Non-player Character

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A Non-player Character, or NPC, is a game character that is not controlled by a human player. The term NPC is generally used for friendly creatures in the game considered to be intelligent.
(Compare to Creatures and Mob).
NPCs for the Free Peoples of Middle-earth are typically one of the Player Character races: dwarves, elves, hobbits and men. Friendly creatures for Monster Play Characters are typically orcs, wargs and spiders. Friendly NPCs can be quest givers, vendors, guards or even just scenery.
Sometimes hostile creatures considered to be intelligent may be called NPCs, although humanoids might be a better term. Unintelligent hostile creatures would rarely if ever be called NPCs. Instead creatures like bears, boars, neekerbreekers and wolves are often referred to as beasts. Hostile creatures in general are also known as mobs.
NPCs have a morale and power bar, just like creatures and player characters, but these usually do not show the amount and level. An exception are combat NPCs, who act basically as creatures. Just like creatures, NPCs have different types expressing their toughness: Normal, Signature, Defender (the equivalent of 'Elite' for creatures), Master Defender ('Elite Master' for creatures), Avenger ('Nemesis' for creatures) and Hero ('Arch-nemesis' for creatures). Heroes are important and powerful characters from Tolkien's lore (e.g. Gandalf, Elrond and Glorfindel) or Captain-generals in the Ettenmoors (e.g. Captain-General Daerdan and Captain-General Bordagor).
For a complete list of NPCs, see Category:NPCs.
NPCs are also organized:

Notes

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-player_character.