Hob’s Review of NPCs (Spells, Swords, & Stealth #1) by Drew Hayes

NPCs (Spells, Swords, & Stealth #1)

by Drew Hayes



What happens when the haggling is done and the shops are closed? When the quest has been given, the steeds saddled, and the adventurers are off to their next encounter? They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters?

In the town of Maplebark, four such NPCs settle in for a night of actively ignoring the adventurers drinking in the tavern when things go quickly and fatally awry. Once the dust settles, these four find themselves faced with an impossible choice: pretend to be adventurers undertaking a task of near-certain death or see their town and loved ones destroyed. Armed only with salvaged equipment, second-hand knowledge, and a secret that could get them killed, it will take all manner of miracles if they hope to pull off their charade.

And even if they succeed, the deadliest part of their journey may well be what awaits them at its end.


NPCs  Audiobook

I started  listening  to this Audiobook back in January of last year. When I was only about 20 minutes in to the book i broke my phone.   It took forever to get a new one and in the meantime I had bought a few more things from audible. When the new phone came and I got the audible app again I never remembered to go down the list to start this one over again. In my mind I somehow thought I had listened to it. Just a week or two ago I saw a post on FB by the author saying book 3 was coming out.

So I went and got book 2 and 3 but I like to listen to the first few chapters of book one before I start the second book if I don’t recall it well. Imagine my surprise when I remembered how I had never finished it. And I am happy and mad at myself for taking so long. Happy because I had a great AB to listen to while I drove for a few hours. Mad because it is a great fricken book I could have listened to over a year ago.

But let’s do this review. The cover is ok. I like how it shows off the parties weapons, but it would have been nice to see the party as well.  The narration is good. Each of the main NPCs having their own “voice”. It is read by Roger Wayne the same narrator that did The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a Fuck, and I loved that one as well. he also did an Audiobook called Until Trevor: By Aurora Rose Reynolds  But even though it has my name and it looks just like me on the cover I probably won’t be reading that one.


What do you mean that looks nothing like me? Moving on we don’t have time for this argument.

Have you ever played a tabletop RPG? Did you ever have your whole party die?  Did you ever take even a half of a second to think how your death might inconvenience the NPCs around you? NO you didn’t  Because you just think about yourself. You treat NPCs as figments of the GM’s imagination and if you die you just roll a new character all the while complaining about your lost loot. You never stop to think that the soup you made in the forest with mushrooms you found when you rolled a 1 would slowly poison you. Or that when you died in a tavern from poison while you held a quest summons from the mad king he might think the people in the tavern poisoned you. And I am sure you never thought for one second that the mad king would send his solders to burn the whole village of the peasants who dared to poison someone he wanted to hire for a job. But that is exactly what happened to the 4 unfortunate NPCs sitting at the tavern the night a party playing Spells, Swords, & Stealth wiped before they even got to the king to start the quest.

So to save the village from being burned to the ground and all of their friends and family being slaughtered..When they realize that the king didn’t know the names of the dead adventures, just that one was a Paladin one a Rogue, one a Wizard, and one a Barbarian. The 4 brave NPCs step up and don the gear of the 4 adventurers that walked in to their tavern and died.

Let’s take a look at the main….. how about we call them PNPCCs  or Playing Non-Player Character Characters.

We Have a hunchbacked ex-henchman  Gnome. The half-Orc  Bartender that has deep thoughts but says little.  The Mayors Daughter that gets kidnapped by Goblins every other week or so. and the  klutzy Mayors house guard responsible for stopping the goblins . I am not going to say who takes what class because it changes as they travel, and its hilariously awesome. But my favorite part of the whole book is when they meet the goblins in the forest..  forest

I guess NPCs falls in to the LitRPG category. But I am beginning to think the main classification for LitRPG should be that it is a book  not like other LitRPG books. For the most part they are all so unique yet still bring that nostalgic feeling to me that I am really loving this Sub-genre of Fantasy .


Definitely a good book to pick up on a rainy day when you need a good laugh or listen to on a long boring drive.  If you have never played a RPG before you will still find this book amusing and an all around good read. But if, like me you played D&D at a young age then you will find this series will bring back a flood of memories as well as many good laughs. My only complaint is that it was to short. I am going to Give NPCs by Drew Hayes 4.75 little goblins© out of five.

To purchase this book.or get it free with Kindle unlimited



Here is a link to goodreads to find out more of another great series by Drew Hayes I highly recommend Book one is called The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant (Fred, the Vampire Accountant, #1)



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