After launching their first Kickstarter featuring Limitless Encounters Vol. 1, the crew at Limitless-Adventures.com came back to feature a new book, this time featuring over 100 Non-Player Characters (or NPCs). The goal with Limitless-Adventures and their products has always been a means to reduce prep time for the Dungeon Master, allowing them to focus on setting up the game and even develop some plot points along the way. I’ve been a die-hard fan of their products when I was first introduced to them. You can quickly read all of my reviews and praise for them, and there are several posts.
Some Reviews for Insight:
Some Backstory – Because every adventure has one
Limitless-Adventures.com consists of a group of long-time friends that started back in 2015 and entered into the wider space of publishing D&D materials for both new and veteran Dungeon Masters. Their aim was to reduce the overall preparation time many Dungeon Masters undergo when designing a D&D session. Encounters, especially combat ones, can take anywhere from two to four hours on average to set up. Their first products consisted of facilitating that need and reducing the prep work but include encounters for every environment imaginable. Their trademark (actually trademarked) feature comes from their Further Adventures hooks, where three are included with each encounter to help a DM branch from it and extend it further. It was a means to help develop story threads or even small quests. It’s a powerful tool for Dungeon Masters who do not have the luxury to prepare for campaigns for their groups and need the resources of published material to provide a narrative. The greater benefit of these Further Adventure hooks was that the DM had the ability to brainstorm potential story paths, meaning that they can develop their own narrative but without being engrossed in all the details that ultimately assail them.
Their site continues to produce new encounters and content. New sign-ups have access to several PDFs that are for free. So even if you are interested in their products, you can sign-up with a free account and judge for yourself. From encounters and even small adventure modules, the Limitless-Adventures.com team continues to grow with the continuing mission of reducing prep time for the Dungeon Master. This brings us to NPCs and Limitless NPCs Vol. 1.
Non-Player Characters – the glue that builds your campaign settings
Let’s talk about Non-Player Characters (or NPCs) for a moment.
Why are NPCs so important to a campaign setting, let alone to a D&D game?
NPCs are the butter to your bread in regards to giving life and identity to your world. While scenery and places are indeed important, it’s the unique individuals that make a place feel special (or terrible if you’re in a city run by corruption and tyranny). NPCs can be allies, adversaries, merchants, rivals, or scholars to your party. NPCs are the tools that a DM uses to drive the atmosphere and setting for your narrative. NPCs that are enemies to your party may scheme for ways to defeat them, or steal from them, or something far more sinister. There are allies that the party may have made through their adventures, a noble or general of a good-aligned city perhaps. Merchants and potential quest givers are great ways to add variety and spice up the world with unique traits and perspectives. These NPCs will help a DM offer plot hooks for the party to snag, leading them further into the world and their own story.
BUT…building an NPC can sometimes be a daunting task. Especially if you’re trying to fill a small city with a variety of NPCs that may potentially be met by the party. That can range anywhere from five to a dozen. If you’re sadistic to yourself, you may have twenty NPCs in one city (but probably for those huge cities), it all depends on your needs.
The Limitless NPCs Vol. 1 book contains an assortment of characters, all categorized by the type of NPC a DM would need in any given situation. Do you need an ally that is roughly a Challenge Rating of 4? Or perhaps you want this particular NPC to be a cleric or acolyte for a church? The NPCs in the compendium are all walks of life, many of them were inspired by previous Limitless products and given additional content.
I’ll use an example:
While I was perusing through the PDF file I received from Limitless; I noticed a familiar name: Brother Grys from the Acolyte side quest. We meet a Brother Grys after the events of his NPC’s side quest. The NPC wants to still help the poor and needy after his crisis of faith. He can serve as a Healer, a Contact among the homeless and poverty stricken population, and even as a Quest Giver for adventures related the seedy underbelly of the city. On top of all these features, there three additional adventure hooks to tie in with Brother Grys. This single page can offer a wealth of potential hooks and story threads, especially if you link with the Acolyte side quest which again, has its own three adventure hooks. A Dungeon Master can quickly build an elaborate story arc with just Brother Grys alone if they wanted, making into a great story to tell.
As you can see in the sample above, it’s a full stat block for the NPC including some descriptions of the character and what sort of role a DM may choose to play Brother Grys.
Limitless Ideas – All the pylons
Overall, I’m extremely pleased with this product from Limitless Adventures. Crafting NPCs can be a tenuous task, while there are easier methods to improvise an NPC on the fly, ones that are established to be used within the narrative are an entirely different matter. Often these NPCs are created with intent or purpose for your campaign, which often requires stats, a backstory, behaviors, and motivations. The process can take anywhere from half hour to several hours to craft these NPCs. Especially NPCs that can also assist the party, join up with them, and even participate in combat. Just like the Limitless Encounters Vol. 1, the Limitless team has succeeded in their mission to reduce the preparation time for Dungeon Masters.
If you’re unsure, sign-up for a free account at Limitless-Adventures.com, several files are free to download right away. You can see their formatting and organizational style before taking the plunge. If you like what you see, you can purchase their Limitless NPCs Vol. 1 and Limitless Encounters Vol. 1 (which is a collection of their first Encounter products).
Special thanks to the Limitless team and for crafting such excellent products.
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