Statting NPCs for B/X OSE


I'm trying to provide stats for the town portion of an adventure where PCs may want to recruit them for dangerous situations.

Any advice for statting NPCS for B/X, OSE etc. I'm talking peasants, farmers, merchants, smiths etc. I can't seem to find a good set of rules for anything other than retainers, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong places?


Should be playing D&D instead
I think this could fall into the realm of don't worry about it. The urge to stat everything is bad WOTC, my setting needs geologic density thought.

If the players would use this info? Then and only then use randomly generated Lvl 1 characters for those stats.

Another option is to go lvl 0 and make them have 1hp with all stats being 10 Str, Dex etc .

If those Lvl 0 characters become important and gain enough gold to be important? Then and only them roll up the character/ henchmen

Two orcs

Officially better than you, according to PoN
0th level no martial training: 1d4 hp, -1 to hit and saves compared to a 1st level fighter, morale -1 compared to light infantry/goblins


Should be playing D&D instead
There is a Normal Human in the Monster Book of B/X OSE.

Normal Human
Non-adventuring humans without a character class. Artists, beggars, children, craftspeople, farmers, fishermen, housewives, scholars, slaves.
AC 9, HD ½ (2hp), Att 1 × weapon (1d6 or by weapon), THAC0 20, MV 120’ (40’), SV D14 W15 P16 B17 S18 (NH), ML 6, AL Any, usually Lawful, XP 5, NA 1d4 (1d20), TT U
  • Gaining XP: Must select a character class after gaining XP on an adventure.
For variance play around with the stats like hp, THACO, saves, morale and the others... based on occupation, age, personality and such.
AC and Att you base on weapons and armor.
Maybe give them a special ability that is fun and not too intrusive.

Like this:
Toral Steelstrike (Normal Human)
The eternaly grumpy blacksmith of the village. Roughly 40 winters old, loves beer a bit too much, judging by his belly.
AC 8 (Leather skirt), HD 2 (9hp), Att 1 × heavy smithing hammer (1d8), THAC0 18, MV 90’ (30’), SV D12 W15 P16 B19 S18 (NH), ML 9, AL Lawful
  • Shatterpoint strike: When Toral rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll he may strike a natural weak point in the enemies weapon. Roll damage, if the damage is higher than the enemies HD, the weapon shatters or breaks.
One could probably design a little "on the Fly" NPC stat generator here.
Though to be honest... most of the time I ballpark such stuff in my games based on description and what feels right in the moment :p


Wow, thanks to all of you...this was incredibly helpful. I can't believe I overlooked Normal Human.

One more question -is there a stat block you'd recommend for cultists?

I'm thinking of something similar to the 5E cultist

(basically non magical follower in robes with a dagger type. I'll customize it's helpful to have somewhere to start. I'm aiming this as a level 1-3 adventure but we'll see how it plays out in playtesting).

Thanks again

Two orcs

Officially better than you, according to PoN
One more question -is there a stat block you'd recommend for cultists?
Lowest level cultists are just normal men and women with daggers and possibly a higher (or even fanatic) morale score. One step up in the hierarchy you get 1st level clerics, magic-users or assassins depending on the type of cult. Something I like to do is a two-track promotion where cultists either become more and more matured monsters or higher levels of normal character classes (possibly with some special ability granted by the cult practice).


Should be playing D&D instead
I once made for myself a rule of thumb: "If an NPC does not deserve to be given an individual name, personality, and motivation during preparation, it gets normal human or human guard stats."

Customized stats are only for supporting characters, not for background extras.

Though I also try to apply this princple in reverse as well. If I end up with random encounters generating leveled NPCs like bandit leaders or pirate captains, I try to give them some kind of speaking role. Though that's much harder to do on the fly.