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Nonplayer Characters

This appendix contains statistics for many of the humanoids who inhabit the game world. These nonplayer characters (NPCs) may act as allies or adversaries during the characters’ adventures. An NPC may be of any humanoid ancestry: for instance, an archmage could be a human , a gnome , an orc , or even a merfolk or gnoll .

You can alter an NPC stat block in order to better represent a specific individual in your campaign. Most such changes do not require a change to the NPC’s Challenge Rating.

Varying Heritage

Heritage describes a creature’s innate, inherited abilities. You can add specificity to an NPC by assigning them signature following abilities and traits related to their heritage. This list is not exhaustive; most humanoid species can use an NPC stat block.

  • Dragonborn: A dragonborn gains a breath weapon which they can use once per rest as an action. Each creature within either a 30-foot-long, 5-foot-wide line or a 15-foot cone (determined by draconic lineage) makes a Dexterity saving throw with a DC of 8 + Constitution modifier + proficiency bonus. On a failure, a creature takes acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, radiant, or thunder damage (determined by draconic lineage). The damage dealt is 3 (1d6) per point of the dragonborn’s Challenge Rating, with a minimum of 1d6 and a maximum of 6d6.
  • Dwarf: A dwarf gains darkvision out to a distance of 60 feet. Their Speed is 25 feet.
  • Elf: An elf gains darkvision out to a distance of 60 feet. They can’t be put to sleep by magic.
  • Gnome: A gnome gains darkvision out to a distance of 60 feet. They are Small and their Speed is 25 feet. They know the minor illusion cantrip, using their choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as their spellcasting ability.
  • Halfling: A halfling is Small and their Speed is 25 feet. When they roll a 1 on the d20 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, they can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
  • Human: A human gains proficiency with one extra skill of their choice.
  • Orc: An orc gains darkvision out to a distance of 60 feet. When they score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, they can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice an additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.
  • Planetouched: A planetouched creature gains darkvision out to a distance of 60 feet. Once per long rest , when they would be reduced to 0 hit points, they are reduced to 1 hit point instead.

Varying Culture

An NPC’s culture represents the society in which they were raised or trained, and may grant new traits or abilities. This appendix includes NPC variants that add cultural features, producing such variants as orcish wildling minstrels or cosmopolitan alchemists. While many cultures are associated with a particular heritage, any culture may include a person of any ancestry. For instance, a dragonborn may have been raised among shadow elves and have been trained as a shadow elf mage.

Varying Spells and Equipment

You can swap an NPC’s weapons or armor for others with which they are likely to be proficient. For spellcasting NPCs, you can swap out a spell for another spell of the same level on a spell list available to the NPC. If such a change increases a NPC’s Armor Class by 4 or more, or allows them to increase their maximum possible damage on one turn by 20 percent or more, then increase the monster’s Challenge Rating by one step (for instance, from 1/8 to 1/4 or from 5 to 6).

Legends and Lore

With a Culture or History check, characters can learn the following:

DC 10 The heritage and name of the NPC type (e.g. Archmage).

DC 15 The notable special abilities that the NPC type has.

DC 25 The name of this specific NPC.


1  Going about their daily business.

2  Seeking somebody to help them with a quest or task.

3  Occupied in thought or concentrating on a solo activity. Will be irritated if disturbed.

4  Angry and looking for a fight.

5  Carousing, singing, or dancing.

6  Guarding something or someone.

7  Injured and nursing a wound.

8  On the run or hiding from somebody or something.

9  Lying in ambush.

10 Fighting a fierce creature.


1  A campfire or wagon.

2  A dropped trinket or minor piece of jewelry.

3  A trail of blood.

4  The sound of loud talking.

5  The sound of singing or music.

6  Smoke rising from just over a nearby hill or forest.

7  The sound of clashing blades and shouts of anger.

8  A backpack propped up against a tree.

9  A lone horse, saddled, but clearly separated from its rider.

10 The smell of delicious cooking.