Random Table: NPC Traits

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I have been accused in the past of having some NPCs that were very “cardboard-like”. Some had little personality, no unusual mannerisms, and just another voice among many. My group at one time even bought me a guide to playing NPCs.

While working to improve that area of my game, it is still an area I struggle with. So today’s table for Random Table Thursday is a list of 20 NPC traits. For that next barkeep the PCs meet if you neglected to do your homework you can roll up a trait on the fly to give that barkeep some distinguishing characteristic.

The Iron Tavern welcomes suggestions for next week’s random table. If you have suggestions for next week’s table feel free to leave a comment to this post or over on Google+!


Roll (d20) NPC Traits
1 speaks quite loudly, even in inappropriate locations
2 uses hands frequently when speaking, gesturing, moving restlessly
3 constantly yawning, dozing off
4 speaks very quietly, just above a whisper
5 rolls an ornately carved metal cylinder across their knuckles, repeatedly
6 strong body odor
7 wears glasses, takes them on and off numerous times when conversing
8 constantly blinking
9 very observant, comments on fine details often missed (unique items on one’s person, rings, mannerisms, etc)
10 meticulous, frequently brushing lint from clothes, straightening hair, etc.
11 very empathetic, seems to listen to people with genuine concern
12 constant complainer (weather, food, lack of sleep, etc)
13 lacks personal space awareness, tends to stand or sit too close to people
14 flowery aroma
15 always seems out of breath, even when having been seated for a length of time
16 stutters
17 frequently snacking, taking handfuls of nuts and granola from a pocket
18 uses very proper and verbose speech
19 smokes a pipe, fiddles with tobacco can in vest pocket
20 overly polite