A new Dungeons & Dragons supplement contains a collection of nearly 60 different NPCs with diverse backgrounds and traits. Earlier this week, a group of 50 creators released Friends, Foes, and Other Fine Folks, a 130 page supplement that provides detailed backgrounds, statblocks and descriptions of 58 different NPCs. One thing that sets Friends, Foes, and Other Fine Folks is its emphasis on diversity, not only in gender and race, but also in physical characteristics, orientations, personalities, and disabilities. Not only can these characters be inserted into any campaign setting, they also provide a guideline of how to fill your world with a diverse mix of characters that doesn't emphasize physical differences as their primary trait.
NPCs featured in the book range from a talented bard with skeletal dysplasia to a friendly necromancer who carries the bones of fallen heroes in a burlap sack. There are characters who have severe anxiety disorder, or permanent nerve damage, or were partially transformed into a vampire before they received divine intervention. Many NPCs in the book are genderqueer, trans, or non-binary, or are demisexual or aromantic. All of the characters also provide something of value to players, whether its a useful craft, a strong arm or magical talent, or a long adventuring career with experiences that can benefit the player.
Friends, Foes, and Other Fine Folks provides an excellent example as to how to build a diverse character without emphasizing their differences. There's a narrow line between celebrating what makes a person (or a character) different and making those differences their entire defining trait. Friends, Foes, and Other Fine Folks shows how any trait, whether its race, gender, or physical characteristic, is just one piece of a character and how they and can be used in a positive way to advance a story in D&D.
Friends, Foes, and Other Fine Folks is available on the DMs Guild for $14.95. A Print-On-Demand option is also available for purchase.