John B has a great post about how he creates NPC’s at The Retired Adventurer Blog.
We have very similar methods. We both establish what the NPC wants and what the NPC can do to get it. John has a category of information that I like but never thought too much about. That category is “opportunity” or If a thing happens Then the NPC does This in response. I alway write down the obstacles to the NPC getting what they want which tells you what their activities are/could be based on what resources they have. So if an NPC has a lot of money, wants a magic item last known to exist in a particular temple but the priests won’t sell it to him. The NPC can make particular moves, which may or may not directly involve the PC’s
Great read. Go check it out.