Gimme an "N"! Gimme a "P"! Gimme a "C"!

Pathfinder Chronicles: NPC Guide (PFRPG)

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Raise a cheer for the Pathfinder Chronicles NPC Guide!

If you're like me, your players can sometimes test both your patience and your preparedness. I'll spend hours coming up with a cool NPC with a sweet backstory only to have the PCs kill him in 2 rounds flat. But then, when I least expect it, they'll want to know the name and backstory for some poor piece of cannon fodder that I didn't bother to design beyond AC, hp, and attacks. I remember when my group was getting deep into Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, and they captured a mook guard. Of course, they started questioning him, and asked his name. Name? For a mook guard? I quickly blurted out the first name that came to mind: "Wil! Wil... er... Wheaton?" (The shame... oh, the shame!) But now, with the new Pathfinder Chronicles: NPC Guide, I will always be prepared when my players throw me a curve ball!

Save yourself some number crunching and use this collection of 91 fully statted and ready-to-run nonplayer characters. Whether you need a veteran Pathfinder, an eccentric Red Mantis assassin, an undead-hating Nexian mage, or just a rough-and-tumble thug, this book does the dirty work for you!

Characters in this book include thirty unique NPCs native to the myriad nations of Golarion, with illustrations, histories, complete stat blocks, and special boons for PCs who befriend them. While they bear flavor and history tied to their homelands, all 30 NPCs may appear in any part of the world, and in any setting—use them as mentors, allies, cohorts, or sworn enemies of your PCs. There are also more than 50 nameless NPC stat blocks, custom designed for maximum utility in your game, including raiders from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Katapeshi slavers, spider-riding goblins, Gillmen knife fighters, and evil cultists. Whether you use them as bosses in low-level adventures or minions for high-level enemies, you’ll save yourself hours of work by putting your own names and faces over these premade NPCs. And finally, we give you the seven adventurer PCs played by Paizo staff members, presented as NPCs with illustrations, histories, stat blocks, and player boons. Use one as a quick premade PC, or drop them all into your campaign as a rival adventuring group!

So when my players capture some poor sod that I haven't spent one minute preparing a backstory for, my trusty NPC Guide will deliver! Nevermore will I have Star Trek actors making surprise guest appearances at the gaming table! Instead, my gaming group will meet Ostog the Unslain, a barbarian from Varisia, who betrayed Girt Bear-Wearer and was left for dead by his tribe!

(Psst! Our GameMastery Face Cards make it easy to give your new NPCs faces to remember!)

More Blog.
Sovereign Court

Hehe... Wil Wheaton...


Oh for crying out loud! You're going to ruin me. I only got Classic Horrors today. ;)

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Just become a subscriber, and it's painless!

It's like a reverse IV drip ... money flows from your bank account to Paizo and you don't even notice.

Well, unless you throw $150 of other stuff in your shopping cart and then go "Holy #$!@# my order is $208 this month??"

:)


Yeah.....that's definitely going into the "Must purchase ASAP!!!!!" list.

So let's see that's:

-A Gamemastery Guide
-A DM screen
-The book of NPCs

Wallet is going to have to go on a sudden diet.....

Grand Lodge

Funny story: I am also currently running Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Last week I also had to whip up a personality and background for an NPC... one of the hobgoblins in the old temple who is now a party tag-a-long.

Won't bore anyone with the details, just thought the coincidence was pretty neat.

Paizo Employee CEO

The funny thing about the whole Wil Wheaton thing was that it hung around for the whole campaign, because the guard ended up dying in a fight and so the group cut off his head, hit it with Gentle Repose, and carried it around in a bag. Whenever they wanted to ask Wil a question about the temple, they would pull out the head and cast Speak With Dead. So I was constantly reminded all campaign long about my inability to come up with names on the spur of the moment. The shame. The shame. :)

-Lisa

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Lisa Stevens wrote:

The funny thing about the whole Wil Wheaton thing was that it hung around for the whole campaign, because the guard ended up dying in a fight and so the group cut off his head, hit it with Gentle Repose, and carried it around in a bag. Whenever they wanted to ask Wil a question about the temple, they would pull out the head and cast Speak With Dead. So I was constantly reminded all campaign long about my inability to come up with names on the spur of the moment. The shame. The shame. :)

-Lisa

You mean other parties *don't* carry Wil Wheaton's head around in a bag? Seemed like an obvious strategy to me.


Lisa Stevens wrote:
So I was constantly reminded all campaign long about my inability to come up with names on the spur of the moment. The shame. The shame. :)

Lisa, you gaming professionals don't know what TRUE shame feels like to a GM. When I was running The Forge of Fury...

major spoiler for The Forge of Fury:
...the succubus lied to the PCs, pretending to be an ordinary woman who had been imprisoned by a wizard. The player asked "What's the name of the wizard?"

And... my... mind... went... completely... blank.

All I had to do was make up any phony name, but all I could do was stare forward, blankly, like an idiot.

Of course, the player immediately realized that the woman was lying.

Now THAT'S real shame!

(Mind you, the party still fell for the trap. The player was wondering why the woman was so eager to kiss someone, and since he hated the party's dwarven cleric I was playing, he said "Let her kiss the dwarf!" The player regretted THAT for the rest of the campaign!)


I cheat...and print up a list of names ahead of time and cross it off as I go. :P


Heh. I do that for random encounters. It never occurred to me to do that with names. Thanks for the tip!

Paizo Employee CEO

Lilith wrote:
I cheat...and print up a list of names ahead of time and cross it off as I go. :P

Good idea Lilith! Snatched!

-Lisa

Paizo Employee CEO

Aaron Bitman wrote:

Lisa, you gaming professionals don't know what TRUE shame feels like to a GM. When I was running The Forge of Fury...

** spoiler omitted **

Oh, I've had my share of similar mishaps. Whenever I am trying to add something beyond the original adventure's parameters, I always get caught offguard by questions like the one you mentioned in your spoiler. What I have taken to doing is pretend to look through the printed adventure like I am trying to find the answer, all the while thinking of what the answer might be, and then pointing at a page (any page) and announcing the answer like it was there all the time. Most of the time I pull this off well, but sometimes my players notice and call me on it. :)

-Lisa


Email Spam folder is a great place for names, too. Just rearrange name syllables to make 'em sound more fantasy-ish. :D

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Yeah!

I do that before every game, so that I have names that sound appropriate for different places (the different countries in my campaign have different naming conventions).

Several recurring villains started out as selections from the "random name list" :)


Lisa Stevens wrote:
What I have taken to doing is pretend to look through the printed adventure like I am trying to find the answer, all the while thinking of what the answer might be, and then pointing at a page (any page) and announcing the answer like it was there all the time.

That's a good idea too!


If you get really ambitious, you can do lists by race and gender as well. Preprinted, this list can last you quite a few game sessions.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Lilith wrote:
Email Spam folder is a great place for names, too. Just rearrange name syllables to make 'em sound more fantasy-ish. :D

Please allow me to introduce you to my newest villain: Vigeria Niagra.


Good one.

Once, while I was making breakfast and simultaneously telling my daughter the Harry Potter story, I got to a part that mentioned a stone that could cure almost any magical poison. (This post is spoiler-free, by the way.) I was saying "...a stone, taken from the stomach of a goat, called a..." I couldn't remember what the stone was called, and I had to improvise a name, so I looked into the crisper in the fridge, where I was digging through fruits and vegetables, and saw the name "Dole." So I said "...Dolestone."

I've told my kids the Harry Potter story many times since then, and I've consistently used the word "Dolestone." I never even bothered looking up what J. K. Rowling called it, even though I had plenty of chances to do so.

True story!

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