NPC built as PC?


Advice

Sczarni

What is the real impact ( if there's one at all) in the game if i build my NPCs the same as i would a PC?

I see only two main diffrences so far:
#1 heroic NPC have a lot less gold to gear with.

#2 heroic NPC have the equivalent of 15 points to built with. It means that if the DM is using the standard phantasy purchase system there is no difference at all for that mather.

In the end there is no difference between a heroic NPC assassin's death attack or one built as PC if they both have the same intel and level!

So again before i go all out with PC-built NPCs in my campaign is their any issue i'm missing?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are you talking about giving a non-player character the gear value of a player character of equivalent level?

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the designers have said that giving an NPC PC level gear should bump up his Challenge Rating by 1. So for example, a 5th level NPC with 10,500 GP in gear would be CR 5 (not 4).

They've done this several times in the Adventure Paths with some boss level characters, although with these encounters they tended to use a higher point buy (20 or so) as well.


I build pretty much all of my important NPCs as if they were PCs. I also ignore WBL and give them what I think makes sense from a story perspective.

But then again, I don't pay much attention to CR guidelines.

Shadow Lodge

It's perfectly fine to give NPCs the same wealth and ability scores that you would give a PC. Just keep in mind that these NPCs will be a little tougher. The guideline is CR = level for PC wealth, but it can really depend how you build them - an optimized NPC whose tactics play to the PCs weaknesses is going to be a much bigger challenge than an NPC with a lot of noncombat / flavour abilities.

Also keep in mind that if the PCs defeat and loot an NPC with PC wealth, they're going to get a lot of gear, so if most of the foes are NPCs giving all of them PC wealth will make your PCs absurdly rich very quickly.


I always build the Boss using the same rules as a PC. Minions are still built as NPC's.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
I always build the Boss using the same rules as a PC. Minions are still built as NPC's.

Echo this 'name' NPC's should be at least the PC's equals and the big, big bosses should be superior.


Weirdo wrote:
Also keep in mind that if the PCs defeat and loot an NPC with PC wealth, they're going to get a lot of gear, so if most of the foes are NPCs giving all of them PC wealth will make your PCs absurdly rich very quickly.

This is going to be the main issue with building NPCs as PCs. For instance, a single PC-wealth NPC of a CR 2 above the party level will provide all the wealth the party should get at that level, while providing a much smaller part of the XP required to gain another level.

So that type of NPC should be used very rarely, unless you want a "monty haul" style campaign.


My game is almost always 20 pt buy for PC's now so I go with 15 pt buy or the equivalent array for "name" NPC's, so the PC's can stand out as exceptional. Ditto for the wealth - NPC gear is plenty for NPC's.

PC's are supposed to be heroic, I don't think my players would want to play characters who are only equivalent to everyone else in the world.

The added benefit is that it keeps stat-blocks simpler to run, and it avoids WBL troubles you would run into if every NPC they looted had PC equivalent gear.

I definitely make an exception for a few "big-boss" type NPC's, and I bump the CR to reflect that.

Sczarni

Weirdo wrote:
Also keep in mind that if the PCs defeat and loot an NPC with PC wealth, they're going to get a lot of gear, so if most of the foes are NPCs giving all of them PC wealth will make your PCs absurdly rich very quickly.

I totally agree on this one! I will keep such NPC for pivotal/central enemy like a nemesis or something.

Thanx


Vaahama wrote:
So again before i go all out with PC-built NPCs in my campaign is their any issue i'm missing?

Well you want to playtest encounters to make sure that they are reasonable for your party.

The CR/EL system is a nice outline for what should be and what shouldn't be reasonable. This doesn't mean that this replaces playtesting, but in many times people slide here. When you are altering this, or even slightly straining it.. you cannot slide away from the playtest.

It's perfectly fine to make a tougher/easier campaign than the CR system would line up for you.. but make sure that it is a proper fit for your group.

As to worries about wealth.. you could try this houserule while you're at it.. people don't line up around the block to buy magic items. The party might have 10 spare +1 weapons, but this doesn't translate into cold hard cash.

-James


I don't stat out npc's unless there's a chance they'll be caught in melee. A wizard shopkeeper? Not the same spell list as a wizard villain. Generally, making a skill bonus +0, +5, +10, +15, etc based on perceived ability covers that base fine. Rewriting that combat stats of an NPC bad guy is standard fare for me though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vaahama wrote:

What is the real impact ( if there's one at all) in the game if i build my NPCs the same as i would a PC?

I see only two main diffrences so far:
#1 heroic NPC have a lot less gold to gear with.

#2 heroic NPC have the equivalent of 15 points to built with. It means that if the DM is using the standard phantasy purchase system there is no difference at all for that mather.

In the end there is no difference between a heroic NPC assassin's death attack or one built as PC if they both have the same intel and level!

So again before i go all out with PC-built NPCs in my campaign is their any issue i'm missing?

Consider given the use of said NPC how likely the NPC's equipment is going to fall into the hands of the PC's.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / NPC built as PC? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.