If something like this already exists, that's great.
As a DM, I find that one of the most time-consuming things is generating NPCs with class levels. I think it would be cool to have sort of an "encyclopedia of stock NPCs". The Precon NPCs List is a great start, but consists primarily of characters of a small number of classes, and even then it can be difficult to find what you're looking for, and there's some holes. (For example, there's no low-level blaster casters I can find.)
What I think would be an interesting resource for DMs is an extensive, organized list of NPCs covering a huge range of possible concepts across every CR (though focused on lower CRs, where most adventures take place), allowing a DM to quickly grab, say, a pyromancer within a CR or two of what they're looking for and drop them into a campaign.
Here's what I would look for in a resource like this -
- Breadth: Should cover as many fantasy concepts as possible, without getting too hair-splitting.
- Simplicity: NPCs should be designed to be simple and coherent if possible, so the DM doesn't have to spend a lot of time figuring out how they work. It's more important than the character be simple than it be optimized. For example, a Pyromancer NPC can just be a sorcerer with the Primal Fire bloodline and some fire spells known. It doesn't have to be a duel-blooded orc-adopted Oracle 1/Sorcerer 4 gnome or something. Characters tend to focus skill points as narrowly as possible.
- Standardized: Things are presented as consistently as possible.
- Core-focused: Where possible, prefer material from the player's guide to other material, and material from PG/APG/UC/UM to accessory material.
This would -not- be a list of the most optimal way to build various PCs; it would be something that would allow DMs to grab things on the fly when preparing adventures and when you suddenly need stats for something you didn't expect to need stats for. A handful of barbarians of different styles is more useful to the database than a half-dozen level 20 AM barbarian variations. (And in fact ludicrously optimized characters should probably stay out, so that things aren't violating their CR.)
What do people think? Would this be a cool resource to have as a community project? Does anyone have any ideas for how to best organize and host such a resource?
I'm working on something like this for my own use, but I'm still in the preliminary stages of putting all the information into an easy to use format. It's basically expanding one-line NPC descriptions into fully statted characters, but it's also part of an overly ambitious "full sand box" campaign setting that I might finish when I'm 95 years old or so.
An online resource would be a welcome addition though. There's a site that does user submitted content (mostly monster builds) so it might be worth looking into piggy backing on that. I don't remember what it's called off the top of my head, but I'm sure someone here does.
the NPC DB on d20pfsrd.com has all the full stat block from Pathfinder products
plenty of class related entries in there
Pathfinder has a book out that is NPCs from all over Golarion and Hero Lab has a bunch of generics as well. However there should be something of a book of NPCs of what you speak. You could do a cleaves. In fact if you do a thread called the Cleaves NPCs you will have everybody in the message boards writing NPCs for you... Or at least feeding you ideas :)