Archives of Nethys

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NPC Gallery

Using the NPC Gallery

Source Interstellar Species pg. 150
There are a number of ways to make use of NPCs.

NPCs as Enemies

Source Interstellar Species pg. 150
The most obvious way to use nonplayer characters is in combat encounters. Simply select a stat block (or several) of the appropriate CR and theme, and you’re ready to roll! Even NPCs who seem less combat-oriented (such as celebrities or scholars) can surprise PCs with special abilities, spells, clutch skill checks, and their ability to support other enemy combatants. You can also use these NPCs to help you create skill encounters or other scenarios in which having level-appropriate statistics handy is helpful.

NPCs as Allies

Source Interstellar Species pg. 151
You can also use NPCs in combat on the PCs’ side. Note that NPC statistics are best balanced to serve as adversaries against player characters, not against other NPCs. Also keep in mind the PCs should be the stars of most encounters—on top of which, it can also be wearisome for everyone at the table (including the GM) when a prolonged exchange takes place between two or more characters controlled by the same person.
However, having an NPC ally to provide covering fire, a temporary alternative target for a formidable foe, or a minor (or sometimes major) tactical advantage via a special ability at just the right moment can provide for some great storytelling moments and make the world of your adventures feel that much more authentic.

NPCs as... NPCs

Source Interstellar Species pg. 151
One of the least obvious but potentially most rewarding ways to use these NPCs is as inspiration for a recurring nonplayer character you want to introduce to the PCs, whether as a dastardly nemesis who always seems to get away by the skin of their teeth or a reliable fixer who always has a job to offer the PCs. Use any facet of these NPCs’ art, thematic introductions, or special abilities—mixing and matching as you see fit—to inspire your own creations, and you’ll never lack an interesting character for players to meet!

Special Abilities

Source Interstellar Species pg. 151
Most of the NPCs presented in this chapter have unique special abilities you can use regardless of any adjustments you make to their CR or species, helping to make NPCs thematic and memorable. You can also use these special abilities across NPCs of the same category, or even one of your own creation.