One of the most difficult things I’ve found as GM/DM is putting together a quick personality for the many faceless NPCs. I developed this list to give me something to start with, for on-the-fly encounters. Often times I may tone it down, or combine two. I hope you find it useful.
30 Quick NPC personalities
30 Quick NPC personalities
1.Reluctant Always a little worried to go forth. Tends to hesitate when making any moderately significant decision.
2.Gregarious Always needing to be seen doing something ridiculous. Often time related to sex.
3.Considerate This person is always making sure everyone’s taken care of.
4.Apologetic Oh, I’m sorry did you need to look at this? I’m sorry I didn’t.
5.The Giggler this person seems to find something mildly amusing with what just happened or was said.
6.Happy This person seems to look on the bright side and lets little get to them.
7.Skeptic Takes a generally doubtful view on the world. Requesting proof for anything beyond the normal.
8.Mr. Guarantee The person always seems to guarantee his remarks. Hes not sure about anything, he guarantees it! They also never listen or seem to pay attention when they are proven wrong about their promise.
9.Optimist This person has a Glass Half-full approach to life and is glad to share their views.
10.Pessimist - This person has a Glass Half-empty approach to life and is glad to share their views.
11.Hard of Hearing This person Tend to talk loud, asks the players to repeat what they say and often miss-hear what they hear. So have learned to repeat back what they thought they heard.
12.Speech impediment This NPC has a speech impediment and pronounces "th" as "f" or "S" as "th" (Daffy Duck is a common example)
13.Stutterer This person commonly stumbles over certain syllables.
14.Addict This person is addicted to something and is often distracted by the addiction. When indulged in front of the PCs, but they will do many things for a fix.
15.Liar This person cant help but lie. They get great private pleasure from having you not know they are lying strait to your face.
16.Short Tempered The have little patience for much and tend to get VERY upset when things aren’t going right.
17.Relaxed Nothing rouses excitement from this person. Great in keeping calm in a crisis
18.Distracted This person is easily distract by internal thoughts or external things like TV or butterflies.
19.Honest, brutally honest This person seems to feel as if it is their job to point out all the unpleasant truths about what they observe.
20.Non-committal This person cant seem to commit to anything. Nailing them down on something is nearly impossible. They will do nearly anything to not be beholden to anyone else.
21. Mr. Scrooge This person sees people as always out to take something from them, and will let someone have any leeway or charity over their dead body.
22.Center of attention This person must be the center of attention. They frequently will interrupt your sentence and tell you about themselves. It’s always about them.
23.Gossip hound This person is ALWAYS looking for the latest rumors and gossip and is ready to pass along any gossip they’ve heard.
24.Rage-aholic This person is generally calm and relaxed until they hit the boiling point (often assisted by alcohol). And then something triggers an inferiority and the rage begins. Some Rage verbally, some physically, other both. Many like the verbal rage-ers as they speak loudly on the thoughts most of us harbor, with a carelessness and vigor we wish we could possess.
25.A little off the rocker This person seems mostly normal although a facial tick or an odd behavior. That reveals that their view of the world is askew.
26.Annoying This person inadvertently or on purpose seems to have a quality about them that is just REALLY irritating. Maybe they are Hyper, or they have a nasally speech or they mis-use a phrase repeatedly.
27.Complainer This person always finds something wrong with anything you talk about.
28.Mr. Ailment Will tell you about everything that has ever gone wrong with their bodies or life.
29.One-up-ers This NPC ALWAYS has heard or done something Harder, worse, larger, faster stronger, funnier you get the ideas. The often interrupt you near the end.
30.Drunk This one takes many forms, all are unstable. Some talk, spewing forth their hearts and they follow you. Some try to perform great feats. Some are angry. Others just love you. Your best defense is to give them more and hope they pass out.
Additional Ideas (4)
31.The Ever-patient - This person is sympathetic/empathic to your PC's cause and will always listen and be understanding.
32.Low on Patience - This person will listen but in a short time, will sigh and look exasperated, even blowing their bangs with a huff. Claiming they have a thing.
33.Admiring - This person picks one PC or the whole bunch and just admires them for some reason. Say they are good-looking, or their deeds are noble or they are a hero. Or they are worldly, either way they are hard to shake.
34.Distrusting - This person feels that the PCs are thieves and a danger to society. The always keep an eye on every movement.
35. Exactly - Always agrees with others, whatever they say. May not really agree, but can't help it.
36. Tomorrow I'll be there - Everything will be deferred to later on, there's nothing to be done today. You have to wait as the others do.
37. Mr. Complication - Finds in everything a way to complicate things. Is really a likeable fellow, if he'd just stopped making things more difficult for everyone!
39. Do - It - Yourself - Believes everything must be done by others no matter what profession they may have.
40. Do - It Him / Herself - Believes everything must be done by him / herself or else it won't be done right, when you want something done right you must do it yourself right?
41. Energetic - Always doing something, never seen sitting down, even at night he's doing things, he / she regularly drinks foods or drinks with a lot of energy to stay awake.
42. The Good Thief - Always has the urge to steal, he usually does steal, and when caught immediately gives it back, he never steals from the poor or single parents, for some reason he has Morales despite being a thief.
43. The Bad Thief - Like The Good Thief, always as the urge to steal, but doesn't care if your a single parent or poor or both, and he / she won't give back items if caught.
44. Macho - Macho, always needs to be flexing his muscles or displaying his large amount of Strength, he's also seen working out a lot because he believes that muscles can never be maxed out.
45. Wimp - Always away from others he considers scary or out to get him, which is nearly everyone. And unlike Macho, he doesn't work out, he doesn't at all, he's tall, but is scrawny.
46. The Militant -- Speaks in short, clipped military tones. Clothes are crisply ironed, boots (if any) polished to a military shine. If faced with a problem, will suggest solutions in terms of tactics and strategy, even for mundane situations ("If the first line of persuasion fails, you may want to employ intimidation maneuvers").
47. The Pacifist -- Hand-wringer. Always squirms at the mention of violence and will attempt to suggest an alternative. ("Oh dear, you don't really want to kill him . . . do you?"). If intimidated or confronted with a harsh manner, this NPC has a tendency to flutter their hands impotently while looking towards others for help.