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12 Physical and Personality Traits for Your D&D 5e NPCs

Credit: Revolution77

Lawful Good is a series where we give you a random table, or perhaps even a fully fleshed-out NPC for you to use in your D&D 5e campaigns or adventures.

Lawful Good will release each Thursday…shoot, is today Saturday? OK. Lawful Good will be a mostly regular column where we give you free content to help you with your D&D 5e NPC creation.

Often, NPCs need to be created on the fly, which often relegates them to throw away status. But by often adding a single little quirk to a NPC can take them from instantly forgettable to memorable. Give your NPCs – even the instantly created ones – a little flair, then they can earn a place later on in your campaign as well.

First, well give our NPC a physical trait, then we’ll follow with 12 NPC personality traits.

Roll a d12 for a NPC Physical Trait

  1. Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 1.08.53 PMBushy Sideburns Obviously, this is funnier if it’s a female NPC.
  2. Noticeably Crooked Teeth You can play this NPC with a touch of self-contiousness, like hiding their mouth when they talk, for example.
  3. Freckled 
  4. Missing 7th Finger Adds a touch of mystery to the character.
  5. Scar from an Animal Attack Perhaps this looks like 4 claw slashes.
  6. Single Braid in Beard Add some beads. Why not?
  7. Missing Right Ear Perhaps this is a badge of honor and they don’t try to hide it behind hair.
  8. Impeccably Dressed Dapper, and this stands out amongst most others who are more casually dressed.
  9. Frizzy Hair 
  10. Heavily Perfumed You don’t just catch a whiff, it almost knocks you over.
  11. Grey Eyes 
  12. Thin and Wiry 

Roll a d12 for NPC Personality Traits

  1. Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 1.09.23 PMIntolerant Toward Others Toward other races, other professions, other cases, or perhaps other beliefs.
  2. Enthusiastic Every conversation is predictably encouraging and optimistic.
  3. Well-Spoken Makes you wonder where their education came from.
  4. Man of Few Words This NPC isn’t withholding, it’s just that every answer is just one word or so.
  5. Jealous (of the PCs)
  6. Mean to Commoners or Service Staff
  7. Compassionate Perhaps you catch them given coppers to beggar kids or they ask you to show mercy.
  8. Bloodthirsty Consistently pushing PCs into a fight with bandits, goblins, whoever…
  9. Studious Asks questions. Considers answers. Wants to understand fully and willing to take the time to get to the truth.
  10. Polite and Patient
  11. Weak-willed You get a sense that this NPC gets pushed around often.
  12. Concerned You might be able to use this as a hook for a side quest or encounter.  What is he or she concerned about?  A lost item or person?  An unsettling stranger in town?  Maybe they’re concerned for the PCs because they overheard a group of ruffians planning violence towards them.

You don’t need a thousand of these things, just a few that you can quickly reference when you need a NPC on the fly. Roll a d12 for the NPC physical trait, then a d12 for their personality trait. Voila! An instantly memorable NPC.

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