Hm... seems like you're using IE. Can I suggest a better browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera? There are other choices too.

If you wanna stick with IE, or can't switch, I'll warn you right now, while most of this site should work with IE, stuff might come up buggy, so you might not enjoy it as much...

1st Time GPDM: How do I create NPC "characters"?

Sep 9, 2020 10:08 pm
I'm a transplant from an alternate PbP site, so whatever knowledge and participation I have on these sorts of formats is entirely and strictly based on my experience there. That said...

On this other site, I could create character placeholders, if you will, that would represent NPCs. It was essentially the 'shell' of a character, complete with pic and description, that the PCs could view at any time. However, the character was assigned to me, the DM. This would also allow me to make a post as if I were that NPC. Players would see the post was made by the NPC and when they read it, it even had the NPC's pic assigned to it, etc.

I've created a temporary 'fake game' so that I can tinker with the GP mechanics and get a feel for the site and how things work (and of course, how they different from my past site). Thinking I had found the solution to my dilemma above, I noticed how I could import a character from my stable into my game. So, I assumed that I could just create NPCs as if they were my characters and bring them in this way. Nope. After inserting the first character, the option was gone. Clearly, this isn't how it's meant to work.

Is there a way to create other 'characters' in the game that I portray, as described above, or is this simply not an option?

Sep 9, 2020 10:20 pm
You can create characters, just like how your players can. So you'll have to grab a character sheet, fill it up (and probably don't put it in your library), and then go on your game's page and accept your NPC there. That last part is a bit odd, but I guess there's a reason for things to work that way...

If stats are not important, you can also set your game to accept "Custom" character sheets and use that for some of your minor NPCs.

Edit: Oh, I noticed you already tried that. Hmm, odd, it should work no problem. Perhaps this is some sort of bug...
Last edited September 9, 2020 10:22 pm, a total of 1 time
Sep 9, 2020 10:26 pm
Mind you, this is Day 2 of having a "game", so it would not be unheard of for me to have ruined something. Also, I realized that I only set it to accept a certain type of sheet- perhaps the other character I have in my library isn't made with that sheet?

Let me create another 'filler' character using the sheet type I've approved and see if that works.

Thank you, kalajel!!!
Sep 9, 2020 10:27 pm
If you're talking about your D&D 3.5 game, you only have 1 D&D 3.5 character. If you did not allow D&D 5e character sheets in your game, that explains why you are not able to add any of your other characters.

As kalajel mentioned, you can allow "Custom" character sheets and add your blank or bare-bone NPCs that way. However, if you want your players to be able to view those character sheets, you'll have to ensure that your NPCs are added to the public library (enabling the book icon so that it's red instead of gray).
Sep 9, 2020 10:35 pm
Yes, thank you! That's exactly it. His confidence that it should have worked urged me to look into it closer and that's exactly what it was. All the other sample/concept characters I had in my stable were 5E, which explained why I couldn't add them in. I just created a 3.5 character for testing and it let me add him.

Now, to follow your directions to see how to make them visible to other players. They won't have stats assigned (unless they're meant to be fought, but even then I wouldn't have a need to include their stats on their sheet) but I would like the players to be able to view them and read their descriptions (or known details, past encounter notes, etc.) whenever they would like.
Sep 9, 2020 10:36 pm
Also, how did you know I only had one 3.5 character?
Sep 9, 2020 10:41 pm
For that, I recommend allowing and using Custom character sheets. They allow you to use assign an avatar and feature a generic plain text box in which you can add whatever details you'd like. Once you've created your Custom NPC, look in your Characters library and enable the book icon (between the pencil and X) to make them public.

At the time, I looked at your user profile and saw you made X D&D 5e characters and Y D&D 3/3.5 characters.
Last edited September 9, 2020 10:43 pm, a total of 2 times
Sep 9, 2020 10:46 pm
Ahhhhhh.... I see now. So as I understand it, I could allow either type of character sheet without changing the rule set I would be using for any possible future game. Let me try that out now, and note the library book icon too.

(and thanks for pointing out how you can see character inventories; I'm still quite untested with the use of GP and learning things as I go)

Thank you again for your help, both of you!
Last edited September 9, 2020 10:50 pm, a total of 1 time
Sep 10, 2020 6:37 pm
Now that I understand what you've explained and it's working as intended, I've noticed two other things which have prompted further questioning.

First, and I'm confident there's a reasoning for it, probably a logical and sensible one which for some reason it escapes me, what's the purpose of a "Label" on a character? I initially suspected that it was so you could easily "group" them based on their label (NPCs, PreGen PCs, etc.), but then I realized how in my Characters list, they're listed by label. This won't work if I give different characters the same label (for categorization purposes) because then I won't know which is which. i.e. if I have 5 guys with the NPC label, I won't know which is Joe, or Tom, or Fred without clicking on each; they ALL show 'NPC'.

Second question, I have some D&D 3.5, some D&D 5E and some Custom characters in my Character stable. However, when I click the Characters link from the toolbar above, it doesn't show the Custom characters; only the 3.5 and 5E ones. Only if I click [B]All Characters[/b] will the Custom variants show up in the list. Why?

Sep 10, 2020 6:47 pm
Even weirder...

I'm not seeing any rhyme or reason as to which appear in that drop-down off the title bar link. Some that are NPC-coded do not, some that are NPC-coded do. Some that are Custom do not, some that are Custom do.

I'm thoroughly confused. A screenshot in case it might help anyone:
Sep 10, 2020 6:50 pm
The dropdown off the title bar shows characters in alphabetical order by their label. Letter or number prefixes on the label can be useful for sorting the list.
Sep 10, 2020 7:02 pm

That makes sense, but what determines who DOES and DOESN'T appear on the drop-down? As you can see in the screenshot, I have 9 characters in my list, but only 6 show up in the drop-down.
Last edited September 10, 2020 7:03 pm, a total of 1 time
Sep 10, 2020 7:04 pm
Yeah - it's mad. That menu quickly becomes useless for DMs. Just click on the 'All characters' option.
Sep 10, 2020 7:08 pm
The list just shows the first five characters in alphabetical order and then a link to the full characters page. The other ones don't appear because they're below the cutoff. If you want to modify who appears in that list, you'll need to change the labels so they sort differently.

As you add more games, the characters dropdown from the title menu because less and less useful. I use the Characters button in the bottom bar menu that appears in the game forums and on the details page more frequently, because that only shows characters from the current game.
Sep 10, 2020 7:17 pm
Adam says:
Yeah - it's mad. That menu quickly becomes useless for DMs. Just click on the 'All characters' option.
I understand. I can accept this- I was just thinking that I was doing something wrong, or that I had broken something. If the fact is that it doesn't work, then it doesn't work.

Yes; the All Characters option is what I ended up using, and I see now how it's best to just 'default' to that going forward.

Thank you!
Sep 10, 2020 7:18 pm

Yeah, I'm seeing the logic in what you and Adam pointed out. I guess I was putting too much 'value' or 'importance' in that drop-down menu (for some reason). I'll disregard it and just go to the All option.

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