Player characters cannot fight, survive, wheel, deal, plot, or scheme without
interacting with nonplayer characters (NPCs). Indeed, the very heart of the
AD&D game is the relationship between player characters and nonplayer characters.
How the player characters react to and treat NPCs determines the type of game
the group plays. Although many choices are possible, players quickly find that
consideration and good treatment of NPCs is the most frequently successful route.
An NPC is any person, creature, or monster that is controlled by the DM. Most NPCs are either people (intelligent races that live in local society)
or monsters (intelligent and unintelligent creatures that aren't normally found
in towns and villages). The term “monster” is only a convenient label. It
doesn't mean the creature is automatically dangerous or hostile. Likewise, NPCs who
are people aren't uniformly helpful and cooperative. As with all things, the
range of possible reactions of NPCs to PCs covers the entire spectrum.
In the course of their adventures, player characters will be most concerned
with three groups of NPCs: hirelings, followers, and henchmen. It is their aid
that helps player characters vanquish deadly monsters and accomplish mighty
deeds. As their names imply, these NPCs can be persuaded in various ways to join the
player characters in their adventures. The most common methods of persuasion
are money and loyalty.
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