Do you have a library of background NPC?


Emperor Mongoose
I just watched the latest sketch from Viva la Dirt League in their new D&D Logic season. The "players" are ignoring the main plot and think the tavern maid is important. So the poor DM is struggeling to flesh her out.

That gets me thinking - do you have a set of NPC prepared for that. That are basically throw aways but with some basic behaviours in case your players go there. Say the crew of a Brubecks Burger and Bar consisting of

Jim and Jane Caper - A Caprisap couple that runs the kitchen
Crunch and Crack - Two Sydite waitresses. Those are their nicknames based on the sound the bones of frisky guests make
Bob C. Sixer - The Hiver in charge of cleaning
Usham Sharkurki - The Vilani Bartender. Never varies from the way the drink was mixed by his ancestors back in the times of the Grand Empire of Stars

The Link - the team is quite funny (and actually does play D&D as well)

I have a 'catalogue' of personality traits and mannerisms. I won't say they're fully fleshed out...
But it's the 'usual suspects'...
- Wubbawubba the Newt admin wonk
- Captain *BARK!* the Vargr Pirate
- The Right Honourable Flt. Lt Studley Hungwell-Swallowes, IN fighter pilot
- Special Agent Badgeflasher, IMOJ
My players have caught on to the fact that if they ask for a minor NPCs name and I come up with "Bob" or "Roger2, said PC has served their purpose.
Yes, every character rolled and died during character creation, every character killed during the game, they all end up in a file to be repurposed.

The hardest part for me is naming NPCs on the fly, so I have made a list of every given name and family name of every named character in every sci fi game I own.

I can then randomise a name pretty easily.
One of my female players is 182cm and practices sword fighting. The other regularly cooks for the group.

So using names like Holly Goodhead or Xenia Onatopp is bad for my health :)
I'd wager there are other lists with less overtly sexist names somewhere 🙃
I work for an international company, and the names that run across my computer are onomastic gold.
As for personalities, I use one or 2 quirks and let them get fleshed (or rolled up) out as necessary.