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An unstatted NPC has few or no game statistics. This is likely because the GM did not anticipate them challenging the PCs in any fashion.

Examples include:

  • A local blacksmith, whom the GM did not count on the PCs attempting to cheat.
  • Minor NPCs, who exist mainly to provide conversation.
  • NPCs so powerful the GM never imagined the PCs would try to attack them.
  • NPCs who function essentially as deus ex machina.

As may be observed, this assumption is rarely warranted, although in the interest of reducing prep time, the GM may assume this for many NPCs. It is usually safe for truly harmless, unremarkable, unknowledgeable NPCs to lack traits, with the exception that virtually any NPC, even a page or a bellhop, probably needs a name. Stable boys, grocery clerks, and the like can probably manage with no more than that. Guards, the desk clerk at a hotel, a reporter, or a peddlar probably work better as simplified NPCs.

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