Roll20 uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. Cookies enable you to enjoy certain features, social sharing functionality, and tailor message and display ads to your interests on our site and others. They also help us understand how our site is being used. By continuing to use our site, you consent to our use of cookies. Update your cookie preferences .
D&D 2024 has arrived! Pre-Order the new core rulebooks now.
Create a free account
This post has been closed. You can still view previous posts, but you can't post any new replies.

How to Deal with Lots of NPCs

We're playing a zombie apocalypse game and their are about 20 NPCs currently traveling with the party. I need a picture so the players can remember who is who, a note for the gm & players about things that happen with that NPC, keep track of what equipment they have, what vehicle each them rides in, and maybe a few dice rolls (stealth, shooting, etc. for those NPCs that have that), secret GM info.  Character sheets for all of them? Handouts? Track it outside of roll20 in a google doc?  Just wondering what other people are doing for it. 
Alex C.
Marketplace Creator
Do they all have identical stats?
The majority would have no stats at all. 
Okay, here's what you do... Pick a picture - a prime example would be " Sabbat " if playing World of Darkness where the black glyph would pop up in search. You name the picture, assign a number / stats etc... then put up a character sheet with NPC number etc in the name.  Apply token to character sheet. At this point you can delete and put down that token whenever copying from the sheet, as it copies the token and all perimeters at the time of using token. Since they are all useless NPC's from the sounds of it... you may not even have to number/make multiple sheets. Just a simple " USELESS NPC" nametag may work. If you have useful mixed with the useless, for example "Mechanics" I'd recommend using a different placeholder symbol to represent them.

Edited 1462075968
Forum Champion
Paladintodd said: The majority would have no stats at all.  You probably do not need Character Sheets or Journals for this. I would just use a Token for each NPC, and this only if they need to be depicted & represented on-map as individually traveling with the party. Do they each have some kind of identifying name or title, such as Fighter Bob, or Anti-Zombie Technician? Do they need to "travel with the party" in a way that is visible on the map? (If yes then use Tokens). Or can you just tell their existence & their actions as words (verbally and typed in chat), AKA theater of the mind? (If they do not need to be graphically represented on-map, but only in-chat, then you don't even need Tokens). If they need to be on-map, and they always travel as a group (not individually diverging) then make just 1 token, and name it "20 NPC's" or "Support Team". If they need to be on-map, and they travel individually, then make just 1 token per NPC, not attached to Character because you don't need Character when they are NPC and they do not use Stats. The following Token settings, Controlled By: GM (if only you can move them), or Controlled By: All Players, if you want the Players to help you move the 20 NPC tokens. Name: Put the name or role of the NPC!!! Fighter Bob, or Anti-Zombie Technician, here. Bar 1: Put whatever you want, you can put info here. Bar 2: A small amount of info works best in the Bar fields. Bar 3: If they need any minor stat such as Armor, Damage, Age, Health, use the Bars. You mentioned the Vehicle they ride in, could you make a code like Vehicle 1, Vehicle 2, Vehicle 3?  If so then you could write "V1" in a Bar, and it will appear in a circle when you click the token. You could have Bar 3 always tell which "V" they are riding in. Nameplate Visible: Checkmark this!!! Advanced Tab of the Token: Checkmark everything for visibility. GM Notes: There is a hidden GM Notes section on each Token. You can use this place to write reminders for yourself but this is often not-used and is not the most accessible place to see Notes so I would recommend not using this field for your NPC's.  You could write things like their equipment here, but this is probably not the best place for that. Last, keep the remainder of your Notes indexed by NPC Name (Token Name), either on Paper, or on Email, or Spreadsheet, or in a private Handout in Roll20 that is only Viewable By: GM.  For example type "Fighter Bob = Vehicle Car, Equipment Shovel, Stealth Roll 1d6" and keep a list like this for every NPC in alphabetical order by their Name/Title.  When you see the Fighter Bob token on the map, click on the Fighter Bob Token to see V1 telling you Vehicle 1, and if needed look up Fighter Bob in your Notes to get his full equipment list and stealth roll stats. In my game there are more than 30 NPC, and more than 200 monsters, that have all been set and played in this way.  I didn't make Character Sheets for them, and looking back this means I've saved myself 1000's of clicks. I feel that the only thing I was missing, based on your example, I would need to look in my notes to see Fighter Bob has Stealth 1d6, and wouldn't be able to simply roll Stealth Check from a character sheet.  So there is a little less automation of rolling stats, but in exchange the set-up time is quicker.