NPCs?


Rules Discussion

Silver Crusade

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I didn't play the playtest so please bear with me.

What has happened with NPC classes, Commoner, Expert etc.? Are they gone? I can imagine they might be for simplicity and as things in the new bestiary are simplified it's esy to make a low-level Human 'monster' without many features.

On the other hand, it seems that Backgrounds shoud still work with NPCs. Blacksmith background for example, or Sailor. They don't need lots of fighting ability to be Trained in Crafting or have Sailing Lore as a feat. Even giving a cantrip is a simple addition, it'll do for an Adept.


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AFAIK yes, NPC classes are gone, but between backgrounds, archetypes, templates and the general-purpose monster/NPC-building stuff that's coming in the GMG, there's ample room for making varied NPCs still.


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As a fan of the NPC classes, I second your question.


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NPC classes are gone.

In general the assumption seems to be that you give NPCs whatever skills or abilities they need for the story.

If you need combat stats for an NPC the two options are A. Build them like a monster or B. Build them like a PC.


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What was npc classes before now would be a 'race' level x, without class - giving them prophiciencies as needed

maybe its a 'race x' with 'class' level one or two to give them the basics - lets say one level fighter to emulate the warrior, or one level bard/rogue to emulate a noble or.......


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Seisho wrote:

What was npc classes before now would be a 'race' level x, without class - giving them prophiciencies as needed

maybe its a 'race x' with 'class' level one or two to give them the basics - lets say one level fighter to emulate the warrior, or one level bard/rogue to emulate a noble or.......

Not even this. You need a blacksmith with stats for some reason? Assign a level them based on how badass they are at the thing they do, give them an appropriate set of related skills at a level appropriate value, and any special effects. Don't even need to focus classes at all.

Also, for PC-like creation, you still wouldn't stack levels like that. Just isn't how classes work in PF2.


Maybe I didn't express myself well but that is basically what I meant :P


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Saedar wrote:
Seisho wrote:

What was npc classes before now would be a 'race' level x, without class - giving them prophiciencies as needed

maybe its a 'race x' with 'class' level one or two to give them the basics - lets say one level fighter to emulate the warrior, or one level bard/rogue to emulate a noble or.......

Not even this. You need a blacksmith with stats for some reason? Assign a level them based on how badass they are at the thing they do, give them an appropriate set of related skills at a level appropriate value, and any special effects. Don't even need to focus classes at all.

Also, for PC-like creation, you still wouldn't stack levels like that. Just isn't how classes work in PF2.

Technically, not even this. I suspect we will see NPCs that just have listed skill bonuses and not even a level, if their skill bonus is all that matters. There's no reason a low level blacksmith can't have a high blacksmithing bonus, really.


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No spoiler blog today for the "every Monday"?


Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
No spoiler blog today for the "every Monday"?

There was site maintenance today so it might have just been slightly delayed.

Silver Crusade

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I hate to continue the off-topic but it seems that we are not, in fact, getting a Monday blog at this point.

But yes as others have said NPC classes are gone, replaced instead by a build-as-you-need statblock, basically.


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I for one am glad I won't be expected to figure out why the blacksmith has a high enough skill mod to make the thing, when all I really want to do is write down "Craft +15" and be done.


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After the release of the 2nd Edition, I suspect we could recreate the NPC classes if we wished. (It would be like a base class with no class features.)

We'll have to reread the book several times...so we could do this by August 3rd.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
0o0o0 O 0o0o0 wrote:

What has happened with NPC classes, Commoner, Expert etc.? Are they gone? I can imagine they might be for simplicity and as things in the new bestiary are simplified it's esy to make a low-level Human 'monster' without many features.

When we get the monster creation rules, which should resemble Starfinder and Pathfinder Unchained's version of those, it would be nice if instead of "Combatant, Expert, Spellcaster" they call the initial arrays "Warrior, Expert, Adept". Bring the old NPC classes along to the new NPC class rules, at least in part.

Assuming the rules have arrays, of course.


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scary harpy wrote:

After the release of the 2nd Edition, I suspect we could recreate the NPC classes if we wished. (It would be like a base class with no class features.)

We'll have to reread the book several times...so we could do this by August 3rd.

I feel like I can do a pretty good fist draft right now:

Layman
Key ability (any)
Standard progression for ancestry, general, skill feats & skill boosts
no class feats or features
2+Int mod skills
untrained in everything (including defenses)

Class-Paths

Laborer
6 HP per level
Trained fortitude save
Special: You gain xp through an honest days work

Expert
gain 2 additional trained skills at character creation
gain an extra skill feat at 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20th levls
gain an extra skill boost at 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18th levels
Special: You gain xp by practicing your trade

Hireling
6 HP per level
trained in perception, all saves, unarmored defense, light armor, and simple weapons
Gain a class feat at 1st level and every even level thereafter thees can only be used to take multiclass archetypes. You can take a multiclass dedication with your level 1 feat even if you don't meet the prerequisites.
Special: You gain xp by adventuring or following adventurers. Good luck with that

Special General Feat
Basic adventure training
Prerequisites: Layman
benefit: become trained in your choice of unarmored defense, reflex saves, fortitude saves, will saves, or perception
special: You can take this feat multiple times becoming trained in a different thing each time


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I am pleased that this means there is no more chance of some of the NPC monstrosities that appear in APs such as Cavalier/Aristocrat or Rogue/Expert

There are a lot of cases where NPC classes are considered necessary for a theme but when stacked with PC classes throw the challenge out of balance

So it is good to see it gone


Lanathar wrote:

I am pleased that this means there is no more chance of some of the NPC monstrosities that appear in APs such as Cavalier/Aristocrat or Rogue/Expert

There are a lot of cases where NPC classes are considered necessary for a theme but when stacked with PC classes throw the challenge out of balance

So it is good to see it gone

If I understand the new rules correcely:

The Aristocrat would multiclass as a Cavalier.

The Expert would multiclass as a Thief.

They would just be weaker Cavaliers and Thieves.


scary harpy wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

I am pleased that this means there is no more chance of some of the NPC monstrosities that appear in APs such as Cavalier/Aristocrat or Rogue/Expert

There are a lot of cases where NPC classes are considered necessary for a theme but when stacked with PC classes throw the challenge out of balance

So it is good to see it gone

If I understand the new rules correcely:

The Aristocrat would multiclass as a Cavalier.

The Expert would multiclass as a Thief.

They would just be weaker Cavaliers and Thieves.

My understanding is that expert and aristocrat are just the background choices for fighter or rogue or whatever plus whatever extra archetypes

There will be no separate class for aristocrat or expert.

And as mentioned for pure NPCs they will just have the key bonuses assigned in a block rather than a full character build


Lanathar wrote:
scary harpy wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

I am pleased that this means there is no more chance of some of the NPC monstrosities that appear in APs such as Cavalier/Aristocrat or Rogue/Expert

There are a lot of cases where NPC classes are considered necessary for a theme but when stacked with PC classes throw the challenge out of balance

So it is good to see it gone

If I understand the new rules correcely:

The Aristocrat would multiclass as a Cavalier.

The Expert would multiclass as a Thief.

They would just be weaker Cavaliers and Thieves.

My understanding is that expert and aristocrat are just the background choices for fighter or rogue or whatever plus whatever extra archetypes

There will be no separate class for aristocrat or expert.

And as mentioned for pure NPCs they will just have the key bonuses assigned in a block rather than a full character build

Ah! I misunderstood what you were saying. Thanks.


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I used to like NPC classes, but then realized their design just constrained what NPCs could achieve. Classic example is a Blacksmith that can craft magic swords and had like +20 on his craft skill. You'd need to go through hurdles to make it add up with the Expert class since they offered no flexibility.

Now if I want this blacksmith I can just give it whatever, but still have some guidelines on what his other stats are roughly going to be if for some reason he has to join a fight. In the end, it's not going to look like a PC at all, but as one of the developers said "There's different paths to power". Adventurers progress one way in which they become powerful warriors with a wide range of survival skills, some people make a trade-off and achieve other great feats while not being good at fighting monsters. Fighting shouldn't be the only source or representation of power.

Perhaps this sort of NPC will be codified in the GM guide with unique proficiency/progression rules for consistency, but perhaps not since it would restrict them to a framework once again.


I don't expect a codification. Published adventures will simply say if any given smith or what you is Trained/Expert/Master/Legendary in whatever skills. Maybe a 'level'.

(I think Jason Bulmahn mentioned finding a Legendary smith early in Age of Ashes.)

Other stats will be ad hoc or for the GM to make up as needed.

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