons+20, 1d4-2, x2 Deliver Touch Spells, Speak w/ Master, Speak w/ Like Animals, Scry on Familiar
Skills/Feats: Spot +14; [Familiar Spell], Weapon Finesse
1/day (CL 29th)- Forcecage
Spellcraft DC: 56
Components: V, S, M, XP
Casting Time: 1 Swift Action
Area: 100ft Radius
Duration: 200 Minutes (D)
Saving Throw: None or Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: No or Yes (harmless)
Seed: Foresight (DC 31)
Factors: Quickened Spell (DC +28), Change from Touch to 20ft Radius Area (DC +10),
Increase Area by 80ft (DC +16), Increase insight bonus to AC by 3 points (DC +30),
increase reflex saving throw bonus by 3 points (DC +18)
Mitigating Factors: 25,000gp Material Component (DC -50), 2,700 Experience Point Component (DC -27)
Development: 504,000gp, 20,160xp, 11 Days
This spell grants everyone within the area a powerful sixth sense in relation to themselves.
Once foresight is cast, each recipiant of the spell receives instantaneous warnings of impending danger
or harm to the subjects of the spell. All subjects of the spell are never surprised or flat-footed. In
addition, the spell gives you a general idea of what action you might take to best protect yourself and
gives you a +5 insight bonus to AC and Reflex saves. This insight bonus is lost whenever you would lose
a Dexterity bonus to AC.
Material Component: 25,000gp worth of Beryl
Experience Point Component: 2,700xp
Spellcraft DC: 66 (can only be cast w/ dedicated shield up)
Components: V, S, XP
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: 12,000 ft.
Target: One creature, or up to a 10-foot cube of nonliving matter
Duration: Instantaneous, 20 minutes (see text)
Saving Throw: Fortitude half and negates (See Text) (DC 45)
Spell Resistance: Yes
Seed: Destroy (DC 29), Afflict (DC 14)
Factors: Standard Action Spell (DC +20), -3 additional penalty on atks, saves, checks (DC +18),
-5 penalty on AC, caster level, skills, strength, & dexterity (DC +100),
boost Save DC by 15 pts (DC +30)
Mitigating Factors: 10,000 Experience Point Cost (DC -100), 45d6 Backlash Damage (DC -45)
To Develop: 594,000gp, 23,760xp, 12 Days
This seed deals 20d6 points of damage to the target. The damage is of no particular type or energy.
If the target is reduced to -10 hit points or less (or a construct, object, or undead is reduced to 0
hit points), it is utterly destroyed as if disintegrated, leaving behind only a trace of fine dust.
Up to a 10-foot cube of nonliving matter is affected by this spell. This spell affects even magical
matter, energy fields, and force effects that are normally only affected by the disintegrate spell.
Such effects are automatically destroyed. Epic spells using the ward seed may also be destroyed, though
the caster must succeed at an opposed caster level check against the other spellcaster to bring down a
If the target fails his saving throw and survives, he suffers terrible pain and takes several penalties.
He takes a -5 morale penalty on attacks, ability checks, armor class, dexterity, skills, strength
and saving throws. These penalties last for 20 minutes once the damage has been done. A successful
fortitude save negates the above effects.
Experience Point Cost: 10,000xp
Backlash Damage: The caster takes 45d6 points of damage when the spell is finished casting. (Avg 157pts)
Dedicated shield is an epic-level spell that the party cleric developed that is a pre-buffer I had planned on the NPC using as combat starts.
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