More than what they can do, how much they cost, or how loyal they are, NPCs live only when they have personalities. Poorly played, an NPC can easily be reduced to nothing more than a collection of numbers, spells, equipment, and automatic reactions--a role-playing automaton. Vivid NPCs are much more than this. These characters, developed and acted by the DM, are complete. They have quirks, likes, dislikes, habits, ambitions, and desires. In one way or another they fire and remain in the imagination of the players

Some DMs have the naturally ability to create such characters on the spur of the moment, improvising as they go along. This is a rare gift, not possessed by most. However, this doesn't mean any DM can't create good NPCs. All that's required is a little effort.

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