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Chapter 2: Tools / Building Creatures / Designing NPCs

PC-Style Build

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 72
If you do choose to build an NPC fully using the PC rules, your NPC should generally end up being an appropriate challenge as a creature of their level. They will likely have lower statistics in some areas than if you had built them using the creature rules, but more options due to their full complement of feats and class features. This is best saved for important, recurring NPCs, especially if they’re meant to engage in social or exploration endeavors rather than just battles.

There are still some considerations and shortcuts that can expedite the process while ensuring the NPC works as you intend.
  • The creature’s treasure should follow the Treasure for New Characters rules on page 510 of the Core Rulebook. You’ll need to account for this in your campaign’s overall treasure. You might even want to give the NPC a higher-level item appropriate as a treasure allotment for the level.
  • You can expedite ability score generation by making the starting ability modifiers add up to +9, with no more than one modifier at +4 (and typically no more than one negative modifier). You can skip adding a background if you do this, but you might want to give the creature two skills, which includes one Lore skill, to represent the skills granted by a background.
  • It’s not necessary to assign every skill feat, particularly for a higher-level NPC. You can just pick the most emblematic ones and gloss over the rest.
  • For general feats, Incredible Initiative and Toughness make good choices.
  • Most of the guidelines about choosing spells still apply, though you might want a few more utility spells that deal with non-combat challenges, particularly in low-level slots.